Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Rescuing New Orleans After Katrina

Growing up I heard the phrase “too much, too little, too late” a lot. It was usually used to refer to a lost love affair. Funny, how it seems to fit the results of Hurricane Katrina. Naturally help can never be too much or too little. But, too late might have to be rephrased as, not fast enough.

There are displaced families, missing and dead relatives, do the results after the storm describe the aforementioned phrase? Now that a week has gone by and with receding water, docked rescue ships, and a morgue set up, what will we learn? My guess is the last eight days taught us enough to earn a college degree.

First it was 9/11 four years ago. Now it is Katrina. Both disasters happened right before our eyes. The only question between them is who started the fire? September 11 was set in motion by man and Katrina by Mother Nature, one with a forewarning and the other unexpected. The country’s political power’s reactions to the two events were different. They responded to 9/11 with anger that got the country moving. They responded to Katrina with sympathy that left us shaking our heads and crying. Why did the president take so long to go to the gulf, specifically New Orleans, to see what happened and the damage done? Did he not believe Mayor Nagie when he asked for help to come immediately and not when the president was good and ready? Did it have anything to do with the people who were affected? Wasn’t downtown New Orleans just as important as New York’s Wall Street? Both were desecrated to ground zero, nothing, nada, zilch.

The destruction on 9/11 was to only a portion of New York City and its surroundings. Katrina’s blow destroyed the entire city of New Orleans and its parishes. Help was expedient to New York. New Orleans had to wait a week. The saddest thing to all of this is, New Orleans wasn’t Katrina’s only victim. There is Biloxi and Gulfport, three times as many areas as New York City. So what excuse does the government have for the delay to rescue? Your guess is as good as mine. Discrimination, poverty stricken, or plain stupidity, it doesn’t matter. Now that help has descended on the gulf, let us pray that it won’t be “too much, too little, or not fast enough” in providing relief.


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