Thursday, May 18, 2006

Spin Cycle

GulfSails puts Blaine Harden and the Washington Post on blast for overstating Katrina recovery in the Lakeview area of New Orleans.

Though there are many good points in Harden's article, comparisons between neighborhoods based on racial disparity may not be what the Crescent City needs more of right now. Here's the premise:
This article, part of an occasional series about two severely flooded streets in the city, examines an affluent white and a poor black neighborhood that appear to have reached their tipping points.

While I personally question how such a comparison can actually help the recovery & healing process, or even provide an adequate contrast (affluent anybody can recover from disaster quicker than poor anybody almost across the board), TAG takes exception to Harden using the Lakeview neighborhood as an example of speedy recovery at all. Hear his words:
It apparantly makes for a much more compelling story for devastation to happen to black people.

Now suddenly Lakeview is in the news because according to the Washington Post it is "roaring back to middle class life" while the Lower Nine languishes in some rascist purgatory.

Well sorry to break the news, but Lakeview is not roaring towards anything, unless as Blaine Harden, the WP writer, cherry picks his block.

Though that is exactly what Blaine Harden is doing, picking Memphis Street as a sample for all of Lakeview. TAG makes the point that Memphis Street may be the exception rather than the rule. has provided a comprehensive map of the New Orleans neighborhoods being talked about here, so you can see where Lakeview and the Lower 9th Ward are. A map of floodwater depths for the respective neighborhoods can be seen here.

TAG goes one step further by linking to a picture of Lakeview as seen from above. Jefferson Parish is on the left of the canal, Lakeview is to the right.

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