Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Healing begins with an apology

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.

Mr. President,
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”.

10 comments:

Muata said...

Reader Reponses:

You are right on target about the apology, but unfortunately the survivors of the Gulf Coast will probably die before one is given by Bush. President Bush views us as an insignificant race of people. His actions were a direct reflection of how he feels. Every time I hear, see, or read anything concerning hurricane Katrina and the evacuees, I am consumed with pain, disappointment, grief, and anger. It's extremely difficult for me to believe that so many people died and our "wonderful" government did absolutely nothing to assist them. I am baffled at how fast we provided assistance when the Tsunami occurred and just recently we chartered several planes to get people from Lebanon. It infuriates me to know he would rather help another country before helping his own country. I pray that the healing process will continue even without the apology, but I know it's difficult to move on when you have been treated so sadistically.

-JM

Good piece.

-V

Muata said...

Muata responds to JM:

JM-

This government does not view black folk as Americans. This is obvious to me. If we were viewed as Americans our brother’s and sisters would not have perished. We are unimportant to the average white person in America. We are afterthoughts. The government proved this to us on August 29, 2005.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Response and Muata responds to reader:

Muata-

Definition of apology: an expression of regret at having caused trouble for someone; ...Does anything tangible come from an insincere apology? What came from the formal apology regarding slavery? Did that really make you feel any better?

–HJ

HJ-

Of course the apology should be sincere. An apology can possibly help someone though. Just by acknowledging the failure and then immediately apologizing could help.

The government’s apology for slavery did not necessarily make me feel better, but it did come from a man (Bill Clinton) who I believe was sincere.

Anyway, healing needs to occur. There is too much hatred still in the air. Maybe the apology will ease the mind of that old man who lost his house.

-Muata

FREEDOM said...

Healing does begin with an apology. I just re-watched the motion picture, The Diary of A Mad Black Woman, by Tyler Perry. Saying, “I’m sorry and really meaning it is so POWERFUL”. When we can say that we are sorry and truly mean it, while apologizing from the depths of our soul, is a beautiful thing to watch unfold. Then we will be able to move on to forgiveness. Forgiving others, while ultimately forgiving ourselves.

I do pray that before President Bush leaves the Oval Office, he will apologize to the Katrina victims, evacuees for dropping the ball. However, it may be unlikely, that is why we (black people) have to really get out there and vote this coming Presidential election. We can send a statement that we will not tolerate this cruelty. Many people lost everything they had, except there faith, and that was touch and go there for a minute, I am sure.

-Free

FamnBlan said...

Did any of you volunteer with a church or red cross and go to the Gulf??

Muata said...

Famnblan-

We coordinated an effort here in my office. The staff visited some evacuees who were staying at a hotel in Atlanta. After listening to a list of needs, it was clear to us the most needed items at that time was clothing. So, we gathered and donated about four bags of clothing.

So, to answer your question: No, I did not volunteer at a church, I did not go to the Gulf coast, and I did not volunteer with the Red Cross. I decided to lead an effort in my office that built cohesiveness and sparked additional and much needed compassion for black people, while giving to the American governments so called refugees.

I am aware you did leave the nice comforts of your home and headed to New Orleans to volunteer. If you do not mind how about sharing your experience. I think it will be good information to share with readers of this blog.

-Muata

FREEDOM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FREEDOM said...

I donated money to my local church association, which aided the Katrina fund. Our church also raised money for some of our church family members whose families were affected by this disaster. My church also hosted a family that evacuated to the North Florida area. I had just begun my senior semester of college and was unable to leave to volunteer. Although, I could not be there physically, my thoughts and prayers were constantly with the people affected by hurricane Katrina.

Please, let us not forget that Muata has a point; an apology is still very much needed to start the healing process. The American people were severely let down on August 29, 2005. They are Human beings. People who pay taxes. The elder that were in nursing homes. This could have been one of our family members. I believe an apology for the senseless loss of precious lives is not too much to ask for. However, if it is not sincere the wounds of this tragic piece of American History, will never be able to completely heal, just like slavery!

Ces said...

It seems like the comments are moderated. You have very controversial subjects.

Muata said...

Reader response:

Excellent, commentary, Brian. Excellent!!! I always enjoy them and prefer to sit & read them when I have time to meditate and ponder on them as opposed to rushing through them while at work reading other emails. Please keep me on your mailing list.

-SW