Thursday, September 01, 2005

The evacuation continues

In many cases, they are a ragged mass of refugees deposited on the St. Claude Bridge or I-10 by the rescue boats, who slogs (or slosh) on foot toward the Quarter and CBD, looking for dry land. They are a vision of disaster that must be taking place on some distant and benighted continent. These things don't happen in the United States.

I don't have any updates to move on flooding. None of the news sites has any new information, and I'm having trouble with the video streams. The levee breech remains open and everything is in equilibrium until a repair is made. Every minute that passes brings every flooded building that much closer renovation by bulldozer.

I won't discuss looting here at any length. If people take TV's that's looting. If people take food, that's survival. I would think that would be clear to everyone, but it's not. "People here would never do that," someone told me today. White people "find" food; black people loot it. That's the way the photo captions are moving on the wires. The disease of the south has infected much of the country in the last several decades, and I can't change that any more than I can roll the water back into Lake Pontchartrain.

I'm beginning to grow testy at conversations that begin "why would anybody build a city here", then turn to "why would anyone stay" or "why should we rebuild when it's just going to flood again." Then it turns to looting.

My wife used to roll her eyes when I joked about emigrating from New Orleans to the America.

I have never felt more of an alien in these United States.

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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