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A Tale of Two Cities: Perceptions of New Orleans Recovery 'Starkly Divided' Along Racial Lines



Interesting... this is is a very significant story regarding the stark reality of racism in the USA - , but not a single comment.

The same thing happens when the story is about organized labor.

When is Commondreams going to cover the Allegheny Technologies lockout of steelworkers in in Pittsburgh?


Think class might be a factor? Liberals see race but, since the Clinton admin., have become oblivious to our class war (middle class vs. the poor). This puts them into a bit of a bind on issues such as this, where race and class are intertwined.

The US created a hell of a poverty crisis. A huge chunk of our jobs were shipped out since the 1980s, actual poverty relief (welfare) was ended in the 1990s, and liberals have vigorously waved the banner for the middle class ever since. The majority of US poor are white. Most poor black people live in concentrated urban neighborhoods, able to organize, while most poor white people live in the vast spaces between the cities (harder to target).

Interestingly, it has been "open season"on our urban homeless poor for years, as they've been beaten, brutalized, even killed, by citizens and police alike. Most of these victims have been white. There is no public outrage, no marches for justice, when the homeless are attacked. There is no interest in examining the policies that created this poverty crisis, much less in addressing what we are doing to the very poor. We call poor black people "disadvantaged," and poor white people "white trash," and this defines this generation's (warped) view of America's greatest crisis.


Said perfectly. I've been watching some of the retrospectives, and none have focused on the dome where they were jammed in with little food, broken bathrooms, and no one helping with evacuation. Nothing since so far as I can tell has decided how they'll do it differently next time. And the white, middle class population is celebrating the return of restaurants and music, as if that's the lowest indicator of a thriving community.


What I recall.
* The night before Katrina made landfall NPR reran a piece they had run a few years earlier about the worst effects of the worst possible hurricane that could strike New Orleans.
* The next day, as the hours wore on, the initial response was that New Orleans got lucky. Hurricane Katrina had veered slightly to the east and wasn't as bad as they had initially feared.
* Then reports started coming in of levees breached ...

A bit earlier I had heard NPR Morning Edition interview people who had been there and witnessed some foul things. Not all of which could be verified. In fact, one sister does not recall seeing what the other sister claimed seeing ...

This would be easier to find and more relevant to you if you lived in New Orleans. [Though you should never rely too much on The Man From Government to rescue you.]


I posted a quotation in re another story that's relevant here -- No man is an island. When a clod is broken off, Europe is the less.

Surely that's true here too. I watched post-Katrina coverage the way I've never watched anything else except 9/11 -- trying to understand and make sense out of it, but so obsessively that even when I knew it didn't make sense, I still watched. I did hear positive stories -- like a grandmother being interviewed in the Dome who had disliked gangbangers but told how they were the ones who went out and got food for people, and milk for the babies...

I don't much rely on the man from government -- no, that's not true. For those of us without a family support system, there's no one else, really. Religious people mostly take care of their own. And I reallyl do believe that the whole point of government is to help us watch out for each other. An old-fashioned whig liberal, me. When not a marxist.