Thursday, December 29, 2005

Are We Not Men? Are We Not Women?

It is so hard to figure out exactly what went on after Katrina in the city. I was in Baton Rouge with my four children. It is clear some very bad stuff went on, but it is also clear that a lot of rumors got started that made New Orleanians look bad, really bad.

Via Slate.com, I found this article in Reason that shows New Orleanians in a much better light than we have been shown in. We weren't all animals.

I have been struck over time that I hear many very specific stories about heroism and kindness of a World Class quality. I have not heard nearly as many specific stories about barbarism. The latter stories have been of a more general and hard-to-pin quality: "Did you hear? They were shooting at helicopters!" No names, just "they."

Some of the pictures I've seen of the post-crisis Convention Center show chairs in circles and supplies pooled--in other words, evidence of people in miserable conditions trying to band together somehow and ride things out by sharing.

As the Reason article points out, local officials were understandably disoriented, tired, and frustrated by the weak state and federal response. Repeating or generating exaggerated rumors was an effective way to highlight the crisis. However, there have been consequences for those rumors.

We New Orleanians now need to highlight the World Class qualities of our city and the people who remain and who are returning. A World Class recovery and resurrrection are what we deserve and what we are working on creating at the local level. Negative folks out there are trying to use rumors, past sins, questionable science, and raw fear to undermine a World Class city's work at resurrection. We have to beat them with positive stories and hard work.

We will.

1 comment:

Steve Austin said...

respectfully asked Steve Austin, on 4/16/2002 3:50:03 PM,

Can I become bionic

Steve Austin replies:
I love it when people who know less than anything say they want to be bionic! Sure, chop off your arms and legs and poke out your eye and you can get bionic parts!