Great to know Bush has a "black" man deciding the fate of to New Orleans' public housing residents
WASHINGTON — U.S. Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson shed little light Monday on the future of public housing in hurricane-battered New Orleans, but said that “only the best residents” of the former St. Thomas housing complex should be allowed into the new mixed-income development that replaced it.
“Some of the people shouldn’t return,” Jackson said. “The (public housing) developments were gang-ridden by some of the most notorious gangs in this country. People hid and took care of those persons because they took care of them. Only the best residents should return. Those who paid rent on time, those who held a job and those who worked.
“I’m a little disturbed that even today they want to bring a racial component into the hurricane. This isn’t about racism, this is about people suffering,” said Jackson, pointing to the large number of Vietnamese fishers along the Gulf Coast whose livelihoods were ruined by the storm. “It’s important (to remember) that everybody suffered in this disaster, not just black people. It bothers me tremendously when I see the so-called leadership in the black community, the liberal community zeroing in (on) how much more difficult it was for African-Americans than it was for white Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans.”
Eight months after Hurricane Katrina, the future of the 10 public housing complexes in New Orleans remains an open question. Times have never been tougher for low-income people as a shortage of rental housing after Hurricane Katrina has seen rents to historic levels. While HUD has re-opened some complexes, such as Iberville, most of the others remain closed and surrounded by protective fencing. Eager to return, former residents have marched in protest to force the government to open more, but HUD has so far refused.
I think they are getting ready to demolish public housing,” said Laura Tuggle, an attorney with New Orleans Legal Assistance. “One of the hardest parts of redevelopment is having to relocate residents of public housing. That job was done for them.”
So in Jackson's mind, the disabled, the elderly, the unemployed should basically take a hike.
It's clear that Bush crew and the whites of New Orleans have no interest in ever seeing any of the poor blacks return. Given that the odds are thatLandreiu will defeat Nagin in the mayoral runoff next month, it is likely that they will never be allowed to return.
Oh, and while I feel for the Vietnamese fishermen who lost their livelihoods, I'd like to think that the African-Americans who lost everything
, including their lives
, would register more powerfully in Jackson's mind. But then again, he's a Bush black, so...