Sunday, December 06, 2009

A pregnant paragraph

New Orleans professional contract awards criticized, debated

Meanwhile, those defending the status quo -- the City Charter, which can be changed only through a citywide vote, gives the mayor sole authority to award professional-service deals -- generally have been African-Americans averse to changing a system that recently has provided a modicum of opportunity to minority-owned companies once shut out of city business.

Whew....that was hard to read and hard to digest, however its spot the fark on from a historical perspective.

Here's my panoptic take on this....when do we get past it? At what point does race not play a part in the contracting process at City Hall? I'm not even talking nepotism, or cronyism...i.e. Broussard/Whitmer in Jeff Parish. Favoritism is always going to be an issue in any hierarchy because its human nature.

I guess what I'm asking is do we ever reach a point where the guise of race ceases to be a catalyst in the decision making process at City Hall?

Along those lines, I offer you this interesting perspective from a previous post:

bruthaman1 said...

unfortunately for our nation as a whole race will more than likely always be some sort of factor one way or another. one of the biggest myth's i've heard in the time i've spent in new orleans is that atlanta passed up new orleans because they got over race in the 70's. nothing could be further from the truth. just look at their mayoral election this past week. people voted along racial lines. also a lot of corruption in atlanta politics just like everywhere else. race maybe more complex in new orleans than most other places because of the light skinned-dark skinned animosity that was prevalent here. but the biggest reason in my opinion new orleans has not advanced is so many of its residents expect new orleans to fail and some even get enjoyment when things do go wrong here.

I've heard that argument before from an African-American friend of mine who grew up in New Orleans and moved to Southern California. He utterly despised New Orleans and said that we would never break out of our "stupid racist mentality" and that flaw would eventually destroy us. His reference to racism was universal, black and white.

I don't really have a thesis here, I'm just fascinated by the conversation.

I feel like this upcoming election is going to be one of the most critical in the city's history as the demographics of the city have shifted in ways no one really understands.

Demographics withstanding, I think the attitude and perception of the people in this city has shifted as well and that may prove to be more of an impetus for change than anything.


Clay said...

On a related note: Mitch is in.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Yeah I saw that

Anonymous said...

the real problem is not race itself it is the "usage of race" by some people.

Under the definition of racism, it is a choice by one over another based solely on the color of skin.

Many of our most prolific politicians, pundits, and public figures are not really "racist" they just play that card to gain votes/backing/fame/ by promoting fear of "the other". It is a tried and true tactic that hides many of the "racists" own flaws, behaviors and intents.

As a culture we continue to promote the "perceived differences" every time we apply a label to a group.

"gay-americans", "african-americans", "latin-americans", "german-americans", "irish-americans", etal., They are all divisive labels, and until we stop the using any label except "AMERICAN" the fear mongers will continue to win their war of divisiveness.

one of the many unfortunate side effects of those that "slam down the race card" all the time, is that it tends to over shadow the real acts of racism that occur.

we need to stop dividing our conversations along divisive lines and start looking at things as Americans.