i like to write to the Fresno Bee with my pompous, self-serving genuflections. it beats actually doing anything concrete to change society. the following are the most recent two i wrote and considered sending. enjoy, hate, froth, writhe, undulate...whatever. i'm becoming pretty damn cynical, so i don't really care much anymore.
It seems the media and the populace at large are content to be enthralled with Mayor Autry's taxpayer-paid excursion to Louisiana where he is conducting a touchy-feely, goodwill tour full of newsbites.Yet I have not seen or read of one instance in which a family has been issued an invitation to our city while they sort out their affairs at home. Are we really looking to bring 300-400 evacuees here or are we merely paying for a re-election junket? Autry looks good "getting down" and yucking it up with selected Lousianans, but what is he actually doing? I'm beginning to seriously doubt that a few busloads of displaced poor people will be allowed to enter our county. It's really the "thought" that counts anyway, right?
While we focus on Mayor Autry's re-election tour in Louisiana it may be time to, also, think on how we might respond to a natural disaster happening closer to home. We now know that we can't rely on the federal government to protect us in any manner resembling that which it agreed to when any of us became citizens. That agreement involves our government protecting us from harm to our bodies and our properties from individuals or events that endanger our basic way of life. That is democracy. In return, we work hard and tithe a certain percent to its coffers. This is the big question. What did we receive from it when Katrina hit? Answer: platitudes, assurances, denials, finger pointing and death. There will be a next time and chances are the response will be the same without common outrage forcing change at the highest levels. This is an American tragedy. Not White versus Black. Poor versus rich. American. How do we not let our government simply wipe this blood off its hands? If we don't speak up, shout out, then history is doomed to repeat itself.