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Fear in New Orleans; Public Safety Takes a Back Seat

August 31, 2008

a poignant observation on the politics of excuses by writer, E. Manning

mandatory evacuation

mandatory evacuation

Hurricane Gustav is on the way. Instead of the party atmosphere and disregard by many citizens prior to Katrina, many citizens now realize the fragility of life and are actually leaving the city under the sea. Despite the fleeing populace and “mandatory evacuations”, many are rationalizing hope in the vain attempt to justify their reluctance or  inability to flee the fierce storm.

The reality when you live on the coast is that you must accept the idea of “on the fly” evacuations when a hurricane visits your neighborhood or face the very real possibility of your demise. It’s all about personal safety and public safety. However, we continue to hear the same old excuse of poverty and fear of losing precious jobs for those “businesses” that remain open after the “mandatory evacuation.”

hoofing it to higher ground?

hoofing it to higher ground?

While we live in America, the home of freedom and rights, what does mandatory mean? Because the local government fails to stand behind the word “mandatory” and truly batten down the hatches in a meaningful way, abuses among the most impoverished residents and businesses still remain. These fearful people often represent the crux of the labor community, dulling the importance or need of evacuation. Business owners are allowed to remain behind, keep their doors open and enforce a kind of slave labor, especially among those that feel unable to stand up for themselves because of poverty. It would seem that someone beyond local politicians and the police force always feel justified in staying behind and are unwilling to “go it alone.”

The poverty among the workers at the French Quarter rings out with this attitude: “…Most people don’t have cars to leave, don’t have money for gas. Pay for a hotel for that long? I mean, you have to do whatever you have to do, and I guess I’m gonna stay and work.” This is classic New Orleans mentality at its worst, cementing continued oppression and poverty mentality. This seems always to be the excuse, while politicians look past the oppression and the stupidity. There is no attempt the enforce the idea of evacuation, the closure of business or protection of citizens in the Big Easy, but we will certainly hear about the heartaches after the fact.

business of hurricanes

business of hurricanes

Where are the government officials to enforce the evacuation of the Big Easy? What is the local government doing to enforce the “mandatory evacuation?” Where are forced business closing provisions? Apparently, some “businesses” still feel that there is money to be made on those that remain behind. The local government has plenty to say about that, but fails to come through with any kind of action. Has there been any attempt to round people up for this mandatory evacuation? Where are buses sequestered to get the citizens out that might not be able to afford an evacuation, even on the contingency that because they are Americans, they are free to stay behind and die?

Mayor Nagin gave the statement to “run for your lives,” but there seems to be little gravity behind the statement or the politics involved. Some citizens that claim to “love the city” refuse to leave while putting their decision to stay on the lives of others in a big bully fashion of oppression. People are fearful to leave what little they have as if they really have anything to lose except false pride. These sick people claim to feel a certain romance in hanging tough during hurricanes to prove and justify their worth and existence, while plying such foolishness on others. Once a personal decision to stay behind is pressed on another person, it becomes a serious public safety issue. Meanwhile, like in a bad B-movie,  the government bites off on the stupidity of local bravado while proclaiming a mandatory evacuation. ~ E. Manning

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. gotea permalink
    September 2, 2008 2:33 pm

    To debbie in la. If you make your home in a toilet bowl, don’t complain when it gets flushed. P.S. This is akin to someone standing in a desert and complaining because they are thirsty. Move where the water is. The Bible suggests building your house on a rock.

    “!” ~ E.M.

  2. debbie in la permalink
    August 31, 2008 10:13 pm

    my ancestors were KICKED out of Canada and forced to find places to live after many of them were killed. What the Cajuns endured was what we now call ethnic cleansing. As a direct descendent of the Acadians, I take offense at any suggestion that New Orleans shouldn’t have been rebuilt. The Cajuns made a life out of nothing in South Louisiana and this is OUR HOME.

  3. August 31, 2008 2:37 pm

    The blood of innocent people will be on the hands of these opressing bullies who will be held accountable for their actions.

  4. congratsman permalink
    August 31, 2008 2:26 pm

    This is one of the few truly intelligent commentaries on New Orleans Ive read.

  5. tn hillbilly permalink
    August 31, 2008 1:29 pm

    as you wrote in an earlier article, most people have a decision whether they will live in abject poverty or not or at least weather they will stay in the trap. New Orleans and some other places simply foster that way of life. The French Quarter is a symptom of that way of life. romantic? hardley. not even decent and yet Americans support whoredom as a traditional way of life.

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