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Bitter Southerner: In Louisiana, We’re Tired of Being Resilient

In the wake of so much disaster, Louisianans are forced to be resilient. By now, it’s built into our cultural psyche. In tough times, we rescue neighbors from rooftops, find valuables in the rubble, comfort those who have lost everything. Not long after it was safe to go outside after Hurricane Ida, my fellow Louisianans were delivering gas for generators, water and food for families, money to people in need.

Then, we wait. We wait for the next disaster. We wait for the inevitable loss of life. Eventually, we go back to being resilient while industry continues to pollute and our coast continues to vanish. It’s a cycle that is recurring with greater frequency: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005; the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill; the 2016 floods that left thousands homeless; Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020, which decimated Lake Charles; Hurricane Ida in August. The next one is coming, and we’re waiting.