Anyone who knows be even the least knows that I have a strong love of New Orleans. Part of that may stem from the fact that I was born nearby in Baton Rouge. Part of my love may come from my affinity for the music, food, literature, and people. Or it may just be that I feel comfortable there and everything just seems to fit. Whatever the reason may be, I do love the city. So it pains me whenever something bad is going on there. Of course I was torn apart by hurricane Katrina, made all the worse by my memories of going through hurricane Hugo here in Charleston, but what has pained me even worse is what has gone on since.
There is currently an entry in Anderson Cooper’s blog that talks about the current crime situation in New Orleans and how it is getting worse. This particular piece is about the French Quarter in particular. I read this on the same day that I found out that a conference that I had planned on attending in June had moved its location from New Orleans to Orlando. I can understand a large convention wanting to make sure that attendees are safe and that the infrastructure is there to handle them, but I also feel that if people don’t support the city then how can it recover.
What hurts me the most is to realize that most of the crimes being committed in the city right now are not the actions of recent newcomers or out-of-town hooligans. The people holding these guns are residents who either never left or left and returned. These people are killing their own city. And while other members of the community are marching with placards and banners, their sons, daughters, and neighbors are the ones pulling the trigger. I would lay odds that quite a few of the residents in those area being hit by these crime waves, the residents calling for the police to do something, also smoke the occasional joint or down the occasional illicit pill. Well the people they are buying this stuff from are the ones that are holding those guns. If not them, then their “associates”. So it is more than a tad hypocritical for them to protest against the people they are supporting.
Anyway, I suppose all of this has just caught me wrong. The crime is a disgrace. The city is fantastic. And I am tired of people asking others to take care of the problem. I am not referring to help here. Asking for help is fine. And I am ticked off at anyone not willing to help. But when it comes to this crime problem there is no way anyone other than the people there can solve it. That and by companies being willing to do business there so that people have jobs and can earn an honest living.