Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

A hunger for answers

1st October 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Edmund W. Lewis

These are some strange times in New Orleans. Depressed who-dats, ski-mask robbers in Audubon Park and a mayor who is doing everything in his power to throw salt at efforts to clean up the NOPD… What’s up with that?

If we don’t keep digging and asking questions we may never know, so here we go:

• Why does the mayor continue to allow the folks at the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans to get away with questionable overtime expenses, horrific customer service and the awarding of contracts to Metairie-based engineering firms for work that could easily be done by the S&WB’s own engineers?

• How is it that the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans is being allowed to bypass being scrutinized by the likes of eagle-eyed local elected officials and members of the New Orleans City Council like Stacy Head?

• How can the mayor continue to say with a straight face that he wants to bring reforms to the NOPD while doing everything in his power to undermine efforts by grassroots community leaders to establish a civilian oversight committee?

• How many of the cab drivers being shafted by the mayor and local elected officials plan to take it lying down, and how many of them will remember who sold them out come election time?

• How many Republicans living in St. John the Baptist Parish who are in the process of rebuilding or renovating their homes in the wake of Hurricane Isaac think that the GOP plan to reduce the role of government in assisting citizens who fall on hard times is fair, just, Christian and practical?

• Why were so many people who live in Jefferson Parish appalled last month to learn that more people received disaster food assistance in Jefferson Parish than Orleans Parish?

• Do you ever get the sneaking suspicion that certain kinds of crime, particularly brazen armed robberies, are being routinely underreported by the New Orleans Police Department?

• Have you noticed how many people in surrounding parishes were blaming their flood-related woes from Hurricane Isaac on the levees that protect Orleans Parish residents’ homes from flooding?

• Why wasn’t there more public outcry after a seven-year-old recently shot himself in Gentilly?

• Exactly when did we run out of people worth voting for in New Orleans?

• How do we plan to address the fact that people of color have received very little return on their investment of Black ingenuity into the music, food and culture of the Crescent City?

• What would New Orleans be without jazz, gumbo and second lines?

• When did so many people who like to think of themselves as “conscious” become so “bourgie” and detached from the Black masses?

• Why do so many people have “beaucoup” DVDs but only a handful of books about the Black experience, if any?

• Why do so many people have such a difficult time distinguishing between Black leadership and Black event-planning?

• Why are so few college-educated Black people in New Orleans addressing issues like poverty, underachieving schools, Black-on-black violence, police brutality and economic injustice?

• With just days left to register to vote in this fall’s presidential election, how many people are going to wait until it is too late to make a difference in the outcome of the race?

• Why does Louisiana Gov. Piyush Jindal think that transparency is a great idea for everyone but him and his administration?

• Do you suppose that there are still Americans in that “47 percent” who believe deep down inside that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in May that they don’t matter to him and other uppercrust Americans?

This article was originally published in the October 1, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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