Would Atlanta?

Some of my news documentary colleagues were talking tonight about the state of the gulf coast and mostly New Orleans in respect to “community bonding” after a tragedy like hurricane Katrina. Sound and video bites don’t always tell a full story.

I’ve always felt like Atlanta was a “civically bonded” city. After 9/11, New York City came together as one community. There was some discussion as to other cities that would come together as one in the aftermath of a catastrophic event such as Katrina. The question was asked – would Atlanta?

Some of the people in the group, who have traveled around the U.S. (and the world), decided there might be trouble in L.A., but, cities like San Francisco, CA. and Portland, OR. would be fine. Washington D.C. and, interestingly, Chicago would be suspect and Miami would be an issue. But, the question of Atlanta – which to some people is a rather divided city – would need to be examined.

So, I put the question out to everyone – would Atlanta come together as “one” after a disaster? I’m not talking about the typical sound bites from news coverage depicting solidarity, I’m talking about ALL citizens helping out in the trenches. I think it would. Also, does solidarity happen more, less or equally if the event is patriotically motived as opposed to something from mother nature? That is to say, a threat that is identified as human. What do you think about Atlanta and, perhaps, Georgia in general? I’m optimistic. Keep in mind, our group does it’s questioning as an objective exercise only. Nothing else intended or inferred.

5 Comments so far

  1. small apple (unregistered) on August 31st, 2005 @ 8:46 am

    I wonder what you mean by “come together as one”.. It sounds very vague and generalizing; a la “they hate our freedom.” Being from the NY area I can tell you the idea that there was “one NY” is something (like much 9/11 talk) that was pretty much put on the people there. During the aftermath there were very high running emotions and many public gatherings where people debated the merits of invading Afghanistan (and most people just waiting for the other shoe to drop.) Those speaking out against roundups and detentions of Muslim Americans did not fit into this “as one” description of “lets find who did this.” Much as with the blackout that came later, stores gouged citizens with price hikes.
    As for New Orleans, its just an awful situation, but how exactly is this displaced community “coming together”? Has anyone heard anything about during the mass exodus people volunteering to swing by the poorer sections of town and pick families up? Most of that section of the community ended up in shelters as far as I can tell..

    My point being while its nice and “oh say can you see” to talk about ‘uniting’ and ‘coming together’ it really means nothing on the ground in these areas. Unless you also think that Iraq is “coming together as one” at the moment..

  2. Dovetail (unregistered) on August 31st, 2005 @ 11:54 am

    Unfortunately, after reading the ITP/OTP debate on ajc.com yesterday, it seems there a lot of people, on both sides, who would make that very difficult.

  3. Lisa (unregistered) on August 31st, 2005 @ 12:56 pm

    No I think that Atlanta would have the same crap as New Orleans- mass panic and looting in the streets. Every man for himself.

  4. karsh (unregistered) on August 31st, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

    I still don’t see New Orleanites coming together as “one” (unless you count the “ones” looting…oops, er…finding supplies); I don’t think Atlantans would react any differently than normal.

    Besides, I’ve got a leather jacket I’ve been eyeing precariously in a Macy’s store window.

  5. stevie (unregistered) on August 31st, 2005 @ 5:10 pm

    I just put the question out because I’m working on a project dealing with social interaction relating to disastes. “Coming together as one” has honestly become a catch phrase that really doesn’t have much meaning to a lot of us anymore. We’re just interested in this as part of the premise of a few upcoming stories.

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