As we watch the brave people in Japan struggle through the horrific triple tragedy of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown I am awed by their courage and perseverance and community spirit. I see orderly lines of folks waiting to enter a store, I see folks helping each other to survive and I see grit and determination to get through these disasters.
Some pockets of that kind of spunk still exists in America. Witness how Iowa farmers and small town residents will unite and begin a slow and painful clean up and recovery following a tornado. See how the folks up in North Dakota teamed up to build sand bags in an effort to stave off frequent Red River flooding.
Now, contrast that with how a certain class of folks reacted to Hurricane Katrina. Suspend your liberal pablum about Bush and Fema's response to the crisis; take your mind back to the days preceding the devastating storm. I followed coverage of the storm for days before the hurricane hit. What did I see? I saw the "productive, working class folks loading up their cars and heading north, in compliance with state and federal warnings. What did the folks in the 9th ward do? They used the occasion to have "hurricane parties, to loot homes emptied during the evacuation and "wait" for Uncle Sugar to come rescue them.
I saw a huge storage yard with a thousand buses sitting unused by a black mayor who was also waiting for Uncle Sugar rather than commandeering those buses and forcing a 9th ward evacuation.
In the storm's aftermath I saw National Guard and Fema forces risking their lives to save many who were simply too stupid to leave early. I saw folks given shelter in the football dome trash that facility and scream for better conditions after they, themselves, created the mess.
I then saw tens of thousands of those same folks run scams with the feds to grope for those fat recovery checks. Years now after Katrina I still see tales of woe as thousands sit on their ass and wait for Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie to come build them a house. Others fled to Houston and drove that city's crime statistics into the stratosphere.
So why is that in the American midwest and in Japan you don't see looting and the sad sitting on the backside while waiting for Uncle Sugar to come to their rescue?
The answer is simple: the Japanese take great pride in their country and in themselves. The people of the midwest, their characters forged by hard work and self-pride, know how to stand up for themselves. A certain class of folks in New Orleans are the "victim" class, a product of the Great Society whereby government shall issue welfare checks, WIC credits, Section 8 housing, preferential quotas for education, housing and employment. They are the product of Jessie "Heimie Town" Jackson, Reverend "Tax Cheat" Sharpton and good ole "Massive Tax Cheat" Charlie Rangel.
So folks, wait and watch. The Japanese people will stand proud and rebuild, those mid-westerners will keep filling sand bags and the folks in the 9th ward will keep waiting for Uncle Sugar to ride to their rescue.
Sad. Damned Sad.