By TLB Contributor: Ken LaRive
Author’s note: “I’m setting down here some interesting statistics to prove a point. If you finish the piece you’ll see that the problems are not racial, but far left-wing Progressive ultra-liberal agendas seemingly designed to help, but formulated to promote collective universal dependence, and a voting constituency. The so called “rats” of New Orleans are a product of over forty years of scientifically designed Progressive ideologies promoting individual irresponsibility and ignorance that has effectively broken the back of that society.” -Ken LaRive
I put New Orleans behind me in 1976, the year I graduated from Loyola University. Making the transition from Vietnam to San Diego City College, I saw the lure of Loyola’s Communications department. Returning to New Orleans in the early 70’s was an eye-opening negative experience. Though I remember the problems of inner city life as I was raised there, my travel gave me a new perspective and new pronounced expectations. I saw the racism, the hate and violence was not a typical way to live, and I marked the days until I could leave. One week after graduation we were already making Acadia our home. I knew in my heart that New Orleans was no place to raise a family.
The truth of the matter is that for a stretch of about ten years, between 1970 and 1980, New Orleans proper went from about twenty percent black (1950) to about fifty percent (1970), and just before Katrina the number was 67 percent. We had pure racial problems there, but the problems transcended race. Lawlessness was a creation of the progressive welfare state, compounded by a weak and corrupt legal system. This promoted and prompted what is now properly known by many New Orleanians and historians as “The Great White Exodus”.
How could the population have taken such a radical turn? Why were good people of all colors leaving New Orleans in droves? Why did I count myself among those who couldn’t stomach another day there?
At that time I was trying to put myself through one of the more expensive colleges, second only to Tulane. The GI bill, my wife’s full time employment with the Levee Board, my many part time jobs, and the emphatic dreams of a young man for family and vocation pulled and pushed us both along. At that time New Orleans East was mostly working class folks, a mixture of black, white, Hispanic, and Vietnamese, with little distinguishable crime from my perspective.
Author’s Note: A speculative bet… Point five percent of the total population was causing the greatest amount of crime, and this went far beyond the color barrier. However, a great percent of the total population accepted this as a way of life, with fear and perverse twisted morals as dual reasons to both cope and promote. Thus, New Orleans has been nick- named the “Sin City.”
My new wife and I had only one car, and we shared it several times a day. Most days I took the bus from Crowder Boulevard to Canal Street, and then the street car up St. Charles to Loyola, a 1.5 hour trip one way. I did most of my homework on the bus, and wouldn’t remember anything of the trip, so engrossed in my work. I had a goal, and nothing in my mind would stand in my way. The GI bill helped, but it was our hard work and determination that drove us. This brings up several points…
In my department we had a wide ethnic mix, mostly wealthy kids, with tuition paid for by rich daddies. We also had six inner-city black kids in my department that are worthy of note.
I don’t remember there ever being a problem, and we all mostly accepted each other, and our differences. One black guy and I attempted to make friends because we seemed to share a common interest in photography. He owned a brand new Nikon, a state of the art camera, and he taught me the buttons. This dream camera was bought for him with tax dollars.
This young man invited me to his dorm for a sandwich of bologna and cheese one afternoon. He tossed me a cold beer from his fridge and in one quick movement, opened his window while lighting a fat joint. Squinting, he took a large smoky drag and passed it to me, but was astounded when I adamantly refused them both. It was 11:00 in the morning! I had two more classes that day, ending around 14:30. From there I took the bus and did my homework. When I returned home I went directly to bed and slept to about 21:30. My wife tried to be quiet, home about four hours, and usually had supper cooked. We ate, laughed, talked of the day, and then I took the Mustang to the French Quarter where I cleaned the Royal Orleans Hotel Restaurant from 23:00 to 07:00. I went home, took a shower, and then grabbed the 08:00 Crowder bus to school. I wanted to finish in four years, longing to get into the “real world.”
That young man flunked out that semester, and I never saw him again. He wasn’t alone, as four of the original six blacks in my department took the same road, along with several other “party animals,” one of which turned up pregnant. She was emphatic that it was one of our teachers, and this tore our department to shreds. Only one colored girl made it to graduation.
Why? How could this happen? Well, this was before Tops, where one is granted assistance for academic performance. A student has to actually perform these days! What a concept! Not back then though, Progressive-liberals awarded people for being poor and of color, with no thought of past academia. At first I thought that the Progressive Government arbitrarily and myopically gave to a person… with the hope that they would make good use of the opportunity. I also thought at the time that they knew nothing of human nature or the spirit of men, as that young man had everything handed to him: books, tuition, room and board, and enough spending money where he could take ballet lessons to augment his Karate lessons, with some left over to buy drugs. I was wrong.
Since there had been no labor or even a proper dream involved, most all threw away the opportunity without a clear understanding of the gift. Color had nothing to do with it. It is human nature not to appreciate what isn’t earned. I see now that this concept was clearly understood, and these programs were designed to keep the black man suppressed, and dependent.
For a few months in my sophomore year I worked for cash delivering produce in the French Quarter. I worked for two Italian brothers who ruled with an iron fist, and I earned every bit of my two dollars an hour. One particular day I was given the task of delivering to a place dead inside of the Florida Avenue Projects. These good hearted, strong willed Italian men donated food for a free socialistic school in the very epicenter of the most violent of New Orleans. I loaded a crate of bananas, purple hull peas, and a sack of potatoes in my van along with two crates of corn to bring to a restaurant on my way back.
When I pulled into the parking lot there was a group of young kids playing basketball, none being over twelve or so. They stopped the game and stood watching me with looks of hungry hate. I had seen looks like that before, by the Red Chinese in Hong Kong. There, my Navy uniform got me angry glairs of condescension, here, it was my white skin. Now it may seem unsettling to find that here in America, so open, and with so much rage, but in New Orleans, to this very day, it is a way of life.
I didn’t give it much thought until after the fact, but locking the van and wheeling in three crates into the school took less than three minutes. When I returned there wasn’t a sound or one person to be seen in any direction. The back door had been pried open with a two by four that lay on the ground, and the two crates of corn were gone. I went to the school’s front door to call the police, but the door was now locked, and no one came when I knocked. And as I banged on the door over and over again it hit home. I was alone.
Suddenly a car turned sharply into the lot and four black punks about my age got out. All were dressed in the traditional basketball garbs, with red bandanas showing their particular gangster affiliations. The leader came directly up to me with a finger in my face saying I was the white SOB that had hit his car the week before.
Looking down, I played the game of subservience that only a survivor can know. It is the overt display of fear and terror, with a foolish mumbling explanation they delighted in. I explained that I was there to help the community by giving free produce, that this was my first time coming here, and that my van had been broken into.
They laughed among themselves as I spoke, and one said to the other, “Pop him man!” And another said “I’ll do it! No problem.” But the one who stood back said, and I remember it verbatim. “Leave him alone man. He’s cool.”
They all laughed and walked off into the maze of red brick and shadows, as I ran to the van and started the engine. I looked up as one turned to show me his handgun tucked neatly in his waistband, and I will remember his face and laughter forever. I got out of there with the back door flopping off of a broken lock, and remember well my uncontrollable trembling as I pulled over a few blocks away. I opened the door and threw up in front of scores of black faces. It was my adrenaline rush shutting down, I supposed.
I was a Vietnam vet, a product of the inner city, and thought of myself as a survivor… but my entire life was in the hands of men who cared nothing about me, or my life. I found this in the middle of United States of America.
I was lucky. I thought of that day many times, and how I scrambled to survive. My bending subservience was what they wanted. To them, my subjugation was worth more than my life, and that is what saved me. Do you understand this?
Note: In no way was violence and crime isolated to the black community. All other ethnic affiliations were involved. Watch the movie “Gangs of New York” and you will see the power struggles of a large city.
Whites left New Orleans because of the crime that washed into every neighborhood. People started putting bars in their windows, alarms, and motion lights. A man was shot dead around the corner from my home in front of his wife and daughter for the money in his wallet, a woman burned to death in her protective cage, and my brother of 12 walked into the kitchen as a tall white guy was squirming through the window.
Suddenly the streets were no longer safe for a woman to travel alone, day or night. Local parks in Gentilly, where kids once swung till their mother called them for supper, became shadow lands for violence and drug dealings. Car-jackings in broad daylight, drug deals going bad in public places, mall shootouts, and drive-bys was in the paper daily, averaging six deaths a day.
Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Vietnamese warred with the “rats” too, as they were in the line of fire in the sacking of convenience stores. One difference though: each of these groups were united in self created communities, whereas whites were dispersed and unorganized. The city turned in upon itself, and suspicion of differences became the norm. The youth gangs of black, brown, white, and yellow learned how to fight with knives, the precursor to guns. Schools became war zones, and teachers were beat up by hoodlums just walking in off the street. I remember so many incidences; I could make this a volume…
So New Orleans changed ratio, and suburbs like Mandeville, Slidell, and Metairie busted at the seams with scared people looking for a safe place to raise their family, and make a living. Sounds racist to tell this story, but history will reveal it to be true. Though some blacks pealed away from the heart of New Orleans looking for the same peaceful things, overwhelmingly whites left for a safe harbor from unfettered violence and crime… Numbers don’t lie.
I suppose there was an element in me that wanted to stay and fight for the lost city of my youth, but I realized that it was akin to another Vietnam, a war that couldn’t be won. Even some police were a part of it, corrupt and on the take, and the law turned a blind eye, fearful that a riot would burn down the city, and lost revenue from drugs and fencing would be disrupted.
It took a storm like Katrina to lay bare the true nature of New Orleans for all to see, and what it had become. Those rats who raped and mugged nurses, shot at police and rescue workers, abandoned their posts, and brazenly looted right along side of police officers, left New Orleans to escalate crime elsewhere, from Baton Rouge to Atlanta.
It was hoped by the locals that New Orleans would be given a second chance, but that was just a hopeful illusion. It is again a war zone.
They are once more carving a piece of the local unlawful action for themselves, and innocence is caught up in that machine. They are bringing in a new realm of organized crime, and use any dastard method to make it happen. This is crime at its lowest level, as they have no rules, no morals or ethics but for immediate self-gratification.
They stayed through the storm for the opportunity to steal, and our short-sighted mayor and our confused and derisory Governor gave them four days to play havoc on unprotected property and the weak. It didn’t take long to organize because they have been systematically structured for forty years! The shots fired at rescue workers were designed to gain more time, and the spoils they took from the garden district are now well hidden, buried like Lafitte’s treasure.
Authors note: “In the mayhem, my aged parents died in the heat… in the midst of irresponsibility, meanness, and ignorance. While our Progressive Governor cried and prayed on television, …who would not relinquish her power to Federal Troops or allow entry into the city… her handlers scrambled to gain power in the confusion, denying emergency disaster plans that had been in place for generations… they died in 100 degree heat without water or any form of assistance.
Thought they have come out justifying their actions, they will have to live with what they did and did not do. I was watching closely, and I know the truth. You see, unaccountability is anther progressive cancer that plagues us, and the understanding of responsibility the primary division. But it is a universal law that cannot be denied… we are held responsible for what we do, ether in this life or the next, and that is my only consolation.
As I look around I see the same Progressive influence that dominates our country, from the lack of accountability of the Federal Reserve, unrequited and unconstitutional wars, and a top-heavy government hell bent on domination over the masses, …from international bankers in cahoots with a war machine that makes money from both deconstruction and reconstruction…. As Libertarian conservatives are grappling to regain both their minds and country, both Progressives and Neocons push to stay in power by denying American sovereignty, liberty and freedom, from the Patriot Act to unsecured borders, taking orders by the same lobbyists…
“We are being absorbed, and breed to tolerate it.” Ken LaRive