Trapped

Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu appeared on “All Things Considered” tonight. He tried to make nice, like everybody else who might be implicated in the post-Katrina atrocity (amazing to see Bush and crew turn into statesmen so sudden-like: Please! Let’s not play the blame game!), but he made one point that I haven’t heard from other mainstream politicos: A lot of what happened with the people who couldn’t make it out of New Orleans is a much deeper issue than just finding buses and shelters for them, and one most of us have been content to more or less ignore:

“One of the things that troubled America so much was, you know, we didn’t really have to see the poor, because they were dispersed. And everybody got a pretty good glimpse of what all a lot of poor people look like standing together, and I think it made America very uncomfortable. We looked in the mirror and we didn’t like what we saw. Now people are going to talk a lot about, as you have already started, who’s got the blame for not moving people out of where they are. There’s a much bigger question, because poor people get trapped, but they get trapped in poor education, they get trapped without transportation, they get trapped without technology, they get trapped without the things that many other people have. And that trap puts them in front of the Convention Center and in the Superdome. And so the country has to ask itself, what are we going to do relating to poor people, and what public policies are we going to put in place now that they’re standing right in front of us and we can’t ignore it any more?”

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