People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Since I’ve been called an elitist …

Posted by schroeder915 on December 7, 2006

I don’t take kindly to being called names, so I’m going to post my response to a recent Gentilly Town Hall discussion right here, front and center (if that link doesn’t work, go to the Gentilly Town Hall forum main page, and look for topic number 1104).

Gentilly Girl, with whom I don’t wish any animosity, nevertheless chose to take me to the mat in response to an earlier PGR post:

He/she asks “Do you think you might like to have some airtime to get the word out about your neighborhood battles?” and ironically above that line questions the motive of the demolition of Cabrini Church. I’m sure the church isn’t located in Schroeder’s neighborhood. The irony of the elite preservationists dictating to an entire neighborhood what they can and cannot do in order to rebuild and recover. So, please log on to his blog and get the word out about YOUR neighborhood.

Since there appears to be a gross misunderstanding about my position, and since the call was made to use my forum to “get the word out,” I shall clarify:

Ah … if you’re talking about how I went into your house to help gut it, well, then yes, I guess you could say I *am* part of the preservationist *elite* — only in so far as there aren’t enough people doing this dirty work. But if you wish to associate me with some sort of conspiracy against your neighborhood, you’re dead wrong. As I’ve stated on your blog, Gentilly Girl, I couldn’t give a hoot what happens to that church. I simply believe that these issues should be given a complete public airing. Were I to resort to name-calling, I might call you and your neighborhood activists destruction elitists for wanting to take possession of a church which is owned by the church parish, not by the Archdiocese. I might call you part of the Catholic elite, or perhaps part of Walter William Maestri’s elite — a select group which makes decisions behind closed doors, and when they don’t get what they want, they become insolent and stomp their feet and cry foul. What really sickens me is what little consideration is given to public hearings on these issues, so that civil dialog, understanding, and hopefully, compromise, can be achieved. What really sickens me is how a Christian institution, the Archdiocese, chooses to pit communities against one another for the sake of a piece of land and a few buildings, rather than to seek harmony among people. All who care about New Orleans as a community, and yes, who care about preservation of its heritage, should care about how these issues are resolved. It’s about *the process*, not my attitude one way or another about *the building*.

Until very recently, the media has weighed heavily in favor of “progress” and the “wreckingballistas.” WWL TV covered the preservationist angle on the 10:00 news last night (I couldn’t find the archived video).

You know what’s really pathetic, and at the core of this battle? The fact that neighborhoods are struggling at all to justify their existence and economic well-being. Where’s the effing leadership in this town? In the United effing States of America?!!


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