Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

No one will ever confuse me with Albert Schweitzer

Okay, here's the post where I leave everyone convinced (probably rightly) that I'm a hardhearted, unempathetic person utterly devoid of the milk of human kindness. Why? Because I was not that moved by an NPR story about the stress the New Orleans police officers are facing. And before you ask, yes, I know that two committed suicide shortly after the levies broke; and, yes, I know that there were dead bodies floating in the water; and, yes, I know that there was an intense burst of criminal activity; and, yes, I know that most of the police themselves had homes that were flooded out. But knowing all that, I still find it peculiar when people facing things that are to be expected in their jobs (crime, violent death, civil unrest) and have losses that are to be expected living in a flood plain (floods), become dysfunctionally depressed -- which is kind of how NPR pitches the story. I'll be the first to acknowledge that I've been exceptionally blessed in that I've never faced a big crisis of any sort, so I have no idea how I'd behave. However, I have grown up around a lot of people who've faced pretty dreadful things, and faced them down. I've blogged before about my mother (who went from a life of privilege to years in a Japanese concentration camp) and my father (who escaped abysmal poverty in Nazi Germany, only to spend WWII fighting in some of the worst battles in North Africa and Southern Europe). I've also blogged about family friends who were refugees, who lost their families, and who themselves experienced the worst death camps. Growing up in the Bay Area, the kids I went to school with were refugees from Saigon and Pol Pot's killing fields. What bound all of these people together in my mind was that they kept going. They didn't fall apart. Their drive to resume normal life trumped everything that had been done to them. And I just kind of wondered about the fact that five days of pretty damn bad stuff in the Big Easy could apparently completely destroy the psyche of New Orleans' finest. So I ask: Am I being unconscionably cruel, sitting in my ordered, clean, dry home? Or are New Orlean's police officers unusually fragile? Or is the MSM creating a new victim for George Bush's Hurricane by putting a spin on the police officers' stories that is ultimately false and disrespectful to them?