Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Evil and dismay in New Orleans

I remember marveling after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that the citizens came together and there wasn't rampant crime and looting in New York City.

It's a shame that I can't say the same about the disaster in New Orleans. In my one experience traveling to the city, I found it to be nauseous with decadence and evil in the streets. I still hoped for the better side of people to take hold during this awful time for the city and we wouldn't see what we're seeing--out of control looting and increasingly violent crime.

From Fox News:

Looting spiraled so out of control that Mayor Ray Nagin ordered virtually the entire police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts and focus on the brazen packs of thieves who have turned increasingly hostile.

Nagin called for an all-out evacuation of the city's remaining residents. Asked how many people died, he said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

With most of the city under water, Army engineers struggled to plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags and concrete barriers, and authorities drew up plans to clear out the tens of thousands of remaining people and practically abandon the below-sea-level city. Most of the evacuees — including thousands now suffering in the hot and muggy Superdome — will be moved to the Astrodome in Houston, 350 miles away.

It's all just so awful. Find a way to help them. And pray for God's mercy and help.


At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:25 PM, Blogger MePhD said...

This is no comparision to New York and 9-11. The people affected in New York were different and the disaster was fairly well confined to a small part of the city on 9-11. The authorities stepped in very quickly so looting might not have even been possible with the police presence. Instead, the destruction in New Orleans affected a very biased population sample, was wide spread over a large region, and didn't receive nearly enough aid for DAYS.

The sample population in the New Orleans data set ... A great deal of the decadence and evil running rampant has a lot to do with the pre-existing utter poverty and extreme education and health disparities in the communities. New Orleans is known for good food, jazz and Mardi Gras, but very few but the locals talk about the extreme poverty. Many of the people you see didn't know how they were pay their rent next month before Katrina. Many lived on welfare - no education, no jobs before Katrina. They didn't have driver's licences much less own cars to evacuate. They rely on public transportation. They're from generations and generations of families who have lived in government subsidized housing like this for years and years. This is all they know.

You or I would loot grocery stores if thrown into this same situation despite our "better side". Instead of you and I (blessed with things like education, computers and internet to name just a few), these people are uneducated, poor, and desperate-on-a-good day. Their "better side" had a much lower breaking point. Some might have been on prescription medications for mental health disorders (anti-pschycotics and the like) or been alcoholics or drug addicts. They went off their meds (and illegal drugs) cold turkey, just like the diabetic and hypertensive patients. On top of losing everything they might have owned, they also lost loved ones and were hungry, thirsty, and living for DAYS in unthinkable conditions (heat, sewage, dead bodies, ...).

Mix that gumbo and let it stew - for DAYS. Bad business, very bad business.

I realize you've only been to New Orleans once. Please realize there's much more beneath the surface. Some of those people were simply evil. No doubt. But *most* (including a lot of elderly and sick) were scared, desperate and full of despair and hopelessness. Those people are just as horrified at the violence as you and I are.

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Talon said...

There's just such a huge difference between people in "survival mode" who are scrambling for whatever food they can find, and those who are pillaging for electronics and whatever then can grab--and raping and killing people along the way.

New Orleans is now and has been a lawless, evil place. I feel for those innocent ones who are trapped, desperate and being further victimized by villainous thugs.


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