Local news station WWL-TV was forced to make a statement about a controversial story they broadcasted 5/3/16 featuring reporter Eric Paulsen doing an in-depth “investigation that led to an on-screen fist fight and subsequently a gun being drawn.        

Local social media flew into a shyt storm. **I’m not posting any screenshots because I don’t want to get killed, but trust me when I say there is NOTHING fabricated about the crime in New Orleans.**

Many in the local black community felt that it was exploitation, and was shown purely for ratings. They feel the video was meant to “paint them in a bad light” without examining the systematic forces that brought them there.

Respected Qmunity contributor Arlene Culpepper of Heat Magazine was more concerned with the mortal consequences that could arise from an incident **Here in New Orleans things have a tendency to fester** should any party feel “played.”

Boojwahzee black New Orleans felt like they’re accomplishments aren’t highlighted enough, and feel like violence and murder get all the attention. They feel like showing everyone how great they are will inspire others to be perfect like them and we should never speak of violence unless it’s tied to the term “systematic racism” and all accountability is designated to outside forces.  Their view is that if we ignore the negative it makes us positive.

White New Orleans, of course, thought it was the most important piece of journalism since The Jim Crow Laws were written. It validated and reaffirmed all their self-serving gentrification motivations and sure to be used as fuel white-washing agenda of New Orleans that began after Katrina.

The station was so bombarded with feedback they had to rub their ratings in the faces of independent blogs who’ve talked about the crime for years release a statement in response.

Rarely has a news story generated the kind of reaction WWL-TV has seen since the airing of Eric Paulsen’s Taking a Stand piece last night on street violence.

Tens of thousands of people have seen it all over the country and the comments have varied from those shocked at the video, those applauding us for showing how quickly a disagreement can escalate to violence, and those who criticized us for what some called a cheap ratings ploy.

My name is Keith Esparros and I’m the News Director here at WWL-TV. I can assure you this was no ratings ploy. Violence is not anything we take lightly, or see as entertainment. The story takes viewers to a part of the city that many never see. Most of the time, we don’t want to see it. It’s ugly. It’s brutal. It’s scary. But we wanted to show it’s real, and it’s a problem not only for those who live among the violence. It’s everyone’s problem. Because when our neighbors are not safe, none of us is. If the city isn’t safe, it will hurt all of us. We must see the violence to know how to combat it. We must acknowledge it before we can attempt to reduce it.

The violence issue is key to our future. It’s one of the reasons WWL-TV has launched its Taking a Stand Initiative. We feel it’s crucial to understand the causes and effects of violence, to look at those who are making a difference, and to try to change the conversation on an issue that will help determine the direction of our region.

GNO Inc. Board Chairwoman Maura Donahue said, “Companies do not want to bring their employees to this area to open, to expand or to relocate, unless they can ensure their employees a safe place for themselves and their families.”

And without new business, new entrepreneurship, new opportunities for all New Orleanians, the wheel of violence will turn undisturbed. Our video showed a bloody, brutal, and near fatal beating in the 8th Ward of one of America’s greatest cities. But this isn’t just a fight between two men. This is a fight for our future.

Well there it is! In Black and White. The violence is holding down the bottom line and we can sit on social media all day pleading the black case and listing all the systematic factors that brought a big part of the New Orleans black population to this place, but at the end of the day…THEY DO NOT CARE!

They aren’t going to try and FIX you. Fixing the problem means removing you. And the first step in that is getting the community to see why you should be removed. Videos like this are the first step.

Is it cold, heartless, and callous? Yes

Have you not read history? The methods have been pretty consistent.

I’ve turned a lot of people in New Orleans off with my warnings writing, but I watched the gentrification in Atlanta at the turn of the century. I watched middle class blacks get pushed out and new neighborhoods build over their own so fast you forgot they were even there.

The violence in New Orleans happens on some Prime real estate. And the boojwahzee can pretend that they’re safe but the truth is once they push the “violence” out everyone else will be PRICED out! **Which I’m sure many of you have already started to feel**

Or maybe they could really just be concerned about the crime and sincerely want to help. I’ve met Eric Paulsen many times and he really is a good guy. I don’t believe his intentions were to exploit, but he kinda did. Or maybe he felt he did which is why he brought back Co-founder of the New Orleans’ Peacekeepers Chapter Willie Muhammad and local rapper Kwame Gates to discuss the video from the perspective of black New Orleans.

Qmunity what say you? Was the story an appropriate look at reality in New Orleans or Exploitation?

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Vitamin Q (VQ) is a writer, blogger personality, and a social commentator. He irreverently analyzes how social issues affect individuals in modern society by using sarcasm, humor, and intellect, creating his own unique blend of Southern SHADE, purely for the purpose of helping like minds cope. “I say it so you don’t have to!”
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