San Francisco 30 Days in Exile
People keep comparing the destruction of New Orleans with the terrorism of 9/11. Both were horrible but the analogy does no one a service.
Both were terrible tragedies. 9/11 had a higher death count, while Katrina is still uncovering its dead. The World Trade Center was largely a place of work and business, while the devastation of New Orleans has wiped out both jobs and homes for literally hundreds of thousands. Not saying worse, just saying, much, much different.
There are some things that happened in 9/11 that we have a right to want:
- An independent, high level, bi-partisan commission that helps us assure that this kind of public abandonment will never happen again, and answers in a factual and straightforward manner, why and how this happened in the first place.
- Top flight planners, designers, and architects to submit the best plans possible for resettling and rebuilding New Orleans for all of the people, not just some hoteliers, Uptowners, and CBD swells.
- We want the new New Orleans to be a monument to the struggle of the dead and those still living, who want to rebuild the spirit and substance of the city, just as others in 9/11 wanted there to be memorials, we deserve memorials as well.
There are some things that we do not want.
- We actually want the City rebuilt, rather than being lost in a political nightmare.
- We do not want there to be a large hole where the city stood. Recently I caught the Path train to a meeting in Newark next to the site of the WTC. How depressing it was to see how little has been done in four (4) solid years in the richest city of the richest country on the planet.
When we rebuild our offices, perhaps we will establish our own monument. It will be a sculpture of a family coming through the waters to the busses at the Convention Center huddled together in misery, deserted by their government for being too poor and in all likelihood to black to fit into the how the government wanted to see the world. Once we rebuild, perhaps we should leave a couple of dollars for something to help people always remember a government turning its back on its people.