Monday, September 12, 2005

Letting New Orleans Drown

The problem with the argument against rebuilding New Orleans, as expressed in this Slate article, lies in what is not discussed but implied.

If one were to follow the logic of the article, the places where the poor live should be leveled. Diosa forbid that "the earthquake" hit Los Angeles, would there be calls to let the city be, because of the huge income disparities that exist there (made even more glaringly obvious by the presence of the glamorous film industry)?

What about rebuilding the city thinking about the poor? What about letting the poor have a say in not only how the city is rebuilt but also in how it would be run? No where is a real solution offered. Instead the article reads like an endorsement of just shifting the poor around without getting to the reasons why people are poor in the first place. The poor in New Orleans were not poor because they lived in New Orleans. As if giving people jobs in fast food joints is all it takes to solve poverty. That's some magic wand!

New Orleans should be rebuilt but so should other poor cities and 'hoods. Buildings aren't the only things however that should get new foundations, society as a whole needs to check how it created and perpetuated poverty through systems that no natural disaster will wash away. Sexism and racism to name just two contributing factors of poverty ,need the forces of the people to be destroyed.


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