Nutty Nagin

New Orleans Major Ray Nagin needs his meds, according to Pam Spaulding, and I'm certainly hard-pressed to disagree. Evidently drinking from the same tainted Kool-Aid as Pat Robertson, Nagin has suggested that God is mad at America and at black communities and punishing them by sending "hurricane after hurricane after hurricane."


Mayor Ray Nagin suggested that recent destruction from hurricanes Katrina, Rita and other natural disasters is a sign that "God is mad at America," and also mad at black communities for tearing themselves apart with violence and divisive politics.
"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin said as he and other city leaders commemorated Martin Luther King Day. "Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."
Joking that he may appear to have "post-Katrina stress disorder," Nagin, who is black, talked of an imaginary conversation with the late civil rights leader. They "talked," he said, while he was thinking Monday about what to say at the ceremony outside City Hall to kick off a walking parade in King's honor.
Now here's why wrath-speak is a bad idea. Nagin then goes on to make some good points about important race and class issues, but good for you if you can get over the absurdity of his suggestion that God sent a hurricane to punish blacks. Instead, I'll turn it over to the eminently more reasonable Pam:
Not that [Nagin] -- or Kathleen Blanco -- were doing anything to really tackle these problems in New Orleans before Katrina, with its corrupt police, terrible schools, and a disproportionately poor and underemployed population that made it a toxic social gumbo. These are complex problems that have no easy answer, but it's clear nothing serious had been done for years.
Anyone that thought Nagin wants to deal with the issue of the underprivileged in his city post-Katrina is smoking something. Too many on the Left gave him a pass during the hurricane -- the bottom line is that the mayor couldn't identify with someone that couldn't get a ride out of town because of classism and incompetence...
Black, white and brown, rich, poor and middle class, fed, state, local -- all have stakes in what happens to this city. The reality is that all of this puts into clear focus that only a small segment of power brokers really have control over the final outcome. Many in the socioeconomically deprived communities of NOLA -- in this case, mostly blacks -- are finding out that they are going to be on the short end of the stick (again), with little final say in the matter.
Meanwhile, President Bush reassures us that ""It may be hard for you to see, but from when I first came here to today, New Orleans is reminding me of the city I used to come to visit." And, no doubt like his previous visits to party in the Big Easy, he didn't visit the Ninth Ward.

(Pam's House Blend)

--> Sign up for Peek in your inbox... every morning! (Go here and check Peek box).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.