A Reconsideration

After a nudge from my wife, I have taken a look back at my posts regarding Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of that storm and have realized that I came across as extremely strident and meanspirited. I’d like to apologize for that tone and at least partially retract some of my posts. I’ll leave them in place but strike out the portions that I’ve come to regret.
I was coming at the whole Katrina miss with a bit of a skewed perspective – I was on the road when the whole thing went down and couldn’t quite bear to turn the TV to the news channels. Sitting alone in a hotel room is no time to get depressed at mass visions of human suffering, thus I watched a lot of Sports Center and Cartoon Network and relied upon web news sources to keep me informed while simultaneously keeping me at arms-length from the tragedy. I definitely think this level of abstraction fueled my reactions.
Instead of feeling compassion for those affected by the storm (I can’t call them “victims”, as the media does. It just doesn’t seem quite right, somehow. I don’t know what word to use in its stead, though.), I have found myself angered, frustrated and infuriated by the reactions of New Orleans city and Louisiana state officials and the news media that seems only too willing to carry everything from an anti-Bush slant. I’ve fumed at Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin’s sheer chutzpah at attempting to blame the aftermath on Bush Administration inaction when it’s eminently clear to any paying attention that the fault lies directly at their feet. I’ve been angered by the predatory thugs willing to shoot at rescue helicopters, rape defenseless young women and pillage stores. I’ve raged at commentators on the Left, editorialists on NPR and reporters on TV for their sensationalism and readiness to assign blame and politicize things before the situation on the ground had even come under control. Basically, I’m pissed that who had the power to act, and, in the case of LA politicians, who have had decades to prepare for this eventuality, sat idly by and twiddled their thumbs while the most defenseless among the people of NO/LA lay in the path of a killer storm. They did nothing on time, let alone semi-effectively, if the reports coming out now are accurate. If there is any justice in this world, not only will they be stripped of their offices but they will be publically flogged and then escourted to the state line and politely but firmly told to never, ever return unbidden.
However, while all of this private fury might be a catharsis of a sort, it’s ultimately as unfruitful as it is un-Christian. By dwelling on the negatives, I am in essence ignoring the heroic actions of Mississippi and Alabama officials who, by all accounts, have handled things brilliantly. Not only that, but I am ignoring the incredibly generous actions of the city governments of San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Baton Rouge and the charitable acts of the state gov’ts. of Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, let alone the actions of numerous colleges offering courses to displaced Tulane students.
So, enough for the time being. There will be a time for laughing, there will be a time for politicking and there will be more than enough blame to go around. But not now. And not here.

1 Comment