As spoiled and insensitive as I might seem to forget and be happy while a disaster such as the aftermath of Katrina is unfolding, I really just donít know what to say about it. At work we talk about it, at home I watch the TV, but Iím sure I still donít even see the tip of just how bad it really is to be in the middle of it all. All I can say is that I understand how the strugglers left in New Orleans must have come to feel as if theyíve been abandoned, cast aside. Iím sure most of them were never as naÔve as I was about the state of disaster readiness and evacuation planning in our country for ALL of itís people, but Iím also sure they never saw something this bad coming, that they continued on, assuming their lives would do the same, until their assumptions were washed away.
My co-worker heard reports today that some people have been calling Katrina payback for the man-made disaster our tax dollars have been funding in Iraq. To me, that is just as wicked as saying that God struck New Orleans because it had run amuck with sin. (I wonít even go down that road.) Even if you believe payback is the best form of justice (and I don’t believe it is), most of the people who couldn’t or just didn’t evacuate New Orleans and the rest of the gulf coast share no part of the responsibility for the Iraq War or for most decisions made by our government. Iím sure many of them donít even think our government represents their interests or even cares for them at all. If and when that region gets fully back on its physical feet, the rift created in many of its citizens by the feeling of being left behind to suffer or die might not mend for a long time, if it does at all. People saying that what should have happened did wonít help matters.
Davidís recent post about Katrina includes a link to a special report from 2002 in the New Orleans paper, which details what could happen if a major hurricane were to strike the city. We have a real knack for seeing things coming down the pike and then convincing ourselves weíre just imagining them or assuming they wonít ever really get here.