March 4, 2009

New Orleans...worth the effort or a wasteland?

Yep. I know. I just ruffled some feathers by askin' that.
But please. I am so tired of hearing the whining that goes on within, around and about New Orleans.
I want to scream from the rooftops, "What about the other hundreds of thousands of families up and down the coast whose lives were devastated and completely destroyed by Katrina? Whom had to start from scratch. Whom you don't hear complainin', or in essence, beggin'. Whom chose to help each other, support each other and encourage each other while they're rebuilding. Instead of robbing and killing each other! And what about the families north of us who faced even worse flooding last fall? Do they require Marshall law or the National Guard for protection? Or just for help?"
What brought this little tirade on you ask? This article I read last week:

NEW ORLEANS (Associated Press) -- Three and a half years after Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard is pulling the last of its troops out of New Orleans this weekend, leaving behind a city still desperate and dangerous. Residents long distrustful of the city's police force are worried they will have to fend for themselves.
"I don't know if crime will go up after these guys leave. But I know a lot more of us will be packing our own pieces now to make sure we're protected," said Calvin Stewart, owner of a restaurant and store.
New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley said his rebuilt police department is up to the job of protecting the city. "I think we're ready to handle things," he said.
The National Guardsmen were welcomed as liberators when they arrived in force in a big convoy more than four days after Katrina struck New Orleans in August 2005 and plunged the city into anarchy. The force was eventually 15,000 strong.
The last of the troops were removed in January 2006 as civil authority returned, but then, after a surge in bloodshed, 360 were sent back in beginning in mid-2006 to help police keep order. As of February, only about 100 troops were left in the city.
With Louisiana facing a $341 million budget deficit, state lawmakers were reluctant to keep the Guard in place any longer.
The Guard was used to patrol the less populated sections of the city where Katrina's floodwaters left most houses uninhabitable. That included the woeful Ninth Ward, where renovated houses are outnumbered by moldy, boarded-up wrecks and weed-choked vacant lots.

In their camouflage uniforms and Humvees, the troops were often a welcome sight.
"We don't have enough cops. It's not that they're bad, it's just that there's not enough of them. These guys are Johnny-on-the-spot when you need them," said 57-year-old Tom Hightower, who is still trying to get the mold out of his house. He added: "This is still a spooky place after dark."
"One of the biggest things we did was keep those places safe so people could rebuild," said Sgt. Wayne Lewis, a New Orleans native who has been patrolling the streets since January 2007. "People would put the things to rebuild in their houses and thieves would come along and take them right out again. We stopped a lot of that."
New Orleans had 210 murders in 2007, making it the murder capital of America, with the highest per-capita rate in the country. That number dropped to 179 in 2008.
Nevertheless, "crime continues to be this community's No. 1 concern. Even with the lower numbers it is still unacceptably high," said Rafael Goyeneche, executive director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

Now I know I certainly shouldn't believe everything I hear in the media or I'd think the majority of San Fransisco was gay, Seattle was filled with unreasonable, grungy, coffee-drinkin' tree huggers, Chicago...oops, make that Illinois, was being governed exclusively by crooked politicians, New York City was swarming with sex depraved single women, Florida's official state language was Spanish, or Texas & Oklahoma were filled with empty-headed, ill-informed, redneck cowboys. So possibly New Orleans isn't as bad as they make it seem after three and a half years...?

Three and a half years and they're still in complete disarray? C'mon people!

I am fed up with hand outs and helpin' others who don't help themselves.

People outside New Orleans who still need help? Oh yeah. I'm into those kinda hand outs. People helping people help people. Read it again. It makes sense. People helping people help people.


Pat said...

I'm, right there with ya girlfriend!

numberonesistah said...

It's just crazy. I'm 20 miles from Greensburg, the town that was basically wiped off the map from a tornado and THEY aren't standing around whining to the nation about it. They are picking themselves back up and getting on with things.

This sort of stuff just sits wrong with me.

Kristina P. said...

It's still just such a sad situation.

Anonymous said...

Great post, but could you tell us how you really feel? ;-)

We're having a disucssion about being a 'wet nurse' on the domestic fringe today. Come join us! I'd like to hear your take on the subject.


tmm said...

Amen sista'


Anonymous said...

There was no love note on this post!!!!


Flea said...

Having grown up south of New Orleans all my life, and having moved to Tulsa as an indirect result of Katrina, I thought that New Orleans should have closed up shop and left, as so many of the residents did. So many just didn't return. They need to be done now.

The violence and whining and begging has never, ever been a surprise.

FerLee said...

Unfortunately this mentality is spreading. I have a friend who lives in Arkansas, but works in Memphis,'s really bad there. We talk with another man who lives there quite regularly and he is working hard to find a way out of Memphis. Crime is very high, people don't really care about anyone but themselves, and what does that lead to? Selfishness, pride, arrogance, an attitude that says "you must take care of me because I shouldn't have to take care of myself".


I have to say that I am SO thankful to live in Plainsville!!!

Queen B said...

I love when you get all up in the middle of somethin'.

There are so many places that need help. They've dealt with so much on their own, you know?