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Down’s Rex Brown Doesn’t Trust the Government Anymore

DownDuring a recent conversation with Down bassist Rex Brown — also known for his time with the legendary Pantera — Noisecreep asked what he thought about the tragedy in Haiti, and how the government’s handling of the situation has differed from the actions in the aftermath of Katrina.

The Texas native may not have grown up in the shadow of the Big Easy, but his brothers and bandmates down New Orleans way were hit hard — and are still healing from the blow that crippled their city. It’s not entirely accurate or fair to compare the events that befell New Orleans with the fresh wounds of Port-Au-Prince, but as Brown drew parallels between the two, it became clear that he has come to see the U.S. government in a very negative light, indeed.

“Now, I’m not from New Orleans, but I can speak for the other guys when I say that the government left them high and dry when it happened,” he stated firmly. “The same with Haiti. It was a terrible natural disaster, but these guys live in huts anyway!

“In an impoverished third world country, that’s the first one you turn to. If you’re looking in from abroad, from somewhere like Switzerland in your nice cozy home, and seeing the victims of this hurricane that’s just devastated this place, you’re going to think, ‘The Americans will take care of it, they take care of everyone.’ But they didn’t take care of their own in that instance.”

Brown continued resolutely, and not without bitterness as memories came flooding back. “It makes you not want to believe in government or organized anything. Those guys lost a lot of friends, relatives; places that they were familiar with are not there anymore. A whole lot of lives were lost because people didn’t do their job. Look at Bush. You put this idiot in charge, and this guy was f—ing retarded. Why would you put someone without any common sense in a position to do something like that? The military came in before the government did.”

So does Brown feel that the government has learned its lesson in disaster relief? Just barely. “It’s just a horrible, terrible lesson to learn.”

He perked up, though, as his train of thought took him away from the past and towards a more hopeful future. “I’m just so happy for them to have a football team going to the Super Bowl. New Orleans deserves it. Everyone’s rootin’ for ‘em — for the city and the state itself. It’s really a very special place.”

Brown’s wish ultimately came true. The Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31–17 for their first NFL championship, elevating the spirits of a city that has been beaten down but never broken.

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