Regarding The Advocate’s articles on New Orleans’ recovery from Hurricane Katrina:

Before Katrina and even still now, there was, and is still, a divide between races in New Orleans. We don’t need a hurricane to show us that. With that said, the hurricane did make clear a few things — one being that the divisions within New Orleans are not just race-based — they are economical, as well. The ease with which rich, white people slid back into their barely touched homes was completely different from the difficult, heart-wrenching process in which the poor, African-Americans slumped back to their torn-up abodes. This paradox may have been highlighted by the hurricane, but the storm only brought about the surface matters of the issue. Now, after 10 years, a much deeper question to the city is posed: Why does the city have to be this way? Why does the community feel like not one at all? Why are we so divided? One would think that after 10 years, the city would have gotten its act together. But, the problem lies here: White folks don’t see an issue. Thus, when the problem is not acknowledged, it cannot be addressed. In this way, New Orleans has still not come together as a community. Yes, over the years, we have helped each other clean up through civic groups like Katrina Krewe, but even with the trash gone, we are still weighed down by the baggage in our minds.

Alexa Zaheri


New Orleans