Thursday, September 15, 2005
Rebuilding Begins, But For Whom?"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." - U.S. Congressman Richard Baker of Baton Rouge
"The mostly African-American neighborhoods of New Orleans are largely underwater, and the people who lived there have scattered across the country. But in many of the predominantly white and more affluent areas, streets are dry and passable. Gracious homes are mostly intact and powered by generators. Yesterday, officials reiterated that all residents must leave New Orleans, but it's still unclear how far they will go to enforce the order." - Wall Street Journal 9/8/05 Old-Line Families Escape Worst of Flood And Plot the Future
I was listening to National Public Radio yesterday. Two seperate stories reported from New Orleans. Both reported early steps in a slow return to normalcy. Both stories reported from Jefferson Parish. It would take at least some knowlege of New Orleans to appreciate that Jefferson Parish's the least diverse (most predominantly white) portion of the city.
The more white and affuent the sections of New Orleans were the least damaged and have the least chance of having an evacuation order enforced. The more black and/or poor sections were the most damaged and were more likely to have that evacuation enforced. And the more black and/or poor the evacuees, the more likely that they will never return - or return to "temporary" trailers outside of New Orleans.
New Orleans: Segreated before Katrina. And after too?