Wednesday, February 10, 2010
New Orleans, God, Chocolate, and Facts
New Orleans elects first white mayor since 1978
In light of an article I saw in the NY Times I thought it appropriate to resurrect a story I posted 9/25/05 in order to put a couple recent stories into perspective. To start with, it was surprising to me to find out that New Orleans even had a levee board especially in light of the damage incurred. You would have thought their job would be to secure the levees. We know now how sad a state of repair some of them were in. Instead they established an Airport and a marina.
They also played a role in establishing a floating casino, top of the line fiber optic system, and spent 2.4 million on a Mardis Gras fountain and left the 9th street levee in the poorer area of the city in particular in a state of disrepair. This was all nice for businesses and the elite whose areas suffered relatively light damage.
The poor did suffer the brunt of Katrina and Rita. The devastation to these people in the first place occurred because of criminal neglect by authorities and local officials on every level. I contended that this natural disaster was allowed to clean out New Orleans of what the elite thought of as undesirable elements and failed for years to do it themselves. Now they are largely out with many choosing to stay out. I contended that the wealthy elite, largely white, and the politicians will now be able to rebuild for their own interests.
We thought New Orleans might now become a Republican city. This all seemed a distinct possibility especially with the French Quarter, the Convention Center, and the Garden District, were all largely high and dry and largely intact. It seemed obvious that the poor sections were now cleaned out and the housing projects gone compliments of Mother Nature and not God as Mayor Nagin ridiculously stated, and supposedly not from any design of mans.
Along with these areas went much of Mayor Nagin's ill mentioned chocolate aspect of New Orleans. Enough of the poor and the blacks if you will will be back for whatever reason primarily to service the needs of industries, the wealthy elite and politicians, and various business interests. now reading the story in the NY Times that New Orleans might be rebuilt whiter and smaller it looks like the thoughts expressed last September might have been right on target.
Headline: Algiers residents of New Orleans poor section, I know just another coincidence, drowned out once again by the breeching of the Industrial Canal Levee in the 9th ward. What a surprise! Another coincidence is that these levees were lower and less maintained than in more affluent areas. Southwestern La. was hit hard again as we knew they would be days in advance as Rita increasingly tracked Eastward.
As a result this area was purposely or "inadvertently" vulnerable from the start. with that in mind if doing the right thing was the motivating factor it only makes sense that these levees should have received priority and been built higher and more fortified than before. The tourist assets and central parts of the city were better protected and received relatively minimal damage.
The time came to rebuild the housing developments and they couldn't what a surprise. They are building the New Orleans they want not the New Orleans we had. Having read this and I wrote it 4 and a half years ago it makes you think differently about a white mayor being elected I am sure!