I live in Long Beach, NY. It is a wonderful, vibrant, diverse and eclectic community on a barrier island of New York devastated by Super-Storm Sandy. For the past three months, I have been displaced living with family and humbled by the generosity of those around me (family, friends, colleagues, neighbors…). Like everyone affected by this storm, I have tried to process, respond, and analyze the traumatic reality while forging a path to rebuilding as a community.  Storms highlight the need for and importance of community, but they can also push us beyond the immediate and “enter into the chaos of another,” to use Fr. Jim Keenan’s definition of mercy. Over America, I offer my own thoughts:

Sandy’s Victims: Separating Tragedy and Injustice

I hope that you enjoy them and that this tragedy can push us to see beyond Sandy to fight the injustices around us.


Hurricanes do not discriminate; they simply engulf everything in their path. Sandy swallowed up my home in the West End of Long Beach, where a few feet of sand covered the streets, as if the ocean decided to reclaim its territory. As the tides receded, Sandy took with it many of our illusions and exposed our profound need for each other. Like so many displaced or devastated by Sandy, I am struggling to process, react and plan what comes next. As an ethicist, I cannot help but ask more questions about tragedy, suffering, and injustice……