Saturday, September 24, 2005

It's rich and poor

So says St. Bernard Parish President Junior Rodriguez of what he called the "shoddy" repair job on the Industrial Canal floodwalls, which failed under storm tides raised by Hurricane Rita and reflooded areas of the New Orleans' lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish.

From NOLA.Com:

Rodriguez said the repair job on the Industrial Canal levee was shoddy and accused the corps of exerting more of an effort to repair a breach on the 17th Street Canal at the Orleans-Jefferson parish line because it protects more wealthy neighborhoods than those in the 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish.

"It's rich and poor,'' Rodriguez told a WWL-TV reporter, adding that St. Bernard Parish and 9th Ward residents are treated like "second-class citizens.''

Many have decried the racial aspects of the federal government's malign neglect, but the people of St. Bernard Parish are largely working class and white. Many fled the same Ninth Ward neighborhoods flooded by Katrina after desegregation. They shared the same fate when the eastern floodwall failed during and after Hurricane Katrina.

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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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