Continued personal despair over Katrina has led me several times to wonder, where are the black people blogging about NOLA?
- Kos asked this question a few weeks ago, and found a few Counterpunch-type respondents but little grass-roots blogging. By September 10, likely that any black bloggers from NOLA were still making their way out.
- Negrophile is brilliantly, daily assembling the facts of what was lost in NOLA: the damage to the black professional classes' homestead of Eastern New Orleans, the damage to black businesses, the lack of government response.
- A more schizophrenic response is going down among the moderate to conservative black community and their grassroots counterparts.
- A couple of black Manhattan bloggers who elsewhere have complained about the thinness of their ranks (
jet, songbirds) blogged a month ago and have since returned to blogging their lives as normal). All along, Katrina has been as much a *regional* issue as a *race* issue. The savvy educated leaders of media and politics spend a lot of time in places like New York and the twin towers, and very little time in the Gulf Coast, which they locate as a backwards and racist backwater.
Certainly sites like the above-mentioned Negrophile should make clear how permanent is the damage to the professional, middle-class, and poor communities of Louisiana across the board. And aside from race questions (if such a thing is possible), Katrina is exposing the worst of poverty and how much more vulnerable America's poor have become in the last decade of disassembling every form of large-scale social conscience in America.
So finding the sites of continued outrage is an interesting endeavor. The internet is indeed allowing certain communities to sustain that outrage. As we see above, sustained outrage involves a serious reckoning with what sorts of community structures were disbanded by the hurricane -- small businesses, universities, schools, and churches among them. And noting how fragile were many of those communities involves a serious critique of American government, as it seeks to respond to Katrina with large-scale corporate welfare.
Surprise: the online communities sustaining outrage are less closely related to progressive Christians or race activists than one might think.
Katrina and race drops out of the headlines among both the Christian Discussion sites I read and the general news with (i think) surprising rapidity.
Here's the blogger's tool deluxe: Del.icio.us is a social bookmark server that allows you to share sites that interest you with others of the same interest.
For sustained outrage, and a sense of who's interested, and what's being done, check out these feeds:
Find the individual bloggers and activists who are concerned, and you find a community paying attention to exactly how Bush's government's favoritism of large corporations bleeds community structures, and exactly what sort of a moral response caring Americans owe their government.