New Orleans world famous Canal Street has an equal opportunity crime zone, its 1100th block, where Black drug dealers openly, flagrantly sell to a rainbow coalition of users with minimal police interference.
Side walks are the usual store front, with more discreet transactions occurring behind the closed box office of the Loew's State Theatre, along with serving as a de facto bathroom ( quite ripe on warm days ) and even a raunchy rendezvous for sex.
Last week, I walked past a jubilant group of young dealers on the corner of Rampart & Canal filming themselves with a camera phone while rapping and waving money???
Somehow I don't think equal opportunity for Black drug dealers was what Martin Luther King, Jr. & company had in mind.
Located between Elk Place and Rampart St., it's a No Man's Land where White ( and any other law abiding ) pedestrians & joggers hit warp speed to avoid its ghetto rogues gallery.
HOW is this possible, some ask?
To me, anti crime activist and police supporter that I am, it seems powers-that-be like it that way.
*Maybe powers-that-be like having drug dealing in one easy access spot.
*Following the above theory, perhaps it's so located so drug using White residents & tourists ( of whom there are many ) needn't go on risky safaris to the ( omigod! ) Hood for their extra-curricular pharmaceuticals.
*Maybe City Hall doesn't care because no one White has been robbed, raped or killed on the baddest block to justify heightened scrutiny.
*Maybe its businesses & concerned citizens like yours truly are too quiet about this crisis.
My vote is all of the above, with the added caveat that an under-staffed police department whose officers are leaving daily because of the powers-that-be doesn't help matters.
I'm doing my part and during a reelection season, it's more than fair to ask is the mayor doing his to fight an open air outrage few cities would allow at the gateway to their main strip?
Ooops, I forgot, a lot of this block's White drug customers are his beloved bad smelling, bad behaved gutter punks, so I guess hostages are supposed to suffer in silence.