“Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it’s destroyed and put stress on this country,” Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Day.
“Surely he doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We’re not taking care of ourselves.”
Oh, where to start? I’m not so sure God sent the hurricanes as much as maybe, you know, the weather patterns, the oceans currents, and maybe a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan sent the hurricanes. Could God have sent the hurricane? Sure, but I really really doubt He did. In Iraq under false pretenses? Way to go, Nagin, for bringing up a divisive issue on a national holiday and being ignorant about it in the process. Anybody who thinks we went into Iraq only for WMDs definitely wasn’t paying attention to the run up to the war. Finally, it seems Nagin takes that old platitude “God helps those who help themselves” even farther out of whack. Nagin seems to believe God also punishes those who don’t help themselves. I wonder what Nagin would say about Job . . .
Let’s move on:
Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be a “chocolate” city again. Many of the city’s black neighborhoods were heavily damaged by Katrina.
“It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans _ the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans,” the mayor said. “This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.”
Nagin described an imaginary conversation with King, the late civil rights leader.
“I said, `What is it going to take for us to move on and live your dream and make it a reality?’ He said, `I don’t think that we need to pay attention any more as much about other folks and racists on the other side.’ He said, `The thing we need to focus on as a community _ black folks I’m talking about _ is ourselves.'”
Nagin seems to have a very close connection with God, and I wasn’t aware God had such a soft spot for New Orleans, a city widely known for its debauchery, crime, and gambling. Nagin’s imaginary conversation with King is not only fantastical but also insulting to King’s legacy to the civil rights movement. Didn’t Dr. King end some historic speech somewhere about his dream of having his children be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin? Ah, yes, he did. Maybe Nagin forgot that King’s dream was a color blind society.
“I’m really sorry that some people took that they way they did, and that was not my intention,” the mayor said. “I say everybody’s welcome.”
Nagin added that he never should have used the term “chocolate.”
Let me translate this: “I’m sorry everybody was dumb enough to make reasonable assumptions about what I said yesterday, but after I got flack for it I realize it was stupid.” You know, this apology looks like an apology I might have given when I was in high school. It seems to me that a man of his age and profession would have realized a more tactful apology would address his errors rather than his audience’s mistake.