IM'ing yesterday with a friend in England, I was surprised when he said that on his side of the Atlantic, it kind of looked like most Americans didn't care a lot about the crisis in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. That's not true, I said: A lot of us are simply very far away. (Although I allowed that if this was how it looked from oversees, that was interesting to know.)
I'm clearly one of millions in dismay over this appalling humanitarian aid disaster, and also grappling with what our responses as citizens need to be. The (welcome, vital, essential) examination of what's gone down here is already underway. But there's also the intense desire to reach out from whatever remove of hundreds or thousands of miles away one may be, and and just let those people know right now they're not forgotten.
Along comes anomalous and his New Orleans Flickr set -- most are simple people holding cards reading "we are thinking of you." Like the We're Not Afraid website that went up right after the London tube bombings, it's answering an emotional need -- and demonstrates how thanks to the Internet, public statements of solidarity are no longer solely in the hands of the politicians.