Michelle Norris broadcast a moving story (listen to audio) about the child refugees of New Orleans and their feelings about their native city and their hopes for the future. The interview was recorded at a Baton Rouge church shelter.
Margarita Ellis, a 12 year old tells of her insomnia:
“I don’t really go to sleep because I be wide awake and don’t really know why is that…I go to sleep late, late, late like everybody be sleeping I be the only one woke up.
Norris: What does New Orleans mean to you?
Ellis: Hmm. What did it mean to me? Dignity, my dignity, my pride. Because…how can I put this…I didn’t really want [to] go nowhere. I wanted to stay in the exact house I been livin’ in for I don’t know how long [laughs]…ever since I was a baby, somethin’ like that.
Later, Norris interviews 11-year old Ryanna Lexus:
Norris: If you look into your future ten, maybe 20 years from now, you get past all this– what do you want for yourself?
Lexus: A decent home probably back at where I was livin’ when I was born. New Orleans not to be this way again. Kids not fussin’ or fightin’, dogs not fightin’.
Norris: You think you’ll go back to New Orleans?
Lexus: Well then not really. Not [with] what they’re sayin’ on the news. With what they’re sayin’ on the news…no time soon.
Norris: But maybe, eventually?
Norris: What’re hoping to find when you get there?
Lexus: A place where we lived. A place where we came from but even more peaceful.
I hope George Bush is listening (fat chance). Even an 11 year old child knows that New Orleans is uninhabitable for the foreseeable future. Now, what will he do to ensure that this child has a future in the only city she’s ever known in her short life?