[MarignyBywater] A note from the moderator re recent discussion on the list

Marigny Info info at marigny.org
Fri Jul 27 17:58:50 EDT 2007

Given the tone of some of the recent posts to this message board -  
and word I have received about the tone of emails made to several  
list members off-list, for the first time since running this list I  
feel it necessary to comment publicly as the list moderator.

We are all concerned about the crime problem in New Orleans and many  
of our lives have been personally impacted by crime.

There are obviously a wide range of opinions as to the roots of the  
problem, how the community should be notified about crimes, and what  
possible solutions are. These are issues that need to be addressed  
and discussed as a community, for it is only by working together as a  
community that we stand any chance of making our city a safer place.

However, we must not fail to remember in these discussions that are  
city is a diverse city in many ways - race being one of them, and, in  
my opinion, that is one of the things that makes New Orleans a  
special place. And so while it is an undeniable reality that the  
majority of crimes committed here are committed by young, African- 
American males, we do the rest of the hard working, law-abiding   
African American community - and ourselves - a great disservice by  
allowing our discussions to devolve into ones with racist overtones.

Yes, this is a difficult problem and a difficult discussion, and I  
certainly do not have the answers myself or know exactly how we  
should deal with informing the community of crimes and give people  
enough pertinent information without the appearance of resorting to  
implied racism. However, having read more thoroughly through some of  
the posts from the NO Crime Line (and I apologize for having been  
remiss in mostly having skimmed them in the past), I have to agree  
with some on this list that certain commentary has been included in  
their emails that is unnecessary and comes across as racist. I am not  
sure how I will deal with their email yet in the future - I may edit  
out the unnecessary and unhelpful commentaries before forwarding the  
emails, or I may suggest that anyone interested in continuing to  
receive their emails sign up to receive them personally.

However, the NO Crime Line reports aside, I am quite disturbed by the  
tone some posters on this list are taking with each other. Some of us  
know each other personally, but most do not know the people they are  
responding to. It is one thing to have a healthy discussion, it is  
another thing to make hateful statements and/or accusing someone  
whose personal and/or public life and actions you know nothing about  
as to what they may or may not be doing for their community. I would  
like to remind people of the TOS of the list (which can be found in  
full at http://www.maringy.org):

"You agree not to use any obscene, indecent, or offensive language.  
Also, any material that is defamatory, abusive, harassing, or hateful  
will not be tolerated."

I have tried to keep myself largely out of the picture as moderator  
as I am a firm believer in free speech and mainly regard my role as  
that of keeping spam and obviously inappropriate messages off the  
list. However, I am not going to allow this list turn into a battle  
of name-calling and accusations. If people can manage to maintain  
healthy, positive discussions about these difficult issues, than  
posts will be accepted. I know some of you will disagree with me on  
this and will let me know, but when it comes down to it, it is my  
decision as to what is appropriate and what is not and my main  
priority is making sure this list continues to be a positive and  
helpful feature for our neighborhoods.

Now, let's all take a deep breath and remember that we are all in  
this together and we all to work together to fix our largely broken  


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