7
Sep
2005

State failure and human solidarity

CounterPunch
by Dan La Botz

09/06/05

Government failed utterly. Homeland Security secured nothing. FEMA -- the Federal Emergency Management Administration -- managed nothing. The President, finally tearing himself away from his vacation, first dawdled and then dithered while people died. Only after almost a week of tragedy, suffering and shame did government being [sic] to respond. But the people of New Orleans, poor African American people mostly, didn't fail. They gave us a model to live by. They helped each other. Ordinary men and women carried children and the elderly to high ground, built camps in the driest, most secure place, formed bands to forage for food and dry clothing. The strong helped the weak, as all helped each other. They also spoke out in righteous anger to the television cameras telling the world that the government had, after long neglecting them, now deserted them. They demanded to be treated with the dignity they deserved. Not all were steadfast it's true. Some behaved like our society taught them to behave: competed for resources, beggared their neighbors, hoarded their wealth. But most, the vast majority, stood together. The rejected competition and embraced cooperation and collective action...

//www.counterpunch.org/labotz09062005.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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