Stormen Sandy påminde mig om Katrina och Ms. Mosely, en äldre svart kvinna vars öde gick rakt in i hjärtat på mig:
Bernice Mosely is 82 and lives alone in New Orleans in a shotgun double. On August 29, 2005, as Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the levees constructed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers failed in five places and New Orleans filled with water.
One year ago Ms. Mosely was on the second floor of her neighborhood church. Days later, she was helicoptered out. She was so dehydrated she spent eight days in a hospital.Her next door neighbor, 89 years old, stayed behind to care for his dog. He drowned in the eight feet of floodwaters that covered their neighborhood.
Ms. Mosely now lives in her half-gutted house. She has no stove, no refrigerator, and no air-conditioning. The bottom half of her walls have been stripped of sheetrock and are bare wooden slats from the floor halfway up the wall. Her food is stored in a styrofoam cooler. Two small fans push the hot air around.
Two plaster Madonnas are in her tiny well-kept front yard. On a blazing hot summer day, Ms. Mosely used her crutches to gingerly come down off her porch to open the padlock on her fence. She has had hip and knee replacement surgery. Ms. Mosely worked in a New Orleans factory for over thirty years sewing uniforms.
When she retired she was making less than $4 an hour. ”Retirement benefits?” she laughs. She lives off social security. Her house had never flooded before. Because of her tight budget, Ms. Mosely did not have flood insurance.
Jag undrar om Ms. Mosely lever idag. Det finns många Ms. Mosely och ändå finns det bara en. Och jag blir tårögd av Springsteens vrede när han sjunger om hur President Bystander som han kallade Bush kom på besök efter förödelsen:
”Me and my old school pals had some mighty high times down here / And what happened to you poor black folks, well it just ain’t fair” / He took a look around, gave a little pep talk, said ”I’m with you”, then he took a little walk / Tell me how can a poor man stand such times and live
Sången skrevs ursprungligen av Blind Alfred Reed under depressionen. Springsteen lade till några verser med anledning av Katrina..