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The sadness that is New Orleans

Wht saddens me about the whole thing is the lack of official care and concern for the people of New Orleans. These people are victims of a disaster and they have been ignored or treated like criminals, or – worse still – a subclass of citizens. Criminals get better treatment.

The stories that have come out of there have been shocking. Not only of man's inhumanity to man, as the people treat each other like animals, but also of man's inhumanity to the aforementioned 'subclasses'.

It began when the media photographed a black man who was carrying things he had 'looted', while a white man was photographed with things that he 'found'. White people apparently don't loot things, they just find them instead.

The stories of FEMA and DHS mismanaging the situation seemed to pop up day after day. Aid was prevented by these government agencies for almost a week, and they made it seem as if it was actually a concerted, organised effort to sabotage aid efforts. Any non-government or 'non-authorised' aid was halted, sometimes at gunpoint, turned away or turned off. What went on in these people's heads that tells them these things are sensible, reasonable or required?

It's so difficult to believe that these people, ordinary people like you and I, doing their jobs within these government departments, can suddenly forget all common sense, let alone their sense of humanity, and prevent aid reaching those in need. What is this really saying about these people? Has this truly shown the base mentality of so many Americans, that black people don't deserve aid? Because past disaster victims who have been predominantly white have never had this problem. It seems that the people of New Orleans are the people that no one wanted any more. At least no one in FEMA or DHS.

What's happened in New Orleans, for many people, was the 'end of the world'. For them, they were living the disaster movie scenario. There was anarchy, chaos, gangs of armed and brutal thugs, panic, starvation and horror. For the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, the world was ending and no one was coming to save them.

For the rest of us, it was a lesson that showed us how we, as modern man (or at least modern Americans?), react within that disaster scenario. Some panic, some give up, some take advantage of the weakness around them, some help out, and some don't give a toss. Unfortunately, it seemed that all those who didn't give a toss were in positions where they were expected to give a toss.

I sit here and wonder how we will grow from this, or if it shows that the advancements we've made are simply in the toys we play with, while the real growing has yet to be achieved.

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