The above image was taken after Hurricane Ike outside of Galveston, Texas.
Q; Which house is still standing?
A; The one that was built to withstand the storm surge that usually accompanies a hurricane.
Since Katrina, we've had four or five named storms hit the Gulf Coast between Galveston and NOLA.
But NOLA gets all the attention.
As I watch the coverage and read all the news stories and blogs about how the government failed the citizens of NOLA - I still ask "What could the citizens have done differently?".
The citizens were given notice that there would be a mandatory evacuation (Which means, if you decide to stay - be prepared to fend for yourself.) as far as a week in advance of the storm.
The use of the Superdome was intended as a last resort - not as one's best option.
The refugees didn't bring enough food or water. (People have been told for years to prepare a hurricane survival kit.)
The issue is often reduced to one of racial oppression instead of government ineptitude.
I know... it's the popular meme to turn white people into villains concerning the response to Katrina - but if it's that bad, donate or volunteer here;
Brad Pitt is the man. Doin' Angelina and rebuilding NOLA.
People often cite the story of white people denying refuge to Blacks at gunpoint in small towns along the evacuation route.
But this isn't only about race.
After Rita, many in my all-Black neighborhood stood vigil over our property with guns in hand.
Anyone who wasn't known was denied access.
It wasn't because those driving around were also Black - but because we were protecting our resources.
It was because we didn't tolerate looting.
The same could be said of those whites in the small towns.
It was more of a class issue than one of race.
Since our recent spate of hurricane damage - I've done a lot more voluntary restoration work.
The thing I've noticed is the dearth of Black faces at the rebuilding events in Black communities.
The question I'm often asked by young cousins (usually forced by me to help in recovery efforts) is "Why?".
The statements made by their sorry-ass parents and grandparents is; "Why is y'all doin' work for free?".
I've done work in areas where those who lived in the areas would sit beneath the trees drinking and watching as the mostly white volunteers were sweating to rebuild their neighborhood..
I've provided free housing to people while their biggest concern wasn't getting a job and starting over, but that of trying to figure out how to benefit from the next government program.
I've paid for my groceries while listening to welfare recipients proclaiming that "We need to have us a hurricane every month." while they were unloading scrimps (or strimps) and porter house steaks from their shopping carts and then paying for their goods with newly refilled LoneStar (food stamp) cards.
While picking up cousins in Fort Worth after our evacuation for Ike, I met a group of people from NOLA who were still having their bills paid and complaining that the government wasn't doing enough THREE YEARS AFTER KATRINA.
After years of trying to help those in need, I'm over Katrina and it's "victims".
After dealing with people who expect the government to solve all their problems and raise their families, I'm tired of the screams of "Racism".
Four years after Katrina and people still think that the government owes them a new house?
Just get your own shit together.