Around 1,700 Houston residents showed up at a town hall meeting to tell the Houston Mayor and Police Chief that they want the Katrina evacuees from New Orleans to leave:
“We just want you to understand our situation in this community and we appreciate the good work and the hard work that you’ve done, but we want the New Orleans residents to go home,” said one speaker.Take things into their own hands? Time to take the city back? Yikes:
“We can’t walk to a beautiful park that was put in without being accosted. I want to know what you’re going to do about it or do we have to take things into our own hands?” said another woman.
Barbara Miller, who lives in the Walnut Bend subdivision, told White that helping the Katrina evacuees after the deadly storm was "a heroic, Herculean and noble effort."
But now it's time to take the city back, she said.
In the gun stores and on the shooting ranges of America's oil industry capital, business is booming as fearful locals take their defence into their own hands and buy concealed weapons licences that allow them to travel armed.I want Houstonians to be safe. But, I am confident that all the New Orleanians temporarily living in Houston are not criminals. Houston has not become Dodge City.
Although 9mm semi-automatic pistols are the easiest gun to carry, Jim Pruett, an arms salesman, says that his "looter shooter" - a pistol-grip, pump shotgun retailing at $370 (£200) - is also a big seller. "We've seen a 50 per cent increase in people taking our concealed weapons courses since the Katrina evacuees arrived," he said. "They are scared and they want to be able to defend themselves."
The Houston residents seem to have an issue with the assistance receiving group, based on this:
John Kirkendahl, who identified himself as a 61-year old attorney, asked White bluntly: "Where do you stand on stopping the FEMA and the welfare money, in stopping the giveaways?" — to sustained applause and cheers.And this:
When Mayor White said they would be phased out in February, he received boos from the crowd.Out of the 110,000 to 120,000 Katrina evacuees still living in Houston, around 100,000 of them are from New Orleans. Yesterday, 2,600 evacuees lost FEMA housing assistance and 26,000 are set to lose theirs at the end of October with the possibility of extending their funding to February. We can assume that the majority of those who lost housing assistance or will lose it are from New Orleans.
So, when this town hall meeting occurred, around 28,000 New Orleanians were living off of FEMA money – less than a third of all the New Orleanians in Houston. Now, these numbers are my summation – not the official count. I am going on the news reports I can find.
But the Houston residents who spoke at the town hall meeting did not ask for that third to leave. They asked for “the New Orleans residents” to leave and urged the Mayor to “take back” the city, not just their neighborhood.
If you are a New Orleanian in Houston – and like the majority of them you are not a criminal – that’s got to hurt.
Houston Mayor Bill White has been a friend to the New Orleanians in his city. And at the town hall meeting, he seemed to get it:
"If people want do so something unlawful, then we need to catch them, try them, convict them and lock them up," White said.Notice he said “our fellow Americans.”
"If they're just trying to get on with their lives, then we ought to respect our fellow Americans, and there's not much of a home to go to."
You know, I have seen a lot of Texas license plates driving around New Orleans, many of them on pick up trucks involved, in some way, in the rebuilding of our city. We appreciate it, but I don’t think they are here for a noble cause. The ones I talk to are here to make money.
I can’t get that out of my head. New Orleanians are in Texas being asked to go home when they have no home. Many who are receiving assitance didn’t have jobs or money before the storm, so they have no jobs or money now. Texans, who had a home in Texas, are in New Orleans, with a place to stay here, with a job, and making money. I don’t get that.
Can we come up with some kind of trade?
RELATED: Oyster says "Thanks, Houston," though Mr. Clio says it should be "THANKS HOUSTON."