Excerpt: I know it’s been a while guys, and I need to put up an excerpt about the Dew Tour, including some highlights I got from buds here in Bmore….It’s been busy, but here goes nothing for you election gurus!
At this corner of Douglas Street and Montana Avenue in Northeast Washington, no one expected that a political career would start like this. Darren figured that he fought his way out of the streets of Baltimore, worked his butt off to get off North Avenue, risked drugs, violence to get into Baltimore Polytechnic, didn’t do anything except study to head his way to Howard University.
He hated the thought of being known as “African American” as his family originated in Jamaica. He never felt like he needed to take the charity that he considered the affirmative action, but never felt that his “brothers” were lesser because he knew a lot needed more than he did. He was lucky that his uncle had come into money.
“God bless the Maryland Lottery.” he muttered as he walked up to the “first” client. Darren envisioned himself a lawyer, and often his self-righteous attitude showed it. However, he didn’t figure that his way to an internship in the White House meant having to walk up to homeless.
“Excuse me sir, are you registered to vote in this years electon?”
The haggard man glanced at Darren with a look of discontent.
“What the fuck you talkin’ about boy? Did you come down here for coke, or did you come down here to tell me some bullshit about an election that no one gives a shit about anymore anyway.”
Darren smiled and thought to himself about how enjoyable this was going to be.
“Alright I’ll bite. I’m not interested in coke,” Darren returned, “I work for the Obama campaign.”
“Are you one of those indignant brothers, or do you actually give a shit about what’s going on?” the man questioned obviously happy for the company that had suddenly emerged.
“I actually give a shit about what’s going on.” Darren responded meekly.
The man cupped Darren’s shoulder and gestured to sit on the stoop. “Well good for you, young man. But, let me give you some education.”
Darren knew he must be in for the long hall when the man relaxed against a house that wasn’t his.
“I’ve lived in this godforesaken town for close to 30 years, and through a little less than 5 presidencies. Which means I’ve lived through twice as many campaigns. Everyone loves a good campaign, because it gives people something to believe in. Something to care. ”
“So, do you care?” Darren returned, “Are you going to care enough to get to the polls?”
The man that now looked a lot younger than Darren once thought sat down and laughed. “Shit man, where the fuck you from?”
Darren explained that he was from Baltimore, but came down to the district for university studies.
“Ah, you’re one of the lucky ones. Kinda like that Obama kid. He’s one of the lucky ones. You obviously weren’t from one of those rich-bitch neighborhoods like Federal fucking Hill where that slut of a twin is are you or you wouldn’t have had the nerve to sit down here with me. I’d guess Pennsylvania and Druid Hill. Projects?”
Darren only answered with a twist of his head back and forth.
“Wow, guess you must have gone to Poly or some shit like that. You aren’t scared boy, despite the gun you know I have. I’m slightly impressed. Look, here’s the reality. No one gives a shit about the feds unless they need more money so that I can get my soup every night on Rhode Island. Perhaps a warm place to sleep when it dips past 40 at night. People only gave a shit down here for one reason, that was Len Bias.”
“I’m showing my age, who’s Len Bias?” Darren replied.
“Shit boy, you said you’re from Mary-freakin’-land, and you don’t know who Len Bias was? Shit man, he’s what put coke on the map. 2nd Round draft pick, killed himself on a ringer that was just a bit too fun. What a fuckin’ pansy.”
“What’s your point? Some dead basketball player? Too much coke for a college kid?”
The haggard man lunged at Darren and it startled him. He got up quickly and went for the swiss army knife he had in his back pocket.
“It’s not about that. It’s never been about that. That boy had it all. He had it all except the one bit that the fucking teachers can’t teach. He never knew that he needed help till it was too late. I’ve been smoking weed for close to twenty years. Heroin for 10. It’s destroyed my circulatory, my liver, and god knows what else. I’m an educated man, reduced to talking to some peckerhead on the street hoping he’ll give me $5 for McDonald’s later. It’s not about the fucking god damn election. It’s not. It’s about you and me boy. It’s about the fact that NO ONE helps us. No one. Not Obama, not that old white man. No one.”
Darren had an idea. He said to the man,
“You hungry? Why don’t you come with me.”
At his own personal risk, Darren found himself at a TGIFriday’s on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a couple blocks from the White House. He instructed the staff to give the man whatever he wanted. The man ate to his full, and for one night…one night only, he slept in a warm bed.
*Loosely based on a real situation*
What’s my point in writing this? The reason for my disgust in the current election is this. It’s not about the federal government until money comes into play. Are you out there helping the homeless? Are you out there curing disease? Helping educate? That man ended up in a rehab program. Not due to the kindness of “Darren” but due to the fact that he worked damn hard. Who knows. He might still be out on Florida Avenue touting drugs, and ruining his life. It’s hard to say.
The climate in this country is in serious danger. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care about the rest of the world. We should. I’m saying there’s NO EASY ANSWERS. That it goes beyond the name calling, the negativity, the unanswered prayers. It goes well beyond this election to where we want this country to be in the next 4 years. I’m not saying you need to make your decision to vote for Obama. I don’t know if he’d do the best job. But, saying that doesn’t mean I’m begging you to vote for McCain either.
Make the decision that you need to make. Become informed. You’ve got two weeks left. For a world that goes shortly beyond sound bites, I will say that this situation that a friend of mine found himself in startled me. It brought it back to a whole new realm. This country as a whole, what makes us great is our right to be selfish. In a capitalistic society, we can be selfish. But, we should be allowed to fail. Outright. It’s cruel, heartless, and sometimes necessary.
From the economy, health care, transportation, and a war a world away, there’s a lot of issues to weigh. Take a step back from Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright, from George Bush, and realize that you’re hiring a man that will sign the checks that YOU ARE writing in the upcoming years. Want to cure the health care crisis? It’s gonna take longer than 4 years. The economy? It’s not gonna be just one foul swoop that’s gonna change things. We need to think ahead and look to what’s being done NOW to ensure the future.