I spent much of the long weekend transfixed by the news. I watched abject misery rise in the streets of New Orleans with the flood. As chaos pervaded, LIVE on CNN, a few words started running through my mind.
WORDS OF THE WEEK:
"AMERICA," as in: "Is this really happening in AMERICA?"
"POVERTY," as in: "If you live in POVERTY, you don't have an SUV to drive out of town before the hurricane arrives."
"LEADERSHIP," as in: "People aren't frustrated by the lack of LEADERSHIP, they're dying because of it."
"WATER," as in: "The streets are filled with WATER!" and "Where the fuck is the food and WATER?"
The aforementioned words inspired the following QUOTES OF THE WEEK:
"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."
—James Arthur Baldwin
"If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought to put on our tombstone 'America died from a delusion that she had moral leadership'."
"I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people. If America shows uncertainty and weakness in this decade, the world will drift toward tragedy. This will not happen on my watch." (...unless you're poor.)
—George W. Bush
"It is a tragic mix-up when the United States spends $500,000 for every enemy soldier killed, and only $53 annually on the victims of poverty."
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The mother of revolution and crime is poverty"
"Poverty may be the mother of crime, but lack of good sense is the father"
—Jean de la Bruyere
"Poverty is the worst form of violence."
— Mahatma Gandhi
"One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency."
— Arnold H. Glasgow
"The only safe ship in a storm is leadership."
"You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there"
—Edwin Louis Cole
"Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink"
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge