Sunday, September 11, 2005

"This other America"

I'm proud to be posting from Illinois, Land of Lincoln. My legions of readers know that "mikalinphilly" really isn't in Philly any longer. I just haven't gotten around to changing the name of my blog, which would be a branding kind of challenge that I'm not up to when I haven't even changed my bank from the inimitable South Philly institution, St. Edmund's Savings & Loan—which is a whole other story...

Why am I proud to be a citizen of Illinois? Read what our state's' most prominent senator has to say in regards to the New Orleans situation:

""Whoever was in charge of planning was so detached from the realities of inner city life in New Orleans ... that they couldn't conceive of the notion that they couldn't load up their SUV's, put $100 worth of gas in there, put some sparkling water and drive off to a hotel and check in with a credit card,"

"There seemed to be a sense that this other America was somehow not on people's radar screen. And that, I think, does have to do with historic indifference on the part of government to the plight of those who are disproportionately African-American....Passive indifference is as bad as active malice."

This is the kind of frank assessment we need as we embark on rebuilding our nation's relationship with the federal government. Bu$hco, begone. A new day has dawned and your irrelevance could not be more poignant.


At 7:28 PM, Blogger robin said...

The Great American Tragedy played out before my eyes. 911 meant terror to me, Katrina, horror. I looked on for days thinking my God someone is going to save them – those people, our people. They are, aren’t they? But days went by and there they were. The poorest of the poor standing on their roofs. Wailing death cries from their attics.

Those people dying, those were the people who carried my bags and made my eggs and greeted me with their beautiful exotic voices every morning on my visit to New Orleans a few years. I was young and by their standards rich, attending a dot com conference.

The convention organized a parade with a very spirited New Orleans marching band. We laughed and waved as we passed by those people. Those people, who lost their homes and dogs, and families and some their lives. We still don’t know how many. They lost the things we all take for granted.

When I was planning my trip to New Orleans everyone told me how dangerous the city was, a lawless place, willing to take advantage of a short white women. A day into my trip I clutched my purse every time someone approached me. Call it caution, bigotry, prejudiced, safety. But I got over it and soon I was as cautious in New Orleans as I would have been in Manhattan or Indianapolis.

I wonder if as a nation we are still clutching our purses? So many people dead. And how do we handle that? Do we say that those who were killed by floods instead of by the ravaging winds of Katrina were, dare I say, murdered? Murdered by roommates who gave each other jobs, or by a government for the people of the people, as long as they are mirror images of themselves.

As America’s CEO’s are being forced to pay the price for incompetence and over indulgence, I think it may be time to ask, what was the crime here and who should pay for it? Certainly not the infirmed at St. Ritas, or the babies, or the black families who now live in Utah, or those wrapped in sheets lying by the side of the road.

We will all pay for not voting, and saying it did not matter. Well apparently it does. The spin doctors and sound bites won and look what we all got. A President who has the nerve to ask Nancy Pelosi, what went wrong with Katrina? Chertoff still has a job. He said it wasn’t so bad at the Convention Center. Which Convention Center was he referring to?

Short-term mentality does have a price to pay. I am curious what the cost to have fixed the levees would have been to the long term costs of the flooding of one of the world’s greatest cultural confluences.

Maybe it’s the grand plan. Or worse yet, maybe there is no plan and we are at the mercy of these mindless men. We voted them in, or maybe we were mindless and did not vote. The ignorant make ignorant mistakes. They don’t know better. Can we afford to let them have control of our lives? Can we afford to be ignorant next election. Can we afford to let them off the hook now for what they have done or failed to do?

Its time for an independent investigation. Those who stood by on vacation or exercising while those people took their last breath need to be investigated by an independent commission. Government officials who don't know what went wrong or that people were trapped inside the Convention Center should be fired or prosecuted.

If they are that ill prepared and misinformed, can they really be trusted to safe guard us from external forces, axis of evil forces? Certainly they can't be trusted to watch dog themselves if they can't take care of us.
Robin Brandenburg

At 7:55 PM, Blogger DetroitGirl said...

How about Mikal in Illy?


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