Friday, May 21, 2010

When Leadership Speaks For Everyone Things Change

My best is and maybe it's a little corny, but I like it. It's a great country here. We have disastrous issues, where people pull together and help themselves, and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike, and I'm not going to name names. When a natural disaster hits people, we're not standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this.

Middle Tennessee, where a lot of hardworking, tax-paying, legal American citizens have been affected by the floods and are trying to rebuild their lives, and they are helping out, and I think that other people around the country, of course the music industry in and around Nashville, [is] helping, without making a big deal out of it, and I think that's a good thing.

I was not surprised that Chris Myers of Fox Sports made those comments directed at New Orleans when trying to compliment Nashville for their actions after the recent flooding in that city. We live in a environment where that's what the media has to do that kind of thing to make their audience feel better about themselves. There's big business in knocking other Americans down so even though I remember Chris Myers covering the Saints games when I was a little boy and I know he has ties to the city, it doesn't surprise me that he said it. The biggest thing to come out of this story for me was the extra faith and confidence I now have in my mayor Mitch Landrieu to do a good job. He demanded an apology from Myers and Fox Sports even though it's obvious that the comments made were directed at poor black people.

No one is going to admit this but comments like this have been said repeatedly the last few years and no one in a position like the mayor has said anything. That's because the people with the status and clout to put a different spin on the storyline haven't said anything because they never took those comments personally. They are so caught up in trying to feel superior over the less fortunate around here that they thought Americans in other parts of the country were going to be able to see and hear those kinds of comments over and over and keep their negative opinions narrowed down to a neighborhood or two like someone who's never been here can look at a person from New Orleans and know who tried to get over on the government and who didn't. People that live here everyday can't look at anyone and know their situation for sure so how can we expect other people to. Sure, the people that slept in the Astrodome may have looked black and poor but that doesn't make the rest of us look any better because we weren't there too. I remember the first few weeks after the storm when everyone in the region was evacuated and hanging out in hotels together. There wasn't any animosity. As soon as they started opening up less damaged areas, where the homes weren't flooded it was almost like their attitudes about the same people they were sleeping in the hotel with for weeks changed overnight.

So now it's 2010 and there is an oil spill out there that has nothing to do with poor people that live in New Orleans. The rest of the area is about to find out that the image of being a bunch of losers sitting around waiting for a handout has not been contained to the hood. That 75 million dollar cap on BP's responsibility is going to run out way before we build anything to fix the damage from the spill. That means we have to go to the federal government for the money. We are going to stick our hand out and ask them for the help we rightfully deserve and the rest of the country is going to say "Look at those sorry people from Louisiana asking for more money to fix their own problems." I know that's what they are going to think because that's what the talk show host, and media has been telling them about us by using the pictures of those young brothers asking for help on the rooftop during Katrina. That was cool down here because everyone hates those brothers anyway.

"There's no way the rest of the world thinks we are all like that right? I mean, they know I have a college degree and a job and have never ask the government for anything don't they? It's not like New Orleans had the worst school system in the world and jobs were few and far in between even for qualified people. Everyone around the country knows the difference between me and some slacker living off the government don't they?" With all the ties that Chris Myers has to New Orleans, do you really think he would have said those things if he thought was offending that part of New Orleans where the real Americans live? How could he expect a backlash when the same type of comments have been said over and over and no one ever stepped up on behalf of our citizens no matter what their circumstances are. Well, someone did this week and it wasn't just WBOK or some angry blogger. This time it came from the mayor who is exactly the person it should come from because those 'illegal citizens that don't pay taxes' are his responsibility too and he should go to battle for them. You can't make their situation better if you don't want to claim them as your own even if you are a white dude from uptown.

Thank you Mayor Landrieu.


Anita said...

I was somewhat surprised at how good it felt to say, "Hey, our new mayor stood up for us and demanded an apology from that jerk."

Kevin Allman said...

Nicely put, Cliff.

I agree with Anita. And I don't mind having a mayor who likes to scrap a bit.

K. said...

Here's a guy (Chris Myers) who makes his living covering a busines that the skills of black athletes have raised a level inconceivable to the people who founded professional sports. There would be no ESPN if the major sports had never desegegrated -- Myers wouldn't have a platform from which to shoot his mouth off if it weren't for the very people he was putting down.

bayoucreole said...

My dad said, "the apple doesn't fall too far from the for Mitch."
He was right.
Moon was a good mayor...Mitch is already making me proud.

Loye R said...

For me, this is a classic case of "assigned importance." Why would I possibly care what Chris Myers says about anything?