Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Time To Stop Saying Nasty Things About Hurricane Katrina Evacuees Living In Houston

A disturbing consequence of Hurricane Katrina is the demonization of former New Orleans residents now living here in Houston, Texas. I thought about this again last week while driving behind a lady with Louisiana plates on her car. She had a bumper sticker on the car announcing that her child was an honor student at the local Labay Middle School.

Much of the anger and fear the Katrina people have generated comes from local talk radio and the predominately right-wing audience these shows attract. These are the very same folks that do nothing about chronic poverty in America’s cities. We live in a society that is, to a degree, of our own making.

It is true the murder rate has gone up in Houston since Katrina. These crimes can be blamed on both those who committed the murders and on the barbaric conditions of third-world poverty which prevailed in much of New Orleans before Katrina.

Houstonians who see their safety jeopardized by the newcomers have a right to express their concerns and to demand action. Houston Mayor Bill White has attended public meetings on this topic. To his credit, the Mayor has insisted that Katrina victims be treated well.

Former New Orleans residents now in Houston are mostly decent people who need some help. I know this is an attitude I share with Houstonians of all political views— Including many who see themselves on the right.

Those forced to leave New Orleans because of the storm are going to be here for a long time. Many will stay for good. It’s important that these people be treated as individuals trying to make the best out of life.

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November 14, 2006 - Posted by | Best Posts 2006, Houston, Hurricane Katrina

3 Comments »

  1. As a former NO resident, I find that absolutely appalling. I haven’t lived there for many years but i often cry when I see reminders of the city or pictures of the ninth ward today. I can’t imagine the devatation of being displaced and then abandoned by our goverment, let along demonized by social conservatives.

    TL, you may be interested in my post today on the Network for Spiritual Progressives. It’s agenda is to create a new social conscious to combat that of the religious right.

    Comment by naturalhigh | November 14, 2006

  2. Go Home

    Comment by John | November 15, 2006

  3. Dear City of Houston:

    I want to thank you for all that you’ve done for the citizens of New Orleans and for being so gracious under circumstances that many times seemed embarrassingly thankless. I understand that it’s a challenge to take in family for an extended period of time, much less strangers from another city. I would like to share an experience that I’ll remember for as long as I live. After evacuating during the storm to Baton Rouge we’ve been spending almost everyday trying to repair damages to our home and property in the New Orleans area. At one point, our family wanted to get away, just for awhile and one of our favorite places to go is Houston. While at a toll both in your city, I accidentally dropped my wallet while opening my car door to reach the change basket. After about a mile I realized that I lost my wallet containing about $600.00 in cash. I immediately doubled back to return to the toll both. Upon arrival, the toll collector reported that the driver behind me turned it in [with all the cash in it]. I wanted so badly to be able to thank the driver as I did the toll collector and I realized that this action captured the character of your city. This demonstration of honesty and willingness to assist without recognition made such an impact that it gave us something positive to focus on during this challenging time of our life. I look forward to returning one day to get our fix of Tex-Mex and good people. Many thanks.

    Gratefully,

    Bill S

    Metairie, LA

    Comment by bill sheffield | December 19, 2006


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