Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

Christmas time is here

10th December 2012   ·   0 Comments

After the last few years we’ve had, with hurricanes, floods, oil spills, wildfires and political firestorms, it’s hard to believe that Christmas Day is just a few weeks away. It seems like late spring and summer last 11 and a half months in southern Louisiana while the fall — October, November and December — seem to whiz by in a couple of weeks.

Nevertheless, we are in the midst of the holiday season. One of the things many of us forget to do as we move closer to Christmas Day, Kwanzaa and/or the end of the year is pause from time to time to celebrate the many blessings in our lives. While we should thank the Creator every day for the bountiful blessings bestowed upon us, we should also take time to be thankful for the little things like a perfect cup of coffee, a smile or a kind gesture from a complete stranger, a brisk morning walk, a good night’s sleep, or a phone call or letter from someone we’ve missed. We should never take any of these things for granted.

In the spirit of the season, I decided to share some of my wishes for the holidays and the New Year with you. May the love, peace and joy of Christmas overtake all of you as we reflect on the true reason for the season.

In the meantime, Santa, you better get out a long sheet of paper, a box of pens and a fresh pot of coffee if you’re going to get my list right and check it twice. Don’t mess it up, Bruh.

Anyway, here it is:

• A return home and a safe place to stay for all displaced New Orleanians.

• Fewer potholes in New Orleans.

• Higher salaries for public school teachers.

• Justice for the Orleans Parish public school administrators, educators and employees wrongfully fired by the state of Louisiana.

• More unbought and unbossed Black media.

• More random acts of kindness and selflessness.

• Fewer “noose incidents” across the nation.

• Justice for the Jena 6 and other Blacks who are still catching hell in Jena, La.

• More honest, socially conscious elected officials.

• Peace in the Middle East or New Orleans East, whichever is easier to accomplish.

• More respectful, appreciative teenagers.

• More academic options for high school students and higher expectations from administrators and educators.

• More parents who act like responsible adults.

• An open, honest discussion about race and privilege in New Orleans and the rest of the United States.

• Better hurricane evacuation routes for southern Louisiana.

• Less misogyny, materialism and ignorance in the music most often played on radio stations.

• Shorter summers with fewer tropical storms and lower humidity.

• Restoration of Louisiana’s barrier reef and its eroding coastline.

• A greater commitment from corporations and elected officials to protecting Louisiana’s environment.

• Lower-priced daiquiris. (I’m just sayin’…)

• Justice for the all of the Black people victimized, exploited and mistreated during and after Hurricane Katrina.

• Justice for the family of Henry Glover and the return of his skull to his family.

• A mayor, city council, governor and state legislature that respect ALL of the people of this city and state.

• Justice for Levon Jones.

• A moratorium on drama of all forms in the ‘hood.

• An end to senseless violence on the streets of New Orleans.

• More justice in the criminal justice system.

• Justice for New York City’s Sean Bell, Florida’s Trayvon Martin and all victims of excessive police force.

• Pay raises for law-abiding New Orleans police and hard-working firefighters.

• Better-educated, better-trained police officers.

• Safer, better schools.

• More spirituality, less religion in houses of worship and on the streets of New Orleans.

• No more “genocide & juice” (i.e., Old English 800, St. Ide’s, Wild Irish Rose, White Port, Mad Dog 20/20 etc.) in communities of color.

• A greater commitment to combating illiteracy in southern Louisiana.

• Reality checks for Oprah Winfrey, Montel Williams, Tiger Woods, Herman Cain, Justice Clarence Thomas, Nicki Minaj, Stacey Dash and Wayne Brady.

• No more ‘Basketball Wives,’ ‘Real Housewives’ or sisters who sit around all day waiting to exhale.

• Increased police presence and protection in impoverished, underserved communities.

• Fewer guns on the streets of New Orleans.

• A greater respect for learning in impoverished communities.

• Greater access to health care for the poorest among us.

• Safe, affordable housing for all New Orleans residents.

• Parenting classes for those who need them most.

• A return to teaching young people how to conduct themselves in various social settings.

• Fewer rap songs about ice, Cristal, Prada, Gucci and Bentleys.

• More Christmas spirit, less greed and selfishness during the holiday season.

• A greater commitment to feeding and clothing the poor and the homeless all year long.

• More support for Black-owned businesses from Black folks.

• Greater financial support for historically Black colleges and universities.

• More service, diligence and compassion from public servants.

• A conscience for Hollywood directors and producers.

• More Black men willing to serve as mentors to underprivileged children.

• Greater respect and appreciation for Black women.

• Greater respect for all women in music and films.

• Greater political participation, activ?ism and voter registration in communities of color.

• A new U.S. attorney, police chief, mayor and other elected officials who all understand concepts like justice and democracy.

• A safe return home for American soldiers in troubled areas of the world.

• An end to the famine, strife and AIDS epidemic that plagues Africa and other parts of the world.

• A Black-owned, African-centered television network.

• A frank, honest national discussion of reparations for people of African descent.

• Peace on earth, goodwill toward men, women and children.

This article was originally published in the December 10, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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