General Question

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Why hasn't New Orleans been rebuilt yet?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11416 points ) February 14th, 2010

We’re going on 5 years now.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

45 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is being rebuilt.

It is just taking time. It wasn’t built in a day, and it won’t be rebuilt in only a few years.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

The parts that I saw while I was there looked fine. Granted, I did not see the whole city (I went in late August 09).

However outside NO and the surrounding areas, I noticed some dilapidated houses along the highway.

JLeslie's avatar

Probably a lot of the people have relocated. If they owned homes, and barely had any equity in the property they may have abandoned the property altogether. If they were renters, the owners may have taken insurance money, and are just sitting on the land. Probably parts of New Orleans always had some dilapidated areas, it is a pretty poor city in some areas. I have no been there, so I do not know any of this first gand, I’m just hypothesizing knowing what happens in FL after a major hurricanes and now living in Memphis.

dpworkin's avatar

The original residents made an unwise choice concerning melanin levels in their skin.

KhiaKarma's avatar

It is a process. Alot of the city is rebuilt, but there are patches of blighted property. It has a way to go, but overall, New Orleans is a fully functioning, fun, and vibrant city. Red tape and corrupt politics are impeding the rebuilding though, and crime is a huge problem.

alamo's avatar

Aw, hell, it’s probably Bush’s fault.

skfinkel's avatar

When I was in New Orleans the first time (after Katrina), there was a map in an historical museum that showed where houses should never be built—because of the likelihood of flooding in that area. That was the neighborhood for the poor where houses were built, and where the flooding occurred. Should they really build that up again?

KhiaKarma's avatar

@skfinkel it is amazing how there are neighorhoods in New Orleans that are built on land that used to be used as a prime fishing spot….not just the ninth ward, either. Thought should be given to how people rebuild based on ecological factors.

JLeslie's avatar

@KhiaKarma So did they fill in the land to be able to build? The same way they fill parts of the Florida Keys? Or, is it dry in those area now because of the Dams?

KhiaKarma's avatar

@JLeslie not that I have heard of….they just raised the houses. I am in the process of buying a house, so there were so many homes that I looked at that were newly raised and renovated. I know there is a lot of talk of Brad Pitt’s houses being built on stilts.

JLeslie's avatar

@KhiaKarma Well, stilts seems like a good idea, these is done in many places.

dpworkin's avatar

New Orleans was founded upon solid ground, well above sea level. Man’s mishandling of the Mississippi River has stopped the natural silt deposits that kept the wetlands which in turn protected New Orleans for hundreds of years from hurricanes. This was a man made disaster, and excuse me, but it is no coincidence that “people” say that the 9th Ward “can’t” be rebuilt. It is all part of an unspoken but widely acknowledged race-based plan to make New Orleans a whiter, more middle-class city. I know a lot of you will start whining about how the US is no longer racist, but folks, that is a crock of shit.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@dpworkin Things are definitely different in the south. Being from the north, in particular Massachusetts, things like race aren’t even a second thought (though there is still a huge earnings gap). Being in Louisiana was a huge culture shock in terms of racism. It is alive and well.

JLeslie's avatar

@dpworkin Interesting, I had not known about the MS River causing these problems, makes sense. I don’t know if it is done on purpose to keep the blacks from coming back, but I am sure they feel it is a perk. Not so much race, well it is combination of poverty and race, and drugs and violence, all rolled into one. Violent crime spiked in Memphis for a couple of years following Katrina, and many here blamed it on an influx of people coming from LA.

dpworkin's avatar

It was the River, the Canal, the Army Corps of Engineers, deliberate development of protective swampland, deliberate degradation of the bayou, and, yes, race, especially in the aftermath.

JLeslie's avatar

When Hurricane Andrew came through South FL a large influx of Cubans moved north to Broward and Palm Beach conties, and a lot of people weren’t thrilled with that. But, it did not really impact Miami much, the Hispanic population is so big there. Hurricanes definitely do move people around though, especially the poor.

TLRobinson's avatar

@dpworkin- I’ve heard of this belief from a lot of people; all black. Would you happen to have any concrete information to validate your statement?

dpworkin's avatar

Yeah. I watched white people with guns force black people back across the bridge. Don’t be a moron.

TLRobinson's avatar

@dpworkin- was your
moron referenced to me? If so why? Either case, do you feel it was an intentional manmade disaster to push the poor, specifically blacks, from NO?

dpworkin's avatar

@TLRobinson No one ever said the destruction was a plot. I said it is deliberate the way they are choosing to rebuild. Now I am done engaging with you on this issue, because it is wiser for me not to express what I really think and feel when I encounter people with your obvious views.

JLeslie's avatar

@TLRobinson I can see why blacks would say or think that whites, “don’t want blacks in the city.” I don’t know where you live, but what @tragiclikebowie says is true, it is very different in the south. I don’t know New Orleans first hand, but I wish I could magically change many of the poor black neighorhoods here where I live. Know that I grew up in very diverse neighborhoods in the North, we were all friends, still am, not just blacks, but Hispanics, Asian, everything, melting pot. I would prefer the blacks here, in Memphis, become more prosperous for themselves, and that would change the bad neighborhoods, but that seems to be a long road for some reason. I am sure if there was a natural disaster that misplaced the people living in the ghettos here, a whole bunch of people would be happy if they settled somewhere else. To black people I guess that would feel like white people were purposely keeping the blacks from coming back. But, it is not really that, not exactly, sort of.

I think @dpworkin Is correct that if property owners sit on the property long enough and eventually build higher end housing, and if the city waits as properties are foreclosed on for failure to pay property taxes, then whole areas can be renovated and bring in a different “class” of people.

TLRobinson's avatar

@dpworkin-interesting assesment of me. When you calm down, perhaps you can share my obvious views? Or at least ask ME what my intent is with my questions. You know what they say about ASSuming…

TLRobinson's avatar

@JLeslie- I did my undergrad in NO, Xavier(an historically black college). I’ve lived in Nashville, Miami and now live in Memphis as well. And from experience as a black female, it’s rare to hear non blacks discuss what “we’ve” been knowing. My interest in dpworkin’s response was to help me educate myself on what others may think.

JLeslie's avatar

@TLRobinson Oh, I see you live or lived in Memphis…do you think there is racism in the south? Do you think there are people who would be happy to see poor black people leave town? Or, do you think it has nothing to do with race. Just from a financial perspective, more expensive housing, brings in more revenue to a city both in property taxes and sales tax. What race are you?

JLeslie's avatar

@TLRobinson I just read your response. Yes, that is one of the great things about fluther, being able to openly talk about race. I am white and live in Lakeland, TN. My husband works downtown. My husband is Hispanic.

dpworkin's avatar

I have met more than one self-loathing African American buy into the majority view of race. Look at poor old confused sick Clarence Thomas.

TLRobinson's avatar

@JLeslie- I live in Arlington and work downtown as well! In my not so humble opinion, I think there is such an uneducated assumption of blacks, as a whole; especially poor ones. To answer your question, indeed there is racism, spurned totally from ignorance and fear. Yes there is racism in the south. I am a black female, and part of my job in corporate America is to disucss diversity; that’s where my interest in dpworkin’s response.

@dpworkin- I am not of Clarence Thomas’ ideology. Just ask, as my profile states, I’m an open book.

dpworkin's avatar

Good, then I apologize. I worried that you were denying that racism played a part in the rebuilding of New Orleans, and I don’t tolerate racist points of view easily.

JLeslie's avatar

@TLRobinson That is a coincidence! I probably have crossed paths with you at the Kroger on 70 LOL.

I think there is rarely open conversation about racism to be honest. I mean black person to white person face-to-face open conversation. People are too defensive, too untrusting (is that word?) and too worried about being PC.

TLRobinson's avatar

@dpworkin- apologoy accepted. Your view point intrigues me and gives me hope; so thank you.

You see,“we” can’t tell our story, by ourselves. We need you. Your voice will open doors; our stories of pain, hate, and ignorance will hopefully will change hearts and minds.

TLRobinson's avatar

@JLeslie- that’s why I’m an open book! I don’t want to be the black female spokesperson ; but if I can positively change someone’s negative opinion or assumption, we all win. So, I say, ask about our experiences, our hair, our families, our thoughts, our fears; probably we’ll see we are more alike than different. Except our hair appointments- that’s usually a 3 hours ordeal! ;)

I do Schnucks across the street by the way.

JLeslie's avatar

Haha. I think you are talking about Schnucks on 64. I shop there too.

Well, I have had some very open conversations with my black friends (one is black for generations here in the States, and the other came here from the Islands, I cannot remember which island, when he was in his teens) and they don’t have much tolerance for black people who try to use being black to get ahead or black people who are paranoid. They are both very successful in their careers.

I really think race relations is more of a socio-economic thing than race. That is, I always thought that until I came to the south. I don’t know what the hell I think now. I notice that white people here, even if they work with black people, rarely are friends outside of work. Do you find that?

Honestly, from my white perspective I believe the vast majority of whites (really high percentage, like 95% of people) are happy to accept black people as equals, but they expect blacks to “conform” to a certain extent. If that makes sense. All of my friends didn’t think twice about Obama being black, really it is a non-issue, it was more of an issue for black people I think, which I understand, but if he had sounded like a black preacher (this goes with what Harry Reid had said) then he would have probably lost. It is not that he should “sound white,” it’s that educated, successful people, in America sound that way. All these things count I think.

And, you cannot deny the crime in Memphis is ridiculous! How do we fix it? How do we get these kids to stay in school? To stop having 4 babies by the time they are 25? Should we ignore that, and just focus on the blacks who are a positive part of the fabric of our nation? Maybe? We ignore the poor white people up in Applachia (although I am not sure if they have the crime, I really don’t know) but that does not address the fact for me that I hate the “war zones” these black neighborhoods have become, I want us to be able to turn that around.

dpworkin's avatar

@JLeslie Anthropologists call those “war zones” structural damage, or structural violence. The fault does not lie within the residents. It has been embodied in them by greater social forces, including poverty, racism, poor nutrition, bad zoning, bad politics, war, history (including the history of slavery) etc.

JLeslie's avatar

@dpworkin It makes sense. I really want to just pull them out of their environment and start fresh, especially the children.

dpworkin's avatar

What we need to combat structural violence is structural change. Look what M. L. King accomplished in his short life time.

TLRobinson's avatar

@JLeslie- there are white people at work, that we’ve shared very personal things about ourselves; but we have never socialized outside of work. We all say we’re not racist but I’ve witnesses the most liberal thinking person make the most ignorant of statements: “you must have attended a private school, you speak so well (code for, must not have been many blacks in your school), “what does your husband do, you live in a great neighborhood( code for, how in the hell can y’all afford living in that neighborhood), and my all time favorite: when I was married, this was always asked with astonishment, “you and your husband have professional jobs, wow… (code for, how the hell are both of them working in offices).

Can’t speak for any place but Tennessee, we live in a racist state. Understand too, that some of these inquiries, have also come from blacks. There significant pockets of “crab in a bucket” syndrome.

I think our crime issues in Memphis, are a result of our schools, and the lack of political integrity( is that an oxymoron?) We need to treat education and crime fighting as a business.

dpworkin's avatar

At least Sociolinguists love African American Vernacular English. (Wow, we have really gone off topic.)

TLRobinson's avatar

@dpworkin- you’re right. Holla at your girl, peace out..(interpeted- look me up sometime, have a good evening)

JLeslie's avatar

@TLRobinson That’s a southern phrase, not a black one, in my book. I’m sending you a PM

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I wasn’t expecting racial conspiracies out of this.
Interesting.

dpworkin's avatar

@TLRobinson what am I, some damned Honky? I need translations?

JLeslie's avatar

Back on topic. Do we really expect the government to “build” NO back up? If it hasn’t come back it is because the owners haven’t brought it back. Don’t you think?

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I’ve had too many martinis to read and understand this…

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