Friday, September 02, 2005

First World Chaos

Four days after Hurricane Katrina, the situation in New Orleans is almost beyond belief. The Major of the city has expressed his anger at the poor federal response to the crisis.
"They don't have a clue what's going on down there," Mayor Ray Nagin told WWL-AM Thursday night. "They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn — excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."
The lack of apparent urgency in dealing with this crisis says a great deal about the US government and their priorities. Most of those caught up in this crisis are poor and black. I'm afraid I have to ask the question: would the response have been different if the victims were predominantly white and middle class?

The US federal government is by far the most powerful and well resourced government in the world. It has the capacity to deal with this continuing humanitarian crisis quickly and efficiently. Every day that it does not, more people die. And every day that it does not, yet more damage is done to the already battered reputation of the United States of America.

The BBC has the full radio interview with Major Nagin (thanks to Andy for pointing that out).

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