Source: BBC News
On January 18, 2006 BBC News reported, "New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has apologized for comments suggesting that the savage hurricanes of 2005 were divine retribution for the war in Iraq. On Monday, Mr Nagin had said God must be 'mad at America... for being in Iraq under false pretenses.' However, outrage forced a retraction, and he described some of his remarks as 'totally inappropriate.' He also said he had not meant to offend anyone with his call for New Orleans to be a 'chocolate' - or black - city. Mr Nagin, who is black, said he had merely meant to convey that blacks were a key part of New Orleans' history and culture, and should be encouraged to return... On Tuesday, Mr Nagin said his comments about God were inappropriate and he needed 'to be more sensitive and more aware' of what he was saying."