I profess to being a leadership junkie. I suppose its because I'm not a great one, and want to be better. So I read, listen, and try to hang out when possible with those who lead well. Great leaders are inspiring.
But as inspiring as great leaders are, bad leaders make me nuts. Like most Americans, my heart broke for New Orleans and the entire gulf region. Plenty of blame to go around for why things happened they way they did in the Big Easy. Yes, Bush, Brown and others didn't spring into action liked we hoped, regardless of the fact that this was an unprecidented event in our history (we can hope that all will learn from past mistakes.)
If ever a leader needed to be replaced, New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin is the guy. How could you watch the hurricane coverage and listen to his babbling and not realize that he was the wrong leader for the wrong time? I gave him the benefit of the doubt. It was a horrific situation, he probably worked with little sleep, and maybe when a mic is shoved in your face under those circumstances, you say something in a way that you wish you could re-phrase.
But this past week, I couldn't believe what I heard from Nagin. Not only was he blaming God for sending the hurricanes (scoot over Pat Robertson et al, you've got a new friend), but his vision for a rebuilt New Orleans is one of a "chocolate" city. In case you missed it, those are his exact words.
No need to comment on the racist stupidity of Nagin's remarks. More interesting to note is that it wasn't front-page news. No scandal. No outrage. Buried in the "oh by the way" section at the back of the paper. And yet, for far less cutting "so-called" racist remarks, many of other races and even genders have been ridden out of town. I just don't get it.
Nagin needs a vacation. A really long one. Maybe there's a spot for him back at the cable company he once owned. Pray not just for the rebuilding of New Orleans, but for wise, non-corrupt leadership to emerge that uses the billions upon billions of federal and donated funds to make the region even better than before.
Here's an article with his actual words... http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060116/ap_on_re_us/katrina_nagin