A Tale of Two Cities

October 26th, 2009

Inspired by “President Gets a Warm Welcome and a Hot Question in New Orleans” (Washington Post 10/15/09). Why do they like President Obama so much in New Orleans? Just because he’s black, or might it also be because when he came into office (already 3.5 years after Katrina), there were still 30,000 people in temporary homes. Now there are 250. That’s still 250 too many (I’m sure he’s working on taking care of them too, and will soon), but a reduction of 99% in 9 months isn’t bad, especially when compared to Bush’s prior lackadaisical performance. On the more pleasant side, check out this excellent collection of New Orleans music, click on individual artists below to hear their songs, and take a look at our list of New Orleans musical artists. Also check out Washington, DC’s Wikipedia page, and the Washington Post article (“Gatekeeper on DC’s entry” 10/23/09) on it’s maintainer-in-chief.  And watch the videos below.


Why do they love him in New Orleans?

Is it just because he’s black?

If I got that reception somewhere,

I’d sure want to go back.


Maybe it has something to do with the fact

That  3.5 years after Katrina

There were still 30,000 in temporary housing

(NOT a heckuva job, Bush’s FEMA).


Now there are 250,

A reduction of 99%.

For just 9 months work

I’d say that’s time well spent.


It makes you wonder

After Bush’s Katrina blunder,

If Kanye’s comment that Bush was racist

Might have had just the teeniest basis.


But as I’ve stated before

I don’t think Bush himself hates people who are black

But I don’t begrudge the latter

From being by Republicans taken aback.


Some GOP supporters are card-carrying bigots

With racism infected,

And many Republicans play that card

In order to get elected.


They stoke the embers of hatred

(Bush 1’s use of Willie Horton was good),

Thus keeping those embers burning

Instead of letting them die out as they should.


How about Bush 2’s “illegitimate Negro child” attack on McCain?

That sounded a familiar refrain.

Only that time it was a fellow Republican

That the tactic was used on again.


And it did bother me

That after the Bush-led catastrophe,

Bush officials tried to blame the Katrina mess

On local officials’ failure to impress.


Maybe the latter made some mistakes

But they were the kind that everyone makes.

And after all, it was plain to see

That Katrina exceeded local capacity.


But Republicans and Fox News

Seem to enjoy New Orleans to abuse.

A search of Fox’s website for New Orleans mistakes

Produced over 1000 hits (not counting the Saints).


Fox News New Orleans mistakes

Mayor Nagy called New Orleans the chocolate city.

I’ve never been there, but I hear it’s pretty.

I’ve always wanted to go.

It’s the birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans Soul, and more, you know.


Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino, and Jelly Roll Morton,

Little Richard, Wynton Marsalis, and Al Johnson:

Musical legends, and many more past and present

Do New Orlean’s rich history represent.


As far as chocolate cities go,

I live in one too.

We’re the subject of a lot of media bias

Which they sometimes overdo.


“Aren’t you afraid to live there,” people ask,

“Aren’t you afraid to go downtown?”

But nothing bad’s ever happened to me

(Even in the parts of the city that are brown).


Conservatives especially like to attack us

And into a corner back us.

They say DC is a horrible place.

I’m sure it has nothing to do with race.


They like to run against Washington,

But when here they join in the fun,

Dividing up the political spoils,

Which the political process soils.


When they go back home,

They express their hate

Of the pork-barrel culture

Which they create.


Though it’s a place rightists love to hate,

The real truth is that DC’s great.

Yes, DC’s got a few faults one must forgive,

But overall, it’s a great place to live.


I’ve lived in DC most of my life.

It was in DC where I met my wife,

And DC where we raised our children,

(It’s also subject of many posts herein).


We’ve got great parks and restaurants,

The National Opera, museums, and monuments.

One of my favorites is the Natural History Museum

Kids love the dinosaurs (take yours to see ‘em).


Out-of-towners think DC is cool

When they visit with their class from school.

But If you’ve just been here once, come take a second look.

(You can also see the sights from Dan Brown’s new book.)


We also get visits from famous stars

That come to meet Congressmen (and hang out in our bars).

There’s always something going on

(That’s something you can depend upon).


And yes, we’ve got the Government,

The subject of much popular discontent,

We complain that they our views don’t represent

And that tax dollars are not well spent.


But in spite of all that we resent,

Democracy means popular consent.

So before you get ready for an all-out assault,

Remember that if our government’s bad, it’s our own fault.


A country like ours isn’t easy to run

(Especially with people always criticizing – that can’t be fun).

Yes, they sometimes mess things up grossly,

But overall they do pretty well, mostly.


Republicans (and politicians in general, with one notable exception)

Do tend to care less about people who don’t vote for ‘em.

It’s a common misconception

That it’s only about complexion.

But to say race isn’t a factor at all

Is a deception.


Why does it seem Republicans don’t like chocolate cities?

Would you tone down the criticism if I said please?

All these attacks just ain’t right.

After all, some things aren’t just black and white.


So Republicans, please stop the anti-chocolate drama.

(PS: the notable exception is Obama.)

***

Here’s a song about black and white in the chocolate city by a young singer-songwriter from DC (check out her other stuff on Youtube).

***

Here’s Kanye’s comment.

Follow up: According to A Public Angry at Washington (MSNBC’s First Read 10/27/09), based on the results of a new NBC/WSJ poll only 23% of those surveyed say they trust government “just about always” or “most of the time.” That’s the lowest level of support in 12 years.

If you haven’t yet, you must read the book from which this poem takes its name, Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities (or, buy a Kindle and download it for free). They’re called classics for a reason.



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8 Responses to “A Tale of Two Cities”

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    […] and download it for free), you must (they’re called classics for a reason). And also check out my earlier poem of that […]

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