tv The Atlantic Symposium on New Orleans Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina CSPAN August 29, 2015 2:20pm-3:21pm EDT
doing. majority of the volunteers because most of the african-american children have been forced out of new orleans, at my home, and i have had hundreds to come, since the first since we hit dry land are not african-american. they don't agree with the way we are being treated. they are good solid wonderful children, they take their wrag of wrama d, you know they got to be strong and solid because we have we have what we need in place, and if we can, because i don't writing them down, neighbors didn't write it down, my are a he era computer up here we didn't have nothing to put it in i beg you all you know right now the main thing we need because i didn't just come with questions, we came with solutions. we need y'all to take fema, fema mom and daddy, red cross, and all the rest of them people, and just take
them somewhere. just get them out of my neighborhood. that's all we need right now. we did not lose our ability to fish, don't bring tisch tide -- just bring us fishing pohls and some bat we didn't lose our minds i don't know why we didn't but we could have we lost all of the necessities we need to support our survival. just give us that. just give us that. and i promise you in six months like i promised one of these television stations come back we going to make gumbo it's going to be all right you know what we have for dinner sunday, one of the stations was there, larry and ben two young brothers young men one lektrician one working "on the waterfront", one fishing for us sunday morning y'all. and everybody in the neighborhood including the cameramen we had fish for dinner sunday, out of the
same lake pontchartrain and i'm still sitting here. please, please, if you are not going to come and let us tell you what we need, just stay away. it is caused more problems than help. if fema spent all this money, oh, lord the red cross bot me barrel hard rock candy i just -- i got it i want you all to come see that in a barrel. hard rock candy. and what was insulting about that two years expired but they have haven't had a choice, please, give us some response, we don't need the rhetoric hubert humphrey said approximately 40 years ago african-american children commit no more crime than any other ethnic group, 40 years later looking at incarceration almost 100% young african-american males we need to get on the right page here, if y'all let me have all my babes they working in the jail free, just let
me have them, ask them, go to angola go to opportunities, hod, i know all of them. and my mentally ill children adults they are hard workers, we could do more in new orleans than any group that you have there. >> amen. >> any group that you have there. police brutality we are used to. we got to do something about that, too, as citizens we got to stop allowing american -- make rules remember that from the 60s you can't make rules that oppress some of your people. all of us have to be for am full americans we don't need to get violent about that. that is just human nature that we can do this, as a people. and thank you very much announcer: c-span's special coverage of the ten-year
anniversary of hurricane katrina continues next with the atlantic conferences on is actually's. after that, new orleans mayor land rover -- landrieu. after that, fema administrator craig forgotten -- craig fugate and public commemoration in new orleans on hurricane katrina. there will be a celebration of new orleans's resilience. hosted by solar that o'brien, this will be held on the official anniversary of the hurricane's landfall. watch that live today on 6:00 p.m. on c-span. announcer: this sunday night on
"q&a," brookings institute representative speaks about -- vanda: i hesitate an increasingly interrogate myself and question myself because we do not know how it will end. but it is also possible that it could still be true years down the road or five years down the road that where -- that we will see a civil war in afghanistan. isis is coming into the country and they are much worse than a tele-ban and so if we end up five years down the road in a new civil war in afghanistan and it is a safe haven for the tele-ban and isis, that i would say i would not be surprised.
announcer: vanda felbab-brown on "q&a." announcer: community leaders and artists explore the challenges of a broader ecosystem and the challenges facing housing, economic opportunity, race, and resilience. in this portion, pbs's gwen ifill moderates a panel on those who live through the storm in the last -- the storm and the last 10 years. matalin: -- madeleine: good morning, my name is matalin and this past spring, i graduated and will be attending princeton this fall. [applause]
-yo ma playing cello my mother mashes yams in a bold -- bowl and i thought of slippery bodies brown and yellow on a dock in dusk but this never happens because i didn't realize pork is red meat until my twin eight a tenderloin -- ate a tenderloin and i could hear his thoughts madeleine, i'm tired, and i am sorry i made you wait i have a sore patch of skin
and there are miracle berries that make you feel like sugar is cream soda please in just them -- injest them and look at me [applause] madeleine: i wrote this next problem for today and it is a memory of how my family left before the storm. the walls still sweat from noon until 3:00 but you bring home set sumas -- satsumas but they will be perfect in a week. the floors always look wet in this brackish heat i laid out my closthes
for a show we would not see but we already knew that this is how storms are made thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, madeleine. i don't think we could have hoped for a more fitting a note for this series on new orleans on the time of the storm after the --
time of the city after the storm struck it. it is a pleasure speaking to you all, including those watching on our live stream on the atlantic website at theatlantic.com.
more than 100 years ago in 1901, "the atlantic" published a story that said that it is one of those few stories in -- cities in those countries -- country without a past. it is a past of spain and napoleon and the united states. 10 years ago, there were many who wondered if hurricane katrina foreclosed those possibilities and put an end to those ambitions, if the city
could ever capture its former character and its old sense of promise. actually, in keeping with the soul and spirit of maddie's poetry, we will look not cynically at the hard work that has brought new orleans back,
and at the successes and the mistakes as well as the work to be done. how has the city and the people been transformed by katrina? how is life better here now and in what ways might it have been worse? what will the future look like for new orleans? what big plans are there on the table for today? i feel particularly grateful to be here because 10 years ago i was on a team of reporters that the "new york times" sent down here. my own experience was superficial, but it still left indelible impressions of the suffering and the frustration and the generosity that came during and after the storm. for the conversations today, we brought together artists, environmentalists, engineers,
and community activists. we are going to begin in a moment with a panel that will question what it means to really know this city. this is a question that "the atlantic" has returned to from time to time. we have been quite consistent and get residence -- resonance today. new orleans is known as a city of pleasure despite its history of sadness. in 1940, the magazine and noted that she is old quietly conscious of her charm. that's particular -- that particular writer went into more details about an odiferous city of church attending individuals. that was of course a long time
ago and i look forward to hearing a panel up to these descriptions. but first i have a couple of important program notes. if you are on twitter and it is hard not to, please join the conversation. the hashtag is #atlanticnola. my colleagues will be circling in the hall with microphones. i want to thank the underwriters who made this gathering possible. we are happy for the support of the rockefeller foundation and jones walker and also our collaborators at the urban institute. finally, i would like to remind you to please silence your cell phone, because if it rings while
gwen: thank you every body for getting up in the morning and being here with us. i hope you are all well caffeinated like we are. we are going to talk about what it takes to know new orleans. this is going to start our entire conversation for the rest of the day. i am going to come out and hang out with you and i want you to think of some smart questions for this incredibly smart panel, and this is starting with nola's eric -- start with lolis eric
elie, and we have madeleine l ecesne, and she is a graduate of a charter school and was nine years old in 2005, writing poetry on the headboard of her bed in her bedroom, which was eventually ruined and washed away in katrina. minh nguyen is the founder and executive director of the vietnamese-american young leaders of new orleans, and chris rose, whom i skipped past there and who is sitting next to maddie, is the author of "one dead in attic," and he worked
for the "new orleans times picayune" and also wrote for "soul salvation." and sitting next to me is tracie l. washington, she is a civil rights lawyer, she is evacuated during the storm and she remains focused on social justice. and all of her thomas is the last person i have here. he is a former city council member, he is also a wbok radio host. he focuses on city engagement and community government. we want to go into the thought of the whole idea of what it means to know new orleans. we want to cover everything including the tales of survival that hold it at an arms length.
it is interesting what we think we know and what people actually experience. i want to start with you lolis and ask you what people outside new orleans think about new orleans. when they think about bouncing back and survival, but tell us, what do you think about new orleans and what do you think we should know? lolis: culture comes down from on high, and i think that is the most telling explanation of this city. and if you think about it specifically in terms of sidewalks, the second line or phrase of street culture is what makes this city difference. under an normal circumstance, you assume that directs and the king of carnival is the most
saxophone. around us where the rest of us live, you get a great sense of the place. finally, it is a crime to blame all of our differences on france. the haitians were a last great influx of francophone culture that came here after being pushed out of cuba. the haitians pay and repay and re-repay for this. our population doubled after the haitian revolution. and so much of our coulter, so much of our way of being in the world comes from these people. gwen: oliver thomas, i want you to answer the question. lolis: he just can't follow that. [laughter]
oliver: i am glad i did, and i think you want me to talk about the cultural aspect. people talk to good music and great food and all of those cultural things, but we also have a great selection of survivors in the history of the world. when people talk about the good old days in the school system, we have people who graduated, and when people talk about the -- good old days in the school system, we had fewer people who graduated, and when people talked about the incarceration system, we had more people who were incarcerated. if you really know new orleans, you know 12 all beef patties, special sauce, two slices of cheese, mcdonald's doesn't use that anymore, but i am so conditioned by it.
it is not the truth about how everybody lives, but that is the burger that you are selling. in the jail system, per capita, we have more people than just about any other place in america. there is a struggle about the reality, but the existence for a lot of folks has always been not what they were even after katrina, but before katrina. we had 95,000 people living in public housing and we averaged 200 or 300 or even 400 public murders every year. if you came out of school, you are probably going to work in a hotel. gwen: tracie washington, what do you think? i am setting you all up, one by one. [laughter] tracie: what does it mean to
know new orleans? what it means is that i probably have connections with somebody at every single one of these tables. my boss is sitting over there and yes i will make my 11:00 glance over there. [laughter] tracie: it means for me that i don't go any place in this city and feel lonely or a loan. it means i don't care -- lonely or a loan -- alone. it is a don't care when i walk around the lower ninth ward. i never feel unsafe. i know that somebody is going to look at my face and say that you are lewis washington's daughter, are you?
you are geraldine washington's daughter, aren't you? or you are jacob's mom, i will take that one as well. we have ties in this city that goes generation deep and it crosses color lines. you know, i am a dark skinned lack woman. but there are some folks in my family that have got red hair and are probably related to some of the redhead populations out here. that is what is important about this city. there is a vibe and it sustains us. lots of people can move from city to city, oh you know, i have moved to new york, i've moved to l.a., i have moved to chicago, but i am staying here. and when we had katrina and that disruption, when we lost 100,000 black folks, and i will be that person on the panel who will
talk about racists, so just be ready, we lost a significant part of what it means to be new orleans. you can't simply replace 100,000 black folks with avatars. white folks can come up to you and say, it's new orleans. and i miss that. i miss that. gwen: chris, let's talk about sustenance. chris: what's wrong about that, though? [laughter] chris: gwen, what was question? i know somebody at this table here and they say i know somebody else and i know somebody else and we all
intersect here. it is a hard and broad question to answer, so i am going to ring it back to two simple tropes, but i think that they are accurate, and that would be mardi gras and the superdome on sundays in the fall. the superdome on sundays in the fall is amazing, it is a cosmic socialist -- cosmic, social experiment where all races, genders, ages, and also seo economic barriers seem to be stripped away and everybody -- all socioeconomic barriers seem to be stripped away and everybody just gets together and watches. what happens in that stadium
every sunday afternoon is, and unfortunately, i really get to go to it, i don't roll like that, i go to games, and i used to go to games when i got sent there for work, but boy, being on a building on sunday afternoons, but watching that sees -- is seeing everything get stripped away. the barriers. the prejudice. everything is gone. i watch every body react and if i just walk outside a building and thanks, man, if we could just keep this going outside of that building. if we could carry this outside and live like this every day, it is all the same people. it is all of us, right? it is all of us. we go out and we retreat to our barriers and our lives. i don't want to denigrate it too much, but i have lived in other cities, and we don't have
everything fixed here. nobody is going to have everything fixed here. but i think people try harder in most places. i will translate that and i don't want to take too much time to pick up the other trope, and that is mardi gras. you go down to the same street corner year after year and it is the same people and usually they are not from the neighborhood. you are not from the neighborhood. you just go and set up. year after year it is the same people there. this is one of the things that have noticed after katrina and it was sort of painful and it was where people showed up and the first mardi gras the second one after written may be the third, people looked over and they realized, hey, where are those guys? and you didn't even know their names. but you watched their children grew up -- grow up.
you watched what they ate, you know the same things that they know, you knew the way that they screamed and how they reacted and i thought this was simple and may be simplistic, but like i said, tropes or means as the kids say today -- or memes as the kids say today. [laughter] chris: i don't know, that's all. gwen: you have made the case that we are different and other panelists made the case that we are different, especially the way that we view the way the recovery is going. i want to go to minh, because he represents a part, a swathe of new orleans that people didn't realize existed.
now in the 10 years since, has it changed the way you see the city? minh: yeah, it definitely changed, i don't think people realize there was a vietnamese community. as a community of refugees coming to -- leaving vietnam, and actually being refugees twice, like from north vietnam to south vietnam and from south vietnam to the united states and then being displaced again, for a community, we had
to resist. we had to tell him no. -- them no. we would not be displaced again. i think that was a real galvanizing moment. people said that we need to stand together and fight. they can't do that to us again. gwen: displacement became a real unifying theme in a way. minh: we must fight, we have to fight for this institution and the racism people were facing. i think because of the fight and we also won, so yay! but we had to come together and rebuild the city the way we needed it. but honestly, for us, we needed to face a lot of challenges. new orleans was not in the plan.
it took us seven or eight years to get a hospital. i think a lot of the schools were being closed down and we had to fight them to reopen them. i think from there, we also have a lot of diversity, a lot of the latino folks have moved into these communities as well, and yes, new orleans is a very diverse city, but in a way, we are not as racially accepted, right? i just got married, so i went to barcelona, and when i went there, they really, really embrace tourism. i was thinking, why can't new orleans do this? and i really want to see this happen and i'm calling it out right now, but we have 92 million people who come into new orleans and i think that is something we need to embrace and we need to embrace the culture and we need to embrace the
differences that we have here. i think for us -- we have here. i think for us, we need to be a part of this as well. gwen: that is interesting what you said about embracing the coulter, because when you think about the culture in new orleans, people often think black and white. there was something in maddie's poem that mentioned that she was seen as black and finish that for us. madeleine: that i became a black. when i moved to texas, the mascot of the school i went to was the hurricanes. [laughter] madeleine: which was fabulous. but i would say that i am a child of new orleans, i am still at that stage in my life, because i haven't lived anywhere else, and i think that knowing
new orleans, when you are born into it, it is kind of like loving a dog. as much as you love it and you see it as this unique individual , there is a part of you that deep down, no matter what, as much as you fight it, you know you would be happy with any other animal, if that makes sense. but then you take your first trip away from new orleans, and i will never forget the first time that i was in nashville, tennessee, and it was the first trip i really remembered, and it was the first time a could really look up when i was walking down the sidewalk, and i didn't have to look for cracked's or potholes -- cracks or potholes. and it was the first time -- we always walk in the middle of the street because if anything happens to you you want to be walking in them -- happens to
you, you want to be walking in the middle of the street. so that was the first time i was walking on a sidewalk. and it is like a grandparent where you can't really comprehend why the city is so messed up, so old, so damaged. and you kind of don't really imagine losing it, because even as a child, you don't really see yourself losing a grandparent, but it is still there, and then something like katrina happens. and you start to love the city like a parent. and you start to worry and as much as you love it and as much as you always expect it to be around, there is a fear and there is that anxiety that is going to be gone.
you know when your parents don't come home and they stay out a little bit later than they said they would and then that bell hits you and you start to get a little anxious? it's like that and you can't get past it. and, yeah. gwen: i have to say, maddie, it's been a while since i have worried about my parents, but i like that you say that we still do. i am going to go around for questions and i have my microphone and -- well, you are right here. well, we really do need microphones. just a second. >> i am inspired by all of you. one thing i wanted to share was one of the most inspirational moments of my life with katrina, and that was when i went back down to a new orleans meeting, and there were hundreds and
hundreds of you all from a new orleans east. and there was an individual who went down to city hall to get permits to build and city hall said, how many permits do you want to build? and he said, 600, and within one day, he had all of those permits filled. but i just wanted to share that moment of inspiration. thank you all. gwen: thank you. stand up and tell me who you are and what is your question? stephen: my name is stephen kennedy. most of you talked about the culture inclusion, i think that was a current theme of culture and inclusion. but my question is, how do you all talk about the social and economic disparities here in new orleans. -- here in new orleans? what would be y'all's view of
economic disparity? >> my ideal new orleans would be there would be a projected $200 billion of investments in the next 10 years. that the disparity between the racist -- between the races would not be 10% worse in the last 10 years. people who tout success in the charter schools and those who have matriculated through the charter schools would see that there is still lower unemployment and a higher poverty level. that should matter, that means
but then take that route 3 block into the communities. when you go three blocks, hopefully if you get a chance to talk with folks, you will see the economic disparity. >> 50% of our black children are still living in poverty. we still have that in new orleans. before katrina it was ugly. it is still ugly. we have an overpopulated jail and a sheriff who wants to build more jail space. everyone else in the country is trying to get less jail. we have special education. they say, education is going fine. people know i am always going to answer that phone. god helps me. that's why i want to move and get a break. every single week i get parents
calling me because their special needs child has been ignored in somebody's school. every week. that's nuts. you have rights to have education. so what does it mean? it means, in new orleans when we are talking about this disparity, we tell the truth. i will say this, then be quiet. pre-katrina, i weighed 260 pounds. actually, a little bit more. a good friend of mine said, tracy, you were big-sized. i was fat. i had to look at myself in the mirror and say, i have to do something. if we face the real facts about the city, and then just take it step by step by step, we can tackle this. we are not going to eat french
fries this week. we are not going to have those sodas. tackle one problem and resolve it at a time. we are not going to lie. you know, if we would just stop lying about the fact that all these black men who are hanging out on street corners don't want to work. do a little redevelopment. i get these guys who are just on the corner who just want a little money. >> we have a lot of people who want to talk. i can see i set you off. i understand. [laughter] >> i have a statement, not particularly a question. i will make it short. the katrina foundation was started right after hurricane katrina. one of the many books we have
inside the katrina museum. 10,000 families were trapped in the convention center. you ask people, where were the people after katrina? they were in the superdome, because you put that in your mind. does anyone know about the katrina less? we have a museum in the historic trieme area. you can visit us online. you got your plug in. thank you very much. >> speaking as someone who moved here 10 years ago and immediately fell in love with the city, and moved here to run the second harvest food banks, i would like to ask you about the paradoxes you have all been describing. how can we have this incredible economic resurgence that we all love, these great, hopeful signs in our community, yet have poverty rates as high as we did, even having lost population? poverty rates just as high as
before the storms? lolis: i think our measures of progress are based on how quickly rich people are getting richer. [laughter] [applause] we need new statistics. gwen: nice, brief answer. we have another question. right back here. >> i am with creative alliance. i want to give a shout out to the artist of the city -- artists of the city, who came back for a quickly along with the restaurant, and helped us all believe we would come back. the first time you went to a restaurant and there was a jazz band, it warms your heart. we are coming back. the first time you went to a parade. the first time you went to the jazz fest. with a visual, performing, media, film, all have been hand
in glove. oliver and lolis can speak to this. everyone up there. at the same time, we don't have the resources we need. partially because of our economic base. i would like someone to address how we might shake down some more sustained funding to support all the artists who are really struggling now, even though they are a big part of the city. they are still struggling. oliver: being someone who acts in theater, politics is the exact same thing. now working in that industry. correct. artists and entertainers, many theater groups held plays and productions in spite of the fact the city was not repopulated. the question is, how do we find sustained funding for those groups? i tweeted a piece not too long ago. i went on vacation, so i had a chance to study and learn a
little more. i tweeted that katrina in many cases was more humane than philanthropists, builders, and fema. because a lot of the traditional organizations are actually being excluded. a lot of the historically african-american nonprofits who fought for years of being left out. new orleans, there is no other place that i want to be, but we have been on a roller coaster for a long time. because we practice insanity. we wanted to promote the festival, but not deal with the people who can't afford to go to the festival. in many cases, i believe entertainers, musicians, artists who work in the french quarter who cannot afford to get parking tickets, and all the money that they made for their gigs they
lose because they can't have an affordable place to park anywhere -- so i think tracy is right about it. when are we going to be intentional? in the greatest city in the world, with the greatest culture and the greatest people, stephen kennedy, the most wonderful people in the world. but when are we going to stop saying, even though i'm smiling, behind the smile is a whole lot of pain? gwen: we have time for another question, then i would like to hear from the panel. >> i am with education justice. my question is, how do we get black native new orleanians to engage in the political process when they are not being hired? we are touting new orleans as a success, and clearly we are left out of the economic boom.
how do we get them to believe in politicians again, when they are still unseen and unheard? gwen: because it's the final question, if i can find a way to rephrase it to include the entire panel -- being unseen and unheard is not unique to african-americans or people in new orleans, but that's the subject at hand when you get down to it. people feel like they survived the worst experience of their lives, the worst experience of this country, in many ways. the idea of a major american city drowning is something i could never get out of my head, the idea it was possible. now, 10 years later, how do we still be seen? how do we still get seen? for jobs, opportunities, restoration of culture, restoration of a broader notion of what new orleans is? i want the whole panel to take them on. lolis: what's striking when we talk about the assistance that
has come to the city post-katrina, it has all been very top-down. big companies given all this money to do rebuilding, then they hired other big companies, who hired other big companies. it's a great story about how the big companies are being paid to put the roof on the house, and how much goes to the actual roofing guy. american capitalism, the idea that the big people should make all the decisions -- in a more microcosmic sense, we count these great things done in education, allegedly great things done in education. the first thing happened -- that happened in education post-to train it firing of all the teachers. we are attempting to improve the lives of these children by firing their mothers, their sisters, their aunts, their uncles. the concept it is possible to have these pronouncements on high in order to help these people below is a big part of
our problem. my conception of who we are helping is skewed. gwen: you were nine years old when katrina hit and lived most of your life post-katrina..lookt now, what do you see? madeline: i can say that i will never own a house one day, because i saw my parents lose everything. i can say that i have been of voting age for more than a year and i have not filled out my voter registration form, because i don't trust politicians, because my parents voted, they pay their taxes, and they still lost their home. i would say, a lot of people my age and older that went through the experience have the same feelings and the same belief, and i can't tell you a way to fix it. i would say that the turnout at
the bernie sanders event last month is a good indication that people are getting riled up in terms of my generation in louisiana. but at the same time, there's just this overwhelming anxiety of having been raised in that type of environment, of kind of just now processing it, because the first days of new orleans after katrina, that was phenomenal, being a child. because we couldn't really process what was happening. our parents were picking up the pieces, so that just left us with this playground of abandoned houses and graveyards. but now, looking at it from where we are, we don't know what to do with this world, and we don't know how to piece it together, because our parents had to deal with it back then.
i don't have an answer as to how we are going to do it now. gwen: kind of heartbreaking. chris rose? chris: wow. let me try to break this into three parts. the first is self-congratulatory.self-congral you, i have done a lot of panels in the last 10 years, a lot of panels. [laughter] as the foremost expert and authority on new orleans' despair, i want to say, this is amazing. to sit with you guys. it is so wonderful to sit with you guys wear for the first time in my life, i actually want to listen more than i want to talk. i want to say that. two other points. what i try to tell myself and other people, you talk about the invisibility, how to get noticed. it comes down to this.
for everyone who has katrina fatigue and doesn't want to hear about it anymore, wrestling with these issues, how we sustain this, how we get noticed, don't worry. after august 30, you won't hear about it again for 15 years. we are a country who fetishize his anniversaries -- fetishizes anniversaries. we are 10 now. 15 doesn't mean anything, and 20 is not a gold watch. so if you are tired of it, don't worry. august 30, you are free. i want to do one thing, not to counter what lolis said, but he came from the top down and i want to speak from the bottom up. the theonly reason we are oe right now and any of us are in this audience is due to people who are not in this room. nobody who is in this room. that's not the corporations, not government. it is the hundreds of thousands,
maybe millions, i don't know, but how many people we will never know who will never know their names, their church groups, their schools, their families, their business groups, who aftever the hell they were, came down carload after carload, busload after busload, year after year, to this day. they came down here, tour houses apart, and then rebuilt them. i don't know who the hell they are. but i wish we could line them all up in the superdome someday and give them a freaking party. that's why we are here. not because of all the government billions of dollars that helped. our fellow citizens, we will never know who came down here,
not expecting anything. thank you. [applause] gwen: i would just argue, many of those people came when it was not an anniversary. they kept coming, will keep coming, makes the point that people do things for the right reason, and focus even when the spotlight goes away. tracie: how do we get noticed? well, we get loud. i.e. vacuum a as a single -- i evacuated as a single mom with a 12-year-old and a jacked up car and an american express. that was an awful combination -- and a law degree. that was an awful combination, because i could get into any court and argue with anybody. that was great.
you will get angry. you will buy a house. you are going to -- i am not going to live being forced to be resilient. i don't want to hear that word again. i'm tired of people saying, resilient. resilient means you can do something for me. no! i'm not resilient. i have the right to not be resilient. how do we do this? we can fight this. i will be the one turning off the lights. this city is not going anywhere without me. so, i say to everybody else who has that same experience, we can fight it. i say to you, we keep fighting. we keep fighting. and we demand that our voice be heard. you know? we just demand it. i got a lot of grief. can't take it away from me, my bar number. i will sue to be heard, and i
mean that. minh: i shared this story earlier. we fought so that we could stay here in new orleans and not be displaced again. for us, one of the things i really want to share is that, again, we have a lot of immigrants who moved into our city, and they also need to have a voice as well. we have been continuing the fight to make sure there is language access for our people. a lot of the latinos moved in and helped rebuild our city. but they are not being heard right now. that's one of the things i wanted to address. the other thing is that i am so sick of people telling our narrative in our story, right? this entire week of katrina, i'm kind of sad that the people who have been affected and impacted
the most are not at these events, not even invited to be at these events, and they are the ones who we are celebrating and commemorating. there's so many people who have made so much money off of them as well. they are continuing to be voiceless. we have to continue to fight. we have to organize. we have to take over our own media. we have to changer narrative. that's the reason why we are being pushed down, right? we have been pushed away. right now, people are telling our story. that's so sad, what we have to deal with. for us, it's just, yes, we have to fight, we have to organize, we have to stick together, we have to work together to make sure our voices are heard. oliver: the importance of the media, the business community, the political committee has to be stronger and more intentional than ever.
we have to use theater, use public policy, to incentivize smart growth in areas that are struggling. not just gentrifying, but before it comes to that point. we have to be intentional about funding. create homeownership in communities where indigenous people have been in those neighborhoods that now have value. we have to create other economic engines, not just the downtown and the french quarter. we have swaths of land in new orleans east. we live in a region because of our diet where we have chronic illnesses. why not create a research and develop the area around new orleans east hospital that deals with afghan americans and chronic illness indigenous to the region? we should not just have one medical research center. professor tony felton earls, who i studied with, is from new