I keep getting asked the same question in a variety of ways…
Why do Alamedans get hot and bothered over an issue for oh, say, about 10 minutes, then calm down and ignore issues?
Why don’t they care?
Where are their voices? Bodies? Why aren’t they on the steps of City Hall in an uproar?
Why do they go back home, given up and listless about city issues?
I think I know the answer. It’s the Morning After Effect. Each of us have our individual and very personal Walk of Shame the next morning. What did our city leadership and management say in Monday’s aftermath that made us proud of them? Absolutely nothing.
After a horrific event, we should be able to feel some satisfaction, we could feel proud, if those in charge exhibited any kind of gravitas about what happened on their watch, at their hands.
“One city staffer asked me if I could put a positive spin on this story, but <clear throat, look askance> judging by the comments we heard from the public, people are already thinking that the city’s reaction has been nothing short of dismal.” – Ken Wayne, KTVU Channel 2. That video is here.
The unidentified witness said it best: ”We expected to see at some point that there would be a concern for him (Raymond Zack)”.
What we get is politic-speak: soundbites designed to be legally unaccountable, something that can be said while still smiling to the cameras and those watching. Something that appears to be right….but is not. And THAT is what we feel, the ‘not enough’ feeling, the it looks right but feels wrong feeling.
It happened after the FISC fire–the City behaved as though it could care less about the thousands of residents–adults and children!–who were blanketed with friable asbestos or the future diseases this will cause.
It is always too little too late and we, the residents, get to bear the burden, the harm that was caused. And those in charge are narcissists focused on themselves. Overriding concern for our first responders—who, ahem, are paid to do risky things!—was the soundbite of the night:
“We don’t want them [our fire fighters and police officers] in distress.” Police Chief Noonan
And this: “the mood at the [fire] stations is somber today”. Really? That’s what you care about? Your own experience?!
And why does it matter whether it’s an adult or a child? ”If it had been a child, they would have jumped in.”
Unfreakingbelievable. NO MATTER HOW BADLY THE CITY PERFORMS, THEY WANT “A GOOD SPIN” ON THE STORY. Like we believe the spin…what?! Are we idiots?! Sheesh! This is why Alamedans GIVE UP. UNCLE already; we cannot take any more of this!
Noonan said he his officers can go into the water but that he could not send in an unarmed officer after Zack. Why the hell not?! Zack was observed standing in water up to his neck, with both hands in the water—doesn’t a water disable a firearm? Zack was observed standing out there putting his arms up into the air periodically—couldn’t the APD officers see that he had no gun in his hands? Noonan said that “it’s muddy out there”. Huh? Kite- and sail-boarders stand out there all the time? WTF?
This is why we are apathetic. Nothing we do causes those in charge to make sense or give a real damn. Those in charge do not get it. They don’t seem to feel any life—the good or the bad—like we do. Why is that? Oh right, they do not live here. They are not emotionally bonded to us or our city. It’s clearly not public service. It’s just their job. Put in the hours, take the line of least resistance to get ‘er done, then go home in your Jetta TDI (I can’t afford one of those, can you?!) or whatever other very nice car they own, and fergeddaboudit. Cash in on your pension and healthcare, and go live the good life leaving us far, far behind.