Presenting: Mr. Black History Month!!!

 omg its still black history month! had you forgotten yet?? i hadnt, in spite of what my sparse updating may otherwise suggest. i didnt forget; im just exercising my right to be blatantly shiftless without having a white man cracking a whip at my earlobes (let us all thank the ancestors for fighting for that right). its been on my mind, continuously, and i thought to myself, self? you know what black history month needs? black history month needs a king and queen. the competition has been fierce, let me tell you… ive been considering some top contenders, including Tuffy from ‘Bamboozled’ ((the guy who sang his heart out about how he be smackin his hoes), Leon (who made love to the silver screen as Little Richard in The Little Richard Story and David Ruffin in The Temptations), and Mr. T.  but it was not until i saw a re-run of the Colbert Report yesterday that  i made up my mind.  or more appropriately, my mind was made up for me.  ladies and gentlemen, i present to you, Mr. Black History Month:  John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, PA.

i’m sure you’re askin yourself which one is John. he’s the big white one in the front. now, i’m sure you’re asking yourself how the fuck some big white dude got crowned Mr. Black History, and i will answer that question to the best of my ability*: …look at him! is that not the coolest mayor you’ve ever seen?? okay okay. let’s start at the beginning. John Fetterman is six foot fucking eight, three hundred fucking pounds. though he looks like he could have potentially been kicked out of your friendly neighborhood neo nazi group for being just a little too angry, or like he listens to nothing but ICP all the live long day, Fetterman is a Harvard grad and has an MA in public policy. his arms are covered in tats, most notable being the dates of deaths that have occurred in the city of Braddock during his tenure as mayor. yeah, kind of like how your cousin Pookie got ‘RIP MAN-MAN 1976-2009 REAL GANGSTAS DO DIE’ tatted on his back after Man-Man died of complications of being shot in his ass by his girlfriend Raynita. oh, and you know how members of the Crips purposefully mispell words that have ‘ck’ in them, using double ‘c’s instead? (ie – ‘trick’ becomes ‘tricc,’ etc)? …he changed the spelling of the town’s name from Braddock to Braddocc. no, seriously. it’s on the freakin website.

 

no, seriously. this guy is a MAYOR! of a real place!! not a made up one!!

no, seriously. this guy is a MAYOR! of a real place!! not a made up one!!

 

speaking of the website… LOL. did you SEE it?? when you choose to sell your city by putting a picture of you standing and ice grilling in front of a big pile of something that was destroyed likely by the most depressing societal elements you can muster… dude. it looks like it was created by a 15 year old emo kid sittin in the dark in his mom’s basement listening to My Chemical Romance, struggling to find just the right font to use to express the irony and misunderstanding that grips his soul on the regular. it’s awesome. it’s so inappropriately awesome. oh, further evidence that he isnt an excised neo nazi? the town of braddock/cc is only about 30% white (as of 2000), and his first course of action was not to expell other 70% of the population. (i should note that the town is 66% black. dude. i currently cannot imagine or think of a blacker city/town/state). see? he likes brown folks! i dont believe in bestowing honorary blackness on non-black folks but i gotta admit. if i did, this guy would get it.

all jokes aside tho, this dude is really awesome, and the town itself, the history and all, is pretty interesting, imo. read about it!  write to the mayor!  he’s got a gmail address!  lol!  AWESOME!

*the real answer: affirmative action. i got quotas to fill.

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(x-posted from brokey.)

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Brokey McPoverty, aka Tracy Clayton, is a writer and humorist from Louisville, KY. You can find her writing at Uptown Magazine, ranting about hair at Natural Hair Problems, teaching the babies what The Man doesn’t want you to know at Little Known Black History Facts, and working endlessly to remind you that your favorite song probably sucks at Splackavellie Central. Oh, yeah. And on Twitter.

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9 comments to Presenting: Mr. Black History Month!!!

  • am i wrong for wanting to move there now?
    i mean, come on
    it looks like the mayor is riding SPINNERS!
    this is where i belong.

    either braddock, pa or dade county.

  • This is the best thing I’ve heard all month.

  • Okay, normally I don’t say this – but… “Heeeeeyyyy! I’ll be your ride or die chick Mr. Mayor!”

    6’8”? 300 pounds? Aw shucks…with Spinners??? Come on now…

    Just when I thought I saw it all.

  • you have seriously just made my morning.

  • Winslowalrob

    Any American mayor who is not this guy should just resign…

  • not buying

    Dig a little deeper, friend. This guy’s agenda is to bring “outside energy” to Braddock. Read: young, white, probably went to art school, probably wants to sell clever t-shirts on etsy. The black faces are just for show. And they will be gone soon if fetterman has his way. ‘Cause you can buy a house in Braddock for change, but only if you have money in the bank to put on a roof and new pipes and all new wiring. Thank god for mommy and daddy’s money. Where do you think fetterman gets his money? I visited Braddock and I am not impressed. Bottom line: don’t trust the motherfucker. He is using the image of young black men to push the same old rich white dude agenda. Hello gentrification.

  • Jessica

    Since I’m white I don’t think it’s my place to speak on naming a white guy as “Mr. Black History Month” but I will respond to Not Buying’s comment.
    I live in Pittsburgh near Braddock and have been volunteering there in various capacities and have met the mayor multiple times. My boyfriend works in an afterschool program in Braddock and also works as a grantwriter for the mayor’s non-profit. Obviously residents (both white and black) are very sensitive to the issue that Not Buying raised of outsiders coming in and exploiting Braddock or just using it as a laboratory for experiments, but from what I can see, the mayor’s proving himself to be genuinely committed to preserving the community that’s there. To me, the fact that he’s been there for 8 years and that he’s living there with his wife and newborn son signals a commitment to the place. Whenever I’ve heard him speak about his goals for Braddock, and in the mission statement of his non-profit community renewal organization, he emphasizes that there are two key elements: 1) working within the community to provide employment and educational opportunities for residents and 2) bringing in outside energy. This outside energy has taken the form of foundation grants, specialty businesses like Fossil Free Fuels that you mentioned, and yes, some white liberal arts college grads working as Americorps members in tutoring and job-training programs.
    I’m not sure what you mean when you say you weren’t impressed when you visited Braddock. There’s certainly a lot more to be done there, but it sounds more like you were referring to specific actions of the mayor’s that you think were wrong. Can you elaborate?

  • MH

    “Hello gentrification”

    Seriously? There are nearby towns that are much safer with houses under $50k. The only rich white dude agenda in that whole part of the county is making sure that the state doesn’t try to merge Braddock with your town/borough. Keeping Braddock from being unincorporated is an uphill struggle. Gentrification is impossible and nobody is attempting it.

  • I don’t know…you’ve been there and I never have so you can ignore the rest of my remark if you’d like.

    From this NYT piece:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/us/01braddock.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    “He has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard but came to Braddock in 2001 to work for a county youth program.”

    He’s been there awhile for just a straight gentrification move, IMO. The problem is not growth and development, per se, but how it’s done. He’s also open that he relies on his dad’s money.

    Furthermore, the city is actually run by a county government of some kind, who is totally MIA from this story. So Fetterman is basically just a booster and concerned citizen. Fetterman has spent his own $$ on a non-profit and housing for at-risk kids.

    Yep, there’s some artists moving in, and an energy company, so maybe his next gig can be some kind of training or connecting kids with the energy company, even though it’s probably tiny. If he keeps getting small companies to move in and get a little sector going and find a way to generate local employment that way, then there’s some modest promise in store.

    I don’t deny it’s tiring hearing of the white middle-class hero. OTOH, the city sounds extremely fragile and I’m curious who else is in leadership positions besides the mayor and the absent county council. What kind of teachers, non-profit leaders, etc.? The town has less than 3k residents. I’m curious what else you think he should be doing…

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