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Sunday Soliloquy: The Nanny State Diaries May 2, 2010

A key argument advanced by my liberal friends is that Afrocity’s new found conservative voice is simply a phase.

Now that the “phase” has been going on for nearly two years, attempts to bring me back to the land of ass have been occurring more frequently.   This month alone I have been treated to at least four lunches where portraits of the “Chosen One” adorn the restaurant as I slowly sip my soup.  Conversations somehow digress from living room decor and skinny jeans to why Obama is making such progress as our president.   Depending on my mood and how much I value my friendship with the person, I either eat and smile silently with a few nods peppered here and there  OR  I softly offer my dissent.  Aside from the question of whether or not Obama has really improved the lives of Americans, in particular those who reside in Chicago there is no doubt that his supporters are begging to realize that he is NOT the greatest thing since Wonder Bread.

“Well hopefully, if Obama leaves office in 2017…”

(Snicker) Oooo, that was funny!

One disturbing confession was several friends of color admitting that they were Hillary Clinton fans until Obama challenged her during the Democratic Primary.

“I loved Hillary,”  one friend said. “In college I was in her fan club.  I voted for her as senator.”

Then comes the 10 months pregnant pause.  Friend picks at the Cobb Salad while never looking me in the eye.

“Then I heard Obama at a rally and just knew I had to vote for him,” she says with a huge toothy smile.

Curious and saddened,  I always have to press the matter and shoot back with “Why? What was it that made you turn your back–errr, um I mean change your mind and support Obama?”

“Well he was so inspiring and he just wanted to do everything to change our world.”

“And Hillary did not?”  I asked with a raised eyebrow.

Pause comes again. Friend eats more salad…”No,” crunching on lettuce while speaking. ” You know [Bill] Clinton  was da man!!  He was a superstar in my book but when Obama came it made me go WHOA.”

Well of course you went WHOA. You were stepping in Obama’s bullshit.  That is what I wanted to say and here is where I gets frustrated and cannot continue the conversation. Just tell the truth you know.  We are all black. Just say you felt conflicted because Obama was a black man.   My friend went into some story about John Lewis and how he actually cried because he could not choose between Hillary and Obama.  She  mentioned other prominent African Americans who were caught in the “Great Migration” from Clinton to Obama.  The blacks who chose to remain with Hillary were characterized as though we were some sort of maimed donkey who could not get up on all fours .  Something held us back.  Our allegiance was to a white family over this great black hope.  Driving Miss Hillary Daisy.

As she was speaking,  I looked outside the restaurant window.  There were some African American males standing on the street corner, pants falling down past their behinds.  Should be in school, I thought.  An image of Cynia Cole, a little 20 month old baby that was killed recently by a bullet meant for her father intruded into my mind.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Charges filed in shooting death of 20-month-old

April 24, 2010

A 21-year-old man has been charged with killing a 20-month-old girl sitting in a car Wednesday night with her father, who police said was the intended target.

Danzeal Finley, of the 700 block of East 92nd Street, was charged with murdering Cynia Cole, who was shot in the head about 11 p.m. Wednesday on the 600 block of East 92nd Place in the Burnside neighborhood. Cynia was sitting in the rear seat of the car with her father, Jerome Hendricks, and her two young sisters.

Photo from Chicago Tribune showing Cynia Cole, a 20 month old victim of relentless violence in Chicago.

Finley was ordered held without bond by judge Adam Bourgeois today. His next court date is Monday.

Finley turned himself in to police Thursday after Alberta Cole, the girl’s mother, said she recognized him and told police, who put out an alert for Finley. Finley was accompanied by Rev. James Meeks after Finley’s mother called the minister and state senator to make sure her son would be treated safely…

The night of the shooting, Hendricks, Cole and and their family — Cynia, known as Coco; her sisters Janiya, 4, and Amazing, 8 months, were on their way to the girls’ grandmother’s house after visiting Coco’s aunt when they stopped by a neighborhood house to buy some cigarettes, Hendricks said.

Cole waited on the porch for someone to open the door when she said a hooded gunman came running out of a gangway and  began firing at the car. She said she eased back onto the porch so the gunman wouldn’t know she was there, and when his hood fell recognized Finley from the neighborhood.

After the shooting, Hendricks took the girl out of her car seat and held her head in his arm as drove to his mother’s home around the corner. Once there, his mother, Cynthia Lyons, a nurse, applied pressure to the wound behind the girl’s ear until an ambulance arrived and took her to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she later died.

How was I to see the Obama “hopium” machine playing a role in the life of Cynia Cole?  Chicago is in the state of chaos. National Guards have been one possible solution as we are in fact a youth violence war zone.  Suddenly, the Obama outsider art paintings in the restaurant sickened me.  This man used these people but you know what?  They wanted to be used. All I ever heard about from my friends and family  was what “Obama will do for black people”.   “Now we will get what we deserve…our president is black like us. He knows what it is like to be down and black.”

Really? Living in Hawaii, attending private schools, law school at Harvard.  Hanging out in Indonesia. Sure, Obama really knows what it is like to be down and black because his experience so mirrors that of  those in inner-city Chicago.

If you say so bruthas and sistas.

This is the part where I attempt to elevate the discussion to a new entirely new level. One where our blackness does not play into our voting choices.”I supported Hillary Clinton in the primary,”  I admitted with a straight but thoughtful face. ” She was a candidate that reflected my values and that is how I voted.  It is not about what a candidate can do for me, not as a black person or a woman…The government should not have to do anything for us. We do for ourselves…That is why I am a conservative now.”

My friend continued to enjoy her salad.  I said my “peace”  (snark) but still felt somehow defeated.  Any effort expended here was a waste.  The historic moment was a good selling point for Barack Obama and it worked.  It cheated Hillary Clinton out of a nomination.  It cheated Sarah Palin out of becoming Vice President. Both  good women.  Both good people.  The historic moment did not give baby Cynia Cole a life and iconic moments of her own making.  She would never live to see a woman take oath of office.  She would never live to be a woman.

We were all bound and raped by the considerations of race, gender, and historic moments.  What some Democrats have already noted in respect to Obama’s broken promises, are played out in Chicago’s streets as an African American saga.  How does one get over being raped?  Again the dream deferred simply explodes.  It gets angry and apparently it kills.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

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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

 

Sunday Soliloquy: In the Heat of the Night April 4, 2010

It is never really one place or one time that I think about how lucky I am to be alive…How lucky we all are.

My mother always taught me that life is a gift, something that we should respect. Since childhood, the Easter holiday has been special to me.

Mother and I would always buy jelly beans and Paas Easter Kits.  Off to Marshall Fields department store we would go to purchase a nice outfit for myself, complete with a flowerful purse, lace gloves and a bonnet.

Would the cruel Chicago weather subside to allow the use of these holy garments? Ah! It did not matter. Even if it were 45 degrees, young Afrocity would dress to the hilt on Easter, patent leather white Mary Jane shoes and all – freezing her cottontail off.

Mother would shake her head in disapproval,

“You just had to wear that outfit didn’t you? Look at how foolish you look in those lace bobby socks shaking like a leaf.”

Who cared if my body temperature was that of an icicle! I was stylin’ and honoring the day that Christ rose from the dead.  Jesus wanted me to look my best. Later on Easter night, we would watch The Ten Commandments.  My favorite part was God’s powerful voice:

“THOU SHALT NOT KILL.”

Spiritual salvage is all about reusing lessons of the past but today, I am a far cry from that little Easter girl.  There is no clove scented ham baking in the oven or failed attempts at blowing eggs to make Ukrainian style decorations (that was a passing childhood obsession that drove my mother crazy).  Instead just me and my boxes in my new apartment.  Tired and sore from lifting.  Not a chocolate bunny in sight, only empty pizza boxes and bubble wrap.

I have never missed my mother more than today.

Unlike Jesus, she is not coming back from the dead.  This was made more evident when I opened the box containing her ashes.  Moved from one apartment to another just like my china.  With a deep sigh, I placed the box in a credenza cabinet.  The only thing that would be resurrected was my yearning for the past.  When life was simpler.  When I could recognize my country.

During my unpacking frenzy, I was able to sneak in an internet break or two and catch the daily happenings.  One unfortunate event in Chicago caught my eye, it seems my fair city is getting some much needed practice in before Obamacare goes into full effect.  This year, the Chicago weather ignored the trend of freezing off the cute Easter bonnets.

Once April hit, the Windy City was boasting temperatures that climbed into the low 80’s…and a murder rate that climbed into the 40’s in just two days.   While warm weather devotees rejoice over the Easter holiday and peel off the winter clothing, Chicago’s youth are hatching out of hibernation with knives and guns.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

Brazen shooting just blocks from top cop

Weis was speaking about recent crime wave in which 41 were shot

April 3, 2010

BY ART GOLAB

After 26 hours of violence that left 41 people shot and four dead, Police Supt. Jody Weis called a press conference Friday afternoon in the Englewood neighborhood — the site of three of the shootings.

But just as the press event ended, Weis had to cut short an interview because of a report of shots fired just blocks away.

It turned out a 25-year-old man was shot at 69th and Paulina and taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Weis had just announced a series of police responses to the warm-weather crime wave, including a crackdown on what he called “large gatherings, illegal parties and large house parties.”

It was a house party that got out of control that led to three separate shootings and one death in the Englewood neighborhood, Weis said.

Weis said problem parties often occur in vacant or abandoned buildings, and he appealed to the public to alert police to such happenings.

“These unauthorized parties often involve underage drinking, little or no security and are held in unlicensed locations,” Weis said. “They are simply not equipped to handle large crowds. They are a disaster waiting to happen.”

Police will also step up enforcement of curfew violations, increase foot and tactical unit patrols in targeted areas and focus on bars and other “problem establishments” that generate more than their share of 911 calls.

“These places are madhouses of criminal activity and tie down precious resources which could be deployed fighting crime,” Weis said.

The 41 people shot between the end of Wednesday and 2 a.m. Friday included four people who were wounded outside the Magnolia nightclub near 122nd and Halsted, Weis said.

Other shooting sites included Bronzeville, Grand Crossing and South Shore. During one especially violent stretch, 16 people were shot in a little more than two hours.

Among those was a woman who said she was shot in the arm in Millennium Park about 12:30 a.m., but did not report it until she was treated in a Melrose Park hospital. Police have questioned where the shooting happened.

Weis noted that the second Englewood shooting occurred despite the immediate presence of three dozen heavily armed and uniformed police officers.

It shows the complete brazen lack of respect for authority.” Weis said. “The question that I have to ask is, what would they do when we’re not here?”

Ahem,  excuse me Officer Weis who uttered “…It shows the complete brazen lack of respect for authority.”   Don’t you think that is an understatement?  The Chicago Police Department have gotten into the bad habit of thinking they are holding the remote control for Chicago’s violence.   When you find black on black crime- and this is what it is.  I am not about to parse this as a Chicago wide problem.  It is about African Americans and Latinos killing each other while Louis Farrakhan is worried about some conservative nut job killing President Obama.

The Tea Partiers are not the problem in America.  Obamacare will never put a Band Aid on what is going on in Chicago.

Louis Farrakhan, Barack Obama, William Ayers, Father Pfleger,  Valorie Jarret are all opportunistic parasites on Chicago’s African American community.  These are not community leaders.  Chicago murders and youth violence is plentiful in supply, more abundantly so since Obama’s election.   The hot trend at the moment lies not in the weather but in a surprisingly brazen lack of respect for LIFE in the black community.  A surprisingly brazen  lack of hope after the chosen one resurrected “black pride” from the dead.

Rather than enjoying the Easter weekend outside in the 70 degree weather, I stayed in and unpacked.  A little spider crawled on the widow sill as I opened a box of knick knacks. Annoyed, I began to swat him with an old Vogue magazine then I remembered God’s loud voice.

“THOU SHALT NOT KILL”

Stopped dead in the rolled up magazine’s tracks, I calmly searched through boxes for my Dust Buster.  In the spider went, vacuumed and alive.  It was good for the little creature to be outside I thought as I emptied the filter and he crawled onto my patio.

“Use your imagination, ” the black kids were told. “Now even YOU can be President of the United States.”

Sure they can ..If they can only hope to have a much of a fighting chance for life as a spider.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Sunday Soliloquy: Fireside Chat with Afrocity of the Wayward 10 Percent February 21, 2010

At my most generous, I tend to craft my topics for Sunday Soliloquy with an eye toward sharing some aspect of my past with the dilemmas of my political and social present.  This week, I am not so sure I will do a good job.  The last several days have been all about myself and other black people arguing about my not being a Democrat.  Yep, race again and and again and again.

Liberal Democrat, African American Male:

“…The African-American snobs are the asswipes constantly taking shots at the president so they could get kudos from the real elite. The rich white man!… [Afrocity] Don’t be fooled by the constant head pats that you are getting from these white boys. They get off on black self hate and you are only feeding in to it. It’s truly embarrassing sister…You are on the other hand a disgrace to the “Afrocity” name that you adopted for yourself. You should change it to Eurocity or wannabe Eurocity…While I think they are both retarded it’s your right.

What I take umbrage with is the manner in which a mere 10 percent of black folks feel the need to take shots at the 90 percent that don’t think and act like them. We are either elitist or lower class. No in-between. Only black people that don’t know black people think like that.

Your verbiage is not even your own. It’s that of white folks who are equally as ignorant to black culture therefore you are a blind person being lead by a Seeing Eye dog with no vision. Your posts are disgusting to everyone outside of those with a racist mentality….I will have to think of one to label you and the rest of the wayward 10 percent.”

Ooops.  I’ ve gone and lost my blackness again.  Where did it go? I am a racist too.  Now, according to this brutha, I can no longer call myself Afrocity.  The statement above is self-explanatory when it comes to illustrating how African Americans place restrictions on one another in terms of political freedom.  On the blackness radar, the bias is in favor of black Democrats. Anything else, is an imitation.

We are coming out of the worst presidency of possibly all time who was a conservative. You really have NO moral ground to stand on and criticize or teach (LOL). You should instead criticize and teach the folks who thought it was prudent to give Bush another 4 years. I don’t credit any ideology for black success and I don’t place blame on any ideology for black failure. I’m free and independent in my thoughts and actions so when you talk that liberals this and liberals that you lose me and only prove that you live in a box. I am big enough to know that all people have good and bad ideas and good and bad intentions. And don’t misunderstand my disdain for the manner in which Afrocity and other mis guided black folks diss black America for hate.

When have I ever said that I hated black America? And when did I ever say that I voted for George W. Bush? I did not either time.  I abstained from voting in the 2004 election because I found Bush and Kerry both unfitting for the job.

It always amazes me how liberals derive such pleasure in being anti-racist and inclusive of all viewpoints, yet they are shockingly narrow minded when it comes to tolerating others.  Admit that I am pro-choice among conservatives and we will have a discussion.  Admit that I voted for McCain in a room full of liberals and I become target practice for name calling. Within an eye’s blink I became the guy who shot Dr. Tiller and a KKK member all rolled into one.

Female Black Obama supporter:

Even American Jews vote Democrat Lawd!. Who wants to be insulted because of race or religion? Today’s Democrats are your 1960s Republicans and todays Republicans are your 1960s Southern Dixiecrats RACISTS. They are almost becoming the Whig party because they cannot articulate any clear message and minorities they dislike do not trust them either…Finally it is erroneous to link Black failures to liberal cities whatever that is, without mentioning events such as crack cocaine that began under Reagan; dumping of guns in Black ghettos as a means to dispose war weapons but also create unruliness; high incarceration of Black men that began in the 80s (Reagan); etc…Afrocity your question about what have Democrats done for Black people is like asking what have Republicans done for White people. I am not following your reasoning or logic. Black people do not like Republicans because of the Southern Strategy and embracing racist elements boldly, and Neither do Jews because of their religion and anti-Jewish behavior by religious right Christians…White poor Republicans blame minorities for not succeeding i.e. affirmative action, anti immigration. It is easier to find a “boogey man” for your problems. Unfortunately politically civil rights and those that opposed truly believe it is the cause of their problems lol!. …

There was so much there.  Where to begin?  My critic’s statement implies that Democrats cannot be racists, or sexist or anti-Semitic.  Remember Jesse Jackson and his 1984 “Hymietown” comment?  Remember what the Democrats did to Hillary Clinton when she ran against Barack Obama?  Remember when the liberal feminists rallied behind Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal? Any woman became a bimbo, Hillary Clinton was a racist. Blacks could say derogatory things about Jews and whites…and get away with it.

Black conservatives live routinely with having their racial loyalty called into question.  As an aside, I really could not care less about who other blacks vote for.  If 90% are Democrats so be it.  The same goes for Jewish Democrats.  What does my critic’s statement allude to?  That blacks should support the Democratic Party because  Jews do… and blacks and Jews are alike because????

Fine, I will take my hits from African Americans. But do not think that my being a black Republican,  erases my past as a black Democrat.

Clearly I remember being called a “black bitch” by my Bill Clinton loving college friend.   If we want to focus on racism and sexism and wrong doings against protected classes, it is ignorant and unproductive to only look at people in one political party.

Take Amy Bishop, the  University of Alabama professor who shot her fellow colleagues to death.  Did you know that most of her victims  were all of  minorities?  People of color, and she was reportedly an Obama supporter.  Obsessed with Barry, a Kool Aid Snorter.  So does that make her untarnished when it comes to accusations of racism?  Or was she just crazy?

The possibility of  Dr. Bishop being a racist never surfaced. She supported Obama so how could she be racist?   However Afrocity is self loathing and anti-black racist .  The mainstream media gave Dr. Bishop a pass as they were all too busy in their attempt to create a Tea Bagger out of Mr. I flew a plane into an IRS office Stack” .

My questions concerning the Democrats considerable achievements in regards to advancing Black Americans especially urban dwellers are quite harmless.  I was born and raised in Chicago, a liberal haven.  We experienced white flight here, redlining, blockbusting, youth violence.  Why?  This city has been run by Democrats for generations.  I see virtually little if any significant improvement in the socio-economic patterns of African Americans in this city or Detroit which is also ruled by Democrats.

I simply posited that Chicago may be a model for looking at how liberals have all of the power, yet no control over the situation of violence and poverty, despair that many protected classes experience here.

Ronald Reagan never drove me to do crack or hold a gun.   I never saw a corner store robbed because some pitiful urban youth felt the burden of white rich Republicans willing him to be unsuccessful.  If liberals rule Chicago, then why is it so unsuccessful at doing what liberals claim to do best, which is uplifting the underdog?

I am more than willing to enter a substantive dialog with my fellow African Americans about the behaviors and motivations behind each political party- even the Tea Party.  However,  until the every Republican is a racist  and every black conservative is an Uncle Tom meme is dropped, we cannot continue.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Dr. King’s Day: Holidays Kept by Ourselves In Silence and Apart January 18, 2010

The multi-generational saga of slavery and racism in America is something that will touch us all. There is a beginning but never an end. Wounds are never fully closed. Scars are remembered and passed on. A rhetorical memory of stories, poetry and song are crystallized within our heritage, constantly reminding even those of us who never experienced such atrocities of firsthand trauma. Sandwiched between are visual cues frozen in iconography, people that make up the collective black experience…No, let me correct myself…The collective American Experience.

Nov. 2, 1983 President Ronald Reagan signs the bill making Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a national holiday while Coretta Scott King watches. Also pictured are Vice President George H. W. Bush; Sen. Charles McCurdy Mathias (R-MD) Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS); Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY) and Rep. Katie Hall (D-IN)

While working in New York City at a university, MLK Day was a paid holiday but we remained open. As employees it was our choice to work opting for “comp time” or take the holiday. I was the only African American employee on our staff.  I was also the only employee  on our staff that chose to take Martin Luther King Day as a holiday. This annoyed me.  Did I only care because I was black? Did the others not care because they were Caucasian?  To be fair, several of my colleagues were not American. But what about the ones who were American?

I felt that the MLK holiday had a lack of legitimization when the university remained open and employees felt compelled to work in order to serve the students.  My perception was that the day was a free day for blacks. Anyone else could do as they pleased.  The haphazard ceremonies and spattering of closings did nothing to create a the vision of reality that Mrs. King wanted for her slain husband’s holiday.

Image from the Miami Herald

This was not the first time I was confronted with MLK Day angst. Earlier during my college days, I guilt-riddened my white friend into attending a Martin Luther King celebration on campus. The information that it was being hosted by the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity made her more reluctant to attend.  The “Alphas” were known for their step shows and raucous conversation at the student union.

Frankly, they scared many of the white students.

Most of the Alphas were straight A, model college citizens but the step shows were foreign to this small Texas agricultural community.  My friend grew ambivalent as we approached the commemorative MLK posters and audience of African American students salted with a few whites for a dash of diversity.  She did not speak but I knew she was angry at me for making her go. Why wouldn’t she be?  It was just 30 minutes ago that I accused her of being unsympathetic towards my heritage because she would not attend.

“How can you be my friend and not care?” I asked.

“How could you care Afrocity?” she asked. ” You never do anything black ever! Why today just because some stupid holiday says you have to care about him?”

“Do it for me,” I plead. “Have I ever asked you to do anything for my blackness? I am black you know.”

“No Afrocity!!!! Shocker. That went right over my head like a 747…Gee I did not know.”

I shook my head and propped my butt on her dorm bed. “You don’t care about blacks but I bet you would go to a Cinco De Mayo cookout for that Mexican that gave you pubic lice. “

If looks could kill my friend would have had me in the county morgue in one second.  I sat there kicking my legs against her K-mart mauve comforter as I gazed at the Wayne’s World movie poster on the cinder block wall.  Bitch, she didn’t know that Bohemian Rhapsody was an old song by Queen until I told her. She thought it was made special for the movie. Hmph.   I recalled our previous disputes over whether or not to walk to McDonald’s at 2am after we drank too much; or if she would ask a boy if he liked me. This was the first time we argued about race.  I wondered if we would come back from this.

She grabbed her backpack. “Fine you brat, but it had better not last more than one hour…I can’t believe you are asking me to do this on my night off from work when I have so much shit to do.”

“Yay!!! I hugged her.” Afrocity the manipulative bitch wins again.   I ran to the mirror so I could check my make-up.

She rolled her eyes at me and looked down at her purple sweatpants “I’m sure as hell not changing either.”

“I don’t care,” I said putting on my new J. Crew pea camel pea coat.

“I know why you want to do this Afrocity…”

She did not have to say anything. We both knew the reason but to be a bitch she felt the need to make it clear to my own ears “You are going to prove that you are black because they call you a sellout so you think that by putting on this charade-“

“That is not true,” I interrupted.  She looked at me hard. “Okay, maybe one quarter true, ” I admitted sheepishly.  “But I need you there because they say my white friends don’t care about my being black.”

“I don’t care!” she yelled.

I hushed her as we entered the auditorium.

An organ was playing “We Shall Overcome”.

“This is so gay,” she whispered in a sarcastic tone.

“SHHHH. I will buy you some Everclear on Friday when I get paid.”

“You owe me more than cheap ass Everclear, you better get me some Absolute and I don’t mean those mini bottles neither.”

We took our programs from the Alpha ushers who were dressed in black and white.  I snickered because they looked like 1960’s civil rights workers.   As the auditorium lights dimmed, my friend’s demeanor calmed.  She was in it for the long haul–all two and a half hours of it.

From THE ONION

After the tribute, the lights came on. She was distant towards me, walking out of the auditorium before I could get my coat and gloves together.  I caught up to her outside.  She was walking briskly and I could barely keep up. The temperature had dropped to 40 degrees which was an icebox for Texas.  Me being Afrocity, I had to ask some dumb question about what we had just witnessed.

“Did you like it?” I asked.

Before she could answer, a guy named Chris approached us from the student center.  Chris was a dick. He asked where we had been and my friend said “The MLK thing” .

Chris started laughing loudly and mock singing “We Shall Overcome”.  My friend laughed. Too much laughter.

Perhaps I had succeeded in my own terms by getting her to attend the MLK tribute with me but now I felt all the dumber for it.  How could she make fun of it after seeing what we just saw?  My voice told me to go back to the dorms alone.  I knew if I pressed, she would stay behind with the dickhead racist just to annoy me. She knew I hated him.

“I am cold,” I said.

“So go back to the dorm,” she replied curtly.

“Ok, I will do that.”  I walked away listening to them laughing behind me.  They are laughing at me and I just know she was whining to him about how awful it was that she had to attend the black folks night.

There was a double estrangement at that moment.  All of the cautionary tales of having only white friends swelled in my head.  My tactless strategy failed. She and I would never come back from this day.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY