You know, it’s hard to imagine anything worse than coming back to your home in New Orleans and finding it completely destroyed. But, tonight, as you’re about to hear, there is something worse, much worse. Dozens of families have returned to what is left of their homes and found, lying amidst the mold and the wreckage, a body, forgotten, abandoned. Maybe it’s their mother or their grandmother, sometimes even their missing child.
The state called off searching house to house in New Orleans well over a month ago. They said they completed the job. SNIP There was no joy for Paul Murphy (ph) in this homecoming. When he walked into his house in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward last month for the first time since Katrina, it was shock and anger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I’m thinking that, OK, I was going to come and salvage a few pictures or something. And I walk in here. I found my grandma on the floor dead.
I’m sure there’s some way Ass Missile can spin this so that it’s the families’ fault. After all, if they really loved their relatives, they would have sprouted wings like one of the X-Men and flown in to NOLA and gotten their families out.
Or something. I’m trying here, but I’m really just shaking with rage. Many of the cameras may have left New Orleans. Most people I know seem to have moved on. The no-bid contracts and labor exploitation seems to be greeted as ho-hum, the usual in Bush’s America.
But the reason NOLA turned into a national nightmare was that the stories were personal. The faces of the people who’d been promised help and didn’t get it, they were real. Grandmothers and grandfathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, standing on an on-ramp with a sign: Please come save us, we’re going to die. You saw the woman floating face-down in the river that had once been a city street, saw that she was wearing a patterned housedress like the one your mom used to wear.
That personal story? Those personal nightmares? Aren’t over. And nobody has yet been held to any meaningful account. So spread the news far and wide: Somebody’s grandmother was found dead today. It could have been mine. It could have been yours. Our government didn’t just leave New Orleans’ 9th Ward to rot. It left us all.