Monday, September 12, 2005

Shroud of Shame

Several hundred people attempting to walk out of flooded New Orleans across an intact bridge over the Mississippi were turned back at gun-point by the sheriff of the suburb on the other side of the river and later the encampment that some of them set up on a nearby overpass was purposefully destroyed by helicopter blade wind and their food and water confiscated as they were disbanded and forced to retreat and then prevented from once again congregating in groups of more than a handful or two.

This has got to be one of the most shameful outrages of the entire week of shameful outrages perpetrated by those in authority with moral compasses so off kilter that they see property, political jockeying and personal convenience as having priority even in a time of crisis when lives are in peril.

Besides the obvious evil of forcing imperiled fellow citizens back into a life-threatening situation when relative safety was just a few blocks away, there is also the jaw-dropping fact that they had a helicopter and used it this way instead of for rescue and relief efforts. The shroud of shame belongs to all those implicated in the actions of this sheriff and over the community for which he worked if they do not repudiate this callus abuse of power and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

Read the article linked to the title of this post. The incident on the bridge is just one in a series of incidents experienced by the authors, two EMT conventioneers trapped in NO before the storm. Their efforts to get to safety were thwarted on several occasions by the actions of those in authority. The shroud of shame belongs to each and every one of us if we continue to tolerate in positions of power and leadership such inept and morally bankrupt people.

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