Monday, January 9, 2012

Louisiana Justice Institute Joins Challenges to Racist French Quarter Curfew

The New Orleans City Council Decision to impose a curfew on minors in the French Quarter has been called a racist policy by critics, who have called it "the equivalent of a Black code." Louisiana Justice Institute joins those who have condemned the law, and is taking action. As local station WWNO has reported:
The Louisiana Justice Institute is sending what attorney Tracie Washington says are testers of the 8pm curfew. The New Orleans City Council approved an ordinance that took effect Monday banning unaccompanied minors from gathering in the French Quarter and parts of nearby Frenchmen Street. Supporters say it's aimed at protecting children from violent crime. Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed the ordinance, and backs another pending change that will make the 8pm curfew effective citywide.

Washington says "testers" are African-American males 17 years old or more who, she says, have a constitutional right to assemble in the area - even without identification. Neither Landrieu nor Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas could be reached for comment. Washington says
a boycott she announced last week for the French Quarter to begin on Martin Luther King Day is now being reviewed.
The new law comes in the context of a long history of racial discrimination in the French Quarter. On New Year’s Eve in 2004, nine months before Hurricane Katrina hit, bouncers in the Bourbon Street club Razzoo’s killed a Black college student named Levon Jones. The outrage led to near-daily protests outside the club, threats of a Black tourist boycott of the city and a mayor’s commission to explore the issue of racism in the French Quarter. Despite widely publicized advance warning, a “secret shopper” audit of the Quarter, conducted by Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, found rampant discrimination in local businesses. Bars had different dress codes, admission charges and drink prices—all based on whether the patron was Black or white.

Many in New Orleans are still upset that City Council President Jackie Clarkson recently spoke fondly of the New Orleans of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and expressed her hope that the city was returning to the "glory" of that era. When Black residents of New Orleans East complained, she refused to apologise, and simply added that one of her father's "best friends" was Black, adding, "My father never built a white playground without building a black playground."


Nola Anarcha said...

welcome to apartheid New Orleans! we live in an apartheid police state.

Nola Anarcha said...

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i promote people reading this blog a good bit. thanks for continuing to regularly put out informative posts.

Nola Anarcha said...

also if this blog made a twitter account just to post links to it's articles so people could circulate them on Twitter i bet it would drive a good amount of viewers here. and i personally would appreciate it so i can re-tweet the posts i like from here.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's obviously racially-based because the guidlines for the curfew CLEARLY read "BLACKS under the age of 17 are not allowed in the French Quarter after 8pm."
Get over it, people! What in the world does this curfew have to do with race?

Nola Anarcha said...

some posters against the curfew: