That Katrina's floodwaters affected black residents more severely than white residents is a matter of statistical fact. Using flood maps and block-by-block data from the 2000 census, city consultant Greg Rigamer estimates that about half of the city's white citizenry experienced minimal or no flooding. By comparison, fewer than a quarter of black New Orleanians were so lucky.If we focus all of our resources on the un-flooded areas as the Mayor has suggested, we will shut the door in the face of a lot of New Orleanians. More resources need to be used on the areas that need it more.
Given that discussions of shrinking the city tend to focus on abandoning flood-prone areas, a reduction in the city's size would likely have a disproportionate effect on areas largely populated by black residents.
I understand that New Orleans needs its economic center to generate money. But, we need to ask why are we generating money? Why are we building business in the area? Why are we collecting taxes?
For the residents. All of the residents. And if we focus on rebuilding the areas that didn’t flood, we are building a better New Orleans for just a few of the residents. It’s not hard to figure out which few.
Oliver Thomas says “some African-Americans take as gospel that there is a ‘conspiracy theory’ afoot to keep them from returning.” I don’t know. Conspiracy theories are usually done behind closed doors. This is being done out in the open.