Return to Main Page | Ragout: New Orleans Evacuees: "Sort of Scary"
A Spicy Stew of Economics, Politics, Data, Food, Carpentry, etc.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New Orleans Evacuees: "Sort of Scary"

How to explain the behavior of the authorities?

Why did FEMA turn away the Red Cross and many others who offered to help? Why were the Superdome and Convention Center locked down, and the evacuees forbidden to leave? "Worse than a prison," said one Superdome occupant. "We've virtually made them prisoners," said the Sheriff of neighboring Jefferson Parish, who had ordered his forces to surround a group of evacuees in an open field.

Why were people packed onto busses and planes without being told whether destination was Baton Rouge, Houston, or Utah?

Why were friends and relatives forbidden to enter the city and transport their loved ones to safety? Why were bridges out of town blockaded by armed police? I've seen relatively little about these hard-hearted practices in the mainstream press: the last two links are to horrifying first-hand accounts.

Presumably the authorities placed their first priority on preventing looting in the French Quarter or the wealthy neighborhoods of Jefferson Parish, both a short walk away from the Convention Center and Superdome. One National Guard General described his units' role as conducting "combat operations" against an "insurgency."

Preventing looting is a worthy goal, to be sure. But not a goal that justifies treating tens of thousands of people like animals. And not a goal worth people's lives.

How could the authorities decide to treat everyone in New Orleans as a potential looter, rioter, insurgent? The simplest explanation seems to be that they view poor black people with tremendous contempt and fear. An attitude nicely summed up by Barbara Bush's comment on the evacuees in Houston, "what I'’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas."

Number 1 in Ragout Economics!

March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 /

First Team
Angry Bear
Crooked Timber
Brad DeLong
Economist's View
Mark Kleiman
Nathan Newman
Political Animal
Max Sawicky
Brian Setser
Sock Thief
Talking Points Memo
Matthew Yglesias

Second Opinion
Stephen Bainbridge
Marginal Revolution
Andrew Samwick
The Volokh Conspiracy

Third Way

Fourth Estate
Economic Reporting Review
New York Times
Washington Post

Fifth Republic
Le Figaro
Le Monde

Sixth Sense
The Intersection
In the Pipeline
What's New

Politics & Polls
Daily Kos
Donkey Rising
Electoral Vote Predictor
Rasmussen Tracking Polls

Art Sucks
Enzo Titolo
L’esprit d’escalier
A Level Gaze
Approximately Perfect

ragoutchef at yahoo dot com


Powered by Blogger