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View Diary: Yahoo News Chief Fired for Saying: "Republicans are happy to have a party while black people drown" (17 comments)

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  •  It's not "completely true." (9+ / 0-)

    First, speaking as someone who lost my house in Katrina, that disaster -- caused not by natural forces but by the incompetence of the Army Corps of Engineers over decades -- did NOT "disproportionately affect black people."  The area of the greater New Orleans area that was most dramatically damaged was the predominately white suburb of St. Bernard Parish (parish is our version of "county"). St. Bernard was very very white, very very blue-collar. In St. Bernard, every single structure in the Parish -- except five -- was destroyed by flood waters.  The Parish government officials were rescued from the roof of the government building five days later by the Canadian Mounties.  They were treated far worse than even the lower Ninth Ward.  And that Parish was 90% white.  There's a great book called "Lost in Katrina" that details it all, and anyone who knew St. Bernard Parish officials -- Doris Voitier, the School Superintendent, is a friend of mine -- knows this story.  At least those in the Lower Ninth Ward were rescued within a day or two by the Coast Guard and others from our own government.  

    Lakeview -- also predominately white -- suffered every bit as much as the Lower Ninth Ward, from the breach in the 17th Street Canal at Bellaire Drive.  And Gentilly, a racially mixed neighborhood, suffered as much.

    Even the richest, whitest, most Republican neighborhood in the area, Old Metairie, flooded.  Joe Canizaro -- the epitome of the rich Republican -- saw his house flooded.

    Statistically, race was not disproportionately represented in deaths.  The demographic most likely to die was the elderly..  They died in a nursing home in St. Bernard (35 of them), and many of them died in their attics in Gentilly and Lakeview.  

    The ACOE disaster was NOT directed primarily to African American neighborhoods.  That is a myth.  It was an equal opportunity tragedy.  

    •  Was the government recovery aid disproportionate? (0+ / 0-)

      Or were the areas you named left out of the aid stream as much as the ninth ward?

      (I'm really asking. I don't know.)

      •  Government "aid"? (6+ / 0-)

        What government "aid"?  I lost my house, and I don't remember government "aid" until April of 2007, when I sold the remnants of my house to the State of Louisiana in what was then "Governor Blanco's Road Home Program." And that had nothing to do with what area of the city, or state, you were located in prior to Katrina.  The "buyout" (or rebuilding low-interest loan, which was an option) had to do with the value of your property prior to the storm -- and it had a cap so as not to benefit the really rich.  

        Immediate aid -- $500 in food stamps, etc. -- came from the Red Cross and went to everyone regardless of area or even income.  And most of us got a $2000 "advance" against our insurance, paid in the first couple of weeks -- but it was deducted from our ultimate insurance payout.  

        If you are talking about government rescue immediately after, in all areas the rescue was mostly by citizens with small boats.  (That book tells the story of a man who got in a boat with his elderly mother.  She died in the boat.  He kept pulling people out of houses.)  In the immediate aftermath, predominately white St. Bernard fared far worse than any other area.  At least in the Lower Ninth, and Lakeview, the Coast Guard had some presence in rescue.  In St. Bernard, there was NO rescue whatsoever by any American entity.   The primary rescue was from the Canadians.  

        •  somehow i just can't generate the sympathy (0+ / 0-)

          maybe the canadians were wealthy, like you. truth to tell, main street folks and poorer look out for each other because the 1% isn't going to do it.

          did you re-build? is the lower 9th ward re-built? i know mike holmes built one house. brad pitt may have built a hand-ful of houses. jimmy carter might have built a few, too thru habitat for humanity. but (except for the mike holmes house) i bet those houses aren't as nice as yours.

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