Saturday, June 15, 2013


Not much to add to this. 
Everyone says enough is enough, but the city keeps barreling down the same murderous road to the same murderous outcomes. We won’t get change until people stop being so deferential to politicians, until we start demanding accountability for the money, until resources are applied to programs that we know can make these young men whole.

Those who are sick of poverty and its problems, OK, move to Mandeville. But if you want to live here in New Orleans, you’ve got to continue to invest in the lives of these young men who have been left behind, left out.

NOLA for Life? Go out in the street and ask a young brother about it. He won’t know what it is, let alone how to work the programs to get the help he needs. If people would be more afraid of continuing down the path we’re on than that of pissing off the mayor then we might begin to see some serious changes with these young men.
I don't believe there are ready-to-enact solutions to the violent crime problem in New Orleans. This is mostly because I don't expect things will be getting better for poor-to-middle class people anywhere any time soon.  In fact, I think they're going to get much worse. And since things are getting worse as the consequence of global societal political and economic problems, we can hardly expect to sit here in our little city and buck those trends.

But Deb is right to say that we can still choose to put what resources we do have toward  an earnest attempt to mitigate the damage. The Lens has been looking at the Mayor's "NOLA For Life" program over the past few weeks.  Is that the best we can do? Or was it the easiest thing for the Mayor to sell?

Update: You can still contribute to  Deb Cotton's medical fund here. I understand the need there is significant.  This week you can also contribute by bidding on a piece of folk art. See here for details.


oyster said...

Violent crime rates have dropped like a stone in the past two decades, despite worsening "global societal political and economic problems." So, actually, our little city is already bucking a much larger (national and international) trend: the downward trend in violent crime despite long-term economic stagnation.

jeffrey said...

I'm aware of these statistics although I'm not sure what one does with that information. For one thing, there's no definitive explanation for them despite a preponderance of pet theories with which I'm less than comfortable. Surely we aren't going to conclude from them that there is no significant correlation between poverty and crime... or that the policy prescription for one shouldn't deal directly with the other.

Don't mean to imply you're arguing one way or the other there. But I'm very much of the opinion that the best way to encourage good behavior is to build a system that makes people less hopeless and afraid all the time.