It's Mardi Gras in New Orleans and organizers are surprised that residents of New Orleans have mixed reactions about it. They insist its good because it brings money to the city and that it shows the world that New Orleans is resiliant giving a semblance of normality.
But is that good? This semblance of normality business? Is it good to exhibit strength and resiliance when it isn't so. The city needs our help and for the past several months they've been forgotten. Does our first remembrance need to be a fiesty parade that we watch and smile"oh they're allright then" I wonder if a decision NOT to hold Mardi Gras this year would have touched a nerve, that an age old tradition could not go on because of the desperation of its city. Maybe the millions who poured into the city over the years would remember Mardi Gras.. feel sad it didn't happen.. and realize things truly must be bad...
Because things truly are bad. Oprah did a special last week about Katrina. I feel for my brothers and sisters suffering in the winter of the Himalayas but admit I didn't realize the still present destitution of those right here, just a few hours west. Lisa Ling went to Mississippi and showed Tent cities of people living in refugee camps while thousands of empty trailers sit because paperwork isn't done. If I had switched the TV on at this point I would have thought I was watching a refugee camp in a third world country. March 15 they are evicted. Emergency homeless shelteres will reach capacity. The faces arent all poor. Teachers and principals live in tent cities, using food stamps and port a potties. They say that the attention (or lack therof) to the people in Pakistan is shocking but I can't believe that in the US more isn't being done for its citizens.
Is Mardi Gras an attempt to sweep things under the rug when in fact things need to be aired in in front of all of us if there's any chance of helping them.