Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Sigh... that Green Day song really adds to my mood. I am going to do the best I can on this without crying.

So I spent my Labor Day weekend in The New Yorker Hotel in New York City. This was my first time in New York and as a southern girl, I'm expecting something fancy. I was there for a convention so I was unable to sight-see the way I wished. Let me be honest, I was unable to sight-see because I was glued to the T.V. set watching the coverage on the "efforts to evacuate the victims post-storm". In the wake of the 4 year anniversary (if you want to call it that) of the September 11 attacks I MUST say the following things:

9/11 was an awful attack on our country. We were sucker-punched loosing about 3,000 lives. It was bad, we didn't know it was coming...there was no FEMA...but there was an immediate response in New York. There was a rescue effort to find people who were still alive under the debris. I don't believe I heard about looting. As I walked through Times Square, pissed, I immediately changed my mind and decided not to visit Ground Zero. I mean, this city lived. No offense, but only 2 of your tallest buildings got knocked down and shit, you have 50 tall-assed buildings. Your people had some where to go, some way to get there, a hospital to check-into if a piece of building hit them in their heads and a T.V plugged into an outlet powered by electricity to find out what the hell is going on! Guess what, a significant percentage of people in New Orleans (NOLA if you love her) didn't have that even BEFORE the storm hit. So New York, this southern girl is unimpressed.

With that said, what was always so heartbreaking about the NOLA is the the fact that the WHOLE city was poor. What you didn't know that America? Too busy drinking, gambling and throwing your shit in the street to notice that the whole city's revenue depends on your drunk ass? Clearly, you noticed that everyone working in your hotel was Black. Uh huh, that's what they do there, work in the casinos, shrimp and harvest crawfish. Yep, unless you were able to pay $4,000 a semester for private school you have the absolute worst education in the country. You're probably not going to college if you can't read, right? Surely you didn't think that streetcar was just for historic show? Yeah, people actually use it as their means of transportation. And you wouldn't believe it, but it doesn't run out of town! Who fucking knew!

Am I suprised at the accusatory tone in which FEMA Director Mike Brown blames the poor for their fate? I mean after all, Mayor Nagin did issue a mandatory evacuation? No, I am not. I have people here saying it's darwinism. So no, I am not suprised. And if it wasn't for the um, let me quote his ignorant ass, "looters and the thugs", the people probably would be evacuated more swiftly on one of the say... five, yes only five military helicopters used in the same unnecessary and completely wasteful procedure in Iraq. Yes, because one "thug" shot at one of the US MILITARY HELICOPTERS with his 9mm at best... ALL rescue efforts were halted. Once again, no I am not suprised. There is going to be a lot of finger pointing after this. But to say that you had no idea that there were thousands of people seeking refuge in the convention center until the moment that... shit, the rest of America found out... you have a lot of nerve to point fingers at anyone. We get our info from NBC, CBS etc. cause we have to. What the hell is your excuse? You are full of shit.

Here is where I slap my A-A card on the table...

Condelezza Rice, you know I love her. I blogged about it. But that damn press conference...how can she sleep at night? I see why Colin Powell quit. Not a race/poor issue? I comfort myself by chanting "she's just doing her job"over and over. It is probably easy for them, the authorities, the bigots, the haves, to watch the have nots die, suffer, lose their children and their homes from the comforts of their TV sets and on the outskirts of the disaster. All you have to do is just change the chanel. After all, New Orleans doesn't exactly have a grip on the nation's financial ball sack like New York. Do NOLA the way you always did her America, rape her and leave. Bush was here in Florida for the Hurricane last year, all damn 12 of them!!! Why isn't he at least ankle deep in mucky water with the poor people of the gulf coast? As I tell everyone else, the people of Florida aren't the people of Louisiana. We throw elections! We have money, we are republican!! (I'm not, I am trying to stop crying... bear with me) It is sickening how overt they are about how "allergic" they are to the poor, how inept this whole administration is at doing anything right, and how free they are at blaming ANYONE else but themselves at this monstrosity. Even to the extent of blaming the poor who were unable to save even their own lives. The poor who were so poor, so used to being a part of the "have-nots"that some asked if the goddamed helicopter ride was going to cost them because they didn't have insurance. Don't tell me that the fact that there are more black faces on TV taking toilet paper and diapers from a Walgreensbeing played over and over has nothing to do with the slow response by damn near everyone. Sure, I see that the people took TVs and sneakers but are you really going to tell me that you find that to be a fucking problem! "Hey I'll give you these fresh Nikes if you give me part of your sandwich, if you let me sleep on your cot for 30 mins, if you hold my kid while I look for my other kids". Tell me America, it that really looting and if it is, why do you really give a fuck?

And in a couple of days I have to be all patriotic, solem in rememberance of the people who worked for Charles Schwab (I am being a dick, so I take that back) the lives lost and changed because of 9/11? Watch me turn my TV off. I am embarassed AGAIN to be an American. This is NOLA folks, forgotten, and there are others cities like it. I am just glad it is on TV for the world to see how America really is. Senator Landrieu, Senator Lott, this is YOUR country. You let them dump toxic waste in your state and look you got shit in return. How's that for log-rolling! Mayor Guiliani got some award for handling his rich-assed city from the comfort of his office, his home. Ray Nagin has no damn lights!! But he is there with his people, fighting with his people, in the muck with his people!! He used to make $500,000 a year as a Cable company executive and he is there with the people hot, filthy and frustrated. Fuck you America, fuck you New York. I am turning my TV off on you and your land of liberty, corny flag waving, "freedom is on the march" chanting hypocrites. People in your own country aren't free and your own oil refineries are out. Just how great of a country is this? This is clearly going to be a long month, longer than this post. Wake me up when it's over.

New York people, sorry..I really liked Brooklyn if that counts for anything.
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  1. I could NOT have said it ANY better than that! The passion in your words is inspiring, the pain in your frustration is clear, and I hope we wake the fuck up.

    You captured my own frustration, whew!

  2. Anonymous10:52 PM

    oooooh girl you are pissed! well said.

  3. Girl, you need a hug! That was a heartfelt, passionate post. I think you capture the anger, frustration and hatred people -- people around the world -- are feeling for the U.S.

    Man, it was your own citizens dying. Not people from another land -- people who would wear U.S. flags with pride 'cause that's their home. But it's all about the money and New Orleans is poor and New York is the financial capital of the country. I'm not surprised about the different treatment.

    It's a damned shame. There are going to be a lot of questions to answer once this is all cleaned up.

  4. Secret Admirer10:04 AM

    Its funny we are so quick to send troops to fight a war for what, someone still hasn't told me a good reason shit why even. But we can't send help to the NO. They are so quick to shoot someone for looting when it is all said and done the items thay took aren't worth the lives. But they already show they don't care for the lives because the only reason they were there was to take lives not to save them. They show the whites in Mississipi and ALabama that lost every thing but the blacks I guess they didnt lose anything. Amereica is truly fucked up but that doesn't mean we have to be.
    From Trick Daddy America land of liberty but it will never be No Not in America

  5. Anonymous2:15 PM

    Hmmm, so you added me to your facebook and I decided to read your blog and I have to say that it was well written and thought out. There is a double standard here in the US, its funny we are trying to setup a democracy someplace else eventhough at home we can't figure out how to save the poor folks from the hurricane that took 14 days or so to develop. Whats that about!! Good work Chi!!

  6. Sin,

    You've just written what I have been talking about since this whole thing started. The thing is, the government was so low...I mean, SO slow to get help. First,they didn't realize that most of the people in New Orleans are poor and would need help evacuating. Secondly, once they realized it, they didn't do ANYTHING. They didn't do anything until the press got a hold of people's opinions and until Kanye West stated on national TV that Pres. Bush didn't care about black. It was then and only then- that Bush decided to come home from his early from vacation.
    I was just so alarmed, because such a quick response was given to the 911 tragedy, and it was only two buildings. This was an entire city, and for Gjod's sake, not even a terrorist attack. What if it would have been? How much attention would they have given it? The slow response scares me and reinforces what I already think about this administration.

    Thanks so much for this post. Its exactly what everyone is thinking.

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