The Blame Game
I am frustrated. Frustrated by the spreading of blame on those who are not to blame for the tragedy in New Orleans. Here is why.
First off, New Orleans, population 500,000, is only one city out of how many in the great state of Louisiana? Does anyone who criticizes know? I don't know, but I know that in my great state of New Jersey there are over twenty-one counties easy, full of large towns and small towns. My city alone is home to over 55,000 people.
Now, being that the entire state was not swamped by Katrina and the storm surge that occurred, can we at least assume that there were any number of government officials in places of authority to do something about preparing for this storm as well as available to aid people in need after the storm?
For days before the storm the weather channel and the news reported constantly on the coming hurricane. They continually presented figures of how high the storm surge could be. When they announced shelters for people they made it clear that you should bring your own food and water, etc.
How all the fallout of the failures to do for the victims became the fault of the President is just beyond my comprehension.
For instance, where was the great state of Louisiana's police, fire, emergency, and other authorities when it came to preparing for the storm, evacuating and coming to their aid afterwards? Was the entire state under water? Immobilized? Where were they? How come, with three days to prepare for, evacuate, care for and have a plan of rescue and such put into effect for those left behind, they didn't? For three days officials could have been filling the superdome with cases of water for the people because we all know that even when we are told to bring this or that, many of us just don't. They also could have been filling the superdome with bags of snacks and other easy to eat food in disposable packages, but they didn't. The reports of the horrific conditions of the superdome were because? They were because too many people do not care about their fellow man. Think about it, in the superdome were those people who cut you off, who cut you in line at the store, who would just as soon trample you rather than wait their turn for aid. People do not suddenly become humanitarian in a disaster, but if they are already inclined to just as soon give you the finger than help you, they are going to be even worse when a crisis hits. This is the President's fault?
I think if we are going to blame people we need to start with ourselves. And that means that the governing body of New Orleans needs to admit that he had no plan either and that the selfish and criminal element took advantage of the crisis by behaving in reprehensible ways.
Yes, many people in that superdome just wanted shelter and food and were willing to wait their turn, but they were side by side with those who would just as soon stab them as look at them. And, quite frankly, that attitude permeates all classes of people, not only the poor.
Truly it is horrifying to see the nasty images on television, but to blanket blame it on the slow response of FEMA is crazy. Where the heck were the people of Louisiana? Because of the looting many policemen turned in their badges and quit. They simply could not control it. Were all the people looting? No, but those who chose to do so made it that much more difficult to put a plan into place for the law abiding citizens.
If we want to see how something like that could happen in America, I say look into your own heart. We are one of the most selfish, selfserving people on the planet, living for ourselves. It is true that in a crisis many Americans rise to the occasion and help others, but for the most part we are looking out for number one. All you have to do is take that one step further to get closer to the understanding of how something like that could happen in America.
Logistically speaking, how many of us really know what is involved in evacuating citizens? How many of us have ever had to make a decision like that? If we know a storm is coming and we know three days in advance, how many of us wouldn't bother to get any medications that we might need? Or to make sure that we have enough water? Or to make the decision to leave if we had to and go to a friend's or a relative's? Unless we have been in that sort of situation, how do we know what should be done and how? Yet we can criticize and point fingers of blame without knowing anything. That is speaking out of ignorance and it is the most dangerous of all speaking. We speak of what we do not know as if we know all about it. We have no answers or no better plan but we criticize anyway. We are not involved in the political process in any way, shape, or form, yet we criticize. We are not involved because they are all liars and crooks and what not, but we criticize. Shame on us. Especially shame on Christians who speak of what they do not know and do nothing about the things they perceive as wrong, except criticize.
Was President Bush at fault? Not necessarily. Especially when you think about his involvment in terms of what was supposed to happen with help on the state level. As I understand FEMA, they come in after the disaster and are not responsible for the logistics of the places receiving the aid; that having been taken care of by the state officials. Further, we are talking flood waters full of down electrical lines, snakes, e-coli, and parts of the city ripe with anarchy. So, go ahead, blame the President, after all, if he was doing his job there would have been no looting and no one without food and water in the superdome, right?