Members of the NOPD in tactical gear emerge from a crime scene near the 6400 block of Painters in Gentily where police exchanged gunfire with a suspect in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. The suspect is in custody and the incident is under investigation.

As a native New Orleanian, I am saddened, angered and worried by the rising felonies, misdemeanors and infractions in our city. It seems to me that our city leaders and our citizens are simply adapting to the new normal.

We cannot be complacent; we need a new normal. So often it is said of the city that we need to save our culture. But what exactly is our culture, and why does it warrant saving?

The food, the music and the laissez-faire attitude of our people have turned our city into one big party. The new airport boasts the best restaurants and wonderful entertainment, yet there is no easy way to get there, no guarantee of claiming your baggage and many incompetent people working there. This culture needs to change.

A father and son were recently charged with the death of a bar employee. Was this a bonding moment for them? This culture needs to change.

Juveniles are terrorizing the city with carjackings and break-ins. Is getting your friends together to skip school and steal from others a social activity? This culture needs to change.

Many family gatherings, football games and parades have ended with violence. Is bringing a firearm to handle disagreements the way to solve conflicts? This culture needs to change.

With teenagers having children, these young moms will most likely not finish high school, thereby creating another generation of those condemned to poverty. Is living on welfare your whole life a viable financial plan? This culture needs to change.

A renewal of culture can happen with a renewal of faith and consciousness with respect for life, for ourselves, and for others. A culture without faith is a fragile culture. This culture needs to change.


retired educator

New Orleans

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