The Silver Lining Playbook: The Once and Future Mayor of the You People
At the end of the Arthurian legend, King Arthur is killed in an apocalyptic battle by his illegitimate son and his body is ferried to the heavenly realm of Avalon, where he waits Christ-like for his return at a time in the future when his nation is in peril and in need of salvation. During World War II, when Germany blitzed England, the British thought they saw the spark of Arthur in Winston Churchill.
It seems that some people are always looking at the current mess they're in wherever they live and dream about a return to simpler, quieter and better times. As I go about Savannah running for mayor, surprising the number of people who wish we could go back to the Eighties or the Seventies or the Forties, and to the good ol' days of John Rousakis or Floyd Adams. That is until I ask black people which decade they'd like to return to, and all I get in response is a blank stare.
At no time in our collective history has it been good for black people.
Thus, blacks have no desire to go back to anytime. They want to move forward. And they are frustrated by the large numbers of their friends and neighbors with the inability to progress.
Surprising, too, the number of white folk who are mad at me because I refuse to run around threatening to take back the town from "you people". Sick and tired of crime, they want to hear a white candidate threaten to put his foot up a lot of black asses. But in a town that is predominantly You-ish, that kind of tough talk won't win the election. Tea sippers are not amused when I tell them that the only black thing I put my white foot in is a pair of dress shoes.
Don't look for me to run around town with a sword and shield and smote the You people. I'm not here to lead us back into the past. I'm here to help all of us move toward the good ol' days of the future, not back to a time when it was good for some.
The funny thing is: for every person who longs to turn back the hands of time to another decade, that same decade was somebody else's rough patch. On closer inspection, the good ol' days weren't so good after all.