Monday, January 30, 2006
The editorial follows on the heels of several articles published this weekend, including Post-Katrina Promises Unfulfilled and New Orleans Feels Cast Adrift.
Cast Adrift. Betrayed. Promises Unfulfilled.
I have never felt less of an American. And, Mr. President, you guys in Congress, I don't really care.
I don't really care because, by this time tomorrow, I will be irretrievably committed on the road to coming once again a New Orleanian.
My wife has found us a house, and I'll wire her the earnest money. I will tell my current employer that we're moving. It's done. No turning back.
Whatever it takes, we are committed to New Orleans. We are willing to gamble because we think the whole Bush thing is an aberration, that the American experiment is not a failure, that the campaign of division and fear his party has waged for a generation has not yet destroyed the capability of Americans to respond in defense of their fellow citizens.
We are risking it because we know if you or your successor does not step up to the task, the next hurricane may well take out the port for good, and collapse the Midwest's farm economy, or permanently cut off 25% of the nation's oil supply. Without levees and coastal restoration, it's just a matter of time before the nation is brought economically to its knees. It won't matter then where we live. We might as well be home.
We are going because I've never lost the deepest allegiance I've ever held: to my city. We have always known we were a people different and unique, as divided as we may seem. That sense of identify as a New Orleanian is the powerful bond that draws me on. It is the deep love of country that drives me--of my country, New Orleans and southern Louisiana. It is the irrational emotional attachment to my piece of America that leads men and women to go willingly up Bunker Hill, to follow General Pickett, to volunteer for Iraq.
If you were a real Texan and not a pretender, you might understand. You might know the words to Gary P. Nunn's "London Homesick Blues”, the part that goes “'Cause when a Texan fancies,/he'll take his chances, / chances will be taken.” Or perhaps you’d know Guy Clark’s song "L.A. Freeway", especially the chorus: “If I can just get off of this LA freeway Without getting killed or caught I'd be down that road in a cloud of smoke For some land that I ain't bought bought bought.”
But you're no Texan. And you and your chicken-hawk friends have never had to face those sort of decisions, so I don't expect you to understand. A life of assured privilege has protected you from having to take these sort of risks, to find the strength to get up and go into the maw of uncertainty, to risk and gamble your own and not other peoples lives or money. You can pledge allegiance or sing the anthem or give a stirring speech as well as any, but you know you have no allegiance except self-interest.
If nothing moves you except your own self-interest, then consider this.
There are hundreds of thousands of us, scattered throughout most of the United States. We are everywhere you and your party will go to campaign: Arkansas and Atlanta and Austin, Dallas and Detroit and Denver, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Baltimore and Boston, Chicago and Charlotte. Many will remain there indefinitely, unable to go home, precisely because you have lied to them and betrayed them.
We will not let you escape from the net of lies you have woven. Wherever you turn, you will find us, ready to call you out. Vicksburg MS fell to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant on July 4, 1863. The city did not observe the Fourth of July as a holiday again until 1945. We will not soon forget what you are doing. We will not let you or the American people or the world forget either.
Tagged: Katrina NOLA New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Think New Orleans Louisiana FEMA levee flooding Corps of Engineers Texas Bush
There should be outrage all over the country.
United? Yeah. Right.
I loved that city. I chose to live there and lived there for quite a few years. I left because of the schools and the crime and the fact that I had a young child.
There is a part of me that wants to go back so badly and help.
I would want to see the people who live there insist on the help they so deserve. I think that if people heard more from New Orleans, it would keep the fire burning to get things done. Please don't become quiet and complacent....these levees should have been fixed long ago before this catastrophe even happened. I'm sorry if my words are offensive...I don't mean for them to be. I have lots of dear friends there. All I want is to see New Orleans rise again..bigger and better and stronger than ever before. Does this make sense?
I look forward to fussing about the Saints with you.
We all can see the partisan politics that ran rampant for Alito's confirmation.
New Orleans and the Gulf restoration is just another "issue" on Capitol Hill.
These 'representatives' do not represent nor realize that we are American tax-payers.
Anonymous, maybe the reason it appears New Orleanians are apathetic is because the mainstream media isn't talking to the right people & getting the word out. I suggest you begin by reading some of the blogs on WBG's blogroll. Listen to WWL's live stream, read NOLA.com, WWLTV.com, WDSU.com, BayouBuzz,com.....
Slap a dollar a barrel tax on refinery oil, that will produce 985 million a year, enough to restore our coast and rebuild our levees.
It's absurd for us to waste time on these idiots in Washington.
rk, I absolutely concur. It's time to apply an environmental impact fee on every barrel and mcf of energy that crosses our coast. I think a tonnage charge on the Port of New Orleans and the Port of South Louisiana (mile 141 up to BR) to compensate for the damage from river channelization isn't a bad idea either.
The reality series "Hurricanes" is over, it was cancelled after about two weeks. People have moved on to "American Idol: This Time It's For Real" for their latest distraction.
People, unfortunately, have "moved on". The local media (KTVU) here in Oakland, CA still reports on Katrina's aftermath most every night. But, I have had conversations with people about Katrina and New Orleans and the response has been "I thought that was over." The cynic in me thinks that attention spans are too short nowadays.
FWIW, I like the idea of slapping a tax on barrels of oil too... quick way too get some cash flow.
Links to this post:
"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 LordeAny copyrighted material presented here is done so for the purposes of news reporting and comment consistent with USC 17 Chapter 1 Title 107.