Saturday, September 03, 2005

Let's blame it on that wheelchair lady

So, this has been a rather serious week and I've avoided (skillfully don't you think?) touching on the chaos that has ensued in the wake of Katrina. This is partly because last weekend I posted about my giddy anticipation for the destruction videos, and it's like "Be careful what you wish for." I know it's not my fault, but I'm really bad (read, fall apart weeping) when it comes to unnecessary human suffering.

I've been saying this for a long time, the right is heartless, the Republican right which currently holds power in America. Did it just slip everyone's mind that people need water to survive? Possibly, because if you're a heartless motherfucker, you figure it's someone's fault if they haven't planned ahead to have water, unique disaster scenario notwithstanding. What, too bitter?

Five days to deliver water on our own soil.

Still others have suggested that NOLA itself, that bastion of debauchery, acted like some Karmic magnet attracting disaster.

Hmm, perhaps people have been watching too many "Lost" episodes.

As you can see, I haven't much of a point here (which is fine, nobody reads the weekends anyway) except this: When are we going to learn to stop the knee-jerk blaming game - and learn to be compassionate. I watch TV and it's a cavalcade of blaming - does that make us all feel better, if we can blame it away, compartmentalise it, speculate about political and racial meanings in the chaos. Here's the blame list so far from various media/bloggers:

The people who didn't evacuate. (It's your own damn fault for being carless and poor)
The Corps of Engineers (Didn't plan for this event)
The people taking up arms in the city (Hello, can you see some merit for gun control now?)
FEMA (Bumbling idiots)
Bush (explains FEMA's bumblingness / also gutted programs)
The National Guard/Military (slow response - undermanned and undercapitalized)
The city of New Orleans (Duh, your stupid city is below sea level)
Prejudice (how else to explain the unacceptably slow response)

A HURRICANE caused this tragedy, but I suppose that that isn't a suitable target for our endless thirst for blaming.

3 comments:

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Hi Sticky Crow, glad you've blogged.

I don't normally blog on weekends but as I was helping my mum out on the net at our local library (yes we don't have the net at home-must be one of the few that don't) thought I'd see what you guys over the pond were thinking about regarding the poor state of New Orleans.

I gave a rant on mine yesterday about Bush. I really can't understand why it took 5 days before aid was dropped or sailed into New Orleans. Does Bush want the poorest and most frail wiped out? It's inhumane. Just as what is going on in Iraq, Africa-so many places, sorry to rant on. Over here in the UK we've been shown News footage of their plight, how the well off were able to mostly get away with transport and the poorest and infirm were left to die.

I hate prejudice but it looks that way to me for what has transposed over the last 5 days. If the hurricane had hit other states, would the scenarios be different- I expect so.

Hope things improve anyway.
Take Care
Goldie moldie

Em said...

Hey,

Well look, compassion is good, I'm not knocking it. (Like Dale said though, it would be nice if people were taking that compassion and offering to people who are suffering right now in their own neighborhoods.) Blaming is bad (IMO) because it doesn't demand change.

But responsibility needs to be looked at. When protection and security plans for the fifth largest port in the world look like they boiled down to: "aw, that's never gonna happen", what does that say about the safety of the rest of us? When people are told: "go to this location" and then they are stuck there with *no* services, and not allowed to leave... hmmm, let me tell you about the conversation I had with the kids yesterday. We talked about critical thinking. We talked about assessing what people say in relation to what it looks like on the ground. We talked about how to achieve the feeling of empowerment and what the opposite feeling is.

I'm not blaming anyone at the moment. I'm just saying that if this happened in LA I would be unlikely to head to wherever government officals asked me to head. I can't speak for other countries, but in this one we socialize our citizens to be blind followers. It makes me frightened for us all.

Plus, this is going to deeply affect our economy. Doesn't it seem scary to you that the Federal Government of the USA was willing to have no strategic plan in place to protect the economy? I know that hurricanes are an act of god, but we know they happen. What about the aftermath? Isn't that a big reason for governments? To keep the economy stable?

Doesn't this need to to be examined closely? Couldn't it turn around the bleak forcast of our society if it was?

Rebekah said...

This morning I saw the front page of the New York Times and started weeping. I know I'm blaming people/buracracy/politicians/the right wing machine because I feel so helpless now. What can I do, other than give money, to help, RIGHT NOW?

Nothing except more money and prayers. And I don't really believe in prayers that much.

Em's post the other day and my current state of mind have got me mired in what I see as a rough road ahead. A very rough road.

For everyone.