The Mess After Katrina
Seven months after Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans residents are still largely without jobs, emergency housing, flood protection, mortgage relief,...
Seven months after Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans residents are still largely without jobs, emergency housing, flood protection, mortgage relief, and health care. African-American residents have been hit especially hard by the slow recoverya recent Gallup poll reported that 53 percent of black respondents had lost "everything" in the wake of Katrina, as compared to 19 percent of whites.
To make things worse, according to the Brookings Institution, rebuilding has proceeded unevenly, and has exacerbated the racial and socioeconomic divides. "The [white, relatively upscale] French Quarter and Uptown, you see life basically as it was before the storm," said Matt Fellowes, a senior research associate at Brookings. "It's eerie, because life really is normal in those neighborhoods and then you cross over the Industrial Canal and enter the lower Ninth Ward or eastern New Orleans, and it looks like a bomb just went off yesterday." And it's possible that this is deliberate policy: Mike Davis has a piece in the Nation this week reporting that "mayor-appointed commissions and outside experts, mostly white and Republican, [are] propos[ing] to radically shrink and reshape a majority-black and Democratic city."