Monday, January 16, 2006
Nagin Claims God Is Mad At Us
"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."I wonder what the lesson of bird flu is? According to the Gaia folks, Mother Nature is planning to cull us. Dingo has often written of his fears of the "religious right", and he has also seems to have a lot of respect for Nagin. I wonder what Dingo would have to say about this?
(convo with MLK)
"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 — black folks I'm talking about — 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."
(Dingo is disgusted with national politics):
Politicians, by nature, respond to their constituency. We have allowed the politicians to create cozy little "safe" districts for themselves where they only have to pander to the fringe to remain in power. The vast middle America has sat down and shut up. We allowed them to become out of touch. We voted them into office after all.I think the rot set in when we allowed the parties to block third party candidates. The two parties have cooperated in squelching reformist movements within their own parties and in trying to exclude them from the national debate. Ross Perot is what they want to avoid. That 20 percent fills them with terror - and it's amazing how the "bipartisan" initiatives seem to be strongly focused on squelching the ability of the average citizen from starting grass-roots campaign initiatives.
There are at least three things going on nowadays on both the Right and the Left that fit this description. The first, as you say, is the suppression of third-party movements. Another is the practice of politicians choosing their voters rather than the other way around (gerrymandering). The third is judicial activism (stealing power from elected representatives). I tend to agree with Dingo here: if politicians were to be held more accountable, then things like judicial activism and dirty, self-interested politics would be more difficult to get away with.
People like Nagin, in a fairer democracy, would never get entrenched to the extent they do in so many places around the country. Letting democracy flourish is anathema to so many of today's politicians, because once they're in, they have every incentive to keep themselves there by any means necessary.
Whatever happened to the Gingrich "term limits" idea from 1994? The Republicans jettisoned that idea about 30 minutes after winning the 1994 elections.
b) I do respect Nagin, but in context. And that context is in the quality of politician coming out of Louisiana. As many faults as Nagin has, he is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the politicians coming out of NO. If you think he is bad, compare him to the prior 5 Mayors and you will have a whole new respect for him. Whould I vote for him to be the Mayor of New York? Not on your life. Would I vote for him to be the mayor of New Orleans? Any day (assuming the usual lack lust slate of candidates is running).
c) I do agree with Nagin that the black community needs to start focusing on its own faults. Otherwise, the cycle of poverty and violence will never end. It is time the black community takes a long hard look in the mirror.
Letting democracy flourish is anathema to so many of today's politicians, because once they're in, they have every incentive to keep themselves there by any means necessary.
That sums it up nicely. They are screwing around on our time and with our dollars.
Dingo, the black community is suffering from the same syndrome as the rest of us - the failure to take politics seriously. So see Pedro.
I think Nagin's statement about the hurricane is ridiculous, but I am inclined to cut him more slack than Robertson. Robertson wasn't standing in the middle of a flooded-out city with weakened levees on every side and a bad hurricane forecast for the next year.
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