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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

 

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

 

Diversity Fatigue Friday: The Past Makes Imperfect Sense February 12, 2010

Are you at all surprised by anything that is occurring with the Obama administration? Did you expect things to be worse or better than they have turned out to be? In my case, I suppose that I expected pretty much what we experiencing now but to a lesser extent. Sure, Obama’s failure can be food for the conservative’s soul however, what does all of this really say about the future of politics in America? We elected an empty Ivy League educated suit, for the second time or perhaps third or even fourth. For some, electing Obama was a break from the crusty old white men of POTUS yesteryear. But how big a break was it? However illegitimate the liberals suspicions of racism on the part of voters against Barack Obama, we must acknowledge that our country fell for the bait and elected a man because of what was on the outside rather than the inside. For many, Obama’s election was a historic moment, a black man in office…FINALLY!!! But at what cost? Even as some liberals begin to mildly criticize the Obama administration, they remain loyal to the “we elected the right man” meme. They remain loyal to man that promised change and jobs.

The unfolding truth of President Obama, does little to confirm their fantasies.

You got your man, a black man, and that is exactly what you voted for. The Tea Party Movement has developed in large measure as not only a revolt against the Obama administration and Washington insiders but hopfully also the way we elect these people to our highest offices. Who says that our president always has to come from an Ivy League university? Possess a law degree and a penis?

There are many ways in which we could be diverse in choosing our elected officials. Color and sex does not have to be one of them.
Yes, Sarah Palin is a woman and it would indeed have been a historic moment if John McCain had won the presidency. Her vagina was not her only claim to diversity. There was those kids, and that “provincial” world view that drove the liberals crazy.

She didn’t go to school in the right places or wear the right clothes. When she did wear the right clothes, she was accused of spending too much money on them.

When it comes to choosing our president many Americans  propose that they do not desire Washington insiders. They claim to be anti-establishment, against the status quo.  But how can you aspire to be against the norm in Washington when you voted for Barack Obama?  He was the same Ivy League, lobbyist coddling, slick, Washington insider as the rest of them…only he can in a darker variety.

So much for true diversity.

For your viewing pleasure is this classic clip from an episode of  70’s Norman Lear sitcom, The Jeffersons.  Here characters George Jefferson and Tom Willis grapple with whether or not they should vote for a candidate because of his skin color.

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

 

Thursday Stitch n’ Bitch: I Too Sing For Black America October 22, 2009

sewing_of_flagToday’s post is dedicated to my new Facebook friend “Sylia”. Thank you for accepting me as I am.

Being considered “black enough” is something I have struggled with my entire life.  This is probably the one issue I did sympathize with presidential candidate Barack Obama on.  Did his Caucasian mother, Ivy League education, and light complexion exclude him for being black? Obviously not since over 95% of African Americans voted for Barack Obama. Had he been a republican candidate, I doubt the results would have been the same.  A sworn Democrat is the only way that one of African descent could ever be President of the United States of America.

After being called a derogatory name once again by an African American Obama supporter (who claimed to be a fiscal conservative yet she embraces Obama’s policies ????) it is clear that being a democrat is obviously essential to ones acceptance in the African American community. When I use the term acceptance I am referring to the sort of acceptance that means your are accepted unconditionally. Without names or prejudgments (which is actually prejudice) .  I am not referring to being the tolerated friend who gets dragged out of the closet when one needs an entertainment boost at the family picnic. You know the sort. I will pretend to respect your values until I am around my liberal friends/family and then I will join in on the can of verbal whoop ass against the black political sheep.

Any situation such as this should cause indignation and protest on the part of the black conservative but for various reasons, conservatives being conservatives, we are usually conservative about displaying our anger.  That is until you are like me and you snap. Not the going street on some folks kind of snapping you see on the Jerry Springer show, but rather the Afrocity no longer gives a damn sort of snapping.

A malnourished Somali child is wrapped in an American "Stars and Stripes" cloth at a therapeutic feeding center at Dagahaley camp in Dadaab in Kenya's northeastern province, June 8, 2009.

A malnourished Somali child is wrapped in an American "Stars and Stripes" cloth at a therapeutic feeding center at Dagahaley camp in Dadaab in Kenya's northeastern province, June 8, 2009.

The colors of the American flag are red, white and blue…How is it that America has become so black and white? How is it that Black America has become so rigid in its internal diversity that there is no allowance for dialogue which involves “alternative thinking”. Here alternative thinking is really not that alternative when one considers that Caucasians have frequent discussions on conservatism versus liberalism, religion, and sexual preference.  There are black conservative revolutionaries like Thomas Sowell who clearly see the destructive element among African Americans whose sole political identifications lie with the Democrats.  As a race we are devoid of true political understanding. A tension lies between what is logical or self advancing versus what is “black”.

Take for instance the situation with the mayoral race in Atlanta, Georgia.  Atlanta has typically always had a mayor of color, however this soon may change. From this article in the  Black Agenda Report:

From the Black Panther Newspaper, Image by Emory Douglass a frequent illustrator of the newspaper.

From the Black Panther Newspaper, Image by Emory Douglass a frequent illustrator of the newspaper.

The End of Black Politics As We Knew It: Will Atlanta’s Next Mayor Be White? Should We Even Care?

October 21, 2009

by Bruce A. Dixon

36 years of black Atlanta mayors have given birth to a thriving and empowered class of black managers, attorneys and contractors. But even after moving tens of thousands of poor blacks who once lived in public housing to areas beyond the city limits, fully one third of black Atlanta remains below the poverty level, making Atlanta number 5 in black poverty among the 40 largest US cities, according to current US Census data. So have the generation of black mayors and the crew that brought them in really done African Americans that much good?

The unfortunate answers are maybe, and maybe not.

The 1973 election of Maynard Jackson was supposed to be a great victory, among the first tangible fruits of the fifties and sixties Freedom Movement. The days of marching and striking and demonstrating and boycotting and defying unjust laws, black leaders told anybody who would listen, were over. It was time for those among us who were prepared by virtue of their educations, resumés, good suits and connections, to move into the corporate boardrooms that were now ready to accept them, and the political offices they could now be voted into. The mass movement which opened up those doors was disbanded and sent home. Collective action was to be a thing of the past, except for voting and patronizing black businesses.

Guaranteeing the prosperity of the black business class and the black elite, so the gospel went, was the indispensable key to the uplift of entire black communities. Because he assumed office at the beginning of Atlanta’s mega-airport construction project, Maynard Jackson was in a better position to prove this theory of black economic uplift than the first generation of black mayors in places like Newark or Gary or Cleveland. Jackson retained a visionary purchasing exec who skillfully leveraged mayoral power to spawn more than twenty new black millionaires in the first few years of his administration and lay the foundation for the thriving and empowered class of black contractors and professionals who dominate Atlanta’s political life today.

After 36 years, the results of this experiment are in. It’s a failure. Census data on black poverty rates in the 40 largest US cities reveal that the strategies of boosting black businesses, electing black officials, and locking in the prosperity of the black elite have done all those things without lifting black Atlanta any further out of poverty than cities like hard-hit Detroit or Chicago, which hasn’t seen a black mayor since the eighties, and both of which have lower densities of black businesses than Atlanta. In 2008 33.6% of black Atlanta was below the federal poverty rate, a higher number than Philadelphia or Columbus, higher than Houston or Memphis, or Kansas City or even Detroit. Nationally, Atlanta ranks number 5 in black poverty behind Milwaukee, Cleveland, Long Beach and Portland.

Atlanta has this alarming rate of black poverty despite fifteen years of one of the nation’s most aggressive efforts to bulldoze and clear lower income black neighborhoods.

In her book "Flag: An American Story," photographer Lauri Lyons documents our mixed emotions about the Stars and Stripes.

In her book "Flag: An American Story," photographer Lauri Lyons documents our mixed emotions about the Stars and Stripes.

Rather than caring whether or not a political candidate is of the right color and the right political party, shouldn’t we as African Americans be more concerned that the political candidate will do the right thing for our communities?  If most of America’s urban areas such as Atlanta are electing, black elites to office who continue to excel in their personal and professional lives, while their constituents continue to decline and lose their lives…then really what are we accomplishing by voting for such individuals?  Why are Chicagoans continuously electing the likes of Democrat Todd Stroger who raises sales tax to 10.25% in a city with 36% of African Americans below the poverty line?

Curse Afrocity for being a Republican all you want. Call me a slave, mammy, Auntie Tom. Accuse me of being a delusional black woman who curses my skin color every time I look at reflection in the mirror. I too sing for black America. I too care about our situation, but I will be damned if I am going to subvert my political freedom in order to pacify your need to adhere to the black political standard.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

 

Liberal Hypocrisy Files: The Mammy Diaries October 6, 2009

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

However there are racist lined clouds in the sky.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Her following response was this:

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

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

According to the commenter, I am

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

2. I never speak sincerely from my own heart.

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

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

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

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

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

negro-mammySo tell me white racist conservative readers.

How do you view Afrocity?

And please do not hold anything back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


mammydoll1335


Autographed Letter Signed,

AFORCITY

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

236_cartoon_uncle_thomas_emerge_large



 

Sunday Soliloquy: Afrocity’s Hellfire and Dalmatian Sermon September 6, 2009

English Oil Painting of Dalmatian

English Oil Painting of Dalmatian

On Friday I went out of town, hoping to avoid the bumper to bumper traffic, I decided to take the side street which cut through an old neighborhood I grew up in. I was both horrified and disappointed. It should not have been surprising to me because I had seen the streets just six months earlier. But somehow I can’t go back there without hoping to look at things with fresh eyes. I would have no such luck on Friday. African Americans were in the streets, literally in the streets, confronting cars asking for money, cursing. Huddles of gray haired men were playing dominoes with their pants hanging below their butt cracks.
dalmatians
It was hard to believe that I walked these very same streets during the 1980’s. Most of the stores I remembered are now closed. The signs are still there but the building facades were hollow shells. Even the police station I used to drop off abandoned kittens in was now boarded up and occupied by derelicts clinging to paper bagged bottles.

What was my local supermarket had turned into a “Dollar Tree” store. No need to worry about boycotting your local Whole Foods in this neighborhood. I would argue that even the marijuana is not organic. Does Odwalla make Tang?

On Friday, the prize for the neighborhood’s healthiest food selection went to Jimmy Chan’s Chicken Wing shack. 12 fried chicken wings for $3.I could see a young mom standing in Jimmy Chan’s plopping hot sauce on top of her chicken wings as her toddler son grabbed at her strawberry blond hair weave. Finally she stuck a wing in his small but grabby hands.

A chicken wing meal is okay every now and then but seriously, where are the grocery stores?  A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a sad and troubling term – “food desert”.

From Wikipedia:

A food desert is a district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet, but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants.

The concept of ‘access’ may be interpreted in three separate ways.

‘Physical access’ to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, and the consumer has no car. Also, the shop may be across a busy road, difficult to cross with children or with underpasses that some fear to use because of a crime risk. For some, such as the disabled, the inside of the shop may be hard to access physically if there are steps up, or the interior is cramped with no room for walking aids. Carrying fresh food home may also be hard for some.

Map showing food deserts in Chicago. My old neighborhood is district 25. From Chicago Tribune.

Map showing food deserts in Chicago. My old neighborhood is district 25. From Chicago Tribune.

‘Financial access’ is difficult if the consumer lacks the money to buy healthy foods (generally more expensive, calorie for calorie, than less healthy, sugary, and fatty ‘junk foods’) or if the shopper cannot afford the bus fare to remote shops selling fresh foods and instead uses local fast food outlets. Other forms of financial access barriers may be inability to afford storage space for food, or for the very poor, living in temporary accommodation that does not offer good cooking facilities.

Thirdly, the mental attitude or food knowledge of the consumer may prevent them accessing fresh vegetables. They may lack cooking knowledge, or have the idea that eating a healthy diet isn’t important.

In some urban areas, grocery stores have withdrawn alongside residents that have fled to the suburbs (see urban sprawl). Low income earners and senior citizens who remain find healthy foods either unavailable or inaccessible as a result of high prices and/or unreachable locations.

In rural areas local fresh food outlets have closed leaving shoppers without cars in these areas with difficult access to healthy foods, as rural bus services have also declined. Whilst the idea of ‘food deserts’ in the early 21st century has mainly an urban flavour, the first case studies into difficulties faced by consumers accessing healthy foods were made in rural English villages. The Women’s Institute looked at the plight of elderly car-less widows left stranded by closure of village shops and withdrawal of bus services as far back as the 1970s.

dalmationAside from the hunting and gathering nourishment issues, I wondered where the children went to school and even more importantly, where are their leaders?

Here my use of “children” also extends to adults.

Where are the political leaders in this neighborhood?  Chicagoans elect an aldermen for every neighborhood. They are usually Democrats. There are no term limits. Once elected, they often do nothing for the districts they represent.

It is also not uncommon in Chicago for an alderman to be caught living in a wealthy part of town while serving a “ghetto”. Is this presently the case with my old neighborhood? I must say that things have certainly NOT improved since I left in 1989. Red roses used to bloom in front of some of the homes that are now condemned.  Street gang insignia has replaced the hopscotch chalk drawings on the sidewalks I used to play.

Now bevies of soon to be teen-aged moms were on the prowl. In the inner city, a common form of after school recreation is walking the streets with your girlfriends looking for boys (trouble). I tried it a few times myself when I was that age, though don’t think we were dressed as scantily as they are now.  Still, I only lasted the excursion for several blocks as my middle school friend Nan was far more boy savvy than I. Nan had proudly lost her virginity at 9 years of age while watching the movie Popeye in her cousins house. He had Showtime cable and all she wanted was to see a movie. She left that day with a lot less.

Nan’s mother, a welfare hound with 5 kids and no job was perhaps more beautiful and ambitious than my mother but not nearly as encouraging of Nan’s future out of the ghetto. If there was such thing as being ambitious yet a lifetime welfare recipient Nan’s mother was good at stealing men from their wives and getting half of their paycheck and a new gold chain. Nan admired her mother’s entrepreneurial spirit and  once told me that she knew the same thing would happen to her and it did. In college, I learned that Nan had three kids. We were only 20.

dalmation2

Now snapped back into 2009, I stopped at a red light. I kept my gaze off the man in the car next to me who was making eyes as two kids were fighting in the back seat of his rusty Toyota. At the corner, a boy was pressing his body against a girl that looked no older than 13. They were in an abandoned store front filled with nightclub fliers and empty beer cans. The girl’s hair was uncombed and kinky, her shorts were tight. She shoved the boy away but it was a teasing game. I wanted to approach her and say “please practice abstinence, stay in school” but the light turned green and it was not my place anyway. She will most likely be a mom by next year.

Children having children. Again where are the leaders? Again the police station once there was closed. A pretty good indication that you have officially slid south is when your own police station believes your neighborhood is too bad to stay in and the Mayor lets them leave.

The "Blue Light Special" in Chicago. These are boxes installed  by the city police to indicate high crime areas in Chicago's inner city.

The "Blue Light Special" in Chicago. These are boxes installed by the city police to indicate high crime areas in Chicago's inner city.

The only authority in sight was the Chicago Police Department’s “blue light” special cameras installed on the light posts. No sight was a suitable place to anchor my lust for a tiny moment of nostalgia until I saw the fire station. It was the place where I saw my first dalmatian.

dogs_17Wanting a puppy was a major part of my childhood, being homeless was a unfortunate situation Mother and I were in that did not lend itself to responsible  pet ownership. The fire station was the first place where I saw my dream, dog breed. On hot summer days there was an old woman who would sell snow cones. The 25 cent cups of shaved ice and coconut syrup would cool my mother down just enough to get us back home after carrying bags of groceries as far as 10 blocks. Stores had switched from paper to plastic bags. They were easier to carry but the plastic would stick to my skin while canned goods and boxes of powdered milk and eggs banged against my ankles. Taking the bus was not an option. We did not have the 50 cents, even for my reduced student rate. Eventually after trudging several blocks or so, we would stop to rest at a bench or sidewalk curb. Nearing the fire station meant that I may get a snow cone and take a peek at the Dalmatian who worked with the firemen. I never really knew much about the breed, just that I wanted one someday when I had a place of my own.

By now, I was back in friendly territory, with each passing block the neighborhoods got whiter and whiter. I had gone from African American neighborhoods to Latino neighborhoods, to the grunge hipsters of Wicker Park, to Michigan Avenue where the Chanel stores and Gucci handbag carriers resided. My apartment building was blocks away. Collecting my mail, I said hello to my friendly doorman and the urban professionals who I once watched from afar, now my neighbors walking pedigreed pups as they carried Starbucks iced coffee beverages and briefcases.

Francois and I

Francois and I

Despite the safety and serenity of my stainless steel applianced apartment, I could not take the images I had just witnessed back in “da hood” for granted.

My pal Francois greeted me with a wagging tail and nudge for food. There was a time when it seemed impossible that such a blessing would be within my grasp. Something I had always wished for was sitting right in my lap, a Dalmatian. She is my testament that we all turn a corner in our lives where we are responsible for materializing our  own happiness.

Saturday in an email battle, an impassioned Obama supporter labeled me as a hater and white person who was “hiding behind a black face” . Now successful and a Republican, I have somehow lost my membership in the black club.

The woman in the email seemed to have little idea about me or my past struggles. With a barrage of incoherent liberal talking points which she proudly declared as giving conservatives a dose of  “whup ass”, the woman tells me that GOP party chairman Michael Steele would “not be where he is today” if it were not for Barack Obama.

This assumption is beyond laughable. Michael Steel was destined to be everything Michael Steel he is and was before Barack Obama came onto the scene.

To suggest that the GOP only made him chairman of the party because of his race is highly hypocritical, especially coming from a liberal Democrat. This is further evidence that African Americans in the Democratic Party are beholden to the same old myth that blacks need Caucasians to hand us something in order to be successful.

This is why affirmative action is paramount to the livelihood of so many liberal minorities. Whites can never be trusted to actually hire a person of color on their own merits. At the time when Nixon enacted affirmative action, it culminated out of the days of segregated schools and civil rights demonstrations. Now the 40 year old government imposed system of quotas needs a face lift.

This woman’s remarks are a prime exemplify the psyche of the Democrat who is fixated on what blacks can’t achieve without the DNC or what I call on the plantation mentality.

Francois and IThere is no inspiration to be found in such ideologies. Shrewdly, though, the woman was quick to point out that I had left my blackness behind because I had left the Democratic party.

The dog in front of me was perfect. A blending of black and white all living on one body. A beautiful white background with black spots. Why can’t we be like this? A whimper and sad blue eyes told me that feeling chastised for being an African American Republican was the least of my worries. My dreams had turned into a living breathing reality. The spotted canine companion did not care who I voted for, she just wanted to be fed.

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

franny and I