Folks in Louisiana lately have been doing a lot of bitching and moaning about being treated as second-class citizens in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.
If that thing had blown up off the coast of Martha's Vineyard or Malibu, the argument goes, the federal government would be moving heaven and earth to protect those locales from the toxic black gook rolling in from the sea.
I agree. Louisianians are second-class citizens, and if BP had committed its BPocalypse off a trendier coastline, s*** would get done. Yesterday.
On the other hand, I cannot tell you how bad it looks when people whining about their second-class citizenry -- and, after all, the Gret Stet is America's ghetto -- cry about how they are not neither "wogs" as they go about acting like wogs, governing like wogs, mangling the King's English like wogs . . . then turn away from the microphone to shovel a heapin' helpin' of down-home Whoop-Ass on people even woggier than themselves.
Well, dat's Louisiana for you.
APPARENTLY, some government officials in a state now obsessed with its lack of civil rights (for lack of a better term) never got the memo from the Big Guy -- and I'm not talking Barack Obama -- about the whole "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" thing.
For example, here's what happens when a non-profit group wants to open a Christian camp for underprivileged kids in the northern suburbs of Baton Rouge, otherwise known as Places White People Like. J.R. Ball, the Baton Rouge Business Report's executive editor, picks up the story from here:
Citizens of East Baton Rouge—thanks to a little thing called “democracy”—are free to call and e-mail their elected representatives to express support or opposition to matters that will come before the Metro Council. This week’s rezoning request is no exception. Numerous constituents have sent e-mails to council members asking that they grant the Heritage Ranch’s rezoning request.MONDAY NIGHT, as I was writing my post about how Louisiana's real problem is that it's America's 'hood, I resisted the temptation to use the phrase "What goes around, comes around" in reference to the state's historical internal struggles over equality, class and race. I thought it would be gratuitous and mean.
Disturbingly moronic are the responses from our so-called elected leaders. More troublesome, sadly, is that such replies are far too frequent.
[Trae] Welch, in whose district the proposed project would be built, was quick to weigh in with his opposition, writing that while he had no problem with Heritage Ranch, he did have a problem with “where the project is to be placed.” Who says the term NIMBY is reserved solely for neighborhood association members? Apparently, life for residents along Tucker Road would be destroyed if there was a facility that provided guidance and hope while instilling moral values in the underserved youth of Baton Rouge.
It’s a pair of retorts, however, from council member Bones Addison that leaves me crazier than that bird chasing Cocoa Puffs.
On June 9, at 10:28 a.m., Addison responded to e-mailers with this: “This matter is in Mr. Welch’s district. I will be seeking advice regarding this re-zoning [sic] from the member who [sic] district it impacts. I have suggested to others who have sent me the e-mail blast that they contact Mr. Welch because he is elected to represent the citizens of that neighborhood.”
He closes with this: “Be size [sic], I don’t even know where Tucker Road is.”
Addison, four hours later, fires off this e-mail to a group of residents and two fellow council members: “Hey, why don’t everybody stop e-mailing me on it, [sic] its [sic] not in my district. I would great [sic] appreciate that.”
Suddenly, it's not a problem anymore. Louisiana keeps making my point for me . . . even when I hold back from making it.
Why bother trying not to stick a shiv in people hell-bent on committing hara-kiri anyway?
As I said, historical ironies abound.