Monday, August 17, 2009

The Real Story

Tuning into all the different formats of coverage of the infamous “City Council E-mail Scandal,” citizens of New Orleans, (who have nothing to do with the city’s government or the civil justice issues regarding the case) have been pulled into a whirlwind of slander, instigation, and negatively framed reporting. It is very unfortunate that a landmark case such as this has been overshadowed by a never-ending stream of negativity and personal spotlights. Contrary to what the news media wants us to believe, the overall principle of this case is not about Stacy Head, Tracie Washington, Veronica White, or the other individuals involved in the actual case. The main purpose of this case is to show the citizens of New Orleans that it is possible to hold their city officials accountable for their actions while in office. However, this is not what has happened as a result of the undying publicity of the case. New Orleans is a unique city where elected officials are allowed to publicly “do as they please,” while suffering no repercussions for their actions. It is also a city where journalists are allowed to publish “opinions” that are blatantly guided by the players in the game of New Orleans politics. Although education in New Orleans is towards the bottom of the totem pole in the nation, it is unfair to continue treating the residents as if they do not understand the games that are being played by the people they entrusted to rebuild our city. New Orleans residents understand that they are way beyond the “what you see is what you get” notion of city governance. Most understand that there is always much more to the story than what is reported.

As confirmed by the not-so-brief introduction, this blog is not a usual update of the case. It is a charge to residents of New Orleans to think beyond framework, and put forth an effort to seek and gain knowledge of the facts for ourselves. This is also a charge to journalists, media officials, government officials, and community leaders to stick to the facts, and if an opinion is warranted, publish your own, and no one else’s. In reading the cesspool, also known as comments, the majority of the negative remarks have obviously stemmed from secondary and third party sources. Nobody posted opinions on actual facts, nor did anyone comment on whether they believed the elected officials should be accountable for their actions. Instead, most comments were about Stacy Head or Tracie Washington, who are only ¼ of the individuals participating in the case.

If we could learn how to refrain from totally indulging ourselves in the “drama” surrounding cases involving city government, maybe some of the core issues at hand would actually be addressed, rather than making a complete spectacle of our governance, or making “local superstars” of those who are supposed to be just doing their jobs.

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