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Sunday Soliloquy: Chicken Soup For The Motherless Daughter’s Soul October 11, 2009

Filed under: Sunday Soliloquy,Uncategorized — afrocity @ 1:53 PM
Global Warming Protest Today in Chicago

Global Warming Protest Today in Chicago

Allergy season has left me feeling somewhat under the weather today.
I battle this pretty much all year around as I am allergic to dust, mold, and ragweed. Oh and I forgot that I am also susceptible to cat dander and I own two cats despite my constant sneezing and itching, proving that love indeed requires tolerance and Rhinocort.

marshmallow

Speaking of the weather, unfortunately Chicago is living up to its two season reputation. Temperatures plummeted to 30 chilly degrees last night. On cold days such as this, I warm up something to take the chill off and crank up the heat. I bought special chocolate covered marshmallows with peppermint chips to go along with my Ghiradelli white chocolate cocoa mix. A tea light candle is burning inside of my silver kitty head shaped jack o’ lantern.

I walk to my window to look at the lake. No more sailboats, instead just cold and black water.

During this reflective moment, I considered myself lucky. If this had been twenty years ago, there is a possibility  that I would have been ill with a sinus infection and sleeping in a house with no heat. The look back and laugh days was what my mother called them.  My memory took into account the stark contrast of the lovely furniture that surrounded me with the one simple bed my mother and I shared at 637 N. Central Ave.

No gas, heat no water. Now here I am decades later drinking $6 cocoa with $12 dollar marshmallows floating on top, a Persian cat, and a receipt for the $1850 of rent I just paid.

Next to my window is an original George Nelson credenza I purchased in New York City when I began collecting modern mid century furniture.  Inside the credenza is a box containing my mother’s ashes. I would not go there again. I would not take the ashes out and looks at them. That is morbid. It cures nothing.

It was always common for me to want to share everything with my mother.  There were times when I would attend a party for kids only. Knowing that we had no food at home, I would bring something back to share with her. Deviled eggs did not make for good leftovers especially wrapped in a Kleenex , stuffed in an eleven year old’s jeans pocket.  Still, she ate it and I was happy that I could share my fortune that day with her.

Now, I only wanted her to drink cocoa with me and sit by the warm fire watching the lake.  Death leaves you powerless. It is that one irreversible act.

Why us?I wondered.

Why would God take you away from me when I was not finished making you happy? I was not finished undoing all of the hard times we shared. Forgiving God has been a slow process for me. He knew how much it meant to me to make mother happy. To make her having me and not getting an abortion worth it. Just when I was prepared to give her the life she wanted, he took her.

My good fortune wasted, all that is left is cocoa, cats, marshmallows, and ashes.

Autographed Letter Signed,

Afrocity

 

Obama Wins Nobel Prize…But Did He Bring Peace To Chicago? October 9, 2009

rockstar.obama

The news of President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize was met by a gloomy cold rainy morning in Chicago.

A morning again tainted by death and violence.

A mother is childless. A child is motherless.

Since January 1, 2009 nearly 50 youths have been murdered in Chicago.

Yesterday, I posted a link on my Facebook Page about a 20 year old mother of three who was shot dead on Chicago’s west side.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Young mom slain in West Side drive-by

By Pat Curry and Carlos Sadovi Chicago TribuneOctober 9, 2009

A 20-year-old mother of three was gunned down in a drive-by shooting Wednesday night on Chicago’s West Side.

The shooting of Natasha Howliet baffled her relatives, who said they could think of no reason why someone would target her.

Howliet, of the 400 block of South Lotus Avenue, was shot about 8 p.m. Wednesday in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, police said. She was standing on the sidewalk at a corner bus stop with a girlfriend and two male friends when a red vehicle went by and someone inside started shooting, police said.

Authorities said one of the men was the intended target, and at least eight shots were fired.

Shenicka Sturghil, a cousin of Howliet, called Howliet an innocent victim.

“My cousin did nothing to nobody. … Why did they take her life like that?” Sturghil said through tears. “It’s a tragedy. She just celebrated her 3-year-old daughter’s birthday yesterday. This is awful. She bled to death.”

Howliet’s grandmother Hattie Sturghil said her granddaughter had three children, Jenia, 3, who celebrated her birthday Wednesday; another girl, Janlin, who will be 2 in November; and a boy, Janda, 6 months.

The children are in foster care, Sturghil said. Howliet was in court this week fighting to regain custody of them, she said.

Sturghil said the slain mother saw her children earlier this week. There had been a “mishap” that caused the kids to be removed from Howliet’s care, but Sturghil refused to elaborate.

Hattie Sturghil said she spoke to her granddaughter on the telephone on Tuesday and was told that the court was set to return her children to her.

Howliet recently graduated from Daley College, her grandmother said.

barack_obama_no_historyI will kindly spare you the long history of violence in Chicago. You know the story. You also know that this is the city occupied by Barack Obama before he became our leader. You have seen the cell phone video tape of 16 year old Derrion Albert being beaten to death on the Chicago streets. Did Obama actually come to Chicago to address the violence taking place in the city that gave him his political start? The community that he organized?


From the Atlanta Journal Constitition
:

Violence in Chicago: A call to action but by whom?

3:34 pm October 8, 2009, by Maureen Downey

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan traveled to Chicago Wednesday to talk about the rise in youth violence in that city and the brutal beating death of an honor student outside of a South Chicago high school last month.

As former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Duncan has been criticized for school closings that some allege have worsened gang violence. Critics say feuding gangs now share the same school or cross “enemy territory” to get to school, increasing opportunities for confrontations.

Honor student Derrion Albert was caught in the middle of one of those fights as he walked to his school bus and was beaten to death, a tragedy captured on a ubiquitous cell phone camera and broadcast to a shocked nation.

Holder called the boy’s death “a call to action.”

But what sort of action? What can the federal government do to quell youth violence?

“Youth violence is not a Chicago problem any more than it is a black problem, a white problem or a Hispanic problem,” said Holder.

Is it a federal problem?

About 70 students have been murdered since the start of 2007 school term, mostly in their neighborhoods on the way to or from school, according to the New York Times.

What can the schools do when the communities around them are so unsafe that students are kicked to death walking to the school bus? Isn’t this a crisis for law enforcement rather than schools?

2008 Rolling Stone Cover befitting of a rock star more than a U.S. President

2008 Rolling Stone Cover befitting of a rock star more than a U.S. President

The situation we are faced with here in Chicago is at odds with the news of Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. It is at odds with all media representations of Obama the “superstar”.

In America, our unemployment rate is climbing, our dollar is falling, and our children are dying.

Oddly, this president of nine months has just been bestowed one of the world’s greatest honors.

Again, for Barack Obama this is another empty trophy- an accolade come all too soon without a narrative based in accomplishment or history.

It is offered as a most shocking sacrifice to his ever growing mantle following the feelings of euphoria and leg tingles one gets when the name Barack Husein Obama is mentioned.

No critics, I am not bitter.

I am not a hater.

I am not writing this piece as a Republican who voted for John McCain.

I have not authored this because I am a racist Neo-con or self-loathing African American with a mammy mentality who grew up in a household of riches.

My post today stems from a benign curiosity and the sense of shame one feels when one has been tricked into believing that a singular shred of logical thought actually exists in this world we are living in today. I am slowly coming to terms with the collective rise of myths, comic book heroes and the weak minds that continue to populate this society.

Obama_GodNelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Barack Hussein Obama. One of these things does not belong here. Come on can you tell which one?

President Obama, you have radically reached the realm of untouchable. You can create miracles like no other.

Please pretty please give my friend “Tom” a job. He has been unemployed for two years.

I beg of you to restore peace amoung our youth in Chicago and everywhere.

What about the situation in Afghanistan? Can you fix that too?

Erase our national debt.

Just do something simple.

Do the job you were elected to do.

Keep the promises you made to those who supported you?  It should be simple?

Right?


Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Thursday Kitchen Bitch: The Mammy Diaries Go Live!!! October 8, 2009

Vintage advertisement for "Swerl Soap". Notice the "mammy" cookie jar in the background ...must be a Republic household.

Vintage advertisement for "Swerl Soap". Notice the "mammy" cookie jar in the background ...must be a Republic household.

This Thursday’s bitch is a “vlog” post from my good ol’ kitchen. It is my response to the charge that I am  possessed of mammy mentality because I am a black conservative.  You will recall that in Tuesdays Autographed Letter Signed post I posted the entire quote which accused me of such behavior. I received a tremendous amount of support from my readers. For that I thank you all for taking the time from your neo-con activities at the country club to post at ALS.  On a serious note, I want you all to know that it is you that keeps me going during a time when it seems almost impossible to speak with anyone about politics without being chastised as an”Obama hater”, mammy, Auntie Tom, self-loathing of my skin color.

Actress Hattie McDaniel portrays "Mammy" with Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind.

Actress Hattie McDaniel portrays "Mammy" with Vivien Leigh's Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind.

Hattie McDaniel pictured here first black performer to win an Academy Award. She won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Hattie McDaniel pictured here first black performer to win an Academy Award. She won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939).


Thank you for accepting me as I am and not trying to change me. The one thing I have learned since becoming a conservative is that my GOP buddies are more tolerant of my dissenting views on the pro-life movement and support of gay marriage than my liberal friends are of my stance against Obamacare. I also want to give a special thank you to those of you who are PUMA’s. We began as Hillary supporters. We have since gone in separate directions. I went right but I love you all who have never left ;-).

Autographed Letter Signed,


Afrocity

PS. Yes my audio and video are not in sync. This always happens on You tube but never when I load the videos elsewhere. Sorry about that.

 

Liberal Hypocrisy Files: The Mammy Diaries October 6, 2009

mammyAh, another beautiful day in post-racial America…Where those who agree with the liberal agenda  are shining happy sheeple holding hands…but if you are not watch out. The racism boogie man will get you.

However there are racist lined clouds in the sky.

You were warned that no one is safe. Not even Afrocity.

During a recent Face Book exchange with two African American Obama supporters and a British liberal, I was called something rather disturbing.

The insult was one that will be familiar to many black Republicans. I was called a mammy.

To be fair I will give the proper context before I post her exact quote. The exchange was about the Chicago’s now failed  2016 Olympic bid and Obama’s trip to Copenhagen.

I jumped in and commented that Obama should have stayed in the U.S. .

I was then given a response that basically said how it is about time that an African American was representing (blacks) and the commenter said they feel “free”.

In turn, I responded that it was sad that she needed Obama’s election win to feel free and proud as an African American.

Her following response was this:

…there are African Americans with the “mamie” complex and “yes sir” complex-they will argue and die for their master…and yes, it was a low … Read Moreblow!! The lack of black consciousness in this country is not as common as you think (thank God) especially in the east coast..@ Afrocity-you’re a really smart woman no … Read Moredoubt…probably smarter than all of us combined (you are special…maybe you grew up with some money I presume?)…but you’re not a progressive thinker…you’re a limited thinker with a one sided message—a sound bite– you only speak from the mind not the heart! Clearly, there are whites who hate you because of your skin color…NEO CONS don’t roll with blacks. NEO CONS golf at country clubs while making business deals… and you will always be seen the as help…helping a cause that benefits the wealthy with health care and corporate jets!! good for you!! I’m not one to kiss ass… There is some deep seated issues which goes beyond the scope of politics with you…and you are projecting all the negativity from the black experience and unaware of an audience that view you in a different light than you see yourself…..

auntjemima_1The formative powers of post-racial America’s race card are also turning black republicans and conservatives into mammy dolls and Uncle Tom’s.

According to the commenter, I am

1. ignorant of the fact that white people hate me.

2. I never speak sincerely from my own heart.

3. …”roll” with NEO-CONS who don’t roll with me (?)

4. I am viewed by my fellow conservatives as “help”. In other words my Caucasian conservative friends/readers see me as their …maid…mammy, pickin’ cotton.

Like Condi Rice, Afrocity needs to go back to the Inner-City Racial Re-Education Camp

Like Condi Rice, Afrocity needs to go back to the Inner-City Racial Re-Education Camp

5. Also my readers view me in “different light” than I view myself.

negro-mammySo tell me white racist conservative readers.

How do you view Afrocity?

And please do not hold anything back.

1902 "topsy turvey doll" for self-loathing black conservatives like myself. Sometimes I like to pretend I am white you know.

1902 "topsy turvey doll" for self-loathing black conservatives like myself. Sometimes I like to pretend I am white you know. So I just lift up my skirt and presto change o' cotton balls...I am white just like that.

If you see me shining your Doc Martin combat boots, be honest and say so.

Envision me in your kitchen making chitterlin’ pineapple casserole? Speak up about it. Remove your white hoods so I can see your faces.

By all means confess your antebellum thoughts and desires. I can take it like a good slave.

Obviously I was a fool to actually believe that my conservative friends saw me as being an equal. I should have known when you failed to hand me a welfare application that you guys were all racist in your views.

How dare you praise me for uplifting myself from a childhood of reliance on government funding and homelessness!!! Why didn’t you send me an invitation to become Face Book friends with the food stamp fan club???


mammydoll1335


Autographed Letter Signed,

AFORCITY

Oh. PS…Black male republicans don’t think you guys are off the hook either. Like yours truly, you are self-loathing black people and have an identity crisis.

236_cartoon_uncle_thomas_emerge_large



 

Sunday Soliloquy: Marbled Paper Tigers October 4, 2009

Filed under: Sunday Soliloquy — afrocity @ 10:56 AM
Tags: ,

Example of Marbled Paper From University of Texas students of book art.

Example of Marbled Paper From University of Texas students of book art.

Although we were quite homeless in 1981, my mother made certain that young Afrocity received her weekly dose of the finest cultural events that the city of Chicago had to offer. Before we were homeless, it was customary on weekends for mother to take me to a museum,the theater or an art gallery–basically anywhere away from the ghetto we lived in.  The museums of course were free back then, as was the Lincoln Park Zoo…

Samples of Marbled Paper from Payhembury

Samples of Marbled Paper from Payhembury

How mother afforded to take me to the theater is beyond me.  Somehow she had the tickets despite our not having much to eat.

Her philosophy was if you can’t be rich, be around rich people.

We would put on our best clothes, scrape together the subway fare, and off we went on an “L” ride downtown.

Mother had a tan plaid suit purchased from Marshall Field’s department store that looked very nice. She wore it again and again when we went someplace special. I too, had special dress-up clothing but far more of a variety than my mother.  Walking to the subway in front of the other neighborhood children was extremely awkward for me.  At the time, I perceived my parental situation as lucky. My mother took me to cool places on the north side of the city where white people live. They got to stay stuck in the ghetto making dreams out of vacant lot dust and discarded urine stained mattresses. As a playmate jumped up and down in the vacant lot on the mattress, her brown small body ashy from rolling on the ground, mother and I are walking to the “L”, dressed nicely while her mother is sitting on their brownstone porch rolling her eyes at us.  My playmate jumps off the mattress and comes towards us.

fish marbled

Koloman Moser, Fish Marbled Paper, c.1904, Leopold Museum Archive, Munich.

My mother being annoyed and above the other commoners in the ghetto,  quickened her pace and ignored my friend. I always being more compassionate than she, stopped to speak.

“I can’t tell you.” I responded, digging in my pink old ladies purse from the thrift store and handing her a cold peach. Mother always told me never to tell anyone where we were going because it could give them a clue to how long we would be away. They could rob what little we didn’t have.

My friend took the peach from me with her dirty hands. When she bit into it, the clear juice ran from the peach down her arm leaving a clean squiggly line as it washed the dirt from her skin.

“I will see you later.” I said, running to catch up with my mother.

“Why did you give her your fruit?” mother asked. “You might get hungry at the play.”

I shrugged my shoulders while holding my head down.

“Don’t you see how their mothers do nothing for them? Take them nowhere? Letting them play in the streets with their underpants on?”

Silence was the best way to handle mother’s soapbox tirade on ghetto kids with shitty moms.

“I would never treat you that way.”

Marbled paper from Bedazzled Designs in the United Kingdom

Marbled paper from Bedazzled Designs in the United Kingdom

But it is now 1981 and we were living in a homeless shelter. 1975 seemed like ages ago. The days of welfare, catholic school and a roof over my head with no phone, were the good old days…

Homelessness did not change our weekend routine much.  Our clothes were shabbier. Our spirits heavier. Our home was not ours.

Reoriented towards making my life as ordinary as possible, we clung to those museum and art gallery visits. They were the only sense of normalcy we had. At the museum, I could pretend to be a tourist,on a school field trip, or someone who was not homeless. In other words anyone but who I really was at the present moment.  During this trip, I would visit a rare book exhibit within a museum. Mother could never understand why I was so fascinated with how books looked on the outside.  I bought old books for their covers.

“They are just old books Afrocity, let’s see the other one  exhibit”

It was the first time I would see marbled paper. Patterns, arabesques in oil paint. I was lost in them.

“Go without me.” I said to mother curtly.

Illustration of paper marbling technique from Great American Industries VII: The Printed Book Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, July 1887

Illustration of paper marbling technique from Great American Industries VII: The Printed Book Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, July 1887

I was almost twelve years old and could go to a museum on my own.

She was not the boss of me.

She couldn’t even keep a house for us.

We were no better than those kids in the vacant lots.

In fact we were worse off. They had homes of their own.

I did not.

Hepburn9_169“Afrocity!”  It seemed that I had defied her and she was shocked.

I watched her eyes and posture to map my possibilities. She was older, now 43 years old, fatter, and defeated emotionally. She was not the same woman who took me to the theater. Her hair was un-straightened, nails unpolished. She was undone.

“Meet me outside by closing time,” she sighed.

She walked out of the museum and left me standing there with the marbled paper books behind glass cases. While I continued to gaze as if taken captive by the colors and textures, I was not at all concerned that I had rejected her. Moving on from case to case, standing on my tippy toes reading the white cards that explained what each book was about. Who makes those cards anyway, I wondered.

At 4:50PM, I emerged from the museum’s huge doors carrying an armful of free pamphlets.  I saw mother sitting on the stone stairs eating of all things a peach.  She looked at me without smiling.

“You took so long, I ate your fruit.”

Shaking my head as I sat next to her, I unfolded one of the pamplets to sit on so I would not get my clothes dirty. We had no place to wash our clothing and I had to make each outfit last.

For what seemed like a bit of time, we people watched. Normal people watched. They had homes to go to, a stove to cook on, their own bathroom. They did not have to use Suave shampoo because that was all the shelter gave them even though it caused tangles and was bad for African American hair. They were not us. Take me home with you, I thought.

thumb-WU1Check-in time at the shelter was 7PM. Get there any later and you lose your bed.

“We had better get back,” mother said rising from the stairs to brush off her jeans.

Standing up, I looked back at the museum doors, now closed and gated shut. I wanted to be one of those pieces of marbled paper. All nice and safe, behind glass, with someone to take care of me forever.


Reluctantly, we walked towards State Street. Two ragged Cinderellas, hand in hand. Outside roaming in the city, no one knew who we were. Now we were going back to the home that was not our home.

That would be the last time mother and I would ever go to a museum together again.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY


Hulme QC 003



 

Liberal Hypocrisy Files: All You Nasty Boys October 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 9:39 AM

Harrasment

By placing his recent bout with an extortionist on nighttime television, for all of his viewers to laugh at, talk show host David Letterman has officially reached sub-bottom feeder status.

It is quite disturbing how a fascinating account of workplace affairs have suddenly become joke material.  Still more disturbing is the fact that this womanizing jerk receives thunderous applause after his admission.

From Contra Obama

From Contra Obama

From the NY Daily News:

After news of extortion plot, David Letterman fans forgive affairs; disgusted by blackmailer

“We love Letterman no matter what he does. He brings us joy. I watch him every night,” said Ali Hamoudeh, 34, an engineer from the upper West Side. “He’s still hilarious.”

On the whole, said fans, Dave can do no wrong because he’s just so funny. “He gives laughter to us all. I don’t care about his private life,” said Henry Garfield, 21, a student from Deal, N.J.

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

October 2, 2009

Dave Letterman’s a little randy and that’s just dandy with his fans.

It’s the guy who tried to extort $2 million from their favorite laughmeister who should be ashamed of himself, they said.

Kelli Lageschulte, 20, a graphic design student from Iowa, was among a crowd of people trying to get “Late Show” tickets at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night. She found a few giggles in Dave’s admission he had affairs with several female staffers.

“I wonder if he told jokes while they were having sex,” she said with a grin. “He is, after all, very funny. Anyway, everybody’s doing it.”

A more serious Harry Turner, a 45-year-old radio technician from Australia, said, “I’m not shocked, not these days. Everybody has their bones in the closet. His wife will be his biggest judge.”

Of the alleged extortionist, Turner shrugged and said, “He deserves whatever he gets.”

Bill Sheft, a veteran Letterman writer, defended his boss. “I love him. I’ve worked for him for more than 18 years and I just love him,” he said of Letterman.

As for the accused blackmailer, he said: “The man’s been arrested and that’s a good thing.”

An unidentified employee of the show in his 20s suggested the revelations were old news to insiders. “I couldn’t believe my ears when [Letterman] said it. It happened. I’m surprised it didn’t come out earlier.”

Letterman’s music director Paul Schaffer wouldn’t say anything. He ran from reporters and pulled off in his car.

Kristi and Eric Getsfred from Louisville, Ken., were split in their reactions. “He admitted it, girls? Plural?” asked Kristi. “You think he’d be smarter and find ways not to get extorted.”

But Eric 44, tipped his hat to Letterman. “I feel different about Dave; he looks younger in my eyes. He’s got some mojo now.”

His wife whacked him in the arm over the remark.

“He’s married and he has a kid. That’s the awful part,” said Dana van Woert, 20, of Des Moines, Iowa. “But I won’t judge, he’s still my David.”

“What a player,” said Caroline Uribe, 35, a hairstylist from Tarrytown. “David Letterman is a pimp. I’m not really surprised.”

Afrocity's advice to David Letterman

Afrocity's advice to David Letterman

 

 
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