Your e-mails: Hurricane Katrina
CNN.com asked readers to share their thoughts about Hurricane Katrina. Here is a sampling from the responses, some of which have been edited:
One of the most disgusting displays of ignorance I've seen yet is to watch evacuees being met at the airport in Lubbock, Texas, by a long line of police officers and a dog sniffing their few belongings on the runway before being allowed to enter the Terminal, haven't these people suffered enough!
I think this whole catastrophe has been a crime against humanity, not done by the hurricane but by the bureaucracy of the United States. Those responsible should be tried in the World Court for crimes against humanity and punished as deemed appropriate by the World Court.
I'm outraged that FEMA or any other agency would refuse funds for hotel rooms for New Orleans fire and police personnel's rest and recovery. We have sent money from all over our country for our fellow Americans in their time of need. Now, the bureaucrats will not give it to those in need. Perhaps the mayor of New Orleans should set up their own fund so they will have funds when needed not when some bureaucrat wants to let go of it.
I am a disgusted American right now. Watching the affects Hurricane Katrina has [had] on the people that are in my own backyard, and the lack of help from our own government absolutely disgusts me. We had advance warning that Katrina was coming. There was no need for so many people to be left behind, and so many deaths to occur. Our tax money goes to the government and the armed forces. They should have been there knocking on doors forcing people to grab a bag and go. But all of our troops are in Iraq helping a country that will not accept our help, or our help is doing no good. We are so quick to help people in other countries. But, when something like hurricane Katrina comes along to the United States, we are so slow to come to the aid of our fellow Americans. It makes me absolutely sick inside. I cannot even watch CNN without crying and wanting to go over and help. I feel so helpless and disgusted. I feel bad going on with my everyday life and activities knowing that there are people in my own backyard who have nothing left, and nothing to live for. It breaks my heart to watch what they are going through right now. It hurts to see the young children and babies crying cause they are hungry and thirsty. What has our hard-earned tax money gone to? Not helping American but helping people in other countries. I understand FEMA is working around the clock to do what they can, but that is not good enough. They have planes ready, but now say it could take two weeks for them to arrive. People do not have two weeks, or even a few hours they need help now. They need food, water, clothing and shelter NOW.
I have to wonder if the race card has taken over once again. While I realize New Orleans was and is in a desperate situation, in the meantime there are elderly and ill people in smaller inland towns who are dead or dying. I'm hearing nothing about them at all. There seems to have been little or no supplies of ice or food to these areas. People who fled are stuck in their cars, some with babies and children, without the means to make purchases. Some need medications they can't get. Of course the people in these towns are helping as they can, but they are unable to purchase many of their own supplies. Is anyone going to get to these small areas soon?
First of all, my prayers go out to all victims of Hurricane Katrina. As I am listening to all of your reports and the constant requests of help for these people, I wonder why does it take a disaster for people in Minnesota to open their homes to persons from New Orleans when there are homeless people right here that could use shelter (it will be cold here in no time), food, employment, and transportation. I think people should remember the less fortunate people around them that need help and are in the same situation. They live daily with nothing, just like the hurricane victims are now. I think they could use some of that generosity also. Of course, we Americans pull together when disaster falls upon any of us. I just wanted people to think about the needy before a disaster strikes.
Although I appreciate the coverage CNN has provided to keep the public informed and updated, I am appalled at the questions that are asked of the mayor of New Orleans and the secretary of homeland security concerning the rate of response. My mother always told me "don't criticize unless you have a better suggestion". Who are any of us to criticize unless we are directly involved in the relief effort? God bless all those providing relief in any way. We need to focus on their praise. And as for the question of it being a question of racial relief, why have not all Americans been concerned about the plight of the poor in New Orleans and the gulf coast region before now? He who is without sin, cast the first stone.
I have been watching all the reports on T.V. about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It saddens me to see what all of these people have to go through because our government didn't act fast enough. We knew beforehand that this hurricane was going to be very destructive. We also knew that the people it was going to affect, for the most part, were living in poverty. How were they going to help themselves, all by themselves? I feel that our great government could have done a lot more to help evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hit. Now we are watching these people dying on rooftops from the heat and lack of food and water. The response to help the people of this disaster is so slow I can not bear to think of what they are going through. I am so angry that our government acts so quickly to help devastation in other countries, but the people in this great United States have to wait for days, maybe even weeks, to get the help they need. The children that were sitting on bridges and rooftops and staying in the dark at the Superdome with no food and water, they deserve a lot more from their own country. Why was the response so slow? Does race and financial status play a part? I hate to compare tragedies but, I hope everyone realizes that the response to 9-11 was great. I was very impressed how quickly everyone acted to find survivors and assist the people that needed medical attention. President Bush was even there within a couple of days. Why have the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama not received [the] same effort? This is something that everyone in this country should think about. We need to take care of home first. It is an embarrassment to think of what other countries may have to say about us. It's great that these other countries know that they can get help from the United States when they need it, but it is sad for everyone to see that we can not help our own country in a time of disaster.
Although from report accounts this tragedy was inevitable, I strongly believe there was lack of info and lax government response. I'm from an underdeveloped country, went to college in the US and can't understand this at all. What happened with the government? Aren't the poor and black also citizens? I heard of a massive evacuation for the last storm to the area, why didn't they evacuate the people this time also?
My heart goes out to the people of New Orleans and those who have lost so much to the effects of the Hurricane. However, I am getting sick of all the finger pointing by politicians, reporters and citizens who expect instant recovery and rescue. It is clear to me the US military and local first responders are doing the best job they can under very difficult conditions. In addition, the mobilization of relief effort of this scale is incredible, and instead of laying blame we should be praising those who have responded so quickly and effectively. If I may quote one of America's greatest Presidents:
It is not the critic who counts; not the one who points out how the strong man stumbles or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. -- Theodore Roosevelt April 23, 1910 -- From "Citizenship in a Republic", a speech delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
So, let's focus on aid and rescue, you'll have months and years to cover America's new past time, blaming others.
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