by Nadra Enzi
A Prussian general famously commented that politics was war by other means.
HE knew exactly what the good general meant. As a political marketer and activist, HE'S seen more people go for money and power without a good damn for their fellow man than most voters would believe.
Most folks THINK politics is dirty but until you get into the game you have NO idea.
Here in Port City, nicknamed "Tha C-Port", by the distant children of her first groups of African slaves, politics is more grimy than the drug dealers who dominate her television broadcasts.
As HE tells groups of kids during HIS after school programs, the real gangsters wear suits and ties, are in elected office or are unofficial bosses like your local Chamber of Commerce with tentacles wrapped around any and every thing ( and body ) they think will increase their economic stranglehold on the community.
Port City's majority Black populated jail is filled with mostly broke folks who couldn't pay off a license suspension or tickets quickly enough with maybe a few genuine menaces to society sprinkled in for extra spice.
A drunken White Sheriff ironically holds the key to this warehouse of DUIs and others in his shaky hands but shhhh!!!, his drunk driving isn't a crime, unlike yours and mine.
But hope springs eternal because Port City has a majority Black city council- who never fails a chance to ignore the Black voters who put them there naively hoping it would make a difference.
HE laughs to himself, realizing for the millionth time that Jim Crow hasn't vanished here in the Dirty Dirty. It just became integrated. Where once rednecks treated you like dirt, now you have Black government employees and office holders anxious to pick up where their peckerwood predecessors left off.
As an activist HE spends more time battling uncle toms who refuse to stand up than obligatory White racists.
As generation after generation of Black youth don white t-shirts and rude behavior because they know everyone has given up on them, these same toms fight hard to justify racial profiling, including the numerous times when Blacks are stopped who aren't engaged in nothing more than leaving home seeking work or pleasure.
HE knows how they stay in power. it's a simple formula for simple minds: Please rich White folks; Ignore Black complaints; At reelection time, run around community meetings telling the people you sell out daily how much you've "done" for them.
Southern Blacks are always advertised as so passive when it comes to civil rights but HE can't help but notice that Northern Jim Crow, West Coast Jim Crow and other varieties are as active as ever.
But, in the South, in places like Port City, as much as Black folks quietly complain ( and complain we do !! ), like a battered wife, too few of us actually do anything about it!!!
That's where HE comes in. HE stirs up trouble in the form of e-mail blasts, flyers, interviews and other means to get the real deal out to those who need to see their concerns finally on front street, without the usual spin from Downtown favoring anyone but us.
HE also handles marketing for candidates who probably won't make much difference but will have to handle some of HIS community requests if they want to get back in office again.
HE arranges meetings with those seeking office and those who'll have to vote them into office- all with the clear understanding that any backsliding on community issues will result in having HIM work against them next go 'round.
Port City has its own set of deeply rooted racial problems. Blacks here either have thugged out, knuckled under or just gave up in too many cases.
The really sad thing about C-Port politics is while HE is writing about it here, you're probably living it wherever you're reading these words.
In the worst way, C-port politics doesn't just describe a place, it describes a state of mind that has to change, house by house, life by life, 'Hood by 'Hood.
That's why HE grinds like HE does.
The change starts within each of us or it happens for none of us.
NOTE: Port City may or may not be Savannah, GA. but Nadra isn't telling. lol.