A Conversation with A.C. Thompson

A journalist talks about white paranoia and why Mayor C. Ray Nagin is partly to blame for vigilante justice during Katrina.

(Continued from Page 1)

Wright: This is another story that makes it hard to imagine New Orleans as a society that can move forward. At the end of the piece, one shooting victim says he's galled at the impunity these guys have. I almost envision this spiraling, racial violence. Do you see this spiraling forward?

Thompson: This story has been buried in New Orleans and elsewhere, as well. In a lot of ways, this is not something that people think about or talk about, it's kind of a chapter that has been stowed in the Katrina time period, and people want to forget about it. That's both black folks and white folks who I spoke to. A lot of them take Katrina and the time period immediately afterward and they say, "That's something I don't want to think about any more." The problem is Katrina keeps coming into the present. Especially for a guy like Donnell Harrington, who was shot and almost killed and his life has never been the same sense.

Kai Wright is a regular contributor to The Root.

The Root encourages respectful debate and dialogue in our commenting community. To improve the commenting experience for all our readers we will be experimenting with some new formats over the next few weeks. During this transition period the comments section will be unavailable to users.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your continued support of The Root.

While we are experimenting, please feel free to leave feedback below about your past experiences commenting at The Root.