Fwd: [CHEF MENTEUR] Death of an American City?
ifoufo at yahoo.com
Tue Dec 13 13:15:46 EST 2005
--- grady <grady at ibiblio.org> wrote:
> There seems to be some widespread delusion among the
> federales that
> everybody in America is gonna rise up & volunteer 2
> weeks of their time
> to go down & rebuild the entire region without the
> government actually
> having to do anything.
well, since the government isn't doing anything, in
addition to calling, that's what i'm going to do. from
what i hear, the little coordinated efforts where
people are reinventing their own little church
sponsored government operations aren't doing so well,
either. so, i have this bonus week of vacation from
the state in lieu of a raise, and that's how i and my
pickup truck are gonna spend it. i'm just going to
find somebody who needs my help and go help them. it
won't rebuild jack shit. but maybe it will lessen
somebody's misery for a time.
"The federal government decided long ago to try to
tame the river and the swampy land spreading out from
it. The country needed this waterlogged land of ours
to prosper, so that the nation could prosper even
"Some people in Washington don't seem to remember
that. They act as if we are a burden. They act as if
we wore our skirts too short and invited trouble. "
there's this guy i only know by his comments in free
for all blog with several thousand participants. he's
interesting enough that i've read every one of this
three thousand plus comments in that blog. he's a kind
and giving soul. i know other people who do know him
irl enough to know he's not a sock puppet on the blog.
he's a nola funeral director, from what i gather. he
went around in a boat after katrina fishing old
grannies off rooftops. he was sending out messages
"I have a friends mother who is trapped in New Orleans
and I need to find out who I need to contact to let
them know where she is. Red Cross is no help. If
anyone out there knows who I can contact, please let
a little later:
"She is at 406 South Gate Drive in Metairie. Her
daughter spoke to a few minutes ago. She cannot leave
on her own because of an injured leg."
and a little later:
"It's getting dark in New Orleans and raining a little
bit. She's on crutches and can't really move around
well on her own. After speaking to the Coast Guard,
I've advised her to stay put in her apartment since
she has a working phoneline and some food and wait
until morning. Then, she's going to move towards the
interstate and flag down whomever she can. It's not a
fancy plan, but it's all I've got."
this was his despair *three months later*:
"Here's something I've been wanting to ask. It's hard
for me to judge, since I'm down here in the middle of
this, and all we seem to do down here is talk about
the hurricane and reconstruction.
Tell me honestly: does anyone care anymore about what
is happening in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast?"
After some, uh, the usual prevarications, he piped
"The previous comments have shown me that we are, in
fact, being left to fend for ourselves down here.
(except for the volunteers who are doing their part--I
love you all).
"Pretty much what I thought.
"I wasn't trying to say that the devastation to New
Orleans and the Gulf Coast are equal to other recent
tragedies (but it is nice to know that body count is
apparently the only number that counts), I was just
wondering if anyone in the world who isn't from here
really fucking cares whether or not the city and
"I guess I lived under the delusion that the world has
missed us and will miss us. I'm sure that if Miami or
Orlando or even, say, Atlanta had 80% of the city
destroyed, the effort to rebuild would be larger and
more determined. At least, I hope it would be.
"I wonder what the problem is here. Is it us? Is it
because we didn't evacuate soon enough? Is it because
this could happen again someday in the future? Are we
not worth the chance? Is it because no one takes us
seriously because of Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras? Is
it because we're black? Is it?
"It's hard for me to be objective about this, it
really is. So, I'll spare you all the anger I felt
reading some of these comments. I hope nothing like
this ever happens to any of you, but if I does, I hope
I'll still be thinking about you 85 days later."
knowing something about the writer of those words just
drives me insane.
whatever people do, call, take vacation, whatever, i
just want to encourage people not to let this die of
neglect. this is probably preaching to the choir, cuz
you all probably have someone you know on the gulf who
can tell or who has told you this kind of stuff. but
it just didn't know for sure if people were thinking
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