Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I'm not in the habit of quoting myself, my own comments on other blogs, but this rant was too good to waste.

Richard over at Metroblogging New Orleans wrote an item pointing out that people who ask us, "Why haven't you got a recovery plan drawn up yet???" [and we do, though the Feds are trying to pretend we don't] ignore the fact that over four years after 9/11 New York still can't decide what to do about Ground Zero.

The first commenter, calling himself BlackBeard said, among other things:
Florida has been hit by more huricans they anyone in the united states and you dont here them crying. They gather together and make things work not sit back and wait for someone to do it for them. Its called TEAM WORK.
[illiterate misspellings from original]

This was too much. I replied in a fury with this:
BB: I am in no mood to get lectured by anyone about teamwork. When the levees broke, 20,000 dead was the best estimate. In the end it was about 1,000 dead. Do you know why? Because of the largest urban search and rescue operation in history. And that's before the military got here.

New Orleans has a huge number of sport fishermen in it, most with their own boats. When the floods came, everyone who still had a working boat jumped into it and headed into the neighborhoods. They worked tirelessly for days, pulling people out of trees, off rooftops, sometimes cutting through roofs to save people trapped in attics. Then they ferried them to dry land, and turned around to go back for more. The paper profiled one, a black working class man who got his boat through hard work, not handouts, and who personally saved several hundred people, pausing only when it was too dark to navigate. There were hundreds more like him out there, saving who they could at risk of their own lives. They didn't plan it. They didn't wait for instructions. They just did what had to be done. This was the tribe taking care of its own. And you, you snide asshole, accuse us of sitting around on our butts and waiting for someone else to do things for us.

Fuck. You.

I enjoyed that.