Saturday, January 28, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Yesterday a man named Mike Ainsworth was murdered in New Orleans after trying to defend his neighbor from a carjacker. I would like to send my condolences to his family. I’m sure yesterday and every day after will be a tough day for them. His murder yesterday was another blow in a battle that right now the criminal element seems to be winning.
We should all appreciate a person that would put his life on the line for the safety of others. That’s real bravery. I’ sure Mr. Ainsworth had more courage than his killer but his killer had a gun and a gun to some of these fools gives them all the courage they need to do something senseless like trying to carjack someone and killing a good man for no reason.
There may come a time when any of us will defend ourselves or our family and neighborhoods from danger. I hope it never happens but if it does I hope it can be resolved without anyone getting hurt. I just want to tell the people in my city reading this to please be careful and try to avoid as much confrontation as possible. These fools don’t mind taking lives and unless you are ready to take their life too it may be better to not resist and call the police so they can handle it. We need to protect one another and be as safe as possible.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Saturday was a beautiful day in New Orleans. We are not having much of a winter and I am not complaining. The weather was almost good enough to make you forget how bad this year has started for New Orleans. I almost did a spring time activity and bought some crawfish to go sit on the lake and eat. It’s a little too early for that. Days like this makes you wonder why we have so much violence in this city. It’s such a beautiful atmosphere that we make ugly with our behavior. I didn’t want to watch the news tonight because I didn’t want a double shooting to ruin my mood. I figure it will be there waiting for me in the morning and I can depressed over breakfast.
What I really need Mayor Landrieu and Chief Serpas to do is to stop having press conferences and talking their way into animosity for something everyone should be united against. This is especially true for the chief who seems to be using the past of the victims to explain why his department hasn’t been able to calm things down. Anybody who lives here and pays attention knows what’s going on. A lot of the victims have criminal past that put them in the environment where violence is likely. The problem is that you can’t use that to explain every victim and even if that was the case it’s the police department’s job to protect everyone even if they have been in trouble before. We don’t want to start picking and choosing what person’s death deserves proper attention. I don ‘t think Cheif Serpas means it that way when he’s talking but why give anyone the chance to misunderstand? Let the media give that kind of information and just keep working to stop it.
I’m watching Newt Gingrich celebrate his win in South Carolina tonight. I am not surprised by the results. I don ‘t know how well Mitt Romney’s going to play in the south. Newt Gingrich is from Georgia so he understands how to win votes down here. People in the south vote for the person they can recognize with the most. They will also rally behind their guy if they feel he’s being picked on and will cast their vote as a way to strike back. This is true for black, white, Republicans and Democrats in the south.
Once Juan Williams and CNN started asking Newt about cheating on his wives and his race baiting code words the election belonged to him because he responded in defiance instead of acting like both of those topic were valid to ask someone who wants to be president and lead the country. That means that the people who shout family values to the top of their lungs all the time gave Newt a pass for trying to turn his wife into a swinger just because he’s from the south and they hate all media outside of Fox News. It’s no wonder we ended up with eight years of George W. Bush, a ten year war in Iraq and almost had the second great depression. That’s not a good way to choose a candidate.
Just for the record, if anyone I know tells me they are voting for President Obama only because he sung two lines from an Al Green song at the Apollo Theatre I am going to tell them the same thing. That’s not a good way to choose a candidate.
I’m taking the kids to see Red Tails for several reasons. The first reason is they need to see their history and understand that they weren’t put here destined to be thugs and gangsters. Part of killing a destructive culture is changing the outlook of the kids that’s involved. The second reason is that George Lucas spent 58 million dollars of his own money to get the film made. I figure we at least need to go out and generate enough money for him to get that back. I respect him for putting up his Darth Vader money for the Tuskegee Airmen’s story. The third reason is that my grandpa fought in World War II and it always fascinated me that those men put their lives on the line for their country knowing when they came home they wouldn’t get to enjoy the full rights of the country. The older I get the more I am amazed by these men and the more the present situation in our community seems even more confusing. I’m hoping the movie confuses some of the young men who see it as well. The way we behave right now isn’t supposed to make sense.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I think if Reverend King were alive today he would not attend any of the events planned to celebrate his work. The people who he fought and sacrificed so hard for are killing one another in the streets for nothing. Gun violence is widespread and it’s tearing our community apart. Year after year it seems we are mourning the loss of young men, women and children. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a code of silence that keeps killers on the streets and that only leads to more violence from them or someone feeling like they have to get justice themselves. We have kids who are so out of control that some parents have to stretch their finances to pay tuition at better schools just to keep their kids away from their own people so they can have a chance to learn.
These things are going on in full view of the rest of the world and our leadership and community doesn’t seem to be willing to concentrate 100% on this issue. What could anyone in a position of leadership and influence today say about living the dream when there’s a chance someone could kill me in cold blood because I stepped on his shoes by mistake? Today is a day to recognize a man who loved everyone enough to preach non violence but his own people hate themselves enough to embrace their own destruction.
I don’t mind listening to a few old speeches today from Reverend King himself but the folks here now should all be quiet and in meetings trying to figure out how to fix this situation we have. I don’t think we can consider anything accomplished until this violence goes away. I'm just hoping no one gets shot today at a MLK Day parade. That would be shameful if it did but at the same time no one would really be surprised.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
My grandfather and my dad used to talk to me about growing up and being a man even when I was real young. They used to talk to me about working hard and being responsible. They also used to like to tell stories about fights they had with other kids when they were young. Men take pride in being tough and not letting anyone push them around. That’s especially true around these parts because sometimes toughness and the willingness to fight is all some people have to identify with. The men who raised me had way more substance than that but when you grow up around some of these ignorant cats the fighting part comes in handy from time to time.
Like I said before, this is the land of misguided soldiers who look for any reason to have confrontation with other people. We literally grew up around people who wanted to fight because it made them feel like somebody. Bullies were everywhere. I was raised that the best way to deal with a bully is to beat him down as best as you can one time and hopefully you do it so well that he won’t bother you anymore. My grandmother used to say that if the person was too big to fight off with your hands find something on the ground and hit them with that. She used to give us that advice from her experiences of fighting her way home when she was in school. That’s how deep the culture is. I don’t think the elders worried too much about it because unless things got totally out of hand they all lived to tell stories about the battles they had.
Now there’s a new generation with the same basic approach but they have far less guidance and support from their family. They also have weapons that can wipe out entire groups of people at once. Their guns are status symbols in the circle of people they hang around. They want to show them off just like guys used to want to show off gold teeth, expensive tennis shoes and car rims. If they have the guns they are waiting for a reason to put it on display. What better reason than another dude talking shit? It’s the perfect recipe for shootings that seem to be happening for no real reason at all. The shooting is somewhat new. The fighting for no reason has been there for a long time. Last weekend a man and his teenage son were killed at their home in what seems to be an argument between some girls that started over rumors. Thirty years ago that argument would have led to a few fist flying and everyone waking up the next day to tell the story. Now two people aren't here anymore for nothing. An argument like that can breakout anywhere at anytime when anyone is around. That's frightening.
If I had a son right now I honestly don’t know what I would say to him in regards to how to carry himself. I don’t know if he would have much freedom to go anywhere without me bringing him. I would probably teach him the same principles my grandpa gave to my dad and they both passed to me but I think I would take out some of the tough bravado. I wouldn’t want him to be so soft that people ran all over him but I would be so scared of him ending up in a cemetery or a prison that I would want him to think violence was the worst way possible to deal with any issue. I would hope he could enjoy growing up in New Orleans without me having to take him away from here to escape this drama.
It’s not the New Orleans tradition to walk away from a fight but we need to do something different. We have to switch things up a little so the next generation isn’t caught in this cycle. I know Walter Harris would be okay with that because he wanted nothing more than his family to be okay and you can’t be okay if you are dead or incarcerated. It's time to apply this to all of our extended family and neighbors in the community.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Not enough Saints fans seem to be concerned with playing Detroit as I am. I think they have enough offense to hang with ours and are young and crazy enough not to be effected by the crowd. I also think they are ignorant enough to do something like hitting Drew Brees early to knock him out of the game. They are too unpredictable to feel comfortable about. I don't like the Saints in a position as favorite anyway. I am not listening to any media that gives the team that kind of status. I watch Saints games in paranoia like we constantly have something to prove and the minute we lose that edge something bad is going to happen. For that reason I need to think that the Lions have a shot.
Last night Mitt Romney won the Iowa caucus by eight votes over Rick Santorum. Politics aside I think Rick Santorum is strange. I don't know if I would want him to be president even if I agreed with his agenda. Crazy as he is I also think he's authentic. If he was acting he would be trying to come across more normal. In a strange way I respect him for keeping it real. If he was elected my expectations would be exactly where they need to be. I would be prepared for his foolishness. Mitt Romney on the other hand scares me because he's like a used car salesman. I believe he would say anything or adopt any idea if he thought it would help him get elected. If wins the nomination and the presidency no one would quite know what the hell is going to do. That worries me especially since he thinks corporations are people. Wal Mart might be his Secretary of State.
The person who should really feel bitter is Michelle Bachmann. No one got out in front of the world and carried the ball for their party like she did the last few years. She was one of the main faces of the Tea Party and had no problem going after the president and his agenda anytime she could. She was a fresh face with the skills to energize her party and when she won the Iowa straw poll and showed she might actually be a real contender for the nomination the good ole boys in her party dissed and pushed her to the back. It was almost like she disappeared after that.
Rick Perry is still in the race. That means we need to look for our governor in New Hampshire.
If the murder rate in New Orleans went up 14% and Warren Riley was still the chief, how calm would everyone be right now? I miss the days when New Orleans bloggers would try to come up with ways to insult Chief Riley without sounding racist. The local blogosphere is much milder since Nagin and Riley are gone.
Yesterday a friend mentioned she went on a social media fast and how clear her mind was after not looking at Twitter and Facebook for awhile. I don't know if I can do that and still maintain a blog like this but I have decided to take at least two days a week and not log into any social media site. I'm also not reading any internet comments under news stories because those will make you lose faith in society.
My dad is 62 years old today. Since I am in New Orleans he's not I have been playing his kind of music all day in dedication. I was listening to the song on the clip below. My dad used to have an old reel to reel player be brought back from Vietnam and on weekends he used to pull it out and play B.B. King Live in Concert very loudly. He can't do that anymore since everything he brought back from the war was destroyed in the flood. This song is for him, his reel to reel player, and all the people who want to keep telling me New Orleans is so much better since Katrina. We have some nice new buildings and they only cost us lives and memories. Who wouldn't want that deal?
Certain things still trigger my anger.