Defender Picks

"Don't Call Me Resilient"

For two weeks, New Orleans has been inundated with coverage of the Katrina/Federal Flood. And more than a few locals are sick of it. In particular, the City’s official slogan “resilient” is drawing fire. After a week of social media backlash, viral signs are now popping up to critique the catchphrase.


Scattered around the city, placards are appearing that read, “Stop calling me resilient” The text continues, “Because every time you say, “Oh, they;re resilient that means you can do something else to me. I am not resilient.” The quote is attributed to Tracie Washington of the Louisiana Justice Institute.


The signs are the creation of local letterpress printer John Fitzgerald. The artist told NoDef that he actually made the signs years before the anniversary. He explained that when the mood strikes him, he creates messages of these sorts and distributes them to his friends.

“When I feel inspired, that’s my mode of how to express myself. I’m just frustrated that I have less of a canvass to put them on,” said Fitzgerald.


These signs just happened to go viral. The success was also a surprise to Washington herself. She told NoDef, “All of a sudden I just saw them popping up. My son even has one in his room.”


Washington said that the quote actually came from an interview that she gave after the BP oil disaster. However, she says that the sentiment definitely applies to the Federal Flood as well.


“Resiliency to me is not a natural thing. I do not think that we were born to be resilient. You are forced to be resilient when you are placed in an environment that is unnatural with manmade suffering—where another actor can alleviate this condition that is forcing you to be resilient to it. I don’t want to be resilient, I think that we should fix the things that are making us be resilient,” Washington concluded.


Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listing Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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