Wednesday, November 4, 2009

LJI Presents Guest Writer Lance Hill: "The Most Racist City in the US?"

By Lance Hill, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Southern Institute for Education and Research, Tulane University

This week's comments by Ed Blakely, the former New Orleans recovery czar, caused quite a controversy in New Orleans. His criticism that New Orleanians were "lazy" was not new, but his observation about the white community's efforts to "recapture the political apparatus" and "put their foot back on Black people's throats" was the first time a high-ranking recovery official said in public what is a widespread sentiment in the local African American community. It is likely that this perception of a "power grab" will influence voting in the February 2010 city election. The tendency in the white community to ignore or dismiss this Black sentiment is reflected in the Times-Picayune's editorial response that completely omits Blakely's comments on the "blood in the water."

Transcribed from the YouTube interview:

"Everyone's a racist. It's part of something we have in this country, but it's deeper, more viral, and more visible and more entrenched in New Orleans than any place I've ever seen...There is a sense, now, in the white community, [that] there's blood in the water, and they can recapture the political apparatus and kind of put their foot back on Black people's throats. And that will be explosive and very dangerous. And I think unless the next mayor is very clever, it's going to explode and there are going to be race riots in New Orleans."
-Ed Blakely, Former New Orleans "Recovery Czar"

Click here to see the Blakely Interview.

Click here to see the Times-Picayune Editorial on Blakely - which omits the "Blood in the water" reference.

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