It's been ten years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the Gulg Coast and damn near wiped a major U.S. city off the map. Ten years since a jackass president played air guitar while a national tragedy was unfolding (at least Nero was reputed to have fiddled while Rome burned), ten years since an out-of-his-league frat bro botched the rescue efforts, ten years since a TV jackass described U.S. citizens in a racially insensitive manner usually reserved for victims of third-world disasters. Ten years after the media's racial bias was made clear in stark black-and-white.
Besides the loss of life, the worst legacy of Katrina was the destruction of a neighborhood marked by a high degree of home ownership among the African-American population, the destruction of family property that made exacerbated intergenerational poverty. The population of the devastated Gulf Coast was not only displaced, it was disinherited.
I spent an hour this afternoon listening to a post-Katrina on This American Life. The stories of individuals who survived the hurricane and subsequent failure of the levees and flood walls will drive home the horror of the tragedy better than dry prose from a high-and-dry guy thirteen hundred miles away ever could.
Better keep some hankies on hand.