Flint, Ferguson, New Orleans and Baltimore — cities now inseparable from the national news stories centered there — became calamities for separate reasons. One was a natural disaster (made worse by human error), another a wholly man-made crisis. The two others began with police violence, but in disparate settings: the newly impoverished suburbs and the long-distraught inner city. Flint and New Orleans were failures of infrastructure, Baltimore and Ferguson a collapse of human relationships.
Thank you, Alessandra, for sharing this with me.
“A town in Nebraska with only a handful of black residents had watched the Ninth Ward flood on TV and then decided to rescue a family of strangers.The Sept. 30, 2005, edition of the Nemaha County Herald announced the arrival of the Williams family as evacuees from New Orleans. Taja Williams, 10, points to herself in the photo when she was just a month old.
But then they had stopped being strangers, and their crisis was not a single hurricane but an accumulation of disadvantages that were harder to address: poor, jobless, sick and troubled. And after a while it felt to them like there was no real desire to help, no telethon, just a community and a country that was finding it easier to look away.”
Read the entire profile here: 10 years after Katrina: An evacuated family’s new crisis, far from New Orleans | The Washington Post
More than 11,000 families in Iceland have offered to open their homes to Syrian refugees in a bid to raise the government’s cap of just 50 asylum seekers a year.
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I spent the last three days compiling facts, photos, videos, personal narratives to share with my 10th grade Cultural Competency class this week. (This morning, the projector didn’t work, and we lost 10-15 minutes of class time. When I got frustrated about what I didn’t have a chance to cover, I reminded myself: Get over your privileged “problems,” T.)
Yesterday, I posted something on here that I found while lesson planning, thanks to writer Rebecca Solnit and her Facebook post: selections from a website that was put up in 2005 (it has since been taken down) where people from all over the country could share Housing Offered posts for the Hurricane Katrina victims in need.
Today, reading this particular story about Syrian refugees (not “migrants”) and about the generosity of the citizens of Iceland made me shed tears once again — tears of gratitude for human kindness, camaraderie, empathy, compassion, unconditional generosity: More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis – Europe – World – The Independent.
These words in particular slayed me:
“They are our future spouses, best friends, the next soul mate, a drummer for our children’s band, the next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finishes the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, a fireman and television host…People of whom we’ll never be able to say in the future: ‘Your life is worth less than my life.’”
These words, in how humanizing they are, ground me in why I do what I do…in a country to which I have immigrated, whose land and people I have claimed as my own.
Thanks for reading.
“This August, we remember Mike Brown. But we also remember the Watts Rebellion, and the trauma of Katrina – three distinct periods of resistance prompted or exacerbated by police violence.Resistance, for so many of us, is duty, not choice.”
Read the entire essay here: Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won’t end | DeRay McKesson
The city that went under in the surging waters of Hurricane Katrina has not returned, not to how it used to be. A decade later, New Orleans is an improvisation, one that is establishing a new normal.