They’ve got to be African

This might really sound stupid. But you know what has really amazed and shocked me about this? It’s the eye-opener regarding how absolutely poor and isolated much of the population of New Orleans was prior to Katrina. And how much of a distinct culture it was. I must admit that I really had no idea.

Although I’m white, I’ve lived predominantly black neighborhoods in Washington DC, Seattle, and Texas at various times, and thought I had a certain sense of Black America. But after going down to the Astrodome and meeting other Katrina evacuees here in Waco I realize that New Orleans really was different.

Even the style of dress is different. I see the women wearing these colorful dresses and headscarves that are completely different from how black Texan women dress. It’s a style of dress that’s almost more African, more like you’d see in Nigeria or Bahia Brazil. My wife’s clinic in Waco serves a mostly black and Hispanic population and she says the Katrina evacuees are instantly recognizable. She can instantly tell from their dress, language, and comportment who’s from Texas and who’s from New Orleans. She says that a lot of the women she’s talked to have never been out of New Orleans in their entire lives. That Waco is the first place they’ve ever been. Imagine that.

I don’t have any better guess about how this is all going to work out than anyone else. My instinct is that it will be sort of like any other immigrant wave. The adults will have difficulty adjusting to new circumstances and many never will. The kids will quickly if not instantly adapt to their new surroundings.

Ok who is falling for this bullshit?

Black Evacuees from New Orleans can’t possibly be similar to Americans from other states… No way … to be that poor and that illiterate, they must be Africans.

How this supposedly white guy who grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood in Washington DC can say… ‘Even the dress style is similar to Nigeria or Brazil’…How the fuck is that similar? Do you want to tell me the people you saw on television are either pulled from a swampy village in South America or West Africa? Really?

Is it so hard for Americans to be confronted with their own poverty? Must Americans always live in denial and when faced with the truth, attempt to brush it off as some kind of African disease?The gap between the haves and have not in America has always been wide and has always been in existence. The truth has constantly been swept under the carpet, or in some quarters blame is placed on the poor for not making it.

The poverty of most New Orleans evacuees is third world indeed. I bet the writer has never been to an African country? So from images plastered on his TV screen, he came to the conclusion that these people eerily look similar to what he show on the national geographic channel. Poor, black and illiterate? They’ve got to be African.


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