Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Outrageous Statements on Katrina Aftermath

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!!

---End of Transmission---


crimnos said...

How do these people look at themselves in the mirror? Rubbing your hands with glee over the death and displacement of thousands of people? Get me out of this place...

james said...


I have no idea. It is sick.

Amadeus said...

Sounds like a pretty classist statement, if not racist. Oh, I shouldn't have said that--I am not being a good little buddhist pacifist. I am sure Mr. Jackson didn't mean it that way or he was using rank hyperbolie to make some idiotic point.

Hopefully Underground Logician comes back to set us straight on this one--I am curious to hear his or her logical response.


james said...


Yeah, it's pretty bad.

Zen Unbound said...

While UL's away, maybe I can help Amadeus out.

This is probably one of those Myers-Brigs Thinking/Feeling test questions.

Purely as a matter of statistics, a higher proportion of black New Orleans citizens are likely to have been living in rundown inner-city apartments. The land/building owners are not going to be able to [and won't want to]put up brand new buildings that are commensurate with prior rates of rent. This creates a great dilemma in a unique situation.

Everywhere, the poorest get what nobody else wants, but there is less of that in a substantially New City.

The 9th Ward was the area most vulnerable to flooding. We can only hope that the designers of the levee system for a new New Orleans will not discriminate based on anything other than safety issues if some areas of the city cannot be rebuilt.

Poorer people are also going to be more transcient, feeling that their old neighborhood could never be reconstituted to anything like it was, so they can be more willing to put down new roots.

Of course, a healthy percentage of New Orleansians, of all descriptions, WOULD NEVER think of living anywhere other than their beloved city. But I do think it is reasonable to calculate that the city won't return having as high a percentage of African Americans as it did.

BUT, I agree that the Republicans are behaving like vultures. It will be interesting to see how New Orleansians -- and the rest of Louisianans -- vote in the future. I don't know, but I would guess they would turn against the Republicans en masse.

james said...


Yeah, it's a sticky situation.