There are times when Cincinnati Center
City Development Corporation (3CDC) CEO Steve Leeper brings to mind the
Great White Explorers of yore — Christopher Columbus, Capt. John Smith —
who, upon landing on foreign soil, set about making it “new” by
extracting the natives who were already there to make room for the
Pilgrims who will think they landed there first.
The Nov. 12 resignation of McMicken Arts
and Sciences Dean Ronald Jackson at the University of Cincinnati marks a
sad ending and an even sadder beginning for the university’s battered,
tattered and exposed race relations (whatever that means these days.)
He sat on that tiny chair across from me
and poured tea and talked to me in the blackest British accent that was
awesome and made me giggle. He turned up the pinky finger of his
drinking hand and kept my little cup filled. (I took lemon and sugar.)
As we watched our hero Solomon Northup
endure 12 years of kidnap, beatings, witnessing rape, being forced to
lash another slave and learning the subservience of slavery in order to
survive it, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the old black woman.Especially during the beating scenes. She never flinched or looked away.
What I saw in Carter’s ascendancy was
lemmings swimming toward someone else’s manifestation of their own wet
dreams of gaudy consumerism. If hypertension, diabetes and heart
disease won’t kill black folks, then grabbing for luxury items someone
else convinces us we need will.
Generalizing to make a point, barring
slave revolts, domestic violence and deadly gun play during drug deals
gone wrong, blacks, historically, haven’t been much for mass public
shooting sprees or for violently acting out in public to instigate what
can only be called “death by cop.”
The racist brouhaha swirling around
University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences Dean Ronald
Jackson should quell once and for all any lingering nonsensical verbiage
about a “post-racial” America or the “end of blackness” since the
election and return of President Barack Obama.
Some of these folks have been around too
long or they keep reappearing as council candidates/members because
perhaps there is nothing else for them to do in the private sector. But what’s their platform?
I have seen Boehner’s political rise —
from courtside seats in the early days — and I am amazed but not
surprised by it because it’s easy to be “impressive” and to be passed up
the ranks and into many branches of American politics; it’s a trait
politicians share with student/athletes in higher education.
If you have ever been past these places
at twilight, just as the exterior lights are coming up, the dichotomies
of our shadowy citizens “living” near a casino in proximity to two
entertainment districts are illuminated as the houses of justice become
the beds and toilets for the indigent.
I’m not saying whites can’t and shouldn’t
keep recording Blues, Hip Hop, Jazz, Gospel or they should quit
appropriating black African influences. Please. Keep it up. Let’s us know we’re alive and that we were here. Just stay in your lane.
Annually, those of us who care about such
things beyond the gates of Black History Month either ask ourselves
quietly or discuss the question with our intimates: Has “The Dream” been
fulfilled and how much farther, Brother Martin, ‘til we reach the
promised land here on Earth?