I have not yet posted about the disaster in New Orleans, because I am so angry I could not find the words. This morning, while reading through some blogs, I found a link over at Jim's..
Rather than just post the link, I will post the text here. If anyone doubts that this is a race/class issue, I suppose it's your choice (I would bet the farm on the fact that you are not a poor black person). But what does it say about the so-called "culture of life" platform of the Right? You decide:
"The Right, as embodied by Limbaugh, Frist, Bush, Hastert, DeLay. They would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.
And they would sit on their ass and watch as tens of thousands of poor men, women, children, babies, and elderly bake in the New Orleans heat surrounded by water, sewage, gasoline and an abandoned city, now devoid of anyone with the means to have escaped ahead of the storm.
This is the culture of life. The culture of life wants to save brain dead white women and unborn children. The culture of life wants you to watch endless non-news about the disappearance of one white teenager in Aruba. The culture of life wants you to support your nation as it kills tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in its Quixotic quest against a non-threat. The culture of life wants a zero-tolerance for looters policy to sound authoritative as babies die of dehydration. The culture of life expects you to take care of yourself, and if you can't, then it is your own fault for getting into that situation in the first place. Fuck off. You had your shot. Station in life, where you hang your hat, and whether you have the $40 at the end of the month to pay for the overpriced gasoline to get out of that home in time is all up to you.
Always I have argued with Republican friends--the reasonable ones--that not everyone was dealt the same cards on their original Birth Day. Not everyone has been given the same gifts by God, friends, family, or luck. Always those Republican friends believe that they deserve where they have gotten in life, and that no one, including the government, should be asking for their hard-earned cash to help the less affluent. It is always the fault of the lesser-affluent themselves. Circumstances are irrelevant in all cases and constitute class warfare if the question is raised.
But that's their thing. That's how they see the world. They earned everything they got. Their parents might have given them a nudge, but nothing more. Get a fucking clue.
Bush came away from his mega vacation one day early...Wednesday. Hastert doesn't know why we should rebuild. Condie Rice went to the show on Broadway.
All of these people support the Culter of Life. But none seem to support American Culture. New Orleans, as much as any city, represents distinctly American Culture. A melting-pot of language, music and revelry unlike any other. But it is desperately poor. Over 50% of the children in the state live below the poverty level. But no matter. Mostly black folk down there. They shouldn't have lived there in the first place. They should have gotten out while they had the chance. It's their own fault.
Michael Chertoff was interviewed on NPR this afternoon. He was asked if he had heard of thousands of people at the Convention Center in New Orleans, without water or food or sanitation. Elderly dying. Little girls being raped. Mr. Chertoff was eloquent in his cluelessness. Completely unaware of what had been on the television all day long on both MSNBC and CNN. Unaware that he, at the top of the agency charged with bringing relief to the affected areas, had not been informed of something every American with a remote already knew. That the situation there was desperate. That people needed help. And that noone seemed to be providing it. The man in charge was not in charge at all, folks. It took the Bush Administration 4 years since 9/11... 4 years of chasing ghosts and old demons in Iraq to not do a fucking thing about stateside preparedness. To gut the national guard's responsiveness by sending so many of them overseas. To cut funding for the levee system that allowed Lake Ponchartrain to roll into the city. To put someone in charge of Homeland Security and FEMA that is eloquent, but so impossibly incompetent that he is incapable of establishing a staff capable of letting him know the worst of a situation so large.
Mr. Chertoff said, that he had not heard of such things. That you couldn't believe every rumor from the streets of the area. That he wasn't in a position to argue about what the NPR Reporters had witnessed.
Get the people to our staging areas, he stated, and they can get water there.
I almost cried last night. A little girl was with her grandfather, their late model sedan stalled in hip deep water. She was standing on what I think was the highway divider next to the car. Soaked. Crying. Her grandfather, dismayed and dazed behind her. Both of them looked at the car, but it was the begging of the young girl that got me. She couldn't have been more than 2 years older than my daughter. And there she was, in the middle of a lake that wasn't there the day before, in the middle of a city that had been destroyed, begging and pleading for the people filming her, and those they were with, to help them. They just needed a push. To higher ground.
And there she stayed, as the vehicle the camera rode in pulled away."
Now's the REAL time for the so-called Christians to ask, "What Would Jesus Do?". A photo op with two black women? A helicopter fly-over? Makes you wonder.