There seems to be quite a bit of backlash about the staking out of territory and just rude behavior of some parade goers. I posted about it last week, The Changing Nature of Parading. As an adult I took it in stride and did not let it ruin my holiday. What I failed to realize is that the territorial and rude behavior affects others in a big way.
There are numerous stories popping up concerning the issue of staking out ground and bad behavior. In today’s paper there is a letter to the editor addressing the tent city that sprang up on the neutral ground this year.
One story that is getting a lot of press it the treatment of an autistic girl on the Muses parade route. It is a story that not only tugs at your heartstrings it will also make you angry. The Muses organization has taken steps to right this wrong by throwing the girl a mini Muses parade.
Who do you blame for this? N.O.P.D., it is up to the police department to enforce the laws concerning the setting up of tents and ladders. We like to think that N.O.P.D. is good at crowd control, and managing parades. How hard is it to manage a parade when you are not enforcing city ordinances, some of which are specifically written for parade safety. Maybe the problem is with the people who actually set up the encampments and ladders illegally. They know they are breaking the law yet the do it anyway. Every year we hear the same story from whoever the Police Chief is that the parade ordinances are going to be enforced and every year the words ring hollow. Every year the problem gets worse.
The real problem is that we have become a rude and uncivil society, driven by avarice instead of morals. While the Mayor counts the money and claims Mardi Gras rocks, for others the holiday is quickly losing the charm it once had.