After Iraq, Another Dangerous Tour of Duty

Restoring order from Bagdad to New Orleans?

By Carl L. Bankston III

Previously, I wrote about the take-over of New Orleans schools by the state of Louisiana. While I strongly favor local control of schooling and other public concerns, I had to acknowledge that this take-over was a response to the fact that New Orleans had reached such a state of civic disorder that it was unable to effectively run its own schools. Now, State Representative Austen Baden, a Democrat from New Orleans, has said that he will ask Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to send troops of the National Guard to patrol the city’s streets.

The recent shooting death of a one-year old child apparently inspired Rep. Baden’s request. This is far from the first child to die in America’s murder capital.  The call for the National Guard is yet one more recognition of the descent into savagery of the city once known as the Queen of the South.

Perhaps the most astonishing part of the city’s loss of order may be the critics of its supposed gentrification. Open warfare prevails in many of the neighborhoods and advocates are concerned that the city might not have enough poor people.


The Moral Liberal Sociology Editor, Carl L. Bankston III is Professor of Sociology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.  He is the author and co-author of a number of books and numerous articles published in academic journals. An incomplete list of his books includes: Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt to Life in the United States (with Min Zhou, 1998), Blue Collar Bayou: Louisiana Cajuns in the New Economy of Ethnicity (with Jacques Henry, 2002), and A Troubled Dream: The Promise and Failure of School Desegregation in Louisiana (2002), Forced to Fail: The Paradox of School Desegregation (hardback, 2005; paperback, 2007), and Public Education – America’s Civil Religion: A Social History (2009) (all with Stephen J. Caldas). View Professor Bankston’s full bio, here.  He blogs at Can These Bones Live?

Copyright © 2011 Carl L. Bankston III.