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“This is an attack on the black leadership.”

So said Malcolm Suber yesterday at the New Orleans City Council, defending District Attorney Eddie Jordan.

Personally I think Mr. Suber is confusing leadership with authority.

When I think of black leadership in New Orleans, elected officials are not foremost in my mind. Instead, I think of people like Malik Rahim, who founded Common Ground; Patricia Jones, executive director of Lower Ninth Ward NENA; LaToya Cantrell, president of Broadmoor Civic Improvement Association; and — yes — Malcolm Suber, who has organized the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund.

And there are many others, grassroots heroes who are working for the recovery of New Orleans.

But please don’t cite District Attorney Eddie Jordan as an example of black leadership. Mr. Jordan is in a position of authority, true. But that does not equate to leadership. To the contrary, Mr. Jordan has betrayed the (largely black) community that elected him.

By way of contrast, consider the actions yesterday of State Representatives Cedric Richmond and J. P. Morrell, both active in the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. Although they stopped short of calling for Jordan to resign, they went public with their disappointment in his performance and threatened him with impeachment if he doesn’t do better.

They put their own reputations at risk for the sake of the community. That’s true leadership. Kudos to them.

Published inNew OrleansPolitix


  1. And you can’t accuse them of being racists can you! It amazes me to see how persons will rally around someone simply based on race. I hope that Richmond and Morrell will not wait too long to act. I personally don’t think he deserves time to get his house in order, but I appreciate their stance.

  2. I have been thinking this all day..

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil:

    And you know I am not a Church going type. But somehow this strife seems Biblical to me.

  3. I was listening to Garland today and he had C.B. Forgotston and Elliot Stonecipher on. One them said that Shelly Midura had been mau maued, I didn’t catch which one.

    They went on to say it was an ugly term but any time anyone accuses any African-American of any misconduct, charges of racism are sure to follow, especially if there is a political agenda in play.

    Racial politics while young men die is the worst kind of political gamesmanship.

  4. Frank S. Frank S.

    “This is an attack on the black leadership.”

    No, it isn’t. A leader in a communtiy [White, Black, Brown, Green, what-have-you] cares about the people in that community. Volunteers to help others. Gives of their time freely and shares wisdom. Aleader acts as an example of the way others should act & inspires people. Some even fight to right what is wrong and protect the innocent. Mr. Jordon has displayed none of quailities. He shows nothing by huberous, foolishness and pettiness in his professional [such as it is] conduct and mews/bemouns his mistakes instead of correcting them. Most importantly to the african -american community of this city he spins around on his ass doing nothing but saying he is in charge [or not at fault] while young African-American men are gunned down in the street and their families, their community & this city seeks justice from his department.

    Based on Mr. Jordon’s record and conduct up to this point anyone who defends him by “playing a race card” has an agenda that is as ugly as Mr. Jordon’s record.

  5. celcus celcus

    Can we just drop the pretense that this “demonstration of support” was anything other than astroturf.

    This is the usual cast of characters who are, at best, so wrapped up in their egomania that they are drawn to cameras and crowds like moths to a porch light, and at worst are paid agitators, reading the same tattered scrip that insists that everything is some kind of racist attack on the black man.

    If this is all Jordan has to rely on…his days rely may be numbered.

  6. I can’t imagine that those people represent more than a fraction of the black population of N.O. I agree with celsus, they are either paid audience plants (remember, Jordan is a Dollar Bill protege), or mentally disturbed people who want attention so bad they would show up at the opening of an envelope. I think it’s some of the same folks who think the government blew up the levees

  7. I would agree the activists who spoke at Wednesday’s city council meeting do not represent the views of the black majority — however, outspoken people can influence opinion, and steer the public dialog. They may have successfully re-framed this issue. I suppose that remains to be seen.

    Also, I believe Malcolm Suber and the others who spoke are sincere. I just think they are misguided. It galls me to see a radical firebrand defending an incompetent authority. But, he has his reasons and I think we should take them at face value.

  8. Frank S. Frank S.

    Some of the Pro-Jordon protests could be backlash from years of keeping African Americans out of places of power [just like I am sure at least a few of the folks on the dump Jordon chorus are motivated by race]. It is also possible there are/were some people who are afraid that a replacement for Jordon would be a lily white prosecuter who would unfairly target African-Americans over-harshly for sentencing [and maybe Jordon doesn’t do this], just like there are a few who want him dumped as revenge for being the poster boy for “get Edwards.” Nobody has a trademark on stupid, believe me.

    Yes, there are other problems with that system, but few so glaring as the DA’s lack of skills [both as a prosecuter and as a leader in that department]. Calling himself a scapegoat instead of providing/installing a plan of change is just another face of his problems. In the long run Jordon’s actions should determine where people stand on this and it is obvious by his actions that he needs to go.

  9. Sandi Sandi

    Time – race leaves the equation….The city will never move forward as long as we base everything on what I am – or My People – are going to get.
    What happens in New Orleans today will affect all of our future. Unite we must!!

  10. […] the optimist in me does continue to look toward the local officials for, well, leadership, though Bart says we should only look to them for competence (he’s right). Maybe I’m just still caught up in that romanticized ideal that was sold […]

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