Saturday, September 09, 2006

more election tomfoolery

I just love election years. And a recent captured-on-video spectacle of two distinguished, accomplished black men vying for the top elected position in Prince George's County, MD., beefing like biggie & tupac through the streets of suburban D.C. makes having to wade through all that election spam worthwhile. Let's see, we've got: A Jesse Jackson news conference being crashed. Plenty of trash talk ("You can run but you can't hide!"). We even have one candidate being ejected from the Gladys Knight chicken and waffle joint. And that's all in one day.
In all seriousness, this a local election with national resonance for black people--and a new chapter in the way black masculinity is constructed in the news media.
After the '68 riots following the MLK assassination charred DC to a crisp, blacks of means fled DC like embittered Cuban exiles, eventually transforming a sleepy white rural county into the wealthiest majority-black jurisdiction in the country. Now as gentrification invades all of d.c., there has been an influx of working class blacks and immigrants seeking refuge in Prince George's County. The black-run government is audibly groaning under the strain on police and schools. Thus we have the spectacle of two candidates desperate to telepath some sort of bourgie code to assure their wealthy constituents that the tide is indeed being stemmed. At the same time, neither one can afford to lose their black cards. The result is not pretty. But it is pretty dern funny

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