I'm frustrated but not in the way that it seems so many others are, because frankly I'm frustrated with those very people.
Look, let's get one thing clear - I don't think the response to the unimaginable disaster in the Gulf States has been all it could be/should be.
However, I also don't think NOW is the time to give a hoot about who's fault that is.
Really people, we're less than a week into the worst natural disaster any of us can claim to have seen in our natural lifetimes. People are still dying on the streets. They are hungry. They are scared. They are at risk of disease and gunshot. They are thirsty. They are homeless. And instead of investing our time and energy into helping then, we're going to bitch about who's fault it is? I'm sorry, but I just don't see how that's productive.
So much blaming happening. Blame FEMA. Blame Bush. Blame the police. Blame. Blame. Blame. How about we take a deep breath and actually blame the one and only thing truly responsible for the entire disgusting display of hell on earth? The damn storm.
How about we take a moment from bashing the Feds and recognize that local officials had no plan. They had no mechanism to communicate in the wake of the destruction because they did little beforehand to prepare even though they knew this powerful storm was barreling down on them. How about we give up the notion of comparing the horrific event of 9/11 to a multi-day natural disaster. One ripped our sense of security to shreds. The other left a city and its infrastructure under water -- inaccessible, unsafe and unhealthy.
We make a lot of assumptions about what should be done, what COULD be done, because we watch one of those obnoxious 24/7 "news" stations. Yet who among us really is feet on the streets there to know for sure what really could take place? I've heard reports today that the National Guard is having difficulty getting through the high waters around the Superdome to bring much needed relief. Do you get it? Do you? Its not just that no one tried to get in -- no one *can* get in.
I've heard some pontification about the common sense in just dropping supplies in. Is this truly thought out? I mean really? There is looting and murder in the streets now. Dead, bullet-ridden bodies in the flood waters. Rape in the bathrooms. Horror and evil crime. Do you honestly think a pile of supplies dropped from the air is going to make it to the people that need it? That's not going to cause a stampede/riot or be grabbed by some lawless thug with a gun?
But, now is not the time to blame. Now is NOT the time to deal in "should of" and "if only." Frankly, does it really matter who fucked up the rescue and relief efforts? No. It does not. At the end of the day the family huddled together in fear in the Superdome doesn't really care who's fault it is that they're still there - they just want to get out and be safe. They want to be able to be thank God they're alive. They want food. They want clean, safe water. They want to be able to use a bathroom without fearing for their lives.
So yeah, you, the one with the finger wagging. And you, the one that thinks you're above the whole finger wagging despite derogatory comments about some group or another failing miserably. Oh, yes, and you too, the one that clucks your tongue and places the blame on those that didn't get out. Take that energy you're using to be bitter and judgmental and use it for something worthwhile. If you've already given to some cause, well figure out how you can give again. This mess isn't over the minute those people get out of hell or those waters go down. This horror is with us for a very long time to come.
If you can't give any more, well then get down on your knees (figuratively if actual kneeling isn't your thing) and pray. Or meditate or do whatever it is you do.
There will be a time to look back and figure out what went wrong...and we'll do so as a lesson in how to do it right the next time we, God forbid, face tragedy. But now is not that time, so really, give it a rest.