Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Leaving New Orleans behind...

How poorly our government works together as far as federal/state/local in coordination with other non-governmental agencies and with governmental agencies can really be demonstrated when you look at what has happened with New Orleans. Or more aptly, what hasn't happened with New Orleans. This New York Times article, With Regrets, New Orleans Is Left Behind tells the story of those who have given up their dream of returning to the Big Easy. Some selections from the article that I found especially noteworthy:
This vast diaspora — largely black, often poor, sometimes struggling — stretches across the country but is concentrated in cities near the coast, like this one, or Atlanta or Baton Rouge or Houston, places where the newcomers are still reaching for accommodation.

The break came fairly recently. Sometime between the New Orleans mayor’s race in spring 2006, when thousands of displaced citizens voted absentee or drove in to cast a ballot, and the city election this fall, when thousands did not — resulting in a sharply diminished electorate and a white-majority City Council — the decision was made: there was no going back. Life in New Orleans was over.


Scott G said...

This has been one of the things that upsets me most about America in recent years. People make the argument against having New Orleans as a a city because it is sinking and the risks, but if the 9th Ward had been a wealthy suburb, it would have been rebuilt by now and they probably would have made real improvements to the levy system.

I don't know that there is any city with more diverse culture to share then New Orleans and a large part of what made the city came from the poorer sections.

TawniAline said...

Sadly, I feel until there is some sort of massive reformation ensues in regards to the way that the government and a large portion of American society functions and thinks as a whole , this type of thing will happen again and again… if you want to see something really enraging and depressing—take a look at the populations within our states that have been ravaged by our nuclear testing policies (largely native american populations)—or worse—the Marshall Islands—populations who are greatly disadvantaged when it comes to standing up for themselves and trampled on by the US government—and never given much of anything to compensate them for their inflicted suffering… check out the changed circumstances petition- flat out denied by the bush administration after declassification of the documents that showed that the US government was fully aware that many atolls in the marshall islands were still inhabited and likely to be dusted with fallout (which they were) and many of those impacted are still not even acknowledged as having been harmed by the US government… sadly… *our* treatment of those in New Orleans is just one small piece of the pie….