New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that on Sunday, the annual NYC marathon will take place despite the continuing devastation brought by Hurricane Sandy to the tri-state area. He says it shows that New Yorkers continue to move forward and rebuild and this iconic event is no better way to do that.
Had it been weeks since the natural disaster and if (big, huge if) every victim had food, shelter and assistance, he might have a point. But right now when body recovery is still taking place and thousands are stranded with their families without basic necessities, it seems like their basic needs and suffering are being dismissed.
On top of that, it was reported today that two massive generators are now set up in Central Park to fuel the media tents! Media tents… when thousands of children and families are without any power for days, freezing, starving and homeless.
In addition, the race is set to begin where it always does: in Staten Island, a borough where mass body recovery is still going on today. It has also been reported that hurricane victims who have been housed up in hotels are now being thrown out for the marathon runners who are arriving in the city.
It is one thing to be positive and optimistic, but it is another to dismiss those who are in distress. On the other hand, perhaps the marathon might bring much needed money to the city but, like financial expert Suze Orman says, people first, then money.
Here’s how Bloomberg sums it up:
“It’s a great event for New York and for those who were lost, you have to believe they would want the economy and city to go forward for those left behind.”
When children and families have no food or clothing or shelter while thousands others have no power, heat or hot water, we need all our resources focused on recovery and assistance. We need every available police officer and National Guard member to restore order to the areas that have looting and robbing. Some neighborhoods are nothing short of chaos. Hospitals are still evacuated and thousands must get to hospitals to receive vaccinations from swallowing contaminated water. In many cases, there are simply no houses left to access; they were either washed away, crushed or burned down.
People are in critical condition physically and mentally, and every effort of our police and law enforcement needs to be reserved for these people – not marathon runners.
Do you think the marathon should go on? What do you think of the generators being used for media tents?
Read Danielle’s personal account of when the Hurricane Sandy hit her Brooklyn neighborhood.