Yesterday, the Decider paid a visit to New Orleans. You won’t be surprised to hear that he “delivered a message of hope”. More grating, he claimed “[Katrina] didn’t effect the spirit of a lot of citizens in this community”. Both in Washington, and in Louisiana, political games are being played.
Meanwhile, the rebuilding of New Orleans is turning into an exercise in ethnic, and class, cleansing. Many of the people who lived and worked in the city are still housed in trailers - as reported here (YouTube clip). What Americans don’t know, and what they must know, is that many Black people are not being allowed to return to their homes in New Orleans:
Among the miles and miles of devastated houses, rubble still there today in New Orleans, we found dry, beautiful homes. But their residents were told by guys dressed like Ninjas wearing “Blackwater” badges: “Try to go into your home and we’ll arrest you.”
See more details at Greg Palast’s blog, where you will also find clips (such as the YouTube one above) and info on the not-to-be-missed investigative documentary, New Orleans: Big Easy to Big Empty.
Bush got one thing right, though: the people’s spirits have not been crushed. People like Kawana Jasper are fighting for a future in New Orleans.
(Many more testimonials can be found at Voices from the Gulf).
And we can help. We can pressure politicians to have public housing in New Orleans reopened. We can throw whatever small weight we have behind the Gulf Coast Civil Works Project that envisions hiring the citizens on the Gulf Coast to rebuild their city, instead of shuffling more money to large contractor who import sub-living wage labor to do the work.
Responses to “Katrina, two years on; or, a large-scale experiment in gentrification.”