Showing posts with label public housing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label public housing. Show all posts

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Martin died for fools like this?

I guess the TV lady's stories weren't on today.

Instead, Sharon Jasper was at the New Orleans City Council meeting screaming "racist" at a white man who favored demolishing four of the city's housing projects in favor of mixed-income developments.

LATER, Jasper complained to the council that opponents were being treated "inhuman" and that she liked to have nice things, like anyone else.

She said she grew up in the projects, and her family always had nice things, because they wanted live well. She said that, in her now-abandoned apartment in the projects, she had a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer.

Because she likes nice things. Like her 60-inch TV. Inside the publicly funded apartment she occupies. Because she doesn't have the money to actually pay rent herself.

I guess it's racist to suggest that if you don't have the money to pay rent, you don't have the money to be buying big-screen televisions.

Hell, I would like a big-screen TV. Unfortunately, we have this thing called a "house payment." Unlike Sharon Jasper, the unwitting spokesmodel for What the Hell is Wrong With New Orleans. Well, at least a sizable chunk of what's wrong with New Orleans -- and a big, big part of why the rest of America has had it up the wazoo with the Crescent City.

You don't believe this ex-Louisianian who now lives in the Midwest? Check out the comboxes for any story having anything to do with Katrina and federal aid for New Orleans.

Can anyone say "extreme sense of entitlement"? How about "extreme outlook-reality disconnect"?

Then again, we're all just racists. Unlike the saintly souls engaging in a near-riot outside City Hall and the ones inside the council chamber shouting down council members and brawling with police.

Attacking police officers. At the city council meeting.

HERE'S A BIT of The Times-Picayune's liveblogging on the contentious council meeting way down yonder . . . in America's Chechnya:

11 a.m.: Meeting begins after several people ousted from chambers

The council finally opens the meeting, with the customary pledge to allegiance and the playing of the national anthem. At this time, several people have been removed by police, including rapper Sess 4-5, who when asked for his real name by a reporter, replies, "F---- off."

The chamber is filled and quiet, after the fracas that broke out in the center of the chamber near the podium.

10:54 a.m.: Protesters scream as they are forcibly ejected

Protester Krystal Muhammad is carried out of the chamber by a group of police and deputies. She screams repeatedly. "I'm not a slave!" she shouts. A second woman is also forcibly removed, as Fielkow calls the meeting to order, one hour late.

"Next time you'll be asked to leave," an officer tells the remaining crowd. "Plain and simple."

The Rev. James Smith gives the invocation: "May we never be lazy in our work for peace. May we honor those who have died in defense of our ideals....Help all of us to appreciate one another."

10:50 a.m.: Fights break out, police struggle to maintain order

A struggle breaks out in council chambers. Police officers race to break it up. At least three people are ejected, as shouting fills the chamber. A woman slaps at a cameraman's lens, drawing his ire.

"Security, security," Council President Arnie Fielkow says into the microphone. "If you do not obey the rules, you must leave."

Krystal Muhammad shouts out, "I'm not going nowhere."

10:42 a.m.: Protesters boo council members

Several protesters greet the council members with boos and slurs. Krystal Muhammad calls Council Member Stacy Head a racist. Head responds by blowing a kiss and waving to her.

Muhammad keeps shouting. "Stacy Head, she's the real devil in charge!"

Jay Arena shouts, "Jackie Clarkson, you're a sell-out."

10:37 a.m.: Council finally enters to howls from audience

Council members begin entering the chamber.

"Bring your coward selves out here!" Krystal Muhammad shouts. "Let the people in here. We've got plenty of seats in here."

Muhammad, who says she is with the New Black Panther Party, calls out to the council members: "You no good sell outs. I bet your house is still standing!"

10:30 a.m.:Lawyer criticizes council for limiting audience

City Hall officials stick by their earlier statement that they are limiting the crowd to 278 for safety reasons. Council members still haven't entered the room. The meeting was set for 10 a.m.

Attorney Tracie Washington accused officials of changing the rules for the public housing crowd.

"That's retarded," Washington says to Peggy Lewis, clerk of council. "You have to let these people in. You've got 800,000 police here. Ain't nobody going to do anything in here."

10:22 a.m.: Both sides wait for meeting to start, words exchanged

"I'm for the demolition and rebuilding," says John Ales, 42, a cook who lives in Mid-City. He is the man seated behind Sharon Sears Jasper, who minutes earlier had called him a "racist white man."

Meanwhile, the council members have yet to enter the chamber. A man is shouting in front of a bevy of video cameras about the homeless problem and how he is from public housing. "All of us are getting screwed," he shouts.

10:15 a.m.: Audience told they must take a seat, tempers flare

The meeting hasn't started yet. Council members haven't entered the chamber.

Civil sheriff's deputies continue to try and keep order, telling the people inside that they may not stand during the meeting and that everyone must have a seat. Tempers flare in one section of the chamber.

"You're a racist white man," Sharon Sears Jasper, a former St. Bernard complex resident shouts at a man seated behind her.

"Ma'am, the color of my skin isn't the issue," the man replies.

"Stop the demolition! Stop the demolition!" several people start chanting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My television is a 33-year-old Sony

UPDATE: I humbly thank Michelle Malkin and other bloggers who have linked to my little takedown of the TV Lady. It's been a big 24 hours for the Revolution 21 website. Geez, I'm not even a conservative . . . except when it comes to social issues.

But while you're visiting Revolution 21's Blog for the People
, I beg you to read this and this -- a pair of entries far more consequential than anything I might have to say about someone so petty and, ultimately, unimportant as the TV Lady. Until and unless the TV Lady comes to love Jesus more than she hates whitey, there's not much that can be done for her.

LIKEWISE, until and unless all those in New Orleans like the TV Lady get a clue and get some perspective -- and this goes double for all those who use the TV Lady as cover for hating the poor, African-Americans or both -- there isn't much hope for a beautiful and once-great city. In that case, history will take care of them all. And all our outrage and witty takedowns of ungrateful morons really won't change anything and, thus, are unimportant.

In the grand scheme of things, for each one of us and for the good society we wish to build, what's important is
this. And this.

We need to encourage young men and women to be like what I write about
here. And here.

And we must mourn when the good die young. What once were important pieces of our hope suddenly aren't there anymore.

While cutting loose on scoundrels like the TV Lady can be important and instructive, cursing the darkness isn't nearly so important as lighting candles. Before you read my post about the TV Lady, I beg you . . . go
here. And here.

Help people -- especially young people of every color, gender, class and ethnicity -- become good men and good women. Celebrate them.

And, as I do now, weep bitter tears when we lose them. God bless you, and merry Christmas.

This is rich. The public-housing Don Quixotistas down in New Orleans are chaining themselves to buildings scheduled for demolition and blockading federal offices to keep The Man from tearing down any more housing projects.

THEY CITE the need for affordable low-income housing post-Katrina but, the thing is, hundreds of rehabbed public units are going begging for tenants, according to local housing authorities. And the poverty petri dishes scheduled to come down got that kiss of death long before New Orleans got swamped.

From The Times-Picayune:

As housing activists continued to protest the proposed demolition of four public housing complexes, federal housing officials provided new details Tuesday about hundreds of public housing units available across New Orleans, with dozens of units ready for occupants in the B.W. Cooper, the former Desire and the Guste developments.

Housing officials said hundreds of private apartments where disaster or Section 8 vouchers can be used are also available to help meet the needs of displaced public housing residents, both in the short and long term.

Meanwhile, activists staged a protest on the steps of City Hall, saying procedural snags, as well as extra costs for utilities and security deposits, put those options out of reach for many poor people. Furthermore, some alleged "slum" conditions at those properties, and they have said they don't trust housing officials to make good on promises of mixed-income redevelopments that will welcome the poor.

Federal Department of Housing and Development officials said the local public housing supply outstrips demand. Currently, 1,762 public housing units are occupied and nearly 300 are available or within weeks of being ready at eight Housing Authority of New Orleans complexes and at scattered housing authority sites.

Another 802 public housing units across the city are being repaired and will be put to use in the coming year, housing officials said.


If the council approves demolition, mixed-income developments would open at the St. Bernard, B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete and Lafitte sites within months. In addition to the total of 900 public housing units, the three complexes would include 900 market-rate rental units and 900 homes for sale at the four long-standing public housing sites, according to current proposals. Many of the homes for sale would be reserved for first-time home buyers, with financial subsidies designed to allow former public housing families to become property owners.

But the target of 3,343 public housing units in New Orleans is a flashpoint because it represents a drop of about one-third from the 5,100 units occupied before Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

As the city repopulates, housing officials say, other demands for housing can be met through use of vouchers that can be used for private apartments, the quality of which is in dispute. HANO officials say they inspect private units, more than 500 of which are listed on the housing authority's Web site, but activists say poor conditions in many units deter renters.

SO WHAT GIVES? Apart, of course, from the existential angst of spoiled white kids for whom wearing Che Guevara T-shirts is not enough.

Beats me. It must be a New Orleans thang. Poor folks up here in Omaha want the projects gone.

Then again, maybe the core of lifelong public-housing tenants the Don Quixotistas seem to be advocating for have developed a taste for dungheaps, and they demand to live in dungheaps in the old 'hood, and they further demand that taxpayers pay for them to live in dungheaps in the old 'hood.

Or else.

If this woman interviewed in the
Picayune is any indication, affordable housing is not the biggest problem here:

Sharon Jasper, a former St. Bernard complex resident presented by activists Tuesday as a victim of changing public housing policies, took a moment before the start of the City Hall protest to complain about her subsidized private apartment, which she called a "slum." A HANO voucher covers her rent on a unit in an old Faubourg St. John home, but she said she faced several hundred dollars in deposit charges and now faces a steep utility bill.

"I'm tired of the slum landlords, and I'm tired of the slum houses," she said.

Pointing across the street to an encampment of homeless people at Duncan Plaza, Jasper said, "I might do better out here with one of these tents."

Jasper, who later allowed a photographer to tour the subsidized apartment, also complained about missing window screens, a slow leak in a sink, a warped back door and a few other details of a residence that otherwise appeared to have been recently renovated.

At the City Hall protest, a crowd of people railed against "privatization and gentrification of the city," saying it would be a mistake to raze well-built public housing at a time when so many people need affordable housing. One of their leaders, Loyola University law professor Bill Quigley, said it's appropriate that advocates for the poor from across the country have gathered in New Orleans to help fight the demolitions.

"This is a national scandal," he said.

THESE ACTIVISTS ARE NUTS. See the picture above this post? Sharon Jasper sitting in her "slum house."

With her 60-inch, high-definition TV.

I think that apartment looks pretty good. I wish
my house looked that good. I wish I had a 60-inch HDTV, too.

This is a picture of a TV just like the one we have in our living room, a 1974 Sony KV-1203:

I MUST ADMIT, this is our small television. The "big" television in the basement family room is a 1984 Sony 19-inch stereo model. We were so proud that we had the scratch to buy such a nice TV back in the day.

Maybe we ought to have demanded that the citizens of Springfield, Mo., (where we lived then) just buy a fuggin' Sony stereo television for us. And pay for our apartment --
which was NOT as nice as Sharon Jasper's -- while they were at it.

I'll tell you what. If the "slum lady" really thinks she'd be better off living in a van down by the river -- or in a tent across from City Hall . . . whatever -- don't let your slum apartment's warped door hit you in the ass as you hightail it to Nirvana.

And I'll take your "slum house." I'll even fix the faucet and hang a new door.

ALL I NEED is for somebody in New Orleans to hire me and my mad language and radio-production skillz for a fair wage -- enough to make rent, eat food and pay my bills.

Oh . . .
while I'm thinking of it, Sharon, could you leave the big-ass TV for the wife and me? I mean, after all, there ain't no electricity down there at the homeless encampment.

You wouldn't even be able to watch your stories.