Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2005 at 9:47 pm
Author: Natalia Antonova
Hurricanes are scary, but in a basic, elemental way. They don’t mean to destroy everything in their path; water and air molecules don’t get together and decide that today they are going to batter the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas. Human beings, on the other hand, are a different, more frightening story.
Along with rooftops, trees, levees, and human lives, Hurricane Katrina stripped away the veneer of self-congratulatory rhetoric used to conceal social injustice in modern day United States, and has exposed the festering bitterness and resentment underneath. Our cup runneth over, literally.
If any good is going to come from the disaster that has engulfed us in recent days, it will be a reminder that no, we are not all as equal and free and jolly good as our fearless leaders would have us believe. There is work to be done, major, grueling work, the kind of work that gets our hands dirty, the kind of work that requires that we put down our rockets and warships and other fun toys, and stop beating ourselves on the chest, and start figuring out where we as a nation have gone wrong.
The events of recent days have proven that the lives of ordinary people are of no concern to the ruling elite. Death and devastation were of little consequence abroad, and it should therefore come as no surprise that they were initially of little consequence at home. Nevertheless, I was still shocked. I have been trained, along with a lot of others, to believe that if the U.S. government makes no fuss over the loss of Iraqi life, it will still make a fuss over the loss of American life. Serves me right.
Of course, now there is an outcry, there are questions being asked, fingers pointed, even FOX News is getting in on the act, which is surely a sign of the coming Apocalypse. Condoleezza Rice is foaming at the mouth defending her master and issuing pearls of wisdom such as: “The Lord is going to come on time – if we just wait.” Perhaps she should have said that earlier, to the people trapped in a flooded, lawless city. Hey, never mind the rescue efforts being late, we have the LORD; yeah, trust in the Lord while I go see a play on Broadway and do some shopping. Trust in the Lord while the President refuses to get out of his hammock, or whatever it was he was doing while people were drowning, starving, and being raped.
Trust in the Lord, because right now it seems as if there is no one else to trust.
For everyone affected by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, good luck. For everyone who’s currently busy trying to distance themselves from what is our collective, shared guilt, screw you.
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