Source: Jeff Crouere

New Orleans is one of the most unusual cities in the world, which is why it is such a major tourist attraction. The city is the birthplace of jazz and has an unrivaled atmosphere featuring outstanding restaurants, the charming French Quarter, stunning architecture, diverse cultural influences, amazing festivals, the Mississippi River, streetcars, the Garden District, and so much more. 

It is also hosting Mardi Gras, the greatest free show on earth, for the first time in two years. Mardi Gras is a multi-week event with dozens of parades and thousands of riders who spend their time, effort, and money to give the people of New Orleans and their visitors an unforgettable experience. 

Unfortunately, this year, the celebration has been altered by a progressive mayoral administration that is more concerned about enforcing severe vaccine and mask mandates than controlling the rampant violent crime in New Orleans. 

Amazingly, the incompetent New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell was just re-elected to another four-year term in November. In her first term, she produced no positive accomplishments and delivered only negative results such as poor streets, horrible infrastructure, flooding issues, terrible schools, out-of-control crime, corruption, blight, record homelessness, poverty, and an illegal drug crisis. 

Her main claim to fame was that she kept her citizens “safe” from COVID-19 by shutting down businesses and enforcing mandates. She did not care that business activity declined dramatically because the federal relief money flowed into the coffers of the dysfunctional city. 

After two years of Cantrell’s “leadership,” no one in her administration is even trying to recruit new businesses or people to move to New Orleans. Who would want to move to a city with no services, no safety, and no leadership? 

Unfortunately, while businesses left, criminals stayed. Last year was an especially dangerous one in New Orleans. In 2021, there were 218 murders in New Orleans, an 8% increase from the previous year. It was the highest murder total since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when almost 100,00 more people lived in the city. It also marked the second year in a row with a significant increase in the murder rate.

In the first two months of 2022, the violent crime rate is already higher than the record-setting levels at this point last year. New Orleans is a total disaster right now. Crime is completely out of control with carjackings, armed robberies, shootings, and murders occurring all over the city. 

Violent crimes are even occurring in the wealthy and prestigious neighborhoods of Uptown New Orleans. No area of New Orleans is safe. It no longer shocks citizens to learn about innocent young children being shot and killed since it happens with such regularity. It is so bad that mothers are resorting to putting bumper stickers on their vehicles asking criminals not to carjack them with their children inside.

Recently, a woman was almost killed during a carjacking while pumping gas in the middle of the afternoon at a crowded Costco. It generated outrage and a “peace rally” at City Hall. Yet, it produced no discernible changes and several days later a man was murdered in the same Costco parking lot. 

One of the main problems is the shortage of five hundred police officers. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) is having a tough time recruiting new officers. Last year, 150 police officers retired or resigned, while only forty-four new ones were recruited. 

Not surprisingly, there are many unsolved murders in New Orleans. Of the city’s 218 murders last year, only twenty indictments have been issued, resulting in many murderers still at large roaming the streets of New Orleans. 

Another problem is that the city’s new progressive District Attorney was elected with funding from groups affiliated with George Soros. He does not particularly care for prosecuting criminals. Sadly, the new socialist Sheriff was also elected with major contributions from organizations financially backed by Soros and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. She does not particularly care for incarcerating criminals. 

Thus, the toxic combination of inadequate policing, prosecution, and incarceration along with horrible leadership makes New Orleans the most dangerous city in the country. 

With these crime problems mounting, and initiative-taking Mayor would focus all her energies on battling the raging violence. Instead, New Orleans Mayor Cantrell is spending her time demanding that all parade riders get a COVID-19 vaccination before boarding their floats. 

While mask and vaccine mandates are being enforced, prominent issues of life and death are being ignored. Thus, the citizens and tourists may be safe from COVID-19, but they may very well be gunned down walking to their vehicle or carjacked while pumping gas.

As her city is burning, the Nero of New Orleans is fiddling or, more accurately, partying. For example, last Friday, at the Mayor’s Ball, Cantrell and her friends were pictured unmasked, singing, dancing, and enjoying karaoke. This happened even though Cantrell just reissued an indoor mask mandate on the citizens of New Orleans. Once again, for so many Democrats like Cantrell, it rules for thee, but not for me.

At the ball, Cantrell was not seen wearing a mask in any of the one hundred short videos taken by the 360-degree photo booth. In fact, none of the guests were seen wearing masks at any time during the ball. 

Mayor Cantrell’s spokesperson Beau Tidwell laughably responded to the controversy by admitting that there was no “perfect adoption of the guidelines in every instance over the weekend.” Of course, there was no “adoption of the guidelines” by Cantrell and her friends, while citizens were expected to abide by the ridiculous mandates. 

It is time all citizens enjoyed the same freedoms as the Nero of New Orleans. All the mandates should be ended immediately. While violent crime will not end anytime soon, at the very least, the hypocrisy should end now.