Saturday, October 25, 2008


A few weeks ago I went to visit my Niece, Naziya. She's 3 months old. Beautiful baby. But that's not what I'm writing about right now. I usually take the bus run by a Chinese company based downtown in Chinatown. There are a lot of those companies down there going many places. Now I went down early because I wanted to make sure I got a seat. It was a holiday weekend and lots of people travel around holiday's no matter what it is as long as it's an extra day off from work. Anyways, since I was mad early I decided to walk around, see what I could find. I have an affinity for Asian cultures. Not the common American surface fixation but a genuine interest. Well I was actually hungry and was walking around to see if I could find a restaurant I thought I would like. Well I was caught off guard just a little and mildly amused as I caught sight of a Popeye's chicken off in the distance. It was really interesting because not only did it have it's sign in english on the building but also in Chinese character's. I thought that was rather cool. I wished my friend David had been there, he could have given me the literal translation of the characters. Well, I passed it by and continued to walk around 'cause I was of the opinion, "I'm in Chinatown. Why would I get Popeye's chicken for?" But I was intrigued and after not really seeing whatever I was looking for I doubled back and wound up in the Popeye's. I'd like to mention that I wasn't surprised at the fact that there was a Popeye's in Chinatown I just didn't see it coming. I know that Asian people like all the same bullshit fast food and stuff that we do. I've been to a Mickey D's, a Burger King, and an Outback Steakhouse in South Korea, so there's certain American ignorances that I don't adhere to. So, again, I was mildly amused at the sight of a bunch of Chinese people chowing down on fried chicken, like I was down south at a barbecue, as I walked in. But what really struck me was what I saw behind the counter. All young Asian boys and girls working. I'd gotten so used to seeing older folks working at the fast food restaurants I've been to around this country, that seeing ALL young people was rather striking. (I've always thought that people over about 30-35 working the counter in fast food as rather sad. If you're the manager or something cool but just working there? Sad. I understand it might be necessary but it's still sad.) Anyways, I had a eureka moment. This is what having a strong sense of community is about. Let's be honest, working fast food is a low level job. Older adults should not be working low level jobs like that. The youth of the community work those jobs to learn the responsibility of working. The adults of the community work the upper level jobs and acquire and maintain land and property to maintain the community and provide those low level jobs for their youth. And so the cycle goes on. This only works when there is a collective sense of community, which most Asian people have. Asians, Jews, white americans, native Africans, and other ethnicities have this. Black americans used to and lost it as soon as we integrated with white americans. Don't get it twisted, I'm not blaming white people, I'm blaming Black people. Black people let their communities go in order to better fit in with whites.

Now here's what the major problem is. The big difference between Black americans and everyone else is, everyone else has a direct link to an ancestral home. They have a strong connection to a homeland and teach their children about that homeland in various ways. Black americans have been completely cut of from their ancestral home, Africa. Our ancestors weren't immigrants, they were brought here in bondage. If you look at it directly Black americans are actually the real embodiment of what an american is. Our whole cultural make up was completely constructed in this land. I don't include the Natives of this land, who are also part of my ancestry which I'm learning more about now, because they were here first and whites came and dominated and made up america. Made this shit up! There are many Tribal Nations that do not consider themselves americans, rightfully so I think. So, yeah, Black americans had to start from scratch just like european immigrants started this country from scratch. It's almost funny, I just reread that last sentence and realized they stole a people and a seperate land at the same time, wiped them as clean as they could and rebuilt them. Wow.

Wow, didn't really want to go that deep at this time. I was just very aware of the sense of community from a trip to a Popeye's in Chinatown and thought that experience was worth sharing. I'll get more into the other stuff another time.

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