BATISTE: Throw The Beads

The revelers responsible for the Forever Lee Circle beads should be put at the front of a parade. That is Carnival. It’s supposed to be a joke. A parody of the stuck-up European royal families. Instead, New Orleans now takes itself more seriously than the ones it used to mock.

This New Orleans acts less like an American democracy and more like a dictator state, influenced by emotional weaklings so afraid of seeing something they don’t “like” or support they are literally threatening others.

The Forever Lee Circle Beads show a New Orleans landmark that was controversially removed. It’s not a bead calling for the return of slavery. It’s not a bead calling for the end of entitlements. And it certainly doesn’t have an election-based message, one classified as political. It doesn’t advocate or campaign for a candidate or legislative issue.

Those are New Orleans beads displaying a recently-removed New Orleans landmark. The bead represents a New Orleans mindset.

The Antifa crowds are so petty and small-minded they want violence, hostility, and aggression directed toward people who have different thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. It’s the way of socialism. (Note none of these Antifa losers is moving to North Korea, Venezuela, or China—countries that operate under governments they claim to support.)

The transplants at the SomeTimes Picayune are just as bad. The struggling media outlet had to relocate recently because they couldn’t afford to keep the lights on in their last office. Then last week columnist Jarvis DeBerry called New Orleanians who would throw the Lee beads “losers.” If, as DeBerry thinks, losers need to go away and quiet down, he should no longer write criticisms of conservatives since his hero Hillary lost.  His column is the example as to why locals dislike and no longer support the paper/news blog.

This victim behavior should be personally and collectively embarrassing. It should be publicly condemned. Is this really America in the early 21st century? Wimps, crybabies, the offended, safe spaces.

Honestly, if you catch beads you don’t like, throw them on the ground. Don’t demand to be made whole because it’s not what you wanted or because it shattered your self-esteem.

It’s crazy that this is Mardi Gras in New Orleans’ 300th year, but Mitch Landrieu asked for this fight. It all goes back to him, all the collateral damage, all the protests, the Confederate flag wavers who gathered en masse in New Orleans, the extremist clashes around historic monuments. “I don’t know where its gonna end, but I know where it’s gonna begin,” Mitch said before the City Council on December 17, 2015.

Well here we are, and it’s not over.

Ask the bead people themselves: Threats are being made. Mitch and NOPD built up dossiers on people who made strong pro-monument posts on social media. He attempted to fabricate violent threats and had people investigated. (This actually happened, despite it never making news coverage.) But when NOLA Antifa, Mitch’s street “muscle,” makes threats to Carnival Krewes that pay their way to give people the free gift of Mardi Gras, the mayor does nothing.

Mitch said New Orleans needed to have a discussion about race, but this is no discussion. It’s suppression. Krewes are bullied or scared into getting hit with a bogus vague ordinance about carnival throws, so the Krewe Captains in turn threaten punishment to riders, people who spend their personal money to just throw stuff away.

The fact Muses, Orpheus, and Endymion have crawled into the fetal position is understood. Owen Courreges exposed the hypocrisy of their positions. Apparently the movement #ReturnTheShoe boycotting Muses may have some legs to it.

To any Krewe threatening riders for throwing these “political” beads: Keep dreaming that you’re traditional carnival. If you’re banning throws because you’re afraid of a few millennial crybabies, the terrorists just won.

Think about it: Riders can throw beads with penises on them and it’s considered “funny” and appropriate, but a bead with the iconic statue, now removed, of an American veteran and Southern hero is considered controversial and inappropriate.

Lee Circle is New Orleans. Most Mardi Gras parades ride the St. Charles route and do a semi circle around Lee Circle. It’s a gathering spot for viewers, it’s a landmark for riders. It stood in the city from 1884-2017 featuring a noble man, well respected by peers, American Presidents, and anyone who has taken time to actually learn about Robert E. Lee. He stood facing the North—and New Orleans’ City Hall, both Gallier and the current dump—figuratively opposing unjust government tyranny. Only to be torn down by a tyrannical government.

And now Big Brother’s grip gets tighter because some adult could have their feelings hurt by seeing a bead with an emblem of an anti-establishment landmark.

The Lee Circle bead controversy isn’t about harmony and everyone getting along at carnival, it is all about Thought Policing.

The few satirical parades may take colorful shots at politics now, but if they condemn these throws, they are accepting the rules to a politically correct game that they do not want to play, and cannot win.

Little by little, the Krewes will lose the territory they retreat from. What’s next? A masked Zulu rather than painted faces? A gender neutral Rex? No more Big Shot due to avoiding tobacco imagery? Will Krewe d’Etat and Knights of Chaos need approval for their satirical floats?  Roll your eyes, but this is the new normal.

The point of masking at carnival is to be mischievous, playful, let loose inhibitions, or to get across a message in anonymity, and have fun doing it. Every Krewe that tells members not to throw beads with a statue on them is forsaking that foundational aspect of carnival. Any captain who orders riders not to throw the Lee beads is a Landrieu. Actually, silencing maskers at carnival may be worse than a Landrieu.

This “don’t throw them” talk is far too serious for Mardi Gras. Throw the beads.

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