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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

 
Nothing To See Here

I'm sure most of you have already read Rick Perlstein's op-ed that never ran over on Eschaton this morning. If you haven't, go read it.

For some reason, no editorial board wanted to hear from a historian who was pointing out that wild rumors about racial violence are a regular feature of urban disturbances in America and should be treated skeptically by the press until real evidence emerges.

I imagine they thought that Perlstein was playing the race card --- like all us liberals do at the drop of a hat. Nobody wants to hear it.

Meanwhile, here's some more fallout --- and another little illustration of why the Section 8 idea is meeting resistence:

GREENSBURG, La., Sept. 27 - The federal government, straining to find temporary housing for thousands of evacuees from New Orleans, has generally encountered hospitality in cities and towns in the gulf area. But the reception has been very different in the small parish of St. Helena.

Here, 80 miles northwest of New Orleans, white residents have spoken up at public meetings to oppose vehemently the construction of temporary housing for the evacuees, most of whom are black. The tension could complicate tentative plans by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy land in the parish for trailer lots.

"The only thing we see about these people on the news is what happened in the Superdome," said Philip Devall, 42, a white resident of Greensburg, at a recent meeting of the parish government. "They're rapists and thugs and murderers. I'm telling you, half of them have criminal records. I've worked all my life to have what I have. I can't lose it, and I can't stand guard 24 hours a day."

About 2,000 evacuees have been staying with friends and family in the parish since Hurricane Katrina, and police officials here say that crime related to the newcomers has been virtually nonexistent. But many residents say that fear is the driving force behind their opposition.

"I want to know how many sex offenders they're going to move in next to me," said Marci Kent, 36, also a white resident of Greensburg, at the meeting. "And I got daughters, too."

When one white man expressed concern at the meeting over possibly losing his valuables to lawless evacuees, a black woman turned around and angrily pointed a finger at him. "We work hard for what we got, too," she said. "But these people need a place to stay."


Yeah, that race card is bogus, all right.



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