"Telling It Like It Is!" (Not)
This email came as spam to me with the title "Telling It Like It Is!"
Commentary by Ashtyn Chalmers (free lance writer that lives in Texas)
The below commentary by Ashtyn Chalmers is in response to Anne Rice's article in the New York Times, September 4, 2005 "Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?"
She gives a rambling history of the city and it's people, flavor and music. But it was the last of the article that got Ms.Chalmers attention.
"But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs."
Response by Ashtyn Chalmers
"Don't blame our country for not coming to the aid of New Orleans. We had officers, fire fighters and military personnel leave our city within hours of the first news reports.
No one knew how bad it was going to get. No one, except maybe your own city mayor who seems quick to point his finger at our government. His finger needs to be pointed directly at himself for failing to get the poor people out of a city that has been told repeatedly that the levees wouldn't withstand a category 4 storm.
The liberals want so badly to make this President Bushes fault.
They so badly want to blame the government because that's what they do best. The blame lies squarely on Mayor Nagin's administration for not caring enough about New Orleans poor to get them to safety before the storm hit. If Mayor Nagin's excuse is that he had no idea it was going to be this bad, then how dare he or anyone else expect our government to have known it.
And when our country did come to the aide of New Orleans, they were robbed and fired upon. There is absolutely no excuse for that kind of behavior. There's not a person alive who judges anyone in those dire conditions for trying to survive by taking food and water and items for their children. But there is absolutely no excuse for stealing money, jewelry, televisions, arm loads of clothing and other items. The opportunity presented itself and the lawless took it.
Your mayor explains that away by saying it was all the drug addicts trying to get their drugs. I don't think the looters should have been shot. They can't help themselves. I think their parents should be shot for not raising them with any decency, morals or values.
Our country is giving everything from our money, our belongings, our homes and our time to the refugees of this storm. And the black activists want to play word games about the word "refugee". If you look up the word in the dictionary you will find that a refugee is "one who flees to a place of safety." There's nothing political in that word but some want to make it political because that is their agenda.
I've been in your city many times. I've seen how the blacks are treated or rather mistreated. I was a police officer for 25 years and I know very well how biased, ignorant and bigoted people can be. I know that the actions of a few become a stereotype for many.
So a few whites are judging all the people in the Superdome to have been drug addicts, prostitutes and criminals and they don't want them in our nice white neighborhoods. And a few blacks are judging the whites as bigoted and biased.
Our city has taken in about 100,000, mostly black, New Orleans refugees into our Astrodome, George R. Brown Convention Center and Reliant Center. The largest majority of the people volunteering are white. And the largest majority of the people bringing donations of food and clothing are white. We even have volunteers picking up the refugees garbage they leave laying around.
A friend of mine is a fire fighter and has been in New Orleans for the past six days. He said 99% of the volunteer rescuers there are white and 99% of the people being rescued are black. He also said he doesn't see Jesse Jackson, Shelia Jackson-Lee or Al Sharpton anywhere in sight.
So don't tell me we turned our backs on you.