Saturday, June 25, 2022

New Orleans: The Thoughts of One Native.

August 29, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( I am from New Orleans. I was born in 1981, and I love my city unconditionally. On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina threatened to destroy the city I love so dearly for all time. It was not unreasonable to question whether the city could bounce back. The response defied the minds of many that some could be so thoughtful and giving, while others could be so harsh and cruel. Hurricane Katrina, or should I say the aftermath, brought out the best and the worst in this country. On one hand you could see people coming together to be a blessing to each other displaying the value of humanity. Yet on the other hand one could also see the blatant racism, cruelty, lack of humanity, and simple lack of common decency that oozed out others like venom. I can honestly say that I still love my home.

To me New Orleans is the greatest, and the most magical place, in this country for me. I love the culture, people, architecture, music…our way of life. Some will only acknowledge the violence and corruption that has ravished the city for many years. However, New Orleans is no different then many major metropolitan urban cities in this regard. There were some who felt the city should not be rebuilt, and that New Orleans had received its divine recompense. Yet, I find that to be a harsh judgmental position.  The city does not deal with any problems that are uncommon to other major cities like New York, Baltimore, or Chicago. I’d like to believe we would not discuss allowing other major cities to be destroyed. I must say that I do believe that our city, and those that were lost deserve to be commemorated and remembered with the same passion and respect we give to 9/11 victims. 

As we celebrate life on the road to restoration, and a spirit that isNewOrleans-2015 undying we must be mindful not to celebrate destruction. There are still many,10 years later, that are trying to piece together their lives. There are still many who wrestle with the reality that they were not able to be with their loved ones when they passed, or give them a proper burial. Anyone that knows New Orleans culture, and tradition, knows that the burial of the dead is both spiritual and ritualistic for us, and there are many that suffer inside for having not been able to send their loved ones off and in what they believed to be a proper manner. We are still recovering. There are places in New Orleans that still look like a war zone, and people that were murdered that will receive no justice. There is still so much work that need to be done. I personally cannot emphasize this enough.

Having said that I must acknowledge that I had very mixed emotions seeing pictures of former President George W Bush in New Orleans with amongst our people. I wasn’t confused about my feelings; my first reaction was anger. If felt as though one was trying to soften the blow that history will give him regarding the handling of Hurricane Katrina. I personally don’t feel he did enough for a major city in the United States of America on his watch. I wish I could have seen him as attentive in the aftermath of the destruction as I saw in pictures of him this week. Please believe me this is not about Republican vs Democrat position because I am neither of those two. This feeling is about a native New Orleanian that loves her home, and a president that I personally feel let us down as we are Americans last I checked.

I know that some will believe that this is the wrong response to have however too many times we see our politicians and our officials late, and after the fact. I can’t say that President Bush did not feel anything towards those that were in peril…I can only say it looked bad and felt worse. To know, and I acknowledge, that three levels of government failed defies my mind to this day. I looked at the federal response with a different anger only because it was the top of the food chain, and the chain broke.  I love the nature of my city. I love that we truly are the Big Easy, the Crescent City…and we will forgive you, for the most part, and move on.

To my fellow New Orleans always remember that once upon a time we were considered refugees in our own nation. It is not a point to brew over, but we should use it as motivation to become more self reliant and community focused. The bottom line is the government and its officials can only do so much; we must take it upon ourselves as citizens to preserve the culture and our city’s way of life. It is up to us every single day to make New Orleans a better place.

On today I will pray for my favorite city, say a prayer for our citizens that make this place the magical place that I love, and pray for the continued healing and restoration for those that have suffered so much. This is my prayer not only for New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, but across the Gulf Coast in all places that were affected by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans I love you dearly. I pray our city p, and state, can move forward in the spirit of progress, restoration, and prosperity. I know this post is rather personal however I felt it necessary to share on this day the mindset of one native New Orleans.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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