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Nagin Retreats, Sort Of

Posted on Wednesday 18 January 2006

It appears that Mr. Mayor of New Orleans, the former cable TV manager Ray Nagin, has been taken to task by more than lil ol’ me for his remarks Monday.

On one point Nagin apparently wants to sincerely apologize for is his assertion that God is mad at America or at black people in particular. He said:

“I sincerely apologize for that and if there was anything I could take back, that would be it. I think it was inappropriate. I don’t know what happened there. I don’t know how that got jumbled up. That whole God thing, I don’t know how that got mixed up in there.”

Okay then. Next?

In speaking about his ‘chocolate city’ comment Nagin used the famous ‘conditional apology’ method; you know, the one that precedes the ‘I’m sorry’ part with ‘if’:

“[The chocolate city comment] was targeted toward African-Americans and it was intended to say, ‘You’re welcome regardless of what you’ve heard,’ and, ‘Come back.’ But obviously I misread the mood of people on some points, and if I said or did anything that offended people I sincerely apologize.”

I won’t even bother to deal with his feeble attempt to defuse the bomb yesterday, when he claimed that he meant ‘chocolate milk city’ when he said ‘chocolate city.’ I grew up here in Washington which has had a black population majority since long before I became aware of such things as demographics. The city’s black-oriented radio stations and other media outlets used to refer to Washington as “Chocolate City” with great pride in the 1970s. So please, Mr. Nagin, don’t try to tell me what ‘chocolate city’ means.

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