Welfare State the Real Disaster Behind Hurricane Katrina

A ticking time bomb, a man-made disaster has been awakened by the clash between a dilatory government and its negligent population. Hurricane Katrina, in the end, was unfortunately a disaster waiting to happen.

The mayor of New Orleans, a city that has been labeled as the birthplace of jazz, a sound that distinctly put the city on the map, unenthusiastically suggested that his residents evacuate the city before the giant hurricane arrived. The United States begs him to evacuate before the storm arrives. Adamant as he might be, he allows more than a three-hundred thousand residents to stay behind. The massive storm quickly becomes one of the deadliest American catastrophes and kills thousands.

What happens next?

Well, as in most national emergencies, over 10,000 rescue workers are called to leave their pleasant homes, jobs and families, making haste toward New Orleans to assist those in need. What they did not know was what they were walking into. Over 9,000 square miles and 200 miles of coastline over 4 states have become devastated. Communication ceases, all utilities are inoperable, tens of thousands of roadways are labeled impassable.

It was this sort of disaster that would be a true test for the nation and its ability to control a collapse of human individuality. Keeping this in mind, the rescue workers make their way into the city. Flooded streets and uncanny depictions of death wander the roads and rising floodwaters make it seem impossible at first. But, what took place next was unforeseen by anyone. Thousands of well-armed black individuals, who took over much of the city, unreservedly raped, desolated and murdered innocent people. They hijacked rescue convoys, shot at rescuers, levee repairmen, and helicopters performing rescue missions. Quickly and without hesitation, all rescue efforts halted.

It didn’t take long for the opposition to surface. Televisions flashed with notable masses of vehemently disagreeing accusations. Jesse Jackson, in short, accused President Bush of racism. NBC’s live telethon for the victims of Hurricane Katrina featured rapper Kanye West declaring, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

Mayor Ray Nagin, who could have very much prevented a considerable amount of this tragedy by ordering evacuation two days earlier, began swearing at everyone else but himself for not providing instant security. Could you imagine what might have become of a move, such as that? George Bush calmly placing 15,000 soldiers in New Orleans the day the storm hit. Every NAACP member, Rev. Jackson, every race hustler in America would have screamed “Racism!”

This has been a century-long system that has incriminated white America into not succumbing enough. Over the years, 10 trillion dollars in social programs, racial preference laws and apparently, not enough to settle this bickering.

This is not intended to raise the issues of questionable racism, but rather to enforce an obvious man-made disaster. This man-made disaster is not the lack of response by federal relief agencies and it certainly did not happen over the past weeks. This epidemic that has grown over the past four decades, clearly has brought to the surface a suffering problem in this country. The welfare state.

After Katrina had hit, the inert tactics our government were taking confused many people. We did not expect an emergency of this magnitude to receive such apathetic treatment. We could not even fathom this in a Third World country. The last picture you could imagine in a recovery effort of this sorts, would be an armored vehicle, draped with National Guard troops, with rifles and armored vests, riding down a trash covered street, lined with listless people screaming at them. You’d expect this in a city in Baghdad, not in New Orleans.

But in a city of musical undertones, jazz is not what can be heard in the streets today. Why would a city cause further destruction by attacking the very same people who were sent there to help them?

Almost three quarters of the population in New Orleans had evacuated before Katrina hit. This meant that 300,000 occupants, who still remained, were in part, a large number from the city’s public housing projects. Also, this question arises, what happened to the jails in the area once the hurricane hit, where did those people go? According to Phyllis Mann, a defense attorney in Alexandria, Louisiana, a makeshift prison was setup in the Greyhound bus and train station in downtown New Orleans for the women. In the Old Parish Prison, the federal prison in New Orleans, there was not a place to put the men in, so ultimately, they had to ride the storm out. As the water began to rise in the prison, many men were able to break windows out in the gymnasium and escape, but not all. Some men were not as lucky, being locked in cells, where they eventually drowned due to the rising floodwaters.

There were many individuals trapped in New Orleans when Katrina hit, but they were also trapped along with two groups, criminals and members of the welfare state. Individuals selected, over decades, for their lack of aspiration and self-induced dependency.

This all relates to a clear incompetence of the city government, which failed to initiate a total evacuation, despite knowing it might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters.

Hurricane Katrina exposed a truth that has been lying silent in our nation’s sense of individualism. What is considered “normal” behavior in an emergency is for those people with values and responsibility to purse and protect them. People with values respond to a natural disaster by choosing to fight it. They do not sit around and complain that the government hasn’t taken care of them. They don’t use chaos to prey on their fellow men. Criminals and welfare addicts don’t worry about saving their property. They do not have any to save. They don’t mind the crime and looting, living off of other people has been a way of life for them.

This reality is harsh, but in most sense, true. The welfare state emits an uncivilized mentality and encourages what seems wrong. There is only one disaster here, it is the man-mad disaster that has plagued this country for decades.

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