Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Not to Speak Ill of the Stupid and the Dead....

Okay, far be it from me to ever laugh in the face of anyone's death, but if anyone profiled in this article end up dead in the next few days from the attack of Hurricane Ophelia, I'm not going to have any sympathy or pity for them what-so-fuckin'-ever.

So, let's get this chronology down right:

* Katrina approaches the Gulf Coast.
* As Katrina approaches the Gulf Coast, residents are urged to evacuate.
* Many on the Gulf Coast fail to evacuate.
* Pundits and armchair quarterbackers scream, "Too bad for them! Why didn't they get the hell out when they were told to?"
* Others respond to the aforementioned pundits and armchair quarterbackers: "Most of them were poor, didn't have transportation or money to pay for transportation out, and certainly didn't have anywhere to go to!"
* Accusations surface that the White House and this government simply didn't care about the hardest-hit residents of New Orleans because the those hardest hit (i.e., those who didn't successfully evacuate) were poor, or because they were black, or because they were both.

Now a hurricane is heading toward the Outer Banks. The Outer Banks, where rental houses can go for something like $4,000 a week (I think). The Outer Banks, which is pretty much inaccessible by airport. The Outer Banks, which seems overwhelmingly dominated by professionals of all ages to road trip down there for a week. Because they can afford to take a week off of work, hop into their cars, and plop down a few thousand bucks to live in a house near the water.

And people aren't leaving. There's someone in the article who frigging went for a swim in the six-foot surf. Cars are just sitting around, unused, because their owners are just sitting around, thinking, "Eh, this ain't a big deal."

Of course, if Ophelia hits harder than expected, I can't imagine what the federal response will be. It'll be a total Catch-22: React slowly, and they haven't learned a thing from Katrina; react quickly, and suddenly it's clear that New Orleans was neglected because of the race and/or class of its residents.

I certainly don't hope anyone dies from Ophelia at the shore. But if they do... well let's just say my heart won't break for them the same way it did for Katrina victims.


Steve said...

I happened to be working on a transmitter at a radio station that carries Rush Limbaugh today. When we got them back on the air, he was mid-blather about NOLA, and it was another (but somewhat rare) occasion that I agreed with him. It was almost verbatim, the next to the last paragraph of this post. Great insight, Dennis!

Dennis! said...

Ooooh Steve, don't be telling me I might actually agree with Rush Limbaugh!

duane said...

Being from near the coast of NC, let me just say that MOST of the time; it doesn't make sense to leave. Now, this could be a different case, but there are bad hurricanes there all of the time, and most of those people know how to prepare and ride them out... I'm just saying.

Dennis! said...

Duane: I understand; not having lived through it, I suppose it could possibly make sense not to leave... but to go SWIMMING in six-foot surf?