The scene was out of a ghastly nightmare. Bodies stacked up, dead from raging flood waters. People homeless, begging for food, water. Makeshift hospitals attending to the sick. Thousands dead, lawlessness raging as gunmen shot at relief vehicles intending to help. Looting. Riots for food.
New Orleans? No, Gonaives Haiti, nearly 1 year ago.
I went there after Tropical Storm Jeanne killed more than 2,000, shifted into Hurricane Jeanne, smacked my house and moved on. It was utter chaos. Dangerous.
Today I turn on my TV and see a replay of the same scene, only in my backyard. I watched Harry Connick, Jr. with a dazed look in his eyes tell Katie Couric, "We're supposed to turn on the Today show and see something like this happening halfway around the world. It's not supposed to happen here."
It did. And the meltdown of civilized society has begun. The looting boils my blood. The shooting at rescue vehicles in New Orleans outrages me, yet it proves that reduced to the most primitive levels of living, some people turn into animals. The men, and women, shooting at rescue vehicles and looting are no different from the ones in Haiti last year. You can't point a finger at Haiti like some people I know and say, "Oh it's THOSE people. You know, they're like that. We're not."
Well, wake up and smell the anarchy, chum. We are.
Last year in Haiti, we had to avoid driving down certain roads because minutes before, hijackers jumped onto a CARE truck and stole it. They didn't steal it because they were hungry and the truck carried food. They stole it to get money. Pure selfishness.
Today, I watch scenes on television I saw in real life last year in Haiti, only now in my neighboring states. I have to keep reminding myself, for all the hellish nightmare of post-hurricane survival, there are good people. Willing to help out. Put themselves on the line for others. There are good people out there helping, trying to get control.
I just wish they'd show more of them on television.