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How do I feel about ex-Mayor Ray Nagin being convicted and sentenced?

July 9, 2014

Prof DevinSo the news just came out that ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/us/ray-nagin-former-new-orleans-mayor.html?_r=0). Remember, he was the mayor who publicly criticized other politicians for being racist against his city during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and 2006. He vowed that he would be the catalyst behind the city’s comeback!

It’s like this. The cloud that continues to hang over black politicians’ head continues to be about our integrity in regards to money. It’s not a secret either. But what bothers me most about this repeating issue mostly is our lack of outrage in the black community when it happens, and the narcissism out of the politicians who keep committing these offenses. They act like the black drug dealer on the street corner who KNOWS the end result of the people that came before him but has a belief that it won’t happen to him. It’s like we ignore facts and act on emotions.

In our communities we constantly complain about not having enough money. Yet, immigrants come to this country with less resources, language barriers and are rarely short on money. The real issue isn’t that our politicians are so bad. It is that they are a product of the black culture which no longer really places a lot of emphasis on discipline. The lack of discipline creates overconsumption, overindulgence, conspicuous spending and ultimately reckless behavior. Economics is a simple study. It’s about managing limited resources against unlimited “wants”. Satisfying those things cost money; which is a limited resource no matter how hard someone works. We keep wanting more and more and rarely internally say “no” to spending.

So yeah, Nagin promised to make New Orleans a Chocolate City again. He promised to bring commerce back to the city. But a person who doesn’t have strong economic discipline will fall sooner or later. They can be bought. They become tempted. They develop a rabid insatiable appetite for spending. Naygin eventually fell to racketeering and bribery. He is not alone though. Those of us who would criticize him are possibly prone to do the same thing if we are the typical products of our community. So instead of ignoring this; instead of justifying our community’s recklessness, we must be angry that this lack of insight, foresight and hindsight has become rooted in our publicly displayed culture that many others exploit.

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