Rhythmandwords

Banter on Tulips and a Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z and John Coltrane, Outkast and Othello.

9.07.2005

Hope Floats?

My hope is built/
On nothing less/
Than Jesus' love/
And righteousness/


I had to sing this hymn to myself to help me get some of my thoughts together... away from the constant informative but trying buzz of NBC and Fox News. Away from the inundation of articles, pleas for help, and cries of mistreatment by our "justice for all"-promising government.

All this week and last, I read the stories of the unlikely (families saving themselves by scratching out of attics, many successfully just escaping their watery graves), the improbable (a six-year-old left to care for six children all under the age of 5, after they were separated from their mothers) and the downright impossible (Bush saying that no one could have predicted the damage that the storm and the ensuing levee breakage could wreak on New Orleans. ) I nearly fell apart looking at the photos of the scene in Time's cover story on the flood and the aftermath. One woman—-a heavyset black lady--could have easily been somebody's Ma'Dear, or the nice woman at church who makes the chicken fundraiser dinners to raise money "for the chulren to go to school." Could have been, except for the fact that she was floating face down, arms out as if she were momentarily seized by the Holy Spirit. But the picture made it ever so obvious. This was no Sunday morning passing move of the ghost. It was her final resting place.

To a slightly lesser extent, my emotions weren't any more quieted when I saw two more photos, circulating on the net, which paired two groups of people— one white and one black, both equally desperate, dragging black plastic trash bags of items they obtained. The difference, as an angry Kanye pointed out so bravely (even if a bit jumbled) on NBC last week, was that one was described as "looting", the other as "finding". How a photographer shooting from the air could have done enough reporting to differentiate remains to be seen. But what appeared to have happened was res ipsa loquitor. It spoke for itself. Black people, it seemed, stole. While, white people did what they had to do to survive.

I could hardly make sense of the images I was seeing. And, a question kept popping up in my head — why exactly was this happening again? Our country, which could send commandos into David Koresh's Waco, Texas compound at the drop of a hat; which could find Saddam in his narrow, underground lair; which could in its infant years, wrestle itself free from an oppressive British monarch with nothing but a ragtag militia determined to scratch out its independence, could not muster even the slightest bit of concern that people.were.dying? I listened to Mayor Nagin's expletive laden pleas...and understood.

I hate to get on the bandwagon and state the obvious, but talking to a friend last night, we wondered what might have happened if Hurricane Katrina hit—say, yuppie Connecticut? Or maybe suntanned Malibu? Would people have been left to drown simply because their leader was more content to fly above with his dry and safe canine, then to actually touch down and walk (maybe swim even?) among the people, still fighting for their very lives. Maybe his mother conveyed the government's attitude towards the hurricane victims best, when she spoke of the victims, "many of the people who, you know, are very underprivileged anyway", who had been evacuated to Texas as being in a situation that "works very well for them." Yes, Mrs. Bush, I'm sure these people think it's just the cat'spajamas. (Send my apple pie to George H.W. See him on the golf course.) Meanwhile, the senior Bush's octogenarian peers lie on conveyor belts at a Louisiana airport, some slumped in their wheel chairs, others bobbing in rat-infested, filthy waters because of circumstance and poverty.

I'm told hope floats.

3 Comments:

At September 07, 2005 2:24 PM , Blogger NewsBlogger said...

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At September 08, 2005 3:29 PM , Blogger Zantiferous3 said...

On Christ teh sooolid rock I stand. All other ground, is sinking sand... all other ground, is sinking sand.

Love that hymn...=))) loved this post.

 
At September 09, 2005 2:58 AM , Blogger spchrist said...

make that a double...very popular song at my mother's church. I use to sing it righteously when i was a good christian!

 

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