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Emulating the sins of our fathers

Written by Richard “Sarge” Garwood on .

I know this is “late” since Ray Nagin was convicted of corruption in New Orleans office over a week ago.

I’m especially bemused the man is so infected with hubris he felt comfortable his cult of personality would cause his supporters to lift him to their shoulders so he’d walk on water with Christ after (Nagin) stepping in the sewer. Some see it as gutsy. It’s really stupid.

For his efforts, he was hauled up short. He was more the cocky charlatan than the Crusader Rabbit he advertised. His ethics were questionable at the point of indictment. Now his intelligence is suspect. His own testimony seems to have sealed his fate.

So, why are we discussing Ray Nagin when I live near a little city in south-central Louisiana; a city small enough in population to only qualify as a neighborhood when compared to New Orleans?

It’s because we’ve got gutsy politicians here too. In a land where cane fields encroach on school property and soybeans can hide vermin beneath the bramble and leaves, we have Ray Nagin-like politicians hoping to climb to the heights of glory and claim their rightful place beside the likes of Lewis and Smith in the history of Port Allen. It doesn’t matter that placement was achieved only through the disgrace of federal court convictions. It only matters the person in question has the power of HER convictions to drive her to try, try, TRY AGAIN. Ah yes! Hubris smells like lye soap.

History is cruel. History is a weight shackled to a politician’s leg. It slows their progress so all can see what’s happened in the past. It’s a messenger saying silently: “look at how I’ve been punished.” It’s meant to shame.

Today, instead of a steel ball hampering a politician’s progress we can consult public records. Testimony’s recorded. We have voter turn-outs and records of votes cast in opposition to the incumbent during the re-call effort of this public figure. We have news coverage conducted in print, radio and television media to remind us of what “good” (LOL) our “representatives” did us in their efforts to direct government in the area. We even have color video of the shenanigans acted out.

This resurrection of one person’s ambitions to represent only one segment of Port Allen’s population isn’t the real question here. It’s an effort to cosmetically cover the scar of racism, a scar once placed there by a Caucasian culture in power. Now, it’s a scar being covered by an equally racist group of individuals seeking to prove they’re just as capable of conducting business as any Caucasians before them ever could. They hope to profit from it in blood and treasure as their Caucasian predecessors did before them. The salaries asked for, and to be gained, alone speak volumes to this point.

The real fear is they may be right. It is possible one culture can climb to the mountain’s height and learn from those they seek to displace. But, there’s no real gain made when a culture learns only the negative. There’s no real gain for an entire city when the hoped for incumbency is meant to gain “pay-back” for injustices leveled in the past. Caucasian culture directed progress in Port Allen since it was first taken from the Native Americans. Caucasian culture was guilty of many sins perpetrated against other racially defined civilizations. But, emulating the sins of the fathers does no credit to the offspring.

It means nothing if the only thing learned for all of the self-defined “suffering” of ancestors is in how-to-become as bad as what you claim to hate and hold in contempt. Greed transcends race and culture. And as long as we’re human, it’s one of our greatest failings right in there with wrath, sloth, pride, envy, lust and gluttony.

It remains to be seen if the machinations and intrigues of the main players in this comedy of errors pan out. But, if the recalled element does win, the seriously unfunny joke will be on Port Allen. The world will be laughing in derision.

And the entire area will pay the price in lost industry.

Thanks for listening

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