Sometimes extreme times call for extreme measures.
Is Ray Nagin crazy, or crazy like a fox? Probably a little of both. But in this "Chocolate City" case, I'll take the latter for two reasons:
1. This guy has to do something to make African-Americans feel welcome in the city. In addition, he has to reach out to African-Americans who have seen through national media reports (truthful or not) that race was a major problem with the evacuation, looting, and so on. A lot of minorities and poor people are terrified that rich white people will steal their property and turn parts of New Orleans into "Generic Town U.S.A.." Maybe he got a little carried away and should have shut up before he started bringing "God's punishment" talk into it. But then again, this provides a great transition to my second point.
2. New Orleans now has a higher profile on the national media radar. And it's a shame that he has to do the "dog and pony show" to get the attention. But that's the way it works these days. The more outrageous you are, the more time you get on television. Now people are talking about him again. Now he'll get back on the talk shows to "set the story straight." It's a play right out of the publicity playbook. Celebrities and athletes like Madonna and Terrell Owens have done it for years. But as much as you want to complain about it, you have to admit that it works.
I just hope that the shot of publicity he gets out of this is worth the shot his credibility is going to take.