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.
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,