"The people of New Orleans have been cheated."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
From Reason, discussing the false Superbowl "Lord of the Flies" stories:

But New Orleans, I guess my last point is, I kind of feel upset. Because I have some pictures of a Dad reading stories to his kid. I have a picture of a lady who—I don't know what the hell she was thinking when she brought it—but she brought her clown suit, and make-up, and she's in full clown garb, and she's got a wig on, and a nose and everything, and she sat there for days and painted kids' faces all day long. I have 20 amazing stories of people taking care of each other for every one incident of someone stealing, or someone taking somebody's stuff, or someone trying to get into somebody else's business, or someone laying their hands on somebody.

New Orleanians have been kind of cheated, because now everybody thinks that they just turned to animals, and that there was complete lawlessness and utter abandon, when that wasn't the case. Because if there was, we would have completely lost control of the Dome. And we never did. People just kind of hung on, through the heat and through everything, until they got on a bus and left.


More at the Washington Post.

4 comments:

Knucklehead said...

Seneca,

We slowly but surely learn what actually happened wrt Katrina. To this day, however, those who failed to panic seem to be the only ones upon whom scorn and blame are heaped.

terrye said...

Isn't that sad? I guess I had not really thought about it that way.

I do remember years ago my father saying that people would always think the Okies were like the hicks in The Grapes of Wrath.

He felt they had been used and that their real story had never been told.

maybe this is kind of the same thing.

Knucklehead said...

Terrye,

At least some of this phenomenon is, IMO, a manifestion of the "caring" and "remorse" culture we've built. People feel the need to "care" so they wring their hands and shout blather to prove how much they "care".

And the flip side is that if only some "other" cared as much as they "care" about some suffering then the suffering would be reduced or eliminated.

Since suffering wasn't reduced or eliminated there must be some fault, some blame assigned. And once fault and blame are assigned there must, of course, be "remorse". Those who are to blame for suffering should be "remorseful" about the the suffering they "caused".

We see the remorse part of this constantly in reporting about some criminal's conviction. How often do we hear something similar to "the defendant showed no signs of remorse at the verdict"?

David Thomson said...

In the long run, many of these people are very fortunate: they have left New Orleans for good! They were unemployed and living lives of utter desperation. The city was something of a trap. A rebuilt New Orleans should be premised on a a citizenry compelled to earn their daily bread. Welfare dependency should be strongly discouraged.