"I ain’t playing Dixie" Aberration in Atlanta

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2006 at 10:22 am

I Ain’t Gonna Play Dixie

When I was in high or elementary school there was a song out called “I Ain’t Gonna play Sun City. It was about how recording artists had gathered together and decided that because of the awful policies of Apartheid in South Africa, they were not going to perform in South Africa. By the time the song was recorded millions of lives had been lost in the struggle for equality and freedom of non-whites in South Africa.

Last year I attempted to take fate into my own hands and tried to jumpstart a career for myself and decided to join the states leading technology organization. Though I’ve placed it on my resume to tell you the truth I only attended one meeting. I did volunteer at one event which was really wonderful and the event coordinator was really a great individual. I was going to volunteer again this year but I saw an ad in the leading technology magazine that was disturbing to me. One of the consultants to a large technology company that sponsored the event in the area had made some very disturbing comments regarding poor blacks last year and when I saw her bright ad listing that she consulted with the area tech company. My first reaction was I ain’t playing Dixie.

The premise for this conclusion was, I am partially unemployed and was a student at the time the incident I am about to relay to you happened. I read all I can about getting a job. Well many of the publications told me to join the local industry association in my area which I did. I ended up attending the woman’s meeting for this organization. I suppose I should have joined known entities for networking. As far as women’s organizations go I had been invited to the Atlanta Section meeting of an African American organization several years ago and often attended the political events of the same organization in my county Dekalb, I had also attended some “general” tech meetings that were mostly male because the subject was technical, both groups had made me feel welcomed and had not brought any social commentary into the meeting and I suppose I should say that I had been to many meetings in Atlanta from Kick off for the Democratic Convention as a teenager, UNCF, March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, and a long list of organizations that I participated in “years” ago. Up to this meeting I could honestly say that Atlanta was a corporate town, a town that was soooooooooooooo politically correct in public. Well in any event this little women’s meeting was very shocking in terms of the over t insensitivity that it projected towards the more and more specifically poor black women.

As the woman spoke I began to write down every word, she had some relevant points that I wrote down. Finally she made a comment that made me sit up and gasp. She said something to the effect that there are some people that stir up the pot and are people that you need, they are people who say things that need to be said; Bill Cosby and his comments towards the poor are comments that needed to be said. I gasped and of course as a political science major I had to gasp. Because the things that Bill Cosby had said towards poor blacks had been completely hideous, and Bill Cosby had that week been charged with raping a woman. For a woman’s meeting this was totally inappropriate. Of course I questioned her about it and she blew it off,. I suppose in a city with many black professionals I should have caught on when I saw less then 5 blacks in the room. I should have further caught on when one of the black members suggested that I go to MIT; Minorities in Technology that this was not the environment for me. Several members did come up and apologize to me and say I don’t believe she said that. Finally I honestly did meet several nice people there, I suppose they would have been my fellow technological people, the women who actually worked in hands on technology. The sad truth about technology organizations is that they are so filled with non technical people that they cease being an industry organization, this incident is what led me to webgrrls and since there was no existing chapter I tried to start one, and the strange thing is the very people that I wanted to serve and tried to serve could not be served because of the interference of a non technical person. In any event I am going on a tangent and need to get to the point.

I was so looking forward to volunteering at this years charity event given by this company, however I will not be doing this because, as New York Life’s motto is “it’s the Company You Keep” and if this is how this company feels towards the black and poor I will not be giving my time away tot his event. Again the Volunteer coordinator is a wonderful human being I had so much fun with her last year, she is not employed by this company but another that goes out of its way to be politically correct.

As a poor black struggling woman who has had some problems, but overcome them, who has made some mistakes but overcome them, help from people who create the very negative atmosphere that makes it impossible to make an honest decent living is not worth it.

For those of you not totally familiar with Bill Cosby’s comments I will blog articles associated with them. Finally I’ve spoken on class dichotomies often in this blog. Many people are promoting a dual class system among blacks in this country; however the reality is that they world may not sustain that. We live in a world where Microsoft is going to China and giving IQ tests to everyone and taking the best no matter what their background. I really don’t think the duality of a black class system would survive this stringent test.

Anyway I sat on that “story” a long time. However to see that a company who proposed to do good was associated with a human being who had such great hate and distaste for poor blacks was just to much for my SHHH to take. I was sent a non-disclosure agreement from another member of the women’s organization asking that I sign a none disclosure agreement, one of the statements in the contract was that I not disclose “stories” which I’ve signed several of these agreements in the past and never saw “stories” listed. Sorry I did not sign it, because honestly I could not figure out where to sign.

In any case I am finished with this “story” for today. Bill Cosby Comments will be blogged after this.

P.S. I have often said in the past and may have blogged this in the past, Atlanta has historically been a city too busy to engage in serious social commentary because they have been too obsessed with making money and professionalism. The above is not the business side of Atlanta I know. This is strange for Atlanta.


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