my roommate mentioned in one of her blog entries that it's difficult to write about the aftermath of katrina in part because so many people are writing about it. she wonders what new or original perspective she could add. i agree; it seems that many people are writing and saying what i want to write and say.
i've written about katrina because i felt like i needed to say something about the way our government reacted (or did not react) to it. this kind of national tragedy affects the way that i think, certainly the way that i feel. i was horrified at the delayed evacuation of the people stranded in new orleans. i felt angry and hurt about some of the racial aspects of the whole mess. that's why i had to write.
it has been good for me to be in austin and to see the incredible response of the community to the people who have come from new orleans. there have been mass mobilizations of people volunteering at the convention center, donating myriad items to the evacuees, helping in a million small ways. i hope and pray that, as the immediacy of the tragedy fades, that we don't forget about the people who have been displaced, who are trying to integrate themselves in new communities.
i was suprised and happy yesterday to hear that bush had actually assumed responsibility for the government's failure to offer aid to the people who were stranded without food, water, etc. in the wake of the hurricane. i believe that he admitted this failure because of critics who questioned the ability of the federal government to react in case of a terrorist attack on the infrastructure of a major city. bush assumes responsibility because it is his job to protect us against terrorist attacks.
that kind of responsibility is undoubtedly important. and maybe this is asking too much, but i wish that bush could have taken a moment - just a moment - to reflect on the fact that the people who were hit hardest by the hurricane were poor and black. and then to question why. why they were most affected - stranded in their "shelters" from the storm - and why it took so long to offer them help.