We moved!

and update your bookmarks.

We're hanging out at our old Blogspot. whatabouroutdaughters.com is down :(

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gina Goes to Barack Obama's Austin Fundraiser - A truly "Enlightening" Experience- What Do We Really Want in Dunbar Village?

I am writing this as I run out the door- but I wanted this up now. It may be a rambling mess. Will fix later.

This week, once again, the Universe mocked me. Dared me to do something. First, I find out that Essence has plunked my picture next to Barack Obama in the December issue of Essence ( yeah Attorneymom I have to claim it now, some other bloggers apparently have posted about it). Then BlkSeaGoat is brave enough to go and counter protest Al Sharpton's protest and lived to tell about it and then Thursday, I pick up my favorite local Austin paper, The Chronicle and whose mug is smiling back at me? Barack Obama. He's having a fund raiser in Austin at a venue called "The Backyard."

I ain't gone lie. I didn't want to mention it because I didn't want to go. This week, this blog has worn me the heck out. I've been sick. I've had to deal with some foolishness out of Sharpton's staffers. I worried that BlkSeaGoat was going to come up missing, and apparently folks started getting this month's Essence magazine. I thought the list was going to be regular people who are working in their communities. If I had known Oprah, Obama, Tyler Perry, and Beyonce were going to be on the list too or that my picture would be there as soon as folks turned the page, I would have probably have said "NO." So my nerves have been frayed all week and I really didn't want to try to organize yet ANOTHER protest of anything. EVER! EVER!

But I kind of felt guilty because here it is I am asking folks to travel to South Carolina to demonstrate to raise awareness of Dunbar Village and I won't drive 5 miles? SO I went to Kinkos printed up some flyers and went to Michael's and got a poster board and a supersized Sharpie (still recovering from the fumes) and wrote out a sign that said "Ask Obama About Dunbar Village". Then I drove to The Back Yard. Ruined my shocks ant struts driving on their raggedy parking lot and walked up to the entrance of the Obama fund raiser. I got there right at the time the fund raiser was over and held up my sign and soon enough, people started coming up to me asking questions. A few Black folks came up to me, but most of the folks I talked to were Caucasian and the strangest thing happened. Instead of asking Obama questions, they started asking me questions that quite frankly I didn't have the answer to. I mean they asked the same question multiple times. One of the most common was - Who is their congressman? I've read the name, but I couldn't tell you to save my life.

It was like being in law school all over again and they had some very good points. Everyone was really nice to me. A few people gave me the stank eye, but everyone else was really engaged, this is Austin, everybody has a cause... unless they came from California.

Anyway, There is a reason why doctors shouldn't operate on their family members and there is a reason why lawyers shouldn't become to close to their client's. You lose perspective.

So what in the heck do I want and how in the heck is having Barack Obama mention Dunbar Village going to do to get it? I left that fund raiser after being asked a barrage of questions feeling quite frankly rejuvenated. Like I was in law school again and it was my day to be up.

What I really want is for people to be as outraged about Dunbar Village as I am. They aren't. The truth is that what keeps me up at night doesn't keep them up at night. The people I am concerned about on the planet aren't necessarily the same folks they are concerned about on the planet. The truth is that I can't independent contract out my outrage.

This was the first time I had ever had to try to convey what I think is the horror of Dunbar Village in person to complete and total strangers. I blog alone. I may be sitting in Whole Foods scarfing down some raw cheesecake ( the best), but I blog alone. Most of my interaction with people about Dunbar Village has been with other people who are equally outraged and it isn't in person. I blog alone. So in my little prism, it seems logical to me that folks would be just as up in arms about the living conditions in West Palm Beach as I am, but the truth it. They ain't and they don't have to be. That tidbit didn't dawn on me prior to standing outside holding up a sign talking about Dunbar Village to a bunch of White folks who put be through Socratic contortions for about an hour.

So I am giving up on trying to get people to be indignant about Dunbar Village. My responsibility is to make them aware. If they aren't moved to speak out about it or march about it or knock the heads of West Palm Beach officials and the Governor of Florida together then so be it, that is between them and their maker.

What I really want is to go to bed knowing that I did something to make the lives of those impoverished Black women and children safer. I want them to be able to live in a place that if fit for human habitation. I want them to live in a place where they can stick their heads out the door at sundown, or crack a window. Most of all I want them to live in a place where the criminals aren't given free reign.

So if Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the SCLC, NAACP, NOW, NCBW, CHIPS, DIPS and SALSA don't care about the folks poor Black women and children left to rot and die in Dunbar Village, so be it. WE CARE and that may very well be enough.

In some ways I think the Universe is mocking me yet again. Maybe the reason these people have BIZARRELY refused to make so much as a two sentence statement is because the Universe doesn't want them to. After hitting my head against a brick wall for four months, I considered the possibility that the reason they haven't been moved to speak out about Dunbar Village is because WE were meant to. I was meant to. I mean what can Obama, Sharpton, Jackson, SCLC, NOW, NAACP, CHIP, DIPS, and SALSA do that we haven't done or couldn't do?

We're just as talented, in the case of the National Action Network ( more talented). We're more efficient, it takes Sharpton 20, 000 marchers, we had 5 and got a USA Today article and one in the Chicago Tribune out of it and counting. We're just as educated and I suspect more based on the credentials that float around on the sly on this blog and I KNOW there are bunch of y'all who read and NEVER post of e-mail. I see y'all looking.

We have to become the leaders we hoped that they would be and you know what? We might just be able to pull this off. I mean who the heck thought 6 months ago when I started this blog and was getting 62 hits a day, that 6 months later I'd have had over 100,000 unique visitors, be ranked in the top 15,000 out of millions of sites on Technarati, win two Black Weblog Awards(including the Judges' Choice for "Blog of the Year"), be on NPR a few times, have my own international radio show, produce two videos that have been viewed tens of thousands of times, and have my picture smack dab next to a man who may very well be the next leader of the free world.

Barack Obama's book is called "The Audacity of Hope." Ain't it though! We're about to become audacious 'round here.