I’m a firm believer in remembering certain events – events possessing unprecedented magnitude, implications, historic value or perspective altering ramifications. Pondering collective memories in my lifetime, I find it difficult to capsulize “events” without evoking the personal anguish of news coverage the morning 9/11 unfolded or the absurdity of Hurricane Katrina.
9/11 played out on a Tuesday morning – rather than the kids breakfast before school, or dressing for work, our family sat together in a state of collective paralysis, struggling to comprehend the enormity of witness. 9/11 meant fundamental changes to the world we knew, our lives would never be the same. 9/11 was pivotal in my lifetime, a moment etched in the annuls of profound historical shake-ups. 9/11 will never languish in dusty corners of memory, it can’t be forgotten.
Hurricane Katrina on the other hand teeters on the precipice of obscurity. For all the horror and emotion of 9/11, Katrina is the one responsible for painting a public face on the underbelly of America. To this day no amount of pondering can make sense of the absurdity.
Enter the George W. Bush Museum and Library in Dallas, Texas. Since May of 2013 scores have crossed the threshold, falling down a rabbit hole into a revisionist parallel universe ruled by the hubris of George W. Bush. Visitors are presented with interactive installations offering “choices” of action in the face of adversity. “what would you do as Bush” games give 3 response scenarios post Katrina, all aimed at how to “restore order”. Would you rely on local forces, send troops without police powers or use the Insurrection Act? Don’t hold your breath in expectation of implementing humanitarian aid or evacuation – put yourself in the shoes of a inept imbecile overwhelmed by the burden of “restoring order”. No mention of nincompoops at FEMA, no hint of abysmal failure to respond, not a whiff of anything but contempt for hordes of desperate citizens.
To this day,alarming numbers of white Americans scratch their asses while clucking over the mentality of poor urban blacks. Viewed as morally vacant, assumed to be lawless looters responsible for the rift in polite acceptance of the status quo. The George W. Bush Museum epitomizes the ignorant assumption of disorder once the Negroes get “uppity”.
Take a moment to watch this video from the Rachel Maddow show. America needs to remember Hurricane Katrina, it’s every bit if not more important than 9/11.