Ray Nagin

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Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr.
Ray Nagin2.jpg
Political party Democrat

Born June 11, 1956
New Orleans, Louisiana

Clarence Ray Nagin, Jr. (born June 11, 1956) is the former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, who served from 2002 to 2010. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He first gained national prominence in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when his failed evacuation of the city led to the death of some one thousand citizens; he was better known for blaming the deaths on the Republican administration than for his inaction with led to the deaths. His response to the hurricane was criticized, mainly for not allowing hundreds of New Orleans buses that could have been used for evacuation. He also sparked controversy on Martin Luther King Day 2006, when he said about New Orleans rebuilding,

"We ask black people: it's time. It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild a New Orleans, the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans. And I don't care what people are saying Uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day.

This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way."[1]

After the statement, he insisted he wasn't being divisive.

"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about."

Although he would go on to apologize.[2]

He was involved in further controversy when he referred to Ground Zero in New York City as a "hole in the ground" in 2006, criticizing the rebuilding effort there.


  1. http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/news/t-p/stories/011706_nagin_transcript.html
  2. http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/17/nagin.city/