GOI: This from transcripts of "Meet the Press with Tim Russert:"
MR. RUSSERT: All right. I want to ask one last question on Katrina, because this caught my attention. Alphonso Jackson, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said this, according to the Washington Times: that "New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of `500,000 people for a long time,' and `it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again.'"
Then we learned that Craig Romero, the Republican candidate for Congress in the 3rd District of Louisiana, came to Washington and showed this bar graph, where he said it was a 50-50 district, but if you eliminate the parishes that were hit by Katrina, the Republicans would win 57-to-43. In other words, he's saying that the poor blacks are not going to come back to the 3rd district and, therefore, a Republican can win.
Common Dreams has more of Jackson's statements on this issue:
"I'm telling you, as HUD secretary and having been a developer and a planner, that's how it's going to be." Jackson revealed that he advised Mayor Ray Nagin not to rebuild the overwhelmingly black 9th Ward.
Jesse Jackson on Alphonso Jackson's comments:
Bush's isn't planning urban renewal, he's planning urban removal. The administration has given the victims of Katrina a one-way ticket out with no plan for their return. Instead, the planners will turn New Orleans into a gentrified theme park. They'll rebuild the white communities -- even those like middle-class Gentilly and wealthy Lakeview that are as prone to severe flooding as the 9th Ward.
GOI: At the very least this is cynical politics. I hope this Romero candidate is defeated. He is stating basically that the displacement of poor blacks was good politics for Republicans. Talk about a vulture waiting to prey on a disaster!
As for Alphonso Jackson's comments: How does he know on New Orleans that`it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again??" Where is he getting his figures??? I am worried that they will not let the 9th ward residents (who are predominately poor blacks and are mostly renters) come back and instead the area will be taken over by rich developers and the residents will effectively be people wandering the country like Moses!!
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