Oct 312013

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

It’s no surprise to us that the OIG and the Legislative Auditor have been bearing down on the New Orleans Police Department. Once people know you are weak, everyone comes around to take a punch. The OIG’s claim of police “marking down crimes” in the 8th District, the French Quarter, is nothing new. That kind of stuff has been going on since the 1980s. Continue reading »

 Comments Off
Oct 302013

Jean-Paul Villere

Among the plethora of regional “only in New Orleans” who dats, where yats, and duck fats, what makes one feel more like a local than the timeless event of gathering foodstuffs we commonly call “makin’ groceries”?  I put the origin to my French-immersed 11-year-old, and she walked away perplexed, but more like, “duh.”  In French “to buy” translates as acheter (ash-atay), but we are talking academic-France French here, right?  So you don’t simply buy your food, you of course “do the market” or faire la marche’.  Ergo “to do” and parallel that in “to make” and, voila, one makes one’s groceries.  One tween eye roll later, I knew I was on to something. Continue reading »

Oct 292013

the big issueKenneth Polite, the new U.S. Attorney charged with overseeing all federal prosecutions in New Orleans, grew up in the Calliope housing projects, but along the way lost a 23-year-old brother to street violence. After his brother’s death, Polite recalls walking into his brother’s bedroom and seeing the walls lined with pinned-up programs from funerals of his brother’s friends who had already been killed.

“That’s what he woke up to each day,” Polite said. “That type of environment, where that level of criminality becomes normal, has to affect your concept of life. It has to affect your concept of how you’re going to die. This is what he expected.”

That environment of death and violence that reaches into the home on a daily basis is the root cause of the decades of staggering murder rates in New Orleans, a panel of experts agreed Tuesday evening during the Tulane University Hillel Center “The Big Issue” debate. And the key to reducing the number of murders, the panelists said, is for citizens to personally intervene in those environments through mentoring at-risk children. Continue reading »

Oct 292013

Emory Douglas Postcard

jewel bush

Graphic artist legend Emory Douglas — whose work is on display now at the McKenna Museum in New Orleans — is responsible for crafting the Black Panther Party’s iconic visual identity, capturing the era’s intensity through fiery artwork that rose above the rhetoric and subterfuge of the day to reach an embattled community in ways words were unable to articulate. Continue reading »