Got your sound card working? Speakers turned on? Good. Take a listen to Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff as he essentially admits that he has no clue as to what is actually going on in New Orleans during an interview on NPR.
Here’s me wondering what the response to such an event in a wealthy, predominately white suburb – say, Bellevue, WA - would be. Would the survivors be left stranded without food and water? Would bodies be left in the streets? Would it take five days for help to arrive in any kind of appreciable numbers?
The last week has been a shameful, terrible reflection of what America has become. Why was the response so slow in coming? Why has the focus been on quelling looters rather than getting people out of there? Don’t misunderstand me – anybody taking advantage of this situation for personal gain is subhuman. But why leave thousands of survivors at the Convention Center without sustenance or sanitation while chasing looters? People are still more important than property, aren’t they?
Oh wait, I forgot. There aren’t thousands of people stuck in their own shit at the Convention Center. Those are just rumors.
What the fuck does Chertoff actually do? How could he not have heard of the situation at the Convention Center? How could Michael Brown of FEMA not know that people have been without food and water since Monday? Look at the disconnect between what they were saying and what was actually happening. How do they justify drawing a paycheck, sucking off the public teat, without the basic knowledge that anyone who’s paid even a cursory amount of attention to what’s going on has? Why haven’t they been clapped in irons yet?
What if, gods forbid, we actually have that serious terrorist attack on a major city they’ve been scaring everybody with for the last four years? Is this the sort of response we can expect? “Whoa, you guys are fucked. Bummer.” Because that’s just un-American. We don’t leave our people in that sort of a situation.
One of the reasons we, as a people, consent to be governed is because government is supposed to come to the aid of the people in times of crisis. In this case, our government has failed, in large, catastrophic way. Can you imagine any other US president allowing things to drag out as they have? Hell, I despised Ronald Reagan with a white-hot passion, but I don’t think even he would have let things to get this bad.
People need to be held accountable for the mishandling of this disaster.