Stop the Katrina blame game already

By on September 14, 2005

You’ve seen the images on T.V. The coverage has been non-stop for two weeks now. The “big one” that was always talked about in the Gulf Coast area finally hit, and its name was Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina is more than just a hurricane – it is a historical event. This, like 9/11, will help define an era. Like 9/11, in the aftermath Americans have shown an incredible outpouring of support. Americans from all walks of life have contributed, from athletes and the teams they play for, to Hollywood stars, to a little eight year old boy who sold lemonade and made $20 to donate to the relief effort.

While the American public is being commended for their immediate action, some are not so lucky. President Bush and his administration have taken a considerable amount of heat for the way they are handling the situation. They were slow in sending relief.

There are many speculations as to why Bush was slow to act. Members of the government, some members of the press, and others, believe it was a racial issue. This is a harsh allegation, and the answer will only come in time. What is true is that the government sat on their hands too long and didn’t help the situation when immediate help was needed.

At the present moment America needs to stop trying to find a scapegoat and help a region in crisis. With whole cities underwater I can’t help but think what will happen to those families whose houses are washed away. These people can’t go back to their homes; all their personal belongings are gone, their lives were washed away.

Imagine being a college student at Tulane or any Gulf Coast school. Excitement is in the air with a new year of school. There are parties and reuniting with friends to look forward to, and now these students have nothing to anticipate. It may be an extra month of summer break, but it’s a month no one would want to have.

Luckily, some students didn’t move in, knowing what was coming, but what about the people who didn’t have the option of moving and are still stuck in the center of the carnage?

There are many who refuse to leave their homes or were forced to and are now living in makeshift shelters with no sanitary facilities and no clean water.

The health issues in the flooded areas are deplorable. People are living in absolute filth. Some of the most frightening images are those of people drinking and bathing from the flooded water. The disease in the water that people are forced to clean themselves in is horrendous. If administrators running the relief effort figure out anything; they need to figure out the health issues and contain it as quickly as they can.

The images from newspapers and video from the news are burned into my memory forever. My hopes and prayers go out to all of those affected by this natural disaster. America needs to continue their amazing relief efforts and try to save the Gulf Coast region and all who live there.


About Kyle Sullivan