Sunday, October 08, 2006


Why is it that when people who live or who have lived in New Orleans commit crimes in places like Slidell or Houston, it's part of New Orleans's "crime problem"? The stories make front-page news and get national attention, and "respectable" commentators and "heroic" law enforcement officials tut-tut and roll their eyes and talk about "those kind of people" from New Orleans.

On the other hand, when people from places like Slidell or Houston come to the New Orleans area and commit horrible crimes (please, check those links--are those horrible enough for ya?), it's still considered part of New Orleans's "crime problem." The stories get limited coverage (so little, in fact, that it's difficult to find good links to them via Google). As New Orleanians, it seems that we're just supposed to tolerate this stuff as one of the costs of living in the Big Easy, and then we're supposed to beat ourselves up about what a rotten, corrupt, ineffective place we live in.

I'm not buying any of the garbage, but neither am I going to become one of THEM.

THEM [sic] are the kind of people who see their cities as country clubs. Only THEIR kind of people need apply. In response to problems with post-levee failure New Orleans exiles, a Houston city council member said: "'That's what the Houston mentality is, this is a working town.'" The implication is that we New Orleanians are not. THEM ascribe problems to oustiders, non-THEMs.

I refuse to respond to the hypocrisy demonstrated in the first two paragraphs above by responding in kind, by whining about those horrible outsiders who on occasion do terrible things in my city. What makes a city a city is that it welcomes outsiders.

Can you imagine a truly world class municipality playing us-and-them games? That's why some people in St. Tammany have some work to do.

NOTE: Don't even think about accusing me of playing us-and-them games with this post. It's not hypocritical or inconsistent to call out us-and-them people precisely for their intolerance.

SECOND NOTE: Nor is this post a defense of New Orleanians who go elsewhere and do terrible things. If they do something wrong, arrest their asses and throw da book at 'em. Trust me: I wish only the worst for peope who commit crimes here, too.

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