The Outlook

This isn't for the sensitive

No New Orleans

I don’t usually cross-post between blogs, but this post bears re-posting

I guess since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, we’ve become desensitized to lower levels of natural disasters in cities.

Or maybe we only care when it looks like you can make a sexy political story out of it.

Last weekend it began raining in Nashville, TN and it didn’t stop. More than 13 inches fell in 2 days. That’s about 30% of Nashville’s annual rain fall in 48 hours. The great city of Nashville sits on the banks of the Cumberland river and the river rose and flooded a lot of downtown Nashville.

Additionally, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to release water from 2 dams and this water flooded other areas of the already super-soaked city. There were 20+ deaths in Middle TN (which doesn’t only include Nashville), many families have lost everything as the vast majority didn’t have flood insurance. The city is reporting over $1 Billion in damage.

One might think the national media would have jumped on this. Another major natural disaster in a large city (Nashville has a larger population than Atlanta, and ranks as one of the biggest Southern cities) with almost no recognition from the outside world.

You’d be very wrong if you thought that. Sadly wrong, even.

I don’t expect national coverage to the extent that New Orleans recieved in 2005. For one, this flood wasn’t that big or wide-reaching and for two, there were many other things at play outside of a city being completely under water. I don’t want to get into a situation where we compare this to what happened in New Orleans in 2005, because for the most part they’re not comparable.

But the question remains — who’s going to Volunteer for the Volunteer state?

Ironically, apparently only the state itself. All the stories you hear now are about neighbors helping neighbors. Which is great. And the state is recieving federal funding. The President called the Governor and the both agreed his presence, with all that is required, would take away from the relief efforts, for now.

But where’s the national media coverage? Nashville could use the help of every state in the union, not just every city in the state.

On a larger note, I think the media ignores the South (except for Atlanta) all the time. I think that point has been proven in light of this.

If you go to CNN.com now and search Nashville, all sorts of videos will pop up. But those videos we distinctly remember of Anderson Cooper in New Orleans as the city flooded, CNN doesn’t have because they, like their other major outlet counterparts (and I don’t mean to make it look like only CNN ignored this for almost a week) didn’t pay much more than a footnotes’ worth of attention until now.

I’m sure someone will say, and rightfully so, they’re there now. Yes. They are (interviewing mostly country stars who have been effected — thank God for Kenny Chesney who pointed out that he will be able to replace things, while other families will not). Nashville will come back, it will be fine and that will happen regardless of whether or not major media outlets notice. I’m just put off by what it means when newsworthy things are happening and no one cares.

Advertisements

May 7, 2010 Posted by | News, Politics | , , | 1 Comment

Race in a Post-Racial Society

I really like J. Smooth. You should check him out (Google him, baby) and subscribe to his youtube videos. My man is the truth.

I like his comments on how Asher’s Twitter misstep is an interesting look in where we are, right now.

For anyone who has not yet been told, we are, contrary to initial reports, NOT in a post-racial society. I actually don’t think we’ll ever be in a post racial society; race is too much a part of who we are and what our history is. I don’t know that that’s a good thing, but I can’t say for sure that it’s a bad thing. In any case, it seems to me that a lot of people are waiting for us to get to a place with, essentially, no boundaries, like J.Smooth was talking about. Where we no longer have to care how our words sound to other people.

I presume it’s easy to wish for that, especially when you often find yourself in awkward situations. Just this afternoon, a co-worker of mine was trying to describe the black paint that her boyfriend sometimes wears under his eyes (the athletic black paint football players use). She misspoke and said “black face.” I knew she misspoke and I knew that’s not what he really wore, but the whole room paused and everyone turned to look at me. This idea that it would be, the lone black person, who decided if it was ok to let it slide or if there needed to be more. Everyone in that room knew it was an honest mistake, but it was up to me to decide for sure.

We’re never going to live in a society where race is truly not an issue. I think we shouldn’t even be working towards that. I believe we should be working towards doing away with the ignorance that makes race a problem. The ignorance that allows stores to send their employees to follow black people around stores, or allows Hispanics to be beat up and killed because they’re presumed to be illegal immigrants.

Our black president doesn’t change the fact that we have serious issues. What having a black president hopefully does is open up dialogue. I think we should get to a place where people aren’t afraid to speak their mind, no matter what, but also understand that there are still boundaries and lines we don’t cross. I’ve never understood why a white person would want “permission” to say the n-word, or why someone would want to be able to tell a race joke in mixed company and everyone find it funny. We should live in a society where that’s not what people want.

How about we find a place where we acknowledge race and how it brings us together and makes us excitingly different?

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Ramblings, Thank-you racist people | , | 1 Comment