Violence, Heat, and Hurricane Season

Jun 14, 2007 by

Welcome to the hothouse. New Orleans is slipping into summertime and the heat is rocketing. The past several days have been oppressive and sweat saturated as the Hammer of Ra pounds down upon us. It s the type of weather that makes one want to hde in the AC and pretend the outside world does not exist.

Of course it could also be that the violence is what makes many people want to hide. Every New Orleanian knows that once the heat really begins the murder rate rises with the tempreature. Look at the statistics, May almost always denotes an upswing of violent crime and loss of life. Hell, we are already the murder capital of the US with only 50% of our people back, the summer spike should put us in a position where no one can take that title away!
Dan,over at NOLA Metroblogging is of the same mind. Beaten by the heat and baffled by the violence he notes a disturbing report:

It doesn’t help any when the Metro Crime Commission releases a report stating what has been obvious to us who live here now. The NOPD is focusing too much on trivial traffic and “misdemeanor” offenses. What that means is the NOPD is more focused on stopping you and I for driving a vehicle without a brake tag. Instead of focusing on the killers killing each other. Or the killers killing innocent business owners. I’ve known and written about the city’s efforts on raising cash. Why focus on stopping murders when there are dollar bill’s driving around the city, waiting to be pulled over and taken to jail. It’s a money making scheme and just validates my belief that the city government sees EVERYONE who is back as a walking/talking/driving dollar bill.

No reliable flood control (See Fix The Pumps for doumentation and details), no progress on crime, the fear of hurricane season, no mental health infrastructure….

The climate of fear has become a standard one for local residents. “Will I get washed away or blown away before summer ends?” is a question I have heard in varying permutations throughout the city. The heat, fear, and mental unease cook down like a roux, ready to thicken the gumbo of tragedies we already sup.
Robin Malta is simply the latest victim of this assinine crime rate. A community activist, small business owner, former Grand Marshall of Southern Decadence, and truly good natured human being who was bludgeoned to death Monday night. He was also someone I knew. The third person I know to be murdered (not just die, but get murdered) over the last six months. Another local character reduced to a statistic. He was only 3 years my senior, not even 45 yet.

I have lost my focus, the accumulation of bad news has me nearly numb so rather than try to come to coherent conclusion I will leave you hanging.  Like the crime there is no resolution forthcoming….

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