WARNING: At least once a quarter I give myself permission to curse in these blog post. Today is one of those days.
I’m like most loyal newspaper readers who find flipping through the daily paper enjoyable and relaxing. I’m okay with learning the news that broke on TV is just coming to my attention a day or two later. I like the fact I get to pick and choose which articles I want to read based on the headline, feature photo, or the mood I’m in.
Yesterday’s Delaware County Daily Times had a front page full of guns. That was enough to turn me off, so I have no idea what that story was about. Page 3 announces more Mariner 2 pipeline drama with Sunoco being hit with a $319K ‘cost of doing business’ fine. I should care more, but I’m really tired of that story because Sunoco is going to do what Sunoco is going to do. Then we see Daily Times editor Phil Heron gloating about his two new grandkids, again! I’ve seen Phil and these babies so many times that I’m out of congratulations for him…but I never get tired of celebrating in his joy. Then I turn the page to find the almost daily report of some freak committing a sex crime – this time in local college bathrooms.
Finally, and I say finally because I had to put down the paper after reading this story, here comes Mr. West Chester Councilman who says in the headline, ‘I don’t think I should resign.’
I decided to read this article because I hate seeing people get fired – or forced to resign. There usually are other courses of action that should come first. Letting someone go should be an extreme last resort.
I got to reading that article and it almost ruined the rest of my day. I couldn’t even write this piece yesterday because I was so pissed.
Here’s how the story went…
The Councilman from the borough of West Chester told a Black actress the following things after her performance at the meet and greet in the lobby…
He commented on her light complexion and called her a negro. The actress was visible shaken. (I’m not bothered by the ‘negro’ reference but wait till you see how her color put him under a spell in the next statement).
He suggested that she could remove her stage makeup to prove to him she was indeed black.
He said, “If you really are black, sing ‘Mammy’ for me.
In one part of the article it says he initially refused to apologize but the story opens with him apologizing for what he characterized as an “ill-said comment.” It looks like when the mayor of West Chester told him to resign, he started singing a different tune. Borough Council members want him to resign and have begun the process to censure him. The West Chester Democratic Committee voted for him to leave council. They even involved the state Democratic Committee to get this guy off the job.
This guy loves being a councilman and vowed to continue on, despite the public reaction to his comments.
“I don’t think I should resign. It seems like I’d be running away or sticking my head in the sand if I resigned.”
I doubt if I’d be the first to tell him this, but that’s the point. Many would prefer that he run and find some sand to stick his head in on the way out.
You really need to read the article just to read his bizarre comments. I totally went into a full belly laugh when he gave us this line…
“I’ve been wounded badly. I’m very distraught and what I say and do won’t fade away.”
And neither will the complexion fade away of the Black lady you asked to remove her make up.
Let me be very clear with this next point. All this work they’re doing trying to enact censorship and getting him to resign would not have been necessary had he walked up to a Black man and asked him to remove his stage make up and to sing ‘Mammy.’ His ass would have been knocked-the-fuck-out right there in the lobby. As a result, there would probably be a happy understudy because the star actor would be hauled off to jail, never to be heard from again. In fact, I know quite a few Black women who would have knocked him out, too. He just happened to roll up on the right one that night at the theater.
Don’t these people realize that entire cities have been burned down when a Black man was accused of only whistling at a white woman? A teen named Emmett Till was dragged, shot, and drowned for looking at a White woman? Here, there is no allegation. He actually admitted that he said these things to the Black actress.
This guy really said,
“I’ve failed and I did not push back against it in any way, which is my punishment…I faced the music.”
No, don’t fire him. If West Chester can’t figure out what to do with him, I’ll reserve a room at MJ Freed Theater and find a few guys to stage a Black Man Forum here in Chester where Mr. Councilman can sit up on stage and get sampling of music from us out in the audience. We have a few questions to ask. We need a few answers from him because I believe the newspaper article might be missing some details. We won’t touch him. He just needs some ‘sensitivity’ training.
I would have been fine with a simple apology from him, sincere or not. But guys like him keep running their mouth trying to justify that he’s the one being harmed. Don’t nobody wanna hear that shit.
It’s hard for me to process the sense of privilege some people enjoy. That’s all I have to say.