Quickie Post on the Conclusion of Rising Tide IV

Sorry, folks, had to stop the updates because I ended up moderating the health care panel. A spot-on account of what wasn't discussed on that panel can be found here. A sampling:

And here is where I am embarrassed. My one note, the one thing I most wanted to discuss, maybe even the most important thing to discuss within the context of health and New Orleans, did not get mentioned. I didn’t know where to put it in without sounding like the crazy loon in the armchair throwing off the conversation… so I waited for a question from the audience that would let me bring it up. Unfortunately, it didn’t come. So I didn’t say anything about the issue of race and class… and neither did anybody else.

Which is a shame because we cannot consider the scope of health challenges of any kind within our city — access, stress, mental health, behavioral concerns, nutrition, whatever health issue one can think of — without discussing race and class. Race and class shape any health experience irregardless of the location. But in New Orleans, it is a paramount issue. For one, before 2005, New Orleans was the only city in the country that had a defined two-tier system with separate and (un)equal medical facilities for the haves and have-nots. What has not returned post-Flood are those services for the have-nots. So what isn’t being said is that the reason these services aren’t here, or are being taken away, is because they are for a population that many do not want here in the first place. The rest of us work away at putting money and resources into community clinics (whose funding is not indefinite) and outreach and signing individuals up for public services — but how effective can we be in the long run if we never take a step back and look at the big picture?

Some other accounts can be found at Maitri's here. It was much, much more than nola.com did: according to the local paper, the story was all Harry Shearer and nothing else.

Coozan Pat chimes in, awaiting accounts from other bloggers.

As does Adrastos. The man has now immortalized Diaper Dave Vitter as "the Keith Richards of Louisiana politics". NOLA-Dishu adds some visual zing to the "Alien" comparison Clancy Dubos threw out there concerning Vitter during the politics panel.

The recipient of the fourth Ashley Morris Award had this to say, but he/she couldn't say it in person. Jacques Morial filled in quite well for Dambala:

What I would like to tell the people in this room is that you are all special. You all share a collective love for this city and are using your blogs and activism to shape a better vision of New Orleans. While we all may not agree on everything, we all….most certainly…..care. We care enough to pay attention….and that means everything to the health of a community.

We all know that traditional mainstream media resources are facing some serious challenges with the advent of the internet and quite often blogs are portrayed as the nemesis to quality journalism. I don’t believe this is true. Blogs are just another tool for the 4th estate to perform it’s job. In a way, I think the internet is the ultimate evolution of the 4th estate. All of you…particularly you….New Orleans bloggers…have proven that in the years following Katrina. Nowhere have bloggers made such an impact as they have here in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina.

And for that matter, I think the MSM, investigative journalists in this city are head and shoulders above the national pack. I am personally not worried for their future as some….as I have faith that quality and integrity is always in demand regardless of the medium or technology used to relay the message. I hope our blogs continue to serve them in the future. After all…we’re on the same team.
It was an honor to craft the Ashley for Ashe Dambala.

Yashir koach, D, and FYYFF!

1 comment:

  1. Keep fighting the good fight...New Orleans needs her champions!