US

Hurricane Harvey Is Proof America Still Stands Tall

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Jena Greene Reporter

Say what you want about the state of our country right now, but when disaster strikes, Americans have not forgotten how to rally together.

Category 4 Hurricane Harvey battered half the state of Texas this weekend and brought plenty of destruction with it. Some of the hardest hit counties are experiencing extreme flooding and up to 50 inches of rain. Houses have been reduced to timber.

Before Harvey hit, I was skeptical about the reaction to come. Since November 2016, our country has been bitterly divided over things big and small. We’ve fought about tweets, statues, war and foreign powers. Though I’ll never lose hope for my country, I was beginning to grow cynical about the constant infighting.

So I braced myself for a week-long news cycle of Trump-bashing, climate change fear-mongering, and the politicization of a natural disaster.

What I’ve seen since has been entirely different.

This is what makes America so incredible. We’ll toss urine filled bottles at each other one week and wade through contaminated rain water for rescue efforts the next.

Hurricane Harvey is a brutal but profoundly important reminder that although we may fight daily about our politics and skin color, we are all still Americans first. I’ll be the first to admit it, I was worried we were forgetting this. But Harvey is proof that this country hasn’t forgotten how to take care of its own. We have not forgotten how to be Americans.

I’m sure the infighting and agonizing will start up again soon. Just as it is American to care for one another, it’s also American to get on Facebook and squabble during lunch. But maybe just for this week, it shouldn’t rattle us the same way. At least five people have died in this storm. This number could have been far greater had helping hands from other states not immediately pitched in. And the rescue efforts could have been far more strained had corporate America not donated millions of dollars within the first few days.

This is true Americanism.