Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A question

How many of you are more than offended by this...
"We ask black people It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans, the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans! This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."
This also...
"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country."
~Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans
Now my question is this. Just what do you suppose would happen if this had been a white mayor in a predominately white city, say Frostbite Falls, Minnesota proclaiming that his city would again be "All White"?
I just want to know where the outcry is for this obvious racist statement? Please do not insult my intelligence by telling me he was taken out of context. His meaning was very clear to me.
But you say there is no double standard in this country...
Now for something completely different.
Q: What's white with a blue & gold stripe and sleeps four?
A: A WVDoH truck.
All last night at work in rained pretty good. Temperature was in the mid 40's but the weather service was calling for plummeting temps and the rain changing to snow overnight into this morning. Around 4 AM the rain did indeed change over to snow, and walking home this morning is was really slick. So slick I fell on my ass in the parking lot.
Do you think I saw one DoH salt truck? Christmas Day was the last time I saw one, and they laid down so much salt it looked like it had snowed, but there wasn't snowflake to be seen and the temperature hovered around 55 all night.
I know why they were out that night. Triple overtime.
Anyway, it iced up pretty good this morning and no salt on the roads. The Turnpike isn't much better. Last winter when I was still driving to Bastian, VA for work, I had to travel the pike. The several snowstorms we had last year, coupled with the DoH's lackluster performance in removing snow made the 22 mile drive into a three hour white-knuckle ordeal. Especially when the salt trucks and plows would turn around at the I-77/ Rt-460 overpass, leaving the last twelve miles in West Virginia untouched. The most treacherous twelve miles to be more specific. I had a semi jackknife right in front of me last February it was that bad.
One would think that a state in the middle of the Appalachians, with hundreds of miles of mountainous roads would take better care of them in inclement weather. Growing up in Pennsylvania it was only marginally better, and the city of Philadelphia was absolutely clueless on removing snow. I guess that's because it was left up to the garbage men... One year they actually did this. They were dumping all the snow removed from the streets into the Schukill River, and within hours there was a huge ice-dam built up along the Market St. Bridge. Water from the river was flowing over the city streets and it took an Army Corps of Engineers detatchment to blast the dam away with TNT to avert coating most of Center City Philly with ice.
It's not rocket-science.
The worst part of this is the one state I lived it, Arizona, who'd you would think would have no clue on snow removal, actually had their shit together when it came to the white stuff. It didn't snow that often, but when it did, we'd get feet of snow, not inches... And ADoT would be out and have the major roads cleared within hours of the snowstorm passing.
And they didn't use salt there either.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden

18 comments:

Courtney said...

I'm trying to just not have an opinion on it. It wasn't well put, I'll say that...

Sherri said...

I hear you on the road conditions!! I've had many a white knuckled trip to work this winter, it totally pisses me off too.

Christina_the_wench said...

The whole racist thing confuses and irritates me. I agree if a white mayor had said that, there'd be hell to pay BIG time. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc. would want him hung from the nearest tree. ACLU would have a holiday to commemorate the occasion. Why is it ok for the New Orleans mayor to say what he did? That is my biggest beef. I'd love to hear what a black person living in New Orleans has to say about his comments.

Okie said...

If the colors were reversed, there is no doubt the national news media would be talking non-stop about it and he would be forced to resign within days.

It has always seemed to me that among my generation (I am 27), in my part of the country (the South, mind you), whites are far more tollerant of blacks than they are of whites.

Okie said...

key words in the above comment: among my generation

Golightly said...

I do agree that if the statement was reversed and it was a white mayor that said that; the media and Black coalitions would be at his throat and having a field day with it.
As a Black person, I am offended by what Nagin said. It sounds ridiculous: 'Chocolate City'? WTF?!? Is he Willy Wonka?

cantellya said...

And people in this country complain that there will always be racism. With comments like that, you bet there will be.

Katie said...

I agree that if the statement was reversed and it was a white mayor that said that. the media and Black coalitions would go nuts. he would not have a job any more!

Thats all I'm going to say cause this just make me so damn made. I cant talk about it. Pluse other things like that
grrr

cmk said...

HOPEFULLY, the mayor just had a major brain-fart when he said it. At least, I would like to think so. Unfortunately, I think he really meant it, despite his retractions.

As for winter roads: we live on a dead-end street here in the city. After a snowstorm, we were always the last ones to be plowed out--even DAYS late. This year, our neighbor was appointed mayor. Now, the plows come down whenever it LOOKS like it will snow. The advantages of political office.

honkeie2 said...

I have said for years "If I said what they said just in 'white' terms I would be called a racist"
I had a teeshirt that used to get me in trouble all the time with the less than intelligent ppl. It read: 'White by birth proud by choice'
I wore it because a classmate of mine had the same shirt but it was the black version. Once I pointed out her shirt the whitey haters stopped cold, it was kinda funny.
And on snow problem-I live in NJ and have few problems with how they do it. They are far from perfect but they do a pretty good job.

Christina_the_wench said...

I thought the same thing, golightly. The Willy Wonka thing. lol
How does one so seemingly racist get into political office in this day and age? Boggles the mind.

Dirk said...

Down here under our racial vilification laws it is not legally possible to be vilified/otherwise discriminated against if you are white. This is explicitly stated in the law.
Some equality, huh?

berly02 said...

I'm not surprised. There has been this double standard since I was born.

JenJen said...

Well, it's not ok for the mayor to make such comments, and there's been quite a lot of outrage about them, and he's since apologized for them.

I'm willing to take Mayor Nagin at his word when he said he regrets having made the remarks. That man has to be under more stress and pressure than any American mayor in recent history, and I can understand choosing the wrong words or making gaffes when you're emotional and stressed.

At the same time there's an underlying racial tone that surrounds New Orleans vis-a-vis Hurricane Katrina. Nagin's words re-opened the box. I think most Americans would prefer to think that racial equality does exist and that racial tensions have been obliterated, but that's just naive.

I worry for the future of New Orleans.

ahamilton said...

Some people should just keep their mouths shut. Didn't he say something about mixing White Milk with the chocolate? What an idiot!!!

Crazy Me said...

Open mouth, insert foot. Seriously, some people need a freaking muzzle!

Lisa said...

St. Louis is horrible about removing snow. You don't see the Dept of Mo trucks until three days after the damn snow has melted. And this is on MAJOR highways. You can tell the dividing line between Mo and Illinois. Because the roads will be shit in Mo but pristine in Illinois. Plus, MO taxes are much higher than Illinois. They obviously aren't spending that money on the roads. GRrrr!

Christina_the_wench said...

The more I thought about this yesterday, the more mad I got. I know the Americans (and others from different countries) who helped, donated, send supplies, spent time rebuilding, etc. for this hurricane-torn city were a mixture of races, not just black. Yes, he is/was under a lot of stress. That doesn't excuse what was said. It's been months since this happened.If you are in the public eye, you watch what you say more than the normal person.