New Yorkers living in the outer boroughs have taken to calling themselves the “Katrina boroughs.”
As they scrape round desperately for food and are forced to use their gas hobs to keep warm, many claim they are the forgotten victims of Sandy and are furious that in Manhattan preparations are underway for the New York City marathon on Sunday.
‘If they take one first responder from Staten Island to cover this marathon, I will scream,’ New York City Councilman James Oddo, who represents parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, said on Twitter. ‘We have people with no homes and no hope right now.’
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg offered an extensive and full-throated defense of his decision to hold the New York City Marathon on Sunday. “We have to have a city going forward,” the mayor said, adding, “New York has to show that we are here, that we are going to recover.”
Mr. Bloomberg said the marathon would use “a relatively small amount of Sanitation Department resources,” and he added that there were plenty of police officers available “who work in areas that aren’t affected; we don’t take all of them and move them into areas that are affected.” The marathon would “give people something to cheer about,” the mayor said. “It’s been a dismal week for a lot of people.”
Indeed it has. It seems to me that no one is doubting whether New York is still there, but the recovery is in some doubt.
Residents are pleading for help as they fear their devastated neighbourhoods are being ignored.
In a Coney Island apartment block, where tenants huddle together in one room and human waste spills out of the toilet, tenant Jeffery Francis despairs that help is not getting to Brooklyn faster.
‘We are scavenging for food like animals,’ he told the New York Daily News. ‘We are in a crisis and no one will help us. Look at us. We are misery. Everyone cares about Manhattan. No one is looking out for us. Nothing.’
Senator Obama might have come up with a racist theory to explain the disparity in relief services. That’s exactly what he did after Katrina.