Is anyone else embarrassed? I am so embarrassed and ashamed of our country right now. I can’t help but feel like we just let all of our skeletons clatter out of the closet. We always hear how wonderful New Orleans is. Everyone sort of knew it was a poor town, but I doubt many people outside of the US had any clue. We act like we are “all that,” for lack of a better phrase. We dole out contributions to other countries like candy, but we can’t even keep our own citizens above the poverty line. It is shameful. I am so upset that we let these people down. But when I really start to think about it, I think we have been letting them down for years now, with a welfare system that doesn’t teach them to survive–doesn’t give them the resources to help themselves, but rather keeps them trapped in a cycle that makes them wait to be rescued because they have no other recourse. It’s hidious that we have allowed this system to become so enveloping. And it’s just as hidious that the government wasn’t there for a group of people who were taught to rely on it.
I hope this event not only shakes up our sense of security and preparedness, but also our view of the welfare system and what it produces. The majority of the people left behind in the hurricane were undoubtedly on welfare assistance of some sort and I can’t help but feel as though they have received so many hand outs, so much help, that they simply assumed the government would help again because they had not been taught to have any other resources. We let them down in so many ways. I can only hope this event makes us rethink how we help the poor. And reminds us just how dependent they are on us.