Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"It wasn't a blank slate"

The link leads to a piece as good as anything written about New Orleans recently. Full of blunt truth, necessary and right.

The author writes:
   Why are these people grieving for what they never knew? Who gave them the right to come to the pulpit and give our eulogy?

wow. yes.

A few of the comments are fascinating as well, since they show the divide so clearly. New people defensive and angry at being called out for wanting to change the culture-and as usual, doing it by reminding us of the "terrible violence" in our city and describing how it has hit them, as if this is news to the rest of us. As if the violence is universal when it is not, since those energetic young people will sooner or later migrate to another city or to a safer area once they are done "playing ghetto" and the danger will stay with the poor of our city, which means therefore with the people of color.
And they seem to miss that the attitude of "we're here to help and yes dammit, to benefit from the cheap easy life" is the very definition of perpetual colonialism.

The changes forced on us without regard to the deep levels of sophistication and sensitivity among New Orleans for the long history they carry forward is what I read as her uneasiness, not just new people per se.
When new people ask me when they will no longer be considered new, I usually reply, "when you decide to stay here, come hell or high water. Stay here and fix it by sharing the struggle, not by buying the culture in pies and Saints gear. Trust me, we'll know when you decide that."

I applaud Megan for this piece.

"It wasn't a blank slate" | News | Gambit - New Orleans News and Entertainment

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