Anya Kamenetz in The Village Voice:
Along with the rest of the nation, the rest of my hometown’s residents, and my friends and family, I’ve flown through a lot of emotions in the past week since Hurricane Katrina wrecked my city of New Orleans: fear, rage, anxiety, and grief. While the bodies are still being counted, I’ve currently settled on shame. I am ashamed to be an American. We are a people who constantly avow belief in various gods, in liberty and justice, and yet our fellow American citizens, ancient ladies and four-day-old infants, were left to die in the streets for lack of food and water as though they were born in the slums of Mumbai or the favelas of Brazil. We tell ourselves and the world we can do anything, be it grow crops in the desert or bring democracy to Iraq, yet we can’t land a helicopter on Interstate 10 or get buses to a convention center.
I extend that shame to those trapped who turned to violence.