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Our City in Ruins

Our City in Ruins

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has spent the last few days leading his city in ruins. One of the most important perspectives in this whole situation would be his, and luckily, he offers it with honesty and compassion. An interview with Garland Robinette of WWL Radio has made its way online. You can listen to it here and you can read the transcript here. Meanwhile, here are some important moments of what Nagin has to say…

On his shattered expectations:
“…I keep hearing that it’s coming. This is coming, that is coming, and my answer to that today is: B.S. Where is the beef? Because there’s no beef in this city, there is no beef anywhere in southeast Louisiana, and these goddamn ships that are coming, I don’t see them.”

On President Bush’s role in the crisis:
“I basically told him we had an incredible crisis here, and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshall resources, and we’re outmanned in just about every respect.”

On the crime that has developed:
“You have drug addicts that are now walking around this city, looking for a fix. That’s the reason why they were breaking into hospitals and drug stores. They’re looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will. And right now they don’t have anything to take the edge off, and they’ve finally probably found guns. So what you see is drug-starving, crazy addicts, drug addicts, that are wreaking havoc. And we don’t have the manpower to adequately deal with it.”

On what “we can do” for New Orleans:
“Keep talking about it” … “Get off your asses and let’s do something. Let’s fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country!”

Listen for yourself. It’ll break your heart.

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