I have decided that I we need to find evidence that Russia caused hurricane Katrina. At least that way we will have a common enemy (and to all of us older folks it will feel almost reassuring to hate the Russians again.) They could even re-release Rocky 4. Actually I don’t care what country we blame it on, but we had better do it soon because without a common enemy we are going to destroy each other.
I am a middle class, white, Christian so I am the least discriminated person in the world so I have no idea what happens in the minds of people who are routinely discriminated against. I know it is hard to be the focus of racism when all of the country likes to talk like we have gotten rid of it. But for the life of me I can’t figure out what made this whole hurricane thing a race issue. Everywhere I look I see an outpouring of money and help. Everyone I talk to is devastated by the destruction and loss of life.
What I think we do have is a poverty issue. It really amazes me how many people rely on the government to survive, and then those people don’t have the means to get themselves out of harms way because they just don’t have the funds. In a country with this much wealth this shouldn’t be an issue.
I used to think that to solve the problem we needed to give more money, but as I watch this disaster unfold I see the results of people who live in an entitlement culture. Please again understand that I know I am very white and many of the people I am talking about are black, but I don’t see this as a race thing. In fact to say that it is racially based is insulting to blacks because it assumes that all blacks are poor. The problem is a problem of poverty and how people in this country face that poverty.
Here are some quotes I heard on TV today. This was from a man who was living in Montgomery with his aunt. He said, “I can’t get through to get my money (talking about FEMA) I lost everything and now I’ve gotta get my money so I can live.” That sounds like a true statement until you stop and remember that it isn’t his money. It is our money that we have given in taxes (and I am assuming this guy did too). He lost everything and the government has chosen to help people out and help them get on their feet with money and other assistance, but to think that you are owed that money because your house flooded is preposterous. If you have been paying insurance and your house is destroyed then you are owed money, but you aren’t owed anything from your government.
Maybe that is just me, but I just see in this such a sense of entitlement and to a certain degree it is that sense that “the government will take care of me” that caused some of the problem in New Orleans.
Now I am just talking out of my butt here, but it amazes me how tragedy brings out the worst in people. I am waiting for a special news report just on the heroes of Katrina, because I know there are thousands of stories and it would be good to restore my faith in people again.
To close this post let me just say that worse than looter and people who claim Katrina help who aren’t victims combined are politicians who are making this a political issue. Everyone is pointing fingers and blaming everyone else. Democrats are making it all Bush’s fault. Republicans are trying to point fingers at the local government and everyone is so concerned with their own little place in the world that it will be a miracle if the city ever gets rebuilt. And I think the worst people of all may be the news people who are trying to find new stories to the point that I think they are making things worse.
But my rant against 24 hour news channels and the problems they create will have to wait for another night.