Monday, August 23, 2010

Hate from California

Writes James from Sacramento:
Mr. Homan:
I read your column in the Sunday, August 22nd edition of the Sacramento Bee. First, let me say, I am sorry for your loss and the loss to everyone in New Orleans from the tragedy caused by Katrina, a hurricane, a natural disaster. Being from California, I find your column not only offensive, but more of the same, "I'm a victim, feel sorry for me" narrative that most of the country has grown tired of by this point.
The line in your writing that is the most offensive is where you write, "I forgive the politicians and the media for never quite understanding that this was a human-induced disaster." Really? What human caused a hurricane to start in the Caribbean and come in to New Orleans from the Gulf? I'm sure you will answer with "George W. Bush".
I have a question for you. Why is it that 5 years after Katrina people in New Orleans are still unable to cope with the aftermath of Katrina? After billions of dollars have been poured into New Orleans, why are we still hearing from the people of Louisiana, "We need more money?"
I am a native of Northern California. I am in my mid-40's I vividly remember the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. I remember not being able to get in touch with family in the San Francisco Bay Area for days after the 'quake, not knowing whether or not they were ok. I have seen more wild fires than I can remember. I remember the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles. I live in Sacramento. I remember being within hours of being evacuated due to rising flood waters in 1986. I have seen several floods in the Sacramento area since 1986. I remember floods here in 1995 and 1997. Of course, we have also had dozens of cases of civil unrest and riots which really are man-made disasters (unlike Katrina, which was a natural disaster). My point is this: here in California, we have had 100 times the disasters than Hurricane Katrina and we have recovered from each and every one of them. Yes, we had some help from the federal government, but for the most part, we figured it out on our own. And before you go on your, "California is rich" narrative, many of the disasters struck very poor parts of our state. Even the needy people of our state know that everyone needs to pitch in.
Your article is nothing more than more liberal whining in an attempt to get people to remember the tragedy of Katrina. No one will forget. But now it is time for the citizens of New Orleans and Louisiana to quit whining, get to work and take care of themselves and quit asking for the rest of the country to send more aid. Generous Americans from all walks of life have donated millions to victims of Katrina.
Take some lessons from California. We have weathered a lot more than Katrina over the years and we have rebounded each time.

6 Comments:

Blogger bullet said...

Is it just me, or has the pain and anger started early this year? Time to fight back against the ignorance and hate... again.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous judyb said...

OMG, I detest these trolls more than hemmoroids. Thanks for my latest "scuzzbucket of the week".

6:04 PM  
Blogger Leigh C. said...

A huge sign ought to be on the state house in Sacramento saying "For Rent" at this point. If a huge quake happens now, I still fear for the people of California - and, thankfully, not all of them are like James from Sacramento.

I hope he takes a look at the stats showing how little of the money allotted for recovery has actually gone to recovery. I hope there'll be a look at what the ACoE has done in keeping up the Sacramento levees, which is not a hell of a lot - in fact the Governator and California senators have fought for more funding to strengthen those same levees and haven't been getting it. These are not whines - they are facts. And they are not strictly problems endemic to the Gulf coast.

Urrrgh. The hate burns.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I tried to read it. I just couldn't. So look here, I'm sending love from Northern California. I love to read your stuff. Then again, I used to live in Detroit. I know what it's like when a small group of powerful people decide to destroy a city.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, if Sacramento or San Francisco had been blown away in a hurricane and drowned under 20 feet of water 5 years ago, I am certain that those cities would still be having a hard time coping. Bad as the earthquakes and fires in CA have been, they did not come near to the 80% destruction wrought on NOLA by Katrina. Remember, 90% of the entire city's population had to be evacuated to other parts of the country and many of those people never returned. Quite simply, Katrina was the far greater disaster.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous T-Orphan said...

The prevalence of "haters" among internet commentators generally never ceases to amaze me. When it comes to sports commentary, it's easy to just dismiss these as the "peanut gallery" variety. But when I read on this website & others the comments of so many people, overflowing with hatred of New Orleanians in particular, I'll confess, I'm a little frightened. Especially depressing are the variety of commentators who complain that their own private catastrophes were far worse, yet nobody did anything for them! Ivan-victims from Houston mad at New Orleans. Katrina victims from MS mad at New Orleans. Meanwhile, everyone I know from New Orleans is just trying to get along! I guess people who aren't from New Orleans just don't know how to deal with their anger over life. They need to take a chill pill, go out & hear some music, and maybe learn to appreciate life.

4:48 PM  

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