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Katrina: What Went Wrong (An Alternative View)

by Serf X Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2005 at 8:56 PM

More could have been done.

Katrina: What Went Wrong (An Alternative View)

Author: Serf X

Katrina revealed the unwillingness of the American Government to come to the aid of America's African-Americans and poor.  While I believe that everyone from the President down to the Director of FEMA should be charged with capital murder in their intentional mishandling of the catastrophe, I also believe that the people of New Orleans remained far too obedient to authority.  Assuming that every person has a right to struggle to survive, let us ask the question, "What went wrong?"  Let us ask it anew from the perspective of personal autonomy.

(1) Not Enough Buses Were Stolen

One and only one bus was stolen in New Orleans and used to evacuate citizens from the disaster.  This lone bus was stolen by Jabbar Gibson, a young man of 20 years.  Jabbar Gibson should be considered a national hero.  A special day should be put aside each year, Jabbar Gibson Day, and all school children should be taught to look towards Jabbar Gibson as a role model.

The car-less of New Orleans failed to do the ethically correct thing and steal each and every bus in the city.  The stolen buses should have been used to collect the stranded and drive them to safety.  After having stolen the buses, should more residents wishing to leave remain, police cars and every remaining vehicle should have been stolen and used for escape.

(2) People Waited Too Long To Loot

It appears that most people who looted waited until they were desperate.  This does not make sense.  The failure to loot early and effectively deprived many children and older people of needed food, water, clothes, and medicine.  Given that those in New Orleans without sufficient income to prepare Hurricane kits had no other option, they should have made plans in advance to steal everything they needed as soon as the shop owners left town.  Had families and groups of friends compiled lists of the items that they would have needed and then assigned specific individuals with the task of looting the required stores efficiently, the looting could have been done before the storm actually hit.  Food that would have gone bad due to the loss of electricity could have been eaten first, thus saving non-perishable items for later.  The net available useful food would have been increased by efficient and early looting.  Many lives may have been saved.

(3) Not Enough People Were Armed

If the poor of New Orleans had been armed, they could have taken out the police blocking their escape into drier neighborhoods.  They also could have overcome the interference by FEMA and let in people wishing to bring aid.  In the few cases were the poor turned upon one another, a heavily armed population could have kept order itself, thereby saving some from the consequences of storm induced chaos.

(4) No-one Offering AID Used Force To Overcome FEMA

Americans rushing to the area to provide aid should not have complied with FEMA's orders.  FEMA should have been overcome by Americans, by force if need be, in order to ensure that as many people as possible were rescued and/or provided needed aid.  We can all blame ourselves for this.

While this is a short and humble piece, I hope it sparks some thought in how to respond to future interference with our survival by the "powers that be".

 

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