Monday, October 01, 2007

Harry's Bridge

Harry Lee, the controversial yet politically popular sheriff of Jefferson Parish, just passed away. He had been sheriff for nearly 30 years. I wonder if racist police angels are firing guns to prevent his soul's passage on the bridge to eternal peace? Me, I wasn't a fan. But then I teach at a Historically Black college, and I am a big fan of political correctness, inclusiveness, and listening. Harry wasn't a fan of these things, and that's what made him popular I suppose. He spoke his mind, and in a state famous for colorful politicians, Lee was one-of-a-kind.

This message board is revealing of the divisions that plague the relationship between Orleans and Jefferson Parish. However, it's most interesting in real time, as editors seem to be removing the anti-Harry Lee comments, as well as some of the most inflammatory "Jefferson is better than New Orleans thugville" material. Much of it I find overtly racist.


Anonymous said...

For a while last night I couldn't get to any of the story's links. The articles were down too, I guess while the were cleaning up the comments that followed.

Anonymous said...

As someone who handles a forum, I let through both the positive and negative Lee comments as long as they were said with some thoughtfulness and made some point. The 'thugville' and 'Harry Lee is a Klan member' posts were expunged, but those who pointed out that they thought he was racially insensitive were let through.

I believe insensitive was the best word to describe him. Lee gave tons of money to minority causes and to help black families in need. I think he honestly felt that he was protecting the good people from the bad. He just didn't say it the right way, and in many ways didn't go about it the right way. I do think his deputies often 'prejudge' someone.