The think tank im-possible has left Harrisburg for New Orleans, the first far off location focus of the journal’s trans-domestic (and eventually, transoceanic) tour.
New Orleans’s inaugural piece, coming on the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, focuses on the changes within the city, sociological and economical, since the disaster, and what has refused to changed. New Orleans was a city that had hung on a dangerous precipice for years, set below sea level and protected by insufficient dykes, seemingly a city built beneath the dangling sword. Disaster, as many engineers, hydrologists, and city planners forewarned, was certain, the question was only of how bad it would be and of when it would occur.
When it did flood, just about everything that could go wrong did. Bush demurred in declaring an emergency, delaying aid and governmental action. This was not, as famous twit Kanye West announced, because George Bush doesn’t care about black people. It is because he doesn’t care about poor people. They were never part of his constituency in a meaningful way. That they were black merely made them more likely to be democrats, and thus even less on his radar.
When the clean up measures began, they were ineffective and slow, many neighborhoods remaining in shambles for months, sometimes years after rebuilding had finished in other sections.
To get a look at the city today, click the link and read Monica Mankin’s piece.
For the previous articles on Harrisburg and for those upcoming about New Orleans and other cities, check out im-possible’s journal page.