Monday, September 5

UNIFORMED LOOTERS AT NEW ORLEANS WAL-MART

Here's a sobering video-clip, courtesy of MSNBC, that shows that there's no "thin blue line" in New Orleans between those who steal and those charged with enforcing the law -- at least not at this particular Wal-Mart store and at least not with the people in uniform shown pushing a shopping cart and helping themselves to the merchandise. And, judging from the scenes shown, these are not flood-ravaged people, desperate to find food and water in order to survive the grim aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Quite the contrary. Looks like a normal shopping day to me, except for the fact that no money changes hands and no store employees or management personnel are on hand to assist the store's customers.

It doesn't appear, Mayor Nagin, that you can blame the conduct of some of New Orlean's finest on President Bush, although you've damn sure tried to absolve yourself of everything in this horrific crisis and to dump all the incompetence, wholesale lack of leadership, and dereliction of duty in the Crescent City off on your state's governor and the federal government. You've done one hell of a reprise of Pontius Pilate's hand-washing.

The video-clip exposes shades of what George Neumayr is driving at in his column of September 2nd, published in "The American Spectator" (excerpts follow):

Like riotous Los Angeles since the 1960s, New Orleans has been a wasteland of politically correct dysfunction for decades -- public schools so obviously decimated vouchers were proposed this year (and torpedoed by the left), barbaric gangster rap culture no one will confront lest they offend liberal pieties, multiculturalist frauds who empower no one but themselves, and cops neutered by the NAACP and ACLU.

Meanwhile, cops, when they can get away with it, have been living out of town. It is far too scary for them and their families. New Orleans Police officers are required to live in the city but many ignore this residency requirement, according to the Times-Picayune. The paper discovered that many top-ranking New Orleans cops lived in the suburbs and that most cops, both black and white, wanted the residency requirement rescinded.

If the New Orleans Police Department has appeared feeble during the chaos -- and in some cases complicit in it -- policies like the residency requirement explain the breakdown. (Perhaps another factor that has rendered the NOPD feckless in the face of a rising murder rate is the criticism of its handling of a minority Mardi Gras.) Americans who have seen cops join in the looting ask: Why are police officers behaving like criminals? Well, because PC police departments like the NOPD hire them. Aggressive, let's-just-meet-the-quota-style affirmative action has become the door through which criminals enter the police academy.

More than the physical foundations of New Orleans will need to be rebuilt over the next few years. Its politically correct culture in which pathologies are allowed to fester in the name of "progress" forms much of the debris that must be cleared away if civilization is to return to New Orleans. A city which boasts as one of its businesses memorial "death t-shirts" -- clothing made popular by the frequency of gangland slayings in New Orleans that say things like, "Born a Pimp, Died a Playa" -- was headed for collapse even without a hurricane, and had become, as the exodus of cops illustrates, unlivable.

Conservative black leaders have been mau-maued into silence whenever they tell the truth about this barbarism and call for dramatic reform. But they are the ones who must lead the city now, and the phonies at organizations like the NAACP who despite all their rhetoric haven't done a thing to help the black underclass should step aside. Hurricane Katrina has made vivid the civilizational collapse they have long tried to conceal.

SOURCE: Martin Savidge, reporting for NBC News, New Orleans.