Is the post Katrina housing crisis really a racial issue?

June 30, 2007

This quote is from a meeting of so called community members who were discussing “recovery efforts”. It serves as an example of how participants (the money grubbers) in one community shepard the politics of recovery after Katrina.

I’m hesitant to acknowledge this, but someone has to do it…While the majority in New Orleans are people of coulour with housing issues in the city, there are other housing issues present in the state of Louisiana that have nothing to do with race. Katrina was colorblind. (Now I’ll have people with disabilities on my carcass! – which is another area in Louisiana deserving issue – healthcare!)

The following articles from Louisiana Weekly lambast the “money grubbing landlords” in New Orleans and leave out the “money grubbing landlords” outside of the city. Most of the major media outlets do not cover stories in New Orleans without making reference to the “chocolate city”, or the “black community”. You know, I get tired of the racial issues in the South. I’m not attempting to minimize them, but the diasaster didn’t just affect New Orleans black community. It was statewide the entire Gulf Coast and inland for miles and miles. Most major media outlets are only identifying with the “black community” in New Orleans, lately. I’m glad that someone is getting the word out, but I hope it doesn’t mask the deeper issues present in the State of Louisiana. The corruption continues regardless of race, folks.

There is nothing in the news lambasting the “money grubbing landlords” – without playing the race card. They exist. They took advantage. They profited. They were never brought to justice. They continue to bilk the system. The illegal evictions that took place after Hurricane Katrina are not coming to press. The Attorney Generals Office didn’t answer the phone in the days that followed the hurricane. No one gave one iota for the Governors Executive Orders. The “money grubbing landlords” continued to illegally evict tenants. When lawyers were consulted the issue was reduced to a “tort case.” One amongst thousands. Holding these unscrupulous landlords accountable requires, yes, . . . .money. It really is too trivial an issue for the Attorney General’s office to handle. Much less have someone answer the phone . .

Louisiana and New Orleans had housing issues prior to Katrina. It seems that no one is ready to address that fact and everyone in the media would like to play the race card in New Orleans. Small potatoes media citations in a state of mixed and mashed up politics. The Road Home Program is no exception. It really has nothing to do with rental units, however, that were not damaged enough to be condemned. It has nothing to do with landlords shuffling tenants out of their homes in the wake of the disaster inspite of Executive Orders from the Governor. It makes no sense whatsoever, just like some FEMA practices, unwritten rules and guidelines. It’s no wonder that the Road Home Program is getting bilked by private contracts. The media goes where the money tells it to go.

State of emergency – By Edmund W. Lewis, Editor, June 18, 2007

Louisiana rental housing crisis worse than projected, report finds
Only two in five renters can return to affordable homes– June 18, 2007

PolicyLink – promoting issues for the “black community.”

Report critiques rental aid programs Poor residents need more help, it finds Thursday, June 14, 2007 – By David Hammer


Update: July 2007 New York Times “Patchwork”

and chart from NYT’s untimely article.

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