An Imbalance of Intelligence
I ask this question in sincerity, knowing full well that it's a dangerous issue. I'll try to be cautious.Living in Milwaukee (or the Midwest in general), I think I'm exposed to primarily the same type of person: white, middle class, fairly privileged. So it's difficult for me to imagine myself in the shoes of a native New Orleanser, and hard for me to understand why someone experiences this "entitlement" complex you speak of.People I know who have experienced longstanding contact with the black community (my girlfriend, for example) can guardedly describe this entitlement complex, and at times a laziness that extends beyond a personal habit and exists somewhat as a cultured response. The way the city has been portrayed, it seems the poor black community has been most deeply affected, and whether or not portrayed accurately, it seems the inability of citizens to "help themselves," as you put it, has been largely a malady within that specific demographic.From your experience in New Orleans, is this reality connected to the black community? It should go without saying that I'm not trying to hook this on one race (or one anything), but I'm curious why this happened the way it did. Is it a "Southern" response or even a "French-American" response? Or am I trying to paint things with too-definitive lines?
You raise terrific questions to which I have no specific response outside of vague answers and personal opinion. The state of Louisiana has been a haven for political scandal and immoral leadership, which trickles down and eventually affects the people. If education money never makes it to those needing education, those deprived go without these necessities that might enable them to rise above the poverty line. It also fosters a "hey, they screwed me, so it's ok for me to screw someone else to get what I need." And it's not simply education (though you'll find awful schools and Louisiana ranked 50th in every meaningful category having to do with schools and test scores) but housing, infrastructure, and so on. I think the years since Huey P. Long have caused this downward spiral (missed opportunity for a Nine Inch Nails You Tube) that have lead generations to this type of mentality in New Orleans.I cannot speak to the larger inner city issues, such as those in Detroit. I can say that African-Americans in New Orleans, pre-Katrina, were the majority. For better or worse, being the majority is going to attach a stigma to the race when the larger group does wrong. The great majority of those below the poverty line were in fact black, and hence the strained race relations issue that surfaced during and after the disaster. It probably is "trying paint things with too-definitive lines," but I would use a large brush and say that it's a little of everything for that community. It's a situation where New Orleanian African-Americans have been wronged but rather rise above it, too many take the low road giving the impression of entitlement and perhaps laziness.The most underdeveloped fact in this debate and most relevant to the issues you have brought up are how many of the 11,000 phony claims were made by race? It was my prejudiced, unresearched opinon that most of them were Caucasians. Whether that be true or not, who knows? But it at least holds that my entitlement stigma is to "New Orleans" in general and not just "blacks in the south."
Post a Comment