This week thousands of people will be reminded of America’s worst natural disaster. No, not a natural disaster, what the black people in New Orleans experienced was a systems disaster. We will be asked to pray for those affected by the storm. We will be told to donate money to rebuild New Orleans. We will be encouraged to volunteer our time. We will be frustrated by our President as he attempts to communicate to the American people his government’s plan to prevent another Katrina. However, what he needs to do is apologize to the people of the gulf coast for the government’s FAILURE. An apology will possibly help with the healing process. What do you think?
Instead of sharing with my readers the typical Katrina verbiage such as: the number of people who have not returned to New Orleans, the escalating murder rate, the staggering increase in poverty, and the continued failure of FEMA, I have decided to write a commentary that focuses on healing.
The people of New Orleans need to be made whole again. They need to heal from the effects of this devastating atrocity. Some psychologists say true healing brings purity and wholeness. What makes one pure? How can we become whole after one is purposefully forgotten, neglected, and left for dead? When the federal government decided not to rebuild/reinforce the levee system in New Orleans years ago, they neglected the people of New Orleans. When they did not respond to the local government’s plea for assistance they must have forgotten the people of New Orleans, and when this government did not respond until three days after the storm they left thousands of people to die. Understanding all of these factors leaves me amazed. Our government allowed a hurricane to displace and kill people. Wow! I can’t believe that we can send a man to the moon, but we cannot protect our most precious asset: People.
People are what make the United States. Without people there would be no country. Sounds obvious, I know- but what was complicated about doing what was necessary and morally right for the people? I am not even sure why I’m posing this question when the federal government has not amended for their wrongful ways. To amend means to grow or become better by reforming one’s self. No one can reform themselves without accounting for their wrongful ways. A method of amending is done by apologizing. Then with understanding and forgiveness, the person or persons mistreated can begin the healing process.
Healing: growing sound; getting well; mending. Can the government honestly say that enough has been done in New Orleans for the people to become mentally sound? Can the government honestly report that the people of New Orleans are well? No, they can’t. This government, once again, has the incorrect approach. President Bush may as well not visit the gulf coast this week. He should stay at his house. You know, the WHITE one. It is clean, tidy, and cozy. Unlike the house I saw a black man living in while being interviewed by Spike Lee (When the Levees Broke, A HBO Documentary).
The truth of the matter is we need to have a sense of wholeness before we can truly hear and receive what is being said to us. Wholeness is not something we possess when we are born. We have to work at gaining this continuously because we are broken daily. Sometimes we experience brokenness as a result of our own doing, and then there are times like the occurrences surrounding hurricane Katrina that knocks us completely down. Usually, a determined human being can get up. However, the one thing that is needed once you have been purposely kicked down is an APOLOGY.
The people of New Orleans and the entire gulf coast are awaiting your apology.
Written by Muata. Inspired by the government that spends more money on space exploration than strengthening its “systems”.