"People are now acclimating to a general state of existential terror."
That's how Matthew Teague, of the Los Angeles Times, describes the terror unfolding in New Orleans as a backdrop to a story on the Merritt Landry/Marshall Coulter incident. Teague points out how as New Orleans became a majority black city, white people (like Landry's family) fled to the suburbs.
Killed in 2007 by a still at-large black home invader, Helen Hill's (right) story is just another reminder of the existential terror plaguing - not only whites in New Orleans - whites nationwide
Thus, white people have 'insensitive' views of blacks (in Teague's eyes), that are in actuality based completely on a reasonable understanding that crime in New Orleans is almost entirely a Nubian avocation/vocation [Fear of crime shades New Orleans response to teen's shooting: The response to a shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white man has been muted in New Orleans, where fear of crime pervades., Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2013]:
...Tulane University geographer Rich Campanella said members of the white flight to Chalmette would bring a vestigial suspicion about the city: "You could almost think of them as self-selected," he said, "or selected by the forces of history, to have a particularly, shall we say, insensitive view on racial matters."That people could 'acclimate to a general state of existential terror' in an (loosely) American city is a fact that upsets black New Orleans Times-Picayune pundit Jarvis DeBerry, who tries to compare four young black girls killed in 1963 Birmingham to 1-year-old Londyn Samuels death by a spray of bullets fired by multiple black men. [News Orleans has become deadly even for little girls: Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com, 9-3-13]
Peter Scharf, a criminologist at Tulane University, speculates that Landry was, by this time, humming with what Scharf calls "vicarious fear." It's a term he coined to describe the atmosphere in New Orleans now: fear stoked by the stories people tell one another. Anyone stopped on the sidewalk has a story of violence:
"I was mugged," said Nathan Harrison, who works in an office across the street from Landry's house. "Young kids. Like 13 or 14."
Neighbor Steven Spehar: "They jumped me. Three kids, maybe 15 years old, tops."
Crime statistics in New Orleans are tricky to track because in 2005, Hurricane Katrina halved the population, which has been recovering since. The city's inspector general is studying whether the government has suppressed crime statistics in New Orleans to give residents and tourists a false sense of security.
Murder, in particular, has generally risen since about 2000. It plateaued last year, according to criminologists, but the rates are so high — for many years the highest of any large American city — that people are now acclimating to a general state of existential terror.
Here are the simple facts about New Orleans and black criminality (and the local response):
- Two months prior to Hurricane Katrina, black New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass gave (and reneged under pressure) the Nation of Islam a $15,000 contract to teach NOPD officers 'sensitivity-lessons' in dealing with black criminals living in public housing [TOP COP BACKTRACKS ON FARRAKHAN TRAINING:Now says Nation of Islam security chief won't teach police 'sensitivity', 6-14-2005]:
- Compass said he decided to implement a program after hearing complaints about police officers during his recent tour of the city’s high-crime neighborhoods. “The people in the community who are anti-police, who really need to hear our message, who [we] really need to build the bridges with — members of the Nation of Islam have some type of relationship with these people,” Compass said earlier. The New Orleans Times Picayune reported Compass initiated regular community walks through low-income housing developments in order to listen to the people’s concerns, reduce tensions and allow “mutual trust” to flourish.
- Blacks with the group Silence is Violence successfully lobby the New Orleans Police Department to no longer publicize if murder victims have criminal records [NOPD release of murder victims' criminal records is challenged, NOLA.com, 1-1-12]
Random black males sprayed bullets in a separate incident from the one that killed Samuels only days prior[Hundreds gather in tearful vigil at home where 11-year-old Arabian Gayles was shot, NOLA.com, 9-3-13]:
"We live in a time when people just don't care," Pastor Jeffrey Davis said. "Crime is serious in this city, but God, we're seeking your faith. Another child is gone!" he shouted. "Stop the violence," the crowd echoed.
- An attempt to stop black violence using 'violence interrupters' (in a program called CeaseFire) [CeaseFire program to reduce street violence launches in Central City, NOLA.com, 4-12-12] was initiated with the dictum to stop the 'culture of violence' plaguing the community that produced Marshall Coulter [CEASEFIRE ARRIVES IN NEW ORLEANS, NOLA Defender, 4-12-12]:
- Crime Commissioner James Carter and Urban League New Orleans President Nolan Rollins were a few of the people who spoke to express their support for the community based program and to thank all involved for taking a bold approach to tackling gun violence among young African American men in the city.
Mayor Landrieu was very clear about his overall message, stop the shootings. He shared some very sobering statistics about the nature of violence within the city; although New Orleans ranks 73 in overall violent crime among the nation’s cities, our homicide rate between young African American males is ten times the national average. Landrieu seeks to stop the culture of violence, and he clarified what he meant by “culture.”
“People have checked me on the use of the word culture, so let me be clear about this. The culture of New Orleans generally understood is a beautiful culture. It’s a place of rich music, rich heritage, rich history. It is a culture of resilience… We have in this city what has turned into a culture of violence where young men have learned the practice of ending a simple dispute with a gun in their hand and the death of another young African American male."
A 2007 march against violence in New Orleans was almost an entirely white affair, with the New York Times lamenting the [In Downtown New Orleans, Thousand March Against Killings]
In an unprecedented display of civic outrage over violent crime, as many as 3,000 people marched on City Hall on Thursday, demanding that city leaders stem the tide of violence and calling on ordinary citizens to help make New Orleans safer.
Organized in the wake of a string of almost daily murders in the new year, the protest channeled the city's rising anger and fear. "We have come to declare that a city that could not be drowned in waters of a storm will not be drowned in the blood of its citizens," said the Rev. John Raphael Jr., one of the opening speakers, hunched over the podium and preaching in a booming voice.
Other speakers echoed his pledge, offering a mixture of criticism directed at Mayor Ray Nagin, District Attorney Eddie Jordan and Police Superintendent Warren Riley, as well as requests that people living in neighborhoods scarred by violence stand up as witnesses and refuse to tolerate crime. Nagin and Riley, along with City Council members, attended the rally but were not allowed to speak. Jordan didn't show up.
"Young people, shame on you, you know better," said jazz musician Glen David Andrews, who also noted that, as a black man, he is often afraid of the New Orleans Police Department.
The crowd overwhelmed the concrete steps off Perdido Street leading up to City Hall, many carrying signs blasting city leaders. One flag, in red spray paint, begged only "SOS."
A vibrant, determined crowd surrounded City Hall. Nagin himself later described it as cross section of the city's population. Though white people appeared to be in the majority, people from all races, classes and backgrounds appeared united in their cause, standing elbow to elbow around the stage where speakers demanded immediate strides in quelling the violence. Scores of others watched from the street and adjacent Duncan Plaza, where at times they couldn't see or hear the program.
City officials have already announced a slew of new programs and proposed reforms that they say will make a dent in violent crime. These include expediting murder cases through the judicial system, expanding neighborhood watch programs, installing more crime cameras and increasing late-night alcohol and drug checkpoints.Helen Hill was, for all intents and purposes, murdered by one of the very people her social activism was designed to help; every measure enacted by the city of New Orleans government to combat black crime has utterly failed, because the majority-black citizens of the city only object to the crime/murder/robberies when one of their babies is killed or when a 14-year-old career criminal like Marshall Coulter is gunned down by a white man daring to protect his property.
The Survey Research Center of the University of New Orleans published Black Attitudes in New Orleans: Crime, Safety and the Quality of Life on April 14, 1997, which contained these telling nuggets of information:
- Hearing gunfire at night is a regular event for forty percent of black residents, and this experience colors other crime and safety perceptions.
- Hearing gunfire on a regular basis is geographically dispersed throughout most of the black and mixed areas of the city.
Whites fled Detroit for the reason delineated above (black apathy toward the violence in their community, which affects every facet of civilization), and a fragile situation in New Orleans could turn ugly quickly.
One simple line dictates whether or not civilization will flourish: the color-line. Being 'color-blind' and against 'white privilege' won't shield and protect you from this simple dictum -- just ask Helen Hill.
When the line is crossed, in favor of a city dominated demographically by blacks, you will get a situation where, "People are now acclimating to a general state of existential terror."