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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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]