Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Political Rant: I'm Leaving This Town!

It’s official. After four years of being back in the hometown that I said I’d never come back to, I’ve decided to make a break before I become such a bitter chick that nobody—even my Mama—would want to deal with me. And believe me…I am dangerously close to reaching that point.
 
I live in a town where diversity is about as popular as a fart in church. During the four years that I’ve been back, we had a race riot, several brothers killed by police, national probes into racial profiling practices by the police, and a brief scare that Jerry Springer would once again become mayor. Damn! That’s enough right there.
 
But, then let’s look at the workforce. There ain’t nothing but lily-White companies everywhere you look. Of course, you can get a job as a Black person, but you had better be prepared to assume a backseat role. Your opinions…they don’t want to hear them. Your advice…they don’t think you have any worth hearing. Your brain…as long as you can demonstrate that you have one on your resume, yet avoid acting like you know anything on the job, you’ll be okay. Bottom line…help them reach their racial quotas, while sacrificing any attempts to better yourself. That’s the rule of the game.
 
In fact, the game got so out of hand during the past few years that we gained national headlines for a boycott, which was extremely misunderstood halfway because of the powers that be and halfway because the organizers were such a mess. Following the death of a young black man who was shot because he was running from police, got cornered, and reached to pull up his saggy jeans, the organizers called for a boycott of all downtown businesses. But there was no formal messaging behind the boycott. How did they expect people to get behind it when there was no understanding as to what needed to happen for the boycott to end? That’s Black folks in this town, for you. They obviously read the section of their history books about the boycotts in the South, but I guess they skipped over all the details about organization…having a mission that everybody is clear on…you know…stuff like that. But the powers that be are no better. All they did was constantly try to paint “we are the world” pictures of this town, while refusing to meet with boycott organizers because they didn’t get along with them. And all this was happening under a spotlight of national attention.
 
And how can you take a town seriously when its most popular, and celebrated, mayor was none other than Jerry Springer. And he was elected mayor even after getting caught writing a check to a prostitute while he was a City Councilman.
 
Mark Twain once said something to the effect that, if the world was about to end, he’d want to move to this town because the folks here wouldn’t find out about it for at least 20 years. That’s a shame, but it sure is the truth. They haven’t figured out much about anything in the way of progress. That’s why I have to get the hell out of dodge. I’m leaving this town, and I’m not coming back…except to see my mama, of course.

Question: Are we still in the midst of the boycott, or have we moved on to planning Jerry Springer’s run for President?

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