The Cost of Tourism on Our Culture – New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic

The Cost of Tourism on Our Culture – New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic



Everyone saw the French Quarter attack. Few saw the mental health care failures behind it.

A review of Paul’s UMC medical records by | The Times-Picayune raised significant questions. Four hours after he was admitted, a doctor wrote that Paul was “having auditory hallucinations” and that he was “a potential threat to himself and other people as well as gravely disabled.” 

This assessment gave the hospital a legal right to involuntarily commit Paul for up to three days for observation and treatment, with the possibility of holding him an additional 12 days following a re-examination by the coroner. And yet doctors still chose to discharge him, just one day later.

Behavioral health experts said this is not uncommon, that people in need of psychiatric treatment are released on a regular basis, a result of the state’s gutting of its mental health care funding and infrastructure.

…Paul is one of hundreds of homeless kids who cycle through Covenant House and other outreach programs every year, Foots said, many suffering from the same mental health disorders as him, some more severe. If the level of care doesn’t improve, and if hospitals continue to turn away people in need because they lack the necessary beds and funding, she fears what happened to Paul and the men he injured could become more commonplace.

“I work with these kids every day and I know they are all very troubled,” Foots said. “I see their mental illness, but they rarely get the help they need. Just like Dejuan. Those damn voices in his head got ahold of him and he just lost it.” 

…He paced frantically while hitting himself and repeating, over and over again, that he needed his medicine. 

Then, as if someone pulled a string, he slumped to the floor near the kitchen. 

Foots knelt down, her face inches from Paul’s, and locked eyes with him. She said he needed to focus, that he was in control of his mind, no one else. Ignore the people in your head, she instructed him. Staff members told Foots to keep her distance. She refused. 

…“The police told me when they got him, ‘At least he’s going to emergency. They’re going to give him some medicine. He’s going to be better and everything is going to be good,’” Foots said. “And that’s what I told Dejuan, but that’s not what happened.”

…Paul was given 10 mg of Zyprexa, an antipsychotic typically prescribed to people with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. A toxicology screen came back positive for marijuana. Paul confessed that he smoked marijuana every day since he was 15 and that over the past several weeks he had rarely slept more than four hours a night. 

…According to his medical records, Paul told the doctors at UMC he had “racing thoughts about everything and feels stuck in his own head.” If he could get some Vyvanse, a drug prescribed to people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he said he would feel “much better and everything would be OK.”

…In this case, however, despite receiving confirmation of Paul’s diagnosis and prior care, UMC doctors refused to give him his medication, his medical records show. There was no explanation provided in the records. 

…Warden Perry Stagg, who was seated nearby, interjected to ask Paul if he had been given his medication at the prison. When Paul said no, that the nurse said they can’t prescribe it, Stagg said they would try to figure out potential substitutes “to get him back where he needs to be.”

Since former Gov. Bobby Jindal gutted the mental health care system, taking care of people like Paul has become part of the prison’s job, Stagg said. 

“Unfortunately, the Department of Corrections has become the de facto mental health hospital for the state,” he said. “We need to get these mental health services back available on the street and try to catch some of these guys before they commit a crime.”

…“I’m an old, conservative Republican, a lock‘em up and throw away the key kind of guy. Until I came to the Department of Corrections and realized that, hey, that’s not always the answer. There are reasons for some of this stuff and some of this stuff can be corrected.”

Everyone saw the French Quarter attack. Few saw the mental health care failures behind it. |


Second Line Blues: A Brief History of New Orleans Brass

“Second line bands, the bands that march in the streets, initially was done for funerals,” Allen Toussaint said. “To march real slow on the way to the funeral and cut up on the way back. That’s how you lay the dead away—with a band. You take ‘em on out and you boogie back.”

…Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and his younger brother Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, (now remembered as Iberville and Bienville) explored the area around the mouth of the Mississippi River, looking for good areas to claim for King Louis XIV. Iberville would found the first permanent French settlement in the Louisiana Territory in 1699, while Bienville established New Orleans in 1718.

“One old writer relates that, with the founding of New Orleans by the brothers Bienville and Iberville, there was a body of soldiers with the explorers and that a trumpet player with the military band died and was buried in the military fashion with music in the funeral procession and at the grave site,” Barker writes.

…While Barker says that other writers recall celebratory funerals by the city’s black population even during slavery, it wasn’t until emancipation in 1865 and the resulting freedoms afforded to black musicians that brass bands really took off.

…As recounted in Jazzmen, a collection of essays on early jazz written in 1939, Bolden played clubs like the Perseverance Hall, The Buzzards, and the Tin Type Hall, where “the music was mean and dirty” and the song lyrics could be confused for today’s strip club anthems.

Isidore, like other trained musicians at the time, looked down on such musicians. Barker writes that he called them “routine” as a slur because they couldn’t read music and therefore had to learn by routine. Of Bolden, Isidore told Barker, “Sure, I heard him. I knew him. He was famous with the ratty people.”

…But that kind of animosity soon fell out of favor. 

These jazz bands also competed with the brass [marching parade] bands for gigs and the rapt attentions of audiences. For the many parades and celebrations thrown by the city’s social clubs and Carnival “krewes,” jazz bands would perform on the flatbeds of horse-drawn carriages and, later, automobiles.

…The New Orleans of the ‘50s and ‘60s, like much of the rest of the country, turned away from jazz and toward R&B, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. Luminaries of that era, like Toussaint and The Meters, certainly brought parade-style playing to their music. 

…The group was only together from 1970 to 1974, but during that time, Barker took a whole new generation of players under his wing.

The members of that band and the associated circle of players that sprung up around it included Leroy Jones, Branford Marsalis, and Wynton Marsalis—who would become leading lights of a new style of jazz that incorporated the popular music of the day. In the wake of the Fairview Marching Band, former members launched a constellation of brass bands that brought bebop and funk music into the mix.

,,,On Fat Tuesday, some three-hundred years since New Orleans’ first brass funeral, second liners have their choice. Both the traditionally minded Treme Brass Band and Rebirth—whose most famous line is “Do watcha wanna / Smoke marijuana”—will be performing, each group preserving and pushing the tradition forward in their own way.

Second Line Blues: A Brief History of New Orleans Brass | Reverb News



Ron DeSantis Tells Florida Not To ‘Monkey This Up’ By Electing Andrew Gillum

During an appearance on Fox News with Sandra Smith, DeSantis, who is white, doled out backhanded compliments to Gillum, who is black, calling him “an articulate spokesman.” 

…“The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by [electing Gillum]” said DeSantis to Smith.

Ron DeSantis Tells Florida Not To ‘Monkey This Up’ By Electing Andrew Gillum | HuffPost

A racist comment two-fer in one interview. Oh my…

John Legend wants Louisiana to remove ‘white supremacy’ from its constitution

Voters in Louisiana will be asked in November if they want to amend the state’s constitution to remove the clause that allows non-unanimous jury decisions.

“During Louisiana’s all-white constitutional convention in 1898, delegates passed a series of measures specifically designed to ‘perpetuate the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race in Louisiana,'” the piece states. “Non-unanimous juries were one of those measures, and the intent was clear: If the federal Constitution required that African Americans be allowed to serve on juries, the state constitution would make sure that minority votes could be discounted.”

John Legend wants Louisiana to remove ‘white supremacy’ from its constitution