Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Only Flag That Matters

Until the central government not only admits its culpability for the destruction of New Orleans, but steps forward to make everyone here whole again, builds the levees we were always promised and restores the coastal zone brutally raped by the American oil industry over the last half century, this is the only flag that will fly from my house: this Fouth and every and any other day. I have and owe no other loyalty: New Orleans above all.
Long Live New Orleans. Je me souviens. Sinn Fein.

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Despite the fact that I'm not physically a New Orleanian, I will fly the flag as well. Thanks, Mark.

Where can I get a physical form of this flag. (don't get out too much, and I haven't seen one lately.)

I've only been "flying" our flag digitally, but I need to prepare for when we get back into the house.
Morwen, you can get a flag at the Kite Shop at the Upper Pontalba, which is down the way from my shop.

Mark, thanks for dropping by yesterday. I can't believe I forgot to ask about my buddy Matt. Shame on me...
I don't mean to sound insensitive, but I think the apathy you perceive in the rest of the country comes from our inability to comprehend why you seem to depend on the government for everything. It's government's fault the city was destroyed. It's government's fault the insurance companies suck. It's government's fault you aren't living a pre-Katrina lifestyle.

This attitude is not shared elsewhere- even in places as close to you as Biloxi and all those places that were destroyed.

I think as long as you insist on blaming the federal government for everything and depending on it for everything, the apathy will remain.

I know many, many people that donated money and living space for displaced families. I traveled to New Orleans with my church to help clean up. I spent 4 weeks living with you, eating with you, helping you.

And while you were nice to me there, never do any of the NOLA blogs talk about all the outside help that has come in. All you seem to talk about is how you've been screwed by the government.

The flag you mock and dismiss is not just the flag of the government you blame for your ills. It is the flag of those of us who spent time and money helping to rebuild New Orleans. It is the flag of those who you've been begging to come back and contribute to your economy.

I admit, you carry the trump card in this game. You're there and I'm not. I don't know how it feels to have my life washed away.

But think about what you have. In which other country would the citizens hold countless concerts and fund raisers in your behalf? What other country's citizens would flock to your ravaged city to help you rebuild?

If you lived in any other country, you would be screwed for real. No insurance at all. No FEMA trailers at all. No sympathy. I have traveled to other countries for my church to help out in war or other natural disaster. Believe me, you have it pretty good here.

So go ahead and placate yourselves by blaming your country. But keep this attitude, and don't be surprised when less and less volunteers show up the next time a hurricane blows in.
Janice, Biloxi was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was destroyed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. What I want is compensation for these people for their loss. (If you visit here much, you know I didn't lose anything, so it's not self-interested but civic interest).

Road Home is, in my view, nothing more than a downpayment on what is owed, up to and including Cat 5 levees and 50% of offshore oil revenue.

Again, if you read here enough you will know that I note over and over again that the only real help we have gotten from outside is from the volunteers for whom we are very grateful.
Janice in her commentary is correct about one point, namely that we in New Orleans talk too much about the federal involvement in the flooding of the city. For me, it is time to insist on the federal incompetence and indifference and move on. It is time to force the rest of the country to recognize that 50% of US citizens voted into office the psychopath that now has all the powers of an emperor. With that said, it is actually time to rely on ourselves, flying the US flag as it suits us while, for me at least, confessing that I am an American because I am a Louisianian and a New Orleanian, not the reverse. So for me, the New Orleans flag hangs over my house as well, though I thought the blue flag with the three fleur de lis was the older flag, not that it matters. Anyway, both are available at the corner of Louisiana and Magazine. - ROBERT DESMARAIS SULLIVAN
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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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