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Friday, September 02, 2005
LESSONS FROM HURRICANE KATRINA,SO FAR!
Some calls it "BIG EASY" some calls it "ORIGINAL SIN CITY".No matter how you call it, New Orleans has sunk. A thousand of people have lost their lives and the survivors have lost almost all they had,all they have accumulated for years and years.This marks another sad and bitter history for United States's list of tragedies.I hate seeing people dying and that clearly explains why I have always been critical whenever avoidable deaths happens. I am not certain about how this tragedy could not or could be avoided yet because to the world so far Hurricane Katrina carries two faces.People who argues scientific and politically believes that President Bush's negligence has resulted into all these. They blame his cutting of the funds that were allocated to rebuild the levees and channel those funds to his own made war in Iraq. The United States government knew long before about the danger it was playing with. Scientific evidences and findings had warned about the possibility of the disaster long before.

Scientists also explains Hurricane Katrina as part of the global warming effects that are currently top of political debates among world leaders.You have all heard about the Kyoto agreement.
On the other side those who argues spiritually(by spiritually I don't mean christianity and islam only but to whoever/whatever you believe in) argues that this is the direct punishment from forces beyond reach. Christians compare this to the those days of ancient Israel where God would send warning before a much more severe punishment would come.They support their argument by analyzing Prostitution,homosexuality and even bestiality that have called New Orleans a permanent home.God is not angry but rather just sending warning message.among right wing christians. Gambling,crimes like murder,rapes,looting etc are additional examples of how New Orleans "deserved" this punishment.
The intention of this article is not to judge anyone from the way they think about this tragedy but to see whether as human beings we learn anything new or realize old stories from it.

As usual the first and foremost lesson that we learn is that our lives are so fragile and fleeting.We live our lives holding them in just a palm of hand.How many New Orleans, Mississipi and Alabama residents would think,just a week ago that such a disaster was going to counter them? Given the nature of New Orleans you could see that people were busy with lives as usual.Church goers, bar operators,shops,super markets,malls,streets etc were all full of life.Too bad that is all gone now.80% of New Orleans is sinking in water.

Currently the big burning debate is about how the United States government either underestimated the catastrophe or how slowly,unskilled and reluctantly it has responded. There are many questions here and unfortunately almost all questions are now going to the racial relations issues. Racial relations have been a tough and mostly avoided topic among North Americans.However,whenever hard copy evidence can be made available the topic becomes too big to swallow.This is what we now witness.Was it a majority white people's place,would the government have responded the same way it has responded to New Orleans? If they can now evacuate people to Houston,Texas and other places why they didn't do that before?We all know that given the poverty level for most of New Orleanian it was unrealistic to urge them to get away from their homes.Necessary initiative was supposed to have taken place.Why was President Bush still playing the country music guitar,laughing while the citizens of United States of America were suffering and dying? At least he looked confused when 9/11 event happened.He looked relaxed and uncaring this time!
Unfortunately,the mainstream media has once again fallen into the trap of bias and injustice.Whether its done purposely or not is a question to be asked and a lesson to learn as well. I am talking about the issue of looting and taking.When white people have looted/stole other people's properties the media has called it taking or finding but when black people have taken it has been called looting/stealing. Stereotyping has never been well defined that in this incidences. To what extent does racism and stereotyping exists in the US is also a good question and lesson to learn.
Over many tv stations I have heard the victims of Hurricane Katrina asking."Is this happening in America??" To me this kind of questioning is hurtful.And its not only hurtful but disgusting to see that people of United States of America have been brainwashed by their governments to believe that perhaps their right away neighbor is only GOD.They don't deserve such disasters.Such things are meant for other parts of the world especially AFRICA. One BBC news anchor complained that the scene of skydome looks more african than american.Its okay and normal for Africans to suffer and die everyday but not Americans! I am told that the victims have refused to be called refugees.What is the definition of a refugee? They just want to be called Americans out of their home state. Their media has always told them that refugees are the people running away from their country of origin with civil wars.What a miseducation.Over 75% of New Orleans are poor black people.28% of New Orleans people are living below poverty level.What makes them different from millions of Africans? People have to wake up and taste the coffee.We are all human being and vulnerable to all calamities of the world.The lives of the people in Iraq who dies everyday are of same value to the lives of Americans.The pain of losing the loved ones is just the same.I have been to refugee camps,the American scene looks typical like a refugee camp far more than the camps I have visited.
The last question and lesson to be learnt is the love and hatred that people have towards Americans.How many world leaders have sent condolescenses to President Bush?How many countries have offered to give a hand of help to Americans?Even their war allies like United Kingdom?!!! Haven't America announced that it has few helicopters to resque its people?American people need to ask themselves why.More lessons to come.I will be there waiting.
 
Muandishi: Jeff Msangi |Tarehe: 12:41 PM | Permalink |


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