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.