Marlyville / Fontainebleau / Broadmoor Preservation
post-Katrina and beyond...









press clipping

NOLA's mail bag on fire about 'Chocolate City'

Mayor Nagin's speech referring to rebuilding New Orleans as a "Chocolate City" has stirred an avalanche of reader outcry . . . hundreds of mails. Here is a small sample of what people are saying:

Charles Barzon Jr. of New Orleans writes:

So, The Bring New Orleans Black Committee is what Mayor Nagan should rename his blue ribbon panel.

As a black native of this city I am disgusted and fed up with the assumption that black people have to be pandered to like impressionable children.We don't need your phony preacher-like inflections or your streetwise poses as though we are ignorant and angry all the time.

Some of us, despite the efforts of the school board, actually got an education and are intelligent, discerning individuals whose music tastes range beyond hip hop and rap. We expect our leaders to assume that we understand the English language as well as they.

Leaders need to speak to their communities with one voice and not carry conflicting messages from one district to another. Encouraging suspicion or hate between classes will quell any hope of the "unity with diversity" message everyone was suposed to be preaching on Martin Luther King Day.

It was great irony that on such a day the Democrats, who have been identified with civil rights for many years, spoke hateful, divisive speeches and the Republicans, who have been unjustly painted as racists for years, spoke in respect of Martin Luther Kings'legacy of unity and love in a society that would reject racism. President Bush went so far as to say that dispite the progress of racial equality in America we should go farther to build on that progress. This kind of behavior is frustrating that effort.


A. Hammack of New Orleans:

What's next for New Orleans? As we all hang on to the threads of our lives determined to make a quilt known as the "New" Orleans, there seems to be some gris gris hangin' around this place.

There was a great deal to be hopeful for in October and November. Those determined to go home, like my husband and I, gutted their houses and spent countless hours weighing the pros and cons of pioneering the rebuilding movement. However, we were told that critical guidance would come after the first of the year. So we waited over four months for the Bring Back New Orleans Commission to provide some leadership to resuscitate the life of our whole City. While its heart is beating Uptown and Down, the hemorrhage that followed the "big one" still threatens this old American soul.

So after the let down of the BBNOC's plan to plan and stop rebuilding in its tracks, our once valiant, determined Mayor put his reason and promises aside showing the nation and the world that there is little hope for a "New" Orleans. His irresponsible and childish remarks have left those standing at the threshold of our future once again wondering...What's next for New Orleans?

I think we're next for New Orleans - you and I. Despite the antics of our government officials, we have to forge ahead, rebuild our communities and keep the hope alive!! We have to be the leaders that our City needs.

(Continue reading more reader mail by clicking below)


Rob Bower from New Orleans writes:

Mr. Nagin- I've always been proud of the fact that I spoke to you for the first time when you hosted the David Tyree show during your bid to become Mayor. You seemed like a sharp, intelligent man and I was impressed by what you we're saying and more importantly, how you were saying it. Even though you are a Democrat and my way of thinking mostly resembles the conservatives, I became a Ray Nagin fan and urged friends and co workers to consider you in your bid to become Mayor.

Since you became Mayor, I've been more than impressed with what you did and how you did it. You were candid and honest and I appreciated it. Unlike many people in the city, I felt like you did as well, if not better than most with the unthinkable events Katrina brought to our fair city. Compared to some of the Federal and State officials, you looked poised, calm and confident. This made people like me feel like things could get better even though we all faced very difficult times ahead. You went to Washington DC and seemed to impress the Majority and the Administration even though you're a Democrat. This was a good thing for our state and city. Blanco was getting her head handed to her on Capital Hill and you were sitting down in the West Wing making things happen. "Bravo Ray Nagin," I thought. You were our Mayor.

Fast forward to MLK day 2006. What on earth we're you thinking? This will go down as one of the dumbest speeches in not only New Orleans history, but I submit to you, all of world history. In one speech, you slapped all of your non African American supporters (of which I am one), slapped the Administration and slapped lots of voting Christians with your wacky "God is angry with us." comment. Is God mad at the folks in Malaysia? How about those miners in West Virginia? He certainly must be mad at those poor people on 911? You favor the colorful language? Well Ray, that's damned insulting and just plain dumb. You decided to become one of those goofy caricatures people love to despise like Al Sharpton or Pat Robertson. Not a leader who cuts through that useless BS. Shame on you Ray Nagin. The Nation now focuses on your stupid, thoughtless and divisive comments. Step down now. Put your city first and resign now.


Luis Perello of Houston writes:

As a resident of the Houston area who was born in New Orleans, I was pround how we in Houston stood up and took in the evacuees in the hour of need. We have been planning on going back to New Orleans as soon as possible to enjoy the city and contribute to the recovery of the city, hopefully for Mardi Gras. However, after Mayor Chocolate Nagin's racist remarks. Be assured that I will never again visit the city and I'm now ashamed of calling it my birthplace. Thanks Nagin.


Tracy Ortego, former New Orleanian, writes:

I don't live in New Orleans anymore. It's probably a good thing since I am the wrong flavor according to Mayor Nagin. I do (did) however, shop there. I guess I will be taking my vanilla dollars elsewhere from now on. And Mayor, as for thinking that the hurricanes were punishments from God - I suggest you stop hanging out with Pat Robertson. Only good things come from God.


Steve G. Kirkikis of Lakeview writes:

Mayor Nagin should resign immediately for his statements concerning an all black New Orleans and saying New Orleans will be a chocolate city. He is a racist and a bigot and he should not be Mayor of New Orleans. (We formerly had a house in Lakeview.)


Steve G. Kirkikis from 71106 writes:

Dear Editor: Mayor Nagin should resign immediately for his statements concerning an all black New Orleans and saying New Orleans will be a chocolate city. He is a racist and a bigot and he should not be Mayor of New Orleans. (We formerly had a house in Lakeview.)


Amanda Bladsacker of New Orleans writes:

Dear Mayor Nagin:

I have silently watched the aftermath of Katrina unfold. I watched, horrified, as did every other citizen of the New Orleans area, as our beloved city filled up with water and our neighbors and friends left behind had to hold their own against rising water and growing lawlessness. On top of these events, I sit here and watch my neighbors, friends, fellow New Orleans area residents building themselves back up and starting over with nothing.

During and in the wake of Katrina, you, sir, made national news with your ranting about getting help faster. You made the comment that if you had to do it again, you would only yell louder. What kind of message does that send to our city? The state? The Nation? The world? New Orleans, a city under siege, lead by a man who can think of nothing better to do in the city's worst recorded crisis, but yell louder for help.

To be honest, Mr. Nagin, I do not envy you your position. I may be in no shape to give you instructions or advice on how to do your job, but I have some opinions that I can not keep, given the light of your statements made in your speech at the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

Have you considered that the majority of the current residents of Orleans Parish, St. Bernard Parish, and Jefferson Parish are the die-hard, love-his-city, not-leaving people that are the bedrock of what made this city so great before. Granted, some have been unable to return. Others have started over elsewhere and are waiting for the city to build back up a little. Sir, the people that are here, working day in and day out to make things somewhat normal are the ones who need the leadership.

I know you are concerned about bringing the population of New Orleans back to what it was. Have you taken a look around? There is a lot of work to be done. Mr. Nagin, you are presented with the most unique opportunity of its kind. You can lead the rebuilding of this city into just about any type that you want. A racially diverse city, which, in fact, is just about any major city in the continental United States, is what New Orleans will be again. I am disgusted by the fact that you seem to imply that a "racially diverse" city is dark chocolate mixed with a little white milk for a tasty drink. And even still, to state that God is mad at us.

I am not sure what God you believe in, but my God is a just and fair God. Did you ever really stop to think that maybe the path this city was on was the wrong one? Maybe, God had to give you the ultimate brick wall in order to get you to make a U-turn or to stop and pay attention. Hurricane Katrina was bad. Hurricane Rita made it worse. Maybe God was flushing the toilet and then it still wasn't better and he had to rinse it again.

Please, Mr. Nagin, use your head before you speak. Read your speeches before you say them out loud, in front of the city, state, nation, and world. If you do not make serious efforts to mend the hearts and minds of the people who are here, you will not even have them left here to build your "chocolate city".

What has happened since Katrina ravaged the city has been abominable. You have done nothing but incite racial divides in the community. I know VERY many people, who happen to be white and Latino, that lost everything they owned, just like black people. They were trapped in their homes, attics and had to be rescued just like black people. Does the fact that they are not African-American affect their plight and make it somehow better?

Back to God, did you know that God is color blind? Beware of getting trapped in the "black vs. white" game, Mr. Mayor, because it is not about that at all. It is about the life of the city. It is about ALL the people of the city. You know, the Vietnamese, the Cajun, the Latin, the African American, the Indian, the White, the European, the Chinese, the Canadian, the Australian; come on Mr. Mayor, this example of diverse culture is what it is about. And, last time I checked, these people come in all shapes and colors. Dr. King's mission was to UNITE the different races of this country so that we can all live together in harmony. Honor his memory and BRING THEM TOGETHER, don't drive them apart. That, since Katrina, is the job that you have, sir, BRING THEM TOGETHER.


Kirk Lee Jacobs of New Orleans writes:

I guess we are supposed to accept Nagin's half-hearted apology. "If I offended anyone," were his exact words. I wouldn't call that a sincere apology or addressing the comments seriously. He has set us back with those narrow-minded statements and he should step down for the betterment of the city. Clearly, the strain of this job has gone to his head. Just put the shoe on the other foot race wise and I can promise you that an apology like that would not be good enough. In my opinion, he still does not see the wrong in his statements. It appears that he will get a pass on this and the city will continue to be run by incompetent leadership and nothing will change.


Paul Durbin of New Orleans writes:

Due to Mayor Negin's remarks about God punishing America because of Iraq and his racist comment, I and my family will not return to New Orleans. I voted for Nagin, but I will not live where I am not wanted.


Karen T. Stall of New Orleans writes:

It was with a heavy heart that I absorbed Mayor Nagin's MLK speech. It was the same sadness that I felt as I sat in Annuciation Church in downtown Houston the Sunday following Katrina. Our family went there to find comfort after the storm, only to be insulted and shamed. Monsignior Burnzinhell (I think that's German chocolate flavor,) did NOT welcome New Orleans evacuees, but espoused that New Orleans got what it deserved. Perhaps he thought he was addressing his regular parishoners only.

Mayor Nagin, I at least thought that our fellow New Orleanians, chocolate or otherwise, would know first hand how painful a comment like that one is. I was so proud of your courage and leadership after the storm, and bragged on many occasions regarding how lucky New Orleans was to have you for our mayor. Surely politicians direct speechs to the company present. But as you said yourself, you are under the microscope constantly; all the more reason to choose your words carefully. My heart tells me that you are truly a good person, but I think we need leadership that encompasses our diverse city, including the mixed nuts sinners responsible for our devistation. Best of luck to you.


Ron Kelley from 24401 writes:

Your mayor serves as a beacon of hope for all intellectually challenged persons; that they too might achieve public office and notoriety.


Louie Bonnecarre of New Orleans writes:

To use a variation of Naquin's analogy, we are more of a chocolate and vanilla swirl population with nuts on top. Need I say the nuts represent our politicians?

All the good that has happened recently such as a solid rebuilding plan has been overshadowed by one stupid remark.

New Orleans pre-Katrina was a major tourist attraction via solid marketing campaigns with visitors spending 5.5 billion a year. This industry in itself was a key to our city's survival. New Orleans post-Katrina survival is now dependent on sending positive messages to Washington in the hope we can get federal funding for the rebuilding process. The logic that created the success in the city's tourist industry should be the same logic applied to sending positive messages to Washington. In simple terms it's creating a positive perception of our city by concentrating on all the good things we have to offer.

The nuts - a.k.a. politicians - are sending the exact opposite messages. First it was a refusal to consolidate the levee boards which was correctly termed "politics as usual". Now it's our mayor making divisive racial remarks in his best preacher tone on Martin Luther King's birthday. MLK is a day to honor the great civil right's leader and his non violent direct action approach. Our mayor on the national stage makes a remark that goes against everything that epitomized the great leader and his approach. It would be great if for once the politicians would act in the city's best interest instead of their own political gain. It would be unprecedented in this city's three hundred year history. Hopefully someone in the May election can ride in on their white and black horse and become that special leader New Orleanians is in desperate need of. Our city's survival depends on it.


Steve Miller of 28213 writes:

An open letter to Mayor Nagin:

When Katrinas rage was televised across the nation, my family watched in disbelief. We cried, we prayed and then we went to work. We gave money any chance we had, without hesitation. We cheerfully gave time to Red Cross relief and work efforts, and again, we cried, mourned and prayed. Even our 3 year old son interrupted his usual bedtime prayers and said "No No Daddy, God bless the little boys and girls in the water".

It did not-and does not- matter to us who,how,why or where the blame is put, only that others are in need of our help.Your remarks on what should be an enlightening and redeeming day are not only a great disservice and insult to the noble people of New Orleans, they are a slap in the face to all those across our country who have so selflessly given of themselves in Louisianas darkest hour.


Georgia Boutwell of 39402 writes:

While building our "New Orleans" style home, we visited your wonderful city regularly to acquire many antique items to give it an authentic look. While there we enjoyed the fine restaurants, shops, and general feel of this friendly city and we were never afraid. Now, we are being told by your racist mayor that chocolate is his prefered color and we have to wonder if those of us that are "vanilla" are welcome - or is it just our money he wants? We are now concerned about visiting the chocolate city. We are offended by this comment. We wonder what Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would say if a white mayor had stated that he was going to get his city vanilla? And just think how they berated Trent Lott, who I thank God for daily since the storm. Someone needs to let the other colors know when it is safe to return - we miss the food.


Doug Light of 90660 writes:

If Ray Nagin (and his god) wants to make New Orleans a town that is majority African-American, I suggest we (the approximately 80% of non-black America) all help out by not spending any of our money in his leaky little town. I will be canceling my upcoming vacation to New Orleans and will instead travel to a town where I will be appreciated for how much I spend, not whether I am "chocolate" or vanilla.

Where does Mayor Nagin get off insisting that American taxpayers (again, about 80% non-black) donate millions of dollars to re-build New Orleans and then expect to make it into his own little racially exclusive country club? My neighbor is mixed race, will he be able to go in up to his knees?


Paul Shultz of Virginia writes:

I am a Virginian who loves New Orleans. I have been there many times. I still shop at Perlis (online these days). I hope to be back to the restaurants. But before that, you have to do something with your mayor. It is no secret that this guy screwed up during the hurricane, and the "chocolate" thing and God punishing America, and all of that stuff was so far out that NASA would have missed it. Somebody should explain to him that the best way to rebuild New Orleans will start with his resignation. What does he think he is? The "candy man"?


David Bolton of 38301 writes:

Since Hurricane Katrina I have found most of Mayor Nagin's comments amusing, if not questionable for his reasoning. His latest comments however are most disturbing, given the obvious bias expressed in such comments.

I will not visit New Orleans, nor will I support any organization that is involved in New Orleans as long as this man remains the Mayor! His conduct is anything but professional or something to be admired. It is a real shame that such a great city, or former city, is governed by such a small, petty man.


Sallie Lawrence of Birmingham, Alabama

I was fortunate enough to grow up along the Gulf Coast in the state of Florida. Some of my fondest memories of growing up include visits to the city of New Orleans. I am now an adult living in the state of Alabama and have counted New Orleans among one of my most favorite places to visits. You must understand, my visits were not only limited to recreation but also to volunteer work. I have spent several summers in the inner-city neighborhood along Annunciation Street working with the children and citizens of this neighborhood. I love the atmosphere of New Orleans, the culture, the history, the sights, sounds and the food! I was saddened when Hurricane Katrina devastated your area. I was so excited when I saw the determination of the citizens of New Orleans to rebuild. I couldn't wait to bring my family to visit this wonderful city once again.

You will understand then my sadness today when I heard the remarks of your Mayor. As an American, I was disheartened by the racial overtones in his speech, especially on a day celebrating the legacy of a man who stood for equality. I don't consider myself "chocolate" or "vanilla" but an American, an American, who looked past skin color to come and spend time with those who needed it in the city of New Orleans, an American, who could care less about the color of those serving me when I came to visit for leisure.

In light of Mayor Nagin's comments, I will withhold my tourist dollars from the city of New Orleans until a mayor who doesn't look at skin color is elected to represent the great people of the city of New Orleans. Mayor Nagin, whether you meant to or not, you offended me. As a mayor you should choose your words carefully even if "you are caught up in the moment". I hope the citizens of New Orleans will choose their mayor carefully in the near future. One who desires to represent ALL people. Until then, I will vacation in other places that welcome me regardless of my skin color.

A proud AMERICAN -
Sallie Lawrence
Birmingham, Alabama


D. Bachemin of New Orleans writes:

I usually like to read But Martin Luther King Holiday is a celebration of the Dream that Martin Luther King had about the future of Black People in America. When the Mayor addressed the people he was addressing the people in context of that dream. I think it is interesting that your paper is so one-sided in it's view of the Mayor's speach. I currently am living in New York. I read the Wall Street Journal on a regular basis and I cannot forget that a few days after Hurricane Katrina hit, the Wall Street Journal had an article about the fact that now the city is predominately White and what the plan was for the future of this new white city. Just recently I read in New York Times that a republican Candidate is thinking of running because now that the city is predominately white it is possible that a white candidate can actually run and win the mayors race. No one made a stink about that. But, everyone is up-in-arms about the Mayors speach. Well I'll tell you what, every New Orleans native Black person that I have emailed this speach to was reduced to tears because they were so moved by his speach. Where is this article? Where is the article written by a real Black Person? Why are white people writing an article about a day that celebrates a man that gave his life fighting for the rights of Black People. When will we have true equality in this country. And, why shouldn't New Orleans be a chocolate city. I am born and raised here. It has always been a chocolate city. New Orleans was the biggest importer of slaves. What better place for us to reside other than a place that was built by our ancestors. A culture that was designed to their liking and a place where Black mothers and nannys raised Black and White children. You tell me? I love the Mayors speech. I love his reference to God. I agree with his reference to God and actually he is my hero because he is not politically correct, he is correct in his heart. He speaks from his spirit and I can feel him. Where is this article? You tell me.


Greg Strohm of 66203 writes:

Dear Mayor Nagin: I will be happy to mark your city off as a tourist destination. I have read that you feel your recent comments were not racist. I heard the AUDIO version and compliment you on your passion. It came across loud and clear that I am not welcome "at the end of the day". Your rhetoric does far more harm to your citizens than any hurricane could. The applause I heard in the background confirmed that your opinion is not limited to yourself.

Sorry to intrude my opinion on your city's paper but I won't intrude on it's space.


Randy Johnson of Texas writes:

I am appalled by the racist comments by Mayor Nagin of New Orleans. His promise that New Orleans will be a "chocolate" city again and that is "the way God wants it to be" disgusts me. If a white mayor in a predominantly white city had made similar remarks, the African American community would be screaming for impeachment.

As a result of the mayor's ongoing inability to display effective leadership, I have written my congressman and both Senators in my home state of Texas and asked them to pull the plug on federal funding for the reconstruction fiasco.

Having lived in the New Orleans area from 1996 - 1999, I am convinced that it is not worth rebuilding. The city is morally bankrupt. I don't want to spend my tax money repairing a city run by a bunch of ingrateful racists and a state run be incompetent fools.


Michael Phelps from 93277 writes:

My wife and I have visited New Orleans seven times, all unrelated to conventions. We have always had a wonderful time. No More. Your Mayor is an idiot. After his bumbling during the hurricanes, trying to cover his ass by blaming every other organization and agency his comments on Iraq and now wanting to create a new chocolate community we have made a decision to take our money elsewhere. This man is obviously the spokesman for your community and certainly not a student of public relations. Since Ray Nagin knows what God wants he should know that God doesn't want a fool as the Mayor of a great city.


John Drwiega of New Orleans writes:

As an Uptown resident, I refuse to accept the apologize of Mayor Nagin. I've heard it all before. In early October, he commented on how he didn't want to see "Hispanics overrunning the city." Two days later he denied saying it. But I have it on tape. You know what I think. I think the Hispanics from Texas will rebuild this city faster than Nagin, the FEDS or the handful of displaced New Orleanians that Jessie Jackson rounded up on his bus tour from Memphis.

Mr. Nagin straddles the fence until he opens his mouth. One day he is against Mardi Gras. The next day he gleefully announces Carnival will go on. And then after being verbally attacked by displaced residents in Atlanta for holding Carnival, he says the hotels and business leaders out voted him. Say what? My goodness, you're the mayor! Act like a leader and make the decision! I am afraid Hurricane Katrina made a waffle out of Mr. Nagin. At this time, he would have difficulty leading a Bourbon Street whore to bed.

Maybe it is because I'm not a very religious man. But I find it problematic when politicians evoke the wrath of god into explaining a natural disaster. New Orleans is below sea level. The city sits in the path of tropical storms. It's going to flood sooner or later. I don't believe God has anything to do with it. If Mr. Nagin wishes to impersonate Pat Robertson, let him do it as a citizen, not as our mayor.

Unfortunately for New Orleans, Mr. Nagin will remain our village idiot for a few more months than necessary. He no longer will receive my vote. The great city of New Orleans deserves so much better.


A former New Orleanian writes:

Dear Ray,

Open mouth. Insert foot. AGAIN!


The rest of the country

P.S. Do New Orleans and the entire nation a favor: step down and let somebody sane and capable rebuild the city to become a place that is inviting to former New Orleanians and many who would like to choose to become new New Orleanians. The world is watching and desiring the best for New Orleans. Stop stopping progress and stop embarrassing yourself and the good citizens of New Orleans.


Audy Mendel of Kenner writes:

A chocolate New Orleans? What is that? One of the many things about our great city, which we have ample of is history. One part of our unique history has horrible racial overtones. One we as a nation have been trying really hard to overcome. The only way to improve the way the nation and the world for that matter looks at "color" is to lead by example.

Well the whole nation heard Mayor Nagins' speech and that speech painted a racial picture. The last time I heard a speech like that the guy giving it was wearing a white hood. Is it OKfor you to be racist because you're "chocolate" or mayor? No sir. I have lived in Kenner all of my life and have worked as a carpenter for the past fourteen years. I have built and renovated countless homes in and around the city. I take great pride in the city of New Orleans, it is my home. New Orleans isn't defined by boundaries or lines. It stretches far beyond and deep in the hearts of all, from the west to the east bank and from the north shore to the south shore. Are you saying that there is only room for a small number of White, Hispanic, Asian, ect.? That for the majority, there is a prerequisite that you have to be African American to live in New Orleans. That's absurd! Multi-cultural, multi-ethnical, diverse, all wonderful ways to describe New Orleans both pre and post Katrina. I do believe THAT'S the way God would want it. I have been here since day one, helping my family and neighbors to put together pieces of their life. I will be here to rebuild our great city and will take my last breath here in south Louisiana, God willing. The Mayor and his chocolate dream are not what we need leading us into the future. We need to be just as diverse as we were before that's what made New Orleans New Orleans in the first place. I am appalled by the Mayors speech as I feel everyone in the nation should be but more so here in New Orleans. We have come a long way since the civil rights movement; well some of us have Mayor Nagin.


Russ Pendred of North Carolina writes:

To Whom it May Concern;

I hope you will pass this message on so it was not written in vain.

I am not sure who I should have sent this email but you can be assured that you will no longer have to be concerned with receiving my checks to help rebuild New Orleans (a city I have visited many times in the past for pleasure and business).

Your Mayor has made it very clear that New Orleans will be the future Chocolate City of America and he is against Whites, Asians, Hispanics & others working there helping to rebuild since it is taking jobs from locals.

So here is the solution: let New Orleans rebuild itself with Black money and Black workers to be a real Chocolate City -- that should be the 8th wonder of the world with that combination. Please, this is not an anti black note, but just pure disgust for the tasteless remarks your ignorant Mayor has made about those of us who have sent money to help rebuild your city even though you could easily tell I would never fit into a Chocolate City. Sorry you have an idiot for a mayor -- he is the 9th wonder of the world.

I am Russ Pendred, a generous WASP and proud of it, since I am proud to help others in time of need.

Please let your Mayor know he can kiss my future donations good by as well as my rear anatomy (give him a dictionary so he knows what the word means).


Bruce Miles from 32446 writes:

I read Mayor Nagin's comments with disbelief and wonder. Perhaps he has forgotten that New Orleans is one of the most racially diverse cities in the U.S. (Remember the "French Quarter" Mr. Mayor?) Had a white mayor made the same or similar comments about a predominately white city, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would have already been on the national news calling for his/her job. I'm sure Mayor Nagin is not turning down any "vanilla" money for restoration of his "chocolate city". Many large corporations and organizations hold conventions in New Orleans every year. Remember Mayor Nagin, the rest of the country is watching and listening.


Stephen Sherbin from 32934 writes:

How can New Orleans tolerate a racist as your Mayor?

We used to be HUGE fans of New Orleans and visited again less than a month before the hurricane...unfortunately we're not "Chocolate" and no longer feel welcome in N.O. if this is the type of person the City chooses to represent it. Guess we'll be visiting Vegas more often.

What a stupid comment to make. If the City has an ounce of self-respect it'll vote him out of office, but we won't be back until he's gone.


G. Moore of New Orleans writes:

Regarding the recent speech by the mayor. Will someone please tell our "Milk Chocolate" Mayor that all of his "White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate" residents need him to help us all equally and that the God he thinks is punishing all of us might just be his God punishing him.


Cooper Evans from 70508 writes:

To Mayor Ray Nagin:

I spent most of my life in New Orleans and I thinking about moving back, my question is: Are white people and people of other races allowed back in YOUR city?

I'm not as ethnically conscious as you. I see New Orleans as a melting pot of culture for all of us to share as one community. The point is: you're not just an embarrassment to the Black community; you're an embarrassment to everyone from New Orleans.

Martin Luther King Jr. would have been disappointed in the way you seek to divide the collective culture of our city, state, and country. The people of New Orleans and Louisiana as a whole do not want racists such as yourself or others like David Duke to represent them.

You're political career is over.

Take it like a man: shut-up, pack up, and get out.


Terry Kraus of Georgia writes:

Dear Ray, I have known you for several years. You are a fine man, a caring and loving family man. I understand that you have "gone to the mountain" to talk with Dr. King.

I too have been there. He told me: "When we allow freedom to ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, Thank God A-mighty, We are free at last."

So let us go once more up to the mountain, you and I, arm in arm, dark chocolate and white chocolate. I see hope for my beloved New Orleans, for all of us, just as you do. That hope comes from all of us working together to bring our city back. I embrace you, my brother. Please embrace us back.


Ashley Arroyo of New Orleans writes:

My letter to Ray Nagin:

It is truly a shame that Martin Luther King Day was used to perpetuate racism and hateful, offensive speech. This is a time for New Orleans and all of Louisiana to unite and instead you choose to divide based on the color of skin. New Orleans is and always has been so much more than race. You can choose to focus only on making New Orleans "Chocolate", but the rest of us will focus on making New Orleans safer, stronger and more economically viable. You have humiliated us (and yourself) in front of the rest of the country. You are supposed to be a leader for all of New Orleans.


Jay of New Orleans:

Somebody get Gen. Honore back to New Orleans . . . the mayor is "Stuck on Stupid."