Oct
2006

race and access

The battle by both races for money post-Katrina continues, although this article proclaims that “Whites appealed Katrina insurance more”:

State workers crisscrossed the state, using mobile complaint centers, user-friendly Web sites and advertisements on television and radio. When complaints were received, state insurance officials determined whether they had merit, and lobbied insurance companies for more money for homeowners when warranted.

That message, however, never reached the water-stained stoop of Doretha Kitchens’ house, which was enveloped in a 9-foot wave of muddy water when the Lower Ninth Ward’s aging levees broke. For months, she had no access to computer, radio or TV and couldn’t hear the state agency’s messages.

Kitchens also didn’t know she could appeal Allstate Corp.’s settlement offer to the state, but doubts it would have changed anything. Her husband, she said, simply lost faith that anyone would help.

“My husband didn’t want to be bothered. I asked him, ‘Why don’t we sue the insurance company?’ He said, ‘They ain’t gonna do nothing no way.’ White just decided they was gonna go file. Black, we just gave up easier.”

I think post-Katrina EVERYONE finds it tempting to give up. I know my parents would love to with all the stupid forms they have to file. Yet word of mouth and new friends at their Senior Center keep them informed. They’ve never been on the Internet, except for pages I’ve shown them, and that often is more confusing. Remember my “FEMA sucks” post complaining about how that government website required Internet Explorer?

Easier said than done, but no one should give up, as tiring as it all seems. The fight must continue otherwise the rest of America will forget and give up on us too.

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