Allen West, the brother who has made a political living attacking Black people for calling out police wrongdoings, is now…wait for it…calling out police wrongdoings. West, a former Florida congressman known as a GOP “go-to,” as in whenever they need a Black face to verbalize their racist positions, they “go-to” West, brought his talents to Texas, serving as chair of the Texas GOP before now running for governor. Like his GOP homies, West demonizes Black Lives Matter and supporters as police haters, and by racist default “logic,” America hater, too, for criticizing police misconduct. But a funny thing happened on West’s way deeper into the Sunken Place. While out of town dining with white nationalist extraordinaire Ted Nugent, West’s wife, Angela Graham-West, was arrested for DWI with her 3-month-old grandson in tow. Upon getting the news, did West “back the Blue” as he did after the murders of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, etc? Hell naw. He accused Dallas police of “falsely” arresting his wife and putting their grandson in danger, and low-key suggested that the arrest was politically motivated to damage his governorship campaign. Fun fact: Blackfolk have been labeling police violence as political violence for eons. A position West has vehemently denied his entire political career. Until now.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s scapegoating Black people for the state’s current COVID surge, is fast becoming old news that folk will forget about soon enough. Far from apologize, Patrick doubled-down on his selective “use” of statistics to claim his scapegoating was not racist at all, but rather simply based on facts. And this is exactly why we should not forget his words. Because on the hierarchy of racist stuff folk can do, scapegoating may not be the most racist “dude” out there, but until the biggest racist appears “scapegoating” is sitting in his chair. Literally every single horrific, racist atrocity in history began with members of the group who believe themselves to be superior “scapegoating” some “minority” group for that’s society’s problems. But it’s not Black people who Patrick believes are dumb enough to buy his BS. He has zero “cares” about what we think. Rather, Patrick believes his Republican constituents are so ignorant that they’ll believe anything. Even though the number of white Texans with and dying of COVID dwarfs our numbers. But hey, his base literally organized and led the Jan. 6 insurrection, yet somehow believe Nancy Pelosi and the Dems did it.
Houston recently lost a key fixture in its “conscious” community with the passing of Edward Vincent. Known to most as Baba Fana, he was a member of the Citywide Kwanzaa committee, longtime member of the Shrine, soldier for the National Black United Front, regular participant in the annual October ancestral commemoration in Galveston, participant at SEHAH, graduate of the University of Houston’s African American graduate certificate program, community African history instructor, world traveler, jazz lover and participant in every drum circle this city has ever seen since he arrived here from his beloved New York in the late 1970s. And he was my friend. Fana had the nerve-racking ability to turn a two-minute explanation into a two-hour diatribe. But that was because, even more than conversing, he loved people. Like all of us, he wasn’t perfect. But Lord have mercy, the number of lives he touched and inspired in multiple cities, states and continents, is literally the stuff of legends.