By C.B. HANIF
Editor’s note:C.B.Hanif is a former South Florida Times managing editor,and former editorial columnist for The Palm Beach Post. This essay features his Langston character, a tribute to Langston Hughes’ Jesse B. Semple.
“OK Hanif,” said Langston as I stepped into the barbershop,“What’s your take on the late white hope?”
No politics today, I said as I slid into his chair, I’m just here for a haircut.
“Plus you already know his take,” said Brother Steve,working on Blackwell’s Afro in the next chair.“C.B.ain’t no dummy,just like the 99 percent of black folks who always knew Donald Dump was an egomaniac con man bigot disaster waiting to happen.”
“Well count me in the one percent,” said Blackwell.“Michelle and Barack can give speeches all day ’til election day,but Donald is gonna kick Mrs. Clinton’s electoral butt.”
“In your dreams, Mr. Resident Republican Apologist,”said Langston.“The Hillary landslide is comin’ just like I been sayin’, and don’t forget you heard it here first. If the Obama Coalition turns out and votes – enlightened whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, youth – it’s all over but the future.”
“Well don’t forget there’s moreWikileaks emails coming down the pike,” Blackwell said. “You think you know your girl Clinton?Wait’ll Donald wraps the next terrorist attack around her and Obama’s neck.”
“But it’s you guys’ policies that brought us the terrorists,” replied Langston. “And what’s more important? Hillary’s emails,or your party’s constant, systemized voter suppression that C.B.’s media buddies like to ignore? I know your family dates back to when all black folks were in the party of Lincoln.But that’s not Dump’s white nationalist party of today. He’s got a handful of brown-nosing Negroes, plus some KKKs and the neo-Nazi’s, and his bigoted tea party base that wouldn’t dump him even if he called a news conference to shoot a baby on live TV.”
“Don’t be so mean,man,” said Blackwell.
“I’m just keeping it real,” Langston said. “The reality is, all that plus Faux News won’t get him elected.He won the primary with their base talking about ‘Take our country back,’ desperate to preserve the privilege they grew up with. But he never had a chance of getting 50 percent of America. Not today.We already told them we ain’t going back.”
“That’s why their only hope was to keep dumping on Hillary,” said Brother Steve. “One of ’em even admitted they started the whole Benghazi investigation thing just to bring her approval numbers down. Did the same with Barack.Said right off the bat they wanted the president to fail. That’s treason, but instead of Hanif’s media buddies calling ’em out on it, they just let ’em slide, like always.”
“And Obama being such a class act,” said Langston,“he keeps going high when they go low, just like Michelle said. That’s why they’re so scared of Hillary. She won’t be vindictive, like Dump,but she is gonna take ’em to school, such as my latest prediction:appointing Obama to the Supreme Court.”
“I have to admit it’s going to be great to finally have a woman in theWhite House,” Blackwell said.“But look man, your Dems haven’t helped black folks in 40 years.”
“Actually,” replied Brother Steve, “who hasn’t helped black folks in 40 years, is your trickle-down,obstructionist GOP that gave us Clarence Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court, but won’t approve Obama’s appointments.Just imagine a Dump appointee to the court. Remember, this is a guy whose latest wife posed for nude porn photos – excuse me, art photos – and who even said he would hit on his own daughter if she wasn’t his daughter.”
“And did you see him put his hands on her butt at their convention?”
“Don’t go there Langston,” Blackwell said.
“I wasn’t going to mention it,” said Brother Steve. “But when everybody was talking about it,I Googled it.The first thing turned up was a video: ‘Trump touches Ivanka in a way no dad should.’”
“Contrast that with that classy Mr. and Mrs.Khan,”Langston said,“and their Gold Star son – you know, the kind of folks Dump wants to tell us are all terrorists.We always knew better,we been having Muslims as next-door neighbors and even family members since Elijah and Malcolm and Muhammad Ali.”
“You heard Dump’s latest baloney, right?” said Brother Steve. “‘Now he’s a counterpuncher’? No, she’s the counterpuncher.They have dumped on Hillary for decades, and she keeps getting up and in their grill trying to do good for people.It’s another reason why they hate her so much.Oh,and‘rigged system’? Now,all of a sudden, it’s rigged? It’s been rigged. At least Hillary, and Barack, played by their rules. But when folks besides old white dudes start advancing in the system, it’s rigged? Bernie even snookered those young Millennials with that rigged talk.”
“Young and dumb,” laughed Langston, “just like we use to be. It’s good the kids are getting on board,they just need historical perspective. They oughta go to YouTube and listen to Gil Scott-Heron’s B Movie. I’m glad Hanif told me to go check it out again.We sure could use a serious poet like Gil around today to break down this Dump mess. I love that opening line: ‘First thing I want to say is: Donald Trump my —.”
“OK, let’s keep it clean in here,” said Steve. “But it’s about time some those young whippersnappers got involved sted of spending their time shaking the booty. For example we need the Black Lives Matter kids to get their folks voting, then stay involved and start running for office themselves.”
They’re coming along, I chimed in. The NAACP and Urban League chapters, the churches and sororities and fraternities have been preparing many of them.
“Well, it’s just like I been saying,” Langston replied. “Black lives don’t matter, if black folks don’t vote.”