Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Sunset In Baton Rouge

From A Friday, March 23rd, 2012 Post: The Sunrose In Baton Rouge

We stopped at a convenience store by this library, run by perhaps Syrians, or Hungarians, or something.
They asked me where we were coming from.
I told him "New Orleans," then, since I was holding my guitar, added "I play on Bourbon Street; but I need a vacation from it."
One of the two, behind the bullet-resistant glass said "You should sit in front of store, maybe make money playing!"
I have gotten this reaction in the past from store owners from countries where busking is considered to be an enhancement to the atmosphere of their business; quite the opposite of panhandling, and their attitude is "Look, we even have entertainment for you, while you pump our middle eastern product into your tank!"

That particular post, entitled "The Sunrose In Baton Rouge" tells about that particular store that I did indeed busk in front of, when I was in Baton Rouge, and where the same guy that recently made world news for being killed by the cops, used to come, usually on Friday nights, to sell CD's out of his then red vehicle, and who, at first, cranked his car stereo up with the back hatch open to advertise his product, but who then turned it down after noticing that I was trying to busk.
He was a nice guy.
That was when Howard and I were the only 2 white guys in Scotlandville, Louisiana.
He was shot in front of another store, The Triple S, but I'm 99% sure it's the same CD dude.

Left: Scotlandville High Graduation.
We were at least the only white guys other than ourselves that we ever saw there...
Howard and I had chosen the locale from the downtown bus station map.
"Look, Howard, there's a library there, and it's out of town a little way's; in the suburbs!" 


alex carter said...

You *do* know that the only reason you could camp out in that town, go to its library, or that there's a library at all is due to the evil white man? I mean, we're talking about the difference between a peaceful visit and noticing how nice the "CD guy" is, (because it's be polite or have his head used as a bongo drum by evil white crackers with axe handles) or ... literally ending up in the stew pot.

Hell, I grew up in Hawaii and I know a few facts about these things. What the hell do you think happened to Captain Cook, one of the great navigators of his time? After the Hawaiians got 200:1 odds because they're brave that way, they waited for him to turn his back to call out to his ship, then stabbed him in the back, and cooked and ate him.

Where do you think all the energy put into "repressing the poor black man" came from in the first place? Yeah, slavery was bad, we all get it, but originally slaves were whites, Hispanics, Indians, whoever they could get. Guess why slavery ended up being a black thing? Because whites, Hispanics, Indians, could eventually work their way back into society. They could live in society while keeping the rapine and mayhem to a tolerable minimum. Not blacks. So, they ended up being the default slaves. And repression, whether before or after the Civil War, during the Jim Crow era, or now, costs time, money, and energy. You have to specially recruit people willing to do it; most are too tender-hearted. Have you looked at cops' salaries? It's an expensive business. It would be easier for everyone if all the "repression" stopped cold, wouldn't it? Anything that takes a lot of money, time, energy, etc tends to keep on going because it *has* to.

There's an old saying that goes something like, "Civilized men can sleep soundly at night because rough men are there to exercise violence on their behalf".

Daniel McKenna said...

The middle easterners in the store(s) which Howard and I, AND the blacks, went to might have seen us all as being "foreign," to them, but after just a couple weeks of going in there saying: "Hi, how are doing? I'd like this and a pack of Pall Mall shorts, please, looks like some storm clouds blowing in..." instead of slamming the beer down and saying:
"Give me this and give me a pack of Swisher naturals!
...not them, the naturals...right above 'em; They right in front of your face! Goddamn! You blind or some-fin?"
type of thing...
It became a small but very telling concession when, being 20 cents short, the guy would tell me to just bring it tomorrow, whereas to one of "them," he would yell: "One fifty nine plus tax, it's right on the cooler, go get a cheaper beer if you don't have it!"
To me that is one of the (token) rewards of treating people decently, and worth the effort.
But, yeah, I always had the feeling that Howard and I's presence was seen through suspicious eyes, like some agency was testing them by putting us there as bait. Two white boys would have to be stupid to just come up into this hood like that...they're probably watching someone...
That kept us from becoming Howard and Daniel stew...
But, I imagine the cops working that district are just eventually going to have a hair trigger (I think is the idiom)

alex carter said...

The US is pretty much like the old Yugoslavia; everyone gets along as long as we're *sat* on hard enough. Even with the "knockout game", cops shooting blacks (and disadvantaged whites, Hispanics, hell anyone they think they can bully) too much, Southern states trying to get rid of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and in general all the crap that's always in the news, people in the US are really getting along great as opposed to the alternative, which is ... well ... if Yugoslavia blew up with as big a bang as it did, imagine the US, being that much more diverse.

This is why Hillary gets my vote. Steady on as she goes, I say. The last thing we need is a loose cannon like der Drumpenfuehrer.

About all the average white dude can do is, get along with others who want to get along, those who don't, just slide on by because you're not going to win any arguments, and just keep on working at whatever you can get.