A national tragedy and a country divided
By Robert Amoroso
It seems that we can no longer as a people accept human failures without prejudice or without bias. We now accept-indeed believe-the very worst within us. How else does one explain the mindless spin that is now being accepted and again promoted by some within the news media, and by certain leaders within the black community?
How else does one explain the silence that followed after “George Bush Hates Black People” comment was aired and again repeated by the national media, and the undercurrent of distrust that now divides this nation?
It seems to make little difference and indeed to some, within the media, less news worthy to promote the facts. “Sensationalism” is what sells, and what divides us.
“George Bush Hates Black People” sells a lot better then George Bush as President has allocated more federal funds then any president in history, programs that in effect, help the most underprivileged in our society. Yet few of us equate this President with social or civil right causes.
The question then is why? Why would intelligent, savvy and politically astute leaders and media types continue this assault on the facts? Have they become so rigid in their ideology that facts matter less then perception? Have they become so ingrained in their beliefs that they no longer care what the truth is? Have they become so immersed in the “got ya” game that nothing else matters?
As a free people we have a right to make foolish statements and promote our ideology; and I as a free thinker have an equal right to point out those inconsistencies within their words.
What took place on the Gulf Coast is indeed a tragedy of monumental proportion, of government’s failure to protect its people in a time of unparalleled crisis. The citizens of this great land be they black, white, young, old, rich or poor deserve equal protection under the law. That is our God-given right as a free people, and we deserve nothing less from our leaders.
The local authorities in New Orleans from the outset failed its people miserably. There was an evacuation plan, and a “state of emergency” was declared by an African American mayor a day before a category five hurricane, packing winds in excess of 165 mile an hour and bearing down on a city of perhaps a million and a half people protected by levees, 20 feet below sea level.
However the evacuation plan was never implemented, as hundreds of city buses stood at the ready, but were never ordered to move, thus guaranteeing the deaths of scores of people unable to leave the city.
You may ask what is the relevance of pointing out that the mayor is an African American. Perhaps the same relevance as “George Bush Hates Black People” nothing at all and that’s my point and yet race bating seems to be the way some on the far left frame an argument, no matter the issue. Race had nothing to do with what took place in New Orleans.
What took place in New Orleans and what seems to be systemic in the state of Louisiana, is a lack of credible leadership. As first responders the mayor, indeed the Governor’s role is to protect its citizens, and from the outset they failed, they were inept, unable to communicate effectively with each other, let alone the populace, and it seems now that they lacked a clear understanding of the impending crises facing them.
Certainly the Federal Government also bares responsibility; they were much to slow to respond to the crises, once they realized, that local and state officials could not handle the situation and that lives hanged in the balance they should have moved in immediately and not concern themselves with who had jurisdiction, they should have superseded the will of the Governor or lack their of.
As a New Yorker, I recall our own National Tragedy and while it’s impossible to compare the two events, it is possible to judge leadership, one mayor faced with an unexpected crises, with virtually no command and communication at his disposal, rallied a city together, and with sheer will and courage transformed a city in crises, into a city that refused to yield to chaos and terror.
Copyright 2005 Robert Amoroso