Last year, PFG's person of the Year was the Honorable Al Gore for his truthful speeches that spoke to the heart of what America is all about, and losing. This year, our Persons of the Year are the survivors of Hurricane Katrina and those who gave of themselves to save lives and rebuild our country. You exemplify the spirit of America, and we wish to recognize that spirit that is so sorely lacking in our own govt.
Patriots for Al Gore
December 20, 2005
On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina a category 4 hurricane, slammed into the Gulf Coast with winds topping 145 MPH, and brought with it the end of life as many Louisianans and Mississippians knew it. The total devastation of this storm was unlike any the Gulf Coast had ever seen, with the poorer parts of Louisiana being utterly destroyed by floods, fires, and the toxic mix that rose in the rising flood waters, bringing with it disease and environmental devastation as the levees broke. However, that is not all this hurricane displayed, for it also exposed the caste system that still exists in this country, and the total heartlessness and incompetence of a govt. that touted how prepared it was, but was shown by Hurricane Katrina for the liar it was.
Since that day, the people of the Gulf Coast have been dealing with losing all they had in this world. Their homes, their livelihoods, their loved ones, and their hope... And this govt. particularly FEMA, has let them down. Fortunately, the American people have not. Were it not for the resolve of those living there, and the goodness, generosity, and compassion of so many Americans who freely gave of themselves, the small amount of progress that has been made to bring these communities back would not be as far along as it is. The ninth ward of New Orleans is still a shambles however, with the poorer areas of the Gulf Coast being forgotten. Now that the mainstream media as well has forgotten these Americans, they are once again, faceless nameless people. And that is wrong.
Patriots for Al Gore recognizes the struggles these people will have to deal with for years to come, and we absolutely deplore the treatment these people have gotten at the hands of a govt. that showed by it's inaction that it cares nothing for those who cannot contribute to the campaign coffers that keep them in business. Instead of sending aid, they sent martial law. Instead of compassion, they gave indifference. Instead of caring for these people, they used it to better the profit margins of their corporate benefactors. And even now, they are only using these people to force through a bill in Congress to take away one of the most pristine legacies we have to leave future generations: ANWR. The irony of this is absolutely breathtaking.
The toxic residue left over from the flooding of New Orleans will take a decade or more to fix. People are still without homes, and now having to resume mortgage payments on residences that are unliveable, with no incomes to use to pay these mortgages...Many have been totally ripped out of the lives they knew and expected to assimiliate in places that are new to them, or in "trailers" in parks that can only be described as "detention centers." This is not America, and this is not how Americans should be treated by their own govt which claims to not torture and cares about human rights. Yet, our govt. sits working night and day looking for ways to take even more from those in this country who are poor in order for them to afford their wars and space toys.
We then call on this govt. to give more than 29 billion in aid to Katrina victims (and not use it as a way to force other initiatives to a vote,) as it is simply not sufficient to meet the needs of what needs to be done to give this area back to those who loved it, lived there, and who wish to return. Surely more can be found in a defense bill as large as 453 billion dollars. Lockheed Martin, Halliburton, Bechtel, and all the other corporate whores have their share. It is now time to give back to those who do not deserve to have all they hold dear taken away from them.
Patriots for Al Gore also announces that the survivors and those who gave of themselves to help these victims as our Persons of the Year for 2005. Their bravery, strength, resolve, selflessness, and compassion, have shown the side of America our govt. does not know. Unfortunately, we cannot undo that which has already been done, but in this coming year we can work harder to make sure those who are victims of such terrible catastrophes as Katrina will no longer have to wait five days for food and water. They will no longer have to see their loved ones die for lack of medical attention. And they will no longer have to deal with a heartless senseless bureaucracy that puts protocol over saving lives. PFG will then in 2006 devote any spare donations it gets that do not go for other endeavors, to worthwhile charities that truly help these survivors get their lives backs. We must do no less for our fellow Americans.
So to those who have lost all, our prayers, our hearts, and all that we can spare to help you goes out to you. Know that you are not forgotten by the American people who truly care about what you endure daily, and that those who enabled this disaster with their indifference, incompetence, prejudice, and ignorance, will not get away with it.