I Interrupt My Regularly Scheduled Blog Post (Again)
I've meant this to be strictly and knitting and crocheting blog. I also delve into books, music, movies, and television, but I usually stay well on target. However, Hurricane Katrina, and especially, it's aftermath warrants more than an aside.
I've watched so much coverage and been either ranting or in tears so much that both my husband and co-workers suggested that I watch something else for a while.
I guess I never witnessed the destruction of a large American city with so much human tragedy before.
I've been riveted by the coverage, and I have been at times heartbroken, angry (very, very, very angry), and just amazed something like this can happen in America in 2005--I suppose I can chalk it up to my hubris. While there was little that could be done to prevent Katrina's material destruction (perhaps shore up the levees), so much of the loss of life, suffering, and crime was preventable--completely preventable.
For all the suffering, slow response, lack of planning, inane statements, and missing leadership I've witnessed, I guess that thing that has set me the most has been the stories of people being beaten, robbed and raped --even murdered by others in the shelters and streets of New Orleans.
While I feel that while the leadership gaffes on all levels on government and by both political parties were terrible and cost lives, I don't think that they were intentional or racist (although the history of race and class in America coupled with bad personal choices has put so many into poor situations and has exacerbated the crisis).
Like with September 11th, I think it's simply hubris--a feeling that this cannot happen here which leads to poor planning and a slow response. Also, although no one had "manned or womanned up" and taken true leadership, responsibility, and charge in this crisis. I do think the government has been made aware of things and is doing better.
The task is tremendous and unprecedented and will take years.
However, for all that the storm victims have been through and have suffered to be preyed upon and hurt by these people is intentional and low and digesting beyond almost anything I can think of. Who are these people!!??!! shooting at rescue helicopters and police, robbing hospital supply vehicles, and whatever else?
I remember Patrick and I riding out a storm (Hurricane Bertha--which slammed into Wilmington, NC) in Myrtle Beach, and even before the storm came in, there were strong messages from the Governor about looting, and police could arrest anyone for just being out in the evacuation area until the Governor lifted the order. I knew people who were detained for disobeying. It's creepy to feel the stillness before a hurricane and to see a Weather Channel van down the street, but know you can't go there--and shouldn't.
Even in the absence of police presence, these people have no excuse for their depravity except evil. They need to be captured and punished to the fullest extent the law will allow. I opt for some eternal damnation as well.
There are also candidates for eternal bliss. I've also been moved by the bravery and kindness of people. The medical workers in the hospitals, the volunteers in shelters, the police who stayed, those who are rescuing the stranded and recovering the dead and many, many others--even some in the media (I'm not a fan of them) for getting the story out. I'm afraid of what the media isn't showing. It hurts to know that there are still people trapped in their houses at this very moment and many won't survive for much longer.
Thank You Texas!
This things must be planned in advance. Katrina wasn't a surprise--it had been predicted. I've seen documentaries on how New Orleans is sinking and how a major hurricane would cause levees to fail and massive flooding which a city below sea level cannot withstand.
There must be plans on how to deal with the many people displaced from the storm and the rebuilding of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast even now.
If you read to this point, thanks for hearing me out. I really needed to blog out some of my feelings.
What to Do?
I've donated a small amount of money for hurricane relief, and will donate more. I've dragged off some unfinished baby blankets from "The Island" and will finish them up to donate. Patrick and I have plenty of clothes and household items to donate too.
I'm sure people will come to Charleston for shelter. Texas can't do it alone, and the Red Cross has opened up a shelter in North Charleston, and they will need assistance.
Here's a direct link to the Red Cross
I'll gather up some stash to give as prizes. Today, I have some errands to run, and I have a crocheting class to teach. I'll spend the rest of the weekend working on projects and attempting to relax. Writing all of this has made me feel better already.
Never Be the Same
I think the reason that I relate so well to music is that good music or writing say the thing I cannot say or express myself.
This is a disaster for the ages New Orleans and the Gulf --such unique places in America--will never be the same.
...but we might still survive
and rise up through the maze
if you could change your life
and never be the same...
From Never Be the Same--Neil Finn (who else?)