Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Orleans City Officials Earn Us International Embarrassment

Thanks for keeping the brand out there.

I read this story and I threw up in my mouth a little bit.
The citizens of New Orleans are partially to blame. We helped to enable this by failing to effectively organize to fight it.

The United Nations has taken the opportunity to belatedly weigh in on the public housing debate.

United Nations experts on housing and minority rights today called on the United States Government to halt the demolition of public housing and protect the human rights of African-Americans affected by Hurricane Katrina, which battered New Orleans in 2005.

“We are deeply concerned about information we continue to receive about the housing situation of people in New Orleans, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region,” Miloon Kothari, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and Gay McDougall, the Independent Expert on minority issues, said in a joint statement.

I would argue that our City Council and our Mayor are more to blame. They should be rounded up and displaced to Baton Rouge or Mississippi or Alaska. They should be forced to find new jobs and they should be labeled by talk radio as a scourge on our community.

Their weak-kneed acquiescence to powerful developers, corrupt government agencies, and disgustingly reactionary local media outlets re-infuriates me with every new story that comes across the wire. The decision looks increasingly foolish every single day.

This was a critical vote on a critical issue. Our elected officials struck out badly. Not one even took the bat off their shoulders. They all became so frightened by the irrational backlash against protesters and the racist backlash against disadvantaged African Americans that they rubber stamped a plan that could imperil affordable housing in this city for years to come.

This was, for New Orleans, equivalent to the cowardly decision to invade Iraq by Congressional Democrats.

It didn't seem like it at the time, but those enablers are paying for their cowardice with their jobs.

This is not going to go away. You will all come up for reelection one day.

Will one of you stand up and repudiate your vote?

I'm Barack Oblogger and I spoke out against the hasty demolition plans. I exercised good judgment.

Our City Council did not. Our Mayor did not.

I'd LOVE to see how any of our officials would respond to questions from local media related to that ill-fated decision. (But I'm not holding my breath)

1 comment:

NOLA radfem said...

Love it, especially "I'm Barack OBlogger." Very clever!