I haven't seen a television report in about a week now, as I'm at the farm and the reception is terrible here. I am grateful to not hear the pundits and the disaster cheerleaders brought to us by CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, etc. This Internet world, while there is much to sift through, can also be a useful tool to weed out the bullshit. We choose our own perspective, I suppose. And today, I hope to find action and compassion.
I found this post today on my screen (George must have been surfing late into the night because I don't remember when he came to bed).
This is from a blogger in Bangladesh:
Daniel Brett writes a striking post "What America can learn from Bangladesh":
"Last year Bangladesh faced a natural disaster which was an altogether larger disaster than Hurricane Katrina and the casualty figures were probably lower than the casualties sustained in the New Orleans disaster. But the disaster was contained due to the survival instincts of the Bangladeshi people, their ingenuity in the face of adversity and their culture of hard work. Rather than shoot and loot, Bangladesh immediately used its modest resources to limit the impact of the floods before international aid arrived.
The fact that the economy was able to recover from the floods so soon is a testament to the ability of Bangladeshis to pick themselves up and go about rebuilding.
The Americans have never really faced such adversity...Bangladeshis place great importance to social and family ties and these have brought them through a multitude of natural and man-made disasters. Bangladesh's experiences show us that, in the face of disaster, money does not make society more cohesive or better organised."
I fear the response of the looters. What is it about human nature that all civility breaks down as soon as law & order enforcement no longer exists? Yet, from the comments above, perhaps it is not human nature that is at question, but the society from which it comes. Perhaps these folks down in New Orleans have been disenfranchised for so long that they feel it is not really their community which they destroy with their madness.
Bangladeshi blogger Mezba has things to say to the Americans which may cause heartburns to many but can these be denied?:
"We, the rest of the world, still hold the Americans to a higher pedestal than the rest of us. Like it or not, Americans are still considered a standard of excellence.
* They put a man on the moon in 3 days, but the aid took 5 days to arrive.
* Congress stayed up all night to pass the 87 billion dollars needed for Iraq’s army, but did not pass an aid bill for New Orleans since the last 5 days.
* When National Guard officials were needed to stop looting and anarchy in their home state, they were off doing the same in a foreign country thousands of miles away.
And who is suffering? Society is judged by how they treat their poorest, their weakest, and their most vulnerable citizens. The people left behind in New Orleans are certainly those. I hope, for their sake, the American government gets its act together.
Shame on us. This is more than embarrassing, it is immoral.