Is the Westside being pimped?

NSB ELECTIONS photo by Henry Frederick. This photo was among several that went up in the Westside community the night before the general election.
Editor's Note: Without acknowledging directly whether she or her campaign organizers were behind the Babe James signs that popped up in the Westside the night before the election, Mayor Mackay said they were in response to opponent Adam Barringer's desire to "cut taxes and that means programs. Barringer, who defeated the first-term mayor  in Tuesday's general election by 112 votes called the signs and the exploitation of the residents there "despicable." City Commissioner Lynne Plaskett, whose zone includes the predominantly black Westside community, and City Commissioner Jim Hathaway, both said they were stunned and taken aback by the use of the Babe James Center as a political threat.
Is The Westside being Pimped?
Rehashing past indiscretions, in my opinion, has only caused unease, unrest, and multiple mental lacerations to all parties involved. On the other hand, it does release truths and facts that would most likely be covered. This particular mental cut caused unease, unrest, and complete disheartened revelation for me. It made me asked the question: 'Is the Westside being Pimped?'
And if so, who are the hoes?
On a faithful Wednesday in Bible study, one parishioner decided to give an announcement that was quite revealing, in regards to one of the opponent's in the Mayoral race. Hattie Lawes stood in front of the congregation of Bible Study and stated ‘We will lose the Babe James Community Center if Sally Mackay and Randy Richenburg do not get 51% of the vote on Nov. 2.'
Even though I don’t send my kids there, I don’t think its right that they will take away our center. Our kids should not lose the youth center because they will be on the streets. Lawes also emotionally and elaborately mentioned that Adam Barringer and Judy Reiker were not for the Westside and we would lose the little funding we get now.' After the emotional tirade, the whispers began which turned into a loud mantra of ‘that ain’t right,’ ‘I’m gonna vote.’
It sounds like pimping was afoot. I was floored, angry, and bowled over that no actual physical facts were presented to uphold such a ‘believable’ presentation. I approached Hattie and asked for the agenda number, when was this stated in the city commissioner meeting, when did Barringer and Reiker make such claims, what connection they had to change such a thing? Her answers were clear. She was told by Sally Mackay’s campaign manager that if they (Barringer and Reiker) were elected the center will in fact be closed and the only way to change that was ensuring Mackay and Richenberg received 51% of the vote. It appeared Hattie was a chosen candidate for the propagandist piece (again pimping was involved). From the time she (Hattie) was told she gladly reiterated to me ‘I already called over 25 of my friends on [the Westside] who vote and told them what is going on.'
They in turn called others called and spread the same story confirming with her whom they have called. She also stated she would be going to the Luncheon that Sunday where she would get a better understanding of what was going on. She even solicited my poster-making ability to give the lie more credibility. Within a couple of hours, the news hit and the lie had a face, heartbeat, pulse, and a welcoming smile.
My disenchantment came when I found out by making a call to Mackay's campaign manager myself who stated that is was in fact true and that we needed to stay strong and band together against people who would try to once again destroy the Westside.
Doesn’t that sound like someone being pulled into the pimp game? How reprehensible! I taught exploiting Blacks for your own gain was so 1960s. When did Nixon, and Democrats of the 1980s return? I was shocked and actually bowed my head in shame and worry on the other end of the receiver. Within the same rumor mill, it was stated Adam Barringer was/is a racist because of his membership in the Angler club. As a Black woman, I do not confirm nor deny such a statement because I only spoke with Barringer briefly and I do not have any history or any voting record.
When asked for specific instances to make their claim stand no one can recall an actual incident. I would never call myself a road scholar. However, I can say blaxploitation was an absolute culprit here. If anyone remembers the '70s and the films, you may agree that move was a pimp move! How could I make such accusations, you would ask? It is not based on the fact I am a Woman of Color. It is based on my dual Bachelors in African and African American Studies, studied American and African racist tendencies in England, read countless books on the subject, President of The Black student Union during college in a predominantly White school while fighting all kinds, and lived it.
Therefore, Blaxploitation does not surprise me, make me wince, or excite me in the least when I see it. However, when the individuals who have made visible verbal strides within a community to connect the two halves uses blaxploitation to incite a group, what must one believe? I think the assumption can be made that someone in that camp must view the people on the Westside, myself included, as a bunch of ‘dumb n……’.
To spread such bold face lies to incite voting would only mean that they too believe there is no intelligent life on the Westside of the tracks. To play on an entire race exploited historical mental faculties is downright rude and wrong and I, myself, perhaps the only one, was flabbergasted.
Trust me, Adam Barringer was not my first choice, I absolutely loved Sally Mackay because of her willingness to try to make a difference and wanted her to have another two years to complete something.
However, within that instant it dawned on me: what the @#$%! I guess there is a little desperation in all of us that would make us do some things we are not so proud of sometimes.
New Smyrna Beach is a small town and I would undoubtedly be blasted for my commentary and probably black listed from individuals who thought it was acceptable to spout such fallacies in the face of an election.
Should it be overlooked? The Lord makes it clear: Love covers a multitude of sins. And it is also made clear, when will we stand up and say enough is enough regardless of who is spouting the tomfoolery.
If Adam Barringer and Judy Reikers’ plans are to close down the Babe James (which I highly doubt), just let it be made known, the Westside would not go quietly into the night! Be placed on noticed this day: The Westside is not for sale and should not be pimped for any reason!

About the Blogger

Kerry-Anne Purkiss's picture

Kerry Anne-Purkiss lives in Edgewater with her husband, Wayne, and their
four children. She is executive director and founder of KC Society, a
community teen organization. She has a master's degree in reading State
University of New York at Courtland. The blog, "Sound of Silence" (and its contents), is the sole copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, and cannot be reproduced, copied or published in whole or in part elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the publisher., and are owned by NSB News LLC. All three domains fall under the umbrella of Headline Surfer, a registered trademark.

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