Monday, January 16, 2006

Chocolate City

It's a shame Ray Nagin said all that stupid shit about God being mad at America on MLK Day:

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin said as he and other city leaders commemorated Martin Luther King Day. "Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."

Because he also said some excellent stuff later on, in the context of an imaginary conversation with King:

"I said, 'What is it going to take for us to move on and live your dream and make it a reality?' He said, 'I don't think that we need to pay attention any more as much about other folks and racists on the other side.' He said, 'The thing we need to focus on as a community β€” black folks I'm talking about β€” is ourselves.'"

Nagin told the crowd that he also asked, "Why is black-on-black crime such an issue? Why do our young men hate each other so much that they look their brother in the face and they will take a gun and kill him in cold blood?"

The reply, he said, was, "We as a people need to fix ourselves first."

Brave and well-said, Mr. Mayor.

But then he couldn't stay away from the stupid stuff, accusing "police in suburban and predominantly white Gretna" of turning away black refugees from the city with "attack dogs and machine gun fire in the air" during the height of the crisis. That's hotly disputed.

He stuck yet another foot in it when he promised the rebuilt New Orleans will be a "chocolate" city again.

"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans β€” the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "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."

I haven't been tracking the AP evolution of this story. On the wire, there's only the one version of it, no write-thru yet. However, many online versions of the story, including the one from the New Orleans newspaper's Web site, omit the "chocolate" quote.

Others contain it, but then offer the mayor a back-down quote:

He explained that "chocolate" represents diversity, a combination of chocolate and white milk to form what he called "a delicious drink."

Aw, bullshit, Ray! We're not a box of crackers here. We grew up loving P-Funk:

There's a lot of chocolate cities, around
We've got Newark, we've got Gary
Somebody told me we got L.A.
And we're working on Atlanta
But you're the capital, CC

Gainin' on ya!
Get down
Gainin' on ya!
Movin' in and on ya
Gainin' on ya!
Can't you feel my breath, heh
Gainin' on ya!
All up around your neck, heh heh

Hey, CC!
They say your jivin' game, it can't be changed
But on the positive side,
You're my piece of the rock
And I love you, CC.
Can you dig it?

Hey, uh, we didn't get our forty acres and a mule
But we did get you, CC, heh, yeah
Gainin' on ya
Movin' in and around ya
God bless CC and its vanilla suburbs