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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Loving Neighbors

Some of what was reported right after Katrina was so racially biased, it became nearly impossible to sort distortions from reality. The “incident” on the bridge (when evacuees from the city were kept from entering the West Bank) is an excellent example. That event was so incendiary, and people were so completely terrified, that I’ve reserved judgment barring further information.

Thanks to this illuminating little article, I’ve come off the fence.

Uproar raised over trailer park
Bar N.O. residents, West Jeff people say

Isn’t this just too special? Communities all over the country have reached out to help folks from New Orleans… but their immediate neighbors don’t want “them”.

During the meeting, another resident was more blunt, yelling from her chair, "How do we know these people are not from the projects of Orleans?"

"Why can't they keep them in the spots they're from?" [another resident] said. "I think we all just don't know what to think. You don't know what you're getting."

Gracious! How could the reporter tell who was speaking under the robes and hoods?

If this is an accurate representation of West Jeff’s local attitudes, it certainly does put the CCC incident into focus, doesn’t it?

Update: The T-P editorials agree: The New Xenophobia.


  • At 8:32 AM, Blogger Schroeder said;

    I agree with you, yes I do, really -- but, someone really should address those fears. I would bet that law-abiding residents -- black as well as white -- really have a right to demand that drug dealers and gang bangers not be set up in their neighborhoods. Many people I talked to in the Lower Ninth said one of the most horrible things I've heard: That Katrina's flooding, even though it destroyed their homes, at least it got rid of the drug dealers and criminals, and they hope it stays that way.

  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger Schroeder said;

    Ah, I should say, I positively concede that a lot of those complaints are founded in a deeply-ingrained racism -- a racism which I, as a yankee, had never seen before. It's a hatred that seeths just below the surface, and erupts in a fury that is offending -- a racism that may be stronger than their evangelical faith. I paint in broad strokes, of course, but I don't think I'm mistaken, just as they aren't mistaken that some of the people who might be allowed in that mix will be, legitimately, undesireable criminals.

  • At 8:58 AM, Blogger Polimom said;

    Schroeder - you're absolutely correct in that people have the right to safety and security... and had there been any evidence whatsoever that specific problem-persons were about to be housed in those trailer parks, I would be less harsh here.

    I've posted any number of times, in fact, about the criminal element in NOLA. For instance:
    Communities Held Hostage

    It's the assumptions - the "pre-judging" - that gets under my skin. It further infuriates me because the folks quoted in that article influence how all New Orleaneans are judged.

  • At 1:34 AM, Blogger Schroeder said;

    I know -- it's a fine line between pre-judging, and trusting your gut based on past experience. I can tell you, I've been prejudged by some pretty hostile black people, and I've never worried about being held up by a white person in New Orleans. Hmm ... Come to think of it, I was robbed by two black teenagers in Pensacola when I evacuated. So ... what should I think the next time I see a couple of baggy pants black teenagers walking toward me?

    I think the African American community has some very serious issues they need to take responsibility for, and to confront head on -- which is not to exonerate whites from their own responsibility for their problems, and the problems they/we inflict upon others.

  • At 1:43 AM, Blogger Schroeder said;

    Okay, I'm finished. This too is a valid perspective:


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