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A City in Disguise


Maybe when it started, maybe when it began, it was the intent and invention of men, but now here lies a city in disguise. A city who knows not its own ways, who is in need of truth to begin again for better days.

Full of the fatherless, drunk with the reputation of drunkenness, it opens wide its streets in this vulnerable state.

Rich culture means nothing when it is not taught to the children. They are left to wander aimlessly in the world created for them.

‘Restore dignity’ is the cry inside the light. ‘Bring justice’ is the heartbeat for New Orleans day and night.

The people do not know who they are but follow what is put in their own front yards. For candy and beads the daughters give up. For food and pride the sons step aside. Can the living stay alive among the dead when what is celebrated is death itself? Stigmas and stereotypes captivate the onlookers’ eyes. They come to partake in this devastating lie: a facade, an illusion, created for the plunder of the great city New Orleans.

When the tourists have had their fill, they leave the city, bones showing and ill.
Then the Cajuns hide their repeated despise, inviting again the enemy behind enemy lines.

The game of control cycles along. No one stands up. Everyone goes on.
What day will there be the question? What did you come here to see?

Why are the bartenders pouring your drink and why are the people intoxicated?
Who is the girl dancing for you? What has led the city to do the things that it does? Does this generation of locals know? Or do they continue to reap and plow what you’ve sown?

How can the crowds run in, take what they want, and leave again?
What are the memories on the plane as you leave south Louisiana and go on with your day?

What have you really done as you brag on your time at Mardi Gras to co-workers?

You have left them exposed and bare. You have fueled a lifestyle, a culture of despair. As the people prepare for next year’s plunder, I ask you to consider how you partner.