We have a new guest blogger, who after 3 years of faithful reading, finally opted to post. And no one could accuse her of just dipping her toe in the opinion pool. You go girl! (Can you use that expression on your mother?)
It seems that as a nation, when we should be pulling together after the Katrina disaster, the opposite is occurring. We are becoming more polarized than ever before. What has really brought this to my attention are 2 forwards I received today from 2 “friends”. Following are some excerpts:
Subject: For the people of New Orleans…………………………..
#7. The government isn’t responsible for giving you anything. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but you gotta work for what you want. McDonalds and Wal-Mart are always hiring, get a damn job and stop spooning off the people who are actually working for a living.
Subject: Things I have Learned from Watching the News on TV
2. The hurricane only hit black families’ property.
8. The hurricane did 23 billion dollars in improvement to New Orleans – now the city is welfare, looter, and gang free, and they are in your city.
9. White folks don’t make good news stories.
10. Don’t give thanks to the thousands that came to help rescue you, instead bitch because the government hasn’t given you a debit card yet.
12. Ignore warnings to evacuate and the white folks will come get you and give you money for being stupid.
13. I feel so sorry for all those black folks. The only way it could have been worse was to be white.
These “friends” are the same people who are constantly forwarding messages to me of caring and compassion by keeping the faith, with emphasis on the later. However, all this empathy is evidently reserved for those who live on the same side of town, live economically at the same level, and whose kids resemble McCauley Calkin.
They seem to have no clue as to why so many stayed behind when Katrina struck. To them it was a matter of gassing up the SUV, making hotel reservations, and getting the heck out of Dodge. The simple fact that living paycheck to paycheck does not give one the means to do this eludes them.
What comes through loud and clear in these emails is the THEM versus US mentality. THEM are the poor who demand help from the federal government during a disaster, and US are those whom not only depend on Social Security checks to keep up our standard of living, but demand that they keep on coming.
I don’t know why the government didn’t respond more quickly. I hope and pray it was not because the victims were black and poor. I guess I tend to believe that, like everything else in government, it was just plain inefficiency. I do know however, that these emails I received from “friends”, who consider themselves above all Christians and “politically correct”, were frightening. It appears to me that to many people sympathy and support in times of a national disaster should only be given to those who have the means not to need it in the first place, and above all else, only to those who can take care of themselves.
Maybe the scariest part of all this is that my “friends” felt safe in forwarding their sentiments on to me!