Wednesday, October 11, 2006
We're rednecks, we're rednecks...
Of all of the successes and failures of the last year, to select the challenge of finding enough poll commissions is petty and malicious. It recklessly disregards contradictory facts about "our civic culture", motivated I believe by enthusiasm for our failure.
It is the most insulting thing I've read in a year, because it comes not from some distant and empty-headed political pundit or chronic complainer to radio and the editorial page, but from the editorial board of the newspaper of of the state capitol. My view is that once-sleepy Baton Rouge sees its future as a boom town tied to our failure.
Here is the letter I sent in response.
Your editorial “Old Habits Hamper City" is an insult to the 200,000 people who have returned to New Orleans. In the areas with a large returnee population, we turned out our old city council members. We tried to elect a new mayor, but were outvoted by absentee voters who have not invested their lives in New Orleans future. Next time. We campaigned for and won reform of the levee board system. We are tearing down the old and broken regime as fast as we can, in the same fashion we are putting our homes back together.
Thousands of Orleanians with two jobs--a day job and a damaged home to work on--- with children in distant schools with no bus service, without basic civic amenities such as garbage collection and mail service, are finding time to turn out to participate in the redevelopment of our city through volunteer service and the planning process. We have come home without a dime of government assistance and little or nothing from the insurance for which we all paid, because of our commitment to a successful New Orleans. This is a "dysfunctional civic culture"? Why not make our lot the conditions of service as a poll commissioner statewide, and see how other parishes fare?
We demand an apology and a retraction, but don't expect one. Once-sleepy Baton Rouge's economic future as a boom town is too closely tied to a failed New Orleans for us to expect any sympathy. Perhaps you should look at your own failures, such as your traffic congestion. You have had a year to build new roads and expand transit to accommodate the influx and what have you done? Oh, that takes money? Federal money? And time? Aren't those sad excuses that reflect your own failure as a city to deal with the situation?
Thousands of Americans, from Louisiana and elsewhere, have come down and volunteered and walked a mile in our shoes. To these people, we are eternally grateful. Only someone who has not done this could possibly have penned such an editorial. Until we see the story on your page one trumpeting the work of your editorial board to gut a house, clear a neutral ground or paint a charter school, I suggest you forfeit the right to criticize us.
It is an insult we will not soon forget. And we’re not going away.
Damn. Now I feel better. Here, now you tell them what you think.
Katrina NOLA New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Think New Orleans Louisiana FEMA levees flooding Corps of Engineers We Are Not OK wetlands news rebirth Debrisville Federal Flood 8-29 Rising Tide RememberBaton Rouge Morning Advocate redneck assholes
A city's whose cops behave so badly that state troopers from two other states leave in disgust, has nobusiness leturing other cities. You know how the B.R. police department responded to those complaints from New Mexico and Michigan state troopers? It conducted an internal investigation and declared itself innocent.
then I'll even begin to think anything outta BR has merit.
I dunno--maybe that's punishment enough.
I'm still pissed at this one. I almost wish I hadn't read it.
Think of the huge benefits.
It makes perfect sense to have train service between the cities, but I don't expect to see it happen any time soon.
Links to this post:
"And when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcome, but when we are silent we are still afraid. So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive." -- Audie LordeAny copyrighted material presented here is done so for the purposes of news reporting and comment consistent with USC 17 Chapter 1 Title 107.