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Independence Nevermore:To Live Free and Die in the Not So Great Society July 4, 2010

Artist Faith Ringold Story Quilt

On this day, our country’s 234th birthday, the fate of my fellow African Americans weighs heavy on my mind. Like most summers in Chicago, this one entered the earth with a wave of violence. Brother against brother. Murder and destruction.  My best friend who is Caucasian caused a black man to be put in jail a little over a ago.   The Taste of Chicago was in its first day, Salt and Peppa was the opening act.  People were high on the heat of summer.  My friend was walking my dog for me.  That dog being a Dalmatian, became excited by all of the strange people and noise.  Sirens and raucous late June laughter coupled with a sensitive stomach from eating too much grass at Grant Park, caused the Dalmatian to bark at the strangers as she made her way to the hi-rise doorman building.

All it took was t  “Control your dog muthafucka!”  from a black man, for an argument to ensue. This caused angry words from my friend which led to the black man threatening to shoot my friend; which led to his arrest.

Just as I was rinsing off some fresh raspberries in the kitchen sink, my friend arrived in my apartment with the panting Dalmatian.  I was planning for a bowl of ice cream but no one seemed in the mood.

“BLACK PEOPLE!!!!!”  yelled my friend.  “Stupid (expletive)….(expletive)”

He threw the police report on the kitchen counter.  I grabbed the mint green flimsy duplicate copy paper.  Crumbled up, the carbon writing had smudged. I saw the words  “gun” and “dog” very clear.  I kept squinting at the Dalmatian. She was now lying on my sofa- something that she knows not to do.  Always causing a spot of trouble, I thought.

“Do you want to hear the rest of the whole story of my night from hell?” asked my friend who was still angry and breathing heavily.

Sure I wanted to hear the details.  I wanted to know why he made the statement that he did about black people however,  the atmosphere in the room was not one of safe waters.  A recap at this point would do nothing but advance an argument on race.  An argument that began downstairs in my vestibule and would end a friendship upstairs in my kitchen.

“No,”  I said.  “I am sleepy. “

My friend was disappointed and mumbled “But-“

I walked over to the door . “Goodnight,”  I said flatly.  “We will discuss the matter later.”

"When Blacks Take Over America"- Racist Com

I closed the front door, leaving my friend standing in the hallway. Returning to the stainless steel double sink, I began to hum a tune and finished rinsing my raspberries.

All was well again.

That did not just happen I kept telling myself.

But it did and it made me feel uncomfortable.  Not because of what my friend said but rather because I understood what he said.  The blacks in Chicago were getting on my nerves too.  Killings of young people shot over stupid, petty issues like boxes of two chicken dinners.  Women —ahem, excuse me correction- I mean GIRLS with violet blue weave  hair and fake neon pink nails, pushing one baby in a stroller, another on the side of their hip, and one in her womb.

One of the obvious questions that I ask myself is when will it all end.  These are the people that my mother thought would do better than the older generations.  In 1979 these kids were our future, now our future as African Americans is what I fear.

Yes, there are many successful African Americans today. Enough to give m friend a reason not to say the things that he did about his assailant.  Enough to make me not shudder every time I see a young black mother being cursed at by black man with his baggy pants falling down his legs in the streets.   Do we not dwell on the Colin Powells, the Michael Jordans,  Oprah Winfreys, Barack Obamas?

I do- having the pleasure of being in a room filled with African Americans PhD’s.  We chat up one another in our academic discourse while munching on Carr’s  water crackers and goat cheese.   Have you read such and such?  Did you see that great documentary on…  Our lives as African Americans in that insular, far away place called… Called what?  What is that place?  Freedom? Decency?  Civilization? Acclimation?   Assimilation?  Whatever that place is, it is shielding us from the battle that rages on right outside our chamber door. Yes, I just alluded to Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, The Raven.   I loathe that poem but it was one of my mother’s favorites.   Ravens are black and cold- menace to society.

Furthermore, ravens seem to symbolize impending doom.

My heart cannot be at rest in the company of black success narratives when there is a raven sitting just outside the window.   His eyes carry the images of youth violence, rape, welfare, robbery, gang warfare.

The Raven sits at the foot of my bed, resting on my 350 thread count Tracy Guild designer sheets.  The Raven is there when I see other blacks at Whole Foods market.  Look at all of the good African Americans following Michelle Obama’s advice. Eat organic parsnips, it is better for our kids.  But what about the blacks kids who are physically fit and kill with guns and knives?  No salt and battery will not cure what ails Black America.

The Raven keeps me up some nights wondering what could have been had we not sold ourselves out to the Great Society that the Democrats promised us.

“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”
– Lyndon B. Johnson

The Raven was at the Taste of Chicago last Thursday day night and so was I.

Firm in my belief that the festival was safe, I went to “The Taste”, purchased a roll of tickets, got guacamole and chips.  When you grow up in a place as tough as  Chicago, you acquire certain survival skills…Like sensing when people are packing and bullshit is about to start.  The Raven flew over and sat on my shoulder.  My chips looked good to him but not as good as the group of  backwards baseball capped young black thugs standing by Buckingham Fountain throwing up gang signs.

Stop being paranoid Afrocity, I thought.  Nervous white people grabbed their children. There were a lot of young black people and Mexicans out and…it was loud…and felt not quite right.  How does this collectivity of social ideologies interact? You have the people who are here for barbecued turkey legs (12 tickets) and the people who are cause trouble (ticket to jail).   Soon, my pursuit for an unbiased night of cultural interaction gave way to my instinct to survive.  Afrocity still had food tickets left but did not care as she exited Grant Park.  Once safe at home, I saw that my instincts were correct according to this article in the Chicago Tribune:

‘He just started swinging a knife,’ says boy stabbed near Taste

July 2, 2010

“He (the attacker) thought that the crowd was trying to jump on him and he just started swinging a knife,” Nuttall said of the knife-wielder.

As he was trying to pull his friend out of the way, Greenlee was stabbed in the lower back and fell over, Nuttall said. When Nuttall tried catching his toppling friend, Nuttall was stabbed in the forearm. The bleeding boys bolted for the Red Line subway station and headed south, where Greenlee’s mother was waiting for them at the 79th Street station.

From Chicago Tribune

When she saw her son and his grade school chum had been stabbed, Teresa Wilson became hysterical, more upset than either of the teenagers. Then the South Side mom became angry.

“I’m tired of Illinois, specifically of Chicago, period,” an exhausted Wilson said in a telephone interview this morning.

Wilson drove the teens to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park.

“I really (became) hysterical. Bobby was a little more calmer (than me), stronger. He was like ‘Mom, stop crying! Calm down, I’m okay,'” she recalled.

Both teens were treated and released with minor stab wounds. Wilson’s son was resting at home, recovering from a 2-inch laceration to his lower back.

Nuttall said the teens, who became friends at Joplin School on the city’s Southwest Side, had no idea who their attacker was, or what started the fight.

Relieved that their sons weren’t seriously injured, both mothers were still filled with regret.

“I shouldn’t have let me child (go),” Nuttall’s mother, Patricia said in a telephone interview. “I didn’t know it was going to be like this. This is downtown, all the security and police officers down there…I’m just glad my son didn’t get hurt worse,” she said.

Wilson, who returned to Chicago 10 years ago, said she’s seriously considering leaving again, believing the city has become overridden with crime.

“Anytime you think you’re going to an outing, you have to damn-near expect something to happen and it just makes no sense,” Wilson said.

Recognition is the first step towards healing.

You have to realize that there is a problem.

For the first time I will admit something to my readers.  While I did not vote for Barack Obama, I at least thought that the violence amongst those in the African American community would subside after his election.  I especially and desperately wanted this to be true for Chicago.  But like Edgar Allan Poe, the Raven is a realist.

Lyndon Johnson’s  “Great Society” may have equated short term gratification for blacks and long term benefits for Democrats.  But nevertheless, we signed up for it as a race.

I understand that.

Having a black president does not entail overnight brown-skin success stories.

I can understand that.

It does not eradicate every ounce of racism from country.

I can understand that…Asthe late Senator Robert Byrd so “eloquently” demonstrates here:

What I do not understand is why having a black president entailed the unraveling of any civilized state of “black Chicago.”

As I saw my people scattering about State Street with the policemen in riot gear.

I thought, is this what it has come to?  Another 1968?

Photo Chicago Tribune. Police in riot gear after Thursday's Taste of Chicago Fest

Another Los Angeles?  Is this what Crispus Attucks took a bullet for during the Boston Massacre?  So that blacks in America could go from that:

To this?

“Unfortunately the answer is YES,” quoth the Raven nevermore.

Autograph Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

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“Brown Power”: Like Desert For Chocolate May 19, 2010

"African Tsunami" political cartoon by Alfredo Sabat of Argentina- won first prize in the United Nations Correspondent’s Association Ranan Lurie Political Cartoon Award 2006.

Such definitions as African American, Latino, Native American, Mexican American, Asian American, Hispanic- all encompass the multi-layered, mega population of America’s minorities. I failed to include women and gays because I’ve often been corrected and told the politically appropriate phrasing is: “women, gays and minorities”.
However you choose to characterize those who are not of white and men, minorities are all underdogs.

We are not the majority.

We are not privileged.

Please understand, I do not agree with the aforementioned reasoning but there are many who invest quite heavily into identity victims especially when it concerns people who are ethnically diverse and the politicians who claim they want to rescue them.

This Arizona controversy has many African Americans in the state of flux.  I am experiencing two responses.  Some blacks are ready to fight against the alleged racial profiling contained in the Arizona immigration reform law.  Others are unapologetic and rather apathetic concerning the fate of illegal immigrants.

“They are taking jobs from us,”  said one African American acquaintance of mine. “They outnumber us now and really many of them are just as racists as whites.”

Should African Americans be concerned about the Arizona law which enforces our federal law to protect its borders and clamp down on illegal immigration?

From this article in the Black Agenda Report:

Revisiting the Immigration Reform Debate: An African American Perspective
by Dr. Ron Daniels
Black Power will necessarily be affected by Brown Power.”
The anti-immigration law passed by the Arizona legislature, which essentially legalizes racial profiling of Latinos, has reignited the national debate over what to do about millions of undocumented people, the vast majority of whom entered through America’s porous southwestern borders. Despite the progressive stance of African American civil rights/human rights and political leaders on this issue, if you tune in to Black talk radio, one gets a sense that large numbers of Blacks are intensely opposed to granting legal status to the undocumented. This is an interesting phenomenon because in general Black people tend to advocate for the oppressed, particularly people of color. In this instance there appears to be a disconnect between Black leaders and a substantial segment of their constituency. I suspect this is because, in the legitimate quest to remain the “conscience of the nation” on matters of injustice to human beings, Black leaders reflexively and to a degree uncritically embrace a pro-legalization stance for the undocumented. The problem with this posture is that it does not take into account the serious concerns expressed by many Blacks on this complex issue.

For the record, I am absolutely in favor of fair, equitable and just immigration reform. And, as Africans in America, we certainly cannot accept the racial, ethnic or religious profiling of any group under any circumstances. So, I am totally opposed to the Arizona law – which should be rescinded or repealed immediately.

La Gran Tenochtitlán, 1945, Palacio Nacional, Mexico City by Diego Rivera

You see, I am not certain that I agree with Dr. Daniels.   I do not have a problem with the Arizona law because it only enforces what is already allowed by federal law.  If you are stopped for let’s say a traffic violation, even if you were a Caucasian, you would have to show some proof of identification.  Arizona is having huge problems with the lack of border security, I find it reasonable that the state is asserting its right to alleviate the problem.

Also, what is this “brown power”?  I assume that Dr. Daniels is referring to blacks and Latinos.  Are Middle Easterners included in the “brown power” movement?

Dr. Daniels continues:

...Despite the successes of the Black freedom struggle, large numbers of Black people are still confined to the bottom rungs of the social-economic ladder. In large measure this is because racism is alive and well — and Blacks are the least preferred people of color minority in this country. “If you’re White, you’re alright, Yellow mellow, Brown stick around but Black get back” is still a reality when it comes to the struggle for opportunity in this country. Therefore, Blacks are understandably nervous about anything that threatens to undermine our fragile social-economic and political gains, particularly when vast numbers of our people are still locked out and left out. To suggest that somehow millions of undocumented people have no impact on the social-economic and political standing of African Americans runs counter to what millions of our people see and experience in their daily lives.

Hmmm, do African Americans feel threatened by Latinos?

Why should we be? Aren’t we all on Underdog Island, Brown Island, Minority Island?

Or are Americans feeling threatened by people who are not Americans exhausting our resources?

Liberals believe that minority status is tracked back to antecedents of any American wrong doing canonized as exploitation of those who are somehow lesser than. Images of slave ships, shackles, internment camps, women’s suffrage, five and dime counter sit-ins, migrant workers all follow the American cookie cutter of the downtrodden minority figure.

Michael Tropea/National Museum of Mexican Art

But does one size necessarily fit all when it comes the the liberal victim caste system?

At a fairly young age I learned the answer.

When I was nine-years old, I was living in the North Lawndale section of Chicago.  My Catholic school was entirely African American as far as the students were concerned. Little fourth grade brown legs with knees barely covered by plaid skirts bought during the third grade.

The nuns and priests were all white. Old, wrinkled and white.  We all made quite a meeting of the minds.  Nubby pink hands twisting our black cheeks whenever we stepped out of line.  At times the nuns could be sort of maternalistic;  sparring the rod if they saw that your legs were covered in scabs from a whooping you received at home.

Those women in habits who swore there lives to God, were mostly of Czechoslovakian and Polish descent.  Sister Mary Ann who had been at the convent since the neighborhood was predominantly a Jewish ghetto,  and now since the mid 1950’s a black ghetto swayed back and forth from disdain to tolerance for her black students.  But if you were of the lighter persuasion say like my classmate Paulina, then Sister Mary Ann liked you.

Paulina was Mexican and the only person in my class who was not black.  All of the boys crushed on her.  They would chase her around the school yard just to grab at her long thick ponytails.  We, the common brown girls, were terribly jealous of her.

“Her face is not that pretty,” we would whisper during mass as Paulina giggled and squealed.

She passed notes back and forth with drooling little wolves like Thomas White that I had a terrible crush on. The nuns never caught Paulina.  She could do no wrong. If it were one of us, we would be in the corner faster than you can say teacher’s pet.

I became obsessed with the transfer from Immaculate.  This was my turf since the first grade. I was at the top of the class academically and Paulina was at the bottom.  So why does Tommy like her? He once walked me home faithfully everyday.  He would even take the long way when he could have chosen a shortcut through the vacant lots. Now he won’t  save his seat for me during lunch and ignores me.  What gives?

“She is not black.”  See I could always count on my mother to give me a great biased answer. “Black boys like white women anytime they can get one.”

“But she is not white. She is Spanish and lives on 26th street,” I corrected mother. ” She is like us – not a white person.”

“But she will be treated like a white person before you will ever be.”  she warned. ” The closer you look like a white person, the more you will be able to pretend to be one of them. “

"Portrait of Mrs. Natasha Gelman" by Diego Rivera, 1943

Great, I am doomed, I thought.  My hair was not straight like Paulina’s.  I had nothing going for myself except my good grades. That is the only reason why the nuns did not hit me as much as the others, because I did my best in school and won competitions.  Despite my brains, I am still gonna be alone when I grow up with no man in the house like my mother. All because I am not light-skinned. Oh no.

“Just like Lena Horn,”  Miss Mother lectured. ” If you are yellow skinned, whites love you.  Back in the 50’s some could pass for white. They would work in jobs where no one knew they were black.  At night they would take the train home long after everyone was gone…They did not want anyone to know that their family was black.”

“Can cousin Latrina pass for white?”  I asked.  Latrina was my mother’s sister’s youngest daughter. She was quite light complexioned, or “high yella” as grandmother would say. Latrina was a favorite among the family and like Paulina, could do no wrong. I was beginning to see a pattern here.

Mother shook her head.  Latrina had light skin but Negro features. ” Her nose bridge is too wide,” she surmised. Latrina was not a good candidate for passing.  “You must look like Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, be mixed with black and Puerto Rican.”

Certain that I was as black as a Hershey’s candy bar, I looked in the mirror.  I was not too dark, sort of orange-ish brown. “Could I ever pass you think momma?”  I asked as I pulled at to corners of my eyes to look Asian. “Even for a Mexican or Puerto Rican

Mother laughed out loud.  “No, you are a nice tan color. You know when you were born, you were very light.  So light that they mistook you for a Puerto Rican.”

“What happen to me?”

“You got darker and darker.”

“Oh.”

From that point on, I decided to make Paulina my friend. Perhaps if she taught me Spanish, I could help her with her reading.  Seems fair enough. I can help her get better grades. In return she can help me seem more exotic and not just plain ol’ African American.

But there was a problem that I did not anticipate.  Something that mother hinted at but I did not understand or maybe I did not want to understand.  In my attempt to establish a friendship with Paulina, she made it obvious to me that while we were both not white, there was a minority totem pole. Guess what my position was on the pole?

“Don’t put your hands on my book,” Paulina said slapping my hand.  Our reading books all had numbers on the spine for identification. Paulina’s was #25.  I was only handing it to her so she would not have to reach on the book cart for it.  “You are all dirty and thieves.”

Immediate hurt and shock kept an emotionally bruised Afrocity standing in front of the book cart.  Did she just say I was dirty?  She is the one whose uniform collar had a black ring around it.   Thieves?  At least we don’t have as many kids as the Spanish people do. And they called them greasers like in West Side Story.

By afternoon, Paulina was my arch enemy.  I told the others what she said to me, knowing that some of the larger girls were just itching to pick a fight with her.

“She ain’t white,” said one classmate. “Mexicans stink anyway and they have roaches.”

Comic book featuring Memín Pinguín a character from Mexico. Created by Yolanda Vargas Dulché, popular during the 1940's

“The nuns only like Mexicans because they have so many kids because you can’t take the pill if your are Catholic and Mexicans are the only ones who listen to them,” said another classmate.

“I will mess her pretty face up to look like a taco…I wish she would say some shit like that to me,”

“They swim in the water on their backs to get here. That is why they call them wetbacks.”

” She had better take her Chico and the Man ass back to Me-hee-ko”

For days, tensions were high.  Paulina noticed that she was being stalked.  Her lunch tray would suddenly end up on the floor. “Ooops, did I do that?” from a snickering black classmate.

Reading Book #25 went missing.   “Maybe mi madre took it,” the students laughed. “Or her pet goat ate it like Julio’s on Sanford and Son.”

“CHILDREN!!!!”  yelled Sister Mary Ann.

Knowing that my spilling the beans about Paulina’s remark to me caused all of this sudden Paulina-cott,  I felt guilty.  Now there was no stopping it.   With the nuns in place, maybe it would die down.  Paulina’s mother did not want to take that chance, especially after her daughter was shoved several times in the bathroom.  They dared her to push back.

She did not.

Within a month. Paulina had been withdrawn and transferred back to a Catholic school in the Latino neighborhood near California Avenue.

None of us were white.  None of us were privileged or rich. But that did not keep us from talking down to one another. Later, I would learn that Paulina ended up in our school because the parochial schools in the black neighborhoods were cheaper than the ones in her own. Her father had left her mother. It was difficult for the family to pay Paulina’s tuition. This may have explained why Paulina felt she was above us because at one time perhaps she was- at least financially.  Now after the way we treated her, I can imagine the ways in which we affirmed her negative opinion of black people.

"Black Spanish Family" by Alice Neel

There was nothing I could do.  It was over. The wicked princess from 26th Street was gone. My classroom was back to normal.

A sea of chocolate and caramel. Fudge and cinnamon.  The boys began to chase us again. The white nun lorded over us as we learned about diphthongs and silent “e”.    One day, I would take my allowance and purchase a hula hoop and small book from Wool-worth’s  entitled “Say it in Spanish“.   It contained pictures of fruits and vegetables, cars, people, and animals with the Spanish words for them in bold black letters.

Mother looked at the book with not so approving eyes ” Why would you want to buy that? They should be reading “Say it in English

I shrugged my shoulders and sat at the bus stop reading the book, mouthing the words as we waited for the #52 Pulaski.  I just simply wanted to understand what the Spanish people were saying- that’s all. There was no harm in that.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Where the White Things Are May 4, 2010

From opposite sides of a Chicago bus route, one can see two very different Americas.  One side of the route ends in the north side “Gold Coast” Neighborhood. Home to the city’s elite, the Latin School, the Chicago History Museum.  The other ends on the west side.

As I sat watching the #72 North Avenue bus parked outside the window yesterday, I was overcome by memories of my mother- again.

It was the bus route that brought me from the ghetto to the peaceful lakeside where I could forget I was a black girl who lived in a neighborhood where children did not know their fathers.  I would watch white moms and dads pushing children in strollers, buying cotton candy and wonder what life was like for them when they left the park.  At the end of the day, mother and I would ride the #72 back home alone. Just a single mother and her child.  I would sit in the front seat next to the driver.  “Someday I will live and work here”, I told mother. “…where the white things are.”

“What are white things?” she asked.

“White people with white jobs and money. Nice apartments, museums. I want a white life.”

This momentary glimpse into the past took my mind off the speaker in the seminar I was attending.  I did not hear him. I only saw the fountain and the #72 bus  sitting at North Ave. and Clark, waiting to take mother and I back home.   My lip curled when I knew I was back in the present. She was now dead and I was sitting here in this room.  The white life.  The job, the apartment, the friends and I had somehow left her behind to take the #72 bus home.  This time without her daughter.  My brown limbs could not move to join her. Here, the bus –an innocent bus waiting in the layover circle became a distinct vehicle for my guilt and shame at never confronting my mother about doing something about her life during her final years.  I let her stay on the bus while I got off.

Jacob Lawrence The Seamstress, 1946

Although I intervened on several occasions, I was rebuffed and told “You do not understand what it is like to be really black now that you are educated,”  she told me one day in the year 2005.  “Like that stupid Condeleeza Rice and Colin Powell,when blacks get up- they get uppity…They don’t want to wash clothes by hand anymore or drive buses. Then they join the Republican Party and think they are white people. they black fades from their skin more and more each day…Colin Powell don’t look black anymore than Strom Thurmond.”

To appease her I smiled a bit.

“He don’t!” she continued throwing her hand. “Neither does his wife. People forget who they are and where they’ve been.  You get a nice car and don’t realize you are black until someone puts sugar in the engine and you can’t drive anywhere because your engine is all messed up.”

According to ghetto urban legend, sugar in the gas tank was a trick often played in inner city neighborhoods during the 1970’s. A person, usually a Black or Latino man would buy a nice car, say a shiny long Cadillac with white leather interior.  Like many people who are proud of new material possessions, the owner of the  car would drive around and around the same block over and over again so his neighbors could see his new found piece of colored American pie.  A car is not the whole pie mind you; just a tiny sliver. But when the highlight of your life hinges on winning the lottery or surviving an accident at the drill bit plant during third shift, you will settle for the sliver.

The sistas would hang around the car as the doting owner massages it with car wax.  By the end of the calendar year, the car was responsible for at least three separate pregnancies. Unfortunately, then as nowadays when you have a new iPad, people get jealous.  Things that you are enamored with should stay in your pockets and inside the garage.   Bruised manhood is the only remedy for a braggart Cadillac owner who gets too much attention from the ladies.  His reward.  Homespun 100% green with envy Dominic sugar poured in the gas tank.   The ghetto moral: Forget who you are and we will mess up yo’ car.

The modern day equivalent of my mother’s sentiment about uppity and forgetful Black people was expressed by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) when she made a derogatory reference to Supreme Court Justice,  Clarence Thomas during a recent public appearance.

All of these stubborn, rigid ideas on blackness have in a sense collectively poured sugar in African American identity of Clarence Thomas and other prominent conservatives of color.  Amongst liberals, Clarence will never be allowed to ride the bus back home. He lives where the white things are. Banished in Black history to the prison of collective amnesia and ridicule.

Jacob-Lawrence, Tousaint-et-Ennery 1989

The same fate obviously will apply to Republican National Committee Chairman, Michael Steele.

From this article in the Wall Street Journal

Steele Says He Finally Met Obama

May 1, 2010

By John D. McKinnon and Susan Davis

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said he finally got to meet President Barack Obama on Saturday, at a VIP reception at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He got his picture taken with Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as celebrities such as Alec Baldwin milled around.

President Barack Obama makes humorous remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Saturday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

At last year’s dinner, Obama poked fun at the slightly nerdy Steele and his sometimes awkward attempts to seem cool.

“Michael Steele is in the house tonight. Or as he would say, in the `heezy,’” Obama said last year. “Wassup,” he added, making a hip-hop-style hand gesture. “Michael, for the last time, the Republican Party does not qualify for a bailout. Rush Limbaugh does not count as a troubled asset, I’m sorry.” Steele just stood in the audience, laughing, and clapped his hands.

A few days later on NBC’s Meet the Press, Steele insisted there were no hard feelings.
“That was just good love between two brothers,” he said.

UPDATE: In his remarks to the crowd, Obama gave a shoutout to Steele, calling him “Notorious G.O.P.”

Romare Bearden, 110St. Harlem Blues

Engaging with the facts surrounding the history Democratic Party have never been easy for my fellow African Americans.  Did my mother ever know that the Republican party was the true anti-slavery party? I doubt it.  I never knew until I reached college.  Perhaps I needed the comedic honesty of African American conservatives such as AlfonZo Rachel aka ZoNation to show me the truth as he does in his latest piece on the history of Blacks and the Democrats.


In 1992, there was no ZoNation or Afrocity.  The Democrats were eternal champions of brown skin and equality.  There was no other side to the historical coin. Until I met a conservative of color, some old Republican woman– an outspoken member of a Houston based Republican women’s group. She found me in the crowd one day as I proudly campaigned for Bill Clinton. I would later meet that same woman in 1995 at an event honoring Laura Bush. The old woman offered the truth but I never explored the truth any further. The old woman had to be delusional. Everything she said went against everything my mother told me.  I did not want to know the truth about the Democratic Party nor did I want to understand why Ms. Condi Rice or Mr. Thomas would be proud Republicans. Dining and voting for the enemy.  How could such an animal even exist?

Jacob Lawrence, "Tombstones"

But today, I am the animal my mother and Eleanor Holmes Norton spoke of.  Through my conservative beliefs, I am no longer on the #72 riding home with mother to eat a dinner of breaded sandwich steak, canned peas  and instant potatoes purchased with colored money.  The tumbler of Kool Aid still sits at the table waiting for my former liberal self to return home.  But I can’t because as far as they are concerned I am lost as a Black woman.

I am where the white things are.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

Steele Says He Finally Met Obama

 

Sunday Soliloquy: Blackwashing An American Classic April 25, 2010

From Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, illustrations by Edward W. Kemble

The library books I wanted to check out were heavy in my arms.  Stacked up so high that I could hardly see over the top of them.  Thankfully, I had the smarts to tuck my library card in my mouth before I picked up the books.  This would allow the librarian easy access without my having to dig through the pockets of my Toughskins jeans.  I was a young girl of nine and at the time books were my only source of adventure.  When school let out for the summer all I had was that library. But this summer would be different.  In a month, I would be going to visit my big military careered brother who was stationed in Germany. As the librarian counted my books, I smiled at the Berlitz book on Germany.

Everything was going fine until my mother who emerged from the ladies room, decided to come over to the checkout desk and act parental.  Normally she never cared about what I read.   I would bounce from Henry Higgins to Harold Robbins and she never cared much.  Really, if I could count how many times a librarian raised an eyebrow at young Afrocity’s choice of reading material it would be more than my ten fingers and toes.   I had free run of the publishing world until this summer day…. As I said, everything was proceeding to plan until my mother began inspecting the spine titles of the stack of books that the librarian had already due date stamped.  Towards the middle of the stack, she winced and pulled a green cloth bound book out so fast that it did not disturb the stacks neat straight lines.

“She won’t be taking this…discharge it.”

Oddly, the librarian looked at me for approval.

I shook my head thinking mother must have believed I would not be able to read the book in time before my trip to Germany, then the book would sit in my bedroom overdue. She would have to tote the book back for me… “I promise I will read it before I go,”  I protested. ” The movie is coming on Family Classics on Sunday. I want to read the book first-“

Mother pursed her lips and glanced at me crossly “You will never read this book,” she ordered. ” This book makes fun of black people. It has a slave in it who is an Uncle Tom. He follows a piece of white trash name Huckleberry Finn.  Huck treats him like an animal.”

Mother’s voice was not loud but audible to the librarian who had stopped mid air with the date due stamp in her hand.

“You will never read anything by Mark Twain,” she continued. “Not in school. Not from the library. You will never see movies about Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer.”

A big gulp was in my throat, so I said something manipulative to placate her.  Even then I always felt I was smarter than she.  I read a lot more than she did.  She let me see Roots and it had slaves in it too.  She let me watch Bing Crosby movies and she said he was a racist…And what about Rochester on the Jack Benny Show…Mother always laughed at him and to me he looked like a slave… Besides we trusted  Frazier Thomas.

But it is on Family Classics Frazier Thomas said it is a classic that all kids should read-”  Yep that was my line of defense and all mom’s trusted Fraizer Thomas .

Frazier Thomas  is the local WGN Chicago guy with the mellow voice and pretty books in his library. He taught me about Swiss Family Robinson, Black Beauty and Pippa Longstocking.  Now he wants to teach me about Huckleberry Finn and mother is saying I cannot check out the book or see the movie on Sunday and I never miss an episode of Family Classics.

“Frazier Thomas is a white man who reads to white kids.”  Mother fired back. “You think he would have you at his house. Do you think he is reading to you?  Has he ever read a book about a black family? “

I shrugged my shoulders. The honest answer would have been no but I did not want her to be right.

“…and what about that movie we saw at the theater that you hated?” she asked.  “the one with the black man that was on that island with the prejudiced old white man?”

Mother was referring to a Disney movie that we saw the week previous to my summer recess.  It was about Robinson Crusoe and a black guy named Friday.  To my nine year old eyes, the movie was boring and the white man appeared to be very mean to the black man.  I did not like the movie and was really there for second offering of the double feature-  The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.

“So the book is boring?” I asked.

Mother knowing that I hated with a passion anything that is boring, especially books and movies answered, “Yes it is a very boring book by someone who wants you to feel inferior to white people. It is about white southern trash like the people in Roots. What did I tell you about people in the South?”

I twisted my lip and looked down at the floor.  One of my friends in school was from Mississippi and I liked her.

“What did we say about southerners Afrocity?”

“That they are ignorant and have the worst white people. John F. Kennedy is dead because of them. They shot Martin Luther King. “

I nodded and answered in a defeated tone “I know.”

The Librarian had ignored the line of people wanting to check out books behind us until one impatient young woman purposefully cleared her throat.  Why she decided to butt into my mother’s lecture is beyond me but it was not a smart idea.   “Miss, may I suggest that you consult your daughter’s Chicago Public School principal.  Huckleberry Finn is taught in many schools and teachers are trained-“

Uh-oh, I thought.  At my age I knew what to expect from my mother.  If there was one thing she did not tolerate, it was well meaning white people telling black people how to raise her children.  Yes we were on welfare but that did not give the the right to parent.

Mother stepped closer to the check out desk.  This all struck me as a when shit hits the fan moment.  I was embarrassed already, now I was certain that I would be banned from the library for ever.

“First of all,” she started. ” Call me Ms. How the hell do you know if I am married or not.  Second, my daughter does not attend Chicago Public School, she is in a private Catholic School so your assumption about all black kids and the schools they go to is wrong. I do not give a damn about what my daughter reads as long as it is not something that makes blacks look like fools. “

The green eyed, blond librarian blinked- a lot. She looked like a blond version of Rhoda from the Mary Tyler Moore show. Somehow I knew she was a good person. I felt sorry for her and this was all of my fault. I should have checked out sooner so Ms. Mother would not have known what I had decided to borrow. Then the books would have been all safe and uncensored in my seersucker book satchel.

Mother took the copy of Huckleberry Finn, flipped through a few pages and found a page she wanted the librarian to see.

“What is this word?” she asked the librarian.

I stood at the desk on my tippy toes hoping to see what she was pointing to on the page.  I saw an illustration of a black man standing in what looked like grass but I could not see the words.

When the librarian looked at the page, she nodded.  “I know what the word is  and I know why you would be upset at the author for using it-“

“Over and over again. Page after page,”  Mother interrupted.

“But it is considered an American classic and my son has read-“

“Does your son look like my daughter?”  On the hostile black woman meter, my mother was about heated seven by this point. “Would you want your son to read a book that called his people Polaks? You are Polish right? “

The librarian chose not to answer. Instead she asked ” Ms. will you be taking your daughters remaining selections?”

Mother browsed my other books for suspect titles.  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was chucked along with a cook book I had chosen about German food. Mother discouraged me from getting cookbooks because they usually led to me begging her to buy some expensive ingredients so I could mess up her clean kitchen and waste our food stamps.

“You will eat plenty of German food while you are in Germany,” she said.

Finding finally a light note to grab on to, the librarian continued stamping my remaining books. Looking at me and me only as if to make my mother disappear she smiled and asked “Are you going to Germany?”

My mother was still closely watching this whole book check out affair and I was frankly afraid to say anything for fear that mother would get reactivated.  My nod was covering my enthusiasm to tell someone, anyone about my upcoming trip.

Well you have a good time…Okay?”  she pushed the pile of now fully stamped books towards me.  I loaded them in my bag. Mother escorted me out of the building.  As we walked to our bus stop our conversation was restrained.  She only asked me if I wanted to stop off to get some orange Push-up sherbet ice cream treats  from the store. Mother was like that. She would talk up a storm in public sometimes then when you thought she’d let me hear it in private- suddenly silence.

I would never watch the Huckleberry Finn movie on Family Classics that upcoming Sunday.  Frazier Thomas had lost all credibility in my household.

I would also never ever read a book by Mark Twain at all.   Mother and I never spoke of the event again.  Lucky for me, Twain was never assigned in my literature course in high school or college.  I really never thought about it again until the other day when I crossed paths with this piece in the Atlantic.

When Great Art Happens to Bad People

Apr 24 2010

By Erik Tarloff

Every few years, it makes the papers: somebody opposes the teaching of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in some high school, or even wants it banned from the local library. The reason, of course, is the book’s frequent use of the word “nigger” (over 200 occurrences, according to people who count such things). When one such incident made a splash sometime in the ’90s, and the minister who was leading the crusade made a large number of appearances on TV and radio, my friend Wendy Lesser, a distinguished literary critic and editor, protested to me, “But he’s missing the whole point!”

She was right, of course. To seize on a single word, even a single word reiterated 200-plus times, without regard to its context or purpose represents a misreading that seems almost willful. But to my mind, defending the teaching of the book on those grounds, while justified on the merits, also misses the whole point, or at least concedes far too much. Because, what if the protest didn’t in fact miss the point? What if Huckleberry Finn actually were a racist book, rather than a non-racist book that permits its characters to speak in an argot appropriate to their time and circumstance? Would the banning then be justified?

Jims Coat of Arms

Thanks to the Atlantic, my memory was jarred.   I paced through the den of my apartment and stood in front of my two large bookshelves.  My deceased mother’s ashes were in a box nearby.  Thoughtfully looking over my library, I found many books that my mother would object to.  Glenn Beck’s A Christmas SweaterFleeced by Dick Morris.   My library is full of a conservative’s arsenal against liberal thought, against welfare, affirmative action…against phony racism.

Rare books, pretty books, cookbooks everything seemed to be there on my shelves.  However, something was missing.  I think it may be time for Afrocity to read something by Mark Twain and though I have the money to buy the book…I think instead I should go to my local library…and check it out for myself.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Blackhanded Compliments: Plenty of Room at the Shelter for Battered Liberals January 12, 2010

Have you ever been slapped in the face by the most wonderful compliment?

There you were minding your own business and BOOM. Ka-pow !!!  You were bitch slapped with a compliment. It was so beautiful and star appeared before your eyes.  You were so mesmerized by its sheer generosity that you hardly noticed the black eye you had the next morning.

Sad and shameful is the black liberal attempt to drive home the point that Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) is on the right side of history.

I recall with some crystal clear clarity that it was a year ago when the liberals were in an uproar over comments which alluded to Barack Obama as the “Magic Negro”.

The hunt for racists continued with Rev Al Sharpton’s tirade against the monkey cartoon which appeared in the New York Post.

Now as Democrats rush to squash media attention on Harry Reid’s unfortunate words, this latest chapter in liberal hypocrisy only serves as a further demonstration in the danger of identity politics. Some group is always going to get hurt while hoping their needs will be met. When hurt does occur, they keep coming back for more and more and more.

Black America has come to accept the worse from the Democratic Party.   Like a secret society, liberals like Harry Reid can say that our president is the “Magic Negro” .  That is okay because Harry is down with our history and he is one of our peeps.   This characteristic of African Americans is in keeping with the unspoken rule that only blacks can call other blacks the “N-word”.

“What’s up my nigga?”

Harry Reid’s comment was certainly welcome by the liberals as a compliment…

My, my, my the topsy turvy definitions of racism we weave.  From my first hearing of the Harry Reid light skinned comments, I immediately recognized them as racist which fall into the “well meaning white people” category.  Only someone who is arrogant, ignorant or both would perceive Reid’s comments as a compliment.  I should know, I was one of those people. I was ignorant.  During a work situation, in which a Caucasian colleague was assessing my potential, I was referred to as “articulate” Being the daughter of a woman possessing only a GED and a monthly welfare check, I smiled and lapped up my “compliment” Afrocity had arrived.

A white person said I was articulate.

I was not ghetto like the lessor blacks.

I am educated. I have a masters degree damn it and white people notice me. I am sorta young (ahem), gifted and black!!!

Articulate Afrocity was queen of the mainstream white world!!!!  Until a colleague of color informed me of my erroneous black thought patterns.

“Afrocity,” she implored. “That was not a compliment. It implies that you speak well for a black woman while other blacks are ignorant hood rats. It was a pat on the back for being educated- something that every person should be.”

My colleague’s version made perfect sense.  I felt like an idiot.  Selfish with the cocaine like powder of compliment whoring all over my mouth.

From the " Far Side"

She continued, “Think about it. Do you ever hear white people telling other white people that they are articulate?”

Good point. I never ever heard a white person give that particular compliment to anyone except when referring to a person of color.  Shame continued to grip me as I recalled every moment that I did not correct someone for giving me compliments such as the following:

“Afrocity, I am so glad that you are not like other black people. You don’t sound ghetto.”

“Why do you act like a white person?”

“Afrocity is black but I don’t think she knows it.”

“You are the only black person I can be friends with because you don’t act like a nigger.”

“Afrocity, you are proof that all blacks need is a good education and to stop acting black.”

“How come your skin color is so nice and not all black and chalky?”

“Afrocity when I call someone a nigger, I don’t mean you because you are special and different- not like other blacks”

Yes, readers these are all actual statements made to me during my life. Statements in which I was somewhat inclined to speak out against but remained silent because after all they were complimenting me. I was different from other black folk. A treasure among whites who were tired of hearing about black on black crime, teenage pregnancy, and the rising high school drop out rates among black youth.  I was a “Magic Negro”.

"And He's Clean Too"  cartoon by Stilton Jarlsberg at Hope n' Change Cartoons.com

"And He's Clean Too" cartoon by Stilton Jarlsberg, Hope n' Change Cartoons.com

In each case, the compliment giver was someone who like Harry Reid, was “on the right side of history”.

All except one, was a liberal Democrat. They stood alongside me at Bill Clinton rally’s.  I was their only black friend and that made me special.  I was teaching them silently that blacks were not all alike.

I was wrong.

Now I know better. What I do not understand is why President Barack Obama does not know better.

When one is abused and so used to hearing derogatory comments, sometimes we are not aware when we are being verbally beat down.  Someone is kind to you.  They give you food and shelter. Nevermind if they step on your tail from time to time. They did not mean it. They are on the right side of your history.  You defend them when they deserve a sharp tongue, chastising them and saying they cannot and should not speak to you in that manner.

You lash out at the likes of GOP chairman Michael Steel.  “That brutha is not with the program. Republicans are not on the right side of history.”

Liberal women are no stranger to battered liberal syndrome. Sarah Palin was a shock to their culture of brow beating conservatives for sexism while turning the other cheek when such transgressions were made by liberal men like Bill “Bubba” Clinton. Nevermind that your “on the right side” of feminist history Svengali master DNC was kicking the shit out of Hillary Clinton when she ran against Barack Obama during the primaries. You dressed your wounds in laughs at lipstick on a pig comments.

Liberals when will you ever learn that racism means racism and sexism means sexism.

Understand the difference between party loyalty and co-dependency.

Start a  publicity campaign against  “Silence of the Libs”.  Help conservatives and liberals fight racism and sexism.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Mirror, Mirror, On Washington Mall, Who is the Blackest of them All? January 11, 2010

Blago and Obama. Blago says he is "blacker than Barack Obama". Photo from Chicago Tribune.

Now that the Democrats are in agreement that President Barack Obama is light skinned and speaks non Negro dialect, their next  paramount theoretical task is to decide which DNC jackass is really the dark horse (so to speak).

From this article in the Chicago Tribune.  Blago claims he is “blacker than Barack Obama”.

Blagojevich apologizes for Obama remark

January 11, 2010 8:25

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is apologizing this morning for saying in an Esquire magazine interview that he is “blacker than Barack Obama.”

In a radio interview this morning, he called his remarks “a stupid thing to say,” according to his public relations firm. He was also to make a public apology outside his Ravenswood Manor home this morning.

In the magazine interview, Blagojevich also said he  was a real person in a political arena dominated by phonies.

Blagojevich, referring to the president as “this guy,” said Obama was elected based simply on hope.

“What the (expletive)? Everything he’s saying’s on the teleprompter,” Blagojevich told the magazine for a story in its February issue, which hits newsstands Jan. 19.

“I’m blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived,” Blagojevich said. “I saw it all growing up.”

The White House refused to comment.

It is worth remarking at this time, that as pathetic as Blago’s comments were, this is what Barack Obama deserves. He allowed his constituents to play the racism card during his election. He allows his supporters to play the racism card now.

Barack Obama uses his blackness like a rented tuxedo. As it happens, I was offended by many of Barack Obama’s statements as a person of color. I was also offended by the things he said about Hillary Clinton during the primary as a woman.  A crucial corrective is needed here.  Somehow it never registered with Obama that if you treat your ethnicity and race like a product—a thing—it will in turn do the same thing to you.

When you look at Obama’s experience and leadership abilities, the fabric of this man, what else is there except the historic moment and teleprompter enhanced speaking abilities.

For me, being black is just a part of who I am. I will never let it be the only thing I am.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Sunday Soliloquy: “Better to starve free than be a fat slave” January 10, 2010

In keeping with Senator Harry Reid’s “unfortunate comment”  concerning Barack Obama… I would like to begin my Sunday Soliloquy by saying – tis I, Afrocity, your favorite medium skin toned articulate Negro conservative blogger.

I am just keeping things real here. After all I do possess a masters degree and that qualifies me as a well spoken Negro. My conservative acquaintances say that to me all of the time you know. Not true. The only time I have been labeled as articulate has been by a liberal who was praising me for doing what all people should do–speaking well.  And it is good to know that Harry Reid believes that our president is a well spoken Negro- an articulate boy.

From this article in the Chicago Tribune:

Obama accepts Reid’s apology for ‘unfortunate comment,’ says ‘the book is closed’ on matter

Associated Press Writer

January 10, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP)Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid apologized on Saturday for saying the race of Barack Obama — whom he described as a “light skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one” — would help rather than hurt his eventual presidential bid.

Obama quickly accepted, saying “As far as I am concerned, the book is closed.” Reid, facing a tough re-election bid this year, spent the day telephoning civil rights leaders and fellow Democrats in hopes of mitigating the political damage.

The revelations about Reid’s 2008 comments were included in the book “Game Change” by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann. The behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 campaign that elevated Obama to the White House is based on the writers’ interviews with more than 200 sources, most of whom were granted anonymity and thus much of the material could not be immediately corroborated.

The Democrats do so much for women and minorities that we decided that the male restrooms at the next DNC convention should display a suitable decor.

Of course, Obama accepted Senator Reid’s apology.  Dirty Harry could never be a racist. Harry was not “acting stupidly”.  Harry does not deserve a  Beer Summit . Harry was the only guy to call the GOP out on their slavery health care plan. Harry is a Democrat so he must love black people.

Ah, the Democratic Party. Embellished with the hues and textures of the American multi-racial landscape. Historic condemners of the institution known as slavery…NOT…That was actually the Republicans. Ah, who cares? That was then this is now.  Let’s not dwell on  the Democrats and their  past transgressions against African Americans.  So what if the Klu Klux Klan’s founding members were firmly rooted in the Democratic Party and Woodrow Wilson was one of  the most racist presidents ever. That is all erased and forgiven now.

There is a 2010 DNC special on smoked black butt. Organic and Corn Fed. No Hormones used. Killed playing classical music in the background.

The Democrats embrace such underprivileged forms as women and blacks, gays and transgendered.  A regular Mother Jones personified by introducing civil rights legislation during the 1950’s and 60’s …Well that is not exactly true.

From this post on Black and Right.com

“Democrats are unwavering in our support of equal opportunity for all Americans. That’s why we’ve worked to pass every one of our nation’s Civil Rights laws… On every civil rights issue, Democrats have led the fight.”

September 24, 1957
Sparking criticism from Democrats such as Senators John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, President Dwight Eisenhower deploys the 82nd Airborne Division to Little Rock, AR to force Democrat Governor Orval Faubus to integrate public schools

May 6, 1960
President Dwight Eisenhower signs Republicans’ Civil Rights Act of 1960, overcoming 125-hour, around-the-clock filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats

May 2, 1963
Republicans condemn Democrat sheriff of Birmingham, AL for arresting over 2,000 African-American schoolchildren marching for their civil rights

September 29, 1963
Gov. George Wallace (D-AL) defies order by U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson, appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, to integrate Tuskegee High School

June 9, 1964
Republicans condemn 14-hour filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV), who still serves in the Senate

August 4, 1965
Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) overcomes Democrat attempts to block 1965 Voting Rights Act; 94% of Senate Republicans vote for landmark civil right legislation, while 27% of Democrats oppose. Voting Rights Act of 1965, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent African-Americans from voting, signed into law; higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats vote in favor

February 19, 1976
President Gerald Ford formally rescinds President Franklin Roosevelt’s notorious Executive Order authorizing internment of over 120,000 Japanese-Americans during WWII

September 15, 1981
President Ronald Reagan establishes the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to increase African-American participation in federal education programs

June 29, 1982
President Ronald Reagan signs 25-year extension of 1965 Voting Rights Act

August 10, 1988
President Ronald Reagan signs Civil Liberties Act of 1988, compensating Japanese-Americans for deprivation of civil rights and property during World War II internment ordered by FDR

November 21, 1991
President George H. W. Bush signs Civil Rights Act of 1991 to strengthen federal civil rights legislation

August 20, 1996
Bill authored by U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) to prohibit racial discrimination in adoptions, part of Republicans’ Contract With America, becomes law

Picturesque are the living memories of liberal acceptance. Democrats skipping hand and hand through the bohemian streets of New York’s Upper Westside, spitting obscenities at conservative Palin supporters marching through.

Peace and love and happiness for all. I thank God …ooops I mean Allah for the Democrats who transformed the slave shipwrecked lives of my people. They think so much of us.

I thank Senator Reid for challenging the standard interpretation of a token. Before learning of his comments about light-skinned Barack Obama, we African American conservatives believed that only Republicans of color would benefit from being labeled as partisan tokens and Uncle Tom’s. It is good to see that Democrats believe in equal opportunity tokenism too. I knew they would. With remarkable clarity, Democrats continue to show redneck Republican bigots how elite liberal culture can institute real “hope and change”.

What a relief that the fight against closeted tokenism is now moving more or less from the right to the left side of the political spectrum. And of course as demonstrated by this comment from a Chicago Tribune reader, most liberals agree:

I read the remarks twice and cannot understand why the apology was necessary. There was nothing untruthful or deragatory in his remarks. He was making a political assessment of the president’s description and traits in the context of image as a candidate – no ethnic slurs or slang names. “

“I am tired of having to tiptoe around black people.

There you have it. Thanks to liberals we are officially in the midst of “post-racial America”.

Autographed Letter Signed,

Medium-skinned no Negro dialect speaking Afrocity

June 10, 1964
Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticizes Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act, calls on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced and approved by a staggering majority of Republicans in the Senate. The Act was opposed by most southern Democrat senators, several of whom were proud segregationists—one of them being Al Gore Sr. Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson relied on Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader from Illinois, to get the Act passed.

August 4, 1965
Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) overcomes Democrat attempts to block 1965 Voting Rights Act; 94% of Senate Republicans vote for landmark civil right legislation, while 27% of Democrats oppose. Voting Rights Act of 1965, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent African-Americans from voting, signed into law; higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats vote in favor

February 19, 1976
President Gerald Ford formally rescinds President Franklin Roosevelt’s notorious Executive Order authorizing internment of over 120,000 Japanese-Americans during WWII

September 15, 1981
President Ronald Reagan establishes the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to increase African-American participation in federal education programs

June 29, 1982
President Ronald Reagan signs 25-year extension of 1965 Voting Rights Act

August 10, 1988
President Ronald Reagan signs Civil Liberties Act of 1988, compensating Japanese-Americans for deprivation of civil rights and property during World War II internment ordered by FDR

November 21, 1991
President George H. W. Bush signs Civil Rights Act of 1991 to strengthen federal civil rights legislation

August 20, 1996
Bill authored by U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) to prohibit racial discrimination in adoptions, part of Republicans’ Contract With America, becomes law