Someone needs to teach FEMA a thing or two. The agency – yes, the same agency that bungled the Hurricane Katrina response – published a downloadable coloring book on its Web site that shows two planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers on its cover.
The agency pulled the coloring book after a massive blunder by the current administration – the Boeing 747, F-16 fighter jet flyover near Ground Zero that caused panic and chaos in New York City Monday morning and unleashed a flurry of fury aimed at the White House.
After Monday’s debacle, news of the coloring book just turned New Yorkers’ shade of red a little darker. "I feel like I should punch the person who did this in the face," Manhattan’s Jason Owens, father of a 3-year-old boy, told the Daily News.
FEMA defended its coloring creation, which it developed more than five years ago to teach kids how to respond to disasters beyond their control. Page 12 of the book tells children "they may hear about it again and again on the T.V. or radio or read about it in the newspaper.”
"It was developed to help children make some sense after a disaster," said Rose Olmsted, a county FEMA official in Minnesota. "I have a letter from FEMA in 2003 applauding us for the coloring book."
Well, congratulations! The inanely insensitive document, “A Scary Thing Happened,” depicts the burning images of the two buildings on three separate pages and urges kids to color in the flames leaping out of windows in bright reds, yellows and oranges. Thankfully, the book stops short of featuring desperate victims plummeting to their deaths amid the bales of smoke.
It’s offensive any way you look at it. "FEMA is currently reviewing all web content designed and posted by the previous administration," FEMA spokesman Clark Stevens told the Daily News.
Risat Jabeen, of Brooklyn, who stood with her goddaughter during the interview, couldn’t fathom how the morons at FEMA thought publishing such a book would be OK.
"Kids color for fun so these things shouldn't be in coloring books," she said. "So many people died that day."
Olmsted said FEMA has given the book to thousands of kids across the globe “to help them cope,” according to the Daily News.
“We never had any complaints until now," she said.
Way to be proactive, Olmsted. Where’s the coloring book on Hurricane Katrina?