We here in Australia would have to be living in a completely media free place not to know what has happened on the Gulf Coast in the USA this past week.
First of all it was what devastation Hurricane Katrina wreaked upon the area, but worst of all has been the response, or severe lack thereof, for the displaced people from New Orleans.
It occurred to me that if this hurricane had occurred in a richer and whiter area of the country then things would have happened a lot quicker than they have. I’ve been left astounded at the lack of coordination of rescue efforts for these people.
This Meet the Press transcript covers the ineptness of the post Hurricane Katrina crisis very well and I saw most of it on television the other day. I was in tears at this part of what Aaron Broussard said,
MR. BROUSSARD: …that have worked 24/7. They’re burned out, the doctors, the nurses. And I want to give you one last story and I’ll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I’m in, emergency management, he’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you. Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night.
Australian tourists trapped in the area were appalled that Australian officials were blocked from getting into the area to help them out by US authorities. They were only allowed in a couple of days ago.
They, and their families here were also upset at the lack of the Australian response and caring when ringing the Department of Foreign Affairs here.
I wonder how this might have affected the US Presidential election if this had happened a year ago as it seems there are a lot of questions being thrown towards the US government at their handling of all of this.