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1.17.2006    |    "chocolate New Orleans"
Thus spake God Almighty, if one is to believe Ray (I never make mistakes) Nagin. As in, to provide the full context (from today's WaPo):
It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority-African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."
Nope. Can't have it "no other way." Nagin is the current mayor of Nawlins, to give it the annoying Texan pronunciation that used to provide NOLA natives yet another reason to feel superior. Or at least this is the way it was when I lived in New Orleans for a time, when we were instructed to give it the French pronunciation, Nooo Or-Lee-Ahns. More or less.

I haven't check my latest e-mails from God, but my sense is that He doesn't really care if NOLA is a majority black, yellow, white, or purple city. In fact, the last time the Big Guy checked in with me, He pretty much told me that anyone who takes His name in the service of racism isn't really doing His will.

One of the perhaps less-well-known facts about New Orleans is that it was one of the largest slave ports in the Americas, a mega-mart for buying and selling people. Was this, too, "the way God wants it to be?" If not, He surely took His sweet time correcting the situation.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, but to claim that God mandates that New Orleans, or any other place, be "chocolate" is, at the very least, racist. If not plain stupid. Ray Nagin, of course, isn't Pat Robertson, and his idiotarian remarks won't get the same play in the media. Pity, because they're just as shameful.

Which kind of also says something about the pass that idiots can get in the MSM if they're the right color or ethnic group. Once a victim, always a victim, eh Ray? The serious point is that if blacks consider themselves to be permament members of a class of victims, then they are doomed to the pitiful dependancy that leads to cesspools like NOLA's Ninth Ward. And to whining idiotarians like Ray Nagin to "lead" them.

We can do much better. New Orleans deserves much better. And let's not claim that "God is on our side" when we rebuild. God's on everyone's side. Even Ray Nagin's. Just that my sense is that God gives us the tools, but then leaves us alone to do the job...or fail.

Both options are open.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan said...

To be fair, Nagin made some interesting comments as well. He told blacks that there was something wrong with a community where men continually shot each other and where most children are born to a single parent. That's what the media should have played up. American society as a whole has to get over the fear of racism and tell the African American community there really are some problems.

12:04 AM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger Jack Rich said...

Jonathan, yes, Nagin made some "interesting" comments. But his performance in the aftermath of Katrina was typical of the blame-everyone-but-me crowd. His racist remarks are of a piece with this performance.

Ray Nagin is a third-rate politician in a fourth-rate state. The good people of NOLA deserve better.

11:59 AM, January 19, 2006  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.