The sharp stick of reality

Ironically enough, as passionate as I am about Politics, I spend a lot of time walking away from conversations about politics at work.  It certainly isn’t due to some perceived inferiority about the subject matter.  It is because I have made the conscious decision to keep it light.  As you might suspect in Texas, you can run into pockets of folk who have only a passing grasp of the reality in which I live.  Most of them live in a world where history played out precisely as the history books allege and reality can be found on Fox News.  I don’t have the kind of time to deconstruct those kinds of arguments and still do my job, so I usually just sniff dismissively and walk away.

Occasionally,I feel kind of wishy-washy and even a little Tommish (!) because I spend so much time playing King of the Peons and keeping to my job, but I just chalk that up to a maturation of my work ethic.

That and also a recognition that if I really let loose on these children, Kicking the truth to the young white youth and all, feelings WILL get hurt.

So, I’m left to read the paper and watch Cable news with no one to talk to except the guests.

Even with the guests, I usually do more talking than listening.

Clearly, if this election has taught us NOTHING, it has taught us that Black men have to be careful about talking revolution in public.  Big ups to Rev. Wright for taking the hit for all of us.  Preciate that, sir.

Today, though, One of my regulars from the bar actually broached the subject of Barack Obama with me, and I, realizing that this was a chance to have a genuine conversation, gave her the raw, uncut truth. ( For those of you scoring at home….what follows is the absolute GOSPEL of Inkognegro):

As a political skeptic, I am naturally suspicious and generally dismissive of politicians in general but, if i take Obama at his word, he is my ideological  twin, one more committed to progress than process.  One who is larger than mere party or ideology.  I believe that Obama has the gift to transcend all this foolishness and actually bring government closer to the people.

And THEN…The Cappotini sipping regular (who is a lovely post 40, maybe even post 50 white woman, cause you never know with those folk)  says with a COMPLETELY straight face.

You know David…You know what REALLY scares me?  His NAME.  It’s NOT that he’s Black…It’s just that his name makes me wonder if now they think that he is in office to be friendly to them.

ok…let me stop here.  Cause after 2 months of casual conversation, up to this point, I had the basic conclusion that Mrs. Cappotini was a lovable matronly sort who enjoyed a stiff drink and pretty much got her fair-weather Texas Republican* on otherwise.

She had to run immediately after dropping this little gem so I haven’t had a chance to respond to this.  And I really DON’T know how to do so.

I almost want to go back to being quiet, but someone has to say something.

*(When asked what a Fair-Weather Texas Republican was, I once said: the difference between a Fair-Weather Texas Republican and an Real Texas Republican was that a Fair-Weather Texas Republican is too embarrassed to be a Real Texas Republican and too proud to be a Former Texas Republican)


  1. K Nicole Jones

    Well, Big Ink. What I have learned behind the bar with this kind of situation is that she is open to a carefully constructed humoristic approach to it.

    She is looking for someone to help her get passed that. That is why she said it to you. More than likely she probably thinks that you support the Senator.

    I would think about it. Maybe drop some random statistic about black folks with Muslim names-tell joke about how many black people of Afro/Muslim names but dance down the aisle of Christian church all their lives.

    Otherwise, go back to keeping it light. But I think she gave you an opening as long as you can balance the response thoughtfully and with a little empathy.

    Channel your inner Obama. Seems she is on the fence since she opened up to YOU. She might just be convinced to vote for him.

    Check out this diary from Kos>–it might give you some thoughts.

  2. Christina Springer

    Lately, I have found myself saying, “I value our relationship. You are very dear to me. Let’s discuss….tomatoes, recycling, furniture, crafty home organizational projects, insert any inane topic here.

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