The more I read about the crisis in New Orleans, the more I am confused and saddened at what’s happening. And the more I see and hear of the US Government’s response, the more concerned I am for the general and ongoing wellbeing and protection of America’s citizenry.
What’s unfolding in New Orleans is being portrayed as utter chaos and what comes down to a failure of the community to take care of and fend for itself. Rather, it seems, individuals are ruining the relief efforts for everyone by apparently looking out only for themselves and their families:
“Hospitals are trying to evacuate,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesan, spokesman at the city emergency operations center. “At every one of them, there are reports that as the helicopters come in people are shooting at them. There are people just taking potshots at police and at helicopters, telling them, “You better come get my family.”
While I don’t believe that this behavior is true of everyone or even the majority, it is significant enough to be causing the relief efforts to fail or to become to dangerous for those administering them.
And in the midst of all this, our president has the gall to callously call for a crackdown on the looting:
“I think there ought to be zero tolerance of people breaking the law during an emergency such as this — whether it be looting, or price gouging at the gasoline pump, or taking advantage of charitable giving or insurance fraud,” Bush said. “And I’ve made that clear to our attorney general. The citizens ought to be working together.”
This from the man who sold us on a bogus war in a time when the last thing we as a people coming together needed was to crackdown on a minor madman. What we needed was community leadership that brought us together — and that helped us to see our common humanity. The more I hear and see of this president, the more my concerns are confirmed that he is not one who can lead us towards a greater empathic understanding of ourselves or our neighbors. Instead, his example will further encourage divisive behavior against our better nature.
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