Sunday, January 21, 2007

New Orleans Now

I received this comment to my post about Helen Hill, who was murdered in New Orleans at the beginning of the month. I feel compelled to share it because the people of New Orleans are still not being treated equitably. For a few weeks after Katrina this country and the media actually made a correlation between racism and poverty. They seemed surprised at the level of poverty there and that people didn't even have the resources necessary to evacuate. The 9th ward was an incredibly vibrant area. And yes, it was primarily populated by African Americans. Now it seems that it is being turned into commercial property out of economic reach of its former residents. Where are the people who used to live in the 9th ward? What are their lives like now? Are they getting anything positive out of this rebuilding?
Here's the post:

Anonymous said...
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend M. Those who call NO home have gone through so much already that it hurts to know they continue to suffer so much. That city was a part of my childhoood and it is so hard to know that it may never be the same...especially for those whose roots still remain in that too soon forgotten city.

My husband's cousin is visiting us on a break from doing some work in NO. He says that the unofficial plan of the local NO govt is to not rebuild the 7th/8t/9th wards (some of the poorest wards closest to the levees). He has done construction for over 30 years and is down there doing the deconstruction of the buildings which are condemned/half destroyed. He says the city intends to take over that land and expand the commercial district. That can't be a good thing for those who called those wards home for generations given how the law of imminent domain is so cavalierly and ruthlessly enforced here in the south.

While none of that is "officially" on the books as a reconstruction plan, who better can speak to what the real plans are than someone being asked to assist in it? I am at a loss for words to describe that kind of hateful insensitivity to its former residents and the greed that precedes it.



bluegrrrrl said...

The correlation between racism and poverty has sadly dropped from the public eye, as has media focus on New Orleans. It's something Americans just don't want to see, even though we need to see it. I wish the MSM would focus on this issue at least as much as the wars we are waging elsewhere.

Thanks for posting this reader's comment. What will it take for us to start listening to the voices of the people who have lost the most and suffered the most from this tragedy?

Coffee Messiah said...

The focus of this administration on Iraq is his way of keeping racism alive.
It's a tragedy that more people haven't done enough to save this part of our country! ; (

Margaret said...

Coffee Messiah,
The focus on Iraq, the fact that it is a struggle to get the minimum wage increased, the fact that our country does not have universal healthcare,... instututionalized racism, sexism, and classism are alive and well.