clarifying katrina

there are lots of photos like this one on flickr and elsewhere that tell the disturbing stories. most of what we need to know comes from beyond the news, and i've scanned more than my share of reports. there is no denying that new orleans, along with many communities in the gulf region, has sunk. my recent post might have seemed callous. i chalk up the seeming insensitivity to a late-night bitterness that resides at a whole 'nother level, nowhere near bourbon street.

ranting about bush and betrayal and hypocrisy and the sheer shittiness of things should not minimize the gravity of it all. it is precisely because of the calamity of what's going on down there that the blood boils this hot.

it's not just about the big idiot in the oval office. it's about a country that consistently rams its supremacy down the global throat, yet continues to demonstrate total disregard, if not disdain, for it's own citizens. in the case of katrina and her pre-decessors, if People In Charge weren't so fucking busy hating the rest of the world, they might learn a thing or two about disaster management from even a great enemy.

i also hate that bright fighters get called upon to be Voices of Reason amidst the politi-crap of punditry. the brilliant barack obama suggested this week that it's not a coincidence so many people of colour were "left behind", but not a conspiracy either. he said that what happened in the southern usa happens all over the world: poor and vulnerable people get hit the hardest in a natural disaster. to which i say FUCKING NONSENSE. when poor and vulnerable people "get hit" - in this case, swept away, lose possessions, float through waste and corpses until help swings by, go hungry, get trapped in arenas - it's because we allow it to happen. i don't give a shit how anyone tries to spin it, when people die under those circumstances in a developed country - especially that one - it's because we let them. period.

the damage down there will take years to mend. it may not have been preventable, but the human misery sure was, and i hope we'll be asking why for a long time.


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