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I heard on KMOX (1120 AM) this morning that repairs for the New Orleans Superdome cost 185 million dollars.  A lady was quoted in saying, “this is good because it gives us something else to think about.” Now, I am a big sports fan.  I marvel at the athleticism of football players like Michael Vick and Reggie Bush.  But I couldn’t but think about the priorities of the city.  It seems to me that that money should have been used to repair shelters (or homes).  According to an article by Social and Economic Justice (see website address below), here’s a look at the current state of New Orleans (a year later):

  • Nearly a third of the trash has yet to be picked up.

  • 60% of homes still lack electricity.

  • 17% of the buses are operational.

  • Half of the physicians have left, and there is a shortage of 1,000 nurses.

  • Six of the nine hospitals remain closed.

  • 66% of public schools have reopened.

  • A 40% hike in rental rates, disproportionately affecting black and low-income families.

  • A 300% increase in the suicide rate.  

Maybe I am missing something but aren’t these real needs more important than sports?

[see thinkprogress.org/2006/08/28/katrina-facts-anniversary]

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2 Comments

  1. luke,

    i’ve been meaning to comment on this post for several days. i’m so with you on this one. the sports industry in america is out of control. the issue in new orleans is a glaring atrocity but i also think of the more minor daily atrocities that happen in youth sports everyday.

    another, question along this line would be concerning st. louis’ decision to build a new baseball stadium when they have one of the worst public school systems in the country. couldn’t we have spent a little less on our golden cow and a little more on meeting real needs?

  2. Very amazing site! I wish I could do something as nice as you did…mary


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