New Orleans mayor says God mad at US
Updated: 2006-01-17 07:46
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin suggested Monday that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
and other storms were a sign that "God is mad at America" and at black
communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political
"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us
hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on
this country," Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked
Martin Luther King Day.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, left, embraces
Elliot Willard prior to a memorial service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. Monday, Jan. 16, 2006, in New Orleans.
"Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But
surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."
Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be a "chocolate" city again. Many
of the city's black neighborhoods were heavily damaged by Katrina.
"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans ¡ª
the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will
be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't
have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."
Nagin described an imaginary conversation with King, the late civil rights
"I said, `What is it going to take for us to move on and live your dream and
make it a reality?' He said, `I don't think that we need to pay attention any
more as much about other folks and racists on the other side.' He said, `The
thing we need to focus on as a community ¡ª black folks I'm talking about ¡ª is
Nagin said he also asked: "Why is black-on-black crime such an issue? Why do
our young men hate each other so much that they look their brother in the face
and they will take a gun and kill him in cold blood?"
The reply, Nagin said, was: "We as a people need to fix ourselves first."
Nagin also said King would have been dismayed with black leaders who are
"most of the time tearing each other down publicly for the delight of many."
A day earlier, gunfire erupted at a parade to commemorate King's birthday.
Three people were wounded in the daylight shooting amid a throng of mostly black
spectators, but police said there were no immediate suspects or