Monday, February 8, 2010

JIM CROW


The title caught my eye -- the article in a recent Newsweek was tucked in between other intriguing titles.

Jim Crow means to me what I've seen, what made me cringe throughout my years as a traveling dancer -- performing over a thousand one-night-stands.

Ellis Cose, Black author, columnist and contributing editor, in his article on the tragedy of America's jails, attacks the disparity in crack and cocaine sentencing that has disproportionally hit black men. Cose feels the subject deserves presidential attention.

Describing what Obama has said to the NAACP about African American children being five times more likely to end up in jail, and Obama's mild reaction to the arrest of that Harvard Professor for breaking into his own home, Cose states, "Precisely because of his race, this president must walk on eggshells when approaching a racially charged subject."

What I've seen setting up my show --"We don't "Mr." our niggers" -- and my southern in-laws' casual remarks about Niggers and Jews -- and grade school kids attacking me, shouting "Dirty Jew, you killed Christ!" -- prejudices ME intensely against good White Christians. But it's minor, nothing compared to what all Blacks know, what Obama knows.

I smell race prejudice from this past year with Obama as President. The odiferous evil stink of it, the spoken and unspoken ingrained thing -- it's less than what it was many years ago, but still there.

Jim Crow.

Can this generation kill it? I thought we could. Now, I'm afraid that the Black man in the White House will realize that his presence in the White House is making it harder for Blacks to be what they are.

I'm hoping Obama's understanding of life as a Black will fire him up to stay tall and strong, stay on for a second term in White House.

Despite the hardships, his presence there helps all the Blacks, and helps you and me be what we are.

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