Let's look back at Hurricane Katrina. It began as a low pressure zone off the west coast of Africa. As it tracked westward across The Atlantic Ocean and held together until reaching the warmer waters east of Haiti. it gradually blossomed into a tropical storm, and then, a hurricane.
As it tracked across Haiti, and then Cuba, leaving devastation behind, and moved on into the Gulf of Mexico. weather prognosticators were predicting that it would make land-fall somewhere between Aruba and Miami. The storm slowed down once in the Gulf, gathering strength over several days. By 24 hours to expected land-fall, the predicted land-fall zone had shrunk to the area between Tallahassee, Florida and Galveston Island, Texas. It was about this time that MANDATORY evacuation orders were issued for all that area.Some left, some didn't (Some couldn't leave, they had no way to leave. Some wouldn't leave, they wouldn't leave their homes, their belongings, their pets, their livestock, etc. behind.). They had ridden out recent hurricanes at home with little damage.
It wasn't until about 8 hours until landfall when forecasters were fairly certain that landfall would be directly on New Orleans. We know what the results were.
Hurricane Sandy began much as Katrina did, as a low pressure zone off western Africa, crossing The Atlantic, gaining strength until becoming a Hurricane before crossing, and devastating Haiti. By this time, weather prognosticators have become better at predicting hurricanes and forecast that after crossing Haiti, Sandy will continue west until reaching the Gulf Stream where it will pick up more heat and moisture, gaining strength. It would then turn north, paralleling the east coast and riding the Gulf Stream until it reached the New Jersey/New York area where it would make a sharp left turn and barrel into the New York/New Jersey arriving bearing a 13 ft. storm surge.
A few days later, as Sandy parallels the North Carolina coast, following its predicted course as if on a railroad track, New York/New Jersey Authorities are making preparations for the worst. About 24 hours before the predicted land-fall, authorities issue MANDATORY evacuation orders for the island and low lying areas. Some leave, but MOST stay, confident in their ability to ride out a hurricane. But these people have never experienced a full-blown hurricane pulling what turned out to be a 13.5 ft. storm surge, only practically rained out dying hurricanes pulling only 2 or 3 ft; of storm surge.
Parts of the low-lying areas and islands are swept clean with all properties damaged, most beyond use or repair. Parts of Manhattan and its utility and transportation tunnels are flooded with power, transportation and utilities throughout the region knocked out.
Yet, within hours, aid was being delivered to those being affected, refugees who wanted to leave were being brought out, the mood all over the country was that "those people truly need help and no matter what it costs we're going to get it to them". And we didn't and haven't stopped helping them.
Now, let's contrast Katrina. It was days and days, practically a week, before aid started trickling into New Orleans to aid the residents trapped there. People in the city were dying from lack of food, water, sanitation, medicine as President Bush was, even then, "congratulating Browney", his FEMA director, on the "good job" he was doing. The people who managed to make their way to the bridges leading out of the city were turned back into that hell by police officers who manned those bridges and refused to allow people to leave. Some were even shot and killed by police who made up stories of being attacked by armed hoodlums. Some were shot and killed by police because they broke the locks on stores to get the food and water they needed to survive. Some were shot and killed by police simply because they didn't want to deal with their problems.
And throughout this, through all this human suffering, there was an undercurrent of words being heard from all corners of the land stating that "those stupid people deserve to die. They should have gotten out of the city when the mandatory evacuation was issued. Don't spend my money to bring back New Orleans-let it sink beneath the sea."
Why this difference in attitude about these 2 different areas of the country that were similarly affected by similar disasters? Is it because when the cameras panned the affected peoples of New Orleans they showed mainly black faces suffering, yet when they panned the affected peoples of Long Island, Staten Island, The Jersey Shore they they showed almost entirely white faces suffering?