Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nagin Walks Out Of Trouble the Water Screening

H/T: People Get Ready

Go read the whole account from Democracy Now!

For those of you that don't remember, Trouble the Water is an incredible documentary profiling the resilience and heroism of ordinary New Orleanians when all levels of government failed during Hurricane Katrina.

TIA LESSIN: So the mayor stayed for about five minutes, and his handlers said that, you know, if they had seen the whole movie, that they wouldn’t have ended up coming.

CARL DEAL: I’m so disappointed that the mayor and his people didn’t—weren’t able to stay for the whole film and disappointed that they said that it was a negative portrayal of the people of New Orleans. Poverty is a very negative thing. Poor education is negative. I mean, it’s not a pretty picture for a lot of people who live in New Orleans. And yet, this is a story that takes you through one family’s entire journey, and it tells the truth. Kimberly and Scott open themselves up and expose themselves through this camera, because they felt so strongly that people know what it was like living in New Orleans before, during and after Katrina.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: The camera don’t lie. So we shot the truth. And it’s like no one wants to be held responsible for this. So that’s why I think he kind of ran away from it.


Before Nagin walked out of what he considered to be a "negative" portrayal of citizen heroism, Kimberly Rivers Roberts confronted him about chronic underemployment and the lack of a living wage. Mayor Nagin explained that po-boy shop guys make $70k per year.


KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: I want to know what is—you know, what are the people, the leaders of New Orleans, are going to do about the neglect that’s going on in the city?

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: Unfortunately, we can’t change 200-300 years worth of habits overnight. The good thing about Katrina, if there is a good thing, is that we’ve got our economy going in a much better direction. There’s lots of jobs, opportunities, and business.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: I’m talking about real jobs with living wages. We’re still—

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: Let me just tell you a couple of examples. And I know this is something that is—we need to have a deeper discussion about.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: Right, right, right.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: Just things like, you know, working at Gene’s po’ boy shop.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: Yeah, yeah.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN: They’re paying, you know, $1,500, $1,800 a week to their cooks.

KIMBERLY RIVERS ROBERTS: No, they’re not, man. I’m putting [inaudible] Gene’s, man.

You know, the Mayor must know something we don't. From his perch atop his mansion he can really see the big picture. What we have in New Orleans is a bunch of whiners that are suffering from a mental flood and mental poverty.

Mayor Nagin is an embarrassment, a joke, a traitor, and a liar.
He is willfully ignorant, inexplicably incompetent, and ideologically immoral.

One of my first acts as Mayor will be to permanently 'displace' C. Ray Nagin from the city of New Orleans.

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