Brentin Mock writes at Colorlines about journalist and documentarian Deborah "Big Red" Cotton, who has expressed her concern about New Orleans violence and also her compassion and love for black men in the city, who are too often the perpetrators and victims of that violence.
"Journalist and documentarian Deborah 'Big Red' Cotton was one of the 19 people wounded in the tragic shooting during a 'second line' Mother's Day parade yesterday. In total, ten men, seven women and two 10-year-old children were injured. Cotton had just launched her own website NewOrleansGoodGood.com, which highlights off-the-beaten path restaurants and attractions normally ignored by mainstream media.
"But Cotton also wrote about often-ignored problems in New Orleans concerning violence and poverty. The tragic irony of her being wounded in a second line parade is that she wrote about this very issue often in her blog ...
"The unfortunate murder that occurred on Sunday is not symptomatic of second line culture. On the contrary, it's directly attributable to deep social ills that New Orleans has yet to get a firm grasp on: a broken criminal justice system that allows murderers to get off easily and maintains bad cops which in turn undermines residents' faith in cooperating with authorities; a broken education system that leaves citizens unable to function as adults in the professional world; and an economy based on two sectors that thwart ambition and opportunities – tourism and government. To end the murder culture, one must acknowledge and address the legitimate root problems and depart from racial biases that serve to further marginalize a distressed community."
(Read Brentin Mock's entire piece at Colorlines.)