As many of you know, our state as been adversely affected by the oil spill. It's been top priority in the media, top of the 'latest news' links on CNN, ABC, FOX, etc. I imagine it will remain that way until another traumatic event occurs, until there is yet another hurricane, earthquake or innocent child murdered by a cowardly pedophile. This, I know, is the way of things. Society is inherently egocentric. We tend to be concerned with OUR loses, with OUR environment, with OUR city, town, nation.
The sad fact remains, that the cavalier manner in which BP is responding to not only the oil spill but also the livelihoods of those affected by it AND the horrible affect of this spill on our marshlands and creatures that dwell there is, for lack of a better term, insulting. Last week, a friend linked me to a quote given by BP rep Randy Prescott. "Louisiana isn't the only place that has shrimp." This insensitive comment was followed by many (yours truly included) passing along Prescott's email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and phone number (713-323-4093). And while I know that phone and email messages may be ignored, the resounding insult visited upon our state by this rude comment will not go unheard. Yes, this is true, Mr. Prescott, one can get shrimp from other places. They won't be good, plump, delicious Louisiana shrimp, but yeah, they'll still be shrimp.
A response to the spill and to this offensive comment was beautifully stated by Rob Nelson on nola.com here. Nelson sums it all up far better than I could when he said "potholes can't rattle history. Bullets can't pierce charm. Oil can't coat culture and broken levees can't drown pride."
I've said it repeatedly on this blog, in conversations and sometimes to myself: you just can't break Louisiana's spirit. It's not possible, not even when individuals like Prescott, who have likely never lived here, have never experience the unquenchable spirit and culture of our precious state-- of our relentless spirit to endure, to prosper-- rattle off insults that does nothing more but add offense to an already difficult situation.
Earlier, I told someone that I didn't know how much more we could take, and why I believe that, I also believe that we could stomach just about anything and survive. Not only survive but thrive.
Just remember when you're flipping channels or scanning a news site with a flippant look at the latest development in the BP mishap, that there are people here who depend on shrimp, on fish, on crabs to live. It's not merely a job to them...it's a culture, it's a lifestyle that is threatened. I have some advice for Mr. Prescott or anyone who thinks they know what to say about this situation: THINK before you speak and consider, despite your purported knowledge of the situation, every word you utter will be heard and it's NEVER a good idea to let 'diarrhea of the mouth' go unattended.