Thursday, August 17, 2006
"She survived the storm.
She didn't survive the rescue."
Ethel Freeman, dead of neglect outside the convention center
(Before you go all 9-11 on me, let me suggest the attack on the World Trade Center could only compare if the federal government had known all about it, had perhaps even given the conspirator's free flying lessons. The fact that government at every level so completely failed us is what makes this, in my mind, the nation's greatest tragedy.
In 9-11, no FEMA official stood in the road and told rescuers they could not go forward because it was too dangerous, or because they did not have their paperwork in order. National Guardsmen did not barricade themselves behind doors because they had not food to give to the survivors outside. The victims were not left dead in the streets of Manhattan to be collected like the bodies of dogs.)
For those who have forgotten, here is a story on the lawsuit her son has filed against the city and state. Another suit against the federal government is pending.
The elderly woman died sitting in her wheelchair outside the city's convention center, which was overwhelmed with desperate evacuees. Her body, pushed to one side and covered with a poncho, became a widely noted icon of the botched hurricane response.If you want to talk to me about Spike Lee and his increasingly famous half-a-dozen minutes out of four hours listening to people in the Ninth Ward argue the levees were sabotaged, scroll back up and take a good hard look at that picture.
Freeman's lawyer, John Paul Massicot, said the mother and son were instructed to go the fetid convention center -- even though there was no aid available and no way out. "Let's not forget, she survived the storm. The storm didn't get her. She didn't survive the rescue," Massicot said.
Or this one.
Or this one.
I could go on and on and on...
When you are done looking at these images, really studying them, get back to me.
Then you can talk to me about Spike Lee.
Katrina NOLA New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Think New Orleans Louisiana FEMA levees flooding Corps of Engineers We Are Not OK Spike Lee When The Levees Broke New Orleans Convention Center
Well spoken, well said, and very effective use of those images and stories.
If you realy wanted to be graphic, or tasteless, you could have said, left to be eaten by dogs. I'm sure you've seen the photos that Robert Lindsay posted--just google worst Katrina photo sequence, but it's pretty disgusting.
Sometimes you make feel guilty for concentrating so much on local government.
Was it tasteless to use tasteless as an adjective in that first sentence?
But my reaction is deeper, as I suspect it is for others, to probe the reasons why it happened.
I hope Spike Lee has realized his responsibility to answer those questions honestly while he has people's attention for four hours.
Another great post, Mark. I haven't seen the film (obviously), but I can't get those images from a year ago out of my head.
I would love to put this up at The Democratic Daily as a guess blog. Email me and let me know if you would agree to it.
Schroeder, I am still waiting on you to give one too.
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.