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Monday Night Football at the Superdome

New Orleans is Back … Without Blacks

by NATE MEZMER

Did anybody notice that there was hardly any black people in attendance for the grand re-opening of the New Orleans Superdome on Monday Night Football?

Except for, of course, most of the players on the field, ESPN announcer Mike Tirico, a small section of Bono’s makeshift band and a handful of brown faces in the crowd…

All I saw was white people!

So, where are they? Where are the displaced faces of New Orleans? Are the tickets simply too expensive that most poor blacks in the area can’t afford seats?

As I am simultaneously writing these words and listening to the MNF broadcast, ESPN’s Tony Kornhieser asserts that the Superdome is finally ready to be used for something other than "refugees." So my question to you and Tony is this: Where are all the black people?

If this re-opening of the Superdome is supposed to be some kind of triumphant moment for New Orleans, where are all the black people?

Indeed it appears, that the place where 56 weeks ago black Americans in the thousands were left to starve and struggle for life by our very own government, is celebrating its re-opening without most of those people present!

Maybe they are at home watching the game on TV? Maybe they are rooting for their Saints but with troubled hearts and weary souls? Maybe these TV’s are located in living rooms in cities outside of Louisiana, which housed fleeing "refugees" after the storm? Places like Houston, Texas, where George W. Bush’s mother Barbara espoused during the events following Katrina that the victims seemed "better off" in the Texas shelters!

To add insult to injury, the almost entirely white Superdome crowd was privileged to a special appearance by George W. Bush’s father, George Herbert Walker, whom did the honors of the honorary coin toss. Maybe the current president Bush had better things to do? Maybe he is too cowardly to return to the scene of the crime? Or perhaps he wasn’t invited in fear of a backlash from the sell-out crowd? However, judging from the complexion of the inhabitants on this extravagant Monday Night event, I doubt he would have truly received his just desserts?

In the end, this sold-out crowd and all together sold-out season, is not nearly as special as the announcers from ESPN would lead the viewer to believe. As it appears that most of those ticket holders are not of the same color or class as those that were left to drown in the flood waters of Katrina.

However, should this be a surprise? If, many of these people that lacked the means to escape the category 5 storm which entirely destroyed places such as New Orleans’ lower 9th ward, then how could they be expected to afford such a pricey seat?

Indeed, ESPN, the state of Louisiana and the US government could have used there financial and political resources to ensure the presence of a much more colorful re-opening. However that would entail that the powers that be actually cared about these forgotten people, but this of course is a moot point. Because, as Kanye West once candidly and accurately announced to the world, the representative figure of the people of the United States doesn’t even care about these displaced black people, so why should you?

Are you ready for some football?

NATE MEZMER, is a hip-hop artist and writer that stands for social change, his debut album "Kill the Precedent," was released on Mad Seven Records. He can be reached on the fly at natemezmer@tmail.com.