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Plight of blacks in New Orleans

March 02, 2007

Re "Black anger and the Big Easy," Opinion, Feb. 28

Erin Aubry Kaplan implores black people to be angry. Like too many black leaders, Kaplan's advice perpetuates the problem by blaming America while accepting no responsibility for bad decisions and bad behavior.

Part of the problem in New Orleans was the incompetence of Mayor C. Ray Nagin, who was elected in part because his campaign implored the people of New Orleans to vote for him because he was black.

Every study verifies the increasing percentage of blacks who have joined the middle class. But it serves the interest of Kaplan to ignore the positives and encourage "black rage."

JOE STEVENS

Playa del Rey

*

Whining about a problem is easier than taking responsibility for it. Kaplan makes no mention of the wisdom of building a life on land that lies below sea level, the myriad official orders to evacuate or the competency of the local elected black politicians.

Instead of being an act of God, Kaplan cherry-picks information to make it appear that Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath are prejudiced against "black folk." I would like to know why it is that after the storm so many Latino laborers migrated to the area to help rebuild when so many able-bodied young black men are unemployed?

MARK AARON

Santa Monica

*

The will of the people of New Orleans is wearing so thin because the help they need is not forthcoming. I am so disgusted with our government; all this time later the city is still in disarray and despair. Maybe the French Quarter is OK, but the mostly black neighborhoods are not, and our government still does nothing significant.

Residents should have been given the opportunity to rebuild their neighborhoods, clean up the ugliness and regain their lives and dignity. Instead, they were scattered to unfamiliar places and pretty much left on their own. I cannot understand why people from other countries were brought in for the rebuilding and not the residents themselves.

The horror of Katrina is forever indelible in our minds, but it is high time that some real attention be paid to the Crescent City. This city has such a rich history of culture, food and music and a unique and heartfelt place in our society. New Orleans' citizens need more help and a whopping dose of compassion and respect.

LORRAINE B. KIRK

Rancho Palos Verdes

*

If only we could get black people across the country to put some organization and motion behind their emotions and help us Katrina survivors try to hold on to what's left of our so-called lives. Where is the love, where is the fight-back, where is the soul?

FREDDIE G. MONROE

Woodland Hills

The writer is a displaced Katrina survivor.

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