Monday, January 18, 2010

The Song Remains the Same.

Recently race has been much in the news locally and nationally. Harry Ried apparently put his foot in it. Cliff, as usual said everything that needs to be said.

Locally, WBOK has had several controversial interviews with Da Mayor and Da Chief. The Mayor as usual was smoother but dipped into his own negro dialect by constantly calling the African American Candidates "brothers" (wink wink) and urging "the community" to get behind one candidate.

Da Chief went much further, claiming Stacy Head called him an n-word in an email he later admitted he had never seen and that she insists doesn't exist. That is offensive to me and to many other people for the Chief of Police, the highest ranking law enforcement officer to make such a charge without proof, and it was Da Chief who made the charge, offering the comment to a caller who referred to an alleged email Head had sent.

I'm sure that many of the police officers who work under him have been subjected to unfounded accusations of all sorts by criminals trying to find a way out of their situation. I'm also sure he has disciplined officers for using the language he claimed Stacy had used. Da Chief should know better.

I'm now pretty sure such an email does not exist. Stacy Head has enough enemies of all colors that it certainly would have leaked by now. Cliff challenged some of us who were criticizing the Chief to call for her resignation if the email could be verified. I will, no one should be using that kind of language or claiming falsely that someone else has. I think Da Chief should resign or be fired for making such an allegation, but that's not likely.

Stacy has gotten criticism for being rude and disrespectful, but somehow no one ever seems to call out the people who are rude and disrespectful to her or other public officials by making random unfounded charges of all sorts of things. I wish some prominent leaders of the African American community would publicly take Da Chief to task for his offensive accusations.

I wrote the rest of this a while ago and let it lie, waiting to edit some things and to see how things developed. It got stale but in light of recent local and national events I decided to publish it now.

Jimmy Carter recently said;
"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American,"
I think that comment is overblown and reckless. It has certainly set back the racial progress we have made by renewing suspicion on both sides. The media reaction was varied, some on the left have used it to paint anyone opposing Obama's policies as racist. But that's not new. That sentiment has been bubbling through the "progressive" ether for a while.

President Obama was, well, Presidential, and I think mostly right, if somewhat understated in his reaction. I watched as he gave well prepared interviews for almost all of the Sunday morning political programs. Sometimes his answers were so similar, as were the questions, that he used almost the same language. The clearest statement about race I could find was this one;
I'm not saying that race — never matters in— in any of these— public debates that we have. What I'm saying is this debate that's taking place is not about race, it's about people being worried about— how our government should operate.
I think he has it exactly right.

One other thing he did which may have helped race relations more that any of these interviews is calling out Kanye West for his boorish and rude behavior at the MTV awards.

"I thought that was really inappropriate, What are you butting in (for)? ... The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person. She's getting her award. What's he doing up there?"

A questioner chimes in, "Why would he do it?"

"He's a jackass, ... Come on guys, cut the president some slack. I've got a lot of other stuff on my plate."

That was the feeling in many quarters

Maybe if some leaders in the local black community would speak up forthrightly when our own local Jackass brays away in his juvenile, petulant and divisive manner we could move forward.

As our slow motion Mayors race continues to develop at a snails pace now would be a good time for someone to actually put forward a reform agenda, contrasting it with the current state of affairs.

Coming back to the recent events Da Mayor, Da Chief most prominently, but other "leaders" in the African American community are seeking refuge in conspiracy theories, but I think a lot of the malaise in the African America community can be traced to leaders who have have betrayed it, including Da Mayor, Da Chief, The Jefferson Crime Family and others. For a long time and even still today some voices in the African American community say that the corruption prosecutions are racially motivated. That seems to me to have now to have been proven false with the indictment of white officials in St. Bernard, St. Tammany and the very public probe of Jefferson Parish, leading to the resignation of the Parish President.

New Orleans has many problems, it is time to stop adding to them by tolerating corruption in the name of racial politics. If the local African American leadership is disappointed in the current mayors race, perhaps they should reflect on tolerating corruption in their midst and squandering the confidence of "the Communiy". Clearly political insiders were in the best position to know what was happening and take action to eliminate it. Just a Jefferson Parish politicians were in the best position to counter the corruption in their midst.

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