It's been 10 years since the Danziger Bridge shooting.
It's been 10 years since the brutal killing of Henry Glover by NOPD.
It's been 10 years since President George W. Bush congratulated FEMA director Michael Brown for doing "a heckuva job" in coordinating the response to Katrina.
It's been 10 years since Kanye West said "George Bush doesn't care about Black people."
It's been 10 years since there was a fight over formaldehyde filled FEMA trailers. It's been 10 years since Katrina survivors had to fight with insurance companies and FEMA over money they needed for their recovery. It's been 10 years since people in 49 other of these divided states watched with sadness and empathy, anger and apathy at the treatment of American citizens who happened to be poor yet pride; at their bottom but not broken.
It's been 10 years.
It's been 10 years and the lower 9th ward of New Orleans is still an abandoned waste land. It's been 10 years and while the damage in Mississippi and Alabama has been cleaned up and rebuilt the same can't be said for all of New Orleans. It's been 10 years and folks flock to the Big Easy every year for Mardi Gras, The Jazz Fest, and The Essence Fest, but rarely do they stay long enough to leave the French Quarter and see the ghosts of Katrina. It's been 10 years and the water marks on houses still remain where the dirty flood settled around them. It's been 10 years and the orange National Guard markings still remain on many a front door where homeowners either abandoned their property or died inside. It's been 10 years and wholeness and normalcy have not returned to a community that deserved better than to be treated like the refugees of Haiti.
It's been 10 years and now New Orleans is just a pitstop for Presidents past, present, and future to visit and make empty promises while touting a resilience that just isn't there in all of New Orleans. It's been 10 years since the government first began writing checks and infusing money into the infrastructure of New Orleans. It's been 10 years and the levees are now twice as high and doubly reinforced with concrete and steel. It's been 10 years and some roads are repaired and some bridges resurfaced.
It's been 10 years, and it may take another 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years before all of New Orleans looks the way it used to, to a girl of 18, vibrant and full of music, food, life, love, signifying, and soul.
It's been 10 years since I watched my second home swallowed up.
It's been 10 years and I can still remember it like it was yesterday.