Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Come on Spike, be fair!

On September 11, I watched Spike Lee's recent documentary "When the Levees Broke" on HBO. Yes, I thought it was an odd night for them to show it, but that's a different post. And yes, I said before that I wouldn't watch it because it was going to be far too biased to be educational. I was wrong. I later found out it was too biased to justify the time spent watching it. But it was educational. It enlightened me on how vastly out of touch with reality many on the Left really are. Spike did not disappoint with his one-sided portrayal of events. Here are some of the highlights:

- Hugo Chavez was framed as a decent man for offering assistance and much of this framing was in the words of Harry Belafonte

- Ray Nagin was portrayed as a victim, just like the citizens of New Orleans. A small amount of blame was thrown towards the Governor but, of course, most of the blame was on Bush. Even FEMA Director Michael Brown (a white guy) was portrayed as a victim of the evil Bush machine. No one from FEMA or the Bush administration was given equal time to give their side of things...this may have been offered, I don't know, but it wasn't there

- Al Sharpton actually stated that Kanye West's comment about Bush 'not liking black people' was one of the most constructive things ever said by a rap artist....constructive?

- The increase in Houston's crime rate after Katrina was rationalized by more or less saying that the people of New Orleans had been through sooooo much in the prior months

- After screaming to be rescued for days, what was the consensus response among many when that rescue finally came? Were they grateful? Were they thankful to be out of that hell? No, they seemed to complain about being sent to multiple spots across the country....'that is not where I wanted to go'

- Then, Lee went so far as to say that the 'evacuees' were treated like slaves...like slaves. Mainly because many had no choice in their ultimate destination

- Barbara Bush was skewered for making that comment that 'hopefully some of these citizens would end up better off than before'...insensitive? Maybe. But then Lee featured a woman in Utah who DID end up better off and opted not to return to New Orleans

- Mississippi was not mentioned. Granted, it was a documentary about New Orleans and I wouldn't be bothered about it's exclusion except for one thing. Lee DID show the clip of the ER physician making the medical world proud by telling the Vice President to 'go F--- yourself'. Yes, apparently that was the only thing about Mississippi's misfortune worth mentioning in Lee's documentary

- The same ER physician followed this up by saying 'this is how we feel'. Really? By 'we' does he mean the people of Mississippi? Because I heard what Governor Barber has said about the whining from New Orleans...."We have the same federal government as Louisiana, and we still did what we needed to do for our people." Take that Mayor Nagin

- There was no mention of the 200 city buses left idle before the storm. But Lee did show that Nagin waited an entire day before issuing an evacuation order that was recommended...however, Lee quickly moved onto other things

- There was no mention of the gunmen shooting at the rescue helicopters, but Bush was criticized for 'only flying over the disaster site' those first few days

I understand that Spike Lee hates Bush, just like many of the citizens of New Orleans. But I had family in New Orleans, friends in Mississippi. They lost their homes too. Not all of them are fond of Bush, but they didn't point fingers. They evacuated when told, even though they didn't exactly have the best means to do it. But they did, because they don't depend on the government to take care of them. And now, they're rebuilding.

There are lessons yet to be learned from Katrina, but films like this do nothing to help us learn those lessons. Blaming is not constructive, especially if it's misplaced. I hope the lessons are learned. I hope this tragedy will never be repeated again.

3 comments:

NOLAINVESTMENTS said...

Pay very close attention to the last two paragraphs of this article.

We are all absolutely insane if we sit back and let the Government slip into ownership of a vast majority of New Orleans.

Let me not beat around the bush here and just say it straight....
It is my personal opinion that one of the reasons New Orleans is in a "state of suspended animation" is because the Big Boys, along with the Government, are all sitting around waiting for the Great City of New Orleans to take it's last breath.

Why?

How else can they make an entire city their very own Voodoo Zombie??

If they are allowed to have their way, at the end of the day New Orleans is going to be just that. She will have no heart, no soul, no passion. She will no longer be recognizable to those who know her best. Her history will be a distant memory and her people will be far from her.
She will become a slave to the money and a disgrace to her people.

If we allow this, we are just as guilty as they are. Doesn't matter whether you have lived in New orleans all your life or have never been anywhere near her. It is the responsibility of THE PEOPLE to protect her virtue.

Why should someone in a distant city care about another city they have never known?

You wouldn't stand back and watch while a stranger is raped on the sidewalk would you???

Or maybe you would.....
KJ


Who Will Own the 'New' New Orleans?
by Farai Chideya

View Gallery
Farai Chideya, NPR
New Orleans City Council President Oliver M. Thomas

“The people that are from this community definitely need to be at the table with any plans that talk about redevelopment. It needs to be a meeting with the people who have lived, died and toiled in this community. It has to be inclusive.”
New Orleans City Council President Oliver M. Thomas
News & Notes, March 7, 2006 · The words "Ninth Ward" have come to symbolize a ravaged New Orleans. But the damage to the city is widespread, not just in the poorest areas, and rebuilding efforts will take years. One of the most important questions facing the Crescent City is whether homeowners, government and businesses will collaborate to rebuild the city -- or compete for control.

Much of the Lower Ninth Ward is uninhabitable -- even the animals are gone. The floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina washed arsenic and lead into the soil, and toxic mold spores filled the air. Many in the community want to see the area rebuilt, not returned to wetlands or paved over to be an industrial zone.

"The people that are from this community definitely need to be at the table with any plans that talk about redevelopment," says City Council President Oliver M. Thomas. "It needs to be a meeting with the people who have lived, died and toiled in this community. It has to be inclusive."

Individual homeowners still own much of the land under the city, but that might change in a rebuilt New Orleans. Many residents face a complex maze of insurance claims and damage assessments in order to get their homes rebuilt. For the moment, banks are holding off on what could be a wave of foreclosures -- homeowners are selling instead of rebuilding, and buyers are snapping up the properties.

Those private sales, however, could pale in comparison to potential government buyouts. The state of Louisiana is expected to get billions in federal dollars to pay off thousands of homeowners. But what will the state do with the property then?

A recent Supreme Court ruling has opened the door to allowing governments to use eminent domain to force owners to sell, and possibly use the land not just for government use but also for private development. But until the federal, state and local governments figure out what to do, individual families are keeping the city alive -- at least for now.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5248641&sc=emaf

John said...


Katrina singlehandedly changed this country forever... Chocolate City and all...

John The Patriot said...

I agree with most of what NOLA investments said. I am quite fond of New Orleans. The traditions, the culture are unlike any other in the country. The city is a national treasure. Letting the government in would WRECK her, no doubt. Let's face it, in what situation would that sentence NOT hold true.

But, she needs help. The last time I was there, the city looked broken. New Orleans needs help and that help, I think, will come from the private sector by way of tax incentives. That's how you rebuild a better city. Yes, there is the risk of over-commercializing her rich heritage, but I don't think that will happen. New Orleans' culture is deep, much deeper than any flood water and I don't see the people losing sight of those traditions.