Monday, August 20, 2007

I Can't Make This Stuff Up

But I wish I was.

A while back, I got an email comparing the twin disasters of Katrina and the levee failure to a blizzard in North Dakota. It was the third or fourth time I had recieved that email. Other states apparently plagarized the email and sent it around, as well. It is pretty silly email, one which Snopes has delcared an urban myth. Not content to rely on Snopes alone, I wrote a somewhat long winded response.

This post still gets hits as people get this email in their inbox and at least some of them search for some additional information. One can only hope they realize how silly the email is when they do this, but some folks insist on forwarding it onward. Those folks who do forward it are of the 'self-reliant' phiolosophy of government. That we just don't really need government around, and that if you get caught outside in a storm, well, shaft for you.

Now, before we get to it, this email is not representative of thousands upon thousands of volunteers who have come down to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast to assist in this recovery. The email below is not representative of the millions of Americans who 'get it,' and know how important this recovery is not just to the Gulf Coast, but to all of America.

No, this email is representative of people who just don't get it. They get their news from Fox and Sean Hannity and dippy emails that circulate around the globe perpetuating myths and falsehoods. I was tempted to let this go, and not 'feed the trolls' who lurk on the blogs, but I just can't.

The text:
I am willing to bet most people haven't seen snow blowing at 90mph. I strips paint off houses, barns and cars. I live in ND, and yes, most of us feel Katrina was blown way out of proportion. We flood nearly every or every other year. Just a couple years ago Grand Forks was severely flooded and downtown was nearly burnt to the ground. Yet, a couple months after the water receded, you would never have guessed. The mess was cleaned up and people were back at work. People in New Orleans are still complaining about how the government did nothing for them and the mess is still there. Then I read that the blacks down there are complaining that the mexicans have moved in to start cleaning up the mess working for the contractors in charge of the responsibility. I am sorry, but these black people are the same blacks who were more content to get in front of the camera and bitch about how no one is helping them instead of picking themselves up by the britches and cleaning. And, no, there was absolutely no looting in up here during any of our blizzards or flood. We tend to respect other peoples' property. You can argue until you are blue in the face that the fact we have fewer problems is because we have fewer people. I dare say, we have fewer problems, because we are better people. Most of us were raised on farms and are accustomed to hard work and doing for ourselves. My grandpa always said, "Never ask someone to do something that you can do for yourself." I think that pretty much sums up our attitude up here. If the people of New Orleans spent as much time and energy getting their lives back together as they spent getting infornt of a camera and blaming their problems on other people, we wouldn't be having this discussion. People would be saying, "Katrina who?"

I doubt anyone who would say something like this has ever seen a real disaster, or the things a disaster does to a place, that place's infrastructure or that place's people. Blizzards suck, and can be terrible, terrible storms to go through. You should be with us, North Dakota, not against us (and I'm sure many more of you are with us). Or you just don't understand how much your own state does depend on the other 49 to help out when everything goes to hell. It is a shame you pretend to ignore your own issues and poke fun at ours, that you would try and fuel a racial fire and somehow insinuate that most people back in this city aren't working their asses off, against the odds, to do something that so many others seem content to let go. That is a shame.

But if you really feel that way, North Dakota, and you think that most North Dakotans agree with you (because I don't think they do) do me (and us) one big old favor. Secede. If all us po' Southern states are just too much for your advanced civilization to bear along, just let us go. It'll hurt bad without y'all around, and we'll have to sink or swim without you carrying us on your backs. But that's just tough love, right?

I mean, we gave you this option once before, and your ancestors didn't take to kindly to it, but hey, maybe you guys and gals are ready for a change of heart. Maybe its time. But that decision rests with folks like you, North Dakota.

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