Interview With Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans

Harrowing audio (.mp3) of the WWL radio interview with Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans. Not for the faint of heart, nor those who swoon at “bad” language.

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63 Responses to Interview With Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans

  1. Cyberbug says:

    Only matched by the back slapping and photo calls taking place in the CNN coverage from Mobile, Alabama

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  11. lisa says:

    Mayor Nagin is the stone, cast into the river that got everyone off their “sorry asses”. His impassioned plea sent the ripple to the executive branch, and god forbid, a good ole boy from
    Texas has to deal with an angry, frustration Mayor or New Orleans, (the televisied tour was without audio) who has his constituants most primative survival at heart.

    We need so many more politicians like Mayor Nagin.

  12. Irene says:

    Why all the praise for the Mayor? He waited until the city became a total mess before taking local action to evacuate all those people stranded without cars. He could have rounded up school buses, city buses, etc. found volunteers to start driving those people out at the same time many others evacuated. No, he wanted to save his city budget and let Federal help come in. Why didn’t the Govenor send more National Guard in immediately? And, also contact other govenors for Guard help?There are plenty of National Guard available in this country without bringing Iraq into this. Evacuation plans should have been in place (including housing, food, water) months before Katrina.

  13. Lindsay says:

    Mayor Nagin may have been able to do more before Katrina hit, but there are very stubborn people in this world. For the people who couldn’t get out, I cry for them everyday. I believe that Mayor Nagin has done the absolute best that he could given these circumstances. I believe this interview was one of the greatest shows of how incredibly frustrated we all are. It shows how angry we are. It shows how disgusted we are. I feel that after this, there will never ever be another Bush elected into office. I hate to say that I voted for this one. I’m ashamed of it actually.
    I have to say, the people of this country have been amazing. We are what holds us together. The man who delivers Sysco products. The woman who serves coffee at Waffle House. All the people whose hearts are bigger than their pocketbooks. The people whose ability to love and care is greater then their voice in the government. If is wasn’t for all of those people, this crisis would have been much worse.
    So thank you Mayor Nagin for trying. Thank you Kanye for speaking out. Thank you to all the people who see what is going on and wont stop giving all their love and help.

    Lindsay-Baton Rouge, LA

  14. Dee says:

    I still can’t understand why folks are concentrating on Mayor Nagins. What about the Governor , the President and finally our Government. They dropped the ball and no one can excuse it. Mayor Nagins did the best he could under dire circumstances. When you call the President, FEMA, etc and say please come, we need your help- HELP SHOULD BE ON THE WAY.

    The Bush administration will try to find a scape goat like they usually do but I don’t think it will fly with most of America this time. We saw for ourselves and we are saddened by what we did see.

  15. Mikaela S says:

    Dear Mayor Nagin,

    First off, my prayers are with you and your city during this terrible time.
    Secondly, I heard the clip of your interview on the radio and I had some comments for you.

    One, your obvious knowledge of, and devotion to your city is not only admirable and rare, but touching.

    Two, your courage to speak the truth when all other politicians are too busy “spinning” as you put it, is exactly what is missing in our government today. The lack of courage and true morality in our government (state and federal) is what got your beautiful city in this vunerable position to begin with.

    Lastly, DON’T YOU DARE let anyone bully you into silence. You speak the truth, you know it, and so do MANY other Americans. Your honesty on the tsunami, the war in Iraq, and the quick response of the media, in relation to the LACK of speed on the part of our government agencies (which every American has paid for ten times over) is the crux of the issue, and should NEVER be forgotten or let go of.

    People must be held accountable for this, there was plenty of evidence, warning, and money to prevent this tragedy. You are your team did everything you could and should, and you should not have stood alone.

    Keep on fighting this lonely, just, and necessary fight. Do not fear “getting in trouble”, the only being that can punish or judge you will not. You were right when you said that God was looking down upon this and passing his judgements. You are one of the brave heroes, God is proud of you; keep making him proud.

    Again my prayers are with you, my money is en route, and believe me, if my job permitted it, I would be there with you.

    Bless you and thank you, for you give many hope.

  16. D. Wham says:

    Dear Mayor Nagin,

    You did everything any one man in your position could’ve done in such a situation. Knobody knew just how bad this hurricane would be. I am just a southern raised, white bread, god fearing Christian American, but I am damn proud of the way you spoke out for yourself and for all the citizens in need of help. This nation needs more people like you who are not afraid to speak their mind! The times are now coming to finger pointing. Do’nt worry Mr. Nagin, the American peole stand behind you!

  17. Lynne says:

    Mayor Nagin,
    I believe that you have been remarkable in handling the aftermath of Katrina. While most would have left town and handled the situation in comfort miles away you stayed close to the people. You have done all you knew to do both before and after the storm. Your loyalty to the people of New Orleans reminds me of King David. I know that many will look at your efforts and try to bring condemnation on how you handled things, yet I wonder how they would have dealt with the same issues had they been in you shoes. As difficult as all this has been for you, I believe God has put you in the position of Mayor because He knew that you would fight for the rights of the citizens of your town. Please keep up the faith & good work. The people of the city of New Orleans are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Take care and God Bless
    Lynne H. ~ Asheville, NC

  18. Lauri Smith says:

    To Irene:

    Your post

    has been answered below:

    Why all the praise for the Mayor?
    Because Mayor Nagin was the only one with enough heart and courage to stand up and get some help for the people in the city of New Orleans .

    He waited until the city became a total mess before taking local action to evacuate all those people stranded without cars.
    He waited for the help that was promised him, and waited and WAITED AND WAITED AND THEN gave the interview! Every single official in the city of New Orleans worked themselves to the point of utter exhaustion. Some of them, including the mayor, without food for days just to save people and try to maintain some semblance of order.

    He could have rounded up school buses, city buses, etc. found volunteers to start driving those people out at the same time many others evacuated.
    Driving people? What? How do you drive people anywhere when the roads are flooded? Rounded up what school buses, and drove them where with what gasoline? The area was FLOODED! COMPLETELY FLOODED!

    No, he wanted to save his city budget and let Federal help come in.
    Why on earth would he not want the Federal help, this is a national disaster of untold proportions. City budget? You’ve got to be out of your mind. The budget could never handle a crisis of this enormity to begin with, much less after this disaster hit.

    Why didn’t the Govenor send more National Guard in immediately?
    This is a very legitimate question and if you find out why, you tell me.

    And, also contact other govenors for Guard help?
    See above response.

    There are plenty of National Guard available in this country without bringing Iraq into this.
    Yes, there are plenty of National Guard troops available in this country, but they didn’t show up until after the interview. The interview did many things including get the National Guard to New Orleans.

    Evacuation plans should have been in place (including housing, food, water) months before Katrina.
    Evacuation orders (mandatory) were issued and 80% of the people left, but if people choose to stay, which they did, there isn’t anything you can do except deal with the aftermath. He did that and the New Orleans Police Department did that to the best of their ability and with the very limited resources they had.

    Now, I have a few questions for you:
    Where are you from?
    Do you live in New Orleans or have you ever visited there?
    Have you ever been in a hurricane or evacuated from one?

    And a piece of advice:
    Consider your comments prior to posting them, because you have made yourself look very foolish to the people that read internet posts. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about. You should issue a retracted statement to that post immediately. Oh and by the way, you misspelled Governor.

    Sincerely,
    Lauri Smith

  19. Paula L. Wilson III says:

    To Mayor Nagin:
    God bless you and keep you and your citizens.
    I am so very proud of you for the way you handled yourself, and the fearless truth and courage with which you spoke during the interview. I have seen countless politicians being interviewed including your Governor, and NONE OF THEM had the courage or plain ole common sense to put it as plain / eloquently as you did. I and my fiance even though we are Arkansans would without a doubt vote for you in the Governor’s race if we could. The state would be better served if they had a plain talking man with their best interest at heart.
    I was awakened from my sleep to hear you speak. I sat straight up in bed and starting cheering and clapping I was so surprised and happy to hear someone tell it like it was, shooting straight from the hip with no sugar coating, more politicians should try it. They fianally came with the help that had been promised because the were embarrassed and knew the world was watching. I asked some of the same questions you did. I want to know how can we rush off around the world to save people and drag ass to save our own? This has been unreal to me, and I’m sure to the people in the hurricane states. The Good Book says “charity begins at home.”

    Some of the evacuees are camped at the Arkansas State Fair Grounds, today my family went there to invite a family to come share the holiday with us, a good meal, fellowship and simply a smile.
    We wound up with three families, it was the best we could do. We are but everyday working people, and realize we are blessed and understand that it should be shared with those who have not.
    They were so surprised that we came for them and opened our meager home to them.
    One lady (Ms. Mary) kept crying and saying that we (Arkansans) have been really good to them.
    My daughter’s reply was we (our family) believes that whenever possible we should help or how could we expect anyone to help us in our time of need.
    Keep on keeping on

  20. anon says:

    Hello,
    Out of the money donated (from all around the world) for the poor, I believe black communities all over the land should organize themselves as follows:
    Ask the state governments to donate several plots of land large enough for farming, for hostels and for running summer camps. Everyone can help raise vegatables, sell them operate the hostel and run the summer camp for kinds. During an emergency blacks can congregate on these properties.
    Next, organize the city’s black community into smaller subunots. Each subunit should elect a “godfather”, who is responsible, after the parents, for the leadership of the children in the subunit under 15 years of age. During a crisis, the “godfather,” like the Pied Piper, helps look after the kids.
    Next, organize similar subunits for the sick and elderly. The “godfathers” for these subunits hlpe to represent and organize their affairs. He hlps them to arrange their legacies, insurance, etc.
    Thank you for your stance during this crisis.

  21. David says:

    Dear Mayor Nagin,

    First of all, I want to extend my condolences to all who are suffering from Hurrican Katrina. This awful disaster has touched everyone who has seen it, and particularly those who have watched the residents of New Orleans in their valiant struggle to survive. Our hearts are breaking for them, and we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

    Secondly, I want to applaud you in your fight for your people, in your the clear, vocal stand you’ve taken. Please continue to be strong and brave, and to fight for the help your people deserve. Your citizens will thank you for it.

    Thirdly, I want to make a suggestion for the rebuilding of New Orleans, inspired in part by a headline about the current status of this city: couldn’t at least part of it be converted into a “New Venice”? (Focusing on those parts that are currently below sea level.)

    This sounds wild, I know, but here are the thoughts that support the idea:

    * Maintaining the city against future storms and floods by building “bigger, better, higher” levees will take tremendous funds and, in the end, Nature always wins.

    * Raising the entire city above sea level would have to be a tremendous expense, as well. I have no idea where one would find all the fill required, and how one would stabilize the underlying strata to keep the city from simply sinking gradually, anyway.

    * However, if one were to adopt a higher population density approach (as was done in Venice), but couple it with some forward-looking efforts to stabilize the resulting structures (using sufficient pilings, for example), it should be possible to end up with a lovely city.

    * If the city design were laid out properly, “tidal flushing” should be possible, to keep the waters of the “new New Orleans” fresh enough to support fish and other aquatic life, increasing the appeal of the area. It should even be possible to set up a surge barrier similar to that used in England on the Thames, to protect these buildings from very large storm surges.

    * Allowing the Mississippi to go ahead and flood through such a region should allow the silt-laden waters to both enrich the aquatic life and at least partially restore the marshlands that used to act as buffers against storms.

    * The existing levees could be retained to manage commercial water traffic and to slow sudden changes in water depth.

    * The resulting city would certainly be different from the “old New Orleans”, but I’m afraid that is unavoidable anyway, what with the diaspora of its residents. But the “new New Orleans” should prove to be a wonder and attraction that would at least match the old, and would be defendable and affordable, as well.

    These are just some thoughts from an American living abroad, who has visited Venice only once and found it to be so thoroughly charming as to wonder how one might recreate such a place but in a manner as to keep it from sinking from view.

    I wish you and the citizens of your lovely state all the best in the recovery efforts.

    With kind regards,
    David

  22. If the mayor had been doing is job, he would not have waited for someone to come and do his job. Why did he not have the three pumps out of four working to pump the water out that was expected and why did he not use the school buses to have them transporting people out. He dropped the ball
    on his own people and is embarassed so he can blame everyone but himself. Take care of your own and if you cannot ask for help before you need it not after the fact.

  23. Ulrike Gartler says:

    Dear Mayor Nagin,
    your guts and your strong feelings for your people are greatly appreciated here in Europe.
    We all need more politicians like you who are blessed with a true heart.
    May these tragedy you´ve all been through one day be bearable, if not forgotten.
    May New Orleans rise again – then I will come and visit – I should have done so before.
    Best wishes from Vienna, Austria,
    Ulrike Gartler
    P.S. It takes a lot of courage to order mandatory evacuation – if the hurricane had swerved everyone would have blamed Mr Nagin.
    As ist is, he saved many, many lives!

  24. To be blunt, I would vote for Ray Nagin as President any day. People get all prissy at the word asses but they would look at movies with cussin’ from begining to end, steal, cheat on their taxes, break the speed limit and lie to mention a few. Desperate situations dictate desperate measures. Hind sight is 20/20, only the person in the kitchen feels the heat. You tell me of a state or city in the US that has an evacuation plan that is absolute, looks at and is able to cover every situation and possibility. None does. We had our soldiers dying in Iraq because the Humvees were poorly developed for the military and had no bullet proof body armor. The poor guys had to improvise and rig up sheets of scrap iron to help them stay alive another day. Now imagine this is the military and they were ill prepared going to war, did they cover all the possibilities, absolutely not and this was an obvious one. If you are going out in the rain and does not want to get wet you use an umbrella or a raincoat. If you do not want to be shot you wear a vest or get a vehicle with bullet proof windows and body.

    The Mayor said if you cannot evacuate the city, to evacuate your homes and come to the Superdome; they had transportation running for them. It is like the old saying “who can’t hear would feel”. Sounds mean but it is the reality. Hats off to mayor Nagin, “you have really big cajones” and are gutsy to say the least. It is only after your interview that things got rolling. Why? Because now everyone in the US and the rest of the world knew that we could take care of our neighbours but were not paying attention to our own home where our family was dying and suffering. Trying to save face out of embarassment. As a New Orleans resident I salute you and promise to vote for you again and again. Thank God Kathleen Blanco is the Governor of LA and not the Mayor of New Orleans, she signed the bill for no more prayer in schools but calls on the public to pray, what hypocrisy.

    To the rest of you who are excellent writers, please go through my letter with a fine tooth comb and find all the typographical errors, spelling errors, punctuation, where I forgot to dot my I’s and cross my T’s and let me know. All I know is that Mayor Ray Nagin is my hero and has my vote as Person of the year 2005.

  25. Lori says:

    Dear Mayor Nagin,
    I was watching CNN when you expressed your frustration about the tragedy in New Orleans. My question to you is, Why didn’t you act prior to Hurricane Katrina hitting? Do you not have a responsibility to your constiuents, to protect them? Where were the buses and other means of transportation for these people prior to the diasaster? Do you not have a hand in this too? You are teaching everyone watching this that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of us when tragedy occurs. You are teaching us that we do not have a responsibilty to ourselves to take care of ourselves or the ones we love. It is a shame that New Orleans or the state of Lousisiana does not have better leadership!!
    Lori

  26. Lori says:

    Dear Mayor Nagin,
    I was watching CNN when you expressed your frustration about the tragedy in New Orleans. My question to you is, Why didn’t you act prior to Hurricane Katrina hitting? Do you not have a responsibility to your constiuents, to protect them? Where were the buses and other means of transportation for these people prior to the diasaster? Do you not have a hand in this too? You are teaching everyone watching this that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of us when tragedy occurs. You are teaching us that we do not have a responsibilty to ourselves to take care of ourselves or the ones we love. It is a shame that New Orleans or the state of Lousisiana does not have better leadership!!
    Lori

  27. Ulrike Gartler says:

    Dear Lori,
    you seem to be greatly lacking in imagination.
    Firstly, how was the mayor to know how many people had stayed behind?
    Secondly, how do you prepare for AFTER the hurricane when you are in the middle of pre-hurricane
    chaos, not even knowing whether it will strike, how hard it will strike and where it will strike
    exactly.
    Where do you get rescue busses BEFORE the landfall when all the streets are congested with evacuees and where do
    you park them – right in the middle of the highway to be overturned and blown away by the hurricane?
    To blame this man who has worked to exhaustion for his people really is quite something.
    I´ve already written to Michael Moore saying it would be a great idea to campaign for Nagin for President – much rather him
    than a man who is so ill-advised as to crack poor jokes about his youthful escapades in the face of
    such tragedy.Do you know the famous poem by John Donne: “No man is an Island…..every man´s death diminishes me”? Whether in Europe or in the states – I think we should urgently start voting
    for people who adopt this saying – this feeling – people who are genuine and not puppets of their
    own bid for power.Forgive a woman from Europe for meddling with your pages – but I have shed
    tears for the people of New Orleans so I think I may be pardoned – and it´s of great concern to ALL
    the world what´s going on in the White House and the US government and who sits there.

  28. Michael says:

    Kind folks, gentle people, and other commentators on this thread: may I direct your attention, please, to this blog’s comment policy:

    1. Participants in the comments are kindly requested to be civil, and at least vaguely on-topic.
    2. I will delete comments that are duplicative, commercial, needlessly foul or mean or otherwise inappropriately offensive.
    3. My decisions are final. I’m happy to discuss them by email.
    4. I’ll amend this policy as I gain experience.
    5. In the long run, it remains to be seen if comments is a workable commons or not.

  29. Lori,
    Please I do not mean to sound offensive but I do feel that you live out of the hurricane belt and do not fully understand. If you were tracking this hurricane for days, as were all the people of New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf coast you would have known what the weathermen were saying. It was not until the last two days were they pretty sure it was going to hit New Orleans. They kept saying that a three day forecast was pretty certain for hurricane predictions but this one was not behaving normally and they were expecting it to turn north before reaching NOLA. The blame was not being put on the gov’t, the statements were “hey, where is the promised help?” Of course the intonation was different and one of desperation. Do you know when I evacuated? I left New Orleans Sunday morning. There were numerous mayors before Mayor Nagin. This is his first term in office, did you ask why Mayor Morichal who was before him and had two terms in office and was seeking for them to change the rules to run for a third did nothing?? Sometimes when we open our mouths we do remove all doubt. Thank you.

  30. mary says:

    I hope that mayor Nagin is not going to be remiss and not respond to needs of the people of New Orleans. Where is Child Protective Services who are supposed to be watching out for the welfare of minors whose parents are irresponsible? The mayor ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city except for emergency personnel. All parents with children who did not leave the city put their childrens’
    lives in danger by staying in the city when they were ordered to leave. Mr. Nagin is angry about the government response, yet I don’t see him telling on Child Protective Services to do the job they are being paid for. What gives mayor? Are the people of New Orleans only supposed to be babysat when you say so? SHAME ON YOU AND THE PARENTS WHO DON’T CARE ENOUGH ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN TO GET THEM OUT OF HARM’S WAY.

  31. Sandi says:

    Only Mayor Nagin and Broussards ‘freaking out’ finally got the attention of the Feds. And, to those who are dissing him for not sending in the city/school buses or others for not doing more locally – guess what? There was NO WAY TO CONTACT drivers for those buses before the water overtook them and the states and local governments have been squeezed tighter and tighter by the cuts in Federal funding to divert funds to Federal resources (aka Homeland (In)Security, Iraq, etc.). The Feds have spent hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars on infrastructure, staffing, equipment, etc. and are SUPPOSED TO BE the ‘go to’ people when local/state infrastructure is damaged/incapacitated. That is WHAT THE FED IS FOR and WHY they take more and more of our state/local dollars! Otherwise, we’d all be separate ‘countries’ and keep our tax dollars to build local resources instead of sending the majority of the funds to Washington DC.

    And, they had YEARS to prepare for a disaster/terrorist attack and over a week to prepare for this specific distaster! Just think if this was a surprise ‘terrorist’ attack in Chicago or Los Angeles.

    Even Lott, Frist, Vitter, Collins, and other responsible Republicans who don’t have their noses so far up the Admin’s azz, they can be objective, are questioning WHAT THE HE|| Washington was THINKING!

  32. Lori says:

    Dear Mayor Nagin,
    I was watching CNN when you expressed your frustration about the tragedy in New Orleans. My question to you is, Why didn’t you act prior to Hurricane Katrina hitting? Do you not have a responsibility to your constiuents, to protect them? Where were the buses and other means of transportation for these people prior to the diasaster? Do you not have a hand in this too? You are teaching everyone watching this that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of us when tragedy occurs. You are teaching us that we do not have a responsibilty to ourselves to take care of ourselves or the ones we love. It is a shame that New Orleans or the state of Lousisiana does not have better leadership!!
    Lori

  33. Tammy says:

    In case you aren’t familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work: The chain of responsiblity for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:

    1. The Mayor
    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)
    3. The Governor
    4. The Head of Homeland Security
    5. The President

    What did each do?

    1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). Then he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.

    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)

    3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.

    4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them

    5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.

    Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long.

    Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends.

    Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.

    Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish.

    The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.

    For those who missed item 5 (where the President’s level of accountability is discussed), it is made more clear in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article dated August 28:

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.

    Acknowledging that large numbers of people, many of them stranded tourists, would be unable to leave, The city set up 10 places of last resort for people to go, including the Superdome.

    The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

    Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. (emphasis mine)

    The ball was placed in Mayor Nagin’s court to carry out the evacuation order. With 5-day heads-up, he had the authority to use any and all services to evacuate all residents from the city, as documented in a city emergency preparedness plan. By waiting until the last minute, and failing to make full use of resources available within city limits, Nagin and his administration f**ked up.

    Mayor Nagin and his emergency sidekick Terry Ebbert have displayed lethal, mind boggling incompetence before, during and after Katrina.

    As for Mayor Nagin, he and his profile in pathetic leadership police chief should resign. That city’s government is incompetent from one end to the other. The people of New Orleans deserve better than this crowd of clowns is capable of giving them.

    If you’re keeping track, these boobs let 569 buses that could have carried 33,350 people out of New Orleans–in one trip–get ruined in the floods. Whatever plan these guys had, it was a dud. Or it probably would have been if they’d bothered to follow it.

    As for all the race-baiting rhetoric and Bush-bashing coming from prominent blacks on the left, don’t expect Ray Nagin to be called out on the carpet for falling short. You want to know why? Here’s why:

    It’s more convenient to blame a white president for what went wrong than to hold a black mayor and his administration accountable for gross negligence and failing to fully carry out an established emergency preparedness plan.

    To hold Nagin and his administration accountable for dropping the ball amounts to letting loose the shouts and cries of “Racism!”. It’s sad, it’s wrong, but it’s standard operating procedure for the media and left-wing black leadership.

    Mark my words: you ! ;will not hear a word of criticism from Jesse Jackson Sr., Randall Robinson, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, or Kanye West being directed toward Clarence Ray Nagin Jr. Why? Because he is just another black politician instead of a responsible elected official who happens to be black. In the mindset of more-blacker-than-thou blacks, black politicians who are on their side can do no wrong.

  34. Tammy says:

    In case you aren’t familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work: The chain of responsiblity for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:

    1. The Mayor
    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)
    3. The Governor
    4. The Head of Homeland Security
    5. The President

    What did each do?

    1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). Then he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.

    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)

    3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.

    4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them

    5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.

    Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long.

    Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends.

    Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.

    Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish.

    The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.

    For those who missed item 5 (where the President’s level of accountability is discussed), it is made more clear in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article dated August 28:

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.

    Acknowledging that large numbers of people, many of them stranded tourists, would be unable to leave, The city set up 10 places of last resort for people to go, including the Superdome.

    The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

    Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. (emphasis mine)

    The ball was placed in Mayor Nagin’s court to carry out the evacuation order. With 5-day heads-up, he had the authority to use any and all services to evacuate all residents from the city, as documented in a city emergency preparedness plan. By waiting until the last minute, and failing to make full use of resources available within city limits, Nagin and his administration f**ked up.

    Mayor Nagin and his emergency sidekick Terry Ebbert have displayed lethal, mind boggling incompetence before, during and after Katrina.

    As for Mayor Nagin, he and his profile in pathetic leadership police chief should resign. That city’s government is incompetent from one end to the other. The people of New Orleans deserve better than this crowd of clowns is capable of giving them.

    If you’re keeping track, these boobs let 569 buses that could have carried 33,350 people out of New Orleans–in one trip–get ruined in the floods. Whatever plan these guys had, it was a dud. Or it probably would have been if they’d bothered to follow it.

    As for all the race-baiting rhetoric and Bush-bashing coming from prominent blacks on the left, don’t expect Ray Nagin to be called out on the carpet for falling short. You want to know why? Here’s why:

    It’s more convenient to blame a white president for what went wrong than to hold a black mayor and his administration accountable for gross negligence and failing to fully carry out an established emergency preparedness plan.

    To hold Nagin and his administration accountable for dropping the ball amounts to letting loose the shouts and cries of “Racism!”. It’s sad, it’s wrong, but it’s standard operating procedure for the media and left-wing black leadership.

    Mark my words: you ! ;will not hear a word of criticism from Jesse Jackson Sr., Randall Robinson, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, or Kanye West being directed toward Clarence Ray Nagin Jr. Why? Because he is just another black politician instead of a responsible elected official who happens to be black. In the mindset of more-blacker-than-thou blacks, black politicians who are on their side can do no wrong.

  35. jan starr says:

    dear mayor nagin, as the multitude of folks i tip my hat to you for your effort to protect your people. all americans should be proud of you. i’m a texan very proud of our own govenor. what i’m contacting you for is much of the badly needed equip and supplies needed by your city are readily being auctioned off by our gov as surplus. you could make a call to stop the sale of some 25-30 power plants generators 15 kw- 5kw up for bid now in new mexico approx 350,000 pd by gov. they should be shipped to new orleans, also 10 boats at fort polk la to soon be auctioned off, numerous sleeping bags med supplies, food prep equipment, etc. from heavy equip to med supplies. i have tried to get ahold of pres. office which dirrected me to fema and red cross . i’ve tried corresponding with no avail. please contact me at 940-322-7020 if more info is needed. again our hearts are with and all those affected by this disaster.
    God doesn’t give one more than he can handle so he must know you are a very strong person and your people too. sincerely jan starr

  36. bryan says:

    Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans Hero of The Black Poor Not So Fast”

    While berating everyone he could except himself, Ray Nagin has attempted to proffer himself as a champion of
    the Afro American poor and other poor.

    Mr. Mayor you record says it just ain’t so.

    Consider lack of experience in government and the job of Mayor. Elected to serve 2003 – that is 1.75 years
    experience.

    New Orleans Mayor C Ray Nagin:
    By Josh Fecht, US Editor

    “He(Nagin ) became the first New Orleans Mayor to rise to the post in nearly 60 years
    without holding a previous elected office. “

    Consider lack of support by the black electorate. Less than half.

    Rod Dreher
    July 31, 2002 9:00 a.m.
    Big Sleazy Sobers Up
    C. Ray Nagin takes New Orleans.

    “Behind the dramatic headlines lies a fascinating, and indeed hopeful, sign of bedrock
    political change: the emergence of the black middle class as a distinct power player in
    municipal politics. New Orleans is a majority-black city, with African-Americans making up
    64 percent of the electorate. Nagin was elected with 58 percent of the total vote in the April
    runoff, which amounted to about 80 percent of the white vote, and 44 percent of the black
    vote.”

    Lack of experience and political ineptitude?

    http://bizneworleans.com/70+M538503905ee.html
    Lonely at the Top
    May 1, 2004 01:31 PM
    by Kathy Finn

    “On the surface his supporters see the same striking image that helped sweep Nagin into
    office — the polished look, confident manner and
    slightly aloof air that prompt some to call him “cool.”

    In the past year, however, the city has seen its mayor gradually forced into a defensive
    posture. After his administration’s early salvos against
    corrupt practices in and outside of City Hall, questions arose as to how thorough a cleanup
    the mayor intends to carry out.

    As local jobs have continued to drain away, even as new ones were added, rumblings have
    grown about a lack of specifics in Nagin’s
    economic development plans. Personnel changes in the mayor’s “inner
    circle” raised questions about his hiring choices and management style.

    In the view of some observers, and by Nagin’s own
    assessment, public relations has been a weakness of his administration. He says he hasn’t
    done a good enough job of communicating with the public either about his
    administration’s achievements or about public concerns

    Susan Howell, director of the University of New Orleans Survey Research Center, agrees.
    “He’s been more of a corporate-style mayor
    as opposed to what I would call an activist-style mayor,” she says. “He’s
    working on education, working on cleaning up the city, improving technology
    — he’s doing a lot of good things, but he may not be getting enough credit
    for it because he’s not out effectively communicating
    what he’s doing.”

    One person familiar with those relationships, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
    believes that the mayor relies too heavily on the handful of people with whom he works
    most closely, thus isolating himself from valuable information and ideas coming from
    others who are not members of the circle.

    The comments echo, to a degree, charges leveled by Nagin’s former
    chief administrative officer, Kimberly Williamson, who was asked to resign last year.
    Williamson recently filed a lawsuit against Nagin, claiming among other things that she was
    discriminated against by the mayor and several staff members who operated in a
    “cliquish” manner. An
    earlier, similar claim filed by Williamson with the Equal Employment Opportunity
    Commission was dismissed as unfounded.

    Some observers believe these types of issues, too, may be a product of
    Nagin’s political naiveté.

    Property tax fairness has become a focal point of the Nagin administration, but many voters
    are hoping for more. They recall the “wish
    list” Nagin touted during his campaign — including airport privatization, a
    new City Hall complex, funding to upgrade public school buildings and a beefed up police
    force, among other major items — and they wonder if
    these were just imaginative proposals left in the dust after election day.

    No, says the mayor; he chalks this, too, up to his shortage of political skills.

    “One of my biggest challenges is that I see things so clearly and so fast
    … and I’m not necessarily doing the leg work to help people to see what
    I’m seeing so that we can all rush the fence together,” he says. “I just
    look around the city, and I see so many opportunities that it just drives me nuts.” “

    2002 mayor race – never before
    New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s ‘Honeymoon’ May be Over
    By Glynn Wilson

    NEW ORLEANS, La., Dec. 6

    ” People are going to start asking questions,” he said. “It’s about time when people are going
    to want results.”

    The Times-Picayune newspaper, which endorsed Mr. Nagin in his race for mayor on its
    front page last spring, recently carried a story giving credence to the accusation that he may
    have used his official position for politics in a way that could be unethical.

    Marlin Gusman, a New Orleans city councilman and former right-hand man to Nagin’s
    predecessor Marc Morial, portrayed locally as Mr. Nagin’s chief adversary, said he has
    doubts about Mr. Nagin’s ability to lead now.

    Sometimes I think Mayor Nagin does things just to be different,” he said, campaigning
    along with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, a 60-year-old Cajun
    grandmother, barnstorming the state on election day in a Winnebago

    I certainly don’t think when you count all the votes that a majority of the people in this
    community are going to be following behind him,” Mr. Gusman said. “A leader has to lead
    his people

    He proved the claim he was making all through his political life that he’s not a real
    politician,” Dr. Hirsch said of Mr. Nagin, only partly in jest.

    He didn’t do terribly well with that,” he said. “It was done in an inexpert way, which
    confirms his outsider status.”

    Whether that will damage the relationship between the governor’s mansion and city hall in
    New Orleans and negatively affect the business climate is probably minimized, he said, by
    the city’s clout in the legislature

    He got a big public relations boost from the local media, and then things seemed to calm
    down and he almost disappeared from public view,” Dr. Hirsch said. “I kept waiting for the
    second shoe to fall, and it seemingly never did.” “

    http://www.bestofneworleans.com/ dispatch/2004-12-28

    “Nagin’s Trials and Triumph — If there’s such a thing as a Midas Touch in Reverse, Mayor
    Ray Nagin has it. Once again, he showed that he has no coattails in a citywide election
    when Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley lost to Marlin Gusman in the race for criminal
    sheriff. That came right after a huge flap over the future of the New Orleans Recreation
    Department, which drove a wedge between the mayor and City Council. The mayor
    recovered in time to strike a compromise bond issue with the council, and he ended the
    political season on a high note when voters approved the largest bond issue in city history.
    That may have said more about Nagin’s chances of re-election than Riley’s defeat, because
    it showed that voters like and trust this mayor enough to tax themselves and let him spend
    the money. “

    Not quite the heroic supporter of Afro American and the poor he wishes to
    portray on CNN etc.

    Rod Dreher
    July 31, 2002 9:00 a.m.
    Big Sleazy Sobers Up
    C. Ray Nagin takes New Orleans.

    ” Not everybody in New Orleans is pleased. Nearly all of those arrested in last week’s sweep
    are black. Some are grumbling that Nagin, who is himself African American, is picking on
    poor black folks to score points with his white supporters, particularly in the business
    community. Even Nagin backers are saying that to be truly credible, the mayor has to go
    after bigger fish than a bunch of taxicab drivers. “

    June 6, 2005
    Save Louisiana Wetlands Inc.(SOWL)
    Post Office Box 73447
    Metairie, LA 70033

    ” Mayor Ray Nagin, who is a corporate mouthpiece for Wal-Mart and other corporate
    privatieers, presented an environmental award to Shell Oil Company. Shell Oil Company
    donated monies to a small insignificant “green washing” Green Project located off St.
    Claude Ave. down by the railroad tracks. Mayor Ray Nagin is notorious for tearing down
    public housing to make way for Lester Kabencoff’s corporate
    development expansion plans

    Mayor Ray Nagin presently has plans to displace the poor Afro-Americans living in the
    Iberville public housing project to make way for another Lester Kabencoff private corporate
    development scheme, similar to the displacement of the poor Afro-Americans that were
    once living in the public housing St. Thomas projects now Wal-Mart. The old Krauss
    building adjacent to the Iberville public housing project on North Rampart St. is presently
    being yuppiefied into swank condominiums.

    In the meantime, New Orleans under Mayor Ray Nagin acquires no new public parks.
    Whatever municipal public parks exist in New Orleans under Mayor Ray Nagin they are
    permitted to deteriorate. The rich are able to use the facilities of their private institutions.
    The poor swelter in their poverty cesspools while being arrested shot and harassed by
    Mayor Ray Nagins New Orleans police department. Mayor Ray NaginÆs solution to the
    New Orleans poverty problem is to displace the poor out of New Orleans centralized public
    housing, and move them to New Orleans East.

    Mayor Ray Nagin has single handedly destroyed the unique and distinct character of the
    historic Vieux Carre (French Quarter) of New Orleans by placing hundreds of trash cans,
    bearing corporate logos on the streets of New Orleans. Mayor Nagin has also recently in
    violation of public bid laws and without approval of the Vieux Carre Commission placed
    hundreds of illegal parking meter structures in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans

    Mayor Ray Nagin is standing quietly to the side while attempts are being made to privatize
    New Orleans Charity hospital. Mayor Ray Nagin is fighting hard for the rich and elitist.
    Under Mayor Ray NaginÆs administration the public school system is being dismantled.
    The New Orleans public school system is divided between rich-elitist-private versus
    poor-black public. It will only be a question of time before New Orleans public schools will
    be funded by such corporations as Coca Cola-McDonaldÆs-Shell Oil Comp

    Mayor Ray Nagin does not represent the hundreds of thousands of poor Afro-Americans
    residing in New Orleans. Mayor Ray Nagin stands idle while antiquated drug laws and
    poverty are causing hundreds and hundreds of shooting deaths of young Afro-Americans.
    Under Mayor Ray Nagin the rich get richer. The poor get poorer. And Shell Oil Company
    is given an environmental award at Mayor Ray Nagin’s environmental breakfast
    on May 30th 2005 “

    Staff writer Frank Donze contributed to this story.
    Gordon Russell can be reached at grussell@timespicayune.com or
    Saturday, August 27, 2005

    ” I would think that would be the way that people would advise a candidate to try to make
    (crime) the issue,” he said. “He can’t run on job creation, economics, neighborhood
    revitalization, wages going up. They can’t run on any of that stuff.

    The only thing they can run on is the murder rate. A series of ads creating
    this whole hype about murder.”

    But Ed Renwick of Loyola University’s Institute of Politics was less receptive, saying a tax
    proposal could invite a strong challenge and that a loss at the polls for such a proposal
    could weaken Nagin’s standing even if he’s re-elected.

    Taxes are always controversial and this could draw support away from you,” Renwick said.
    “Taxes are always a hard sell, and with gas prices through the roof and property taxes going
    up in the New Orleans area, it would make it more difficult than it ordinarily would be” to
    pass a new tax

    But the mayor made clear that he is strongly considering it, saying he has become
    increasingly frustrated with the city’s rising murder rate. Nearly 200 murders have been
    recorded in 2005, putting the city on pace for about 300 murders for the year, an
    unfortunate threshold the city hasn’t reached since 1996

    Nagin said he doesn’t know how much money would be required, but he said ballpark
    estimates ranging from $20 million to $50 million are not out of line. The mayor also said
    he has not set his sights on a particular type of tax, but he seems to be leaning toward a
    property tax rather than alternatives such as a sales tax. “

    http://bizneworleans.com/70+M538503905ee.html
    Lonely at the Top
    May 1, 2004 01:31 PM
    by Kathy Finn

    ” And most recently, a coalition of African-American ministers, claiming to represent as
    many as 150,000 local citizens, hurled biting personal criticisms at Nagin based on
    changes he’s made in the way the city
    awards contracts and disburses certain funds

    Complaining that they’ve been wronged, economically, the
    politically powerful ministers also attempted to hold Nagin responsible for actions taken in
    February by federal agents against Jacques Morial, the brother of the former mayor. After
    FBI agents broke down Morial’s front door with
    a battering ram in a morning raid to seize documents from his home, the ministers pointed
    fingers at Nagin and charged that he had enlisted the feds in a political assault on the
    Morial family.

    Nagin’s protestations that he had nothing to do with the raid and that
    the Justice Department’s investigation of the previous administration
    began well before he took office largely fell on deaf ears. The ministers accused Nagin of
    turning on the African-American community. Bishop Paul S. Morton Sr., of Greater St.
    Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church, publicly referred to Nagin as “a white man in
    black skin.”

    It could just be possible that some of the lack of communication still stays
    with Nagin during an emergency.

    It is very possible that some communication breakdown could be the result
    of political differences Nagin has with Govenor.

    Jindal’s heritage touches nerve
    The Associated Press
    Posted on November 10, 2003

    “Continuing his bid to siphon Democratic support from Kathleen Blanco in the
    gubernatorial race, Republican Bobby Jindal unveiled a new TV commercial Thursday that
    features New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin asking viewers to ignore Jindal’s party affiliation.

    This year, it can’t matter whether we’re Democrats or Republicans,” said Nagin, a Democrat
    who crossed party lines to endorse Jindal last week. “We’ve got to do what’s right for
    Louisiana.”

    Without mentioning Blanco by name, the 30-second spot suggests the lieutenant governor
    is a product of the old political machine. “Old politics says what’s in it for me,” Nagin said.
    “New leadership says what’s best for all of us.”

    By Ela Dutt
    September 05, 2005

    “Republican Bobby Jindal, the 32-year-old former Bush appointee, chucked his career in
    Washington to enter the quagmire of Louisiana politics and analysts there said this was the
    first time in the history of that state that the candidates vying for the runoff, Jindal and
    Democrat Lt. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, were not smeared by dirty dealings, and especially
    Jindal was largely free of the baggage of past politics

    Even though exact numbers are coming in the week after the election, Jindal’s 48 percent
    and Blanco’s 52 percent are being sliced up in different configurations by political analysts.

    He fought on a platform of getting out the old and bringing in the new brand of politics,
    focusing on economic development of a state that was losing jobs and business to
    surrounding states, losing its youth and showing poor education results. Even after his
    defeat, New Orleans’ Democratic Mayor Ray Nagin, who had switched parties to endorse
    Jindal, said he was still not convinced about whether Blanco would be as good for his
    city’s economy as Jindal would have been.”

    It does seem unreasonable that a neophyte with minimal experience, a noted inability to communicate, and a
    lack of interest in the poor could jump into the fray with a clear direction and decisive leadership. Well
    point of fact is Nagin did none of this. Nagin will be famous for a childishly profane tirade during a
    national crisis that required calm collected leadership – not Nagin’s forte. Well, if Nagin is reelected it will
    probably have to be by proxy of the poor blacks that say they are not going back to New Orleans.

    Certainly there is enough blame to go around. But we don’t see the decisive leader Nagin
    stepping up to his part of it. But he did step up to the race card real quickly although many
    of his black constituency wonder what race he is trying to win? Is it mayor, governor, higher?

  37. Saira says:

    Hello Everyone,
    Lets see…where do I start..there is so much to say..so many issues to cover…its overwhelming.
    George W. Bush….nothing ever sticks on him…lied to the nation about Iraq, stole the elections, not once but twice. Had been on vacation most of the time before 9/11, and guess where he was when Hurricane Katrina was to hit. Thats right..no points for guessing….’A working Vacation’. Failed to react and act immediately even after being talked to by Mayor Nagin, even after knowing fully well, the extent of impact caused by Hurricane Katrina. Did us all a HUGE favor by calling his vacation short by all those (2) days. Had systematically eaten into/ cut the financial bugdets of so many agencies its mind boggling…the FEMA, the Army corps of Engineers (whose budget was slashed by 41%, these guys are responsible for the levee’s), diverted BILLIONS of dollars to IRAQ, not to mention the NATIONAL GUARD, has given $250 BILLION, yes B I L L I O N to Israel, in the last 30 years(your and mine hard earned tax money) , repeatedly lied about creating a great response team for natural/man-made disasters, infringed upon numerous civil rights in the name of fighting terror (Patriotic Act 1 & 2). Mismanaged Fiscal policies by his TAX CUTS that come at the cost of Social programs, my gosh, the list is endless…….
    What is the first thing, our Commander-in-chief does in response to HURRICANE KATRINA, he relaxes the EPA laws to enable oil companies produce more oil and endanger the environment more.
    Second thing, he does is meets with ALAN GREENSPAN to see the effect on the economy this will cause. All this while people wait on their roof tops and attics with water upto their necks…waiting for him to act and send help. The help arrives but 7 days late. Thats right 7 days late. Killing all those helpless people who had hoped that help would arrive sooner and they could be saved. BUSH Adminstration has blood on its hands…….
    In comes the MEDIA…fox,cnn,nbc, all all those in between…..they tell us, even if the levee’s had been repaired and managed New Orleans could not have been saved. Right, you immediately know who those guys are working for, they are working their asses to save the BUSH Administration’s face.
    They never ask the real questions……just enough to keep us thinking that they are doing a wonderful job. the MEDIA led us to believe that Iraq had WMD which led to billions of dollars being diverted to IRAQ and other BUSH fantasies, they are equal partner in crime. The media my fellow Americans has blood on their hands. They are slowly trying to assasinate Mayor Ray Nagin’s character and shove blame on him, but American people have bene fooled way to many times, this time, they are not buying.
    Mayor Ray Nagin, acted when he could, called for a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, imagine if he had not done so Imagine New Orleaners going about in their city as they did….Imagine the Tens of thousands of lives that would have been lost…All those lives all those people that left the city because of the Mandatory Evacuation, all those peoples lives were saved by one man…MAYOR RAY NAGIN. He did organize buses to take people out those who did not have cars..but people are poeple they did not leave for so many reasons. He did whatever he could…now he is being gone after because he made the BUSH Administration get up from its sweet slumber, and forced them to act…Making the BUSH Admin do its job is a grave sin, my fellow americans. And like so many of you, I will be heart broken if of all people Ray Nagin pays for it.
    God be with the evacuess of New Orleans, and God bless all those people helping in this time of need.
    -Saira
    (p.s. I could write a book right now, but am just overwhelmed)

  38. Eric says:

    TO Laurie,
    You said the roads were flooded. The roads were flooded once the hurricane hit. What about before it hit. They knew it was going to be close to New Orleans. They knew New Orleans was going to get flooded. They could’ve had those people on the buses way before the hurricane flooded out the roads.

  39. Ron Richards says:

    I have a suggestion for a positive action in the wake of all this destruction. All the businesses in downtown New Orleans are going to have insurance money to repair the bottom two or three floors of their buildings. Instead of rebuilding the same way as before and waiting to be flooded again why not designate the bottom floors of all downtown buildings as parking areas and build a street above the present streets that has an elevation above the flood plain or above the lake mean sea level. Connect the downtown streets to an evacuation causeway. This would not be a hard design job for any architectual firm and would use standard construction techniques available today. I am not offering this idea with any expectation of profits so if anyone in the government wishes to pursue this idea you don’t need to expect any problems from me.

  40. Susie says:

    [comment deleted for violation of comments policy]

  41. Willma Harvey says:

    My name is Willma Harvey and I am from the Mississippi Gulf Coast — Gulfport, Biloxi, (pronounced Ba Lux e), Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Gautier (pronounced Go-Cha), and Kiln. My comment is for all those people who do not understand the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Both destinations are within one hour from each other. When evacuating, it is very difficult and can be very slow. When a mandatory evacuation takes place (which has happend several times this year because of Hurricanes, there are only a few directions people can travel. These directions are Interstate 10 – east or west, and Highway 49 – north. We (people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and people in New Orleans cannot travel south. People on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, when evacuating have to either travel west towards New Orleans, north to Hattiesburg, or east towards Mobile, Alabama. Hurricane Katrina threatened all these areas. During evacuations in these areas, everybody is running around trying to get gas, buy goods, as fast as they can. This creates traffic problems locally, because people are all over the place preparing for the hurricane. By the time it’s time to evacuate the city, traffic is backed up on Interstate 10, Interstate 12, Highway 49, Interstate 59, and other roads for hours — and sometimes, depending on how the weathaer stations are advising about the status of the storm, traffic can be backed up for days. Just imagine — your car is full of gas, you have all the food and other items loaded up in your car, and you sit in traffic for hours (at least eight hours) to get to your next destination. Well, by the time you sit in your car all that time, you are now almost out of gas, and guess what, because of the mandatory evacuation, you can gas up again, because all the gas stations are closed! Just imagine, when you get to your next destination — maybe Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Jackson, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; Pensacola, Florida, or somewhere else further, there is no where to stay, because all the hotels are full. Okay, let’s talk about New Orleans, the friendly neighbor of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. New Orleans is a metropolitan city like any other city that has a lot of day to day heavy traffic. To give you an idea — New Orleans’ daily traffic is somewhat like Washington, DC, New York, Chicago — big city traffic. Many of the residents in the city utilize public transportation, like the people in DC, New York, and Chicago. Of course, New Orleans population is not as big as DC, New York, and Chicago, but it is a city that has heavy traffic. Many of the streets in New Orleans are one way streets — with Interstate 10 there also. So this is what we have — residents and tourists from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and residents and tourists from New Orleans — all trying to evacuate from both destinations — trying to get on Interstate 10 and Interstate 12 to get to cities in Texas. To get to the New Orleans airport, you must get there by Interstate 10. During mandatory evacuations, all the interstates and highways are backed up. This is why many people don’t evacuate. Many on the Mississippi Gulf Coast choose to stay and go to higher ground, due to the congestion and hardship of evacuating. Also, everybody does not have the means to evacuate. I chose to stay with a friend of mine who has multiple sclerosis (probably spelled wrong) because she cannot walk and does not have transportation. To give those who don’t live along the coastal regions of the Deep South an idea of how difficult it can be to prepare for something like this, picture a mandatory evacuation in Washington DC. Do you think it will be a very smooth process? The Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans have a close relationship. The Gulf Coast is often refrred to as the suburb of New Orleans. Ray Nagin did all he could do! We, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast watched (before the electricity went out) how concerned he was about his citizens (Black people and white people). Later, we listened to him on the radio beg constantly for help for his citizens (Black and White people). We new many of our neighbors were evacuating to the Superdome and later discovered many were housed in the convention center. We continued to listen to Mayor Nagin beg, cry, plead, and ask for help. We did not realize how serious it was until we listened to Ted Kopel on the radio broadcast the situation in the superdome and convention center. Then, we really Knew there was a serious problem, when we listened to the situation on the Oprah Winfrey show. As far as as the MIssissippi Gulf Coast, this area was almost completely demolished. We have a lot of problems over here too. I am very proud of our leaders, Senator Trent Lott, Congressman Gene Taylor, Govenor Haley Barbour, and newly elected mayor Brent Warr, Mayor of Gulfport. Senator Lott, Senator Taylor, and Mayor Warr — all lost their homes — but worked non-stop assisting the entire time. They, along with Mayor Nagin in New Orleans, did an excellent job and are continuing to do so. There were a few times I heard Senator Lott and Congressman Taylor get a little upset like Mayor Nagin. Several charitable organizations are to be commended also — The Woodmen of the World; the American Red Cross and many local churches along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. God Bless New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

  42. Rick says:

    You people that are praising Nagin are a bunch of blinded by lies idiots. This man did nothing and he knows he did nothing. He is a total and complete disgrace and should be brought up on charges. Mandatory evacuation means just that. You send in the police and the National Guard and you drag people out by their feet if you have to but you get them out of harms way. Nagin and that dumbass Governor did nothing except deliver lip service. Then Nagin being the typical cowardly politician screams at the Feds as though it’s their fault. It wasn’t their fault. The state in question (Louisiana) has to ask for Federal help. The Feds by law are not allowed to just jump in to a state and take over without certain provisions being met and one of those is the mayor of a city and the governor of a state to officially ask for help. Mayor (and I use that word loosely) Nagin ran for cover. He is a coward and directly and indirectly responsible for the death of the people of New Orleans. He should hang his head in shame. I don’t see how he can look anyone in the face, especially himself. My God what a disgrace and the Governor is equally to blame. One person on the site said Nagin was their man of the year. You’re even more clueless than Nagin. New Orleans was given money to make modifications to the levys but they spent it on other things. Who’s at fault there…Nagin the Cowardly Hero, or that idiot Governor.

  43. Kimberly says:

    Mayor Nagin is the best thing that has ever happened to New Orleans, or Louisiana for that matter.

    His boldness and matter of fact attitude is exactly the reason that New Orleans has improved tremendously over the last couple of years. For those of you not from New Orleans, you should know that he stands up to corruption and fights crime in New Orleans like a true gladiator. He has been instrumental in grooming New Orleans to be the “new Hollywood”. Usually, he is mild-mannered, calculated, and cool even under the heaviest guns, (and there are alot of bazookas to fight in New Orleans).

    As a Hurricane Katrina evacuee, I would run to the TV anytime I saw Mayor Nagin speaking.When I heard him give this now famous speech, I knew that New Orleans was out of control, because Mayor Nagin IS NOT an ALARMIST. He forever has my vote for Mayor, Governor, or President.

    We were told & told to get out. He did the BEST he could to get people out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, some people DID NOT or COULD NOT help themselves. Communication was next to impossible immediately after the hurricane (I know because my cell phone was useless). Immediately afterward, there were “too many cooks in the kitchen” to use Mayor Nagin’s words. This chaos, coupled with the lack of communication only added insult to injury, and Mayor Nagin should be commended for his tenacity.

    New Orleans – Proud to Call It Home

    – Kimberly

  44. South Florida says:

    I am still amazed that anyone would be assigning a heroic standard to Nagin…is it that they completely misunderstand his responsibility to his constituents or the time line which would have allowed him to evacuate those unable to remove themselves?
    I watched every announcement, as Katrina had just passed over my region before heading further West…and I was disturbed by the lack of persuasion shown during the initial broadcast when the voluntary evacuation was suggested. By the time a mandatory order was given…
    I had asked my husband then why the local/state government would not readily utilize mass transit and railway to evacuate residents – I did not yet know that BUSES were in fact listed as part of the N.O. EMERGENCY PLAN. The EMERGENCY PLAN that was ignored.

    Doesn’t the picture of a yard full of parked buses under water unnerve you?

    How can you possibly praise a man for attacking the same negligence he himself is guilty of?

  45. Colonel says:

    In case you aren’t familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work:
    The chain of responsiblity for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:

    1. The Mayor
    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)
    3. The Governor
    4. The Head of Homeland Security
    5. The President

    What did each do?

    1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). The he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.

    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)

    3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.

    4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them

    5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.

    Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long.

    Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends.

    Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.

    Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish.

    The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.

    For those who missed item 5 (where the President’s level of accountability is discussed), it is made more clear in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article dated August 28:

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin

    Acknowledging that large numbers of people, many of them stranded tourists, would be unable to leave, the city set up 10 places of last resort for people to go, including the Superdome.

    The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

    Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. (emphasis mine)

    The ball was placed in Mayor Nagin’s court to carry out the evacuation order. With a 5-day heads-up, he had the authority to use any and all services to evacuate all residents from the city, as documented in a city emergency preparedness plan. By waiting until the last minute, and failing to make full use of resources available within city limits, Nagin and his administration f**ked up.

    Mayor Nagin and his emergency sidekick Terry Ebbert have displayed lethal, mind boggling incompetence before, during and after Katrina

    As for Mayor Nagin, he and his profile in pathetic leadership police chief should resign as well. That city’s government is incompetent from one end to the other. The people of New Orleans deserve better than this crowd of clowns is capable of giving them.

    If you’re keeping track, these boobs let 569 buses that could have carried 33,350 people out of New Orleans–in one trip–get ruined in the floods. Whatever plan these guys had, it was a dud. Or it probably would have been if they’d bothered to follow it.

    As for all the race-baiting rhetoric and Bush-bashing coming from prominent blacks on the left, don’t expect Ray Nagin to be called out on the carpet for falling short. You want to know why? Here’s why:

    It’s more convenient to blame a white president for what went wrong than to hold a black mayor and his administration accountable for gross negligence and failing to fully carry out an established emergency preparedness plan.

    To hold Nagin and his administration accountable for dropping the ball amounts to letting loose the shouts and cries of “Racism!”. It’s sad, it’s wrong, but it’s standard operating procedure for the media and left-wing black leadership.

    Mark my words: you will not hear a word of criticism from Jesse Jackson Sr., Randall Robinson, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, or Kanye West being directed toward Clarence Ray Nagin Jr. Why? Because he is just another black politician instead of a responsible elected official who happens to be black. In the mindset of more-blacker-than-thou blacks, black politicians who are on their side can do no wrong.

  46. michael says:

    Rather than relying on the rather tendentious account above, for a consensus view of the accurate timeline, I recommend the Hurricane Katrina timeline at the wikipedia, and the Timeline at Thinkprogress. From the latter, for example, we learn that troops were requested on Friday, Aug. 26 — before the storm hit. Which suggests that where the buck stops for the failure to provide them in a timely way just might go slightly higher than the Governor?

  47. Diana says:

    I can’t agree with Colonel more. Yes. there are few people to feel sorry for in New Orleans, such as the kids,the pets and the ederly. Why coudln’t they leave on the school buses?
    I realize people are saying that they didn’t have money to go anywhere or any vehicles to get out, but it’s sad to say that the people that are still there are the ones who are living off the government to begin with. They recieve food stamps, medicaid, section 8 housing, so where does all their money go?
    What about the people who have worked hard all their life and all of their stuff is gone. I don’t hear anything about them. You know as well as I do that they won’t recieve (from the gov’t) half as much as the poor people who are left. I am a firefighter/paramedic and was signed up to go over there to help, but the way they were shooting and vandalising everything made me change my mind.
    Do you think that anyone who was left in New Orleans begging for help sent anything to Miami for the vicitims of hurricane andrew? Many people lost their lives and homes down here. Many Mexicans who lived on the farms in homestead died, but nobody heard about that. I guess it always has to come down to the “Black Thing.” It’s time to get over it already. Take responsibilty for yourselves and stop expecting everything to be handed to you. I bet if they brought in cruise ships and offered free housing on the ship in return for work, most of the people there would decline it. What did they do when they got the food and water? They drank it, ate it and then threw the garbage all over the streets. They don’t even care about their own city. New Orleans is a great city for history, but it is filthy.There were many healthy people left after the Hurricane hit to help the ederly, but do you think they did……NO. It’s time to GROW UP.

  48. robbie says:

    Dear Mayor Ray Nagin,

    You did all you could except what should have been done. As a Mayor, you were great at doing nothing. You didn’t help to evacuate the poor in your city. You didn’t help them with food or water. What was the evacuation plan you provided, to put all the poor blacks together in the SuperDome with no food an water? Great plan there Mayor Ray Nagin. But yet you blame George Bush, the President of the United States. I guess Mr. Bush should come to every neighborhood in this country and create the evacuation plan for them. After all, we have local governments to do nothing but sit in their nice leather chairs and do nothing. Apparently that’s what you do. Why didn’t you evacuate the citizens of your great city before Katrina hit? Why Mr. Mayor didn’t you evacuate those people that had no way to leave? Should President Bush babysit your dumbass in your own city and make sure your people are safe? Should he do that for ever city, big and small, in this entire land? Then why do we have local governments Mr. Mayor? Please explain why you have a job at all if you are not responsible for the people you govern locally. If I was a business owner, why would I hire a manager to manage the supervisor to supervise the workers if I had to do all the managing and supervising myself. You admit that you are useless when you blame your failure on President Bush. You are a disgrace. And all those idiots who praise you, and let you off the hook for your obvious, profound failure of leadership are all ignorant. They don’t understand why you are the Mayor. They just don’t know. They can’t help it, like a small, innocent child, they just can’t help but be ignorant of the facts and realities that exist in the adult world. It’s such a same such ignorance is so prolific. But then, that’s how you became Mayor to begin with.

    Robbie

  49. Colonel says:

    In case you aren’t familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work:
    The chain of responsiblity for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:

    1. The Mayor
    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)
    3. The Governor
    4. The Head of Homeland Security
    5. The President

    What did each do?

    1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). The he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.

    2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)

    3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.

    4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them

    5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.

    Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long.

    Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends.

    Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.

    Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish.

    The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.

    For those who missed item 5 (where the President’s level of accountability is discussed), it is made more clear in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article dated August 28:

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin

    Acknowledging that large numbers of people, many of them stranded tourists, would be unable to leave, the city set up 10 places of last resort for people to go, including the Superdome.

    The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

    Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding. (emphasis mine)

    The ball was placed in Mayor Nagin’s court to carry out the evacuation order. With a 5-day heads-up, he had the authority to use any and all services to evacuate all residents from the city, as documented in a city emergency preparedness plan. By waiting until the last minute, and failing to make full use of resources available within city limits, Nagin and his administration f**ked up.

    Mayor Nagin and his emergency sidekick Terry Ebbert have displayed lethal, mind boggling incompetence before, during and after Katrina.

    As for Mayor Nagin, he and his profile in pathetic leadership police chief should resign as well. That city’s government is incompetent from one end to the other. The people of New Orleans deserve better than this crowd of clowns is capable of giving them.

    If you’re keeping track, these boobs let 569 buses that could have carried 33,350 people out of New Orleans–in one trip–get ruined in the floods. Whatever plan these guys had, it was a dud. Or it probably would have been if they’d bothered to follow it.

    As for all the race-baiting rhetoric and Bush-bashing coming from prominent blacks on the left, don’t expect Ray Nagin to be called out on the carpet for falling short. You want to know why? Here’s why:

    It’s more convenient to blame a white president for what went wrong than to hold a black mayor and his administration accountable for gross negligence and failing to fully carry out an established emergency preparedness plan.

    To hold Nagin and his administration accountable for dropping the ball amounts to letting loose the shouts and cries of “Racism!”. It’s sad, it’s wrong, but it’s standard operating procedure for the media and left-wing black leadership.

    Mark my words: you will not hear a word of criticism from Jesse Jackson Sr., Randall Robinson, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, or Kanye West being directed toward Clarence Ray Nagin Jr. Why? Because he is just another black politician instead of a responsible elected official who happens to be black. In the mindset of more-blacker-than-thou blacks, black politicians who are on their side can do no wrong.

  50. Paola says:

    Mayor: it must be difficult for you to think about “what ifs.” AT this point, don’t concern yourself with your political career. You should just do the best you can and learn from your experiences. I had no idea that you were such an inexperienced politician until I read some of the information on this site. I understand now part of the reason why the city was so chaotic and disorganized. Stop blaming others, take responsibility for your actions (inactions really) and demonstrate to everyone that you are a true leader- own up to your share of the blame. People will admire you more for that. Pointing fingers and playing the blame game will only confirm to everyone that you are just another typical politician- concerned only about your career. Don’t continue to let your constituents down. Everyone knows that you are not entirely to blame. The governor seems to be a sitting duck, frankly. And the federal government seemed lethargic at best. However, perhaps the federal government’s response was such because it gave city and state leaders (you and the governor) too much credit. The feds thought that you and the governor had a good handle on the situation -that you prepared for the worst. It was wrong. So that was its mistake. Anyway, don’t let me down mayor. I”ll be interested to follow this story in the news, your conferences; etc. Give me hope about our leaders in this country.

  51. Andrea says:

    I cannot believe that once again, President Bush is at fault. My God, at what point do you think that it might be your own responsibility to take care of yourself. All this talk of the cuts to federally funded social programs, well, the “federal” has no funds, other than taxpayer dollars, and I, for one, am sick to death of working and paying taxes in order for the so called impoverished to be able sit on their lazy butts, spit out kids one after another, and collect “assistance'” instead of working to support themselves. I do not buy the idea that there was no money to get out of town, I am sure that these people had money to buy cell phones, acrylic nails, and to buy beer and cigarettes. How many of these impoverished had $5000,00 spinners on $500.00 cars? Talk about stupid choices. I lived through 3 hurricanes in 2004 and surprise, surprise, I took care of myself.

  52. Michelle says:

    wow… I can’t believe what he said about New Orleans being a “chocolate” city, or the way he looks to see what he can do about the mexican “problem”. If he was a white man stating that New Orleans will be predominately white, black people would definetly be calling him a racist for sure.He is making an idiot of himself. Why is it that if he says it, it is no big deal, but if a white person does, or someone who isn’t black, that they are automatically viewed as a racist? What an idiot.

  53. Tom says:

    Yes, mayor Nagin has made a fool of himself. What else is new. He dropped the ball from day one and he spent his time and energy complaining about about everyone else and pointing the finger when he should have been taking care of the people of New Orleans. Now he is blaming God… or at least blaming people for making God angry in yet another pathetic attempt to distract attention from his ineptitude. He has even had an imaginary conversation with Martin Luther King and he has quoted King’s replies to him!!!! Now he is using the race card to distract from his incompetence. The man is useless! It’s time the people of New Orleans realize this. If they do not see what he is by now, they deserve what they get in the future.

  54. Tom says:

    Yes, mayor Nagin has made a fool of himself. What else is new? He dropped the ball from day one and he spent his time and energy complaining about about everyone else and pointing the finger when he should have been taking care of the people of New Orleans. Now he is blaming God… or at least blaming people for making God angry in yet another pathetic attempt to distract attention from his ineptitude. He has even had an imaginary conversation with Martin Luther King and he has quoted King’s replies to him!!!! Now he is using the race card to distract from his incompetence. The man is useless! It’s time the people of New Orleans realize this. If they do not see what he is by now, they deserve what they get in the future.

  55. p rubenstein says:

    i was born in new orleans in 1957. i lived there until i was old enough to go on with my life.my family is still there.we were thinking of moving back until this person made his chocalate remark. we will never go back to new orleans not even for mardi gras. he and his chocolate city can stay just like it is . i am a coonass that is very dissapointed in the people that elected him. he wants a chocolate city, send him back to africa.we want our city back get rid of him. our money will never be spent in this city again and neither will alot of others. i quess mardi gras will be in mobile alabama from now on. this was an official saying this or cajuns going to allow this are are we going to put him out of our city.

  56. Michael says:

    I consider the above comment to be deeply racist. How can you send a US citizen “back” to a place he’s not from?

    As for Nagin’s almost-as-stupid comment see, Chicago Tribune, Nagin aplogizes.

  57. As a AfaNativeAmerican, I would like to convey to Mayor Negin my sincere regrets that a natural castastrophy damaged his beloved City of New Orleans. I can also understand the kind of pressure that Mayor Negin is under and the comments that he makes are not meant to be racists or lack sensitivity. The term “Chocolate City” is a street term used by many people in America when there
    is a population of many “people of color.” The term is not meant to be racist or to mean white people are not welcome to these communities.

    I would also like to convey to Mayor Negin, that I have offered and written a proposal named “THREE NEW CITIES.” The proposal asks for the United States Government and private corporations and any
    American ciitizen, including people from outside America, to build THREE NEW CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE CITIES SHOULD BE NAMED AFTER AFRICAN AMERICANS, WHO HAVE MANY OTHER DECESCENDANTS LIKE ME, CHEROKEE, CAUCIAN. THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE A DIVERSE PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO DESCENDANCIES. THEY HAVE MIXED ANCESTRIES HAS A RESULT OF LIVING WITH THE NATIVE AMERICANS, NEARLY %50 AFRAMERICAN HAVE NATIVE AMERICAN ANCESTORS. THE THREE NEW CITIES WOULD BE A WAY OF MAKING UP FOR THE WRONG POLICIES AGAINST THE AMERICAN SLAVES AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. THIS WOULD BE A FORM OF THE CONTROVERSIAL WORD “REPARATIONS.” THE THREE CITIES WOULD HAVE ALL AMERICANS WELCOMED TO LIVE AND WORK THERE. THESE CITIES, NOT NECESSARILY LARGE CITIES, WOULD BE STATE OF THE ART CITIES, WITH NEW DISIGNS, AND THE BEST TECHNOLOGY. THESE CITIES WOULD BE AN ATTRACTION FOR ALL AMERICANS AND VISITORS TO AMERICA. SOME OF THE NAMES WOULD BE ATTUCKS CITY, TUBMAN CITY, KING CITY, ECT. I WISH YOU WOULD CONVEY THIS MESSAGE TO THE HONORABLE MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS AND TELL HIM THAT THE NATIONAL JUNETEENTH OBSERVATION FOUNDATION, INC., SUPPORTS HIM AND HE COULD USE THIS PROPOSAL AT HIS DISCRETION. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD HEAR ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL WHEN THE TIME IS APPROPIATE. AT THE MOMENT THE MAYOR HAS HIS HANDS FULL, BUT I KNOW THAT ALL HE IS TRYING TO DO IS MAKE THE BEST OUT OF A BAD SITUATION. TELL HIM FOR ME TO TAKE IT EASY AND GOD BLESSESS HIM IN THIS HOUR OF DISTRESS AND TURMOIL. THIS TOO WILL PASS.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH
    BOSTON BEN HAITH

  58. As a AfaNativeAmerican, I would like to convey to Mayor Negin my sincere regrets that a natural castastrophy damaged his beloved City of New Orleans. I can also understand the kind of pressure that Mayor Negin is under and the comments that he makes are not meant to be racists or lack sensitivity. The term “Chocolate City” is a street term used by many people in America when there
    is a population of many “people of color.” The term is not meant to be racist or to mean white people are not welcome to these communities.

    I would also like to convey to Mayor Negin, that I have offered and written a proposal named “THREE NEW CITIES.” The proposal asks for the United States Government and private corporations and any
    American ciitizen, including people from outside America, to build THREE NEW CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE CITIES SHOULD BE NAMED AFTER AFRICAN AMERICANS, WHO HAVE MANY OTHER DECESCENDANTS LIKE ME, CHEROKEE, CAUCIAN. THE AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE A DIVERSE PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO DESCENDANCIES. THEY HAVE MIXED ANCESTRIES HAS A RESULT OF LIVING WITH THE NATIVE AMERICANS, NEARLY %50 AFRAMERICAN HAVE NATIVE AMERICAN ANCESTORS. THE THREE NEW CITIES WOULD BE A WAY OF MAKING UP FOR THE WRONG POLICIES AGAINST THE AMERICAN SLAVES AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. THIS WOULD BE A FORM OF THE CONTROVERSIAL WORD “REPARATIONS.” THE THREE CITIES WOULD HAVE ALL AMERICANS WELCOMED TO LIVE AND WORK THERE. THESE CITIES, NOT NECESSARILY LARGE CITIES, WOULD BE STATE OF THE ART CITIES, WITH NEW DISIGNS, AND THE BEST TECHNOLOGY. THESE CITIES WOULD BE AN ATTRACTION FOR ALL AMERICANS AND VISITORS TO AMERICA. SOME OF THE NAMES WOULD BE ATTUCKS CITY, TUBMAN CITY, KING CITY, ECT. I WISH YOU WOULD CONVEY THIS MESSAGE TO THE HONORABLE MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS AND TELL HIM THAT THE NATIONAL JUNETEENTH OBSERVATION FOUNDATION, INC., SUPPORTS HIM AND HE COULD USE THIS PROPOSAL AT HIS DISCRETION. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD HEAR ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL WHEN THE TIME IS APPROPIATE. AT THE MOMENT THE MAYOR HAS HIS HANDS FULL, BUT I KNOW THAT ALL HE IS TRYING TO DO IS MAKE THE BEST OUT OF A BAD SITUATION. TELL HIM FOR ME TO TAKE IT EASY AND GOD BLESSESS HIM IN THIS HOUR OF DISTRESS AND TURMOIL. THIS TOO WILL PASS.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH
    BOSTON BEN HAITH

  59. Michael D. Humphrey says:

    THE VANILLA GORILLA’

    Mayor Nagin,

    Let me start by saying that I am a 41-year-old vanilla male.
    I supported you prior to the hurricane that “GOD” sent at us (your
    words), and even supported you in your efforts after. But now, you
    have reached down and grabbed the “race card” and want to proclaim
    that New Orleans be a “Chocolate New Orleans”!
    If you were a white mayor and made the opposite remarks that the
    city
    needed to be a “White New Orleans”, you would have had every liberal
    media outlet, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, etc.here to serve your head
    on a silver platter.
    You would be stripped of your political duties and reduced to a
    racist pig and kicked out of town. Luckily for you, you’re
    “chocolate”.
    “GOD is mad at us for being in Iraq”? “That’s why GOD
    sent hurricane after hurricane to us”? At what point in time
    did you
    become a spokesman for GOD? Prior to the hurricane, New Orleans had
    terrible crime, housing, cleanliness, and education problems. Is
    that
    GOD’s fault? Why would you say such things? Are you trying to
    alienate us from Washington/Congress, and the rest of the nation, at
    a time when we are in need of much help to rebuild? I think you’ve
    finally lost your mind and should consider resigning!
    But let’s first take a look at your “Chocolate City”:
    Check the stats, the majority of crime comes from the “chocolate
    factory.”
    The majority of welfare goes to the “chocolate factory.” The
    majority
    of dilapidated, filthy housing is owned or inhabited by the
    “chocolate factory “ The poor public education system is run by and
    inhabited by the “chocolate factory.” Just look at all of the
    “chocolate city” public housing eyesores. You want a “chocolate
    city”, just look at the 2nd line party-shootout where 3 people were
    injured, that was all chocolate, no white milk in that neighborhood.
    And you called the shooters “knuckleheads”?
    How about CRIMINALS!
    And wasn’t that supposed to be a welcome back parade?
    Who do you think fills the majority of restaurants,
    hotels, conventions, or even the Superdome on Sundays – chocolates?
    Nope! And 30-40 years ago, New Orleans was not a black majority
    city. But since then, we’ve had four “chocolate” mayors, and this
    city has been spiraling down the tubes ever since!
    This city is my city. I was born at Touro Hospital. Even though I
    now
    reside in Jefferson, when I visit other places and someone asks me
    where I’m from, I tell them “New Orleans!” But this city of mine
    has
    continued to elect “chocolate politicians” over intelligent,
    well-minded leaders. New Orleans, and the so-called leaders in the
    political arena, continue to keep giving itself and us, a black eye.
    Corruption and “reverse racism” has plagued this city for far too
    long. But now, the Sleeping Giant has been awoken, and he’s not
    happy!
    Mr. Mayor, you could’ve taken this challenge, said the
    right things, done the right things, and been a real beacon of light
    for this desperate city. Hell, you could’ve done so well that you
    could’ve run for governor, or even President, and won, if you had
    done the right things.
    You and the city could’ve come out on top, and I would’ve
    applauded you
    for doing a terrific job during difficult times.
    But, lo and behold, you have stooped down, as mayors
    past, and given us (New Orleans), another black/chocolate eye!
    What a
    shame, what a shame!

    W.C.
    AKA-The Vanilla Gorilla

  60. Deanna says:

    I so agree with Michael Humphrey and his comments! I am from New Orleans and I remember when it was primarly a VANILLA city. It was clean and we took pride in our surroundings, but slowly it became the run down mess that you and other politicians let it become! You have no pride in New Orleans like the people of New Orleans do!! YOu got and want to keep the title of Mayor! I don’t care if you were born and bred there you still have no respect for it othewise it would not look like it did prior to Katrina! When I lived there (from birth till 24 years old) they knew that these damn levees needed repair, back to Moon Landrieu. What has taxes been used for?? Over the last 20 years the levee could have been repaired, NOLA could have imposed associations in neighborhoods for residents to clean up their areas or be fined, Welfare people should get a maximum of 5 years on welfare for LIFE!! Get a freaking job and work hard like the Vanilla people did. To use the race card is a absolute to the vanilla people that were there before you and will be there after you. I am sure that you will NOT be relected, the vanilla population will see to that. The only reason the NAACP is upset that the blacks will not be able to vote is because you and others do not want a Vanilla board down there again, because it might look like it did in 1980 – CLEAN!!! We were not afraid to go in neighborhoods, or stay out after dark, or look at a black person. The Chocolate people need to ge over it. Yes your ancestors and our ancestors were idiots but do we have to be!!!??? Let it go, you were never whipped or hung or raped and you did not even know your ancestors that were!!! Live for today and lets throw this race card crap away once and for all!!

  61. randy says:

    thanks for all that you have done for the city of new orleans. i find great pleasure in sending you this e-mail. it’s so good to have someone in office that didn’t tuck their tale and run when times got tough. i commend you on keeping your composure as everyone else has tried to learn from your experience with Katrina. it doesn’t matter who was in office, this would have still been a disaster that no one could have expected. like they say, ” hindsight is always 20-20! i am a soldier in the u.s army and i am proud of what i have done for my country. my only concern is…. if our u.s. army engineers can spend year long deployments away from their family to rebuild IRAQ, why can’t they do it in NEW ORLEANS! if i had it my way, a great percentage of armed forces engineer soldiers would be in NEW ORLEANS supporting your efforts to rebuild NEW ORLEANS! our goverment spends billions of dollars paying KBR contractors to rebuild IRAQ… why can’t they pay them to rebuild IRAQ! Do KBR pay the gov’t back their money for their labor. (I REALLY DON’T THINK SO)! Mayor Nagin, you have my sincere support and I wish that you would take time from your demanding and busy schedule to respond to this e-mail personally. thank you for all your efforts to support the people of NEW ORLEANS! SFC (P) Randy R. Hart randy.hart1@us.army.mil

  62. Noam Trotsky says:

    OMG read this

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/11/new.orleans.evacuation/index.html

    Mayor Nagin’s “New Orleans evacuation plan has a lot of holes”

    “Ebbert said he wasn’t particularly worried about the apparent holes in the plan, saying the city’s position is that the state and federal government have to make the plan work.”

    They have made a worthless plan, the inevitable failure for which they will again blame the state and feds.

    Nagin and Ebbert … IDIOTS! The Abbot and Costello of city management, but saying that is an insult…to Abbot and Costello.

  63. From what I see, objectively, there were things done wrong and things done right by both Mayor Nagin, FEMA director Mike Brown, and President Bush did wrong and things they did right (with most of the things done “right” too late).

    On Saturday, 8-27-05 10 am, Mike Brown appears on CNN to encourage residents to evacuate as soon ASAP for safety inland because Katrina could make landfall as a Cat 5 storm, but mandatory. At 5 PM Mayor Nagin and Gov Blanco appear at a press conference and Nagin declares a state of emergency in N.O. but not mandatory. He should have ordered mandatory 24 hours earlier. He was already visibly unnerved at the prospect of Katrina and showed it in an interview. Nagin held legal discussions about the impact of an evacuation on the hotel trade, his concern being the hotel owners’ profits, not the guests’ safety. Worried about egg on his face in case Hurricane Katrina DIDN’T hit New Orleans, the mayor should have (and has the power to) put long term interests of the city’s $5 billion tourism industry ahead of his short-term unfounded fears of lawsuits for lost business. In short, he misses his historical “golden hour” by not ordering MANDATORY evacuaton which would have saved thousands more lives. Meanwhile ghastly reports on TVs weather channel were alarming. Nagin goes to the 27th floor of the Hyatt.

    Brown and politicians and US govt officials do mostly phone calls. Blanco writes Bush a boilerplate request for everything, proclaiming a state of emergency. But the Skipper is still Clueless in Crawford. If Blanco’s letter were more emphatic and not merely a legal form, various US agencies would have been mobilized more quickly. What they have here is a failure to communicate. Anyway, it is sent two full days too late. Bush thinks Blanco should be more specific, but what does it take–what part of the word “Help” from Blanco doesn’t the Pres understand?

    President of the Black Caucus Cedric Richmond is who catapults Blanco into action. The gov is doing the mayor’s job. Pray-and-pack sessions. The consensus is “Ray has it in control or he wouldn’t be hanging around.” But he’d never done a mandatory evac before and New Orleans itself hadn’t had one. NHC raised hurricane watch to hurricane warning–the whole Gulf Coast is in danger.

    At 10 am Bush finally talks with Brownie who arrives in Baton Rouge at 11 am. 18,000 cars per hour leaving N.O. Nax Mayfield warns of danger of flooding in Katrina’s wake. At 4:15 Brownie tries to prepare federal leaders for the disaster’s magnitude but both Bush and Chertoff claim during the week they were taken by surprise by the damge wrought.

    On 8-28 Katrina is rated a Cat 4. 8 am Superdome opens (per Nagin) as last resort. He missed his golden hour. . at 10 am Bush speaks with Brown and Gov Blanco and mandatory evac is ordered in gulf coast. But 112,000 don’t own cars or have access to one. Pres is still at his ranch, VP is fly fishing in the West, Rummy’s at a Padres game in San Diego (cell phone obviously off).

    Nagin had never previously implemented a realistic hurricane plan. It would be but never was developed for further study. First responsibility to the city is to its Mayor. Maybe Ray was hesitant based on Hurricane Betsy in 1965 so he hadn’t prioritized hurricane evac plans. City schools floundering and murder rate rising gave him enough woes. First elective office, a rookie, all wrapped in politics, and public image. 6pm: curfew goes into effect in New Orleans rains come in from Katrina’s outer bands.

    Monday Aug 29, 5 am. 17th Street Canal breached. Water still rising along Mississippi coast. Nagin appears on Today show: “We will have significant flooding; it’s just a matter of how much.” Katrina pushes a 25-foot storm surge into Miss. Coast. Two holes open up in Superdome, it rains in. 28-ft storm surge in Mississippi at 9:45 am. 10:45 am Bush calls Chertoff and declares emergency disasters in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Storm surge rises from the open sea across Lake Ponchartrain and over north shore communities. 12 noon Bush makes speech in Arizona(!) ABOUT Medicare reform. Brown and Blanco are in videoconference. Brown says he spoke to the president twice this morning. Blanco hasnt heard of any levees being breached yet!1 pm Nagin announces breach of 17th St Canal, briefly. 8 pm Blanco begs Pres Bush “We need your help… everything you’ve got.” Bush turns in at 9:30 pm. How can he sleep during all this?

    Tuesday Aug 30, 7 am Bush is advised to end his 6 week vacation and he agrees. (Far out!) He’ll return to Crawford, then Washington on Wed. In later statements he maintains that as of Tuesday am. he was informed New Orleans had “dodged the bullet.” Finally orders National Guard: 800 in Alabama, 1,900 in Mississippi and 3,800 in Louisiana. 10 am Nagin announces efforts to use sandbags were unsuccessful at 17th Street, breach now 200 feet wide. 10:53 Nagin and Blanco order mandatory evacuation for the city but by then it is unenforceable. Duh.

    Meanwhile, flooding, looting, dying, etc. continues in earnest. Real heroes during this time include but are of course not limited to City Councilman Oliver Thomas (door-to-door gettting people to evacuate), NOLA Homeboys; Soul Patrol, some boys mistaken for looters who had food and clothing instead, made 10 or more trips for survivors, almost arrested; US Coast Guard (there early); Cajun Navy (picking up people and pets with 300 boats!) Sarah Roberts (until dysentery laid her up); vice cop Warren Riley (set up emergency operatinos on 9th fl. of City Hall) and countless other unsung heroes. Some actors (incuding Sean Penn incognito) and those who welcomed the survivors into their homes, as well as Houston Astrodome), and Texas held record for receiving the most survivors (some 220,000); all over the US people opened homes to people, pets, etc. Curiously Wal-Mart, king of greed, a threat to all mom-and-pop stores all over the country, from the git-go donates billions of dollars worth of supplies, food, etc.; GWB’s dad GHWB and Bill Clinton start relief fund. Jimy Buffett opens up all his Margaritaville restaurants and gives out (Emeril (Live!) Lagasse closed his Delmonicos.) Rev Willie Walker. Countless others, some dying tryng to save lives.

    2 pm Nagin delivers ultimatum to the US on CNN calling his statement a despserate SOS…for troops, 500 buses, man…” although he let RTA and school buses sit andd now are useless, drowned. Rev Willie found out Nagin had “bigger things to worry about. Dude, what could be bigger than people?” The city had no real evac plan. “Get people to higher ground and have the feds and state airlife supplies to them,” Nagan told Wall Street Journal later. “That was the plan, man.” He’s inexperienced. He never had to weather any crisis before. But sending people to the Superdome with few provisions? He knew better. 7 pm Secy Chertoff designates Katrina destruction an ‘”Incident of National Significance.” Double-duh. Mike Brown is stuck in Baton Rouge, claims Chertoff won’t let him out, his hands are tied (yeah right).

    Sat, Sept 3 Bush finally will cover only the deployment of troops including 82nd Airborne, Marines, First Cavalry, and 1st and 2nd Expeditionary forces. In Biloxi Bush says “I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with the results.” Secy General Kofi Annan of UN announces plans to send aid to the gulf coast. So does Saudi Arabia, among others.

    A week after Katrina New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin buys a house in Dallas.

    OK, I could go on ad infinitum, quote a lot more, continue up to when the flooding stopped…but this just in: Mayor, God had nothing to do with Katrina, or any weather that ever happened. If there is a God he’s more like George Burns–gave us a planet with weather issues to deal with but didn’t cause any of them, lets us screw the planet up in our own way. No one –especially a civic leader–with any common sense should be talking superstition on TV to millions of viewers like that, especially to kids–frightening them with hell and brimstone. You’re the Man, so be one.

    I am not into name-calling, dissing the mayor, the governor, the president, “Brownie,” Chertoff, etc., just reviewing what ‘I’ve heard and seen from California, which of course is safely far away from the terrible tragedy. What disturbs me is re-elected Mayor Nagin’s not done much to improve conditions and New Orleans is no safer than before, is another Katrina (or worse) waiting to happen. Rebuilding the levees for only a Category 3–again? Leaving rubble around and disease, etc.? Take care of the city which gave you a second chance ready. In fact, don’t allow rebuilding of anything in harm’s way, near Lake Ponchartrain. New Orleans shouldn’t have been built in marshes centuries ago (we see now, of course, in hindsight.). We can’t harness the sea, nothing ever can. Rigid objects like seawalls and levees can be undermined and it has been done, on all our coasts, in all our wetlands.

    To the people who want to return to rebuild their old homes: A spirit of place is not in the place but in you who who make it yours. Jazz is not in the instrument but in the soul of the player. So remember, when you rebuild, don’t trust the land, it was meant to be as it was That is precisely why Katrina destroyed the heavily populated “soup bowl.”

    As for the Mayor’s statement about a “chocoloate” city: The people are who count–people of all “flavours” and colours–should revel and celebrate their diversity. As colours go, chocolate comes in pale white, ivory, medium gold, light and dark brown, and black–as flavours go, it is sweet, rich, tart and bitter. As races go, there is only one–homo sapiens. So in New Orleans if it is true you have a chocolate city, Mayor, composed of all colours and flavours of chocolate people who speak many languages, then, all visitors become chocoholics.

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