Pilkerton's Prognostications

This blog contains some of my past articles for the school newspaper and other musings I feel like posting. Beware liberals!

Friday, February 10, 2006

New Orleans: the "chocolate" city


In a speech given on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, New Orleans Mayor--and evacuation expert-Ray Nagin informed the audience of his plans for rebuilding the Crescent City, or at least what was once called the Crescent City. Mayor Nagin has proposed a new nickname for his city, this one a testament to reverse racists around the country and one that invokes imagery that will surely set Civil Rights in the Deep South back decades: This new name, the Chocolate City.
Yes, that’s correct, the “Chocolate” New Orleans. The actual quote is as follows.
“It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans-the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans.” This was said in Nagin’s best Jesse Jackson impression, complete with dramatic pauses and stressed syllables in order to make the drivel seeping out of his mouth sound prophetic. Perhaps it is just my humble opinion, but shouldn’t black people be at least a little offended by this statement? As a group of people who feel they’ve gotten the proverbial shaft throughout much of America’s history, I find it a little insulting that they’re referred to as chocolate in a speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of all times. If Rudy Guiliani wanted to rebuild the Vanilla Towers or if San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom wanted to build the Fudge Tunnel under the bay, I would imagine that whites and homosexuals would be a bit taken aback and offended by these statements.
I am unsure if the mainstream media’s lack of coverage of this event is meant to give Nagin a free pass or to avoid touching the third rail of race relations, especially when it’s the reverse racism conveyed in this statement.
Nagin also went on to shame the “uptown” crowd who weren’t the real victims of Katrina’s fury, hence they are effected less than those intellectual giants in the ghettos who decided to ride out the storm. If this and his “chocolate” slip weren’t inflammatory statements enough, the good Mayor decided to shed some light on the real reason for Hurricane Katrina, because we all look to ineffective mayors for insightful and meaningful social commentary. The real reason for New Orleans’ destruction: God. That’s right, God is just angry at America because of the war in Iraq so he decided to smite us and he started in New Orleans.
Mayor Wonka has decided to really make the most of his 15 minutes and air his political thoughts to a country of people who are doing his job for him. With an unprecedented amount of aid dollars streaming in to New Orleans and a recovery effort that is taking shape slowly but surely, I find it curious that the mayor has nothing else to talk about except President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq. Shouldn’t he be aiding in the building of chocolate levies or breaking ground on the Hershey Superdome? Shouldn’t Mr. Nagin be making the rounds in his glass elevator and doing some real good instead of voicing his foolish opinions and short changing his race at every opportunity he gets.
This week the employees of the Shell petroleum company moved back into their corporate headquarters in New Orleans, which has been steadily regaining much of its corporate tax base in recent months. This hasn’t been reported in the mainstream press because it is news of white-collar job growth and hence, not interesting because it doesn’t tell the tale of “chocolate” people returning to their waterlogged homes. As an American, I am fed up with the news media’s depiction of New Orleans as a city of helpless victims. Is it not clear to us that New Orleans is more than a poor black neighborhood or two. How many special reports do we have to see on NBC or CBS to tell us that there are jobless people in New Orleans...and that they’re black. Here’s an idea, how about we stop claiming that someone’s race is a handicap and let the people of New Orleans do what they have to do to get back on their feet.
Race is not a handicap, so stop using it as a crutch. When any group of people are made to look foolish by one of their own, whether its Ray Nagin or Louis Farrakhan, the whole movement and any progress that has been made is crippled by the special treatment demanded by these lightening rods. God isn’t punishing New Orleans for the violence in society or the violence in black culture, as Nagin suggested. God isn’t smiting us for the war in Iraq either. New Orleans isn’t a “chocolate city” and to suggest it was, is, or ever will be is an insult to one’s fellow citizens.
Mayor Nagin has proved over and over again that he is not the man for the job in New Orleans. His lack of political savvy or any other kind of savvy, for that matter, has only highlighted the problems facing the Crescent City in the future.
Democrat or Republican, someone has to step up to the plate and stop the racist nonsense being spewed in this recovery period. The recent hurricanes have effected almost every aspect of life in this country, no where is this seen more than in the ignorance of the vocal minority of this country who claims the Bush administration blew up the levies in New Orleans in order to wipe out the lesser tax bracket, or in the opinions of the left who claim the President doesn’t care about black people. Whether its Kanye West, John Kerry, or Willy Wonka, we have to realize these polarizing figures are a cancer on society.
Only in today’s society can inconsequential people like Ray Nagin use the sappy, overly sensitive press to spew their racially motivated hate speech while billions of dollars are pouring in to help those individuals that are crying foul.


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