I happened to be in New Orleans the other day and I decided to go down to The French Quarter to have dinner on Bourbon Street. I just love the food in that area of our country. I never know what to order. I just love Poor Boy Sandwiches, which if you don’t know, is an oyster sandwich with this cool sauce. I’m a nut for their crawfish; nowhere in the country does it taste like New Orleans. If you know what it means to “suck heads,” then you know what I’m talking about. The gumbo is to die for and it is always so hard to choose.
This was my first trip to Cajun country since Hurricane Katrina and I was overwhelmed with the destruction that is still there after all these years. Even the billboards on the highway are still blown away. It is a heartbreak to see the neighborhoods that have been destroyed like the ninth quarter. They still have these collapsed homes still half-standing there to remind us of the devastation. It is a national disgrace that this part of the country still looks like this. I can’t believe they haven’t even bulldozed the homes. Whole neighborhoods should be bulldozed and built again, yet no one has done nearly enough.
I just kept thinking about the foreign aid we give around the world. Sure the French Quarter is still the same, but the atmosphere is not. The mood of the locals, who have had to live through this dysfunction all these years, was only exacerbated by the BP oil spill right outside their front porch. There is a feeling of anger that simmers below the surface that is not reported by the media or spoken much by their politicians anymore.
New Orleans has always been a big Democrat stronghold, but they don’t seem to care anymore what stripe these lying politicians come in. This is a part of the country that has been forgotten. Sure they have a great NFL Football Team and Mardi Gras still goes on, but it is just not the same there anymore. I used to come here to party and eat and I feel things are so different now.
I felt helpless when I walked the streets and talked to the people. I told some of them that I had a fairly popular website and I was going to write an article about what I had seen. I asked what message would they like to tell my readers. A real pretty black Cajun woman with a French accent said, “tell them we still have parts of New Orleans that still don’t have the electricity turned on since the hurricane.” Another man with an accent hard to understand said, “crawfish don’t swim in oil.”
I felt so bad looking at the faces of these people. In truth, I must admit, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I couldn’t imagine raising kids in that plight. I felt so guilty, but in the end, when I got home, I just wanted to take a shower. I just wanted to wash this shame I felt right out of me. I just didn’t have enough soap.
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