Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dear America,

Someone who I totally adore in my life is a woman we all call Auntie Emm; the "emm" standing for her initials, but the 'auntie emm, auntie emm' she plays up to a t.  And no, its got nothing to do with looking like she walked off a farm in Kansas, God no.  She is a hot and fiery red head, while sometimes crazy blonde, with this gorgeous body that she drapes in jewel tones and turquoise; growing up, I would just be in awe with some of things she wore and could pull off; only 'auntie emm, auntie emm' could do it.

She is probably one of the funniest people I know, and with that  always wears a smile; she is the quintessential 'if life gives you lemons make lemonade', speed ball chocolate, or head straight for a dainty crystal full of Chivas kind of girl. 

And just in case you don't get it,  she is clearly one of my idols; and even though she is one of my mama's home girls and part of another generation, my perception of my relation to her seems almost like she was one of MY best friends, not mama's, and has grown unwavering through the years just like a circle of friends should be. It feels tight, girlfriend, you know what I'm sayin'?

She's the kind of person who I don't see often enough, but when I do it's as if time stood still, we pick up right where we left off just pretending like nothing bad has ever happened to either one of us.  It is safe, secure, loving and joyful.  She always has a funny to share and makes you feel right at home, because it is, I guess.  Home is where your heart is and we can feel cozy and share a kinship with all kinds of people.. you know what I'm sayin', girlfriend?

I don't know why I feel so propelled to tell you all that. 

No, wait a minute, yes I do.

When you click on 'Dear America' this morning it will lead you to a silly little thing about a couple of senior citizens getting a parking ticket...auntie emm shared it with a bunch of people this morning in an email...then I of course had to find a copy I could attach to my blog...which led me to a fellow blogger on blogspot...a dude with a blog entitled "Life in the Mountains of Western Carolina"...which I was able to post.

So here we are in this beautiful morning, you get to connect with my auntie emm and a mountain man whom I do not know without even leaving your home, isn't that fascinating!

The world is small.  I use to think it was so big as a kid; just like I thought forty was over the hill; oops-y-daisy, that ain't right, girlfriend, you know what I'm sayin'?  Na uhh, you ain't got nothin' on me, all forty-seven of me, and shit.  You ain't got nothin'.

I wish I could sound normal talkin' smack'; it really just ain't my thing, can you dig it?

Homeboys and girls.  That is the idea for the day. What makes a homeboy, anyway?

It's that circle, man; that sick little possy of bros spilling a beer or taking in a ballgame -- or the girls we tell our darkest thoughts and secrets over an innocent glass of wine-- it is a tight circle of those with whom we associate with.   It is a circle of buds that even time-- even lots of it-- can never ever sever the links between; notwithstanding keeping a longstanding, no need to spell it out just understood contract with one another; we'd do anything, any time, anywhere for a bro.

It's like the President traveling to see the Danes today about a little something his homeboys want.  It's really no big deal, right?  I mean, it doesn't take much for a President these days just to pop over a puddle and call it a day schmoozing an Olympic committee for a few hours to bring the world to Chicago's doorstep come 2016; no big deal.

And let's fly the little wifee over first, to get a head start, joining up with her newest homey, Oprah, and the President can just swoop in later, no big deal.

No big deal; even though that, once again, we're dealing with an item on the agenda exemplifying the polarization of the general public.  Has the President not heard through his homey's that HALF of Chicago does not want it?  Half of Chicago would rather have city improvements, instead.  Half of Chicago just says no. 

Perhaps they are the half more concerned with, oh, I don't know,  the constant over-exposure of the city showing deeper and darker battles to win; things like the constant groundswell of racial tension, gang violence, and the killing of innocent school children -- including an honor student by the name of Derrion Albert.

This boy, coming to the aid of a friend, died in the face of a homey taking video on his cell without so much as a 911 call for help.  This boy, died after attending his classes like a good boy at Christian Fenger Academy High School in the South-side of Chicago in a hood called Roseland.  This boy, died on the streets in front of the nearby Agape Community Center; AGAPE, defined as Christian love, honoring the "love feast accompanied by the Eucharistic celebration." This Chicago?

Truth be told, Chicago's south side neighborhoods are a far cry from my hood in solana beach, california.

They are predominately black; and when I say black,  I mean, 97%.

Just north and to the east of Roseland, the neighborhood where Derrion was brutally beaten to death, is the community of Washington Park -- named after George himself in the 1880's.  It is home to St. Mary's African Methodist Episcopal Church, built in 1897; and home to the DuSable Museum of African-American History, which put down roots in 1961. 

Washington Park is also known for having one of the world's earliest concrete works of art, the Fountain in Time, having it's first trickle of water in the 1920's; while the area has also inspired works of literary genius, like Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.

Hansberry was the first black woman to have written a play produced on Broadway (1959). A poignant piece which could easily play itself out on the streets of Chicago today.  Her inspiration came from a poet, Langston Hughes:

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up --
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester
Like a sore --
and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over --
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags --
Like a heavy lead.

Or does it explode?


The thing is, looking at where our President will be in a matter of just a few hours, across the Atlantic, making a case for his hood on behalf of his homeboys, and not necessarily for the benefit of all who inhabit the true neighborhood back home, as a white girl sitting in the sun of solana beach,  I wonder how.  And why?

Derrion's family won't benefit; not in the wake of just one more child, 41 in the last year, killed by gangs, dreams deferred and all. Of all people, how can this be the right thing for Obama to do in this moment?

This is the third year in a row, student deaths by violence have gone into double digits; while Chicago has added notoriety of having a 50% High School drop out rate.

The hood surrounding at least one area of the proposed Olympic Game venues, Washington Park, currently holds a registration of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP); which allows property owners 20% in tax credits in rehabilitating income producing historical sites, as well as 10% credit for non-income producing parcels,  honoring architecture and buildings capturing the area's social and economic place in history.

The construction of a 300-400 million dollar stadium, with the ability to hold 95,000 people over the course of the summer Olympics in 2016, jeopardizes the NRHP registration; while when it is all said and done, may very well be not quite what the neighborhood needs.

Valerie Jarrett, Obama's first hand home girl in the White House, could financially benefit; what with being a property manager to a host of real estate in the Chicago area through her company (The Habitat Company). That would probably be considered proper payback for a job well done and for standing by his side dutifully throughout the years, hear what I'm sayin'?  That's what I'm talkin' about.

No, Derrion's family won't get no help; and neither does it look good for anyone else who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time -- not in Chicago, anyway.  And if we had the energy and the time to discuss the 25,000 youth gangs in America or the 775,000 of it's members, surely we would see how prevalent the dangers and how worrisome the times are reckoning to be.

Oprah opens up entire schools in Africa, for goodness sake, when in her own back yard kids are unsafe to walk home from one; and yet where is she, wining and dining her way through the Olympic committee too.

Following the hoopla, the Stadium will be converted to a 10,000 seat arena housing a below the ground track& field deal -- for what economic brilliance to the area I do not know-- remaining also available to host other cultural events;

hummm, would that be funerals?

I don't know, is it just me, or when a city is broke and has to close government offices during the week to make ends meet, suffers under huge deficits, and holds council under a dark cloud of civic unrest and economic hardship, is welcoming the world to your door not only  financially unfeasible, but  morally unsound?  Cities have lost money trying to pull off the trick for the love of the games for years, and Chicago wants in?

Oh my goodness, I started out today all light and breezy, and now with a heavy heart I sit in wonder; wondering, what truly is right for Chicago, for the kids in the hood speak hip-hop volumes to those of us on the fringe, just sitting here wondering and afraid of getting too close...it's not my hood, damn, dem people gots some problems, you what I'm sayin'

The literary works of yesterday, found in Hansberry and Hughes, are not that far off from the daily brutality we see today; physically losing a boy, in his prime, carrying with him his hopes and dreams of becoming somebody bigger than the little minds surrounding him; intellectually losing touch, overwriting the economics of a city against the real cost to a neighborhood; and emotionally missing the point entirely, in that this boy is but just one lost to senseless acts of violence every day -- and even those right there, in the hood, don't do anything about it -- while the rest of us just go about our day business as usual.

We are all connected; and what happens in Chicago doesn't stay in Chicago; we wear it in the soul of America, not like a badge of honor, but more like a medal of disgrace.

I started with uppers, but find myself now popping downers like crazy, man, into submission, you know what I'm sayin'?  My apologies, man, yeah that's right, it's all gooood... you know what I be talkin' about

Try to make it a Good Day, G

Dedicated this morning to my homeboy, my love, my baby xx
I thank heaven that you are still with us xx
And, if you are reading this, take a nap now xx

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