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Elana Levin

Letter to the Editor of the Week!

It's been a while since I've been inspired to have one but this letter to the editor of the New York Times by Jeff DeFlavio responding to a Lawrence Downes piece "In Forgotten New Orleans, Life and Hope Stir at the Bottom" tells a very important story.

Jeff DeFlavio of Washington, I salute you.
* * *

Lawrence Downes (Editorial Observer, May 7), suggests that New Orleans has reverted to an earlier form of the American economy: one in which the abuse of labor is common, poverty is rampant and individuals are forced out of necessity to organize along racial lines.

But what is described here lurks just below the surface all across this country. It’s not that New Orleans has reverted to some more primal state of being, but rather that it is the prototypical American city.

The illiteracy, homelessness and government inaction from which New Orleans suffers are part and parcel of America itself. What we see in New Orleans is not 19th-century America, but the result of 21st-century American poverty.

Jeff DeFlavio
Washington, May 7, 2007

DeFlavio's letter reminds me of some of the excellent articles in The American Prospect's recent special report on "Ending Poverty In America". I'd highly recommend reading it.

And while we're talking about Katrina this guest post from the Sierra Club on alerts that "FEMA provides toxic trailers for hurricane refugees".

Elana Levin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 8:21 AM, May 12, 2007 in Housing | Hurricane Katrina | Letter To The Editor of the Week | Progressive Agenda | Racial Justice
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