Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Make It Right NOLA

Remember what we did, together, for the people wiped out by the tsunami? Remember how Americans dug into our hearts and pockets for people on the other side of the world and sent millions to people we never laid eyes on, to help them rebuild?

Remember how we didn't ask whether they deserved our help, or if they were upstanding good people, or whether they all had jobs, or whether they should build there again? Remember how we just helped?

That's what we can do now.

We have that chance.

We can join Brad Pitt at makeitrightnola, and help our fellow Americans. It doesn't take much. It only takes putting yourself, for a moment, in their shoes. It only takes remembering how much you love New Orleans, and realizing that that love? There wouldn't be a New Orleans for you to love so much if it weren't for the people who make New Orleans what it is. The people you see, the people you don't see.

It's about the waiter at your table, the maid who made your beds. It's about the taxi driver and the trolley driver and the shop keeper and the feller who made your cafe au lait. It's about the doctor at the hospital you could land in, and the nurse, and the pharmacist. It's about the people who work the docks and haul the goods that make your life a little better every day. It's about blue dogs and rarified antiques and Newcomb pottery. It's about the history of New Orleans -- the slaves, the Creoles, the jazz Greats, the jazz not-so-greats. It's about the Saints and the sinners. It's about the drag queens and the Mardi Gras floats and the Hurricanes and the beads and the people who made them for you. It's about the funerals, the live oaks, the red beans and rice. See what I'm sayin'? Somebody made the jambalaya, the red beans and rice, the mudbugs, and the chances are pretty good that that somebody lived in the 9th Ward or loved someone who did.

Step up. Put the judgment down. Leave that to Somebody in a better position to do it right. For now, just step up and help out. Just do it. Don't say New Orleans never gave you anything.

You know better than that.