This eye-opening rant by talented Southern writer Cherie Priest on what it’s like to have no money and no options, and no place to go, should be required reading for tsk-tsking newsreaders who’ve never missed a meal in their lives.
Also, an addendum here:
It was mentioned in the comments of that particular entry that the locals shown on the news tended to be the blustery type—“Evacuation be damned! I’m going to stick it out!” It’s easy to put these people on TV, because they make for good soundbytes—and they make it easier for the masses to care less when they get killed. Why, they practically asked for it! Darwin’s system is at work, and those too stupid to escape got what was coming to ‘em.
But the truth is this: people with no resources and no possibility of evacuation would rather look stubborn and angry than helpless and trapped. There is strength in the appearance of willfullness, and in obstinate defiance of authority. It saves face to say, “Screw you all! I don’t want to leave and you can’t make me!” rather than to admit the truth, which is that they couldn’t go even if they wanted to.
Also, in the comments to the first post, the astonishing news that they closed the Greyhound station on Saturday. Words fail.
Now, of course:
The governor of Louisiana says everyone needs to leave New Orleans due to flooding from Hurricane Katrina. “We’ve sent buses in. We will be either loading them by boat, helicopter, anything that is necessary,” Gov. Kathleen Blanco said.
With all due sympathy for the governor, it’s hard to avoid wondering why the heroic measures couldn’t have been taken before the storm, rather than after. Oh, wait, I know! If we’d had a plan to evacuate the tens of thousands of New Orleans residents who didn’t own cars, someone might have gotten something for free that they didn’t deserve. Which, in questions of American public policy, is always and forever the most important concern.