Jim Brown

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Redneck Country, Louisiana


I was at a book fair recently, hawking some of my Lisburn Press publications, and I was asked to comment on the nation’s immigration problem. One fellow apparently didn’t like my response. “Oh, I know all about you writers out there with your fancy English degrees. You think you have a lot more common sense then us rednecks.”

All right, I’ll admit it. I do live in a semi cosmopolitan city of Baton Rouge, received part of my education outside the U.S. and have traveled the world a good bit. But you can’t take the Ferriday redneck out of city folks like me. I have a pick up as well as an old SUV with 180,000 miles on it. They both have driven the back roads of north Louisiana on many occasions. I laugh at, and mostly agree with, all the “you must be a redneck” jokes. (You must be a redneck if you know instinctively that red wine goes with possum.) And by the way, I have a great possum recipe coming out in my updated version of “Jim Brown’s World Famous Squirrel Stew and other Country Recipes.”

Anyone like me who came from the same southern country town that raised Jerry Lee Lewis and Reverend Jimmy Swaggart certainly qualifies as a card-carrying redneck. So assuming you accept my credentials, you might be surprised at my reaction to a bumper sticker I saw while driving down a gravel road just past Frogmore, Louisiana. (That’s right. Frogmore — about 15 minutes west of Ferriday, if you check your map.) On the rear window of a truck ahead of me, the driver had displayed his feelings in no uncertain terms: “You’re in America Now; Speak English or Get Out!” Continue reading “Jim Brown”

Judge Engelhardt imposes stiff sentences on the former NOPD officers involved in the Danziger Bridge killings.

The T-P’s Brendan McCarthy had all the skinny yesterday afternoon and not long after my email inbox started buzzing with activity related to the sentences handed down to the 5 NOPD officers convicted of killing innocent civilians on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina. My good friend Editilla at the Ladder once termed the post Katrina NOPD as “feral lawmen” and that is as good a description of the whole deal as any.  In their defense a NOPD officer was brutally shot in the head while attempting rescue operations just days after the storm but the response was classic NOPD in the indiscriminate use of blunt force brutality against the populace and the result of that were murders like happened to the innocent people on the Danziger Bridge, one of whom was back shot and stomped.

The activity in my email had nothing to do with any of the above though as everyone down here that knows anything about New Orleans understands how the NOPD has operated for generations. Rather the email universally dealt with the grandstanding McCarthy so well conveys in his article.  Judge Engelhardt, Diaper David Vitter’ former campaign manager in particular had a good bit to say, some of which struck me as over the top, considering what happened on the bridge.  Maybe I’m just a bit jaded after 4 years of moderating Slabbed but with due respect prosecutors have been cutting plea deals, approved by the court I might add, for longer than I’ve been on this planet so I found his outburst a bit odd. This of course does not count the on camera appearance of the local US Attorney after these high-profile type cases and Jim Letten certainly did not disappoint that way either.

In any event I know some of you folks want to flesh this topic out a bit more so have it.