My father, who was 95 years old at the time of the devastation, was still practicing law. With the entire population enroute to places unknown, with the city and East Jefferson Parish virtually all under water, he asked me as we sat in our dry hotel room in Florida, should he move to another city and give up his practice?
He stuck with it, continued to go to court once the courts opened after months of closure and died about fourteen months later, at age 96.
Many of my friends and family members left to live in Tennessee, Texas, Florida and elsewhere. Others, came back after months of life interruptions.
I bring up my own memories because of a caller today on Jeff Crouere’s radio talk show WGSO 990. I am a guest every Tuesday and feel like I have to fend for my life with some of the people who call in to share their views. Because I don’t see the world like some of them do, which for some of them, is way out in right right, far right field, I can personally attacked.
This caller, in particular, disagreed with my assessment of Governor Blanco’s post-Katrina performance. I essentially gave her some support for the work she did after that horrendous tragedy. Don’t get me wrong, I was critical as many of you were. The entire experience was a disaster in motion. But, she worked extremely hard, didn’t play golf as some of our leaders seem to do every weekend and made mistakes, plenty of them, but she helped us move past the horrors. I felt she had reached the point where she could not be effective and on March 2007, I wrote a column recommending that she not run for re-election. I must have been clairvoyant for on that afternoon, she announced that she was not pursuing another term.
However, there was one comment that really irked me by this guy who called in this morning. He ridiculed Governor Blanco’s choking up on television in front of a national audience. Obviously, this is not the first time I heard this complaint. I have read it, have heard it dozens of times since that eventful post-Katrina TV event. Young, old, women, men have reminded me and others how she teared up.
My response to the caller was simply this: I cried after Katrina. So did most everybody I knew. In fact, I cried almost every day, sometimes suddenly, for no reason. Maybe it was PTSD of some sort. Don’t know. Some people I knew committed suicide. The world was upside down and inside out.
But guess what? Do you know how often I have seen athletes, and others, those with brawn and brain cry over the years? You know, cry after losing a Super Bowl. Cry upon retirement. Cry for whatever reason.
Real men do cry. And so do real women. And so do real governors. And so do real Presidents of the United States.
The very thought that a woman governor is castigated for shedding a tear or two at a time of total shock and trauma is in my view, sexist and pathetic.
If you want to criticize Governor Blanco and her administration for Road Home, for doing a bad job or whatever, there will be plenty of people who will agree. There will also be plenty of people like myself, who after some years, have come to realize, she got us through it. And so did President Bush, someone I criticized often as well did many others who now, like me, upon reflection, are very thankful for his stewardship.
But for us to single out Governor Blanco for showing her emotions is not only juvenile, it is heartless.
For crying sake, be a human being and leave her crying alone.