Friday, January 15, 2010

Give us back our shanty town

Well well well, a tragic earthquake strikes Haiti, the pictures being beamed back into our plasma T.V,s LCDs and big screens are, to say the least SHOCKING.

The out pouring of aid from governments, movie stars,individuals is a hopeful sign, or is it?

This disaster reminds me of the Katrina hurricane that rocked New Orleans, after Katrina governments pledged billions for rebuilding,dikes,infrastructure and I had the same hopeful feelings that New Orleans would be transformed into something better, as you know New Orleans at that time was the poorest big city in America, there was also daily murders and a raging gang and drug war going on, then boom, the hurricane struck, of course George Bush was in charge, I mean DICK Cheney was in charge, and everyone one remembers George Bush saying "Good Job Brownie" referring to the head of FEMA, who in my opinion didn`t have a clue as to what he was doing, I remember those pictures from Orleans that beamed into my big screen T.V.....The same shock was there.

So money started flowing, promises were made, commitments and slowly as the viewing public grew tired of the pictures and went back to watching American idol the real disaster took place behind the scenes, contractors/insiders headed to Orleans to cash in, contractors who were offering work, minimum wage work, or less,these contractors not only paying as little as possible they brought illegal workers to work for less than minimum wage,with all the money flowing it was hard to imagine how average wage levels in Orleans dropped to its lowest level in over a decade! FEMA stuffed families into toxic trailers, and then another tragedy happened, big insurance, All State, State Farm and others put their lawyers to work, we have all seen those insurance ads on T.V....

"Like a good neighbor,state farm is there" these oh so caring insurance companies with smiling faces, these ads, but then reality sets in, these companies realize that the hurricane was going to cost them plenty, so they set their lawyers and adjusters loose, deny,delay,deduct, all of a sudden people with insurance were denied, of course many homes in the flood plain of New Orleans didn`t have flood insurance but they did have insurance for wind damage, families were denied any money because they lived in a flood plain, but thousands of these homes had water marks on them of two feet,four feet, six feet etc....But, but these homes had their roofs blown off, homes had major wind damage, now bring in the adjusters, on orders to delay,deny,deduct...Offers were slow in coming and what offers were given were pennies on the dollar, of course the people put their backs up and fought back against big insurance but big insurance has money and time on their hands and most citizens of Orleans couldn`t afford to fight, hundreds did fight and spent hundreds of thousands doing so, ultimately most people gave up and accepted the token dollars offered, it`s nothing new to these people, the news crews and world interest had long since waned, you see folks, insurance companies are designed for individual accidents or injuries,anytime there is widespread disaster out comes the lawyers and adjusters and the games begin.

To this day New Orleans still hasn`t fully recovered, billion and billions of dollars from governments and individuals were spent but somehow the money never got to the ground, never got to the people, New Orleans isn`t Haiti, a black state for the most part, older African Americans grew up with blatant racism and rode the back of the bus,segregation,rights denied, so there was always this under current of being second class citizens, Katrina set back any and all of the little progress that had been made in healing the wounds, the black Americans realized once again that he is a "Black American" and are not equal to the white man, at least in terms of financial support.

911, the terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York, the financial district, 13 billion dollars alone was spent just on cleaning up the two downed towers,not rebuilding just cleaning up the mess, 100s of billions was spent there, if a Katrina like disaster had occurred in Texas or L.A. or Washington state the town would be made whole, made better in fact, hurricanes in Florida, earthquakes in California, the people,the mayors and governors would never accept the treatment New Orleans got!

Haiti, the poorest Nation in the Western hemisphere before the earthquake, millions of people living on one to two dollars per day, a country that has been living on world aid for decades, like most impoverished countries there are many wealthy people,usually connected to government, like New Orleans,like other poor nations no matter how much money flows in to government coffers the cash doesn`t get to the ground, well, a minuscule fraction of monies ever gets to the people, the aid gets gobbled up by corrupt governments and government friendlies, even in our own First Nations the same thing happens, multi millionaire chiefs and associates while the underclass are kept in their place, poor and needy.

The pictures from Haiti are startling,collapsed homes, buckled roads, bodies lining the streets,no electricity or water flow, no hospitals, suffering beyond anything I could imagine in my wildest dreams, how many billions of dollars of goodwill money will vanish into the bottomless pit of corrupt government offshore bank accounts, I have been reading stories about transforming Haiti with a rebuild, a new beginning,a fresh clean start, stories of spending large to really make a difference, to take Haiti to a place where it has never been before, but, then there is Pat Robertson, a religious voice, a religious leader who made his way to the airwaves to condemn Haiti, yes friends Pat Robertson stated to the world and to his right wing Rush Limbaugh type friends that "Haiti deserved the earthquake for their sins, Haiti chose voodoo and hasn`t embraced with god, and god has punished Haiti"

Well friends, typical, typical right wing religious garbage,embrace god and all his glory or face the wrath of the sword,the gun, the bomb, you know, it makes me sad, it makes me mad, millions of people will give and give, pennies will get to the ground, the viewing public will become bored, the coverage will wane, the stories will be gone from the front pages, American Idol will top the ratings, yes friends, this movie I have seen before, it`s amazing what people can get used too, the harsh reality of life in Haiti, there will be no Mecca built, there will be no fresh beginning, there may well promises of such things,there always is, people living on $2 dollars a day aren`t going to get new modern homes,fancy appliances, shiny cars, or mowed lawns, and friends, a line from a song comes to mind ...."You don`t no what you got til it`s gone".

What the people of Haiti want, is to be "Given back their Shanty Town"

The Straight Goods

Cheers-Eyes Wide Open


Leah said...

Well said Grant. Nothing I've heard thus far comes close to the comment that Robertson made - if comments like that are meant to prove your Christianity, he failed. Miserably.

I took an insurance course, passed it, and was ready to be licensed but couldn't go through with it. I just couldn't get myself to be involved with an industry I consider to be as dishonest as the insurance game seems to be .. to me. It's really no wonder they're among the wealthiest of industries.

Anonymous said...

If only we could round up Gordo and his criminal gang and everyone else involved in the LIEberal party and send them over to live in that collapsed shanty town misery.

In turn, we can bring over the suffering people from Haiti to live in all of the LIEberals rich habitations.

Now that would be SOCIAL JUSTICE!!!

Norm Farrell said...

The world rushes in to photograph the disaster and provide temporary assistance to Haiti. But, one did not need a crystal ball to predict this outcome after an earthquake. The same will occur in countless third world cities where people are warehoused in sub-standard construction that will not survive even minor shakes. For example, Mexico City has hundreds of thousands of poor folks housed in ugly slums where sheet metal, concrete bricks and cardboard are the ad hoc building supplies.

Maybe the civilized world, if it really were that, should work hard to eliminate the worst death traps that house the poor all over the world. Giving people the tools and knowledge to create safer homes would be far more effective than helping dispose of the dead after a predictable disaster.