First Pat Robertson, now Mayor Ray Nagin?

Seems God isn’t too happy with Pat Robertson’s habit of delivering God’s message and then turning around and apologizing for it the minute one of his business deals is threatened because of it so God has decided to start talking to the politicians instead. In this case he’s chatting up New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin about why he (God) sent all those hurricanes:

Mayor Ray Nagin suggested Monday that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other storms were a sign that “God is mad at America” and at black communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political infighting.

“Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it’s destroyed and put stress on this country,” Nagin, who is black, said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Day.

“Surely he doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We’re not taking care of ourselves.”

Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be a “chocolate” city again. Many of the city’s black neighborhoods were heavily damaged by Katrina.

“It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans—the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans,” the mayor said. “This city will be a majority African American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.”

It’s bad enough to have the Fundies proclaiming they know for certain what God wants, we don’t really need any politicians getting in on the act. The claim is ridiculous on so many levels, not the least of which being that I don’t believe God exists to be pissed off at anyone in the first place, that it’s hard to decide where to start with it. Let’s start with the idea that God would make use of such a crude method to display his displeasure.

Mayor Nagin seems to be saying that God wiped out a good portion of the coastline down there because he’s upset with one minority group in America. Granted he did also say that our being in Iraq had something to do with it as well, but the impression I got is that he thinks that’s less of an issue than the fact that the black community isn’t taking care of itself. If that’s true then why punish everyone with something like a hurricane rather than, say, causing major sinkholes to open under all of the homes and businesses owned by African Americans in the area while leaving all the other homes and buildings untouched? Now THAT would be a message hard to deny as being directly from God. Though what the message actually meant would still be up for grabs. Perhaps some 40 foot high flaming letters spelling out a short essay about what he’s pissed about would help in that regard.

The other thought to occurred to me: Isn’t Mayor Nagin opening up African Americans to some silly criticism by making such a claim? Idiotic as it is I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to hear someone claim that blacks are a menace because they bring on God’s wrath. Quick, kick ‘em out before the locusts are let loose!

The whole New Orleans is a “chocolate” city by God’s design comment is so stupid that I can’t even manage to come up with a quip about it that’s snarky enough to do it justice.

Not that I don’t agree with the sentiment that there’s plenty of rebuilding to be done and that the whole community needs to come together to accomplish it or that the African American community has some serious internal problems it needs to deal with—and not just in New Orleans—but you don’t need a God to tell you those things. You just need a functioning brain and a little observational skill.

Link found via The Moderate Voice.

As an interesting aside, apparent Conservative blogger and Pat Robertson fan La Shawn Barber put up a challenge to all the bloggers who jump all over Pat Robertson every time he makes an ass out of himself to jump all over Nagin for making similar comments. This entry isn’t a response to that challenge as I wrote it prior to even seeing it, but Barber is welcome to consider it a response if he wants. Stupid is stupid regardless of whether it’s Robertson saying it or Mayor Nagin, it just seems that Robertson is trying to break into the Guinness Book of World Records with a lifetime achievement for idiotic statements. Nagin is still pretty small time in comparison, but given enough time and encouragement I’m sure he could make a career out of it.

15 thoughts on “First Pat Robertson, now Mayor Ray Nagin?

  1. Imagine Nagan were white, and said:

    “It’s time for us to come together. It’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans – the one that should be a white New Orleans. This city will be a majority white city. It’s the way God wants it to be. You can’t have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn’t be New Orleans.”

  2. If there was ever any doubt that the frontline personnel were a problem during the relief efforts, I think this puts that baby to bed.

    Nearly as crazy are the rebuilding plans.  Do a quick search to find out about all our money Mr. Nagan wants to spend.

  3. Something God and Ray Nagin should ponder:

    Nothing can—or should—be done about rebuilding New Orleans as long as the levees remain unfixed.

    (BadTux, at Pharyngula). 
    The whole comment is well worth reading.  Basically, given the current plans, anyone who moves back there is nuts.  Unless the wetlands that provided a measure of natural protection are restored, any future New Orleans is doomed once again.

  4. Come zilch, deprive Haliburton and their ilk from carting off tax payer’s money by the truckload? Think about the families of those poor contractors, will you?

    If the Bush administration were serious about rebuilding New Orleans, they’d hire a score of Dutch engineers and pay for whatever they recommend.

  5. “We don’t need the Dutch to tell us how to build a levee system.”
    – O’Neil P. Malbrough, president of Shaw Coastal (an engineering firm that wants Congress to open New Orleans protection for bids), quoted on page 71 of February ‘06 Scientific American in the article, “Protecting New Orleans”

    It’s a really interesting article and quite detailed, but that little comment stood out.  Somehow I would not be surprised if he’s a friend of the Bush administration.

  6. “We don’t need the Dutch to tell us how to build a levee system.”

    Why indeed. It’s not like they’ve had any experience and if there’s anything at stake for them.

  7. Okay elwed, I have to ask.  Us red staters only read the Sunday missal.  Please enlighten the rest of us by sourcing the Haliburton statement as it relates to New Orleans restoration, please.

  8. Consi, google for:

    “New Orleans” reconstruction Halliburton

    Plenty of sourcing to be found. Halliburton sticks in my mind because I remember media reports that they were the very first company to be awarded contracts for the reconstruction effort – without competing offers being sought.

    I’ll even connect a few more dots; google for:

    Halliburton Woolsey

    That’s Lynn Wolsey, not James. Bonus points for locating a document dated 9/22/2005.

  9. As an interesting aside, apparent Conservative blogger and Pat Robertson fan La Shawn Barber put up a challenge to all the bloggers who jump all over Pat Robertson every time he makes an ass out of himself to jump all over Nagin for making similar comments.

    The two (Robertson and Nagin) are beyond compare. Robertson has for nearly thirty years been saying and doing stupid things; hell, he helped create a coalition that is built upon saying and doing stupid things.

    As far as I know, Nagin has not made an idiot of himself for decades, as Robertson has.

    Please enlighten the rest of us by sourcing the Haliburton statement as it relates to New Orleans restoration, please.

    It’s another one of the current administration’s many failures, perhaps? Even if it’s not directly related to the New Orleans disasters per se…

  10. On the topic of Googling Halliburton, you should try to Google the Pentagon audits of KBR’s (a Halliburton subsidiary) projects supporting the US military in Iraq. 

    As for God being pissed.  I’m not surprised that he is.  Look at Jesus, he was the quintessential hippy.  God’s mad because there aren’t enough drum circles or love-ins in the American south.

  11. As far as I know, Nagin has not made an idiot of himself for decades, as Robertson has.

    I think you’re being unfair!  Give him time; he’s young yet.

    How could you be the mayor of a large city and not have thought more deeply, be more aware, of race issues than that?

  12. How could you be the mayor of a large city and not have thought more deeply, be more aware, of race issues than that?

    Good question. As mayor of a major metropolis, the comments made by Nagin are, quite simply, appalling. Of course racial issues are very troubling in this country, but the blame lies in the very system itself, which is inherently racist.

    Nagin does the African-American community no favors by speaking like a pundit. Rather than help the wounded black communities of New Orleans, his words are simply going to add fuel to the proverbial fires of racist conservatives.

  13. Spooky…I was just reading La Shawn Barber’s take on the Harry Potter books (don’t ask why), and when I got bored I clicked over here…only to find you guys talking about her! I’d never even heard of this woman before. Clearly this is a sign from God that I am supposed to…do…something, or…something…is supposed to happen. Or something.

  14. we heard about this in my government class. i usually have fun fighting with my teacher because he’s from ohio (which, i’m sure you know, les, produces people surprisingly different from michiganders), uber-christian, and pro-bush. like whoa. but he even disliked nagin’s comments (and talks about how stupid pat is, too). we all decided that nagin is the most stupid- or as the old man himself put it, ‘stupidest’- politician around.

    he’s got my respect now. XD

  15. I wonder if Negen jumped off the Huey P. Long bridge if you would rename if after him. Well I dont wonder as much as I would just like to see him jump off of it

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