It’s time to feel the love

Here is a sampling of what some conservatives are saying about the situation in New Orleans:

On reading about New Orleans’ well-known multiculturism:
“I was going to donate a few buck but after hearing that I think I’ll go buy a pizza instead.”

On the city’s poor:
“These people have no room to complain. They have not lost anything! For the most part they have been living off the government for years already.”

Some religious wisdom:
“Sometimes God helps those who help themselves.”

On the chaos:
“Enjoy it, liberals. Hope you’re proud.”

On a homeless man viewing his dead loved one on the street:
“[He] belongs to that cohort of useless able-bodied males who couldn’t think their way out of a paper bag if left on their own.”

On being trapped in 20 feet of water:
“You were told…everyone must evacuate. So take your bitching somewhere else.”

“And there are those ‘refugees’ who will claim lack of transportation (‘I couldn’t afford to fix the car”) or resources (‘can’t afford no tank of gas”) standing on rooftops and balconies waving at rescue copters while smoking $5/pk cigarettes and leaning on TV satellite dishes.”

It would be nice to say that the above views are held by a small minority of Americans, but it would not be true. Louisiana is a poor state. New Orleans is a poor city, albeit a beautiful and exciting one. Decades of local and state corruption have done little to help the people who need the most help. As a citizen of Louisiana and a former long-term citizen of New Orleans, I can attest to that corruption and its consequences: bad housing, bad schools, crime, and poverty.

So now that New Orleans’ worst fears have come true, the people–those who are still alive–who have suffered for so long at least have all of this unsolicited compassion and wisdom to get them through the crisis.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

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