America owes no apology II

Last week’s rant about Americans owing no apologies for their response to Hurricane Katrina by yours truly brought in lots of responses.
Most of them were of the following:
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‘Don, just wanted to tell you that was an excellent column you wrote about the apology we don’t owe the folks down south. I was wondering if anyone would have the guts to talk about Oprah and how she drained precious resources to take her show down there. Well said Don, keep up the good work.
Justin Hanson
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The way every bad news item is politicized these days, especially Hurricane Katrina, is nothing short of shameful. I’ve all but stopped watching the news on television and reading about it in the newspapers. Thanks for some refreshing honesty. Keep up the good work.
Andy Savel
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Dear Mr. Rush,
I really enjoyed your column about Hurricane Katrina . I agree with everything you said. The Mayor of New Orleans will never admit that he made a mistake, that he had the ball and dropped it. Also, you will never hear Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton bad mouth him, no matter how much he screwed up. Two of the biggest racists in this country are big Al and Jesse. I think maybe they have way too much time on their hands, I don’t think that they have actual jobs. I saw Big Al on the television asking people to invite some of the hurricane survivors into their homes, I wonder how many of those survivors he is housing?
Anyway, keep up the good work, your column should run in the New York Times.
Deb Okolovitch
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I thank Deb, Justin, Andy and the rest of the 27 regular readers of this column. But, the most intriguing and well thought out e-mail I received will follow. (And, I am not just saying that ‘cuz it’s written by my very own wife, Jennie.) I state that because, as usual, she sees beyond the hyperbole. She looks past knee-jerk reactions. She makes a good argument here (one I wish I would have wrote). See what you all think.
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Donald P.,
I have been thinking about your column about America being ‘ashamed? after the hurricane.
I think the writers of those stories after Katrina are not talking about individual Americans and their generosity. It is plain that many, many people have stepped forward with cash, goods and time to help out. No doubt about that. The ‘Ashamed Americans? angle is about how a very, very wealthy country, and its citizens as a whole, have slowly but surely turned their backs on the underprivileged in the most general sense.
Not in terms of giving or donating, but in terms of who we elect as officials and how our voting choices affect programs and attitudes for working poor Americans. We all like to drive the big rig of supplies down with our white hat on as the hero, but do not feel motivated by statistics that show America’s infant mortality rate is worse than Cuba’s.
Putting $20 in a cannister at the grocery is better than electing people to legislate help for the more than 50 million people who do not have health insurance here in the good old USA. It takes a big thing to make us realize again just what our ‘blinders? have done.
It’s easy to ignore the poor ? and so as a nation we do.
It isn’t until they’re staring us right in the face we remember that they’re still here. All children are good on Christmas Eve ? but how about January 31?
We all should feel embarrassed as Americans for slowly letting our system of government (for which we are all responsible) neglect those citizens who most need our help. And hopefully, as a nation, we can use this new eye-opening experience to look to long term solutions for helping the underprivileged here in our own country. Love, Jen
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