Orange Gearle

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Monday, August 28, 2006

imagine that, orange gearle cannot be silent

As I type this diary, I have just finished watching a Katrina special on NBC, crying. I’m not trying to be dramatic at all…I just can’t believe that what happened the first five days after Katrina could have happened in America.

I told my friend Donnie, (aka Louisiana Fury, and Katrinacrat), that I was not going to blog about Katrina. He sent me this with this video that everyone should probably watch. Anyway, I told him that A) I don’t feel like I’m well enough informed and B) everyone and their sister will be doing it and I NEVER do what everyone favorite color is ORANGE, for goodness sake! While watching this special, I changed my mind. I cannot be silent.

Yet another rerun of Friends was over at 7:00 (it was the one where Rachel finally goes into labor). I began flipping through the channels to see what might be on “for noise” while I continued to work on things for school. When the dial arrived at NBC, I could tell that it was going to be a Katrina story and I almost just shut the tv off. In fact, I said aloud, “God, I bet every channel is going have this stuff on all week.” I don’t mean to sound heartless…in fact, the problem is that it physically hurts my heart to hear these stories. I would rather just not deal with it. God, I know! How horrible is that??? I'm ashamed by myself. It’s not a lack of empathy…it’s not that I actually think if I don’t see it, it’s not happening…it IS that I get so down about it all. As I’ve stated many times before….I’m sure I need prozac. ☺

But this isn’t about me. I suppose it’s a little about my reaction to the fiasco, but it’s really not about me (for once). ☺ It’s about them…the people of the gulf coast, and their suffering.

My father (and brother) say, “How can you blame Bush for Katrina? You blame Bush for everything.” I cannot even think about writing some of the other things that I have been forced to listen to on this topic. It’s embarrassingly ignorant. But the fact is, I don’t blame Bush for Katrina. I love blaming Bush for things, it’s so easy for goodness sake! But in this instance, I blame the whole fucking ‘system’ for what happened in the days following this natural disaster. This was the worst natural disaster in our history, quickly followed by the worst human disaster…that continues today. And yes, Bush is part of it. All the Bushes are part of it…as well as the Bush appointees to certain positions. But what I really blame him for, like most, is the lack of response. He wants to be powerful. The governmental checks and balances that are intended to protect us from tyranny are clearly eroding away because of this man. Ok, fine, Mr. President…where was your power the days following Katrina’s landfall?? Where were you the day the levees broke? What did you do about it? You are the decider, right? Why couldn’t you DECIDE to get food and water to the people. It’s about choices, man. You could’ve. This was a disaster. People were literally dying in the streets, bodies everywhere because of no food, water, or medication. Where were your helicopters? People were literally walking over and around DEAD BODIES. Dead bodies that were there because of the aftermath, not because of Katrina itself. You didn’t CREATE Katrina. I know that. I’ve never blamed you for that, Mr. President (contrary to my father’s claims). And you know what?? I’ll even give it to ya that it may have been very difficult, or even impossible to get the people out, once things got to a certain point. You know, Mr. President, that hard work that you keep talking about. But, Mr. President, there is no excuse for letting the people of the Gulf Coast die from lack of food, water and medical supplies. Unacceptable. In. America. Period. Do you hate Americans, or just those of a certain hue or social class?? Maybe you don’t hate them/us, maybe you are just indifferent about it. That’s almost worse.

OK, maybe I do blame Bush just a little. ☺ But I don’t just blame Bush if that makes sense. I know that there were a lot of people that failed. I’ll even acknowledge that there were things that happened that no one anticipated (however, everyone anticipated the breach of the levees, Mr. President). But as earlier stated, he could’ve done much more than he did (I mean, anything is better than nothing). He’s the frickin’ leader of the “free world” for goodness sake (if we can still call us that – but that’s another story). You can't tell me his hands were tied.

Don't even get me started on the photo-ops....those of the past...and those that will no doubt continue this week in NOLA and next in NYC. That just makes me want to vomit.

This special on NBC (done quite well by Brian Williams) showed people screaming for help. It showed babies in mother’s arms too weak to cry. It showed a man on the city street convulsing…having an actual seizure on tv! Seriously, it showed it. And it showed the many people around him trying to help. It showed the looters too, of course. These are the people that my brother tends to focus on. But what would you do? Really? Think about that for a minute. Your baby is dying. Your mother is dying. Your wife, sister, husband, brother is dying. What would you do? I know how I felt when I took my daughter to a Green Day concert and a mosh pit ensued. All 5'0" if me protected my daughter like I was 7 feet tall. It's instinct. I know exactly what I would've done.

They followed a police officer. He was one of the officers trying to stop the looting. It showed him in tears, horrified at the events he was witnessing…empathetic to the looters, but arresting them anyway, and trying to grieve on his own. Mourning the loss of family and friends, the loss of a city that he loved. It also showed him now. Still doing his job. He even played a “shit stick” ovation guitar for the camera. ☺

Another story was the story of a woman looking for her eighty some year old mother following the tragedy. Do you know that it took some protesting and two months to get her mother’s body? And her body was in the morgue the whole time.

What a disaster.

I cannot do their stories justice. I cannot. I can tell you that one of my best friends did some mission work in the Gulf Coast area this summer. We should all do that. Helen said that her life is forever changed by what she saw.

I’d imagine so.


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