Your e-mails: Too soon to party?
(CNN) -- Is it too soon for a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina to hold a party? CNN.com asked readers to share their views. Here is a selection of some responses that said it was too early to hold Mardi Gras following the destruction of Katrina. Some of the responses have been edited.
This is no time to party. There are still thousands that are homeless from lack of financial and medical help. With everything that happened to the victims of Katrina, it's like rubbing salt into the open sores. Spending money on a party is a slap in the face to all the people who lost family and friends to death in that natural disaster. Spend that party money on homes for the (homeless)!
I spent 2 weeks in New Orleans doing animal rescue and recovery. The devastation was unexplainable. These people need help. They need places to live, food, clothing, etc. I've heard the rebuilding process has been put on hold because of money. HMMM, let's have a party instead? Doesn't seem right.
Katrina victims need houses, not beads and doubloons!
We understand that the city needs money to pay for police, fire, services, etc. But, for those of us who've lost our homes, connections with family, jobs, community, etc., it's impossible to get into the "Carnival spirit" with so much to do to get back to some semblance of normalcy. We resent that the local government doesn't show the same level of urgency and commitment to find housing for our first responders, to get FEMA trailers placed in New Orleans East, St. Bernard, the lower 9th ward, and Lakeview; to get the few trailers that have been put in place hooked up to electricity; to provide affordable housing for working people, and generally to make us feel like we homeowners and renters are needed back.
It is an outrage for the city to hold Mardi Gras celebrations. I am a Katrina survivor. I lost my entire house. I am an elementary school teacher. I worked hard to make mortgage payments and keep up my house. I think it is insensitive and disrespectful to those of us living around the country to hold a Mardi Gras. It's like dancing on our graves.
Hold Mardi Gras and encourage people to come back? Are the levees 100 percent repaired? No, they're not. The next hurricane season starts in June, so all it would take is a Category One hurricane to re-flood parts of the city. The mayor must be a few french fries short of a Happy Meal. Wake up and smell the mildew.
Here we are spending billions of dollars in Iraq and holding Mardi Gras -- something is wrong with this picture. Surely we should be taking care of these people that are still without housing and get everything back in order in New Orleans before we hold special events and fund that damn war.
New Orleans will be recovering from Hurricane Katrina for a long time. There are thousands of homeless people and families waiting to get back to rebuild what they lost. The mayor of New Orleans is trying to rebuild the lost economy due to the hurricane. Does the mayor have a family and home he can go home to every night? I know that local businesses are starting to slowly get back on their feet, but what is New Orleans doing for the displaced families and homes that were destroyed in the meantime? How is the economy from Mardis Gras going to help the displaced families and lost homes? What is more important to New Orleans -- bringing in tourists to see the devastation and celebrate Mardi Gras or help your city rebuild first?
It is too soon for Mardi Gras. I do not want my taxpayer money spent for a weeklong party. I am in favor of my tax money being spent for the repair of the levees that were destroyed.
I live about 45 minutes north of New Orleans, so I wasn't affected nearly as bad as the residents of New Orleans East and the 9th Ward, but I really feel that it is too early for Mardi Gras. The city is in disarray, cleanup has just begun, dents have only been made in the debris, and most residents continue to be displaced. I think that it's ridiculous to bring tourists and Carnival participants to the Big Easy and leave their trash and litter the streets once more, then head back to their homes and towns that were not affected by Katrina. Everyone keeps saying get back to normal- -- doesn't anyone outside the Katrina-damaged areas realize this is normal now?
Most of the Mardi Gras images I have seen contain white people. Sometimes I wonder if Katrina cut the black heart out of New Orleans and Mardi Gras.
It is an embarrassment to New Orleans and to the state of Louisiana to go forward with Mardi Gras with all the people that are suffering. I know their people need a break and it seems tempting to do Mardi Gras, but there are too many people suffering. If you have that much energy, patch a roof or feed someone that needs it. The federal government has already shown these people they do not care, the last thing they need is their local people throwing a party.
I don't think it's right for them to be throwing parties when they all are claiming they need money to fix New Orleans. If they have the money to party then they don't need any help from anyone or the government.
I do believe it is too early. The media made it sound like New Orleans was totally destroyed, and it's really funny that the only thing spared was what is considered "Sin City!" The poor residents don't have their houses back, yet tourists can go there and play and party. What about all of the New Orleans residents that are still out there searching for places to go and have nothing? But New Orleans can only be concerned about Mardi Gras?
Our company decided to cancel our major awards banquet and our Christmas party so that funds could be used for Katrina victims. While a party does sound like therapy, I believe the money used for a parade and festivities could be better spent on rebuilding and aiding the homeless.
People need food, shelter. The city is like a homeless person finding some money and going to Vegas. You get hungry and cold the next day, and you're begging on the streets again. Devastation is all around and it allocates money for a festival. How much will the local residents (not businesses) gain?
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