Sunday, September 04, 2005

Refugees


The Refugees are coming to town. My friend Rose was by earlier. She was collecting for a family. I gave her some stuff. Apparently there is a family in U City that took in their cousins and somehow this number was somehow 27. They had just gotten to town. The details just don't seem real. But they are.

It is freaky to see refugees within our own country. We so often see overseas refugees driven out of their home, especially from man made disasters/wars. We have accepted refugess from Somalia, Vietnam and Bosnia. It is amazing that we do this. We should be proud as a country. We now need to step up and take care of our own refugees in our own country. I signed up for a dinner out that benefits Katrina on Thursday and Friday. Sauce is putting it together. They really got it together.

I was talking to my friend Patti Loth from the United Way on Saturday night. I bumped into her as I was taking a break. Things are really screwed up. They are doing everything they can, but they are just a small relief organization. Apparently the overall plan from the Feds sucks and is really screwing the people at this point. The aid is not getting to the people and it is not the storm that was the issue, but the care and dire immediate assistance following the hurricane has been the issue. It is sad that people are going to such lengths to breaking into grocery stores in order to feed their families, but there has been no effective coordination to help people. They are dying in front of people. There have been some graphic pictures of stacks of dead bodies. People are still stranded and it is a week later. I heard Katie Couric and some other morning news sap grilled the head of FEMA. Youch, people are pissed.

I hope to see more refugees here. It is going to be a bit tough to get people to settle in on such short notice, but it really is our responsibility and duties as fellow humans and also countrymen. We need to stand up in order to take care of our people. There is no excuse. We all could benefit if we really accept the refugees with open arms. They have no home to go back to, so we need to really get ready and make this work.

The picture was taken by Dave Martin of the Associated Press. It was taken earlier today in New Orleans. Apparently the body had been lying in the street for several days and someone had put together this makeshift grave. There are some very stunning images at the MSNBC site.

11 Comments:

Blogger matty fred said...

this exodus of people out of new orleans is starting to remind me of the okies leaving the dustbowl in "grapes of wrath." bush jr. is hoover.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

The pic made today's paper. Apparently the woman was a victim of a hit and run in the chaos that rules the streets. He body lied there for days unattended until someone put this makeshift grave on her.

11:40 PM  
Blogger rabiddogma said...

I kinda disagree with using the term refugee in this case. They're Americans, and using the term refugee suggests that they're not from this country. So while I wouldn't consider the term "refugee" an insult per se, it is insulting to use it to describe Americans in their own country:

# Under international law, a refugee is a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution. They are subgroup of the broader category of displaced persons. They are distinguished from economic
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee

# A person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.
www.iclasses.org/assets/history/social_studies_glossary.html

# One of the six legal immigrant categories, refugees are aliens who are unable to remain in their country of origin due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
www.fairus.org/Research/ResearchList.cfm

# a person who has been forced to leave his/her home and has crossed an international border.
www.doctorswithoutborders.org/outreach/bol/Glossary.htm

6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve,

Can you give any more information on the dinner out? When you say you signed up, do you mean that the Royale is participating?

11:02 AM  
Blogger Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

First off-

The deal is you eat dinner and a cut from the check is sent to the Red Cross and Marshall Faulk Foundation. It is this Thursday and Friday, lunch and dinner.

And refugee. Yes, there is a difference and the technicality can be drawn. However it is hard to define when you blur the idea of countries and borders. People are being driven out of their homes- New Orleans, Biloxi, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. The migration of where they know as home can be argued as their country, where they live, their culture, their city, their state. Houston almost might be a different country to many people who have been driven out, especially in a country as diverse as the US. Yes, there are technicalities, but when were Bosnians considered refugees in the former Yugoslavia? The borders were ambiguous as were the definitions, but the basis of the term refugee was an entire people who had a common identity being driven from their homes, their lives and the world as they knew it.

Were slave escaping the southern slave states refugees if they escaped to a free state or only if they went to Canada? It is hard to say, but I would say that the Okies and southern blacks escaping persecution in the south after the civil war would be considered refugees considering the circumstances and the drastic nature of the worlds that were being changed. Living in the rural south in 1920 and moving to a big yankee city would have been a big change more than most would think. Different types of government, authority, laws, culture etc.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The photo was taken by DAVE Martin, not DAN Martin. Jeez.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah but the point is that, on some level, the term "Refugees" suggests that these people aren't Americans. “Evacuees” or "Survivors" would be more accurate and less divisive terms to use.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

Okay, I changed it to Dave Martin!

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bush administration is attempting to re-frame the rhetoric around the disaster/tragedy by refusing to use the word "refugee." They're not doing it out of respect for the refugees, they're doing it to soften the impact of the shitstorm that's headed their way.

-joe

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Americans should shed the arrogance and accept the term "refugees." They are seeking refuge, right? Seems accurate enough. There is no connotation in the definition of being non-American; we've just never been in the unfortunate circumstances before.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Chrisi said...

Do you know if any of the family from NO now in U City needs any childrens clothing? My 8 year old is willing to give up alot of his clothing and I can give some of my 2 year olds things up also. My kids are willing to part with toys also and I could give some food and things. Email me if you know any families who could use clothes, and I will be happy to drop them off somewhere. Hell, they could come over and just take what they need from my house. chrisi.cummings@gmail.com

12:48 PM  

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