Last weekend we were walking downtown from the Alternative Media Expo and came upon a group of Tulane students “re-enacting a Confederate wedding,” or so they said. Apparently, in the antebellum South, weddings consisted of a bunch of frat boys dressed in either officer regalia—or, short a costume, white t-shirts with things like “Did I mention I played football in high school” written on them in Sharpie—and girls in big hoop dresses drinking champagne, eating Popeye’s chicken by the boxful, growing woozy from the heat and vomiting. Several of the young men had climbed giant planters to roost above the milieu and watch their brethren run and jump repeatedly in the ornate rose bushes, bloodying themselves on the thorns. Some of these bruisers noticed us among them after a while and informed us that the public space was at present their private domain, going so far to as let Mike know that he was a “fag-tard” and would be known as such unless he jumped into the rose bushes.

We left and got lunch at Back to the Garden, and upon our return there were some cops milling around the premises. They seemed rather unconcerned, but said they had gone so far as to ask the gentlemen to remove themselves from the planters. They took a slight bit more interested when I told them the kids were smashing champagne bottles all over the place, but now I realize I should have asked them to perform a simple mental exercise: Look at these kids breaking bottles, drinking copiously and underage, vomiting on the monument, wreaking havoc with the foliage, generally disturbing the peace … and now imagine that instead of white college kids dressed in goofy historical outfits, the group consisted of a bunch of black kids dressed in hood attire. Would you still be standing down here “making sure things don’t get out of hand”?

Amusingly enough, there was a two-man crew filming this whole ordeal, and I later learned that they were making a documentary about Black Islam in America. They couldn’t have picked a better date and spot to shoot.