One may hypothesize that if Houston’s mayor would have been a white conservative Republican, by now his name would have been associated with the holocaust or even worse. The thing is, the huge humanitarian catastrophe in Houston could have been less tragic if Houston’s Democratic Mayor Sylvester Turner who incidentally is a black guy (i.e. a privileged minority) would have listened to Texas Governor Greg Abbott advice, who issued a state of disaster for thirty Texas counties including Harris since LAST WEDNESDAY.
Despite the warnings from the Governor, Mayor Sylvester Turner refused to issue evacuation orders, at least for Houston’s most endangered citizens if not for 2.3 million people (which would have been a logistical nightmare, but that’s why we have government in the first place), i.e. those living in flood prone areas, the elderly and the disabled. So, despite Governor’s recommendations which were made days in advance, the Democratic officials chose to ignore him and issued a stand down instead of an evacuation order. What’s even worse is the fact that Mayor Sylvester Turner not only failed to warn Houston citizens about the impending disaster (more that 52 inches of rain in some areas by now), but he also encouraged them to stay and “face the music”, that until Sunday when he had a change of heart and asked Houstonians to leave. But Sunday was already too late as everything was blocked by the flooding.
Governor Abbott specifically advised Houstonians to leave the area on Friday last week:
“Even if an evacuation order hasn’t been issued by your local official, if you’re in an area between Corpus Christi and Houston, you need to strongly consider evacuating.”
“If I were living in the Houston region, as I once did, I would decide to head to areas north of there,”
The Wall Street Journal reported that, let me quote from the article:
“Mr. Turner, a Democrat, and other local officials urged residents to stay in their homes as Hurricane Harvey, which has since downgraded to a tropical storm, approached Houston on Friday,”
On Friday, Mayor Turner tweeted:
Chaotic 2005 traffic with Hurricane Rita lurking was tragic. No official has issued evac order for Houston now. Calm and care! #Harvey
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 25, 2017
After a possible evacuation order was mocked by various pundits in the media and the political circus (both right and left) as being preposterous and outrageous and a nonsensical thing to do, on Monday Houston officials ordered a mandatory and voluntary evac-order from certain areas, i.e. what they should’ve done in the first place. Some people on social media already started asking legitimate questions regarding the mayor’s blatant incompetence, sheer stupidity or even malevolence:
— Crookophobic (@crookophobe) August 28, 2017
Why Did Houston’s Democrat Mayor Encourage People NOT to Evacuate? https://t.co/tqgHXdBEYd
Wanted To Blame Trump Like W Was Blamed/Katrina!
— 💥brooks brown💥🌐🏁 (@bbusa617) August 28, 2017
— Joe Hearn (@JoeHNewYork) August 28, 2017