Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

Still searching for the truth

28th May 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Edmund W. Lewis

Yo, it’s summertime in the city but the livin’ is anything but easy. Cops are jumpin’ on innocent cats who even look like they belong in gangs — you know, with saggin’ pants, white T-shirts, tats, dreads and/or slugs. And cotton is high. Elected officials continue to play games with residents’ safety, freedom and constitutional rights and most of the people we cast votes for continue to hide in their offices avoiding the media and dreaming of the big payoff. Where are the elected officials with courage, character, brilliant minds and a sense of purpose? Is there anyone out there who isn’t afraid to buck the system and take a stand for something other than their own political futures or bank accounts? So many questions, so few examples of elected officials who would make the Ancestors proud…

Sometimes all we can do is ask the questions that beg to be asked and look to the Creator and the wisest among us for answers. Brothers and sisters, grab your hat now ‘cause here

we go:

• Why aren’t many “mainstream” New Orleanians and tourists who were outraged by the recent violence committed at a Mother’s Day second-line event equally appalled by the systematic educational and economic apartheid being rammed down the throats of the city’s Black residents?

• Where was all this outrage from the ruling minority after 20-year-old Wendell Allen was gunned down in his home in 2012 by an NOPD officer and after 17-year-old Sidney Newman and 18-year-old Ferdinand Hunt were being attacked by plainclothes state troopers and NOPD officers in the French Quarter in February?

• Why aren’t more concerned citizens getting upset and involved when the city and business community continue to limit the economic opportunities extended to families of color while raising property taxes and fees for the Sewerage & Water Board and Entergy?

• Does anyone really expect the powers that be in New Orleans to ever acknowledge and own up to the violent war being waged on Black families via the economy, public schools, housing, health care and the criminal justice system?

• Why are so few college-educated Black people in New Orleans speaking out against the racism and classic that significantly impact the lives of New Orleans residents on a daily basis?

• When was the last time your children or grandchildren saw you make an effort to read a book about the plight of Black people?

• Why do so few Black people with college training actually use that education to uplift, educate, inspire and empower communities of color?

• Why do we let local elected officials get away with selecting the same unimaginative and ineffective people to fill posts on various boards and commission over and over and over again without any objections from the community?

• Does New Orleans deserve to host the Super Bowl in 2018 if it refuses to abide by the NOPD consent decree and bring constitutional policing to the city?

• Now that gentrification has taken root in many of New Orleans’ previously all-Black neighborhoods, should the mainstream media still be using words like “urban” and “inner-city” to refer to Black residents without actually saying the word “Black”?

• With a steady flow of illegal drugs and guns being pumped into New Orleans, do you feel any safer than you did before the city and various law enforcement agencies announced an initiative to crack down on “gangs”?

• Why haven’t the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, NOPD, ATF, FBI, DEA and all the other “alphabets” announced any plans to crack down on wealthy individuals whose boats and planes are being used to bring major shipments of illegal drugs and guns to New Orleans?

• Isn’t it sad that a privately owned company had to donate its time, services and resources to pull cars out of Bayou St. John in the ongoing search for missing second-grade teacher Terrilyn Monette?

• Bobby Jindal for president? Really?

This article originally published in the May 27, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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