Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thank You Dallas

On what seemed a bleak day after Dollar Bill Jefferson was able to roll up a victory built on racism and homophobia, exploting our divisions at a time when we can't afford it, a bunch of guys who think only in terms of black and gold were led by a couple of folk from out of town to crush the Dallas Cowboys on prime-time national television.

It's time for bed so I'll cheat a bit and quote myself from back in September:
The Saints are one of the things that make us a city, that overcomes the immense divides of race and class that we struggle with every day. On a Sunday afternoon (or occasionally a Monday or Sunday night) we put all of that aside. We are all Saints fans. We need that unity, that sense of common purpose, as much as we need to chalk up one more W for the season, even against the detested division rivals.
They are a better team than we deserve. If you voted for Dollar Bill or stayed home and let him be re-elected; if you voted Republican in the past and acquiesce in (if not endorse) the sort of politics that left him unindicted on the odd chance he might be re-elected to provide some future political advantage or a West Banker who helped send a future felon back in our name on the odd chance you might do better next time, don't be putting on your Bush jersey tomorrow. You don't deserve to wear it. If you want to be part of team New Orleans, then you damned well better start acting like it.

What the hell good will it do to make the playoffs and lose the city? Saturday's election was an embarressment because we all forgot that we're on the same team. The opponent isn't that guy across town who paints his face black-and-gold instead of gold-and-black, its the people in other cites and other states who benefit from our loss. We need to shake off Saturday and remember the levee and assessor vote, the election of a new city council in all the repopulated districts.

The Jefferson voters need to forget all of the racist and homophobic nonesense and realize that Dollar Bill is a liability to the franchise, that keeping him was a mistake, that his inevitable indictment will be for them a second chance to get it right. And the dimwads who thought Karen Cater was the person we ought to send to Congress, its time to pull your collective heads out. The 200,000 deserve better than that.

We need to get up tomorrow and get back to work at being a city worthy of what we saw, of what the nation saw on television tonight. We need to figure out how to be a team that models itself on the 53 men who did honor Sunday to the names New Orleans and Louisiana. All right, now shower up and get on the damned bus so we can start over tomorrow on doing it right.



Comments:
"If you want to be part of team New Orleans, then you damned well better start acting like it."

Oh hell yeah.
 
Amen & thank you sir!
 
"The Jefferson voters need to forget all of the racist and homophobic nonesense and realize that Dollar Bill is a liability to the franchise, that keeping him was a mistake, that his inevitable indictment will be for them a second chance to get it right. And the dimwads who thought Karen Cater was the person we ought to send to Congress, its time to pull your collective heads out. The 200,000 deserve better than that."

OK, break it down for me, brutha. The way I see it, I had no real,relevent choice in this election. So I elected NOT to vote. Voting for anyone I don't believe in is hypocritical and I refuse to play the "lesser of 2 evils" game. That is way too frivolous an attitude, IMHO.
So what do you say about someone like me? Of which there were plenty. I am sick of the "racist" label when people don't do what OTHERS expect. I am pissed. Was gonna post on it but I think better not to. People DONT' WANT to understand, they just want to LABEL.
I'd better shut up now. Oh, and ask my African-American friends & neighbors if I'm racist. They would know better than anyone out there.
Peace,
TM
 
"The Jefferson voters need to forget all of the racist and homophobic nonesense and realize that Dollar Bill is a liability to the franchise, that keeping him was a mistake, that his inevitable indictment will be for them a second chance to get it right. And the dimwads who thought Karen Cater was the person we ought to send to Congress, its time to pull your collective heads out. The 200,000 deserve better than that."

OK, break it down for me, brutha. The way I see it, I had no real,relevent choice in this election. So I elected NOT to vote. Voting for anyone I don't believe in is hypocritical and I refuse to play the "lesser of 2 evils" game. That is way too frivolous an attitude, IMHO.
So what do you say about someone like me? Of which there were plenty. I am sick of the "racist" label when people don't do what OTHERS expect. I am pissed. Was gonna post on it but I think better not to. People DONT' WANT to understand, they just want to LABEL.
I'd better shut up now. Oh, and ask my African-American friends & neighbors if I'm racist. They would know better than anyone out there.
Peace,
TM
 
Um, no. I was speaking about the racial identity voting of Jefferson supporters. If you're identifying with the stay-at-home westbankers, I wasn't specificallys peaking of you ('cause I don't think you pay a lot of attention to what Harry Lee thinks), although there was an intended, indirect statement that led to say "Jefferson voters" rather than "Jefferson supporters" with the inention people who take Harry Lee seriously.
 
I didn't mean to go off on you, Mark. You just caught the brunt of my implusively spoken frustration at what I'm reading in the blogosphere here.
I have many good friends in Marrero - Harvey - Gretna. I know their thoughts and hearts. I am very angry at blanket accusations that WB'rs are racist because they didn't vote for Carter because of the bridge incident. I am sick of the "Thanks Westbank" crap because Jefferson was re-elected and I fear it's only beginning.
This is all tied up with my feelings about what happened on the bridge and everyone's assumption it was race-based.
Those who think WB'rs are racist because maybe we think the Gretna police did their job (not excusing their methods) - should look into their own hearts and question why they assume that. Maybe a bit of buried bigotry makes them assume we are.
I would love to hear my 2 fellow Algerine bloggers take on this.
 
I don't think my two good friends who were turned back trying to march from their vertical evacuation hotel downtown back to their home in Algiers Point to get their cars and leave we're turned back becauase of race (although one of them looks about as "hippie" as you can get with his long grey hair and beard).

I think it was whacked that the JPSO felt they had the authority to turn back two Algiers residents who were standing in Orleans Parish (JPSO set up their blockade on a part of the bride squarely in Orleans Parish), people with ID showing they were Algiers residents with a clear destination and their own means to evacuate themselves if they were allowed to go home. Did they have to level their guns on these people and their children when he offered to show them his ID? I hope they relieve the Harry Lee of some big bucks with their law suit.

Nagin and the police chief share some of the blame for the bridge, as all of the better authorities report they were the ones spreading the rumors of violent chaos in the city. Yes, there was chaos and some violence, but nothing like the picture they gave to the national media. My view of the Gretna PD and JPSO , however, is based on my time as a West Bank police beat reporter. Unless something radical has happened in the intervening time, I don't think the Spike Lee (and Sixty Minutes) view of those specific folks is off by much.

I think its fair to seperate the views of West Bankers in general from those of the GPD and JPSO. Hell, my wife's co-worker from the West Bank had my wife call me one day on speakerphone to ask who she should vote for in the primary to best beat Jefferson. On the GPD and JPSO , you're not liable to change my mind unless I have the opportunity to meet some people who are radically different from the guys I dealt with back in the day. I didn't hear anything in the talk of "criminal element" that would indicate to me they have changed much. They as bad as the folks who voted for Jefferson out of racial idenity, and I have no patience with either.

And Harry Lee should be held responsible for actively supporting a future felon, but the man has no shame and is politically untouchable. I'd like to ask him if Jefferson were inplicated as a page molester if he'd have indirectly supported his re-election in hope of getting a West Banker elected?
 
Yes, whacked is right. Just as whacked as JPSO preventing Algerines from passing thru JP after the storm. And Nagin for issuing the no return edict. My husband only got home the Sat after due to our Marrero friend who drove him over the line.

I place the blame for the bridge incident squarely on Nagin for telling people there were buses over there to evacuate them - an out & out lie. It was his and the state's responsibility to keep order and provide for those unfortunate people instead of pushing them off to another Parish that had it's own problems.

I'm not defending the JPSO or GPD - I don't agree with their tactics and I'm certainly no fan of Harry Lee.

I'm glad you do separate the views of WB residents from JPSO. Sadly, I don't see anyone else doing it in the blogosphere. Apparently some think JP = ignorant, Harry Lee cultists and that's just not so.
 
You sound like someone's touching an exposed nerve, mermaid. I obviously know nothing of you or your friends, and wouldn't begin to dish out "labels"...that's so counter-productive for all.

I do have to say, however, that through the eight years that I worked in Marrero, mainly with West Bank residents, the common feeling I got from most of them and from the customers who patronized the business was that they pretty much wished that there were something other than the city of New Orleans, or more specifically, something other than New Orleanians, directly across the River from them. I guess my abject Caucasianess and New Orelans residency made them feel like it was OK to pursue lines of questioning that usually began with something like "How can you live with all of those blacks?" Of course, other "clever" phrases were generally used in place of "blacks". Generally I assumed those asking that question lived nowhere near Lapalco and Ames.

Was every West Banker I dealt with racist? Of course not...and probably no higher percentage than would be the case for any other subset of predominantly white metro New Orleanians-be they from Chalmette, Metairie, Lakefront...wherever. But what DID seem more common was the kind of resentment that shows up when one group is made to feel...well, unimportant, by another group. As West Bank residents most assuredly have always been made to feel through the history of New Orleans..something Jackie Clarkson was quite adept at tapping into.

Mermaid, you ALWAYS have a choice in an election, and many times (such as this one) choosing not to vote at all is roughly the same as picking one of the two candidates, as was the case here. As for the particulars as to why West Bankers would prefer to either vote for a serial extortionist rather than vote for Karen Carter, or at best let their righteous indignation at what she said in Spike Lee's file cause them to stand idly by while the crook is chosen to be their representative, I saw the bits of Carter's interview that provoked Harry Lee. Maybe I have a faulty memory, but I seem to remember her saying that the actions of the Gretna Police were unethical, indefensible, wrong, immoral, un-Christian...just about everything bad BUT racist. Of course, when Jefferson Parish law enforcement agencies are told they've done something wrong by a black woman (or man, for that matter), it pretty much becomes about race right quick. I'm certain that the fact that it was in a Spike Lee (of all people) film in the first place had them on the defensive before they even saw the interview. What's sort of disingenuous of Lee, Arthur Lawson, and those who rose up against Carter over her statements is that William Jefferson himself was right out in front helping to hold the banner as part of the group that staged the march across the bridge in protest of the incident.
 
If only New Orleans cared about New Orleans

If it had been a concert at the High Noon Tuesday evening it would have been a sold out show. Four hundred ninety supporters of Madison's Air America affiliate, the Mic, packed into the venue with more spilling out onto the patio and into the parking lot. Multiple speakers, including politicians and Mic advertisers, took to the stage to express their concerns and frustration over the decision by Clear Channel to dump the progressive talk format and replace it with FOX Sports. But those speakers, while they all brought important messages, weren't the most striking part of the evening. What struck a chord in me was the casual conversation after the event from unsuspecting folks who sounded like they were snapped in the ass with a towel. They were saying things like, "Clear Channel doesn't care about Madison," "why does Clear Channel get to make our decisions," "Clear Channel owns too much."

It struck a nerve because it has been a long time since there has been casual talk like that in a public space....
Clear Channel doesnt care about Madison
 
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