“And I could never forget the time when I marched with Mrs. King as an honorary grand marshal in the annual King Day Parade. But the most profound image in my mind was the sight of a small band of KKK leaders marching through the streets of downtown Atlanta in 1989 under the protection of black police officers who kept them separated from hundreds of counter demonstrators. That was the paradox of Atlanta. Surrounded by some of the most conservative places in the south, the Atlanta metropolitan area was an oasis of culture and diversity where you could forgive but you could never forget.” (148)
“I realized that was the disconnect in my message. I was providing facts and figures and information, but some of the people affected by the down low wanted emotion instead. I was explaining why blame was a counterproductive emotion that would not change reality, but that explanation missed the point for some listeners. Their reality was that they needed someone to blame. They had been lied to and cheated on, and they needed someone to be responsible. They needed a villain.” (150)
and that’s the most important thing this book achieves-it sets folks’ minds up to be changed, or at least be complicated a little bit between black and white (the binaries, not the Absolute Categories of Race that seem to govern the united$tatesofamerica). it’s also the reason i’m not down with pride (though i would like to see asses in chairs when we debut our one-night-only drag musical during pride this year-june 27th at buddies in badtimes theatre) in principle, because it’s all fine and good to prance during one socially-sanctioned week a year, but what about the everyday? to me, keith boykin is a hero every day, getting his audrelorde on. i was listening to a recent podcast of chicago’s 89.5 the barbershop show about trayvon, and there was a caller who was trying to draw attention to the institutional racism of the police, etc. and the hosts really weren’t having it. could that be because it’s more tangible to vilify that one cop versus imagining the entire prison industrial complex dismantled? well, someone go tell angela davis that’s impossible. i dare you.