Between apologies and damage control, Mayor Nagin of New Orleans may have failed to grasp one of the most detrimental results of his recent remarks. |
Whether God sent a judgment to New Orleans for its sinfulness is open to debate and perhaps there is no way of knowing that answer until the fat lady sings. What Ray Nagin said about New Orleans being “a chocolate city” is a bit easier to weigh and it weighs in under the lightweight category for sure.
Since hurricane Katrina Ray Nagin has taken on a celebrity status. Now everything he says is public domain as quick as it is uttered. His sense of responsibility does not seem to be keeping pace with his new fame. There are many now who think Nagin has written his own political obituary with his recent remarks. Given the nature of politics in Louisiana that may not be true. In fact, in the state that produced Huey Long, Edwin Edwards and David Duke it would seem rogue politicians will always have an accepted place in the sportsmen’s paradise.
The remark has drawn criticism from both white and black groups and leaders. None of them have gone so far as to say the remarks are racist. Let’s take another look at the question by posing it in a reverse fashion. If a white mayor were to state that their city should be a vanilla city what could we expect to happen?
Cries of racism would be hastily followed by calls for apologies and resignations. Every black group from the NAACP to Rainbow Coalition would be sounding off with indignant repulsion and a good measure of howling and baying. We could only expect that, and rightly so. That leaves only one question. Why hasn’t anyone noticed that the most damaging effect of Mayor Nagin’s remarks is that it is abetting racism?
America is still working hard to promote racial harmony in this decade but remarks about chocolate cities are more akin to cognitive dissonance than harmony. Nagin who otherwise would be rated among the top of the list of good New Orleans mayors should take notice of what legacy he wants to leave the wonderful city that care forgot and the wonderful nation that spawned such a unique city.
His divisive remarks have even insulted those within the city of New Orleans. Mayor Nagin said he wasn’t worried about what the folks uptown thought about him. Whew! Having spent twenty years of my life in New Orleans I don’t need a degree in demographics to know that one of the few remaining predominantly white areas of New Orleans is the uptown section.
Between the civil rights laws of the sixties and common sense of most decent people who want to see America healed from the grievances of our past, it is easy to conclude that America has no chocolate or vanilla cities. We have only cities. I hope!
Rev Bresciani is the author of two popular Christian books. He has hundreds of articles online and in print. Visit the website at http://www.americanprophet.org
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New Orleans, Ray Nagin, politics, David Duke, Huey Long, Edwin Edwards, Rainbow Coalition, NAACP, racism,