I'm in Chicago and am loving the crisp fresh air. The weather is agreeable (mid 30s) and my fashion sense has not been compromised! The photo above is that of Chicago's Green Line El. The 47th street stop on the South Side. One of my favorite things to do as a child, was to view my city from the El. But...the view ain't so pretty.
I am very frustrated family.
In case you don't remember dear reader, I gave up nasty racial slurs and bigotry for Lent. Now this is half tongue-in-cheek and the other half is quite serious. My Lent self-denial seems to be strangled by my self hate. I won't go as far as calling myself a "self hating Negro", but man there are days that I look at my people and decide that I'm tired of the same old bullshit. Tired of the reckless behavior. The aggressive driving, unapologetic misogyny, lack of respect for elders, young mothers emasculating their little boys---Honestly, how can you expect your 4 year old to grow up and be a functioning member of society when you call him a stupid black mf for everything he does?
I know this may displease some of you, but its coming from an honest place. Sometimes I get so frustrated I zap out of reality like Precious.
That's when I put on my best Austrailian accent and tell everyone I'm an Aborigine or Maori. But then reality sets back in, and before I know it, the racial slurs are oozing out of my mouth. (And as a side note, all of the slurs have returned...not just those reserved for black people. I am an equal opportunity offender).
I've witnessed racism my whole life. Not because I grew up in Jim Crow South, but I did grow up on the South Side of Chicago, a lovely yet hyper segregated town. Even in 2010. Yes We Can went to Washington. But in the Washington Park neighborhood? You can't buy an apple. But you can get a fifth.
Typical stroll down a business district on MOST Southside streets:
Gaza Strip Liquors
dilapidated tenement #1 (a crack heads refuge)
Budda Chun Nailz
dilapidated tenement #2
Jesus Is On The Mainline Missonary Baptist Church of God in Christ Seventh Day Pentacostal
Kim's Li Beauty Supply
Marquesha's House of Fried Flesh
dilapidated tenement #3
Gaza Strip Liquors 2
Little Saigon Fried Rice
Cain & Abel Liquors
Church of Christ Scientist Church for Jesus
Ali Baba's Steak and Lemonade.....
I could go on for days. It's no wonder some many people in my community are sick.
It drives me infuckingsane.
Like when I see young black teen aged girls who suck down purple juice and Flaming Hots on her way to school. The 30 something year old black man who orders a 6 piece super sized fried dead animal accompanied by Faygo Strawberry and banana pudding. The 43 year old who dumps not 1 or 2 but 3-4 sugars in their hazelnut "latte" from a machine in Seven Eleven on his way to a job he hates. The 50 year old who still believe that "working out" is only reserved for the elite. The 60 year old ladies who are still pretty, but can't shake that nasty smoking habit. And the 70+ year old aunty who can cook her ass off, but cooks the vegetables until they're limp, a jaundiced green, dusted with paprika,
Now none of this behavior makes me feel like a bigot. But does make me feel elitist at times. You see, I don't have any offspring to take care of. When I'm hungry I can still afford to buy natural inexpensive meals. If I can't make it to the gym, I can do pilates at home. Jog along the shore. Meditate. Does this make me perfect? No. But I do release endorphins so that I'm not too crazy. And I don't want fucking Gout or type 2 Diabetes by the time I'm 40. I'm way to vain for that bullshit, and love Louboutins too much to get my foot cut off.
Does it make me better than my people who cannot or chose not to lead healthier lives? No. But there comes a time where we have to be held accountable for ourselves. And lord knows I am not making fun of people with any sort of diseases like Diabetes or Obesity. I recently saw a buddy of mine who informed me that she was trying to lose weight as she lifted a White Castle chicken sandwhich into her mouth---simultaneously feeding her toddler the same meal. Then the kid sucked down the red syrupy soda. Now feeding your kid fast food doesn't make you a bad mother, and won't get you kicked out of the NAACP...but the elitist in me couldn't help but wonder why not opt for turkey, carrots and yogurt?
But guess what? I don't have kids, so I can piss off really. The kid is helpless. But for the adults in the neighborhood? I don't understand how this quality of life doesn't incite riots. There is not a grocery store to be found in the Washington Park neighborhood. After Chicago lost that Olympic bid, all of my hopes for the neighborhood were shattered. No doggie day cares, coffee emporiums, grocers, gay men...all fucking gone. I was welcoming gentrification with open arms.
I love Chicago. I truly do...but I'm not so sure I can see myself living there again. It's cold, hard and smothered by oppression still. Or should I say depression?
Guess this revolution will not be televised.
Ciao for now kiddies.
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