“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. . And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”
— Former first lady Barbara Bush about Katrina evacuees housed in the Houston Astrodome (hear the quote)
I recently received the following email from a friend in the States;
Been wondering what you’ve heard about New Orleans. Does the media where you are talk about it all? It’s really outrageous, Nathan. It’s appalling how irresponsible and incompetant our government is. It’s really depressing–the last shred of trust I had in our government has been completely obliterated. It’s pretty clear now that I can’t depend on them for the bare minimum. Yesterday Jessica and I listened to This American Life. Ira Glass was interviewing a woman who had been in the convention center. He almost started to cry, listening to this woman tell about the horrific conditions inside. I certainly cried.
If this doesn’t change the attitude in our country towards George Bush, I really don’t know what will. If the aftermath of Katrina doesn’t make this country realize that extreme poverty and racism still exists in the United States, I don’t know what will.
How does this news meet you?
Today, as well, is September 11th. My oh my.
The answer is that for news on South America I have my news page I set up on my website. I mostly just check that so I didn’t even know about the hurricane till I received an email from a family friend on September 1:
Dear Nathan, I don’t know how much you are hearing or seeing about New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, but it is truly horrible. We were in Santa Cruz without a TV so we didn’t see the pictures until yesterday. People are dying because of lack of medical care. Apparently, there is no communication system. The hospitals are closing because they have no electricity or supplies and our president played golf last Monday. Yesterday he thought he would look at the damage from the air for the first time. They can’t even seem to get water to the people who are walking out of the city on their own. We are very angry. It is a disgrace. I have a friend in one of the hardest hit towns and I cannot reach her.
It was actually confusing to get this email. I was in a small town in Bolivia and I had no idea what she was talking about. I don’t know the spìn in the states but thedidn’t seem to agree with Mrs. Bush. But this stuff is big news in the foreign press as proved yesterday when I asked about the price of a Harry Potter book at a bookstand and I was approached by a 13 year old Argentinean kid who told me that my president is racist and doesn’t care if black people die. A 13 year old in a book store told me this. I asked him why he thought that and he told me that he thought it because of the hurricane. I told him that it was very sad to go to another country and have to hear that about my president (especially from children). He was very polite about it.