EDITOR’S NOTE: If you missed Part 1 of our series, A Republican’s Insight, you can catch it here (note Part 1, outlines various topics of this series). Many thanks to Donnie from Houma, LA for sharing his insight with The Democratic Daily in this special series.
Part 2 – A Republican’s insight: Is there a chance for a Democratic foothold in the south?
Donnie from Houma, LA: This is part two of this series. I’m sure that part one is going to send some GOP members into a complete state of shock. When their shock and rage wear off, there are going to be people, I don’t know, that will hate and despise me in just the same way that the Democrats must have felt after Zell Miller’s speech at the 2004 GOP convention. Their hate and rage will never compare to what the people on the Gulf Coast felt, as our fellow Americans were Dying right in front of the eyes of the World. The Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness of America’s citizens were violated. That is the real deal, regardless of who anyone wants to blame, it all comes down to the simple fact, that the rights of American’s were violated and according to the laws of the land, someone has to answer for that violation of our Rights and Trust.
TOPIC 2: Could FEMA have managed this monster undertaking if competent leaders were in place and actually tried to do their job?
Examples can and will be given to the fact, that communities, and parishes, in the surrounding area, made a big impact on people and their needs. This was managed by places (cities, towns) without the massive resources that are available to the Federal Gov., and at the expense of each community and volunteers.
I personally cannot understand the “They must ask for help” mentality that plagued this catastrophe. To expect people to do tricks like a dog to get the reward is beyond crazy. Roll over to get your dog biscuit, is not what people expect in a time such as this. FEMA caused so much chaos when they did show up, in a few places, that local Authorities were sometimes baffled beyond speech. Instead of assisting, they became a hindrance.
While FEMA attempted to coordinate, some communities went into action days before the “Where’s FEMA?” cry reverberated throughout the country. Surrounding parishes coordinated and sent rescue missions into New Orleans, before FEMA had a clue as to what was going on. Here in Terrebonne Parish, we had our own Sheriff and DA each take rescue missions to New Orleans.
I don’t mean they sent people there, they personally went there and got out in the water to help carry people. And they didn’t have the USS Iwo Jima as a command post either. While there are so many places that stepped up and did a fine job, I will use my local area as an example. It’s not to leave anyone out by any means. It’s just that this is where I was able to witness the extent first hand.
Evacuees were taken in and no one was turned away. They were given shelter and hope, when their Government. cast a black cloud over them. Assimilation of those evacuees into our community continue, and the children are attending school in our parish. Some have plans to set down roots in our community, and we welcome them. Some didn’t know anything about this city that is only about 56 miles away from New Orleans.
All this was being accomplished while officials tried to get their own community back to normal. Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes managed coordinate all this relief work, Restore Power, and deal with the damage sustained, and they didn’t miss a stride… and yet the most powerful nation in the world was in chaos. Surely FEMA had a better plan than that, considering they were under the command of the Dept. of Homeland Security. The last time I checked, the gulf coast is still a part of the “Homeland”.
At least some people kept their heads straight and took care of business, while the biggest players in the saga, had their own lil turf battles; acting like a bunch of little preschool kids fighting in the sandbox.
It’s shameful and each and everyone of them needs to apologize, to not only the local people, but to the nation as a whole. The whole world has seen this play out and what do you think will be said in the end? The WMD that “everyone” was so worried about was Hurricane Katrina, and it wasn’t a terrorist that brought it here.
There seems to be no problem with allocating moneys to this after the fact, but what happened before this? What happened to Homeland Security and the agencies like FEMA, under them? Maybe this will help clarify the money question www.warresisters.org/piechart I don’t know about this website, but if they are correct, or close for that matter, “Homeland Sec. (50%) $16B” is not even in the range of a situation like this.
Lack of vision, leadership and true abilities of people in positions of power, and the care for human lives, American lives at that, cannot be taken for granted by the people entrusted to protect them. If the Federal Government cannot rectify this situation, then they must look to those that showed leadership under pressure and made it happen. The system has failed and it is up the our leaders to make it work, or to get out of the way and let real leaders take their place in positions they need to be in.
Proof that it could have worked:
The issue: Locals respond to Hurricane Katrina.
We suggest: Praise deserved.
Houma’s quick and compassionate response to care for hundreds of Hurricane Katrina’s refugees is deservedly drawing praise from around the country.
2) Local medical community cares for Katrina’s victims
By LAURA McKNIGHT
HOUMA — Dr. John Sweeney was on vacation, still dressed for a relaxed time filled with fishing and boating, when he noticed activity Tuesday at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.
“I stopped to see if I could help,” said Sweeney, a Houma orthopedic surgeon, and was swiftly pointed to a man who had just suffered a seizure.
3) Displaced students shift from shelter to schoolyard
By Mika Edwards
HOUMA — Before the sun rose and poked through the low-lying fog, 15 students gathered outside the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center Friday morning waiting for a school bus that would take them to their new high school.
Houma is a beacon of hope in a hideous situation. After watching with utter dismay the appalling situation in New Orleans, I watched the response of Houma with the first glimmerings of hope in this dismal situation. The response of the people of Houma has been fantastic, the organization excellent, the compassion brilliantly evident. Bravo, Houma!
Now go teach FEMA how it should be done.
I can only say that I hope Big Brother looks at our local communities and sees that it is possible. If a Parish with only 106,000 people can do this, our Federal Gov. should take a real close look at their faults, and make things right.