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Baltimore’s confederate Statues

Baltimore, a city in a state that never was part of the Confederacy (not for lack of trying) has 3 confederate monuments. It is a majority black city.

So…the problem I have with Miz Mayor is…WTF is the problem?

It don’t cost $200k to take those down. You call a metal recycling outfit, and they can have the bronze statues for the cost of hauling them away to melt down. Frontloader and Dump truck, a couple of guys with jackhammers take care of the base – cost $3000 if you have to rent the truck. End of story. Alternately keep the base to put something of value to the folks of Baltimore on top of.

Get the feeling that perhaps the reason for Baltimore’s continuing struggles are their lousy leadership?

Mayor Catherine Pugh

Baltimore Mayor Considers Removal Of Confederate Monuments

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is considering the removal of her city’s Confederate monuments, as New Orleans did just days ago.

“The city does want to remove these,” Pugh told the Baltimore Sun. “We will take a closer look at how we go about following in the footsteps of New Orleans.”

Earlier this month, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered a speech that drew widespread attention, explaining why he had ordered the removal of that city’s confederate monuments.

Among Baltimore’s monuments to the Confederacy is a statue of Roger Taney, the Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the infamous Dred Scott decision that said, among other things, that African-Americans could not be citizens. The city also has statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

A statue of Chief Justice Roger Taney in Baltimore, Md.

Pugh suggested one way to get rid of the statues, telling the Sun, “It costs about $200,000 a statute to tear them down. … Maybe we can auction them?”

The previous mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, ordered the placement of interpretive plaques at the monuments. One such plaque, placed at a statue of Lee and Jackson, states:

“These two men became subjects of the Lost Cause movement which portrayed them as Christian soldiers and even as men who opposed slavery. Today current scholarship refutes these claims. These larger-than-life representations of Lee and Jackson helped perpetuate the Lost Cause ideology, which advocated for white supremacy, portrayed slavery as benign and justified secession.”

Carolyn Billups, former president of the Maryland chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, told the Sun, “I find it interesting that Baltimore city has that kind of money to move statues when there are problems with crime and schools. I would think that would be more of a priority.”

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Black History, Stupid Democrat Tricks

 

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Jeff Davis Goes Down (Again) In New Orleans

Taking out the trash, and putting it where it belongs…On the trash-heap of history.

Workers Take Jefferson Davis Statue Off Its Pedestal In New Orleans

More apropos would have been the rope around its neck

Workers in New Orleans dismantled the city’s Jefferson Davis monument early Thursday, removing a prominent statue of the Confederate leader that had stood for more than 100 years.

“This historic moment is an opportunity to join together as one city and redefine our future,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said as he announced that crews had begun removing the statue, the second of four planned removals of four Confederacy-related monuments.

As workers slung a strap around the statue’s waist and lifted it off its pedestal, “at least 100 people cheered from across the street, outnumbering the few dozen protesters, some waving Confederate flags,” member station WWNO’s Laine Kaplan-Levenson reports.

“We would have preferred it to be in the daytime,” monument opponent Malcolm Suber told Kaplan-Levenson, “so everybody could see it in the light of day. But we’ll take this.”

 

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Trash Can of History – NOLA Finally Begins Removal of Confederate Statues

A bit of “History” which should have been removed a long time ago – These statues are nothing more than the symbols which divide America.

Putting these “memorials” up is no different than putting up a statue of Hitler in front of a synagogue.

The protesters were carrying candles? Surprised they weren’t burning crosses.

New Orleans Begins Removing Statues Commemorating the Confederacy

New Orleans on Monday began removing four statues dedicated to the era of the Confederacy, capping a prolonged battle about the future of the memorials, which critics deemed symbols of racism and intolerance and which supporters viewed as historically important.

Workers dismantled an obelisk, which was dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place and was erected to honor members of the “Crescent City White League” who in 1874 fought against the racially integrated New Orleans police and state militia, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.

The workers were dressed in flak jackets, helmets and scarves to conceal their identities because of concerns about their safety, The Associated Press reported.

Pieces of the monument were put on a truck and hauled away.

Other monuments expected to be removed include a bronze statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in a traffic circle, named Lee Circle, in the city’s central business district since 1884; an equestrian statue of P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general, and one of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.

Citing security risks and threats to contractors seeking to do the work, the city would not reveal details about the removal of the other statues.

The monuments were erected decades after the Civil War ended by people who wanted to demonstrate that the South should feel no guilt in having fought the Civil War, the mayor’s statement said.

“The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion and tolerance,” Mr. Landrieu said. “This is not about politics, blame or retaliation. This is not a naïve quest to solve all our problems at once. This is about showing the whole world that we as a city and as a people are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile — and most importantly — choose a better future.”

The debate over Confederate symbols has taken center stage since nine people were killed at a black church in South Carolina in June 2015. South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag, which flew at its State House for more than 50 years, and other Southern cities have considered taking down monuments.

After moving the statues into storage, New Orleans will seek a museum or other site to house them. The city said it gained private funding to relocate the statues, though it did not say how much money it secured or identify its source.

The opposition to the monuments’ removal — expressed in op-ed articles, social media posts and shouting at public meetings — was vigorous. A group opposing their removal said it had collected 31,000 signatures for a petition.

Demonstrators gathered for a candlelight vigil on Monday as workers removed the Liberty Place monument.

Robert Bonner, 63, who said he was a Civil War re-enactor, protested the monument’s removal. “I think it’s a terrible thing,” he told The A.P. “When you start removing the history of the city, you start losing money. You start losing where you came from and where you’ve been.”

The removal happened on Confederate Memorial Day, which is formally observed by Alabama and Mississippi to commemorate those who died in the Civil War.

An organization dedicated to preserving monuments in New Orleans, the Monumental Task Committee, opposed removing the statues.

In a statement on Monday, Pierre McGraw, the group’s president, said the removal process had been “flawed since the beginning” and that the use of unidentified money reeks of “atrocious government.”

“People across Louisiana should be concerned over what will disappear next,” the statement added.

In December 2015, the City Council voted 6-1 to take the statues down. In January 2016, a federal judge dismissed an attempt by preservation groups and a chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to stop their removal.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Former New Orleans Saint Murdered In Road Rage Incident

Why the gun culture is a bad thing. Former DE Will Smith and his wife shot after being rear ended in an auto accident…

Ex-Saints DE Will Smith killed; wife shot after traffic accident

Former Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot to death in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District on Saturday night following a traffic collision, the coroner’s office confirmed.

Smith, 34, was shot after exchanging words with the driver of a Hummer H2 that rear-ended his Mercedes G63 SUV, causing him to strike another vehicle, police said.

Smith was shot multiple times, and his wife, Racquel, also 34, was shot twice in the right leg, according to police. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene, while his wife was taken to a hospital.

Smith’s family released a statement Sunday morning.

“On behalf of the Smith family, we are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers. We ask that you continue to respect the family’s privacy as they grieve the loss of a devoted husband, father and friend.”

Police said the driver of the Hummer, Cardell Hayes, 28, has been charged with second-degree murder and that the handgun used in the shooting had been recovered.

Former Saints running back Pierre Thomas was on the scene shortly after the incident and reportedly had been out with Smith and his wife.

Smith was drafted by the Saints with the 18th overall pick in 2004 out of Ohio State. He spent all nine of his seasons with the Saints and last played in 2012. He was a Pro Bowler in 2006 and ranks fourth in Saints history with 67.5 career sacks. He had a career-high 13 during the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl season.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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The New Civil War Rages in NOLA Over confederate Symbols

The defenders of the flag confederate have responded to the New Orleans City Council plan to move some of the confederate memorials in the city into a historical area or park in the usual manner. Death threats, assaults, burning, and vandalism. Indeed the same sort of actions which led they and their flag to be reviled by peaceful, law abiding, moral people in the first place.

Seems to me there is a fairly simple solution to the problem. Instead of carefully dissembling and moving said monuments…Destroy them. A crane and a wrecking ball, or large excavator can pretty much render said memorials to gravel and metal scrap in a matter of minutes. With the added city benefit of being less than 1/6th the cost of hiring a crew to move the objects.

Removal of Confederate symbols turns ugly in New Orleans

Backlash against a plan to remove prominent Confederate monuments in New Orleans has been tinged by death threats, intimidation and even what may have been the torching of a contractor’s Lamborghini.

For now, at least, things have gotten so nasty the city hasn’t found a contractor willing to bear the risk of tearing down the monuments. The city doesn’t have its own equipment to move them and is now in talks to find a company, even discussing doing the work at night to avoid further tumult.

Initially, it appeared the monuments would be removed quickly after the majority black City Council on Dec. 17 voted 6-1 to approve the mayor’s plan to take them down. The monuments, including towering figures of Gens. Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, have long been viewed by many here as symbols of racism and white supremacy.

The backlash is not surprising to Bill Quigley, a Loyola University law professor and longtime civil rights activist in New Orleans who’s worked on behalf of a group demanding the monuments come down.

The South has seen such resistance before, during fights over school integration and efforts in the early 1990s to racially integrate Carnival parades in New Orleans.

“Fighting in the courts, fighting in the legislature, anonymous intimidation,” Quigley said. “These are from the same deck of cards that are used to stop all social change.”

For all its reputation as a party city of fun and frolic, New Orleans is no stranger to social change and the tensions that come with it. It was the site of an early attempt to challenge racial segregation laws in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case and home to then-6-year-old Ruby Bridges whose battle to integrate her elementary school was immortalized in a Norman Rockwell painting.

New Orleans is a majority African-American city although the number of black residents has fallen since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina drove many people from the city. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who proposed the monuments’ removal, rode to victory twice with overwhelming support from the city’s black residents.

Nationally, the debate over Confederate symbols has become heated since nine parishioners were killed at a black church in South Carolina in June.South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its statehouse grounds in the weeks after, and several Southern cities have since considered removing monuments.

“There is no doubt that there is a huge amount of rage over the attack on Confederate symbols,” said Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based group that tracks extremist activity.

His group counted about 360 pro-Confederate battle flag rallies across the nation in the six months after the church shootings. Such rallies were rare before then, he said.

In New Orleans, things have turned particularly ugly.

In early January, as it beat back legal challenges seeking to stop the removal, the city hired a contractor to remove the monuments.

But H&O Investments LLC. of Baton Rouge soon pulled out of the job, citing death threats, “unkindly name-calling,” outrage on social media and the threat of other businesses canceling contracts.

One day, several protesters came while H&O workers took measurements. Some of the protesters wore materials “with affiliation to white supremacy groups,” said Roy Maughan Jr., a lawyer for the contractor.

That same day, Maughan said, “a specific articulated threat” was phoned into city authorities warning workers at the monuments to leave for their safety. On Jan. 12, H&O sent the city a letter saying it was dropping out.

Then, on Jan. 19, a Lamborghini belonging to the owner of H&O Investments was set on fire. The sports car was parked outside his office near Baton Rouge, Maughan said.

A national rental crane company the city had hoped to hire also refused to be involved.

The FBI and local fire investigators declined to comment. No arrests have been made.

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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New Orleans Vote to Remove confederate Statues Scheduled

Take ’em down!

 

New Orleans Considers Removing Confederate Monuments

New Orleans is poised to make a sweeping break with its Confederate past as city leaders decide whether to remove prominent monuments from some of its busiest streets.

With support from Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a majority on the City Council appears ready to take down four monuments, including a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Their ordinance has sparked passionate responses for and against these symbols, and both sides will get one more say at a special council meeting before Thursday’s vote.

If approved, this would be one of the most sweeping gestures yet by an American city to sever ties with Confederate history.

“This has never happened before,” said Charles Kelly Barrow, commander-in-chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “I’ve never heard of a city trying to sweep [away] all Confederate monuments.”

Geographers have identified at least 872 parks, natural features, schools, streets and other locations named for major Confederate leaders in 44 states, according to a mapping project. Barrow said more than a thousand statues and monuments and countless plaques also honor Confederate battles and heroes.

What’s happening in New Orleans reflects a new effort to rethink all this history: Confederate iconography is being questioned across the nation, and in some places falling from public view.

“It is a grand scale of symbolic rewriting of the landscape,” said Derek Alderman, a geographer at the University of Tennessee who is mapping Confederate symbolism nationwide. “It certainly represents a wholesale re-questioning of the legitimacy of remembering the Confederacy so publicly.”

Barrow said he and others will sue if necessary to keep the monuments where they are.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to take on these people,” Barrow said. “I’m not going to let this happen under my administration.”

Landrieu first proposed taking down these monuments after police said a white supremacist killed nine parishioners inside the African-American Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June. “Supremacy may be a part of our past, but it should not be part of our future,” he declared.

Anti-Confederate sentiment has grown since then around the country, along with protests against police mistreatment, as embodied by the Black Lives Matter movement.

South Carolina and Alabama removed Confederate battle flags from their Capitol grounds after the shooting. The University of Mississippi took down the state flag because it includes the Confederate emblem. The University of Texas demoted its statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis to a history museum.

In New Orleans, the mayor asked the council to take a closer look at monuments that have long been part of the city’s landscape.

The most imposing has had a commanding position over St. Charles Avenue since 1884: A 16-foot-tall bronze statue of Lee stands atop a 60-foot-high Doric marble column, which itself rises over granite slabs on an earthen mound. Four sets of stone staircases, aligned with the major compass points, ascend the mound.

Above it all, the Virginian stands in his military uniform, with his arms folded and his gaze set firmly on the North — the embodiment of the “Cult of the Lost Cause” southerners invoked to justify continued white power after the Civil War.

Also up for removal is a bronze figure of the Confederate president that now stands at Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway, and a more local hero, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who straddles a prancing horse at the entrance to City Park. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was born in St. Bernard Parish, and commanded Confederate forces at the war’s first battle.

The most controversial is an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League. An inscription added in 1932 said the Yankees withdrew federal troops and “recognized white supremacy in the South” after the group challenged Louisiana’s biracial government after the Civil War.In 1993, these words were covered by a granite slab with a new inscription, saying the obelisk honors “Americans on both sides” who died and that the conflict “should teach us lessons for the future.”

The city has estimated it will cost $144,000 to remove the monuments, and says an anonymous donor will pay that cost.

The shootings in Charleston have made these lessons take on new relevance, Alderman said.

“There are a lot of people making a direct connection between a white supremacy group and the effect on African-Americans,” said the geographer, who’s been tracking many examples of “a questioning of the authority that the Confederacy has been given on the landscape.”

Popular culture, Alderman said, is trying to establish how to rewrite “American and Southern public memory in a way that makes room for both perspectives on heritage, and at the same time is fair and just to African-American perspectives that historically have not been recognized.”

The Memphis city council is trying something similar, voting in August to remove an equestrian statue of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who also traded slaves and led the Ku Klux Klan. Memphis even wants to remove the graves of Forrest and his wife, who lay buried under the statue.

 

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Allen Toussaint 1938-2015

Another of the New Orleans music greats, Allen Toussaint has passed.

Legendary musician Allen Toussaint dies after performance in Spain

Legendary musician Allen Toussaint died Monday following a performance in Spain. He was 77 years old.

Madrid emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso told the Associated Press that rescue workers were called to Toussaint’s hotel early Monday morning and managed to revive him after he suffered a heart attack.

But Ayuso says the 77-year-old Toussaint stopped breathing during the ambulance ride to a hospital and efforts to revive him again were unsuccessful.

He was taken to Jimenez Diaz Foundation Hospital in Madrid and was pronounced dead on arrival, El Mundo reported.

Toussaint had just performed at the Teatro Lara before his death.

Toussaint grew up in the New Orleans neighborhood of Gert Town, raised by his parents Naomi Neville and Clarence Toussaint. In at least 20 songs, Toussaint credits his parents as writers.

In the 1960s, he wrote and produced a series of hits for New Orleans artists, such as Ernie K-Doe, Irma Thomas and the Neville Brothers, among many others. Many of his hits were later covered by pop and rock artists, such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Ringo Starr and Alex Chilton.

In the 1970s, Toussaint teamed with Patti Labelle and produced the album “Nightbirds,” which birthed the No. 1 hit “Lady Marmalade.” The song has been covered, redone and remixed numerous times by countless artists.

Paul McCartney and Wings also paired up with Toussaint on the album “Venus and Mars.” On that record, Toussaint played on the song “Rock Show.”

Other songs, such as “Ruler of My Heart,” “Fortune Teller” and “Working in the Coal Mine,” are among many that artists covered in nearly all music genres.

Toussaint’s legacy earned him inductions into multiple halls of fame, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.

And of course Labelle’s classic hit written and produced by Toussaint., with him on keyboards –

With Irma Thomas performing and writing “Ruler of My Heart”

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Good Cop Rescues Lost Boy

Still good Cops out there… Just in case their good works get covered up by the bad.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Anonymous Donor Pays to Remove Confederate Statues

More dead Rebs memorabilia to be removed in New Orleans.

Now…About Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va?

The statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard has been spray painted with ‘Black Lives Matter’ on both sides.

Anonymous donor to pay for removal of Confederate statues

An anonymous donor has agreed to foot the bill for the removal of four Confederate-related statues, the city announced in a letter this week to the New Orleans City Council.

It will cost an estimated $126,000 to take down the statues of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis, as well as a monument to the Battle of Liberty Place. The donor agreed to pay the entire cost.

“These four statues stand in direct contradiction to the ideal of freedom enshrined in our Constitution and their presence in our city was meant to perpetuate a false history that literally puts the Confederacy on a pedestal,” Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin said in the Sept. 14 letter. “True remembrance is required, not blind reverence.”

Police Chief Michael Harrison backed the removal of the Confederate symbols, saying in his own letter to the council that the statues have been “flashpoints for criminal activity and civil unrest” and that he can’t afford to “dedicate manpower to protecting inanimate statues.”

He labeled as “particularly shameful” the Liberty Place monument that was “originally commissioned explicitly to celebrate an uprising that that resulted in the deaths of 13 police officers.

One of those killed was Superintendent Algernon Sidney Badger who led the newly integrated Metropolitan Police Department, the first police force dedicated to protecting black residents as well as whites.

“It is a disservice to Superintendent Badger’s memory and those of his fellow officers to allow a monument to the perpetrators of this attack to remain standing,” Harrison wrote.…More…

A Monument to murdering Cops. The “Battle of Liberty Place” was an attempted insurrection by the Crescent City White League against the legal Reconstruction state government on September 14, 1874 in New Orleans, where it was then based.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2015 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Fats Domino’s Piano, Like NOLA After Katrina -Still Has a Ways to Come Back

Worked on the post-Katrina recovery efforts in NOLA and Mississippi. The flooding not only killed the houses and infrastructure, but threatened to kill the spirit of a city whose residents were used to adversity.The story 10 years after is one of gradual rebuilding, but how do you knit the spirit of the town’s communities back together when so many are gone? The even bigger question though in my mind – is if we can’t even get it right in America, right in our own back yard…How exactly can we get it right anywhere else?

In terms of the Fat man’s pianos, one black, one white – one working fully, one not restore-able…Seems like a reflection of the whole city 10 years after.

The Piano That Can’t Play a Tune

If you could see Fats Domino’s piano today—white and gleaming on a pedestal at the Louisiana State Museum in the Old U.S. Mint in New Orleans’ French Quarter—you might think he had been kind enough to donate one of his signature grands to the museum for its music collection. That is, if you were unaware of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, including Domino’s home on Caffin Street in the largely obliterated neighborhood known as the “Lower Nine,” where the white Steinway once held pride of place in Domino’s living room.

Submerged in nine feet of water from a massive breach in the nearby Industrial Canal, it sat for weeks in the fetid lake that covered 80 percent of New Orleans after Katrina. Curators from the Louisiana State Museum raised $35,000 to have it reassembled and restored, and it now sits beneath a spotlight in an exhibit room as if waiting for Domino himself to sit down and play it. At the dedication ceremony in 2013, Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardanne said, “His beautiful grand piano, fully restored, will serve as the perfect symbol for Louisiana’s resilient nature and ever-evolving musical heritage.”

Well, no and yes. Despite the painstaking restoration, the white grand piano is unplayable. It is this last fact that makes the story of this instrument such a powerful metaphor for New Orleans since Katrina. It is a tale about persistence in the face of government neglect, cataclysmic disaster, and the painful incompleteness of reconstruction. More particularly, it is a lesson about the importance of preserving the material remains of the city’s past even as it focuses on the future.

These objects—some partly restored, some not—are all the more important in light of the city’s record of demolition of many significant musical landmarks, despite the recent efforts of preservation groups to turn the tide. Louis Armstrong’s birthplace, for example, was torn down in the 1960s to build a city jail. Other jazz landmarks are in grave disrepair.

The history of New Orleans music had an additional vulnerability before Katrina: The homes of the city’s musicians and writers held much of the city’s musical heritage. Letters, handwritten scores, photographs, cocktail napkins, matchbooks, and musical instruments were under the beds and in the attics of working musicians and their descendants. Most of Michael White’s enormous collection of artifacts from early jazz musicians—some 50 clarinets, reams of sheet music, reeds and mouthpieces, and taped interviews with musicians—is gone. White’s house near the London Avenue Canal in Lakeview took in water up to the roof. The only things salvaged by volunteers were some of his clarinets. “They looked like bodies,” White told me. “And the ones that were in cases looked like bodies in coffins. They weren’t really about me, they symbolized New Orleans history and culture and the present state of the culture.”

Tending to the artifacts the storm left behind, as White did, can feel restorative. And it is not the same as choosing property over people, something that does not bode well in New Orleans. “The black working class in New Orleans,” the historian George Lipsitz wrote in Katrina’s aftermath, “has long refused to concede that white property is more important than black humanity.” After the storm, neighborhood traditions like the parading of Mardi Gras Indians persisted, despite and because of the challenges of rebuilding those communities. But the preservation of cultural artifacts after Katrina, such as Domino’s piano, was something of a different job.

As show-stopping as Domino’s white Steinway grand is, it is the opposite of the first piano he played, acquired by his family in the 1930s. That piano, Domino told his biographer, was “so beat up that you could see the rusted metal through the ivory, it had been played so hard.” According to the authors of Up From the Cradle of Jazz: “The Ninth Ward blues built off of pianos and horns.” There was an old upright in just about every small music club in the Lower Ninth Ward. The white piano, on the other hand, was not even Domino’s regular instrument. Instead, it was the one that greeted visitors to the house on Caffin Street and was a favored backdrop for family photographs. The glorious grand piano testified to his rise from a part-time musician and factory worker to one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll.

Domino’s upbringing in the Lower Ninth Ward, surrounded by his Creole relatives, inflected his music. His father was descended from French-speaking African Americans who lived as enslaved and then freedpeople in Louisiana’s sugar parishes. Like many Louisiana Creoles, black and white, they had roots in Haiti. When the Dominos arrived in the Lower Nine, the neighborhood was still mostly rural, with unpaved streets, farm animals, and scarce electricity and indoor plumbing. In a recent radio show devoted to Domino, writer Ben Sandmelobserved the artist’s “Caribbean vocal style” in songs like “My Blue Heaven.” “It’s almost like he’s an English as a second language speaker. It’s a very thick regional accent,” Sandmel said. “If you listen to oral histories of people [from the Lower Nine] who recorded around that time there are a lot of thick accents and a lot of French-isms in the speech.” …The rest here

 

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5 NOPD Officers Guilty in Katrina Murders

danziger-defendants.jpg

Five current or former New Orleans police officers were convicted in the Danziger Bridge murder case, and subsequent cover up. They are, from top left: Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius, Arthur Kaufman and Anthony Villavaso.

The wheels of Justice turn slow, and they are often out of alignment, and way too often can be bought –

But every once in a while they actually produce justice…

5 NOPD officers guilty in post-Katrina Danziger Bridge shootings, cover-up

A jury this morning convicted all five New Orleans police officers accused in the Danziger Bridgeshootings, which took place amid the chaos after Hurricane Katrina and claimed the lives of two civilians, and a cover-up of startling scope that lasted almost five years.

The verdicts were a huge victory for federal prosecutors, who won on virtually every point, save for their contention that the shootings amounted to murder. The jury rejected that notion, finding that the officers violated the victims’ civil rights, but that their actions did not constitute murder.

Sentencing for the five officers, all of them likely facing lengthy prison terms, has been set for Dec. 14 before U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt.

Four of the five officers — Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso — have been in custody since their arraignment.

The fifth, retired Sgt. Arthur “Archie” Kaufman, who was not involved in the shootings but headed the police investigation into them, remains free on bail.

In remarks on the courthouse steps shortly after the verdicts were rendered, lead prosecutor Barbara “Bobbi” Bernstein said she was “in awe” of the relatives of the bridge shooting victims. Without their persistence, she said, the truth about the incident would never come to light.

Lance Madison, whose brother, Ronald, was shot and killed on the bridge, and who was jailed for allegedly shooting at police, thanked the jury and the federal authorities who brought the case, while noting he will never get his brother back.

“We’re thankful for closure after six long years of waiting for justice,” Madison said.

The landmark civil-rights case — one of four major federal cases involving use of force by New Orleans police to result in indictments so far — has been closely watched around the nation.

Because of its sheer magnitude, the Danziger case was the most high-stakes of the nine civil-rights probes into the NOPD the Justice Department has confirmed. Before today’s verdicts, five other former officers, all of whom testified during the six-week trial, had already pleaded guilty to various roles in the shootings and the subsequent cover-up.

The two other cases to go to trial so far — involving the deaths of Henry Glover and Raymond Robair at the hands of police — both resulted in convictions, although two officers accused of different roles in the Glover case were acquitted, and a third officer who was convicted recently had that verdict vacated.

While today’s verdicts close the book on most aspects of the Danziger case, one officer charged in the cover-up still faces charges: retired Sgt. Gerard Dugue, who is set to be tried Sept. 26…

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Domestic terrorism, News, The New Jim Crow

 

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Investigation Finds Massive Problems in NOLA Police Department

One of the impacts of Katrina’s aftermath…

A Corrupt Beauty

Report Finds Wide Abuses by Police in New Orleans

Justice Department officials on Thursday released the findings of a 10-month investigation into this city’s Police Department, revealing a force that is profoundly and alarmingly troubled and setting in motion a process for its wholesale reform.

The report describes in chilling detail a department that is severely dysfunctional on every level: one that regularly uses excessive force on civilians, frequently fails to investigate serious crimes and has a deeply inadequate, in many cases nonexistent, system of accountability.

Using the report as a guideline, federal and local officials will now enter into negotiations leading to a consent decree, a blueprint for systemic reform that will be enforced by a federal judge.

“There is nobody in this room that is surprised by the general tenor and the tone of what this report has to say,” said Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, at a news conference attended by city and federal officials.

But, added Mr. Landrieu, who publicly invited federal intervention in the Police Department just days after his inauguration in May, “I look forward to a very spirited partnership and one that actually transforms this Police Department into one of the best in the country.”

The city’s police chief, Ronal Serpas, said he fully embraced the report and would be going over its findings with senior leadership later in the day.

While the report describes an appalling array of abuses and bad practices, it does not address in detail any of the nine or more federal criminal investigations into the department. These inquiries have already led to the convictions of three police officers, one for fatally shooting an unarmed civilian and another for burning the body.

Justice Department officials chose to exclude the information gleaned in the criminal inquiries to keep a wall between those investigations and the larger civil investigation into the practices of the department. But there were more than enough problems left to uncover.

While other departments generally have problems in specific areas, like the use of excessive force, “New Orleans has every issue that has existed in our practice to date, and a few that we hadn’t encountered,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division.

The report reveals that the department has not found a policy violation in any officer-involved shooting for the last six years, though federal officials who reviewed the records found that violations had clearly occurred. The department’s canine unit was so badly mismanaged — the dogs were so aggressive they frequently attacked their handlers — that federal officials encouraged the department to suspend it last year even though the investigation was still under way.

The report details a record of discriminatory policing, with a ratio of arrests of blacks to whites standing at nearly 16 to 1. Calls for police assistance by non-English speakers often went unanswered.

The report also found that the police “systemically misclassified possible sexual assaults, resulting in a sweeping failure to properly investigate many potential cases of rape, attempted rape and other sex crimes.”

 

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2011 in American Genocide, Domestic terrorism

 

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Katrina Convictions

More convictions coming down in the murders by New Orleans Police after Katrina…

Jury convicts 3 officers in post-Katrina death

For years after Hurricane Katrina, relatives demanded justice for Henry Glover, who was gunned down outside a strip mall in the storm’s aftermath. His charred remains turned up weeks later in a burned-out car.

At least one of Glover’s family members didn’t find solace Thursday even though a jury convicted three officers in Glover’s death, the burning of his body and in the doctoring of a report to make the shooting appear justified.

Glover’s relatives were also disappointed that two others were acquitted of charges stemming from the alleged cover-up.

“It’s still not behind us,” said Rebecca Glover, Henry Glover’s aunt. “They all should have been guilty. They were all in on it.”

Rebecca Glover also questioned the jury’s decision to find David Warren, a former officer accused of shooting an unarmed Glover in the back, guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.

“It should have been murder, not manslaughter,” sh Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Domestic terrorism

 

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First NOPD Officer Sentenced for Katrina Murders

Justice is slow – but at least in this case… It’s getting there.

NOPD Officer Gets Three Years For Cover-Up of Danziger Bridge Shootings

Former New Orleans Police Officer Jeffrey Lehrmann was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison for his part in the cover-up of the Danziger Bridge shootings, our partners at the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported today.

Lehrmann is one of 11 officers who have been charged in the Sept. 4, 2005 incident, in which police officers opened fire on unarmed civilians, killing two and wounding four others. He was the first of five officers to cooperate with federal investigators.

Lehrmann pleaded guilty in February to concealing a crime, after coming forward and disclosing his role in an extensive cover-up that followed the shootings. According to the bill of information filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Lehrmann “participated in the creation of false reports” and provided “false information to investigating agents.” He is the first to be sentenced in the case and is expected to testify in the trial of other officers.

ProPublica, the Times-Picayune and PBS Frontline have been investigating the circumstances around the shooting of 10 unarmed civilians by NOPD in the days after Hurricane Katrina. In addition to theDanziger Bridge case, the killings of Henry Glover,Danny Brumfield, and Matthew McDonald, and the shooting of Keenon McCann remain open federal investigations.

In August, in response to reports by ProPublica, the Times-Picayune and PBS Frontline, federal investigators also launched an inquiry into allegations that high-ranking officers in the NOPD gave orders authorizing police to shoot looters in the chaotic days after the hurricane .

In all, there are at least nine open federal investigations into misconduct by the NOPD, most dealing with incidents that took place after Katrina. So far, 16 NOPD officers have been charged. Another two have been charged in a case from July 2005.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2010 in News

 

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Two More NOLA Police Charged With Murder In Beating Death

Two more NOLA Police Officers have been indicted in the beating death of a man 2 months after Katrina. It now appears that the NOLA PD was massively corrupt, and likely corrupt far before Katrina.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, videos caught this 64 year old retired elementary school teacher being beaten by NOLA Police for no apparent reason. This was a harbinger of the behavior of far too many of the NOLA Police, and quite possibly was "business as usual".

Two New Orleans police officers indicted in 2005 beating death

Two officers in the troubled New Orleans Police Department have been indicted in connection with the beating death of a civilian in 2005, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The federal indictment alleges that Officer Melvin Williams kicked the victim and struck him with a baton, fracturing his ribs and rupturing his spleen. The victim, Raymond Robair, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Williams and Officer Matthew Moore were also charged with obstructing justice when they submitted a false incident report and failed to tell hospital personnel Williams had beaten Robair, according to the indictment in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Details of the indictment were released by the U.S. Justice Department in Washington.

Moore also allegedly lied about the incident in an FBI investigation in March of this year according to the indictment. Moore is accused of telling federal agents Williams had not kicked or beaten Robair. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2010 in Domestic terrorism

 

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