In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
– Invictus, William Ernest Henley
By Doni Glover, Publisher
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(UPPER MARLBORO – October 30, 2020) – After a late night run to the store, the deafening silence at 3:30 am on the streets of West Baltimore was fascinatingly strange – a stark contrast from the rest of the day, I thought to myself. No touters hawking their wares on the corner. No traffic. No sirens. No growls from buses’ diesel engines or the roaring sounds of subway trains below. No car horns honking at people standing in the middle of the street like they’re wearing rubber bumpers, as my mother used to say. Just pure peace and quiet.
Admittedly, my pen has been extremely quiet as of late as it relates to politics. With this being election season and all, I have found a lot of solace in just reading Black History books and writing the draft of my next book on Black Wall Street. The 100th commemoration of Tulsa’s Greenwood District is next May, so I must be prepared.
Quite frankly, after former Mayor Sheila Dixon was robbed in her mayoral bid for the second time around … this time in broad daylight, I gotta be honest – I just didn’t have the stomach for any more political chicanery in 2020.
My spirit was infested with a lot of negative thoughts as I watched the same cast of usual characters do their same dastardly deeds as my people get shafted once again. We get sold a whole lot of lies, half-truths and innuendos whereby at the end of the day, the Black community in this otherwise bountiful city is still left bereft of everything from soup to nuts to community centers and newly rehabbed homes – structures that were once abandominiums. Despite our overwhelming love and support for the Democratic Party, the return on our political investment is miniscule at best, particularly given our numbers.
In Maryland, Blacks comprise a solid 29.4% of the population. In the City of Baltimore, Blacks make-up a whopping 63.7% of the population. Yet, we have parts of the Black community that have not seen any kind of attention in decades.
Can anybody tell me why that’s so? We have Black elected officials across the board, yet we do not see change like I see in other cities. Why is Baltimore so stuck on stupid?
The insidious enemy to all, I submit, is Baltimore’s historically potent brand of institutional racism, one that has had her horrid fangs clasped deep into the neck of Baltimore like a vampire. With the grip of a pit bull, it just won’t stop sucking the life out of Baltimore no matter what we do.
The powers that be will have to die off one day, I guess – but in the meantime, Baltimore youth have a dismal future because we, as parents and grandparents, have failed them. We have dropped the ball on holding these wretched, self-serving politicians accountable. And so what we end up with is what we negotiated on the front end. And you know what that is? Nothing!
So, I was really not going to comment until after the election, but here we are. Had no thoughts on local endorsements, other than Congressman Kweisi Mfume. That’s a no-brainer, especially seeing how he clearly has maintained the ability to rattle the mainstream by his very presence. I’ll never forget how our beloved Maryland Democratic Party resounding failed to give him any type of political support in his 2006 US Senate run despite all he did for the party. I’ll also never forget how key Democrats in Maryland, white males to be more specific, slighted him in Annapolis.
He is being opposed by a pretty face who has raised a shitload of money and is running commercials that paint a crafty picture. However, those in the know are clear that the last thing we need is our proud district to fall in the hands of a carpetbagger with a hidden past talking about family values but who has no empirical clue about those of us who actually live in and absolutely adore the 7th.
As for the City of Baltimore, I did take the time to watch the one scripted, televised so-called debate. The moderator was clearly partial to City Council President Brandon Scott. Considering that Scott is expected to win by a wide margin, at least that’s how the Scott camp is carrying it – why not warm up to the next Mayor of Baltimore, eh?
The questions covered a nice mix – trash, dirt bikes, squeegee kids, the economy, and of course, COVID-19 and the issue of whether or not to send our kids back to school. What I did not hear discussed is the hundreds of white addicts who have taken over the community. This is a reminder that every voter has a distinct obligation to think for themself. My point is that too often, the media is skewed with an agenda of their own, and they unfortunately have the power to sway our vote.
The problem with the media is that time after time – let them tell it, Black people are the problem. Mainstream television and print news tend to tell a whitewashed version of the truth. Some of us expect it. Too many of us believe it.
These mainstream news outlets, whether we admit it or not, have a dominating presence in our election process. Mind you, this is the same media that, day in and day out, paint the most savage image of Black people on a regular basis. So, do we really trust who mainstream tells us to vote for? I mean, the last time in Baltimore’s mayoral election, the mainstream’s pick ended up in prison. You feel me?
You see, this is a part of that institutional racism that is at the core of what is wrong with this city. I say, when they want to tell you who to vote for, watch out!
We, as a people, have to be able to see thru the façade and find the truth. The people who are pulling the strings, in essence, have the same stinking thinking that caused the Civil War. There’s no difference. The fact that people fought to keep slaves is absolutely sickening. Everyone frowns upon it today.
Or do they? All I know is that actions speak louder than words. In the words of Shannon Wright, we’ve heard enough of the “psycho-babble dribble”.
If this were not true, then Black youth in East and West Baltimore would be able go to their nearest recreation center and engage in an ocean of engaging activities – like we did as kids. If love truly reigned in Baltimore, the Baltimore City Public School System would be more proficient in delivering positive results than giving spin classes, like our educators did.
If the love we profess to have, especially during Thanksgiving (by the way, be sure to support the Bea Gaddy Center’s Annual Turkey Day Dinner) and Christmas were genuine, then this entire state would be working all day every day to ensure that every child in the City’s public schools would have a laptop, internet access, and any and everything else they might need in order to get the best possible education even in the midst of COVID.
Yes, we have failed these young people because we have not held these politicians accountable and, furthermore, we keep sending these same mainstream endorsed candidates who have a serious lack of business savvy back to the seats of power to ignore us for another four years. Yet, nothing changes. We keep doing the same thing but yet expect a different result.
By the way, when they are done pimping our Black elected officials or when they find this person is starting to grow a backbone and think for him or herself, they start doing a negative media onslaught to damage their credibility.
I’ll tell you another thing, the US Census is a joke, too. They spend all of this money on this long, drawn-out process of acting like they don’t know who lives where. With super computers and the ability to fly to outer space, you mean to tell me these people don’t know how many people are in what neighborhoods? For real?
And the kicker is the guilt trip: If you don’t fill out the Census, then your neighborhood won’t get any resources? Well, this neighborhood has never gotten much. We’ve filled out the Census time and time again. We’ve voted time and time again. Yet, resoundingly, nothing has changed for the Black community. In fact, it’s only gotten worse.
So, pardon me if I have to go puke, but I tell you – politics has me sick to my stomach.
To boot, you got Orange Man – the epitome of white privilege, arrogance and power all intertwined into one dark soul – over there tweeting by night and coughing on White House staffers by day as he leads us down a path of mass destruction. What’s so amazing is that this US Presidential race is even close. I think that’s the worst part I’m grappling with. After 200,000 COVID-related deaths, millions of folks unemployed, businesses going under like the Titanic and even flagrantly “dissing” the women in Michigan on Wednesday night for the entire world to see, too many of these people will, once again, vote against their own interests … just like here in Baltimore.
Catch you after the election! Meanwhile, VOTE! (Even if you have to hold your nose!)