There was indeed something glorious that happened today. Some sort of victory was eked out by 5,000 people who took it upon themselves to do something, anything, to throw a monkey wrench into the machine of entropy that has gripped the city for decades. And I think we did win the battle.
But the war, it goes on. That was a clear message that was communicated to me today. This was not a destination, it’s was a starting point.
The 5,000 live to fight another day. Thousands more, victims of violence and Katrina, don’t.
Today 5,000 people came together for one cause. They took 5,000 routes to get there but for an hour they were all at the same place physically, emotionally and spiritually. And for 10 seconds the street in front of City Hall was as quiet as it had been since Katrina. It was something to behold. And it was invigorating to be a part of.
Jan. 11 didn’t bring anyone back to life but perhaps it may bring a few more into it. And maybe it will extend the life of New Orleans. Because I for one feel a foolish sense of inspiration that was utterly lacking a few days ago. The safe bet is nothing will come of this. The challenge is seeing that something does.
I’m going to start by wiping Nagin’s slate clean. I am going to forgive him for everything he hasn’t done since Katrina. And I am going to hope against hope that he can find it in his mettle to be the leader that so many New Orleanians want to have. He has dug himself quite a hole. Many citizens aren’t going to give him the free ride that I have. He certainly doesn’t deserve it. But I need to make some sacrifices now and animosity for the Mayor seems a prime candidate. All my animosity is really.
I can’t thank the speakers enough for having the fortitude to put their voices out there this afternoon. I especially thank Karen Gadbois and Nakita Shavers for the inspiration they created within the crowd. Their speeches were like music. They reached inside.
It is my sincerest hope that The 5,000 who were at today’s march can come together under happier circumstances sometime soon. Like maybe a Saints Super Bowl or Lundi Gras or Fest. I saw many of New Orleans’ best out there today. Though I don’t trust Eddie Jordan or William Jefferson with the future of New Orleans, I do trust The 5,000.
edited at 8:12