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August 30, 2006
The other Katrina story
Yesterday, August 29, was a memorial day for many who were involved with Hurricane Katrina. Much like the Rodney King riots of the early 90's, Katrina The Debacle has come to assume an evil existence of its own. But the MSM story is not the whole story, nor is it ours.
I was with my parents in Jackson as Katrina marched through Mississippi. Jackson was spared the 100 mph winds but suffered damage. It became a focal point for: disaster relief for the ravaged South Mississippi, much of which suffered from what can only be called an inland hurricane (winds 100 to 125 mph). And for the devastated Gulf Coast.
Jackson was also host to thousands of Louisiana/New Orleans refugees. A very good host, too, I might add. We had no electricity or gasoline in Jackson for about a week, but no one was turned away. So I am providing a link to the Biloxi ceremony and the speech given today, August 29, by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, along with others at Biloxi's City Park. It's a tribute to those who suffered, sacrificed, worked, and have come so far during this year.
As he says, we in Mississippi are not victims.
Here is the WJTV (Jackson MS) link. Please use Watch WJTV's Big Stories, opting for the Biloxi Service, which is about 57 minutes long, and was filmed on August 29. It's a rather homespun civic affair, mostly white, although I suspect the audience, which you may not see, holds many black MIssissippians. It is, I think——especially about 20 minutes in, when the Governor speaks——true of who we are as a people.
We are grateful survivors and rebuilders. And always Americans.
Barbour—— and his leadership—— represent the different Katrina story from the MSM/Spike Lee/Ray Nagin version.
Barbour, unlike his Lousiana counterparts, warned specifically beforehand about 30 foot tidal waves. Waves which struck Biloxi. Barbour led prearranged plans to get people out.
The entire Gulf Coast DID evacuate (many to Jackson). In the Biloxi area, only 55 may have perished.
Barbour spent the days after the hurricane living on the Coast with the relief crews. His wife accompanied him. He updated the local populace (most listening by battery power) every day at 5PM with hour—long/more state—of—recovery addresses. He held us together; he kept us informed. We knew who was in charge.
About 20 minutes into the video you will find Barbour's speech (link below). You will note that in the speech, as always, he does not criticize the Federal Government, or the President.
He is a Republican, BUT since Mississippi was MORE HEAVILY damaged——taking the direct impact of the storm——than was Louisiana, he does possess the RIGHT to complain. Why does he not, then?
It is so very hard, even with massive Federal support, to recoup complete devastation. Survivors and rebuilders certainly have no room for 'victimhood,' political attacks, worrying about extraneous matters. As a state, MIssissippi requires all the help we can get, because The Gulf Coast was one of the most prosperous areas of a relatively impoverished people. The loss there was catastrophic.
And HELP we got, from DAY One, from volunteers. I saw——or heard about in the Jackson area alone—— of countless private individuals, groups, churches, companies from the ends of America. Specifically Vermont, New Jersey, Illinois, MIssouri, Oregon, to use names. My family's church has spent hundreds of hours AFTER KATRINA rebuilding on the Coast, along with volunteers from all over the world.
Mississippians have received, with the aid of 2 powerful Republican Senators, billions in Federal aid. The whole state has seen the effects of it. It should be noted that, as a personal matter, my family's cousin, working with a large public utility, knew of contacts with the Vice President's office within a short time AFTER Katrina struck. The Governor has repeated the same claim about contacts with President Bush.
WE as a state and as a people, helped by massive aid, are going to survive. AS Americans.
And, so, the Governor works at caring for his people, and not in attacking the friends and government(s) who help him. He is focussed on accomplishment.
Thus I maintain : Katrina, from a Mississippi view, was a huge natural disaster responsibly handled by the
We do not deny problems; corruption; mishandling;hurt.. But who has time to make these the dictator of our recovery?
Perhaps the vilest aspect of the Katrina Media debacle,as we see it, is the charge of racism.
No rational ior sane person would suspect such. We were one people post Katrina, without many resources, waiting for help in every area.. No races. We aided each other. Why should anyone attack? Who among refugees, locals, families would consider hurting someone else?
ow evil to impose this odious vice on those hurt and suffering, and on those striving to relieve that. Regardless of the views of Spike Lee. or CNN/NYTimes/BBC, Hurricane Katrina struck us all, without regard to person.
Too many of those heaping abuse on others DID not suffer through the hurricane.
I do hope this 'ground level view' aids your understanding on the West Coast. It's possible only because of the blogosphere.
It is despicable beyond words that, in the August/ Sept 2005 period of grave national crisis, some groups/interests did seek to divide and weaken us as a people. In the time of terror threat, such augurs badly for the next disaster we Americans as a people must surmount.
John Griffith 8 30 06