MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry rightfully blasted former President George W. Bush for showing up in New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Katrina, and making a speech totally rewriting the history of his administration’s horrible failure addressing the tragedy.
Bush’s spoke in New Orleans about how the devastation of Hurricane Katrina turned out to be an actual positive for the citizens of New Orleans, and that he admired the people in his administration who helped this change come about.
Speaking about Bush’s return to New Orleans on the 10th Anniversary, Ms. Harris-Perry noted:
Returning here Friday 10 years after this city was inundated, former President George W. Bush painted a rosy picture of the recovery since Hurricane Katrina, saying that the devastation had “sparked a decade of reform” in public schools and declaring, “New Orleans is back, and better than ever.”
Visiting one of the schools that became a charter in those early years after the storm, Mr. Bush focused on education, citing the failings of the city’s public schools before Hurricane Katrina, and the marked improvement since. “Isn’t it amazing? The storm nearly destroyed New Orleans and yet, now, New Orleans is the beacon for school reform,” he said.
. . .
“All of us who are old enough to remember will never forget the images of our fellow Americans amid a sea of misery and ruin,” Mr. Bush said Friday. But twice, he said, “I hope you remember what I remember,” citing the work of military personnel, law enforcement and thousands of volunteers in rescuing, feeding, sheltering and rebuilding.
“In spite of the devastation, we have many fond memories,” he added, recalling sitting with Russel L. Honoré, the retired Army lieutenant general who coordinated the military response to the storm, “on top of one of those big ships, strategizing.”
Ms. Harris-Perry rightfully then appropriately showed disdain for this horrible rewriting of history, and pointed out the following:
So let me just say that what I hope we’ll remember is a bit different. I hope you will remember that more than 1800 people died. I hope you remember what I remember, that it took three days before anyone was evacuated from the Superdome or the convention center.
I hope you remember what I remember, that in the aftermath of the storm, survivors were given one-way tickets to evacuate, so many could never find their way home.
I hope you remember what I remember, that as the waters of Lake Pontchartrain were pouring over the levies of 17th Street Canal, President Bush was delivering a birthday cake to Sen. John McCain.
And I hope you remember what I remember, that as thousands of people found themselves trapped with no food or water or sanitation, President Bush remained on vacation for two days, hanging out with a country music star among other things.
For more on this story, click Melissa Harris-Perry Rips Bush For Revisionist History On Katrina