Today is the march, and of course I woke up with a frog in my throat.
Meanwhile, after two ridiculous press conferences, Nagin showed up last night at a poster and banner-making event at Sound Cafe to claim that he's thrilled that we're all doing this because the pressure we're putting on the criminal justice system is making it possible for him to talk about change for the first time.
Um, you're the mayor, you should be able to do this without us. But, as he stood there with his bodyguards, it was clear that...perhaps we have him worried.
Earlier in the week, people from city hall had begun quietly contacting certain community leaders and asking them not to participate. Even our own local paper is choosing to redirect people with their coverage. This mornings story suggests there will be hundreds of people marching in seperately planned events, rather than thousands marching in one unified event. They interviewed me, and although I made it clear that this was not the case, they report that I'm leading a march for my neighborhood (misidentified as Marigny) inspired solely by the tragic death of Helen Hill. Our local ABC affiliate broadcast a piece about businesses closing down to join the march, but focused exclusively on two woman: one runs a Pilates studio, the other an expensive children's boutique. Not a true sample of the community, but it plays well as far as isolating the event as (they hope) something about white people being scared.
I have to say, although I've said it before: I wasn't a close friend of any of the victims personally. People find this unbelievable, I guess because they can't imagine why I would care otherwise. But with several recent reports suggesting that I was a close friend of the white victim, I feel embarrassed and a little outraged. It is an inappropriate assumption, and it feels like a violation of some kind. Not of me, but of the dead.
Anyway, I've got to get coffee, and walk the dogs, and then, it is off to the march.