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9/30/2005

"HUD chief foresees a 'whiter' Big Easy"

A Bush Cabinet officer predicted this week that New Orleans likely will never again be a majority black city, and several black officials are outraged.
    Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development, during a visit with hurricane victims in Houston, said New Orleans would not reach its pre-Katrina population of "500,000 people for a long time," and "it's not going to be as black as it was for a long time, if ever again." . . .
    Other members of the caucus said the comments by Mr. Jackson, who is black, could be misconstrued as a goal, particularly considering his position of responsibility in the administration. . . .


Mr. Jackson's statements seem completely correct to me, and indeed I have been making similar statements to people starting a week or so after the hurricane hit. The prediction is actually pretty simple given the areas of the city that were most harmed and that once people move away and make a life elsewhere it is unlikely that they will return. Other predictions include that families with children are less likely to return. There are no schools operating in New Orleans, and people will children will not be returning until schools are operating again. Since that group will stay away relatively longer, they will be less likely to return. However, the highlighted statement that the Jackson's prediction could be viewed as an administration goal seems amazing, and why the media doesn't make fun of this is equally puzzling.
Thanks to the Drudgereport for flagging this article.

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