HURRICANE KATRINA VS. SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001
As the anniversary of Katrina Passes and we come to the 5 year anniversary of 9/11, I decided to bring to light the major
differences in not only our governmental response to each, but to the American public's response.
Since 9/11 happened first, I'll look at that issue first:
9/11 was unarguably the most uniting thing to happen on US soil. We all were effected by
it, we all were touched by it, and we all remember where we were when it happened. I even have a "Remember 9-11-01" Tattoo
on my left shoulder. People still refur to this as a "Post-9/11 world" and refur to time as before and after 9/11. Everything
changed. From the way we travel, to the ammount of money our government spends on troops. From How the world viewed us to
how we viewed our government. Everything changed.
Our government had an immediate response to 9/11, not only because the attacks had them as a target,
but because they were attacks and that meant we had an enemy. Bush is all about the enemy. This isn't about Bush though, this
is about the victims. Government officals were all over the news telling us what was happening. We were glued to our TV unable
to look away from the horror that unfolded before us.
We held Telethons to raise money with every millionare celeberty on the planet telling us to give.
Candle lit vigals and moments of silence around the world for those we lost. A dark chapter in American history, to be sure,
But America was united. We all had a common hatred for those who did this to OUR city and to OUR capitol. At the time, we
felt like there was nothing that our government could have done to protect us from what happened on that day, only now do
we know that the government failed us on a massive level.
The worst natural disaster in American history. A year ago, a hurricane tore through the gulf cost and
destroyed everything in it's path. The world watched as the levees broke and The Big Easy was flooded. I was so involved in
my own life, and in my work that I didn't find out about it until five days later. Ironically, that is about the time that
the government found out. Or maybe that's not when they found out, but that's when they reacted. They were too buisy figuring
out who was going to foot the bill to fix the problem to deal with the bodies floating in the streets. The mayor and governer
couldn't figure out who was in charge, so more people died as they argued. Our President was too busy pushing a war in Iraq
to visit the devistated parts of OUR country. It's amazing to me that he took the time at that point to express his true feelings
and we missed it. The citizens of those southern states did not miss it though. They knew fully well that their people
were dying in the streets and Bush was doing nothing about it. The government passed the buck until it was almost too
late. FEMA's fault, Bush's fault, The Mayor's fault, The Levees fault.
As for an out pour of American support for our fellow Americans suffering, it did not exist. I
donated money to the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. Many others did too. I have yet to see one public telethon
to raise money to help them rebuild. Not one. This was the largest loss of life in the history of this country, and people
were too involved in their own lives to go down and help.
Some would argue that the American people had become numb to the horror on televised news because of 9/11 and
the war in Iraq, so that is why we did not respond.
What do I think? I think that the difference was that with Katrina, there was no common enemy for us to hate.
We could not place the blame on an individual because this was no one's fault. This was Mother Nature being a Bitch. I think
that this was a mini repeat of biblical times. Look at New Orleanes before Katrina. The highest crime rate in the nation.
The worst education in the nation. The highest murder rate in the nation. If you want someone to blame, blame God. he decided
to wipe the slate clean and clean up our true Sin City. Maybe I am wrong but this is like a heavy full on version of
Noah's Ark. Many innocent people died in Katrina, but 9/11 proved that it takes the loss of innocent lives to be a wake up
call for us all. It woke me up. Are you awake? The government needs to step it up yet again. Prioritize.