Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Two Americas.....its clear.

I've heard the discussions about race and poverty related to Hurricane Katrina, the action or non-action by the federal government after the levies broke and the town flooded. The discussions, assessments of what's going on is truly chaotic. Fingers are being pointed at FEMA, Louisiana Governor, and some at Mayor Nagin on the response and the issues not addressed through the federal budget like slashing red tape and non-allocation of monies to upgrade the levy system.

I've heard many whites truly empathetic, and others just focus on the looting stories. African-Americans that I've talked to just shrug their heads and offer little comment. It's like they are not surprised by what happened, not just the response, but a reflection of accumulated history.

I also heard a lady on the radio that lives in New Orleans who will not leave and doesn't even trust those who could give her help. Others have said it was their own fault that they live in an area below sea level, like all the residents just said, "Hey! Let's live below sea level!"

Rest assured, whether we like it or not, the "Two Americas" interpretation of events is not just a result of what's happening, but in my opinion its a clear connection to how people of color and poor people feel about the direction of our country in general and this is just an occasion for it to come to the surface.


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