Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gentrification In New York = Marion Jones, Rebuilding In New Orleans = A 3-Legged Horse

The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the breaking of New Orleans' levees, has yet to be rectified. Three years after one of America's most tragic disasters in history, thousands upon thousands of families are still displaced. Reuters' reports that the U.S. top disaster official has stated: "nearly 40,000 families are still living in vulnerable mobile homes and trailers across the U.S. Gulf Coast- with another hurricane season just two months away." [Please note that this statistic does not account for the numerous other families, scattered across the U.S. landscape. The statistics are even more stirring when we consider the total number of people who still have not regained their economic, social, and psychological footing after experiencing the wrath of Katrina and the broken levees].

A Katrina survivor and New Orleans resident, poignantly tells of the ineffective way in which officials have been handling New Orleans' reconstruction. In a New York Times article, Mrs. White states: "They come up with these plans that look great and sound great. They give people hope. Then, they fall into the background. Promises are made, and they are not kept."

I find the delays in rebuilding New Orleans appalling. American citizens who have endured such enormous adversities due to trauma and displacement should be treated with urgency, kindness, and consideration. There is no excuse for delays in construction when you consider the recent rapidity in which expensive real estate has been popping up in major cities. If the American economy and real estate industry can bear building swanky residential properties by the millions of square-footage, in New York alone; surely New Orleans' residents can be expeditiously relived of their squalid-to-nonexistent living conditions.

Maybe we should send the cast of "Extreme Home Makeover" down to The Big Easy. I bet you Ty and the crew would have this mess cleaned up in no time. SMH.

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