Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

Turn up the heat

3rd December 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Edmund W. Lewis

The holiday season is upon us and we still find ourselves trying to make sense of the many moves made this year that had clearly been designed to undo all or most of the progress this nation has made over the past half century. Who knows how much farther back the proverbial clock will be turned before folks start waking up and smelling the oppressive tactics and strategies employed by the enemies of justice and democracy? Even though the weather outside is perfect for a long, pre-winter nap or an evening of leisure in front of an open fire, let’s shake things up with some questions about what’s going on across the nation, in your neighborhood and your neck of the woods. Let’s get it poppin’.

• If racism is a thing of the past and we are living in “post-racial” America, why re there so many incidents involving the promotion of stereotypical images of Black, Brown, Red and Yellow people among youth in middle school, high school and college?

• What makes a group of white students at San Jose State University think they have the right to hold a Black student hostage?

• Does anyone who has looked closely at the way Tea Party types and ultraconservative members of the GOP have sought to sabotage every effort to stabilize the economy and revitalize the U.S. doubt that these folks have no qualms about tearing this government down and building a new, all-white wealthy Protestant republic as many of the Founding Fathers originally intended?

• Wasn’t it ultraslick how the local administration pretended to support the contracts held by Metro Disposal and Richard’s Disposal when Black residents began to make some noise but turned around later and began making moves to undercut those companies by reducing the number of days they pick up garbage from two days to one?

• Why is it so hard for Black businesses to get a contract in this majority-Black city with the local administration?

• Why hasn’t the Orleans Parish District Attorney filed charges against Merritt Landry, the Faubourg Marigny resident and CNO employee who shot 14-year-old Marshall Coulter in the head in July for the unpardonable sin of trespassing on his property?

• With a severe NOPD manpower shortage, who thinks the department might let even more riff raft from surrounding parishes join the police force than usual?

• Will the NOPD manpower shortage mean that white residents of the CBD, Warehouse District and Garden District will get better police protection than the city’s poor, working-class and middle-class communities?

• How much longer will it be before poor and working-class people will be required to present identification cards every time they visit the CBD, a la “Bantu Steve Biko”?

• Who thinks the mayor and his administration might have more time to fight crime and curb violence if he did not spend so much time trying to undermine the NOPD and OPP consent decrees, trying to sabotage efforts by Civil Court judges to build a new courthouse near Duncan Plaza, trying to wrestle control of the Wisner Foundation from members of the Wisner family and trying to ground the city’s taxi drivers into dust?

• How many Louisiana residents who voted for Gov. Piyush Jindal and are now dealing with the fallout after his refusal to accept Medicaid expansion would vote for him again if the Party of Lincoln was desperate enough to back his last-minute bid for the GOP presidential nomination?

• Now that the state has brought in more than $483 million through its tax amnesty program and has surplus funds, what are the odds hat the governor will “catch the Holy Ghost” this holiday season and do right by poor and elderly residents who are suffering because of his refusal to support Medicaid expansion?

• Who thinks that Malachi Hull, the city’s taxicab bureau chief, shouldn’t be held accountable for standing there while one of his enforcers got into a physical altercation with a female tour guide in the French Quarter?

• Why did former DC Mayor Marion Barry get six months in the joint for smoking a miniscule amount of crack cocaine but Florida GOP congressman Henry Radel received only 12 months of probation after being caught buying cocaine in Washington, DC recently?

• Why were so many members of the GOP clearly irritated by President Barack Obama’s recent success in reaching a tentative agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons?

• How thankful would you be for humble elected officials with integrity and compassion who understood that they were public servants and served at the will of the people?

• When and how did we start letting elected officials dictate to constituents what our priorities should be as a city and community?

• With ultraconservative members of the GOP hellbent on making some American families go hungry, losing any chance of getting a decent public education and derailing the nation’s healthcare law, how close are we to seeing real-life “Hunger Games”?

This article originally published in the December 2, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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