Thursday, October 25, 2007

Not Untrue but Misinformed From India

One of the topics that I spend a lot of time on is New Orleans news from places outside New Orleans. I like to see how other people see New Orleans. I especially like news about New Orleans from outside the US. The point of views can be fascinating.

Along those lines, I found an article in The Hindu. The Hindu bills itself as Online edition of India's National Newspaper. This particular article, After the floods, is written by Anjali Kamat and was posted on September 23, 2007.

I don't want top say that the author got it wrong as much as I want to say he is misinformed. For one thing, he starts off with a picture labeled, "Now a Wasteland." Excuse me, New Orleans is not a wasteland. True, there are plenty of areas that need work. Some areas haven't even started work. Calling it a wasteland damages your credibility though.

With all of the half-truths and misinformation in this article, there is one comment that really stands out as being just plain ignorant.

Visiting the post-Katrina landscape of New Orleans is a bit like time travel. It’s a crash course in the long and shameful history of American poverty, injustice, slavery, and racial segregation. But it’s also a window into the future of what other cities in the United States and perhaps across the world could soon look like. That privatised, gentrified, and militarised future is unmistakeably bleak and terrifying.

After a statement like that, you would think the author would provide some information to back up the statement but not in this case. It's a drive-by insulting aimed at New Orleans and all of the US.

But, as I said above, there are some very true statements in the article:
Two years after the flood, little has changed at the Lower Ninth Ward. The scene is eerily reminiscent of images from days after the hurricane.

Or this:
After two years of wrangling with the bureaucracy, owners who had finally received federal money to rebuild their homes returned only to find their houses demolished and their property seized by the city. Meanwhile rent prices had skyrocketed by almost 200 per cent.

The insane cost of living that is currently biting New Orleans is particularly vexing. Until there is additional housing, rent will remain high. With insurance and taxes out of control, I don't see it getting better any time soon.

This following paragraph is a prime example of, almost paranoid, misinformation.
The city’s elite called Katrina a godsend that “cleaned up” the crime-ridden projects. But all Stephanie could talk about was how much she misses the sense of community at the projects. She now lives in Survivors Village, a rat-infested “tent city,” erected in protest by former public housing residents like herself, right across the street from her old home.

Who, in New Orleans, called Katrina a "godsend"? I think they got that from the K-Ville pilot episode.

Even though this article is mostly wrong or warped, I still like reading what people in other places are thinking. The downside to reading this is that I have to ask myself, "Is this the image New Orleans is broadcasting to the world?"

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