The Soapbox: Chicago Needs A Hurricane Katrina, Says Completely Tone Deaf Trib Op-Ed

Last night, the Chicago Tribune published perhaps one of the most ill-advised op-eds of all time, titled “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina.”

YEP. An actual human being wrote that, and thought it was a good idea, and then other people approved and published it. The actual human being who wrote that headline, and the garbage essay which followed, is one Kristen McQueary — whom I suspect must have been raised in some kind of remote religious cult in which common human decency was entirely unheard of.

The gist of the op-ed is that McQueary believes Hurricane Katrina led to a “rebirth” in New Orleans, praising the new mayor for having “slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts” – and that a similar event would force similar things upon Chicago. Oh, for joy! McQueary states that she is “envious” of New Orleans because things are just so great there now. Which is not the case, but even if it were, some things are just not good things to say out loud, or in the pages of a prominent United States newspaper.

Since the uproar following its publication, McQueary and the paper have scrambled to save face, changing the op-ed’s title to “Chicago, New Orleans and rebirth” and adding a line about McQueary wishing for a figurative storm rather than a literal one, but without noting that these changes were made post-publication.


Chicago Katrina Original 2015-08-14 at 11.11.16 AM


Chicago Katrina Edited 2015-08-14 at 11.10.56 AM

No, no Kristen, you cannot. You may think you can, but you cannot.

If you think that a storm like Katrina, and the totally preventable damage and death that it caused, needs to happen in order for your ideal society to be achieved, then it’s not a very ideal society, is it? You know who also thought it was a swell idea to use the lives of poor black people as props in order to achieve his ideal society? Charles Manson.

The fact that this woman thinks that all the horror of Katrina was worth it because they cut some spending leads me to believe that she probably isn’t too far off from being a sociopath herself.

It is possible to write an article explaining the things that you believe need to be fixed about the city that both you and I live in without coming across as pining for death and destruction. Without suggesting that anyone need suffer for your cause — although I am pretty sure your “cause” would actually cause a lot of suffering in and of itself. There was literally no need to bring Hurricane Katrina into this, especially the week of the disaster’s 10th anniversary, and doing so showed a profound lack of empathy for those affected by it.

[Chicago Tribune]