I read with great interest the story in a recent Advocate concerning the Urban League study. While I understand that racial inequity still exists, I fail to understand how some of the items mentioned have anything to do with the hurricane. Furthermore, anytime a study is commissioned or undertaken by any entity, the results normally benefit the entity. I can’t say this is the case, of course, but if fact checks were done, would this study pass muster?
Some of the points of the study are understandable. The number of black elected officials is proportional to the number of black voting residents that have returned. The same holds true for the judges.
The criminal justice system does not simply gather people and incarcerate them for no reason. Did anyone ever do a study as to why the black incarceration rate is so high? Is there any chance that 90 percent of the crime is committed by minorities? The study seems to suggest that judges simply detain more blacks than whites. This is probably true because blacks appear before them at a disproportionate rate.
The next point made is the unemployment rate. How was the study conducted? Were those unemployed asked if they had a job, if they looked for a job, where did they look. I see signs all over town for help wanted. Of course, the jobs are minimum-wage jobs, but we all need to start somewhere. I know people of all colors who want to start at the top; it simply isn’t done that way. Take whatever you can get and make the most of it.
Sixty percent of whites compared with 27 percent of blacks are in management positions. Would that possibly have something to do with half of the minority being unemployed? I’m sure anyone who understands math can understand how that can change the results.
On the issue of housing: The report states that the lack of affordable housing hurts the African-Americans, and no doubt it does. But the rent doesn’t change just because you’re black or white. I can’t get housing any cheaper than anyone else; it’s the law. The demolition of the housing projects is another matter. I understand people need help, but at some point, we need make a good-faith effort to take care of ourselves. The housing developments were never designed to be generational; they were temporary housing for those in need.
On the education front, I fail to understand with all the schools and voucher systems in effect today how this is hurting minorities. Someone forgot to mention that our school system is integrated. If one kid can succeed, then all kids can succeed. If the schools are the problem, then close them. If the students are the problem, get the parents involved.
My last point is going to be concerning a disaster affecting one race more than another. When Katrina came ashore, it didn’t care what color you were, what religion you were, what nationality you were. It hurt all of us equally. My house went under just as badly as any other resident’s. Evacuation was called, yet some decided to stay. I’ve heard the stories that some had no way to leave. To this I say, who owned those thousands of automobiles that went under during the storm?
I know those reading this believe me a bigot. This could not be further from the truth. I want the same thing everyone wants — to succeed and live happily. What I really want is for everyone, and I do mean everyone, to take responsibility for their own actions. To finally stand up and say, “I created this life, now I have to deal with it.”