I haven’t blogged about New Orleans because I’m in such a rage I can’t even see straight. On the commute home yesterday I was talking with a colleague who was carpooling with me (we’re doing our small best to reduce our resource use) I got so angry I stopped paying attention to the road. Dangerous. I’m dangerously angry. I’m mad as hell that all the government seems to be able to talk about is how a few folk have gone mad and are stealing from Wal-Mart and that the same government is too damned arrogant to accept help from the nice folk in Canada and elsewhere. I’m mad as hell that our national guard is in Iraq and not in New Orleans. I’m mad as hell that my tax money has gone to finance global policing efforts and not to domestic projects that could have reduced the scope of this disaster. And even though I’m not that religious these days, I’m reminded powerfully of that biblical passage about removing the big-ass log in your own eye before worrying about the speck in your neighbors’ eye. Once I exhaust my anger, I start feeling like much of the rest of the nation, helpless, powerless, and utterly bewildered that our supposedly “advanced” society is failing so utterly.
The only reasonable and logical thing that I can pull out of my tumbled thoughts is this question: Do you think that it would be taking so long to get help to people and would have been such awful chaos if it had been Orange County, California that had been struck? Or the Hamptons? Do you think there would have been such half-assed efforts to get people out if those people had been rich and white and without transportation?
It seems like a story we’ve seen over and over again, yet another example of how the impoverished, the underprivileged, the elderly, and black folk get completely screwed over by our society. Only this time, they’re not just getting passed over for education, jobs, techonology, benefits, and social equality. This time, they’re dying.