Two years after Katrina, everywhere you turn, there are people carping, whining, and kvetching. Just why hasn't the pity party for the citizens of New Orleans run out of booze and chips yet?
It's not as if hurricanes are a once a millennium event in the United States. In fact, residents of Florida have so many of them that they don't even cancel a barbecue for anything under a Category 3.
Moreover, people lose their homes in this country every day of the year. If it isn't a hurricane, it's an earthquake. If it isn't an earthquake, it's a tornado. If it isn't a tornado, it's a fire. If it isn't a fire, it's a flood. Yet nobody sits and frets about John Doe, age 58, who lost his house in a flash flood two years ago or Jane Doe, age 60, who had her house blown away by a twister back in 2005.
But, we're all supposed to eternally sit around and weep tiny little tears of sadness for the people who really took it on the chin in a hurricane because they chose to live in a city shaped like a soup bowl on the coast. Let me tell all the citizens of New Orleans something that should have been told to them 18 months ago: it's time to stop playing the sympathy card and get over it.
Nobody is owed a living for the rest of his life because he had a bad break two years ago. Yet, we still have people affected by Katrina who have FEMA paying their rent
Is that just too honest for some people? Is it just “too mean?" Well, if your house burns down tomorrow and you're still living on the dole two years from now, are your real friends going to pat you on the back and tell you that you should keep suckling at the government teat for as long as you can or are they going to give you a kick in the behind and tell you to get a job? A real friend would be honest enough to tell you the truth and more people should do the same for Katrina victims.
Want to know another person who needs to be told the truth? It's New Orleans resident Erick Ventura, who said this,
"America really doesn't give a s*** about New Orleans. We forget. The bridge that collapsed [in Minnesota] -- it's gone, it's yesterday's news. The miners -- if they're not digging a sixth hole, we forget about them. We as a society, we really don't give a d*mn."
Guess what, buddy? You're right; nobody does "give a s*** about New Orleans" any more other than a few saints and a lot of manipulative Democrats looking for a political issue they can exploit. That's the nature of life. Today you're here, tomorrow you are gone, and 99% of the time everyone other than your closest family members have practically forgotten that you existed two weeks later -- but at least New Orleans got $127 billion, more than we spent on the Marshall Plan, before people moved on to something else. That's more than most of us get to say after something bad happens to us and it's why the citizens of New Orleans should be thanking the rest of America for our generosity instead of griping.
"Oh, but what about the poor government response to Katrina?" What about it? It's over and done with and it's not as if Karl Rove launched the hurricane at New Orleans with his Vast Right Wing Conspiracy weather machine. It was an act of God. It happens all the time, all over the United States, and all over the world.
Moreover, look at Ray Nagin. This guy's hurricane strategy went something like this,
"Go to the Superdome if there's an emergency! There's no food, water, or doctors there, but what could go wrong? We could bus people out of here, but we left all the buses on a flood plain! Now, all the hard work is done and all I have to do is sit back and wait for my ‘Mayor Of The Year’ award for doing such a great job handling the crisis!"
Believe it or not, Mr. "Chocolate City" is also encouraging people to rebuild in the same areas that flooded before, even though everybody knows another hit from a Katrina-sized storm would just submerge the city again.
Yet despite the fact that Nagin is to competence what Paris Hilton is to chastity, the citizens of New Orleans saw fit to re-elect him as mayor. So, why should the rest of America get all upset about how Katrina was handled when the people of New Orleans were so unconcerned about it that they brought back the man who was primarily responsible for it?
For the citizens and former citizens of New Orleans who've already moved on with your lives the best you can, God bless you and best of luck to you. But, for the rest of the Katrina victims who are still complaining that America has "forgotten me" two years later, here's a piece of advice: it's time to get over Katrina already.