A plea to bloggers – Please postpone this National Day of Blaming

A plea to bloggers – please postpone this national day of blaming: People are dying. Hundreds of thousands of people are refugees. Why can’t people see how pathetic it is to spend time now blaming each other for all aspects of preparation or response to a situation that, yes, was theorized and predicted by countless individuals?

Heck, for that matter, I guess people should be blaming me.

For my entire life I’ve heard that people are buried above ground in New Orleans because it’s under sea-level, so I guess I could have warned someone. I’ve heard those Randy Newman and Johnny Cash songs about Louisiana flooding so I guess you could blame me for not doing something to let those people know they should be prepared for it happening again.

I’ve even heard about the 1927 Mississippi River flood and can remember Hurricane Camille and civil-unrest mob-actions like the L.A. Riot, so I guess I could have warned of the possibility that all three of those types of events could be repeated simultaneously in the same place and that everyone should be prepared to respond to all three happening throughout an area of over 90,000 square miles.

But, geez, people. Can you please wait another week or so to start blaming me and everyone else?

I’ve already suggested we all wait until at least after September 11 before full-out holier-than-thou finger pointing. However, I know that’s not possible.

In the past few hours, I’ve witnessed political bloggers square off with one-another using satellite photos of hundreds of New Orleans busses parked within a few blocks of the Superdome to counter venom-filled spews directed at the White House. I’ve been removing folks from my newsreader who find following the blaming thread of this story the most compelling. I find it — at least at this point — the most repulsive.

We’re all outraged. We’re all in shock and disbelief. We all want to blame someone.

But can we at least have a national day of mourning before we commence with this national day of blaming.

Here’s my suggestion: Keep writing all your evidence-of-responsibility posts but hold onto them for a few days. Use those days to help people find loved ones and to figure out what you can do to help. Raise money for relief causes. Figure out how your church or civic club or neighborhood can re-settle an evacuee family. Then, after a week or so (September 12th at the earliest) go ahead and start back flooding the blogosphere with blame.

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  • Cole

    Amen, Rex. It’s good to see at least one person out there in the blogosphere has their head on straight. Thank you for trying to be the voice of reason.

  • Glen Dean

    I tell you what Rex, I think we should even go longer than Sept 11. How about we at least put it off until Christmas. I have to admit though that it is hard to not respond to some of the insane commentary out there. But who does it help to respond to that nonsense? Nobody. So I am with you here on this one. I will grit my teeth and take the high road.

  • Alisa Mikeal

    I agree blaming should be post-poned until it can either be directed productively to affect change that is lasting and constructive or in a way for the survivors to heal and move forward. And honestly, the first people to be given the rights of this kind of venting are the “victims” themselves as they become “surviors”. I believe that is the key, to bring them out of shock/trauma and into daily functions of a new reality. Whether anyone wants this or not, it will have to be a new reality.

    Some may think this lame but a silent voice in prayer daily is just as effective as a raging bull in action. What can be done under “water” can be just as effective. Everyone should pray for the cities torn down and its people. Daily. Believe these prayers will be answered and the miracles will begin.

    It is my silent pledge.

  • Alisa Mikeal

    Just so people understand, prayer does not mean religion. It is a concentrated form of thought where one’s motivation is in the request of “that” action hnouring a belief it will be answered.

  • Patrick Yaeger

    There’s too much at stake to postpone discussion about this massive failure of our government. Our national security is at stake! As this would be an inopportune time for terrorists to strike (opportune for them), we need immediately examine those (Bush, Chertoff, Brown) who did not act with strength, speed, wisdom and seriousness.

    I fear those uncomfortable discussing what can now be considered the defining moment of the Bush Administration may also be those who are uncomfortable admitting that The Emperor Has No Clothes.

    I would bet that if you ask the survivors of Katrina and especially those from New Orleans, they’ll say that it is investigation that will lead to their consolation, not merely charity. Some people mourn and grieve through action and protest while others use quiet contemplation or charitable giving. All are welcome and needed.