What motivates people to get up at 5:00 in the morning and go out to hold a sign in the rain?
Love, rage and hope. Love for the city we call home. Rage at elected officials who are unable to perform their jobs. Hope that, despite everything, we might see a better day, where government authorities are held accountable.
Our message was simple: Eddie Jordan must go. He should step down immediately. He has lost the confidence of the public. As I said to the media, “You can’t screw up this bad and not be held to account.”
Update: Maitri is compiling links of media coverage.
Thanks for the great picture. My mom emailed me from PA today, just before driving to Baltimore for some tests. But all she wanted was to see you guys on GMA. “They haven’t shown anyone!” she said.
It is true. Can he just get out of the way? There will not be justice for Helen or anyone else as long as he is in that position.
We didn’t make Good Morning America or the national news — which is fine. We might have if we’d hung around for a couple more hours, but they were inside the Cabildo and we were out in front (in the rain). We were happy to make two local morning shows and WWL radio.
Thank you all.
Unfortunately, certain “voices” will use the comparative lack of black faces in that photo as a means to attempt to invalidate the message….
And what does that mean, really?
It would probably mean, primarily, that word about this was spread on extremely short notice via the Internet, in places with general audiences such as nola.com, and in less scatter-shot or personal means via blogs written and read primarily by white and middle-class audiences. There is something of a digital divide here, or so I’ve noticed via research work, probably more related to income than race per se (but those are linked here, of course).
Well, income and average level of education, not just income.
Anderson Cooper is going live from New Orleans tonight regarding the breakdown of the justice system.
I’m in Canada and looked for y’all on GMA, but didn’t see it. Did Edwards address you?
So, I guess that means we should marshall resources not avaliable to us?
All it means is that going forward we should take care to build a biracial coalition on this issue. Certainly every black person I’ve spoken to has agreed: Jordan must go. Any further public demonstrations should aim to reflect this reality or the legitimacy of the cause may suffer.
Karen: What you do you mean?
For the record: I wasn’t being sarcastic or putting the effort down. My hat’s off to you here. The Internet just appears to be limited in terms of reaching people of all demographic groups here, at least in regard to how most of us who regularly read or publish blogs use it. I wish it were otherwise.
Meanwhile, is this too unsettled of an issue among the entire city to tie into something like this into the increasing networking of neighborhood groups? (Or in other words, is there a reason besides being brave that Shelley Midura called for the DA’s resignation–because her constituents want it more clearly, or express that desire more clearly, than those of other council districts, even if their representatives didn’t seem exactly thrilled with The Hat either?)
I agree with Ray, Karen, and Bart. Here’s a good question: If the community of color in New Orleans wants Eddie Jordan out so badly, why haven’t they contacted the rest of us? We’ve all certainly been vocal enough. It’s a two-way street. To vilify the white community for not being broad enough in its representation is also to vilify the black community for not reaching out to the white community. The black community should really be leading on this issue.
As Garland Robinette so poignantly repeats over and over again, ad nauseum, and hopefully with a little blood pressure medicine, this could very easily go another way, and in fact has. There are some African American public officials (including NOPD superintendent Warren Riley) who have suggested that when one discounts the black-on-black violence, New Orleans is a pretty safe city. So why should whites care — or at least that’s the argument? But, of course, we absolutely do care. Any murder diminishes our city, our nation, our humanity, our selves, our souls. But if any white person made a statement like that, Jesse Jackson and the NAACP would down here in a flash. So where are they now that a black D.A. is letting the slaughter of black youth continue unabated? There are problems in the black community that they have to solve themselves, because at some point, the advocacy of the white community is met with mistrust.
There have been some successes in bridging the racial divide on the crime issue. But here’s an interesting little anecdote. I once attended an anti-crime event in a neighborhood hosted by a particular black leader of the community. Hoping to speak to this leader, I was disappointed to discover that he wasn’t available to lead the event he had himself endorsed. So the event proceeded without him, but other attendees called him on a couple of occasions. When news traveled that a news team was on the way, wouldn’t you know it — this black leader who was indisposed suddenly appeared to make sure he was recognized in front of the cameras.
The story goes to the issue of upper class blacks taking advantage of lower class blacks. It goes without saying, I believe, that some people of color will take offense at me judging just one aspect of a culture of depravity which isn’t universal, but which is a particularly vexing problem. It occurs in the white community as well, but the exploitation doesn’t quite affect such a broad population because, I suspect, the standard of living and opportunities are a degree improved, for structural and historic reasons, in the white community — but of course, that isn’t the whole answer …
In any event, what’s required is building improved relationships and trust between all communities to bridge cultural divides. I wish it were so now, but as I said, it’s a two-way street. We should attempt to address the issues which create the divide. It’s one of the great opportunities and hopes of New Orleans post-Katrina, which has met with some great successes, but overall, is falling far short of the potential — and incidentally, falling far short of the promises made by the ass monkey of the planet currently faking it in the White House.
I think more media coverage should be focused on the failings in his department. When I speak to African-Americans on this issue, I hear more of “well, his department/Jordon is just part of the problem/the whole system is broken and he shouldn’t be forced out because of this.”
I usually aggree to some extent. Yes, the system as a whole has problems, but when the district attorney will go on all the local news nets one day and say that he can’t prosicute because the only witness he has has can’t be found, and then two days later [after his department has been called a liar on that] go on those same news nets and call that witnesse’s credibility into question/call her a liar [On Six on You Side he told the viewing audience with that his star witness was a “known Liar”] to save his own skin, then Eddie IS a big problem. Everyones families/our city isn’t safe because he is only interested in himself. While poverty, drugs and some of the issues of violent crime are problems we can not fix in the short term, we can all do something about the Jordon problem now–he has to go.
My kid was nauseous and I had early warning on a parasite issue. The idea of wearing white in the rain was hard, y’all must be 40 year old virgins to induce such a demand, but I did have a sign.
We should always marshall resources not available to us, that’s how we grow. Garland was giving out the DA’s number yesterday to call for the recall: 504-822-2414. Councilman Carter’s holding another Criminal Justice Committee meeting – I’m not sure, Wednesday? – and supposedly he’s called for Jordan to be there. Al? that bloke with the Stop The Killings sign, goes to a lot of these types of marches and meetings; he’d have to know how to pull together the black community if you don’t want to reach out to Rev. Raphael or the Hot 8 or something.
As for the meme about the whole system being broken, it is. And it will remain so until it’s fixed, simple reasoning. Jordan stands in the way of justice. Something must be occupying his time and attention; is it just the ladies?
Ray M. Sorry for my snarky response. While we try and build broader coalitions issues arise which demand immediate attention.
My economic status is just about as low as you can go. Unemployed and most of my assets which allow me to earn an income flooded and destroyed.
My point is, we each work with what we have, and as Carmen said marshall resources NOT avaliable to us. Meaning, I do not have friends in high places, a roledex a Blackberry or any media contacts.
If one is passionate about the recovery of this City and Justice you speak..and that most of us do have. A voice.
from the Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans website…
Councilmember James Carter has called a special meeting of the Council’s Criminal Justice Committee.
This is a crucial time to be informed and make our voice heard for accountability and efficiency in the Criminal Justice System.
When: Wednesday, July 18th, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Council Chambers.
Who: All concerned Citizens that can, please attend.
We appreciate your support!
Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans
I never owned a cel phone until it was absolutely necessary after the storm. I don’t have a Blackberry or an iPod or even a digital point and shoot handheld. Karen, we are only limited by our imaginations, and I for one don’t think you are limited at all. For anyone who’s been paying attention, you’ve built a name and a reputation in town, and that itself is a resource, because character is something that can neither be bought nor sold, and many of the rich and powerful lack it.
While it is true that the political leadership takes more notice when money is spent, even the small amounts it would take to create RECALL JORDAN tee shirts via CafePress (had someone the graphic skills for the initial design, thereafter each person paying only for their own or for someone else) the IDEA behind it is unarguably a movement that will not falter nor relent. The same spirit that brought us back here after the flooding to rebuild without visible resources will enable us to get a district attorney into office who – in the words of Kayne West – cares about black people. Because Jordan is letting the streets of this city be terrorized by his two-tiered justice system, and the Anderson killings didn’t happen Uptown.
[…] In January I said, “Shame on you, Mayor Nagin, Superintendent Riley, District Attorney Jordan. You have really let us down.” Months later I joined other local activists in calling for Jordan’s resignation. […]