Katrina Didn’t Invent Poverty, And No, That’s Not An Excuse

From the Tribune:

PEMBROKE TOWNSHIP, Ill. — As if residents haven’t endured enough down here, the area’s underground sewer system has deteriorated and now raw sewage is bubbling up–at times, cauldron-style–in some of their yards.

New Orleans? No.

This is happening in Pembroke Township, about 80 miles south of downtown Chicago. If you want to know hard times and poverty, you don’t have to travel to Louisiana or Mississippi.

You simply can take a drive through this rural township, where some houses still have no running water, heating systems or telephone service. And rusting trailers and old school buses pop up like daisies on vacant lots in lieu of lucrative economic development.

I don’t hate Dawn Turner Trice. Don’t love her, either. But I will point out to her that in this instance, there’s no need to go all of 80 miles from Chicago’s shining downtown. There’s not even any need to go 10. In fact, in an hour of walking straight west or due south from the Chicago Tribune’s shiny building she could have found poverty, overlaid with decades of racial neglect and hatred, comparable to that revealed by Katrina’s wrath.

And this, from Desi.

“The poor you will always have with you, Jesus said. A warning, or an indictment?”

— The Sparrow