You have to know when it’s time to let go. Leaving is a leader move, right out of Nelson Mandela’s playbook. We should all aspire.
Speaking of those who fought to reclaim their potential on the other side of an unfair system set-up to crush their dignity, this week in Chicago something remarkable happened, Chance The Rapper called for a press conference and when Chance The Rapper calls for a press conference, people take notice.
There was a lot of noise about Chance The Rapper becoming Chance The Mayor. But he took a step back from the spotlight and, “narcissistically speaking,” recognized that right now in his life he was more in love with himself in the spotlight than with what he could do with the spotlight to shed light on the south side neighborhoods ravaged by the darkness of school closings, shuttered businesses and mass shootings every weekend which have become so commonplace they go unreported.
They call it “black on black crime.” But I call it crime. You know why? I’ll tell you why. I’m not an asshole.
Speaking of listening to what’s important to the people you’re lucky enough to love, a friend tipped me off about the launch party for a candidate seeking the mayorship. I went there skeptical. I figured The Money Guys would back The Daley Family and the cast from The Real Housewives Of The Same Ole Same Ole would be paraded out for the people of Chicago to roll our eyes at.
I was cynical. I was playing it safe. In other words, I was boxed up emotionally, acting like a brat. But standing in the room listening to this candidate, I suddenly felt a desire to let go.
Let go of knowing what I was doing. Let go forecasting the outcome. Let go of conversations where the first thing I’m told is why I’m wrong; in fact, get up from those conversations, excuse myself, walk into the bathroom, take a piss, wash my hands, dry my hands under the rocketship hand dryer, look into the mirror and remind myself that someone else telling me I’m wrong doesn’t mean I’m wrong, it means I need to reevaluate who I let sit next to me.
Cuz fuck that guy!
It begs the question: do I think Amara Enyia can win?
Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? Oh wait! I know! That’s what the Know-It-Alls told me about President Trump. And President Obama.
The black guy?
The con man?
I don’t exactly remember what Chance The Rapper said when he endorsed Amara Enyia, but it was something about letting go of the predictable impulse to vote for who COULD win instead of trusting how you feel about who SHOULD win. It’s my fault. I blame myself. Somewhere along the way I bought the lie, “You’re not adult until your dreams are squashed.”
But we’re a city of dreamers…
From Humboldt Park to Hyde Park, Pilsen to Pulaski, Edgewater to Englewood, Bronzeville to Andersonville, Oak Park to Wicker Park, the people of Chicago are crying out for a public transportation system to liberate us from the shadow of segregation, a shadow which keeps us apart, a shadow unworthy of a city crying out for more, crying out to know each other, help each other, date each other, take a hot date to a new neighborhood and eat tacos.
No mayor has taken this on. Why? I’ll tell you why. They only see what they bring to the job. I know this because I see myself in all the mayors of Chicago but I’m tired of looking at me. There have been too many me’s. We need a different perspective. We need a different voice. We need a different hero, a different heroine who didn’t make the casting call for The Real Housewives Of The Same Ole Same Ole.
The power structures are shifting. Why do you think white guys and the 53% of white women who attached themselves to those white guys are so fucking angry? They can’t stand giving up what was never theirs to begin with. You cannot tell someone who’s never earned a Goddamn Thing in their lives to let go. They don’t know how.
Someone send out the Bat-Signal.
Chance The Rapper is Batman, taking on the bad guys only we’re the bad guys, we the people, our willingness to accept who could win instead of who should win. I’m turning away from the tote board but at the same time I’m leaving things to Chance.
I’m voting for Amara Enyia.