Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Some Katrina Thoughts 

Are you oversaturated with this yet?

I feel like I am but at the same time, I keep finding that my thoughts and conversations keep returning to it.

Today, I went to the Census website and looked up some information about New Orleans. As they've finally started to point out in the news, the city is majority Black - 67.3%. The information that I was really looking for, however, is a bit farther down the page. Only 57.8% of the population was in the labor force. The per capita income was over $4,000 less than the national average. Most dramatic, 23.7% of families and 27.9% of individuals were beow the poverty line. I won't put up too many numbers but I will say that that's quite a bit higher than the national rate.

Looking at these statistics, I really feel that for every death that has resulted from this tragedy, the swirling mass of warm water was responsible, as was the incredible, absolute incompetence of our federal government. But povery and ignorance, they have a stake in it, too. They make it impossible for individuals to evacuate, even when officials say that it's mandatory. They make it an unthinkable choice to leave the only home one has ever known, containing the things that one has worked so hard to have.

Just like everyone else, I'm amazed at the amount that has been raised nationwide and by our knitting friends (over $65,000!!) and, of course, there are so many immediate needs that must be met. (I saw on the Ellen Show on Monday that if you donate through her site, the contribution will be match by Warner Brothers. I, however, was unable to find the link on there - anyone see it?) For the long term, when New Orleans is rebuilt and its citizens have returned or dispersed, I hope that just as buildings are re-constructed, efforts are made to lift all of its citizens out of poverty. This is the real hope for the city's longevity. As you're opening your heart and your wallet, remember there are so many others in every community across the country who face many daily struggles, so give them a bit to them if you can as well. My personal recommendation? My aunt's scholarship fund.

Remain grateful for all you have, folks, and don't forget those who were victims of other tragedies (whatever happened to all those left homeless by the tunami? Hurricane Andrew?). Remember that it's all connected. I've never been to New Orleans, so I'll continue to hope that I'll get there someday and see it in all its beauty.