Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I am not a refugee. I am a survivor

So said Sharon White of New Orleans on NPR's All Things Considered.

White: "My property is under water right now and I"m gonna rebuild that sucker and I'm gonna make it bigger and better. We're going to get it back together"

Norris: "It's easy to say that right now, but you know what you face in New Orleans when that water goes down."

White: "We're hearing the stories. We know a lot. A lot of these people are friends and family You're looking at a year... before I get to see my property."

"It's going to take determination. But you're looking at a person who persevered through the hardest. I lived 11 years in the St. Bernard housing project. I worked my way up and saved and prayed a lot and God got me out. It's not about its going to take a lot. You take that insurance money, you look at it, you take it, you sweep it away and rebuild and go on."

"They keep on saying "those people" if they would help themselves and this and that. I was one of those who help themselves. I pay taxes. My taxes probably payed for this shelter, that FEMA and all that.

"And I am not a refugee. I wasn't shipped here. We are United States Citizens. .A lot of us are taxpaying, honest, hardworking people. When did I come from another country? I am a survivor. They need to say the survivors of Katrina."

Listen here: http://thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline

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"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie Lorde

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