Veteran comedian Bill Cosby urged residents of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, Louisiana to "cleanse" themselves from the city's past criminal reputation at a rally on Saturday (01APR06). Over the past two years (04-05), Cosby has caused controversy during a series of talks across the US, in which he told young African-Americans to avoid negative role models in the rap industry, refrain from violence and underage sex, and instead focus on education and morality. At a weekend rally in New Orleans - which was severely damaged following Hurricane Katrina last August (29AUG05) - Cosby told 2,000 people in front of the Convention Center of his desire for the city's society to have a make-over. Cosby said, "It's painful, but we can't cleanse ourselves unless we look at the wound. "Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate, unto each other. You were dealing drugs to each other. You were impregnating our 13-, 12-, 11-year-old children. "What kind of a village is that?