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Friday, November 14, 2008

McCain Wins around here.

In Utica New York people live in a bubble. A tightknit, well preserved, bubble of developmental retardation. It effects everything from the Arts, Food and the Economy. It is a provincial attitude of exclusivity that has effectively shut the door on progress.

The fact McCain carried Oneida and Herkimer counties speaks for itself.

I know a local cop.

He's black (one of nine black officers out of nearly 200).

There is currently a pool at the station for how long Obama can survive.

A complete stranger ( white male) walked up to him and said : "you people got all the power now".
A complete stranger.

I guess we will know for sure when the arrest rate goes down. When we are not the only people on death row.

I guess we will know when there are more of our young men in College than prison.

I know we will have power, not to be confused with arrogance, when the imagery of a Black man in the most important job in the world settles in with our young boys and girls.
Black and White.
When they can secretly say to themselves two simple words: 'I Can'

Perplexing concept right?

Black President. Where are all the psychics now? No one in the world even thought it was possible, except me and Obama.

I'll admit I did not get on the bandwagon until he announced his run in 07'.

During that time even the black pundits scrutinized him. In his hometown , Chicago, Mary Mitchell from The Sun Times put him to the 'blackness test'.

But what possessed that guy to come up to complete stranger and blurt out his misguided opinion. My officer buddy was on his second sip of coffee of the day and was so offguard all he could muster was: "Power? shiiiiiit I want some damn money".

There will be a white backlash. All one needs to do is listen to the conservative pulse and you will hear hate, fear and frustration.

Ancient hate for anything not the same as them.

Fear of Black Men.

Frustration with the current scam being pulled on them by the very people they elected and currently support.
A backlash carried out by staunch, pragmatic racists. People who understand how little Obama can do about daily indiscretions people do not even know they fall victim to.
Dirty stuff like" "Oh, we don't have any applications and we are not hiring anyway".
You ask to speak to the manager and explain how you saw the ad in the paper. He explains "Oh yeah that ad...a simple mistake, we already filled that position".
You go out on a limb and explain that you were instructed over the phone (where anyone can be white with enough practice) to come down and : "fill out and apply". Things get awkward and you realize you would not want to work where you are not welcome anyway.
Obama was symbolic and a tonic for our Global reputation but it will take years to...
Because they (racists) know how little Obama can do about the coded language and subtle slights that are a part of everyone's life. Because some of our local elected Democrats admitted in private they did not think America was ready for a Black President.

It needs to be said again: in places like this, Utica, even Democrats voted for McCain.
A kneejerk reaction to the preposterous idea of a Black man in charge.

One of the kids that regularly attends the community center I work at was kicked out of class and suspended for singing a popular new variation of a rap song that includes the chant : OBAMA-OBAMA-OBAMA. He didn't get kicked out during class but while entering the class.

It was homeroom.
It was already bad enough around here.

White people have enjoyed a sense of entitlement for a long time. Here, in Utica/Rome and everywhere else in America, except the deepest of Black communities. Most do not carry around their privilege card. They move about the world with compassion and respect- even kindness.

But a few are scared. A few believe they are losing something. A few believe the welfare gates are going to be flung wide open and black folks are going to get reparations for slavery and years of disenfranchisement.

To a few this is a nightmare.

They do not take into account the big business welfare policies we have adopted in place of social welfare. They fail to realize that many of them them fall into the very demographic that will benefit from Obama's proposed tax plan.

Another friend told me he was talking to an ex-girlfriend (white ex) regarding the election. This wise Rochester resident shared her fear that: "now you guys are going to start acting know... like you got power." He stared at the phone like it bit him.

Personally, I won't be happy until I get the simple and humble benefit of the doubt. I won't be happy until people stop making uneducated assumptions about me or anyone who looks like me. I won't be happy until I do not intimidate strangers by my mere presence.

I won't be happy until the generation that overwhelmingly supported Obama (20-30 yr olds); the generation that I have accused of being 'dumbed down' and unenlightened, is in charge.

They also know cars can run on water and ethanol is impractical- stupid.
Hurry up guys- get involved.
This is your world now.


Alecto said...

I don't care if we're not ready. We're doing it anyway. No major change or event ever occurred that anyone was actually ready for. If we were ready it wouldn't be major and it wouldn't really be change.

And I'm sorry about that office pool. I'm so scared of that I can't even give it brain time.

David B. Dancy said...

That was my reaction. I was like dang.
i was equally pissed about an associated press article about
(black)'people' celebrating a victory that was not theirs.
True but unnecessary, it was our , all of our victory.
White black yellow and brown.

Justin Burton said...

"Most do not carry around their privilege card. They move about the world with compassion and respect- even kindness."

This group may end up being the biggest problem.

I'm concerned that the kind of white people you describe above feel largely self-satisfied right now - "Hey, look at us, we voted for the black guy!" And it's that kind of complacency that lets institutional and color-blind racism spread, as well as ignores more overt racist actions or explains them away as isolated incidents that are the fault of individual idiots.

I'm finding it very difficult to convince people that while Obama's election is significant and a positive step forward, it isn't the culmination of anything - that kind of talk gets me branded as negative, self-loathing, and pessimistic.

clipper said...

Well Dave, I am a 62 year old Viet Nam vet that was caught up in McCain's patriotism, and his "experience". I am ashamed to admit, that I was very much against Obama because I fell into the fearful group that read of Michelle's college years and her activities, and of Obama's relationships with "socialists" and William Ayers. I also was not at all impressed with Rev. Wright, and the idea that Barrack was associated with him, gave me reason for concern. Having served in Viet Nam, my patriotism drove me to the right, while ignoring the obvious need for a deeper look to the left and to a chance for change.

I am ashamed to admit that I was taken in by the rhetoric and that I slammed Obama's inexperience along with the worst of them. I have read and watched and have become a great supporter with great enthusiasm and faith in what is to come. I have a newfound respect for Obama the President elect, that I didn't see in Obama the candidate, sniping at McCain. I am an independent, that votes the issues, not the party line. I lean to the conservative side on some issues and the liberal side on others. I see people and my friends as individuals and persons, not as Italians, blacks or Bosnians. Not as Catholics, Baptists or Muslims. God made us all, and only God will judge us all in the end. THAT END is where I want to be judged as a friend to all, and as being a good person throughout my life. God has humbled and educated me through failures and successes, alcoholism and recovery, combat and peace. Life is too short for prejudice and fighting, negativity and discontent.

In my opinion, Utica's success lies in a future when a black man not only is in the Whitehouse, but a black man is also in City Hall, and the era of East Utica Italian rule is a thing of the past. Patronage and nepotism have ruled for way too long. Utica's success may have to wait until THEY become the minority in politics, haha.

It is pretty damned nauseating to see the people bitching about "welfare" for the poor and unemployed, and out of the other side of their mouth, they condone giving billions in corporate welfare to corporations and executives that have become multi-millionaires while running the country's economy into the ground.

I found your blog linked on Larry Tanoury Jr's site. I enjoyed reading it very much. I am glad you decided to move to the Mohawk Valley. Northern California is very pretty, but in my estimation, there is no place prettier on earth than the Mohawk Valley and the Adirondack Mountains.

I am presently residing in Bristol Tn. but I can't wait to come home to the Mohawk Valley. I love the city of Utica, and advocate for all the programs that will bring it back to it's former greatness. Utica has always been a very diverse place and with all the new refugees and immigrants moving into the area, it is once again the melting pot, with all it's advantages and drawbacks. I simply hate the hate filled, negativity that I read on forums and blogs about the "minorities" and the "immigrants" moving in and "taking over".

Larry is a breath of fresh air in local politics, and his heart is in his work. His Dad was the same way, and did much for the city. Be proud to know him, and I wish I was in the area to listen to your show and to support Larry with more than chat on-line.

Just one last Welcome to the area from a lifetime native of the area, and a great fan of Larry Jr and his works. Glad to have you on the airwaves, and maybe I will be able to catch a broadcast while I am in the area for the Holidays.

David B. Dancy said...

Thank you for your reply. I have grown to appreciate the Mohawk Valley. Utica will see better days