Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Feel For California, But I'm Still Bitter

With over one million people displaced, the wildfires in the San Diego area represent a heartbreaking tragedy.

Many people are losing their homes. It's awful. I'm not religious but I pray for rain and the firefighters battling the inferno.

I expect decisive and comprehensive relief for all human beings affected by the fires. I want nothing less for them. Humans should always take care of each other.

Yet, when I read this.....: (h/t: Karen)

A good 9,000 people ended up here, at Qualcomm Stadium, and if this was the endgame of a disaster, it would be a disaster that seemed possible only in the idyll of California.

There was a banh mi picnic in the parking lot, beef empanadas on the chow line, Caesar salads, cartons of fresh Starbucks House Blend, free magazines, toys for the kids, cots for grandma, pizza by the slice or, if you wished, the box. There was a man playing jazz guitar, a blues band, massages and acupuncture.

.....well I grow angry.... and you'll have to excuse me....

Because I live in a place that didn't get acupuncture for its evacuees. I live in a place that didn't have enough water for its refugees instead. My neighbors were evacuated to the Superdome. And I live in a place still struggling to recover from the "treatment." People are still displaced. People still live their lives in FEMA trailers. There aren't enough cops, not enough hospitals, our roads are in terrible condition, the criminal justice system is overloaded, the murder rate resembles Rio de Janeiro, the schools are in tremendous disrepair, the mental health system is nonexistent, our mayor thinks its more important to replace 4 year old trash cans purchased at $700 a piece with new trash cans purchased at $650 a piece because the old cans were too short, we have no large-scale agreed-upon recovery plan, the supposedly fixed pumping system still doesn't work, nobody has any faith that the army corps of engineers is repairing the levees to an adequate level of protection, an embarrassing number of public officials are under corruption investigation, a suffocating bureaucratic hate triangle between the city the state and the national governments prevents allocated money from being spent on anything constructive....

...and people around America ask if our hometown is worth being rebuilt at all....


The evacuees of the San Diego area deserve everything they seem to be getting from the government to help them cope with the tragedy they face.

I guess I just wish people around the country believed the people of New Orleans deserved the same care.


4 comments:

The long, long road home,New Orleans said...

Thats California for you.

As for us, I hate to say it, hate to believe it, but we have only each other. we have to take care of each other because the government won't and, dare I say it, the country won't

swampwoman said...

well said - while I longed for just a hot cup of coffee while in evacuation mode, they're getting the Rolls Royce treatment for sure...

Pistolette said...

I agree. Although, the people there clearly hold their government accountable, and actually make them spend the tax money on the community. When you elect people like Ray Nagin, Eddie Jordan, and Bill Jefferson - you don't get catered disaster shelters.

E said...

Think we could at least get another hospital down here? It's two years later!

What is the percentage of New Orleanians for whom relocation to the Qualcomm evacuation center would STILL represent an increase in quality of life?