Sunday, September 4, 2005

The Blame Game

In the aftermath of the worst disaster in the history of our country, you at first have tears in your eyes for the victims. Then comes the blame game, namely, finger pointing at President Bush. I have somewhat been involved in disaster preparedness and from my point of view; the state of Louisiana let these people down. The mayor who should have seen to it they had some type of disaster plan played the blame game when he himself is to blame.

Let's look at all the blame. Let's start at the top where most say all the blame lies. Bush may have waited longer to act than I would have. Yet, how do we know when he acted? Could he have sent in federal troops sooner, maybe, but at what cost? I heard reporters screaming for troops to come in and restore order. If Bush had done that he would have been arrested for one of the most horrendous acts a president can make. He would have violated the Posse Comitatus Act. No federal soldier in this country can act as police force without martial law being initiated. I doubt anyone wanted that to happen in New Orleans. 

I live in South Carolina, that has had its fair share of hurricanes, albeit none as bad as this one, but we have, in the past, had category 4 storms. We have never had federal troops brought in, especially because we weren't shooting at our rescuers. Most civilized places in the world accept rescuers with open arms.

In All states the governor is in charge. They see to the statewide preparedness. Throughout the three states hit, the preparedness was not what it should have been. If the news reports are right, the Louisiana governor did nothing to prepare. From what I hear, she kept that preparedness to close to the storm and lost much of it, due to the fact the storm’s destruction was more than anyone predicted.

Let's move down the ladder of the blame game to the mayor the other town officials that were in charge of local preparedness in New Orleans. Apparently, they did absolutely nothing. They left their fire and rescue equipment sitting in low lands and was lost. They did not evacuate the city, and when they needed to evacuate, they had no buses. They had left them sitting in the low spots and were covered with water.

Then there are the people of New Orleans, themselves. Apparently, they have been taught to just sit back and wait on government to do for them. A few took control of their environment, commandeered vehicles, and drove out of the swamp that used to be New Orleans.

Even now, there are people who will not leave. They are trying to hang onto their homes. Oddly, I feel for those the most. I would probably be one of them. They, at least, are taking some control over their environment.

The last segments of the blame game are the news reporters and the New Orleans residents that made it a black and white issue. What person in their right mind would believe those people weren't rescued because of the color of their skin. Look around and you find a sea of white rescuers in a sea of black victims. Lets' not fall victim to the reporters that are only out to dramatize this unfortunate disaster. Let's just hope all this blaming is just being brought on by the heat of the moment and clearer heads will prevail in the days to come. Blaming never solves anything.

The death and destruction was not a racial thing. New Orleans was the only predominately black city that was hit. No city is getting more help than another. There are a lot of white families that are displaced as well, and believe me, all are not affluent whites. It’s really sad that this disaster has brought about the blame game, a game that I refuse to play.

We made the biggest mistake of all, in thinking that we can outguess Mother Nature. We will keep trying and someday we may come lose in predicting the actions of a storm enough to take better precautions. Sadly, that day is not here yet.

Let's stand together and give these people the best life possible, even the ones that called us racist because their life became what it is. We give a shit no matter what the news reporters say.

In closing, I would like to send a message to many of you reporters out there. I personally would have arrested you for inciting a riot. I’m sure some of you helped when you could. I suspect you got food and water in by helicopter. Why didn’t you use your helicopters to help feed these people? I guess you had to be objective and couldn’t get involved.

From someone who has been through a hurricane, lighten up. It’s going to be a long time before these people’s lives return to anything close to normal. That’s not just for the people of New Orleans.

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