Not a Big Enough Story


Gustav is already old news.  It’s over and caused no harm.  That’s what the news would suggest, no?  Well, that is not true.  And the frustration of media ignoring the very real damage that lay in the wake of Gustav has sparked me to write this to get the word out.

Baton Rouge, Terrebone and Lafourche Parishes, including the United Houma Nation, all suffered substantial water and wind damage; downed trees; no electricity.  Many in these areas are being told it will be weeks, if not months, before power will be restored to their homes and businesses.

Here’s an excerpt from a September 1st letter from the US Conference of Mayors:

While the nation focuses on Minneapolis and St. Paul, it is our position that we should not ignore Baton Rouge in this hour of desperate need. Because Baton Rouge was never given the order to relocate, the citizens of Baton Rouge are still bearing the brunt of the storm. Yesterday, in a city of 500,000, approximately 300,000 residents in Baton Rouge were still without power, shelter, food and basic necessities. These people are also in dire need of equipment from FEMA and assistance from the federal government to help them reenter their homes.

Earlier this week, Karen G. and Maitri visited the United Houma Nation.  Please, please click here to read Karen G.’s account and see pictures of what she encountered.

Last I checked, all of these locations were still in America.  Baton Rouge took many New Orleanians in, including myself, and treated us warmly and compassionately even as the storm was taking aim for Baton Rouge and not New Orleans.  These hard hit areas aren’t as famous as a tourist destination as New Orleans, and the media have all but ignored their troubles.  They are onto Hanna.  And Ike.

While in Baton Rouge, I got an e-mail from the Dr. Phil show.  Many other NOLA bloggers did too.  They were prepping us to do a show—sort of Oh, No, Another Katrina.  And then Gustav only took out our lights, not our city.  And Dr. Phil’s people dropped our story like a maggoted, moldy refrigerator.

I don’t watch Dr. Phil, and couldn’t care less that I won’t be on his show.  I cared only to highlight New Orleans and keep the recovery efforts afloat.  But THERE IS A STORY HERE.  And it really pisses me off that it isn’t getting the attention it rightly deserves.  Because I also know that PEOPLE CARE.  You care.  Even if the media don’t, Americans do.

I am asking that you please keep this story going.  Keep Baton Rouge, Terrebone Parish, Lafourche Parish, and the United Houma Nation in the collective minds of America.  Please link to this post or to Karen G.’s or Maitri’s.  Or, better yet, post about it on your own blog.  We The People can make a difference even when it isn’t a big enough story for the news.

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