A disgrace

By Risa Wechsler | September 1, 2005 3:29 pm

Snippets from CNN, via dailykos

We saw mothers. We talked to mothers holding babies. Some of these babies are 3, 4, 5, months old living in these horrible conditions. Putrid food on the ground. Sewage, their feet sitting in sewage. We saw feces on the ground. These people are being forced to live like animals. When you look at some of these mothers your heart just breaks. We’re not talking about a few families or a few hundred families. Thousands of people are gathered around the convention.

I want to warn you. Some of these images that you will see they’re very very graphic. But people need see this. The people that are down there have been down there for days. People need to see what it is really like here. We saw dead bodies. People are dying at the convention center and there’s no one there to come get them. We saw an older woman, someone’s mother someone’s grandmother, in a wheelchair. Her dead body pushed up against the side of the convention center with a blanket over it. Right on the ground next to her another dead body wrapped in a white sheet.

People are literally dying. Right in front of us as we were watching this a man went into a seizure on the ground. It looked like he was dying. People tried to prop his head up. No one has medical training. No ambulance can come. It is just heartbreaking that people are just sitting there without food or water waiting for the buses to come tak ehtem away. People keep asking us – when are the buses coming. And I just have to say, I don’t know.

Jack Cafferty on CNN:

The thing that’s most glaring in all of this is that the conditions continue to deteriorate for people who are victims and the efforts to do something about it don’t seem to be anywhere in sight. […]

The questions that we ask in The Situation Room every day are posted on the website two or three hours before we go on the air and people who read the website often begin to respond to the questions before the show actually starts. The question for this hour is whether the government is doing a good job in handling the situation.

I gotta tell you something, we got five or six hundred letters before the show actually went on the air, and no one – no one – is saying the government is doing a good job in handling one of the most atrocious and embarrassing and far-reaching and calamatous things that has come along in this country in my lifetime. I’m 62. I remember the riots in Watts, I remember the earthquake in San Francisco, I remember a lot of things. I have never, ever, seen anything as bungled and as poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans. Where the hell is the water for these people? Why can’t sandwiches be dropped to those people in the Superdome. What is going on? This is Thursday! This storm happened 5 days ago. This is a disgrace. And don’t think the world isn’t watching. This is the government that the taxpayers are paying for, and it’s fallen right flat on its face as far as I can see, in the way it’s handled this thing.

We’re going to talk about something else before the show’s over, too. And that’s the big elephant in the room. The race and economic class of most of the victims, which the media hasn’t discussed much at all, but we will a bit later.

Just in case you were wondering, this
is what your president was doing, while this was happening (via boingboing). Current (very sketchy) estimates are that tens of thousands of people (mostly black and poor) were not able to leave the city. Those that are still alive and stuck there are dying, now.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Human Rights, News, Politics
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