Who Is Killing New Orleans?
Mike Davis in The Nation
"More than 60 percent of Nagin's constituents--including an estimated 80 percent of the African-Americans--are still scattered in exile with no obvious way home.
In their absence, local business elites, advised by conservative think tanks, "New Urbanists" and neo-Democrats, have usurped almost every function of elected government. With the City Council largely shut out of their deliberations, mayor-appointed commissions and outside experts, mostly white and Republican, propose to radically shrink and reshape a majority-black and Democratic city. Without any mandate from local voters, the public-school system has already been virtually abolished, along with the jobs of unionized teachers and school employees. Thousands of other unionized jobs have been lost with the closure of Charity Hospital, formerly the flagship of public medicine in Louisiana. And a proposed oversight board, dominated by appointees of President Bush and Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, would end local control over city finances. [...]
With each passing week of neglect--what Representative Barney Frank has labeled "a policy of ethnic cleansing by inaction"--the likelihood increases that most black Orleanians will never be able to return. read more