Tuesday, October 21, 2008

White people need to know this happens


Little story.

Barack Obama was in Philly giving open to the public rallies in various locations. The crowds were huge, excited, even giddy. These rallies were quite obviously “the place to be.”

Some friends of mine who have been working as volunteers on Obama’s campaign, were working as ticket takers and ushers at the rally. One specifically, one with extra…”backbone”, was assigned to check tickets for the V.I.P. section and control who gets in or out. This lady was checking everybody, “Hi Mr. City council, do you have a pass? You do? O.K. go ahead.” You get the point.

Along comes the President of the Philadelphia NAACP. Miss backbone has no idea who he is; she has never seen him before. He has no pass and she refuses to let him in the V.I.P. section. Of course Mr. President won’t take no for an answer and starts to make a scene. Backbone calls over one of her supervisors, a lady who quit her job in NYC to come to a battleground state and volunteer for Obama. The supervisor has never met this man before either, he loudly lets her know who he is, and proceeds to belittle these ladies and cover every “do you know who I am” cliché there is.

Another friend of mine, who has lived in town for some time, is overly active in local issues, and knows who this guy is, came to the rescue. She matched loud with LOUDER, asking “who does he think he is?” She asked why he thinks he is a V.I.P. for this event when none of the people working the event have ever seen him before. She asked why, if he is so important in the community, none of the community has ever seen him before? She asked why if he is in charge of helping out black people, none of theses people (all the players in this story are black…as well as the surrounding crowd) have ever seen or been helped by him?

She could hold her own, but that is not the notable part of the story. As she carried on the crowd made it well known whose side they were on. She began to get a chorus of “amens” with each point she was making. The crowd got loud enough that some elected city officials, who knew my friend, came over to try to discretely attempt to distract and calm her down.

I believe Mr. NAACP probably got in eventually.

Why do white people need to hear this story? Because they/we never do.

I try to tell my white friends that most black people feel the same way they do about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They don’t believe me.
I know several white business owners who tell stories of black politicians and organizations pushing forward unqualified candidates. I can tell them this is in no way representative of the black population but how would these white people ever know? They don’t actually know, in any meaningful way, any black people.

As far as these white people know Jesse really is a voice for the masses.
As far as they know the crony being forwarded by the black politician is the best the black community has to offer.

These become the white people that oppose affirmative action.
These instances leave a sour taste in the mouth of whites, who then open their mouth to their friends.
These instance become how white people view the black community, and as far as I can see, neither side is doing much to contradict that notion.

All I can do is tell a little story, one of many, and keep telling my white friends that so-called black leaders represent black people even less than Bill Clinton represents all the people from Arkansas, or that W represents all people from Texas.

They probably still won’t believe me.

5 comments:

uglyblackjohn said...

Jessie doesn't represent most Blacks -a very astute observation.

Lisa said...

This white person will believe you... I like the story, too.

Amber said...

But everyone I know from Texas is... Oh. Wait. They AREN'T all just like W, are they? Dawggonit! Way to blow my favorite prejudice out of the water.

Brandon said...

hey I used another one of your pictures on my cancer blog, radiatejoy.blogspot.com the name of the blog also came from you after teasing me about a talk I gave, which I said that I wanted to radiate joy, in a sense I do it everyday, I love my job and we radiate about 40 people a day. Thanks and take care!

Siditty said...

I try to tell my white friends that most black people feel the same way they do about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They don’t believe me.

Every time I hear that Jesse and Al are my leaders I cringe. I get tired of hearing those sorry ass folks represent me.

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But everyone I know from Texas is... Oh. Wait. They AREN'T all just like W, are they? Dawggonit! Way to blow my favorite prejudice out of the water.

I'm from Texas and I would say I ain't like Dubyah :)