Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Race in New Orleans

I was watching an interview with C-Ray on WWL online and the issue of race came up. My husband is from Florida and these types of issues aren't as prolific as they are in New Orleans. Since we have been married I have come to look at his perspective of the city's race issues and have become embarrassed by it.

After two year of marriage we had moved back to New Orleans before Katrina hit. He was a deputy in Florida and he worked at the juvenile detention center in bridge city. He would always come home upset because someone had made a comment like "your pretty good for a white guy" or "why don't you go work at the adult center, there are more whites there" He was baffled and upset that his race was such an issue at a place of employment. He had never experienced a work environment in which any racial comment were uttered or tolerated.

But it does go both ways. White segregate themselves from blacks. I have family members, mostly older generations, that are racist without seeming to understand that they are in fact racist. In fact at christmas I had family memebers discussing city issues in racial terms. (My husband is sitting there confused and I'm mortified.) So this battle between the races in New Orleans goes on. It's 2008, how long will we continue with these antiquated ideas that race matters? New Orleans is a great city but we definitely need to catch up with the rest of the country when it comes to race relations and tolerance. It's a disservice to all New Orleanians.

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