Sunday, January 13, 2008

Class War?

The following does not necessarily represent the position of this blog but I felt it would be interesting to add some diversity to the opinions presented in this space. The following is from the Louisiana Weekly (January 7, 2008), excerpted from a guest column by Robert N. Taylor:

Last month's scenes from New Orleans caught on video and posted on the Internet were racially horrifying: Police using electric tasers and tear gas to suppress protesters who were trying to enter a City Council meeting to block a federal plan to demolish thousands of homes in low-income housing projects. There was a SWAT team standing between the protesters and the City Council members who pretended not to notice as people were tasered, gassed, handcuffed and arrested.

People were screaming amid the chaos and disturbing unity of city officials and predatory capitalists hell bent on permanently ridding the Hurricane Katrina devastated city of as many of its low income Black residents as possible.

And make no mistake about it. Despite the reassuring words of some City Council members to build a new and better city for everybody, the true purpose of demolishing what is left of those low-income housing projects was to rid the city of low-income Blacks. The demolition plan is an act of class war supported by both Black and white middle class members of the City Council who have united with predatory capitalists determined to remake New Orleans into a whiter and wealthier city.

There was talk of how crime ridden the housing projects had been. But there was no pledge to build other housing for the poor. At best, the poor would be scattered to other low-income areas and at worst they would be permanently driven from the city.

And who supported the demolition plan? First, there was the Bush administration whose housing department devised the fiendish plan because it wants Blacks scattered and not concentrated for political power. Second, middle class Black and white city officials who want to rid the city of as much of its poor as possible. Third, there is the unseen hand of predatory capitalists who have long seen nothing but profit from driving out the poor and building upscale housing and business developments.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Blogger New Orleans News Ladder said...

So, John, what Is your opinion of that article and its subject?

I would like to see more and relentless focus on the Vicious Crime that was head-quartered, germinated and emanated from those Projects and plagued us BEFORE the storm, as well as the other dangerous neighborhoods.

I was counting an average of 5 murders/week in New Orleans in the weeks preceding the flood from the levee failures.
It was getting just as bad then, horrifying in fact...even terrorizing. We could not walk down the street in the Marigny without fear of getting mugged in broad daylight, as happened to no less than four of my own friends. It was ridiculous. Doesn't anyone remember THAT?

While I agree with much of that article, and dutifully posted the events then onto the NO News Ladder, I am struck by the lack of attention to deadly crime as a salient detail of life in New Orleans~preKatrina. It is a divisive, separatists, racist argument in its own right.
Such rhetoric occludes a reality of an actual 'class war' on tax-paying citizenry by vested commercial interests.
Is there not a factual relationship between Crime and Race and Class in New Orleans? Even nationally?
I dare anyone to guess the color of my skin.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?

And thank you for reposting that view from Louisiana's oldest and highly respected African American newspaper. They've been around a long time.

editor / NO News Ladder

9:18 AM  
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