Katrina, Six Years Later and Still NOT Funny

by Nola

During today’s Saints/Bears game, Seymour D. Fair tweeted the following: “Katrina sign behind me. #saints #whodat” and linked to this pic:

And Saints fans far and wide came down like a ton of bricks about the insensitivity of Chicago Bears fans.

Until it was astutely pointed out that this sign is pro-Saints. Note the black and gold fleur de lis around the pathetic frowny-faced depicted Bears fan, and the sign-holder’s Saints shirt.

Apparently the sign was in response to this, a real sign from a real Bears fan in 2006:

What struck me today is how quick New Orleanians were to get our collective panties in a bunch all over again about a sign referencing Katrina.  If there was any doubt of the trauma that Katrina inflicted upon New Orleanians, let this incident erase it.

There’s something fascinatingly psychological going on here. It wasn’t one or two New Orleanians that misread this sign. It was, well, every one of them that initially looked at it. It took someone NOT from the area to point it out. And then for us to look again. And SEE.

My personal reaction was immediate. I read that little Bears fan’s shirt and saw red. That was it. I didn’t look further to see the facial expression of that Bears fan, or the black and gold fleurs. My anger rose in me as quickly as if I’d been slapped on the face. Why? Why didn’t I take in the whole image?

The reason is, I believe, that Katrina is still an open wound. And one that is collectively personal to us on the Gulf Coast. We are defensive about it STILL—the devastation; the bad government response; the judgmental SOBs telling us we were stupid to rebuild.

Bottom line? How DARE anyone EVER tease New Orleanians about such a tragedy. Yes, we can laugh and live and move on. But we will NEVER forget. And we will NEVER allow others to belittle what Katrina means to this region.

So forgive me, and other New Orleanians, for misreading this sign. Proof again that we are all too human.


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