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A Nation of Katrina Victims

The Sunday night before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2004, I spent most of the evening gathering as much information as I could on the storm.  Even though I didn’t live in the line of fire, I knew that it would be a critical story for our FM station’s news the next morning.  The warning bulletins from the usually-reserved National Weather Service were scary.  “Human suffering catastrophic by modern standards” was one that stood out.  It was clear we were dealing with a monster.

We all know what happened.  The storm hit.  The flood waters rose. People died.  Looting began.  Help arrived far too late for most people’s taste.

When I saw the news coverage of the mass of humanity inside and outside the Superdome, I didn’t see poor, helpless black people.  I saw a group of people that had been sold a bill of goods.  I saw people who had been trained like animals to rely on the state for their most basic needs.  I saw folks who had lived their entire lives under the auspices of bureaucrats—folks who were utterly incapable of helping themselves when the government they had relied on was suddenly not there.

People feel uncomfortable talking about things like this because the overwhelming majority of the victims were black.  We MUST get past this “soft racism.”  Fear of making people angry or uncomfortable might be our biggest obstacle to coming up with real solutions to our most vexing social problems.

I find it curious that some on the extreme left claim GOP policy proposals would put blacks back in “slavery.”  What is blind and complete dependence on the state, if not slavery?  Is it slavery when you are incapable of providing yourself with the necessities of life without The State stepping in?  Is it charity to assist a group of people to such a degree that they have to make virtually “no” decisions about their day-to-day lives?

At the risk of sounding alarmist and melodramatic, I fear this could be what’s in store for the nation at large if we’re not careful.  Under the worst case scenario, I see a nation populated by people whose lives are so closely intertwined with the Government that it is impossible to determine where one ends and the other begins.  I see a once-great country with people living in the equivalent of FEMA trailers, waiting for the next check to arrive in the mail.  That nightmare also includes a populace that throws up its hands and wails when disaster strikes—and the entity on which they’ve relied completely is suddenly unavailable.

A blank check from a nameless and faceless entity is NOT the answer!  Engagement is the answer.  We as Americans and Christians had better get off our collective asses and work directly with those in need.  Sitting back and letting The State handle it is cowardly, counter-productive, and will end up costing us more than we could ever imagine in terms of our liberty and individual freedom.

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