Botnst - 12/16/2005 4:29 PM
430 - 12/16/2005 3:05 PM
Botnst - 12/16/2005 9:33 AM
I worked in Search and Rescue in the immediate aftermath of Katrina in two neighborhoods in NOLA. Probably about a fourth the people we helped were white. The remainder were black, mixed race or undeterminable by me (we sure as heck didn't ask questions, we just helped them into the damned boat). One time we helped several family members into the boat and they asked us to check on a nearby elderly could down the street. motored down and hollared with no response. We entered the home and there was the couple. One reclining in an easy chair and the other sitting upright on a couch. Both dead.
In one neighborhood I worked there were about 7-8 bodies floating in the streets. One of the bodies was right by where we launched on three days, the Eleysian Fields exit off I-10. You can find it on Google.Map. It stayed there getting bigger and more hideous as the hot days went by. We didn't get the poor bastard out because were were not equipped for recovery of bodies and we were busy helping living people. The dead don't need help.
I saw a map of where the dead were recovered with summations by neighborhoods. The neighborhood I mentioned above had a total of 8 bodies reported. This is the official death count. I cannot help but believe it is wrong by at least 100%. You see, rotting human bodies have a very distinctive aroma. It is very different from dog, cat, or rat. As we putted along at a slow idle up and down the streets hollaring for survivors, we would pass homes with that pervasive, horrid smell.
Racism? I don't know. Undoubtedly on a personal scale there's a lot of it. I worked out of the FEMA HQ at the Saint's Training Camp. During my time there I never heard anybody at any level say anything racist. All I heard was people frustrated with FEMA's institutional ineptitude and trying to find ways to work-around it.
Also, the mayor and city council and police chief are majority African-American. They wer so grossly incompetent and cowardly that the city would have been better served had they all moved to Dallas and got jobs. Do they hate blacks? No, they're incompetent. The majority of the population of NOLA is non-white. Wouldn't we expect that the majority of people affected by Katrina to be non-white?
I understand the need to find fault somewhere. The truth is that every level of government failed because of a lack of vision, ineptitude, and corruption. Nobody in the past 30 years had developed a plan to deal with a natural disaster occuring in an area the size of the British Isles. Local corruption in NOLA and LA politics is legendary--anybody here NEW to the idea that Louisiana has corrupt politicians?
The one place you forgot to assign blame was to the people of New Orleans itself. They too deserve part of the blame. There is such a thing as personal responsibility. They should have left, they should have had adequate insurance, etc. This does not absolve any level of government of blame. But people should also look in the mirror not just point the finger.
Yeah the peopel should have left. Those that had the means pretty much did leave. The people who didn't leave mostly had no choice. They didn't own cars.
The people I pulled out in the first week after the levees failed were not bright bulbs. Most of them were so clueless about life that they need help beyond a boat and a bath. I'm talking dumb.
They didn't have cars. How do you get out of town, take Greyhound? Train? Aeroplane? These people live hand-to-mouth existence. Mostly on some sort of welfare. They don't own anything much. Everything they had was inside of their little rental cottages.
They listen to radio and TV and hear (LIES) about violence in the Superdome and Convention Center. They decide to stay put and the levee breaks. What fresh hell is this?
These people have been dependents all of their lives. Somebody has always told them what to do and how to live. They sat at home waiting for somebody to do something. Nobody did.
By now we've all seen the parking lot full of flooded school buses. The drivers were smart enough to get out of town. The bureaucrats couldn't see that ANYBODY driving a bus getting people out is better than NOBODY driving a bus.
It was a perfect bureaucratic storm. Not any level of gov is blameless. The people of NOLA were mind-bendingly unprepared and unmotivated.
Welcome to my world.
BTW, there are so many hispanics coming to NOLA for work that people are jokingly suggesting that they will be the latest immigrants to add their flavor to the unique city that was and will be, New Orleans.
It amuses me in a resigned sort of way that the refugees wont come back without some gov support but Mexicans are flocking in just at the chance for a job.