C. Ray Crazy Mouth, Part I
Written by Jack Moss
Friday, 30 March 2007 15:21
|C. Ray Crazy Mouth, Part I|
I. There “Is” No Plot
They were not alone. Not surprisingly, countless politicians and social commentators also felt the need to define themselves in opposition to what “Crazy” Ray said by denouncing it as “negatively divisive,” “too far-fetched,” or both. Few these days, it seems, can abstain from confirming how un-racist and how pro-unity they are when given the chance, and even fewer can resist labeling any talk of a conspiracy as the mad ravings of a ridiculously paranoid individual.
But, while what the mayor said is certainly off the mark, those who deem it wrong because it’s negatively divisive or too far-fetched are, themselves, wrong.
[NOTE: Since it is now customary to set up straw men out of any remotely controversial thing that the mayor says, that custom will be continued here.]
To be clear, what C. Ray means to say is that the city’s biggest big-ballin’ blue-blooded honky plutocrats, most with D.C. and Manhattan ties, are trying to permanently rid themselves of their Burden: the masses of poor and sub-poor (read “mostly black” and “pitch black”) who lived in squalor on land too well located not to be turned into prime commercial or residential real estate, as well as, albeit indirectly, the thousands of working-class blacks who comprised a vast majority of the formidable New Orleans East voting block.
First of all, this isn’t negatively divisive in that it aligns blacks against whites in terms of “We vs. They,” as Chris Rose claims it does in his recent ad hominem-laden column, “Shut up and lead.” Certainly, it is divisive, but not in that it aligns blacks against whites; if anything, it aligns those of us—white, black, and every shade in between—who make up 99.8% of the city’s population against that handful or two of ultra-wealthy, well-connected families who decide, and have long decided, the city’s fate.
That kind divisiveness is not bad, not if representative democracy, equality, fairness, etc. are good.
And too far-fetched? Forced derangement and/or concentration of particular populations for geo-political and/or socio-economic reasons is how North America was “civilized,” n’est pas, amigo? Native Americans have learned this lesson first-hand, as have Cajuns, as have Blacks, as have [fill in favorite exploited or oppressed population here]. Not only could it happen here, it has happened here, as John Barry made quite clear in his acclaimed book about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Rising Tide. And common sense, if nothing else, says it’ll happen again.
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