Sunday, May 17, 2009

Afro Wig on a White Man

Jack Mostert took the jobs that nobody else wanted. South side, west side, it didn't matter to him. If there was money to be had, he went to work. But the thing about Chicago, it had some bad neighborhoods. White folks call them "dark" neighborhoods.

Granted, there's a troubling tension between black pride and territorial stubbornness. When white hipsters ride their bicycles through the south side, they often find themselves avoiding flung bricks and remarks like "what the hell you doin' round here white boy? You best pedal yo ass out!" Oh, and they do. They pedal hard. That flat brimmed White Sox cap isn't saving this ironic college kid today.

Unfortunately, race always comes into this discussion. Englewood today, instantly brings to mind an impoverished black neighborhood. It's not racist to come to such conclusions, it's just the way things are. Statistics and history, they do their best not to lie.

Headgear won't prevent anybody from being held up at gunpoint, but even if stats could prove it, Jack Mostert never believed it. When he had to do work in the bad parts of town, he made sure to cover his fine, blonde hair with a puffy, black afro wig. He meant no disrespect, but it was enough to camouflage his impeccable whiteness for a good hour while other, less clever, white folks got their cars jacked simply for having taken a wrong turn. But Jack was disguised. He had to finish his job quickly before any of the brothers got wise.

Sure enough, through 60 years, this afro kept him safe on the south side. It was his wig for the west side. Madison and Ashland. Riverdale and Harvey. No neighborhood was too rough for this puff atop his noggin.

Today, Jack wears no wigs. He is over 80, and he still works in Chicago. There have been many close calls, but he still goes to church at Laflin. He takes busloads of inner city boys to Circle Y. He doesn't believe in racism.

Why can't a white kid be welcome in a black neighborhood? Are we still in the midst of a pendulum swing? Of course, white people have spent centuries oppressing blacks, and are not completely absolved of their wrongdoing. So maybe they still need to swallow a few more gulps of their own medicine.

On a road to independence, there are gradients. At the bottom, there is oppression, and a person couldn't be further from independence. This is where they are only walked over, they do no walking for themselves. They are far from freedom. But at a point, these people can rise up, and refuse to be walked over. Unfortunately, once they've tasted freedom, they could decide to take it too far. Once capable of walking, they now have the opportunity to walk over someone else. They realize that they were unable to walk over anyone when they were the ones on the ground, themselves being walked over. And so they take newfound joy in walking over a less independent fool. It's a new feeling, and since they experienced only the other side of it for so long, they want to feel it from the top.

White people have not been walked over, and probably need to be. Black pride is good, and should continue. But it should not be secluded within certain neighborhoods. Black pride must spread, over every pasty skinned American in U.S.

When we cease the black on black crime, and rise up against the white man, then we'll cry out to God with victory in our lungs. We will overcome the man. With songs and humility, we will devour his children before they come out of the womb. 

There are white folks with no freedom, and black folk with no class.
Brown-skinned men with phD's, and white girls with no ass.
Neighborhoods with crime and murder, and neighborhoods with drugs.
Suburban kids in Escalades, white and gettin' crunk.
The lines are drawn from cent'ries past, and shit we have today.
Like afro wigs on white men, keeping criminals at bay.


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