Writers on the Hurricane

While in Cleveland to accept an award, novelist Edwidge Danticat told the Plain Dealer that Hurricane Katrina reminded her of Jeanne, which devastated the Haitian city of Gonaives:

“There, again, the people most vulnerable were the most affected. It’s extraordinarily striking to hear people of the first world called refugees in their own country. People try to distance themselves from the dispossessed, asking, ‘Why didn’t they get out?’ – the same question asked of Gonaives.”

Over at NPR, writers Fannie Flagg and Richard Ford offer call in to offer comfort to the survivors. (Scroll to the last few minutes of the program.)

Elsewhere, Poet Ishmael Reed calls the media on its handling of race during the hurricane and on other major current issues.

I wish that some of these smug individuals [those who profess ‘tough love’] would serve as block captain in an inner-city neighborhood for a year, as I have since 1989. They would discover that the official indifference and apathy and neglect expressed toward the black residents in New Orleans happen on a smaller scale to black neighborhoods throughout the nation. That nation is not color-blind. It’s colored blind.

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