9.09.2005

What Texans Feel Bad for Thinking, so We're Not Saying It... but I Will

This entire post was typed with my eyes closed, so please excuse any typos.

I feel the need to preface this post by saying that I am not a mean and hateful person. I do not bask in the misfortunes of others; I have a deep saddness for those who have been displaced by hurricane Katrina.

There are two types of people:
  • Feelers-- these people tend to go with the gut instinct. They allow emotions to play a major role in their decision making. Often feelers' actions are motivated by instinctual urges.
  • and Thinkers-- these people tend to think and go with [hopefully well-thought] strategies. In instances of turmoil, they take a minute to say let's look at this long term. What decisions right now will workout best in the long run? No matter what the instance is they tend to put aside their emotions in order to make decisions that are as realistic as possible.
Having said all of that, I believe many Texans are truly concerned, as am I, about the effects of housing more than 230,000 Katrina victims/survivors. Many of us are concerned about how this will effect not only our quality of life, but also our economy. There are many mistakes being made out of a need to make quick decisions-- these quick decisions could very well prove harmful in the long run.

Examples
  1. The Chase Debit Card: Many of the victims, brought to Texas from the Superdome and Arena are now receiving debit cards with a $2000 prestored value on them. The concept behind this card was genuinely a great idea. However, the execution could have stood to be improved. As these cards are debit cards, people can get cold cash back from these cards. They can use them to purchase anything from anyone who accepts theAmerican dollar or the MaserCard logo. Personally, I believe these cards should ahve been tailored, somewhat like the foodstamp cards so that only certain items could be purchased with these cards. In some cases the governemnet is handing over $2000 debit cards to people who have never had $2000 in their position at one time. Putting that type of money into people's hands who may not be accustoed to that amount of money is potentially hazardous. I would just hate to see that money [taxpayer dollars] go to alcohol, or a certain desinger outfit that wasn't never in reach before.
  2. Housing: Beyond the debit card issue, housing is probably a very large concern among my statemates. I am nto callous; I am being very real right now. The vast majority of the people who were brought to Houston's Astrodome from the Superdome and the Arena lived below the poverty level when at their peak in New Orleans. Many of them were underprivilaged and undereducated in New Orleans. Many of them have always looked to Houston as "the better life," and before many of them had no means of getting here. Well, as a result of a major disaster we have opened our doors and brought them to us. Howe many of those people do you truly believe have any intention of leaving Houston when they are presented with the opportunity to go back home to NO or elsewhere. Many of these people had never even left New Orleans, so leaving a new place where they are begining to set roots is not too plausible. The problem then becomes, that Houston would then need to be able to house, on a more permanent basis those who choose to stay. We are a generous people down here in Texas [our name in itself means friend] so we are not going to force people to leave. However all of these additional people would be murderous on our economy. We are essentially taking one city and putting it into an entirely difernet city. In houston we have recently been putting up very nice townhomes and the property value here has increased. However, I have talked to many native Houstonians, who previously were making attempts to move back to Houston. Many of them no longer wanted to come because of all of the new tenants we will inevidently have.
    "If I wanted to live in Louisiana, I would have gone to school there," one friend said. It's a legitimate issue. Are we going to have to start buildign more section 8 houses to house those who were already subpoverty level in N.O? By no stretch of the imagination are there an additional 100,000 jobs here in Houston, let alone 200,000. Of the jobs in Houston, many of them require a higher level of education, so the victims are not taking the qualified jobs. However, with the sudden influx of people, those who may have been inclined to move here may decide against it because of our new tenants.
  3. Lifestyle: New Orleans people, their culture is vastly different from those in the rest of the country. That cannot be disputed. The loitering on Bourbon streeet, and the openly accepted purchasing of alcohol by minors are evident unto themselves that life out there was different. The Astrodome recently invoked an 11 P.M. curfew for the victims in the Dome. Many were upset. I have a question. What could one be doing, outside of the dome, after 11 p.m., without any money. We do not loiter in Texas.
  4. Crime: We are all concerned about it. On day two of project "house the victims" a woman or more was raped. An influx of car breaks in have occured in the Medical Center [Astrodome area] since we've opened our doors. I am not calling all victims or New Orleanians criminals. I am nto doing that. I am however, asking if we are really ready to see the type of influx in crime that can come with a distraught hoard of an additional 230,000 people.
  5. Safety. I was reading an article that brought up a great point. Displaced Katrina kids are about to stat going to school with the kids already here in Texas. As these vitims/survivors have been exposed to everything from the current outbreak of TB in the Dome and the Ecoli in the waters in NO, without any form of vaccination records, many of our kids are being put at risk.
I think what I am basically trying to say, is that we have to make sure that in the midst of our helping, we don't forget to take care of home too.

I was in the Galleria today, and saw this dude with his wristband on carrying two Saks Fifth Avenue bags out. I saw a long line of evacuees at the ATM machine inside of Target. And oh so many were in the beauty shops and nails shops. A realist's approach says what happens when they've blown the $2000 from that debit card on their hair, nails, and the stuff from Saks, and the Louis Vitton bag one when it behind me to buy? Will they stand at the feet of the government and ask for more?

5 comments:

TEN33GIRL said...

I applaud you for being realistic and saying the things that most people are thinking.

Great post.

Martian Anthropologist said...

You have an answer to your post on my blog.

EXSENO said...

Each one of your concerns are very well said and many of us feel the same way.

I realize there is good and bad people mixed together and we can't blame all for what some do. But the truth is the bad are mixed in with the good and other states are getting some of that.

In a town very near where I live a bunch of refugees were brought here and within days, they were payed back by two refugees by a man attacking someone, and a women trying to lure a womens children from there yard While playing. The Mother has a small patch of woods near her yard and is now afraid to let her children out to play. Do you blame her? I'm not ramdomly blaming refugees the man was caught and he was found to be one. So you can't blame people for their concer.

My daughter is an E.M.T. and we have many friends that went down there to help. Make no mistake I realize that the situation is terrible there, but also many of the people there have led a life of crime, most probably because they could not find jobs. But many in that pericular area have had to survive in some way or another.
Perosnally I don't wan't to be a victim of their way of life. And I really feel bad for those who are good getting a bad rap because of this. I'm just trying to say, that in the bundle of new neighbors that we will all be getting , I don't want any of my family falling victum to the bad.

Princessy said...

THAT

IS

SO

TRUE!!!!!

And all of ya'll Texans KNOW you were thinking the EXACT same thing. To be honest, this lil Texan is scared to come home due to some of the horror stories I've heard.(A young man beat up a girl because she didn't want to give him her phone number. WHAT IN THE HELL?!) Never fear, those Texas Republicans will NOT stand for too much more ignorance to seep into our lovely state (Denton, TX has already closed it's doors to Katrina evacuees) Don't get me wrong, I feel AWFUL for what has happened. There are the good people who actually appreciate the help and are just trying to sort out their lives. HOWEVER I've seen and heard enough to where I almost don't feel sorry for some of the evacuees. To quote an actual evacuee:

"We real niggas ya heard? Texas is about to get real hood. You thought ya'll wards was hard? Shiiiiit, that's an easy day in the hood for me. I'm from the N.O. where we drink Hurricanes (the actual drink) any day of the week. Shiiiit, ya'll might as well get used to us. We real niggas....N.O. niggas"

The HELL I will get used to you. So many things wrong with this quote. If it weren't for us "fake" niggas you would be swimming in green murky infested water. People have lost their loved ones and some don't even know if their families are alive and this "real nigga" is worried about turning Houston in to a overgrown ghetto?! Show some appreciation....

EGYPT said...

I agree and although there situation is very sad and I would hate to be there shoes too. Once reality kicks in and settles and the media find some other hot topic to discuss. The evacuees of N.O will be yesterdays news. And it will very hard to get disaster assistance for some people who feel that they can afford designer clothes. They don't realize that they are making any help they had comming turn away. Once I heard the story about the girls that didn't want to take some of the donated clothes because they didn't match that was it for me.