So why does no one care?
That’s the essential question in a nutshell. Here’s my short answer: people stopped caring about New Orleans when they realized that the institutions most capable of handling this crisis would not do a fucking thing about it. Looking back on my posts about the New Orleans disaster, I should have realized New Orleans would become a full-blown pandimensional clusterfuck when I posted about the National Weather Service’s reports of levee breaches hours before the Bush Administration even realized there was a problem. But that was just the beginning. Within 24 hours, I realized that I hadn’t been cynical enough:
…in the days ahead, those of us not fighting for our survival have the duty and obligation to ask if anything else could have been done, if adequate preparations were made, and if adequate resources were available.
This is not partisanship, this is called citizenship. I bring this up because I am certain of only one thing regarding the Bush Administration: they will attempt to exploit this tragedy for partisan political gain, regardless of the human cost. Given all the lies and deceit this Administration has engaged in, there is nothing in its previous behavior that leads me to think otherwise.
All but the most drink-the-Kool-Aid, Grover Nordquist conserva-zombie would agree the one of the basic functions of government is to aid those in need due to natural catastrophe. If the government, local, state, and federal government responses are well done, then certain politicians deserve credit. If not, then blame.
Sadly, and tragically, it already looks like there will be some blame to go around.
Then the racism kicked in. To me, one of the worst cases was the eighteen year-old who commandeered an unused school bus, loaded it with elderly and children and drove them to safety in Houston. His reward? He was arrested for theft. Let no good deed go unpunished if it is performed by a black man.
What I didn’t realize then, but I do now, is the racist slanders promulgated by the conservative sound machine were intentional. When you possess a radical anti-government ideology, the only recourse when faced with the utter collapse of government function and authority is to blame the victim. (Hell, we all know those people can’t swim anyway).
After the loss of life and the physical destruction, the next greatest casualty was the idea that government could respond to problems like this. The irony is that this loss of confidence could help conservatives: too many people will blame ‘government’ and not the fucking moron Republicans who gutted and underfunded the agencies designed to deal with these crises, and installed incompetent cronies to run these agencies.
Hopefully, if enough people remember what happened, we can hold those responsible accountable come November. Justice demands no less.