Is this America?

12 Jan

There is a sad corner inside New Orleans’  joyful French Quarter: the Katrina Exhibition of Louisiana State Museum. Not until I saw the show did I understand why a police officer shot himself dead after evacuating the Superdome. Some part of the exhibition was quite intense that my tears couldn’t help falling, and I had to go to the restroom, got some tissue, took several deep breath and came back to the exhibition hall.  Some voices kept striking my eardrum: “I opened the door of the Superdome, and smelt something I had never smelt before… we had to wade through liquid consisted of urine and…” “Something you should always keep in inside..” “When we arrived at the bridge, someone there started to shoot at us and commanding us to leave the bridge.” “Most people were with there shotguns.” “You just won’t laugh as hard as before..” The residents of NOLA has a thousand reasons for their anger: why the city left us on our own? why we were expelled from one place to the other with no one telling us where we can stay? why I cannot go back to my house to save some of the most precious belongs in my life? why it took that long for the army to arrive? why the local offers and the army were not coordinated at all? what happened to that god damn levee? why as an African American, I got far more less public compensation to repair my house than the whites who live in thee neighborhoods with higher property tax? What happened to America? The feeling that this is more a man-made disaster than a natural disaster makes me sadder. I cannot help comparing what happened in New Orleans to how Chinese dealt with Wenchuan earthquake. FEMA was under-prepared in 2005 for Katrina. Tthey are prepared now, hopefully.

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