Spike Lee still has a few words for former president George W. Bush for his handling of the crisis in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Upon receiving the Peabody Award for his second documentary series on the hurricane-ravaged New Orleans—this one titled If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise—the director expressed his lingering bafflement at how long it took for help to arrive.
"Under the direction of the chief of command, President George Bush, W., it took the United States government five days to come to rescue its American citizens," Lee told The Huffington Post at the awards ceremony. "Five days. And I know he's written a book and whatnot, but no one's ever explained, to this day, why it took five days. In fact, we talk about, in the first one, there was a typhoon in Sri Lanka, and we were there in 2 1/2 days, we were there, and that's half way around the world, and yet it took five days for the United States to show up in New Orleans, and to this date, it's never been explained why."
The documentary explores the fledgling rebuilding effort undertaken by the city's citizens. It’s a companion piece to the auteur’s first HBO-aired look at the weather-torn city, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.
(Photo: Michael Tran/Getty Images)
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