“This is an attack on the black leadership.”
So said Malcolm Suber yesterday at the New Orleans City Council, defending District Attorney Eddie Jordan.
Personally I think Mr. Suber is confusing leadership with authority.
When I think of black leadership in New Orleans, elected officials are not foremost in my mind. Instead, I think of people like Malik Rahim, who founded Common Ground; Patricia Jones, executive director of Lower Ninth Ward NENA; LaToya Cantrell, president of Broadmoor Civic Improvement Association; and — yes — Malcolm Suber, who has organized the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund.
And there are many others, grassroots heroes who are working for the recovery of New Orleans.
But please don’t cite District Attorney Eddie Jordan as an example of black leadership. Mr. Jordan is in a position of authority, true. But that does not equate to leadership. To the contrary, Mr. Jordan has betrayed the (largely black) community that elected him.
By way of contrast, consider the actions yesterday of State Representatives Cedric Richmond and J. P. Morrell, both active in the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus. Although they stopped short of calling for Jordan to resign, they went public with their disappointment in his performance and threatened him with impeachment if he doesn’t do better.
They put their own reputations at risk for the sake of the community. That’s true leadership. Kudos to them.