Monday, January 29, 2007

And they say we're the ignorant ones

It's been pretty obvious for the past year and a half how the rest of the country felt about Hurricane Katrina. The lack of response in the days following the levee breach spoke for itself, and the failure of anyone outside the state to make any real effort to help with the rebuilding of the city shows plain and clear that it's just not a priority.

My aunt, who lives in Arizona, even told my mom, "I don't know what the big deal is. Katrina didn't even hit New Orleans." What?

But nothing so perfectly captured this hateful attitude as a photograph taken at the NFC Championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears. The photo, which has been all over the news and Internet for the past week, shows a man holding a sign that reads, "Bears: Finishing what Katrina started."

It blows my mind how hateful people can be. You'd think anyone would be able to comprehend a natural disaster of such proportions. We've all seen the photos of people stuck on their roofs, crammed into shelters, homeless, and hopeless. So many lost their homes, their families, their lives. A city and a people are still suffering and will never be the same. But some idiot has a sign that trivializes it all.

One person from Louisiana compared it to if someone at a New York Jets or Giants game had in 2002 held up a sign that read "Finishing what the terrorists started." It's a harsh comparison. And nobody would have been so insensitive to say such a thing. But they did about Katrina, and the tastelessness and the inhumanity is the same.

The New Orleans Saints this season brought a much-needed ray of sunshine to the city. After a year of disappointment and inaction, their football team gave them something to have faith in, something to hope for. The Saints brought out the best in their fans. Unfortunately, it brought out the worst in others.

The country likes to make a joke of Louisiana and write us off as uneducated and therefore worthless. But if this doesn't show that ignorance also lives above the Mason-Dixon Line, I don't know what does.

1 comment:

Donecia Pea said...

I'm soooo feeling you on this Heidi! As a La. native it just aggravates me to hear of folks trivializing what happened down there, or even worse, acting like it's our own little problem or something we deserved. And that was excellent of whoever it was to compare that scenario to NYC.

You can't help but wonder, even without all of the preconceived notions that folks have of Louisianans, how someone would find an event like Hurricane Katrina even remotely worth joking about in such a manner.