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September 02, 2005
Let's DO Something

I've been talking with people about Hurricane Katrina and the desperate situations in Louisiana and Mississippi and I've been struck by a common thread in the discussions.

Americans have the reputation of being generous to those in need and certainly the outpouring of assistance to the tsunami victims last year was impressive. As if to put the Bush Administration's initial paltry offering to the blush, individuals and corporations in the United States pledged (and delivered) millions and millions of dollars worth of products and assistance.

I'm seeing the same groundswell of support for the hurricane victims in our own South today, but with two notable differences.

#1 - More than sending a check, people want to do something. To volunteer at the Red Cross or one of the other organizations packing supplies to send south. Or answer phones or take donations, or fill their own trucks and drive south to help. Most of them see and comprehend the desperate need and they want to reach out a personal helping hand.

#2 - Underneath the support, there is a vast anger at what's perceived to be the government's intolerably slow response to this emergency. As one person pointed out to me, we bomb the hell out of some Iraqi village and ten minutes later, troops roll in with trucks loaded with water and food for the survivors, but in our own country, we can't even manage to airlift a few gallons of clean water and some field rations to people stuck on isolated rooftops?

I know this isn't news to anyone...a quick scan shows me this same topic (#2) is all over the world o'blog, but some of us have been waiting years for the country to wake up and smell the callous incompetence, so it's worth mentioning.

Read AmericaBlog especially, not only for running commentary on the problems but on the matters that Congress decided were important enough to bring to the floor for a vote while people are dying in Mississippi. Like...tax relief for dead rich people.

As for #1...I have no suggestions. Our local Red Cross is so overwhelmed with offers of support that they can't even field them, much less accept any of the offers being made. So, everyone write a check or donate some blood if it's at all possible.

Give. It's what we can do.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:26 PM