Evangelicals are saying that New Orleans was a land of baby killers and sodomites. To my mother, this may be true, but it seems that more importantly, it is comprised almost entirely of people collecting welfare checks*.

Just a minute ago, she said to me, “This New Orleans stuff is driving me crazy.”

Turning away from the CNN article about Katrina that I was reading, I responded, “Horrible, isn’t it?”

But that wasn’t what she had in mind. She was angry that people are complaining that the government isn’t responding quickly enough. An easy enough accusation to make when one is sleeping next to corpses and fighting off an ochlocracy.

She continued: “Now we’re going to be paying out of our ass for all these people on welfare for years.”

Momentarily stunned, I deflected the question. “I think the bigger question is how New Orleans is going to be rebuilt; it’s basically destroyed.”

“Why were these people allowed to live there in the first place?”

“Your guess is as good as mine. As early as 2001, Scientific American was running articles saying ‘This is a disaster waiting to happen’ and nobody did anything.”

When she said “these people,” though, she apparently meant “welfare recipients,” as she made yet another comment about how they all just sit there and collect their checks and she’s tired of paying for it.

I didn’t say it, but I told myself I’d happily shell out extra tax money if I don’t have to have my life ripped away from me by metric tonnes of water.

§738 · September 1, 2005 · Tags: , ·

4 Comments to “New Orleans… land of welfare?”

  1. Andy says:

    I don’t quite get your last statement. I understand your impatience toward your mother’s insensitivity, but given that you don’t live in Nawluns and given that people on welfare do not pay “extra tax money,” I don’t quite make the connection.

  2. Ben says:

    My sentiment was that I’d rather be the one paying money than be the one needing it.

  3. Andy says:

    Well, i think the right *at times* unfairly demonizes the welfare class, and I think the left not always but more often than not lionizes them.

    Thanks for the trackback, by the way.

  4. Ben says:

    Unfortunately, both sides like generalizations. Welfare recipients are all lazy, indolent nonwhites with too many kids; welfare opponents are all greedy corporate shills that throw darts at pictures of poor people.

    In Shauna’s case, I find her reactions towards a) the poor and b) nonwhites to be somewhat extreme and knee-jerk.

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