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Day 641: “It’s Not Our Fault”

No, Mayor Ray Nagin, it’s not our fault the federal government completely abandoned strengthening our levees prior to Hurricane Katrina and that the State of Louisiana has bigger shrimp to fry than New Orleans. It is also not our fault that the Bush administration continues to ignore our pleas for rebuilding support and makes it very hard for us to move on our plans.

Yet, it is YOUR fault for not being man enough to be mayor of New Orleans. It is YOUR fault for whispering, not yelling, to those above you in the legislative food chain, with a sound plan in hand. It is YOUR fault that we have a trainwreck of a criminal justice system. It is YOUR fault that not one of our existing plans contains a comprehensive makeover of our public schools system, without which this city is dead in less than a decade. It is YOUR fault this city languishes economically while you travel the nation and singlehandedly kill the empathy we have garnered so far. New Orleans is being rebuilt not because of you, but inspite of you.

“The orange cones that you see around the city are signs of progress and rebuilding!” Yes, we stuff them in our potholes; aren’t they cute, colorful and useful? “Public safety is the most important challenge our city faces and reducing violent crime in this city is my top priority!” Spikes in the body count are mere “blips.”

For the love of those working hard to make a meaningful life in this city everyday, how can you say these things?

Finally, if this speech were your attempt to get a message across to Bush, Blanco and their people, wouldn’t it be best to deliver these words to them than to us? We, meaning we minus you, know what this city needs, they don’t.

* Editor B: Nagin’s Speech

Up until the end I thought it probably played pretty well ” positive, determined, critical but not whiny. Then at the very end he went off script with a repeated refrain: It’s not our fault! That soundbite won’t play well in the heartland, or anywhere else for that matter.

* Schroeder: ‘Tis The Season … Hurricane Season!

Could you please be a little more pro-active with the state and federal government?!! It“d be easier to point out their faults if you had a friggin“ plan, man! It’s our job to complain, not yours. Instead, we“re the ones trying to come up with a plan, and you’re the one doing all the complaining. You“ve got your roles reversed, man.

* Adrastos: Confessions of A Slacker NOLA Political Blogger

I knew he’d brag about the trash program; take credit for things that he didn’t have anything to do with and conclude by going off script and blaming the Governor for everything. Nagin is a perpetual innocent bystander.

* da po’ blog: State of the Nagin Address

What he meant: “It’s not MY fault.”

… May 30, 2007, the day Nagin gave his State of the City address, was 150 days into the year. As of that day, 77 people were murdered (by my count) on the streets of New Orleans. That is an average of one murder every 1.94 days. A murder every other day. The blips are not anomalies. They are analogous to a murder every other day in the city of New Orleans. Is that trending in a positive direction?

* American Zombie: Outside, It’s America

We’ve marched on City Hall, we’ve formed alliances, we’ve blogged our asses off … and every time we turn around we get hit with one more scandal, one more setback, one more blow to our very survival. But still we fight … and still we believe.

It’s not just New Orleans that is dying … I think it’s America in general. We are just the cynosure of the descent … the most photogenic example. [emphasis mine]

9 comments… add one
  • Editor B May 31, 2007, 12:09 PM

    A reporter from the AP just called asking for my opinion on the speech, having seen a link somewhere in the blogosphere — maybe here!

  • Brian May 31, 2007, 2:41 PM

    Is there anyone who witnessed the speech in person? I would like to hear an account.

  • Maitri May 31, 2007, 2:55 PM

    As I said yesterday, Alan G. was at the address and sent out blurbs once in a while. Another person to ask this question is Editor B, who commented before you and was at the speech.

  • dambala May 31, 2007, 4:47 PM

    I saw it Brian. It was typical rhetoric. The whole “It’s not our fault” mantra was typical for Nagin. He can’t take responsibility for anything…my stomach turning moment was when he touted that we’re installing over 200 crime cameras in the city…he didn’t mention the scandal behind how the contract was let. He handed out a promotional packet that was nothing more than a fucking picture book of people rebuilding and his staffers faces. It was a dog and pony show…nothing of substance.

  • Joel June 1, 2007, 6:32 AM

    Welcome back, dear Maitri! Thank God a knock on the noggin can’t stop you from knockin’ Nagin!
    Continue to give ’em hell.

  • Alan Gutierrez June 2, 2007, 12:13 AM


    It is unfair to say that Nagin has singlehandedly killed the empathy we have garnered so far.

    He’s been tag-teaming with Blakely, don’t you think?

  • Maitri June 2, 2007, 6:39 AM

    Who hired Blakely again?

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