CRIME. It is one of the reasons we left New Orleans many years ago, but like most New Orleanians, our families, the city’s vibrant culture and, of course, the food, drove us back. Last night a second restaurant in uptown was robbed by gunman while patrons, enjoying a wonderful meal at a New Orleans restaurant serving our worldwide known cuisine in an atmosphere you can only enjoy here, were robbed … not only of their money and possessions but of their sense of safety and freedom to enjoy our unique city.
And truthfully, so were we. Again.
Do we really want crime to be the reason why New Orleans makes headlines around our nation and the world? Wouldn’t we rather New Orleans makes the news for our cuisine, culture, hospitality and economic opportunities? Should we allow crime to infest our daily lives and drive businesses, families and the people who make daily contributions to this great city away to safer cities?
When my father-in-law and grandfather-in-law share their childhood memories of growing up in New Orleans, it seems like a fairy tale at times because they revisit memories of riding their bikes for hours truly enjoying their childhood, free of the concerns New Orleans parents fear today. The thought of giving children in New Orleans free reign is foreign to me, even while living in a considerably safe area. I WANT our children to experience riding their bike freely in our neighborhood. I WANT our children to enjoy a cold snoball with friends at their local stand without me. I WANT our children to eat at any restaurant across New Orleans with family and revel in the sights and sounds our one of a kind city offers.
But I want our children – and all children across New Orleans – to do these things without constantly looking over their shoulder or second guessing their adventures. I don’t want my father-in-law and grandfather-in-law’s experiences growing up in New Orleans to be mere fairy tales for this generation.
Crime Is An Issue of Respect
What happened to the days of respecting our neighbor? Our elders and law enforcement? Individuals and businesses making an honest living and trying to provide the best for their families? All of this starts with us as parents. It is our responsibility to teach children respect towards others and their city. It is also necessary that children understand that everyone has the right to live in a safe environment and that each of our actions as citizens of New Orleans take a ripple effect throughout our community.
Quite simply, crime affects everyone, crosses all parishes and negatively influences everyone of every background. Last night was only one example.
I seem to formulate more questions than answers on this subject but I will not allow the actions of a few control our lives. Addressing and solving our crime problem here in New Orleans should be the singular top priority. Let our leaders take accountability and make this a focus of their role every. single. day. If not, they have let each and every parent and citizen down. You, me, our children and anyone else who lives here.
It seems that our leaders tolerate crime. The fact that the quality of life in New Orleans is lessened with each of these incidents should be making the headlines. We all work very hard, own businesses, pay taxes and CHOOSE to live in New Orleans. But we should be safe. Period.
New Orleans is OUR city and each and every one of us needs to stand up for what is of utmost importance to our families :: SAFETY.