Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"You Don't Want To Stay In A Hotel In The Bad Part Of Town" - When Black Folks Start Talking Like "The White Folks" Sound Like / The Ghetto Avoidance GPS Revisited

On a recent conference call with a group of other Black people we plotted a hotel in a large "Mission Accomplished City" that we are going to all meet up at in preparation for a large group meeting.

One person from out of town said:  "In searching on the Internet it is hard to figure out which are the 'Good Hotels'."
One of the locals on the phone made the statement - "Yeah we wouldn't want anyone to stay in a hotel that is on the WRONG SIDE OF TOWN".

I jokingly asked:  "Exactly WHO lives in these UNSAFE COMMUNITIES that you are warning us about  in your city?  It sounds like you are racially profiling to me". 

Everyone on the phone laughed but they knew that I was telling the truth.

(NOTE: These are all Black people with the standard ideological and political loyalties that you might expect.  In fact the majority were college educated with professional jobs.  This was NOT a gathering of "Clandestine Black Republicans" - if that is what you are assuming).

This comment made me recall a road trip, about 15 years ago with a mid-aged Jewish man who was my manager at the time.  We had a sales call in Newark New Jersey.  We were in a residential part of town in a retail district.  As we drove away from the meeting he said to me: "Man this is not the part of town that you want to be in after dark".

I didn't take offense to his comment.  I just summed it up as his limited exposure to a larger world.    I looked around and this was a normal street per my vantage point growing up in West Philly.   It was a majority Hispanic community and I didn't feel the least bit threatened.

That community could have easily been an Italian community in Newark or South Philly.

To be clear - there are plenty of communities where it would be wise to watch your back as someone would indeed see you as prey.

When I travel I make it a point to seek out the local Black community in order to collect more information about the area.  I used to go looking for a Jamaican restaurant as the key index of where "The Blacks" live.   I now go searching for a place where "The Final Call" is sold.  This has and even greater correlation to the Black community.

Recall this outrage over a Microsoft Location Based Services Application

Black People Also Are Aware Of "Unsafe Communities" As Are Any Other People

Until the key influencers over the Black community begin to calculate............
  • The COSTS in the way of "Economic Loss" of POTENTIAL business that comes from otherwise middle class Black people who can choose to lodge, shop or hold a convention anywhere they choose to but choosing to evade "unsafe communities" 
  • The COSTS of failing to field a quality Academic Environment in Black Community schools, setting up the conditions by which Black parents who seek to place their children in a competitive academic environment are compelled to exit, relocating into a place that "pulls" their children upward to a higher rung instead of producing a "me against the world" effect
  • The COSTS of the constant stream of criminal victimization that is flashed upon the local television news.  Censoring the news by demanding more "positive coverage" is not the solution.  Compelling those who are attacking our people to live UP TO defined community standards IS the solution. 

It should come as no surprise that I believe that the constant EXTERNAL STRUGGLE FOR NATIONAL SOCIAL JUSTICE has the effect of immobilizing the "Governance Culture" that is necessary to bring these more favorable conditions within.

By making a nationalized indictment it sets up the mental imagery that someone else is denying Black people and thus we have the present circumstances.  That the correction will come via legislative fiat from afar.

When it comes to leveraging the institutions within the community to achieve these more desirable end - the flaw in the strategy is shown when we try to lean upon these institutions and they can't support the weight of our hopes and expectations. 

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