'I survived Hurricane Katrina, but it transformed me.'

Michael Homan escaped from New Orleans (that's right, he had to escape) but not before bearing witness to acts of selfless heroism and unimaginable terror.

He's blessed and he's pissed. An excerpt (but read the whole thing here):
"But I also learned that catastrophes such as this bring out not only the very best in people, but also the worst. I have witnessed and experienced some pretty awful things over the past week. I saw dozens of dead bodies floating in toxic waters. I heard about invalid elderly humans dying in attics and hospitals believing that the world did not care as they gradually ran out of medication and oxygen while the politicians gave press conferences about how well Democrats and Republicans were cooperating."
"I saw sick babies and paraplegics living for five days outside in 100 degree weather, while gangs of armed youths roamed, raped, and terrorized in filthy refugee camps of 20,000 of society's most afflicted and abandoned. These poor people were placed in massive outdoor 'security' pens for as many as 6 days, and many of them died. This incredibly large group of people desperately needed food, water and transportation out of New Orleans."
"The immediate federal response for relief was so incredibly inept it left many of us to wonder if the lack of support was deliberate. This gross inaction while so many people suffered and died occurred in the world's richest country, and it makes me so angry with the government. I heard that Bob Hastert, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said two days after this tragedy that it made no sense to rebuild New Orleans."
"He said this while families grieved over death and misery and desperately searched for missing loved ones. I saw drug addicts take over parts of the city and terrorize, and heard that they shot nurses in the back of the head to steal pharmaceuticals to ease their drug withdrawals. And despite what you might read in the news, this wasn't a case of everyone working together to save lives. Officials from neighboring more affluent parishes (counties) than Orleans said that citizens of New Orleans were not welcome in their parishes because they only had enough supplies for their own."
(Michael Homan via Metafilter)

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.