“Not our time.”

My Saturday nights usually end with some sort of foolishness. After vetoing my friend’s idea to ” just get a bottle of Wild Turkey and do shots in the kitchen,” we ventured out to take in the sounds of a South African accordion player, the conversations of some ugly hipsters, and the opinion of a whiskey drinking, biracial bartender.

“How’s the whole Obama thing going?”

Pretty good. I was petitioning in Jamaica, Queens today. That wasn’t so hot, tho.

“Not feeling Obama?”

It was probably me they weren’t feeling.

“Not our time. Just not yet. This country isn’t ready for a half-black president.”

The bartender has REALLY big muscles and is over six feet tall, so I just kind of had to drop the conversation. He just isn’t someone I felt comfortable arguing with several drinks deep.

November 12, 2007. Barack Obama, Live Music, New York City, Political Action, Racism. 2 comments.

18 and Life

One of the things that I hate about New York City in the fall are the NYU freshmen. They clog the streets and ruin parties all over downtown with their underage nonsense. Last Saturday I was at a friend’s apartment/backyard for a party, so I figured I wouldn’t have to deal with the new kids. I was wrong.

“Barack’s skin is yellow. He should be the first Chinese president!”

But he isn’t Chinese…

“He’d have a better chance of getting elected if he was, tho. What do you say to people who tell you that Barack is too black?”

No one’s ever said that to me before, so I wouldn’t know.

“I mean, a lot of people are saying that he’s too black, like, he makes a big deal out of how black he is even though he’s part white.”

So what makes him too black is that he isn’t white?

“I guess so. I don’t want my first vote to go to Obama.”

Oh, you’ve never voted?

“I’ve never been old enough.”

I totally did not tell this kid to get registered to vote by October 12th. I work with children all day long, so I don’t need them around when I’m trying to socialize like an adult.

October 2, 2007. Barack Obama, Racism. 3 comments.

West Indian Day Parade

Down de road!

I love a parade! Especially the West Indian Day Parade! Double-especially after J’Ouvert! You know, for the delirium factor. Every year I make it a point to stick around town during Labor Day weekend so I can take part in the festivities. This year was extra-special, tho, cos the Brooklyn for Barack folks got together with some other Barack supporters and put together a float with a sound system, banners, and beauty queens from Trinidad. I couldn’t have gotten up on that float if I had tried, so I marched alongside in my sequin dress waving my Obama ’08 sign.  Tamara, who was my personal hero of the day, pushed a wheelchair full of supplies all the damn way down the parade route. The rest of us ran back and forth across the parkway passing out the newspaper announcing The Calypso King’s endorsement of Obama, posed for photographs, and danced with strangers.

Now, this parade moves at about .05 miles/hour, so there was plenty of time to talk to spectators/potential voters. Many were upset Barack wasn’t himself riding on the float. Others just wanted more Obama stickers. All in all, everybody had something to say, including a police officer.

“Don’t bother. They don’t even vote anyway.”

Boo! I mean, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I ignored him. That type of negativity doesn’t even deserve acknowledgement–screw it! Can’t rain on my parade.

September 6, 2007. Barack Obama, New York City, Political Action, Racism, Volunteering. 2 comments.

Have you heard this joke?

I got stuck at a bar at the Atlantic Center Mall during the rainstorm this week. The man next to me takes note of the button.

“You know how Hillary’s gonna keep herself from getting assassinated?”

How? (I’ve actually already heard several variations of this one)

“She’ll take Barack as her VP!”

Middle aged black men always tell me this joke.

July 13, 2007. Barack Obama, Racism. Leave a comment.

Douche Zoo

So there’s this new lounge in the city. Last weekend I had guests in from out of town, and the suggestion was made to give this place a shot. Somebody knows the promoter, the drinks are free, so a good time should be had by all, right? WRONG! Bridge + Tunnel + NYU students=One Douche Zoo.

“What’s with Barack?”

I smile cos the music is loud and there’s no reason to have this type of discussion with this particular guy in this horrifying place. Then he starts in with a weird line that he keeps repeating.

“Barack likes free drinks!”

Apparently he says this cos I have a free drink in my hand. What I like, Barack must like.

“I see. Barack seems like he’s pretty cool, likes to have a good time.”

Oh boy… 

You know how some house music clubs have live drummers that enhance sound of the place? Well, this place also had one lonely live drummer, but really, what the hell is a guy with a drum gonna do with a Blur song?

“I bet Barack likes bongos!”

No. You. Didn’t.

The sound of a record being scratched to a halt in a movie always denotes that one of the characters has made some sort of faux pas. I wish I could make that sound effect with my mouth and use it whenever somebody says something that’s just too stupid to believe.

June 29, 2007. Barack Obama, New York City, Racism. 2 comments.

Welcome to Boston…

I went to a barbecue in Boston. This sporty looking black guy comes over to talk. 

“You’re for Mohammad?”

Barack Obama?

“Yeah, Mohammad. He’s never gonna get elected with a name like that.”

Should he change his name, you think?

“Yeah, John Smith, then he’s got my vote. Can trust anyone with a name like that. You know the bin Ladens live here in Boston?”

Nope.

“I hope they hit New York again. I own real estate. After 9/11 my rents went up from $1100 to $1800 with all the people from New York attempting to escape. When 9/11 happened I was like ‘Yes! I’m gonna make money now!’ I know its not good for everybody, but I hope they hit New York again.”

I hope not. That’s a disgusting thought.

I am shocked. The dude’s cell phone rings. He walks away to answer it. I am left thinking that I have just spoken to the worst guy EVER.

June 18, 2007. 9/11, Barack Obama, Racism, Travel. 5 comments.

Gum dumb

The night before last I attempted to buy some gum in the West Palm Beach airport, but quickly discovered that “this is a gum-free terminal.” The man behind me wasn’t listening, so he also asked for some gum and got the same cheery answer. I couldn’t help but laugh. I joked to the man (who also happened to be a dad) that the airport authorities must be fascists. I don’t think he liked my joke, because he didn’t laugh, but boy did he have a mouthful to say about my button!

“Don’t you want to give your vote to Hillary? I mean, you’re a woman…”

Really, I must appear to him that my politics must not be very sophisticated, or, he is a digging a hole.

“I think Obama uses a lot things to his advantage, don’t you?”

Like what?

“Like his race, and the way that he talks. He doesn’t talk like a black person. He talks like an educated person.”

(I mean, the things white people say to other white people.)

When was our last African-American president elected? Oh yeah, NEVER!

This dad’s two middle-schoolish kids are our audience for this discussion that has rapidly taken a turn for the worse. I’m sad this guys kids heard him verbalize his inability to reconcile Barack Obama’s eloquence and his blackness. As my blood begins to boil, his his phone rings. I did’t have to miss my plane afterall.

April 12, 2007. Barack Obama, Racism, Travel. Leave a comment.