Thursday, September 01, 2005

Left Behind

John Cole gives a needed reminder about those who "chose" to stay in New Orleans:
I have said I am out of touch with America regarding what is expected for disaster relief. Maybe, but the people spreading the meme that the vast majority of who did not evacuate New Orleans did so because they simply chose to ignore the warnings are out of touch with reality. I just heard James Carville state that the Governor and Mayor did all they could, and that some people "just didn't listen."

That may very well be. 'Some people' probably didn't listen, and instead chose to just weather the storm. But the vast majority of people who are stranded, and, I fear, dead in the flooded parts of NO in numbers we have not yet begun to discover and comprehend, did not 'choose' to 'ignore' the warnings.

They simply had no place to go, no way to get there, no way to afford living in a motel/hotel somewhere else, no relatives outside the region, no automobile. I know it is always funny to make fun of the "Hurricane Strikes- Poor Hit Hardest" headlines, but there is some truth to it.

Sure, a lot of the people interviewed on cable may say they just stayed because they have seen all sorts of hurricanes. They may say that. But I am willing to bet a lot of them are just saying that to save face. Ever been broke? And I mean, chronically, long-term, without ANY money, broke? It sucks, and it can be embarrassing, and it isn't likely most people are going to admit it. I know most of you are affluent, but was there never a time in college when all your friends were going somewhere, going to a concert, going out, going on Spring Break, and you wanted to go, but couldn't? Instead of saying "I'm broke," how many of you said something like "I've got better things to do," or "I hate Florida," or made some other excuse?

I'm not willing to jump on the "it's all the GOP's fault" bandwagon for why more wasn't planned in the event New Orleans was hit by a natural disaster. But I sure as hell am not going to blame the poor for their own predicament. Intentionally or not, the invisible hand of capitalism abandoned untellable numbers to die in New Orleans. We would do well to reflect on the implications.


Dennis Sanders said...

I want to share something I saw on the NOLA blog.

Mario said...

A very well written article. I agree entirely on what is said. I'm sitting here in Norway looking at the photos from NO... on the photos I see african american people and elderly people... seems the white middle class made it out somehow.

Anonymous said...

Naw, the media made sure that you saw mostly black and indigent people.

Question: How did the Mayor and the Govenor survive the press onslaught? Hmmmm, could it be that politics may have entered that decision?

Open up thine bigoted/political motivated eyes.