Crime & Safety,
October 3rd, 2012
By Claire Galofaro, The Times-Picayune
The stories are provocative by design: a mother who buried her young son, then nearly died of a broken heart; a man who woke up in the back of an ambulance, spared by the bullet that barely missed his spinal cord.
Both joined Mayor Mitch Landrieu and director Spike Lee at the Joy Theater Tuesday night to unveil an advertising campaign aimed at abating the city’s intractable murder rate. Behind them, on a movie screen, was a heart set against a backdrop of newspaper obituaries.
“Bright young lives are being snuffed out on New Orleans’ streets daily,” said Lee, the award-winning director of “When the Levees Broke.” “Our young black men are killing each other like it’s a self-imposed genocide. It is our job, our responsibility to make them understand the value of their lives and help them to achieve their greatest potential.”
The campaign, called “Flip the Script,” focuses on “changing the attitudes of and about young black men,” the mayor said. It is part of Landrieu’s “Nola For Life” initiative to halt the city’s murder rate, a rate 10 times the national average with a killing every two days on average.
“Nola, we have a problem,” reads the homepage of the campaign’s website, nolaforlife.org.