[guest post by Dana]
The floods in Texas continue to ravage the land and its residents:
Beaumont police say a woman has died after she and her young daughter were swept into a rain-swollen drainage canal while trying to escape their stalled vehicle.
A police statement said the woman pulled her vehicle into a theater parking lot about 3:35 p.m. Tuesday, where it became stalled by high water. The woman then took her daughter, exited the car and was swept about a half-mile away.
Two Beaumont police officers and two fire-rescue divers in a rubber boat spotted the mother floating with the child, who was holding onto her mother. Officers pulled the child and the mother into the boat.
The little girl was suffering from hypothermia, and efforts to revive her mother failed.
This tragedy is just one of many that have occurred since Harvey made landfall. At least 37 deaths related to Hurricane Harvey have been reported.
But in the midst of the tragedies, lives have been saved through some incredible acts of kindness, generosity, goodwill, and heroism from ordinary people compelled by an extraordinary sense of duty to help their neighbors. The people of Texas (and Louisiana), have evidenced a strength and determination that is nothing less than inspiring.
And yet, members of the mainstream media just don’t seem to get it. They can’t. They are unable to comprehend the selfless, do-for-your neighbor nature of Texas. This willingness to lay down one’s life for a fellow man is unfamiliar and foreign. To them, Texas, and places like it, remain little more than mock-worthy Hicksvilles, populated by the unwashed, the uneducated, the uncouth, Confederates, God-nutters, crazy cowboys and yokels. Politico aptly summed up this narrow-minded bigotry:
The cartoon was removed by Politico right after it went up. Responding to the backlash, cartoonist Matt Wuerker tweeted:
Look, here’s what I think: It is a pathetic people that choose to use their media platforms to politicize a natural disaster while people are still fighting for their lives, and fighting to save the lives of their neighbors. It is a self-consumed, small and petty people who exploit a natural disaster just to squawk like imbeciles about the shoes the First Lady wore to visit ravaged Texas. And it is an even more pathetic people that make the decisions to publish articles and cartoons like these during such a harrowing time. And here’s what I say to that collective of emotionally stunted ghouls: There are 37 families reeling from shock as the full weight of Hurricane Harvey falls upon them and they realize that their lives will never, ever be the same again. This particular flood of sorrow will never leave them, even though time will eventually smooth its raw edges. And it is those precious neighbors, those Texans, that will keep them from drowning.
(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)
ADDED: Commenter Beldar, who lives in Houston, points us to his own heartfelt post about the many heroes coming to the aid of their neighbors – whether they know them or not, whether they even live in the same town or not. Because to this breed of people, matters like inconvenience and uphill climbs aren’t that important. It may, in fact, compel them even more because someone, somewhere is counting on them and those like them. Counting on heroes like Beldar’s niece’s husband, David:
David (white shirt & reversed ball cap) looks like a Navy SEAL, but he’s actually a broker and financial advisor in his day job, a devoted husband & family man, and a leader in his hometown community and his church. He and a friend hitched up their boat and drove down from Palestine to help in the rescue efforts. No one told them to, or asked them to. They aren’t being paid or reimbursed. They don’t have FEMA name tags or a Coast Guard helicopter. But they just couldn’t not do it — like so many of the others who’re volunteering in these relief efforts.
In this photo, they’re using their boat to transport a flooded-out family to safety, but part of that process requires negotiating some shallow standing water by foot — a scene repeated hundreds of times in dozens of places all over the Houston area today. And they’re not just grimly toiling, but rather, they’re deliberately doing their very best to lighten the mood, to find some humor, and to celebrate these kiddos’ “first-ever boat rides! Whee!” so that perhaps these kids can someday remember the Hurricane Harvey rescue they needed as something that was noble and redeeming, instead of something unrelievedly sad and tragic.
I could strip my FB feed for probably twenty other photos like this of Texans I personally know and love, ordinary people, who’re doing exactly this kind of thing, but whom you won’t see on TV. But this one magnificent photo will suffice to make my point, I think.