Ann Rice wasn't the only one who lost New Orleans to Mother Nature. The prolific writer offers insight as to how NO became settled and by whom. She joins the chorus in pointing the blame finger in the wrong direction.
She asks why help was so long in coming.
And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.
Her answer lies in the inaction of Gov. Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Ray Nagin. After the event, after the flooding, is too late to mobilize the help that we see there now. The largest airlift and military response in U.S. history is unfolding and making progress. All the effort we are now seeing could have been there 3 or 4 days sooner had Gov. Blanco requested the emergency relief when the president declared the emergency orders on the Friday before the storm. All the help we see going on now in New Orleans would have been there when they most needed it. Some lives lost were the direct result of their inaction.
There's you answer Ann Rice. Help arrived too late for many because the people supposedly in charge had no plan except to cry for help after the disaster happened. Had nothing to do with the race of the population, had everything to do with the judgement of its elected officials. Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin instead, have the unique distinction of presiding over the largest loss of lives entrusted to their care. They'll have the rest of their lives to deal with that.
She says "But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us." Ann Rice, like Jesse Jackson, is running from the truth, laying blame where it does not belong. Observe who it is that's pointing fingers, and who's printing it, wasting energy in playing the blame game as she points her finger from comfortable La Jolla. It's not enough to admit things went wrong, things didn't happen as quickly as everyone would have wanted, and let's fix what went wrong, like Bush said, and face this huge challenge together. The goal is getting blurred by carping on 'the government.'
That being said, let's get on with the recovery and relocation of the millions of people who survived and were displaced. They're the ones who need a place to live and a means to make a living.
I have two jobs open at Philly's and have had them open for a couple weeks now. Even after the storm, there are hundreds of jobs available in the Pensacola area in practically every area, food service, construction, health care and no one to fill them. Many businesses need help. The unemployment rate here is under 5 percent, the lowest it has ever been. The employment pool here has dried up since Ivan hit last year to the point that the locals who don't yet have a job don't have one because they're not employable. A way needs to be found to match able evacuees with employers. Therein lies our way out of this disaster and misery.