- From CNN:Five weeks after Katrina, New Orleans is
calling off the house-to-house search for bodies.…
Searchers and residents insist there are still plenty of dead to find
in New Orleans. Once again, they say the Ninth Ward is being ignored
because it is poor and black.…
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): In
pulverized portions of New Orleans's Ninth Ward, where water flows,
instead of traffic, most homes bear the signs that search teams have
been in to look for the living and the dead, but not in one area that
spans several blocks. Here, house after house after house is unmarked.
EDWARD MENDEL, SEARCH VOLUNTEER: From here back, I estimate 100 to 150
homes that are still unsearched. And I do expect we will probably find
MESERVE (on camera): Why do you think that?
MENDEL: You can smell them as we drive by.
As we ponder William Bennett's racist comment the evidence of American
racism is going almost un-noticed in [New Orleans]. Tell me if this
was a white neighborhood that those homes would go unsearched. We went
to great pains to recover every little bit of human remains at Ground
Zero but in Black America we won't even bother to pick up bodies. This
is an outrage. Let's not forget these people's dignity again.
We sent the same message when our leaders in Washington, who act
without regard for the 'psychological' consequences of their methods,
made no fuss worth mentioning about the disenfranchisement of Black
people, in Ohio, in broad daylight. Indeed they positively condoned it
and therefore encourage more of it. There are of course a few vocal
exceptions, the most senior of them being John Conyers. The rest of
the Democrats act as if nothing terrible happened, sometimes pointing
out, for instance, their doubts that it would have changed the
outcome. But what of the psychic damage caused? What of the children
who learned of how their parents were kept from voting by Bushists
playing games with voting machine distribution? How do you teach such
children good citizenship; how do you deal with the despair you are
inducing by not making a fuss?
This is not just a question of racism. It is a question of infantility
versus mature humanity. Our society is infantile and our leaders are
not helping it to mature, even when they have good intentions and do
some good deeds. Now look at the distance between the dangers the
world presents us and our ability to cope—we fall further and
further behind, until the people themselves force a reconciliation of
social institutions with life realities.
The icon beside this entry is a photograph of Ed White doing the first
spacewalk ever by an American astronaut. The early astronauts were
people who took incredible chances in their pursuit of a goal, to walk
on the Moon. Ed White, in fact, perished in the Apollo 1 fire.
However, it wasn't that much longer before Neil Armstrong, having
spent nearly all of the available fuel, set the Eagle to rest on
the lunar surface, put on a moon suit, and went for a walk. The
Democrats of today lack, politically, what the early astronauts had,
in their field of work. The early astronauts and the manned space
program, until its essential demise after the moon landing, inspired
children and helped them to grow up healthy and mature.