Today I am foregoing the Friday Wrap-Up to talk about the situation on the Gulf Coast. I know that I am with the rest of the country when I say how much it upsets, shocks and saddens me to see what is going on down South. The situation all over the Gulf is terrible, but New Orleans appears to be particuarly horrendous.
I am terribly upset about the governments lack of a response to this situation. Poverty and neglect are partly responsible for the situation in New Orleans, but I can't help but feel that if this happened in Beverly Hills or some other mainly rich, white area the response would be expedient. When you are poor and black or poor and white in this country you are given short shrift. The lack of response to me is nothing more than class discrimination and out and out blatant racism. There isn't anyone that can tell me anything differently.
I will never understand how a country as rich as the United States can be so totally unprepared for catastrophes.
These people have been without food, water, and medical care for days now. You can't tell me that the government could not have some sort of water drops or food drops for these people. I can't imagine what sort of person I would become if I had lossed loved ones or had no idea where loved ones were, had not had food or water in 5 days, was not able to bathe, and sitting around in stench. If you treat people like animals that's the type of behavior you are going to receive. I can't condone the lawlessnes that is happening at the Superdome, but put yourself in these peoples shoes for a moment.
The Internet community has really been active in providing information, creating wikis, and doing what it does best-linking people with information. This Katrini help-wiki is one of the best ones I have seen.
I will never be able to say enough positive things about the people who are opening up their homes up to total strangers. If you look on the Manpower and Volunteers Offered page you can read some of the posts from people who are offering aid.
I, like everyone else, want to load my vehicle with everything I can think of and head down there and do whatever I can, but that is not just not feasible for now. The way I was raised and the area where I grew up is filled with people who always lend a helping hand. To sit idly by while someone needs help is just not something I will ever get used to doing. At this point in time the only thing I can do is contribute money. I think everyone reading this knows the best organizations that can use your donation. I heard on the radio this morning that a lot of bogus organizations are cropping up so be careful to whom you send your donations.
As usual Hollywood has come forward and has organized a telethon for tonight (Friday, 9/2/05). It will be televised on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC. I think these are good things, but I also think with the money these celebrities earn they could all just donate a million dollars and call it a day. I am probably just being cranky here, but these actors, singers and athletes earn obscene amounts of cash. I"m just saying....
As with the rest of the nation, my thoughts and well wishes are with the Katrina victims.