Now comes the wierd part. It has been a week and lots of people will say or think — I don’t want to deal with it anymore. You’ve probably heard quite a bit about the crime against humanity, the neglect, the death, the destruction. So much so that you may have decided you know enough and there’s no where to go from here. Just unplug and get back into your daily routine that keeps you isolated from the inequality and injustice that exists in this world and has been very obvious in how the aftermath of this hurricane has unfolded.
And that’s why I consider this the most dangerous time. Attention spans are smaller in this era. Death and suffering can be extinguished with a remote control and a pleasant DVD rental. You can gorge yourself with exotic foods, lock your doors, and think — it isn’t here, I’m ok. But if you think about it, that’s obviously bullshit. If you live on this planet.. and you’re human, I say you’re involved.
Once again watching the BBC last night, I watched reports about the UK tourists who had been visiting New Orleans during the hurricane. The segment had lots of closeups, and tearful faces. Lots of voices filled with pain and haunted by unimaginable loss. But the strangest part was this: As they told their stories, they spoke about all the international people sticking together for their own well being. No surprise there. But then they went on, telling of how they arrived at the terrible scene at the superdome and all the carnage they witnessed there.. and get this: eventually, national guard troops smuggled them out of the dome and brought them to Dallas. SMuggled?! Secretly. Secret from whom, you might ask? Oh you know.. all the black people. Or maybe away from the poor white trash. Either one, apparently, is worth less then the life of an international white person.
I was stunned. The tourists were just honest about it. They told about how they had to try not to be noticed or the other people would get angry. And at one point, as they were discretely leaving on a bus, people realized it and started shouting things at them and throwing things at the bus.
I’m watching this report and I’m once again reminded of the truth that many people, especially so-called leaders, do not want to address. Its beyond racism… or at least it is racism on the most gruesome scale imaginable – deciding who lives or dies, based on skin color and class. And this isn’t just happenning in the US.. this is happenning right now, around the world.
ps — Typically arrogant and rediculous, he appoints himself to investigate if he’s committed any wrong doing in responding to the disaster.
pps– I strongly urge you listen to the latest Morning Coffee Notes from Sept. 6th, Dave Winer tells it like it is and he gets under the issues.