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[ # ] On Being a New Orleanian and a Christian
May 7th, 2008 under Christianity, ChristianWalk, New Orleans, Politics, Recovery, Walking Like Jesus

jesus.jpgMy experience as a New Orleanian often parallels my experience as a follower of Jesus. At the best of times, they are both exhilarating, life-affirming, and bring great joy. At the worst of times, they are painful and frustrating and I feel like it’s not worth it hanging on to either of them.

Today is one of those days… I want to move away and get away from the craziness. Our mayor promised to have 200 surveillance cameras installed so we could combat crime.

From the T-P via Oyster:

Since the announcement, much of the Nagin administration’s crime camera program has been cloaked in secrecy. City Council members and citizens seeking basic information about the program, such as contracts, have been rebuffed.

As a City Council hearing about the matter began Tuesday morning, the city’s technology officer, who is in charge of camera deployment, was nowhere to be found. A note sent to the head of the Public Works committee stated that Anthony Jones — who had canceled several previously scheduled appearances — was traveling.

That left two attendees, a police officer and an associate tasked with monitoring the program, to give council members the bad news: Right now, the city has “about 85 cameras that work most of the time.”

The announcement incensed some council members.

“I have documented evidence that over 200 cameras would be installed,” Councilwoman Stacy Head said. “The press releases are wearing me out. I want to know the truth.”

More than 250 cameras have been installed, but only about 85 are operable. In fact, the number of crime cameras working in New Orleans today is about the same as it was pre-Katrina.

Spokespeople for the Nagin administration did not return requests for comment.

Meanwhile, violent crime is occurring under inoperable cameras.

I have relatives who HATE New Orleans. They want my family to leave. When stories like this get out, it’s hard to explain why I stay. Here’s one reason. When I complain about Christians who don’t get it, I’m sometimes criticized for being too negative or even judgmental. I don’t often get criticized for being critical of New Orleans though.

ashley.jpgI have two good role models in my two struggles. Ashley Morris was a great New Orleanian who spoke out against the madness.

will21.jpgWill Campbell is a fellow Baptist that has spoken out against racism, violence, and bigotry of all types. Campbell says, “As a Baptist, I come from a long line of hell-raisers.”

Having models like Jesus, Campbell, and Ashley—I must keep up the fight. I must continue to speak up, but I must also keep enjoying those times when the Kingdom of God breaks through. God help us.

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