a second class disaster

Not to diminish what happened today 6 years ago with the incredible loss of near 3000 lives in NYC, I defer most of my compassion to that event towards the events still happening here in New Orleans two years after the storm. When I illustrated the devastation of Katrina in another forum, the loss of over 1600 lives here, the quarter of a million homes destroyed, the continual struggle to rebuild lives and homes and psyches, I was completely shot down.

“Oh but you are comparing disasters?”
“How dare you do that? New Orleans was a man made disaster, NYC was mass murder”
“Wow you are bitter”

See the response? I rest my case – there IS no compassion left for this town…

Unless you are living through the hell of New Orleans, scraping to rebuild, enduring third world services or lack thereof, trying to hang on to that last shred of sanity, there is hardly a speck of empathy shown to New Orleanians compared to what is given to NYC. That is what is different, ground zero on 9/11 affected lives, two high rises and people’s consciouses, 8/29 drowned them, uprooted them, scattered them everywhere with no way to return to their homes and destroyed an entire city that is nowhere near whole. Likewise, it is hard to give back compassion to an event so far away while living in the disaster zone.

Updated – found this, $2,000,000 went to each family of 9/11 victims, as well as developers feeding at the trough And they say New Orleans doesn’t deserve anything…

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~ by maringouin on Tuesday, September 11, 2007.

3 Responses to “a second class disaster”

  1. Overall, I’d say that the New Yorkers who went through it all are the ones who have a great deal more sympathy for this neck of the woods…at least, that’s what my personal experience has been. The psychological impact on most of those folks was pretty bad, too.

    What there is, in the end, is a major gap in how the media has covered both stories. It’s much easier to buy the feds’ line on the evils of terrorism and to play that up rather than focusing on how our own government has failed an entire metropolitan area and is poised to do so again.

  2. I read on your blog that you were in NYC around the time of 9/11, having gone through both do you think the two equate in any way? I keep thinking the magnitude of personal destruction along the gulf coast blows 9/11 out of the water. But then again, the American symbol of the WTC in NYC is untouchable.

    I agree that the media killed public opinion of New Orleans, which is why Joe Blow from Anywhere, America has such disdain for our fate. And why we will fight to survive.

    I did notice a sparse reference to 9/11 on other NOLA area blogs yesterday…

  3. The number of people killed at the WTC, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA on 9-11 is close to 4,000, same as the estimated number of people dead in New Orleans alone from Katrina and after. In some ways, it is apples and oranges – a whole city flooded versus two huge office buildings taken down by passenger jets.

    However, New Yorkers have never completely lost the feeling that they are under siege. Not even the 1993 WTC bombing had the impact that 9-11 did on the city. There are fights in Manhattan over the way Ground Zero will be developed, over how the remains of the dead have been handled, how the Homeland Security money and forces should be effectively used. What they are tussling with over one plot of expensive Lower Manhattan real estate/hallowed ground is happening here on a much larger geographic scale. We, however, have no trust in any authority. There is still a good amount of that trust around in NYC, at least on the local and state level. Federally, they all know Dubya’s a schmuck.

    Underlying it all is still the pride inherent in having Ground Zero still be a national symbol of patriotism. If New Orleans’ recovery could be spun in the same way somehow, maybe things would change here…

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