01-16-2006, 11:58 PM #1
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- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
Pat Robertson says God is mad at US
WOOPS! My mistake. It was the illusrious Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin who made these comments. Can you imagine the uproar if an Evangelical Christian leader had said this?
New Orleans Mayor Says God Mad at U.S.
Jan 16 9:44 PM US/Eastern
By BRETT MARTEL
Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS Mayor Ray Nagin suggested Monday that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other storms were a sign that "God is mad at America" and at black communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political infighting.
"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."
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 said he also asked: "Why is black-on-black crime such an issue? Why do our young men hate each other so much that they look their brother in the face and they will take a gun and kill him in cold blood?"
The reply, Nagin said, was: "We as a people need to fix ourselves first."
Nagin also said King would have been dismayed with black leaders who are "most of the time tearing each other down publicly for the delight of many."
A day earlier, gunfire erupted at a parade to commemorate King's birthday. Three people were wounded in the daylight shooting amid a throng of mostly black spectators, but police said there were no immediate suspects or witnesses.
I have to tell you, though. This is the first time since the hurricanes that I have agreed with a word this man said.
01-17-2006, 01:31 AM #2
Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFIWarm Regards,
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01-18-2006, 07:32 PM #3
When they started playing his speech on the news the other night, I just knew before he opened his mouth that it would be a real doosey. The man is incapable of intelligent thought so watching him about to give a speech is kind of like watching a car stall on train tracks as the gates are coming down. Mayor Nagoon starts talking, the train engieer is blowing the horn and the brakes are screeching. The first hurricane reference is made... smash! Train wreck.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
01-18-2006, 07:41 PM #4
Actually, he is a pretty smart guy who says dumb things. He was elected as an outsider with a business, not a political backround. He has the back pedal in high speed mode right now.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
01-18-2006, 08:10 PM #5
He's obviously that smart concidering what happened about four and half months ago. It's everyone else's fault and he is the victim. This little Podunk town I live in with pretty much no chance of a Catagory 5 hurricane ever hitting it has a better hurricane plan that he did.
I still maintain that he is really stupid guy that says equally as stupid things. Or conversely, really stupid things are being said by an equally as stupid guy.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
01-18-2006, 08:46 PM #6
I am not some sort of apologist for L. Ray Nagin. But I stand by my post, he is not stupid.. An inexperienced politician yes, but stupid no.
Mayor Ray Nagin gained a degree in Accounting at Tuskegee University in 1978 and it was not until 1994 that he received an MBA at Tulane University.
Nagin won the New Orleans mayoral election in May 2002, in spite of never holding a previous elected office. He was the first Mayor in 60 years to do so.
Before becoming Mayor, Ray Nagin was vice president and general manager of the cable company Cox Communications.
One of Ray Nagin's first acts as Mayor was to launch an investigation into the running of New Orleans utilities that led to the arrest of over 80 workers.
Nagin would become known internationally after the terrible disaster of Hurricane Katrina, but it was only one year earlier that Hurricane Ivan disrupted New Orleans and the mayor was urging "vertical evacuation" (escape to high-rise buildings or hotels or a local sports stadium). It was estimated that around 100,000 residents of New Orleans did not have cars.
In May 2005, The Guardian published an article about mayors signing up to get American cities to meet the US's Kyoto environmental target which George Bush repudiated, in which it stated:
"Ray Nagin, the mayor of low-lying New Orleans and a Democrat, told the New York Times that he joined the coalition because a projected rise in sea levels 'threatens the very existence of New Orleans'."
It was only a couple of months later that Hurricane Katrina struck. It was the USA's worst disaster for 100 years.
Ray Nagin caused controversy when he told police to use persuasion or force to evacuate anyone refusing to leave flooded New Orleans.
The Mayor had previously slammed the Federal response to the catastrophe. In an interview with 60 Minutes' Scott Pelley, Nagin said:
"Too many people died because of lack of action ... Lack of coordination and some goofy laws that basically say there's not a clear distinction of when the federal government stops and when the state government starts. And if you have federal - if the federal government takes over, then you're giving up some powers. Or if the governor don't ask the president and the president don't ask the governor, and it was just b.s."IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
01-18-2006, 08:51 PM #7
See, there it is. He's blaming the state and the feds for everything as usual... most of which wouldn't have been a huge problem if HE didn't bungle it to begin with. I'm not saying the state and feds were perfect, but dispaster management and planning starts with the local authorities and there was nothing because he had no plan in place. How can he expect the state and the feds to miraculously flow right in and do their job if there is no local actions to pick where they left off?
And I know lots of people who can wave all kinds of degrees and certificates in the air showing "I'm smart" but when actually promted to use those smarts, you realize it is nothing put paper.Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
01-18-2006, 09:07 PM #8
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- Dec 2005
Only thing he said that seems to be along the lines of 'stupid' is his 'Chocolate' world he keeps invisioning.
01-18-2006, 09:15 PM #9
More From The Times-Picayune
Nagin backpedals, apologizes
Katrina's wrath not God's will, he says
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
By James Varney
Faced with howls of protest, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin apologized Tuesday for claiming that a vengeful God smote New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina because of heavenly disapproval of America's involvement in Iraq and of rampant violence within urban black communities.
Nagin also offered a less sweeping apology for his remarks about the city's future demographics in the aftermath of the storm and subsequent catastrophic flood. His comments came in a speech, delivered on Martin Luther King Day with City Hall as a backdrop, in which the mayor said God intended New Orleans to rise again as a "chocolate city," which he defined as a "black-majority city".
Nagin said he was in error on his claim that Katrina's devastation was a result of God's will. Those charges led some critics, particularly on the Internet, to compare Nagin with television evangelist Pat Robertson, who sometimes asserts that events stemmed from the wrath of God. Nagin said Tuesday he does not believe the Lord punished New Orleans.
"I sincerely apologize for that and if there was anything I could take back, that would be it," he said. "I think it was inappropriate."
Nagin acknowledged consulting with religious leaders since Katrina, and in his myriad public appearances he has commented eloquently on the important role faith must play if New Orleans is to endure. He said he regrets delivering a different message on Monday.
"I don't know what happened there," he said. "I don't know how that got jumbled up. That whole God thing, I don't know how that got mixed up in there."
Political observers said the speech, which Nagin said was unscripted, may endure as perhaps the most damaging in the mayor's history of spontaneous oratory.
"It was another case of him saying the first thing that entered his mind," said Ed Renwick, director of Loyola University's Institute of Politics. "Instead of thinking it through, he likes to shoot from the hip. He seems to think he's only talking to the audience he's with. So he spoke to the 75 people who were there, but of course the TV cameras and reporters were there, too, so it goes to everyone. He just seems to continue to do this."
Nagin said his remarks were directed toward an African-American audience and were designed to resonate with people concerned about the direction of New Orleans' rebuilding. Recent reconstruction plans that envision a smaller city have heightened some fears, particularly among displaced residents of the Lower 9th Ward and eastern New Orleans, two overwhelmingly black zones of the city, Nagin said.
Others worried that the speech could have repercussions locally and nationally, where Nagin has emerged as a familiar figure during appearances on television shows, in Congressional testimony and at the White House. Nagin said he has a strong relationship with President Bush and that no one in Washington had contacted him about the speech or the firestorm it engendered.
In the city's political circles, discussion focused Tuesday on how radioactive the comments would prove to Nagin's re-election chances, and whether more opponents would enter the contest as a result.
Nagin was elected in 2001 with strong support from white voters, along with lesser, but substantial, black support. Renwick said his remarks could embolden one of the several white candidates said to be considering a run for mayor, though he doubts anyone would use the comments as a jumping-off point for a bid.
Nagin "seems to want to shore up his black support, but he's forgetting that he has to be very careful about how he does that," Renwick said. "I think a chunk of his white vote would dissipate if a major white candidate entered the race."
Soothe, stir up
Nagin acknowledged that some white residents considered his speech a divisive attack. But his intent was not to lash out at the city's white residents, he said. Rather, the "psyche" of black New Orleanians is on edge, and he said he wanted to soothe growing concerns and, at the same time, encourage people to return to the city. As additional context, Nagin pointed to the shootings at Sunday's second-line parade that left many returning black residents feeling jagged.
But Nagin was vague when asked why some displaced African-American residents believe they are not welcome. He described it as a hodgepodge of factors that have coalesced into a pessimistic "buzz." In his speech, however, Nagin was quite pointed, urging his audience to disregard "what people are saying Uptown" and reiterating, "This will be a chocolate city at the end of the day." The reference appeared to be to a 1975 song, "Chocolate City," by the band Parliament, which commented on white urban flight and black repopulation. Nagin said he has used the chocolate reference before and was simply referring to New Orleans' past, and future, as a majority black city.
Nagin said he did not mean to imply that Uptown residents are racist and apologized for using the phrase. The mayor was contrite about comments he made in an effort to stir up what he thought was an unnecessarily languid event, one at which he said other speakers "weren't saying anything" despite the enormous issues at stake.
"I was trying to articulate the frustration of the people, and this whole thing about whether the African-American community was welcome, and it was very awkward," Nagin conceded.
"It was targeted toward African-Americans and it was intended to say, 'You're welcome regardless of what you've heard,' and, 'Come back,' " the mayor said. "But obviously I misread the mood of people on some points, and if I said or did anything that offended people I sincerely apologize."
The mayor's apologies came as part of a massive damage-control initiative. His administration launched the campaign with a series of interviews with various news outlets in Nagin's office, and he continued the effort with appearances on national television. At a meeting of his Bring New Orleans Back commission Tuesday afternoon, Nagin was equally apologetic before a crowd of several hundred people.
"I need to be more aware and sensitive of what I'm saying," the mayor said. "Anyone I've offended, I hope you forgive me."
While Nagin appeared calm and collected, his remorse underscored the seriousness with which his team viewed his holiday speech; his re-election campaign is right around the corner and a host of challengers are rumored to be considering a run.
Nagin said politics played no role in his speech. Indeed, he said his political advisers despair about his lack of focus on the upcoming campaign. He insisted, as he has throughout his four-year term, that he is a political neophyte unversed in how various constituencies might hear his words.
"I'm a very frank person," he said. "I don't think about re-election that much, I really don't. I'm more concerned with the psyche, especially of African-Americans."
It remained unclear if the mayor would be able to distance himself from the explosive speech. One of his longtime critics, the Rev. Tom Watson, said he found the remarks baffling, and suggested Nagin is under intense post-Katrina pressure and is in need of spiritual help. Tulane University President Scott Cowen, generally supportive of Nagin and a member of his commission, remained concerned after the mayor's Tuesday appearance.
"It was extremely unfortunate and ill-advised," he said of Monday's speech. "The mayor is a good person, not a racist, but these comments were very hurtful to all people."
On the bandwagon
Part of what propelled Nagin's remarks around the country was the mixture of race and controversial theology -- notably the observation that God chose to punish several states with hurricanes as a way to express anger at the United States.
Nagin is not the first to make such an observation: In the months after the storm, sources as diverse as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, an ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbi and an East Texas fundamentalist preacher all have publicly offered the same explanation. They have said God sent Katrina to convey his displeasure at, respectively, American aggression in Iraq, Bush's support for dismantling West Bank settlements in Israel and the alleged sexual sins of New Orleans.
"I think that theology is a popular Christian theology which unfortunately is easily embraced, later to be rejected with reflection," said Robert Parham, director of the liberal Baptist Center for Ethics.
Parham said more important to most Christians is Christ's observation that "God makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust."
Katrina as the so-called "fist of God," as the explanation is sometimes called, "would not be the theology of the vast cross-section of mainline Christian theology," Parham said.
The Rev. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church and one of Nagin's boyhood friends, said: "It's a hurricane. It happened. We got the brunt of it because the levees broke, but in no way is that a sign that God is angry with New Orleans."
Jim Carvin, the grizzled political adviser who ran Nagin's dark-horse 2001 campaign and who is gearing up to run this year's bid, likewise said the mayor's invocation of God's will in the speech was unfortunate.
"The whole business that God wanted this to be an Afro-American city -- anytime you bring God into things, it puts you into a whole class of demagogues," he said.
The perception that Nagin is a demagogue could hurt the city's efforts to re-establish itself as a tourism and convention mecca, experts said. Stephen Perry, executive director of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that while no convention groups have outright canceled, the bureau's phones rang off the hook Tuesday.
"It was harmful on many levels," Perry said. "For those outside New Orleans, it was profoundly disturbing. We have a lot of ground to cover to do damage control."
'Rolling their eyes'
While his local friends and foes offered their interpretations, Nagin's speech seemed to stun observers nationally. It was analyzed and replayed throughout the day on cable news shows, and set off widespread criticism in the perpetual cycle of Internet comment.
"Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans, managed to give a speech with something to offend just about everyone," wrote James Taranto in his popular Wall Street Journal online column
At Insta-Pundit, the country's biggest right-of-center blog, Glenn Reynolds grouped the mayor's comments with the widely derided, $250 billion relief omnibus bill that Louisiana's senators, Republican David Vitter and Democrat Mary Landrieu, submitted in September. Such lead-footed moves sap the country's sympathy for the hurricane-ravaged state, he concluded.
"Louisianians are not blessed in terms of their political class," Reynolds wrote.
Vitter predicted negative fallout in Washington over Nagin's widely reported words.
"The comments were very unfortunate, very divisive," he said. "In Washington, they certainly don't help. They have people shaking their heads and rolling their eyes about the leadership on the ground."
Nagin's allies were more circumspect. Gov. Kathleen Blanco said the mayor was "putting up a cry for help" that the city not be forgotten. Former Democratic Sen. John Breaux predicted the remarks wouldn't hurt Louisiana's chances of winning additional hurricane-related relief.
Similarly, some state politicians who might emerge as Nagin's opponents in the mayoral race tiptoed around the issue Tuesday. Even before Monday's speech, the mayor's race was considered wide open as a result of Katrina's ripples and the fact that core groups of voters don't currently live in New Orleans. Yet some potential candidates remained uncommitted.
"I think the mayor's comments were offensive and they were harmful," Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said in a previously scheduled meeting with The Times-Picayune's editorial board. But when asked if he would throw his hat in the ring, Landrieu demurred.
"I don't know what I'm thinking about that," he said. "Today, I'm a reluctant warrior, but I'm thinking about it."
At the City Council meeting, where long-simmering feuds with the administration have bubbled over in Katrina's aftermath, members were surprisingly restrained. Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt, who was flanking Nagin as he delivered his Martin Luther King day remarks, said the reaction of those listening was "shock and disbelief."
Quentin Brown, an African-American citizen who ran for mayor in 2001, offered a blunter assessment when he spoke to the council on Tuesday.
"That was a stupid remark," he said. "That was pitiful."IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
01-18-2006, 09:34 PM #10
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- Dec 2005
"Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans, managed to give a speech with something to offend just about everyone,"
That about sums it up. LOL
01-18-2006, 10:28 PM #11
The next time Mike goes to New Orleans
"Man I sure hope I dont melt"IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
01-18-2006, 11:30 PM #12
I agree wit Mikeylikesit the guy is smart. He is also smart enough to know that the people who elected him now reside in Houston or other places. He doesnt stand a chance for re election with whats left. He needs to get them back and pronto before the next election.Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.
The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.
01-19-2006, 07:43 AM #13
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- Jul 1999
- Flanders, NJ
Stupid? Probably not. Inexperienced politician? Maybe. But that hardly excuses his offensive speech. I think he is just a boob. And in some ways, a TYPICAL politician. He blames everyone for his mistakes, then blames the people reporting his mistakes for those mistakes.
He went on Fox News and tried to make an explanation of the "Chocolate City" remark. He said that if you take dark chocolate, mix it with white milk, you get a brown chocolate that is beautiful and delicious. Nice try, but just as dumb.
Can you imagine if Rudy Giiuliani went on TV on 10/11/2001 an said that he wanted to make Manhattan into a vanilla city? He would have been run out of town.
01-19-2006, 11:15 AM #14Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
Now that is a good point, The NAACP would have had a conniption on the spot !I.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"
01-19-2006, 12:26 PM #15
He must really hate Thailand....Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.
The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.
01-19-2006, 03:40 PM #16
No different than any other big city mayor, running off at the mouth. Puts mouth in motion before engaging the brain.
If he wasn't in office in NO and someone else were, it would probably be the same ole same ole!!!
Last edited by allineedisu; 01-19-2006 at 03:42 PM.OUTSTANDING
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Never forget 9-11-2001
343 Brothers Who Were MURDERED!!
01-24-2006, 02:11 AM #17
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- Nov 2005
Every time he opens his mouth he confirms that he is a blithering idiot.
01-24-2006, 11:39 AM #18
Word to the wise for all politicians, PAO's, Fire Chiefs, Dog Catchers, Pro-Athletes, PTA Bakesale Chairs, etc.; read from the script when camaras are rolling and make sure the script is vetted first.
01-26-2006, 01:12 PM #19
And even better, READ THE SCRIPT FIRST! Remember Anchorman.... "Go f*&k yourself San Diego."Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.
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