I have a blog. That means I have to write about Katrina, right?
I have a request. Please stop using this horrific tragedy as an example of your political agenda. Stop snorting and saying “typical”. Whether you’re a member of the Bush Defamation League, you don’t like people whose skin has more or less brown than yours, you’re anti-gun, or whatever the hell you’re trying to prove, I’m tired of it. People are dying and other people are trying to help them. That’s it.
Here are some selections from CNN.com’s timeline of the events.
• 4 p.m.: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declare states of emergency.
• During the day, residents of Louisiana’s low-lying areas are told they must evacuate; residents in other low-lying areas are urgently advised to do so. President Bush declares a state of emergency in Louisiana.
• 10 a.m.: As Katrina hits 175 mph winds, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin orders mandatory evacuations as the storm seems to beat a direct path to the city.
• The U.S. military starts to move ships and helicopters to the region at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
• President Bush flies over the Gulf Coast in Air Force One to survey the damage. He later announces a major federal mobilization to help the victims.
• Violence disrupts relief efforts as authorities rescue trapped residents and try to evacuate thousands of others living among corpses and human waste. Those stranded express growing frustration with the disorder evident on the streets, raising questions about the coordination and timeliness of relief efforts.
• Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announces that 4,200 National Guard troops trained as military police will be deployed to New Orleans over the next three days. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco requests the mobilization of 40,000 National Guard troops.
• President Bush visits Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, and later signs a $10.5 billion disaster relief bill.
• Members of the Congressional Black Caucus criticize the pace of relief efforts, saying response was slow because those most affected are poor.
• The Army Corps of Engineers brings in pumps and generators from around the nation to help get New Orleans pumps back on line and bail out the city.
Now, I don’t really have anything to compare the timeliness of the federal response to. Maybe the people who are making claims that the goverment should have responded more quickly know more about these things than I do, but I’m not sure I buy that it could have been faster.
Yes, people have guns. Yes, people who are very hungry and very upset have guns. And yes, there have been incidents of some people shooting at the people who are trying to help. This is very, very messed up. This does not mean that we should abandon anyone, or that anything even remotely resembling a majority of victims do not deserve help. We should not succumb to the temptation to group the victims together based on the actions of a few crazed jerks.
And that’s all I’ve got.