Telling it like it is

via NOLA blogger b.rox, two articles from outside the mainstream press present a reality starker than most of us can imagine. Note also that b.rox adds this:

Reading these makes me sad and angry. The mainstream media is bleak enough, but these perspectives from the radical press are beyond bleak. I wish I could say that they are exaggerating, that they go too far, that what they are saying about New Orleans is not true. But I’m afraid they’re telling it like it is.

None of this is news to those of us living here. I only pass these links along in hopes that some more people outside New Orleans will read these articles and get a picture of the enormity of our struggle.

Feeding 18,000 Families Each Month in One Neighborhood in New Orleans: The Right to Return Eighteen Months after Katrina


New Orleans since the storm, An American Travesty

From the International Socialist Review, summarizes post-hurricane rebuilding, the carpet-bagging profiteers, housing, in addition to education, health care and criminal justice. Some key points:

In the aftermath of the hurricane, more than 80 percent of New Orleans’ schools were damaged. Compared with the 117 public schools that were open before the hurricane, only 57 schools opened for the 2006–07 school year.

Fifty-three non-union charter schools have been allowed to open with both state and federal dollars. The federal government has dispersed $44 million to aid in the opening of charter schools in New Orleans while dispersing not a single penny for public school. Not one public school in New Orleans has received funding for the last year

Prior to the hurricane there were twenty-two hospitals in Orleans Parish; today there are eleven.

New Orleans lost upwards of 70–85 percent of the area’s private sector physicians, pharmacies, dental services, and behavioral health services

Even though there were more than 300,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder in Louisiana in the last year, there are no adult psychiatric beds serving the uninsured in Orleans Parish. This is particularly frightening considering there has been a 300 percent increase in suicides in New Orleans over the last year.

There are more than 6,000 inmates in New Orleans’ jails whose trial dates have not been set and who have never seen an attorney. Prior to the storm New Orleans had thirty-nine public defenders. Shortly after the storm, the city of New Orleans laid off thirty-one of them—leaving eight in a city with the eighth largest jail population in the country.

[Read about First Draft Krewe‘s upcoming trip to New Orleans]


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