geoffrey gauchet

Get Your Damn Head on Right, New Orleans

I don’t really know where to begin, but all I know is I’m furious and I’m sad. Yesterday, in New Orleans, 8 people were shot, in four different shootings across the city in the span of 3 hours. Three of those people are dead.

The first shooting happened around 3pm yesterday in eastern New Orleans where a 19-year-old man was shot in the neck. About 40 minutes later, a guy was killed from a gunshot to the head in the Bayou St. John area (not far from my house). A few minutes after that, in Mid City (about a block away from where Rhea grew up), a guy was shot in the stomach and died. They just arrested the two subjects in that murder: a 15- and a 13-year-old. Kids trying to rob a guy. Tell me that these kids couldn’t have been stopped or helped sooner. Tell me that better educations and home lives wouldn’t have helped these kids.

Then, at around 5:45, in Central City, two guys opened fire with assault weapons and their stray bullets went into a 10-year-old boy’s birthday party. The boy and two 20-something males were wounded. A 33-year-old woman driving three blocks away got hit with a stray bullet and crashed her car into a pole and died. And a 5-year-old girl, who was sitting on the porch of the house where the birthday party was taking place, was shot and killed.

Five people shot at one event, with three other shot at three other shootings. Eight total people shot yesterday afternoon.

By Michael DeMocker, The Times-Picayune By Michael DeMocker, The Times-Picayune

Crime here has been a problem for a long time. It has its ups and downs, but this is despicable. And the problem is, people don’t care enough about it.

Oh sure, we talk about how it’s awful, but that’s about it. No one’s angry. No one’s pissed, at least like they should be. 

For instance, about a week ago, the entire city of New Orleans was in an absolute uproar about some comments that ESPN’s Colin Cowherd made about the city. Everyone got all butt-hurt because he said that New Orleans was “the least safe major city in the country, outside of Kansas City.” It was all over the news, Twitter, Facebook, the water cooler at work. We were upset that he said he could get good food anywhere and New Orleans wasn’t so unique about that. That burned. us. up.

The Mayor called Cowherd “a dumbass” and ripped into him at Wednesdays At The Square, which, being a family-oriented music and food fest, is the absolute perfect place to voice that opinion.

But you know what? Maybe New Orleans isn’t the most dangerous city, statistically, but it sure as shit isn’t the safest city either. After yesterday, I’d have to agree with Cowherd about that. 

The New Orleans Saints get slapped with harsh penalties for their supposed “bounty program”, and the city loses its collective shit. “Free Payton!” T-shirts flooded local shirt shops. Letters were written to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Everyone flipped out. 

The Saints still haven’t signed quarterback Drew Brees, and some local lunatic set up a trust fund where fans can donate money to help pay for Drew Brees’s $20+ million dollar contract. “Pay the man!” gets yelled by some moron every 2 hours in this city, ignoring how contracts and businesses work.

People (read: people without a BA) were falling over themselves to be a part of Drew Brees’s new clothing company and help run it.

When changed their web design to an ugly yellow layout with ugly-ass fonts, we TORE. TWITTER. UP. We commented on every new article on the site to complain about the new layout. Hell, I even made a stripped-down version of the site. Someone even made a Chrome extension to make the site less ugly.

And, dear God! Heaven forbid Coca-Cola decides to spraypaint some ads on the sidewalks! We’ll set up bucket brigades to go and scrub them. We’ll call every Coke corporate office in the area. We’ll notify the news. We’ll call for a boycott of Coke Zero.

And we’ll gladly criticize Mayor Landrieu’s and Chief Ronal Serpas on their work to stop crime in the city. We’ll maybe briefly discuss the EIGHT PEOPLE shot yesterday afternoon at FOUR different incidents and say how sad it is and then go back to worrying if there are just maybe too many burger joints in the area now.

Look, I love our football team and I hope Drew Brees stays a Saint. I love our food and culture and will gladly defend it. And I will never hesitate to complain about poor web design. But New Orleans, we need to focus and get our priorities straight.

Our education system is piss-poor and is declining every day. Good teachers are having trouble keeping their jobs due to budget cuts. And the kids that are in school, still have to worry about being shot at a god damn birthday party.

The city is a mess. Houses untouched since Katrina are falling down and housing crack deals. Empty lots are overgrown with weeds and littered with junk and vermin. Kids aren’t getting anything more than an okay education in our schools. There are homeless people at nearly every major intersection. Our citizens are being robbed and murdered every day.

But the second the possibility that Tulane might build a new stadium uptown on their own property arises, WE WILL BE THERE.

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