Admittedly, I'm a little behind with my daily alphabet entries (I keep having blog ideas that don't correspond to the next letter). But I'll have us to "Z" by November 4th if it kills me. So without further ado . . .
J is for Jigaboo
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Jigaboo is simply, "A black person." Oh, and they add, it's "offensive." Well, it makes my point here—race still matters and will so long after this election.
As much I'm ready to start off 2009 with a new president of African American heritage, I am sometimes jarred back to the harsh reality that is the United States. Racism, in its most insidious and hateful form—and its most dangerous—is alive still. Even though it rarely surfaces publicly.
Luckily, most of the vestigial reminders of our ugly past, and occasional present, show up in the form of jackasses (another "J" word) like the two below. If it wasn't such a very real concern, I'd probably laugh at them. You're kidding me: white tuxedo drive by? Somebody's been watching too much Dark Knight.
Presidential harm has long been a running joke for blacks. But Colin Powell's wife had enough real concern that she convinced her husband not to make a presidential run in 1996. Powell's endorsement alone, of Barack Obama, left Rush Limbaugh yelling about race, fanning divisions and inspiring bigots everywhere. 1988 candidate Jesse Jackson was a surviving witness to the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination just 20 years before. The atmosphere around Obama's run has been a concern enough that he received Secret Service protection in May 2007, before any other primary candidate.
From CNN — Federal prosecutors charged two men [pictured above] with plotting a "killing spree" against African-Americans that would have been capped with an attempt to kill Sen. Barack Obama while they wore white tuxedos, federal officials said Monday. The men planned to kill more than 100 African-Americans, including 14 who would be beheaded, according to the affidavit. Read the rest here.
In 1990, I co-founded a magazine called URB (urb.com) in Los Angeles. URB captures an intimate view of progressive urban sounds and landscapes in print and online. Beyond my day job, I also explore the world of politics, race and culture, photography and media (new and old). pure/ROKER is designed to be a living and shared notebook of the most discussion worthy aspects. Enrichment is encouraged. Debate and disagreement unavoidable. And dissent welcomed. As always, please leave a comment if you're inspired, subscribe to my RSS or email me anytime at email@example.com.