THE BLOG

As a Katrina Evacuee, I'm Too Lazy to Fini...

Oct 16, 2007 | Updated May 25, 2011

...sh This Headline.

A survey on attitudes toward New Orleaneans in shelters two years ago as too lazy to evacuate is featured in a study scheduled for the upcoming issue of Social Problems.

I would call to order an issue, but the phone is all the way across the room.

The study is based on polling in Houston two years ago by the Washington Post, Harvard School of Public Health and Kaiser Foundation, and it found that rather than a welfare mentality, local and national lack of planning for a widespread disaster led to the massive displacement. (NOLA.com Story).

On the personal level, what didn't lead to displacement?

A friend with limited vision and resources was left behind when his father had to choose between evacuating with him or his dog. The dog went. Eventually he ended up staying with someone who spent the whole time trying to get him to switch political parties. "This is worse than the hurricane," he would whisper into the phone.

Two years ago we were fighting the perception that 80 percent of the city being flooded made us deadbeats. It was probably easier to think.

Now we're fighting the creeping mentality that help is not needed. Helping New Orleans can be as easy as coming to town and spending your tourist dollars. Yesterday someone in our northern evacuation location asked me if it hurts the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund now that studies show tourism is back 60 percent. I asked for clarification and he said, "Well everything's fine now."

With 40 percent of musicians' audiences gone, it takes a real glass half full type to find that as a plus, but it's probably easier to think.

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As a reminder, we offer prints of what was left of my mother-in-law's piano (above).

I once saw a post about my posts that described them as "still whining about Katrina." It also said my kids were ugly and I don't have kids, so I guess in the blogosphere you're nobody till somebody hates you.

The backlash is pervasive, it's heartbreaking and it is not going anywhere.

Helping run a disaster based charity two years after the disaster feels like pushing a boulder uphill, but there are still hundreds of thousands displaced.

For those who have made it home, the challenges grow. Three new charter schools face high risk ratings. There have already been more homicides than all of last year, and among the six murders this weekend one was a policeman and his wife in a home invasion.

It's hard to be far away, and it's hard to be home. So yes, we are still whining. And no, we're still not lazy.

We are, however, getting very very tired.