Re: PIEing SF Mayor Brown was racis & elitist? Why or why not?

ARON KAY* (pieman@pieman.org)
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 05:45:09 -0500


pieing willie brown involved class not race....however the black clergy
who claim to be progressive are asking the courts to jail other
progressives....due to a pie....
didnt the communist party sell out the anarchists during the spanish
civil war? if so, its an instant replay


Tom Boland wrote:
> 
> Was it racist or elitist to PIE San Francisco's black mayor Willie
> Brown "on behalf of homeless people"? Why or why not?
> 
> See related article below:
> 
> http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/examiner/archive/1998/11/17/NEWS10662.dtl
> 
> FWD San Francisco Examiner - Nov. 17, 1998
> 
> BYE, BYE, MISUNDERSTOOD PIE
> 
> Rob Morse
> 
> AS SIMPLE as pie. Nothing in San Francisco is as simple as pie, even
> pies.
> 
> Ten days ago Mayor Brown was hit in the face with three pies by a
> group claiming it was "a political act" on behalf of the homeless.
> 
> Now the three members of the so-called Biotic Baking Brigade, charged
> with misdemeanors by the district attorney, have been charged with
> racism by the African American community.
> 
> It's more complicated than that, of course. But basically, three white
> smart-alecks can't hit a black mayor of a major city with cherry pies
> and not expect to raise some hackles in the black community.
> 
> "As African Americans we have suffered humiliation enough, and here we
> are with a black mayor being humiliated again," said the Rev. Cecil
> Williams.
> 
> Williams was one of dozens of African American community leaders and
> ministers, some of whom hadn't spoken to each other for years, who
> appeared before the Board of Supervisors on Monday in support of
> Supervisor Amos Brown's resolution to provide more security for the
> mayor and the supervisors. It passed unanimously.
> 
> "I wonder how they (the pie-throwers) would feel if they saw three or
> four African Americans coming at them," said the Rev. Arnold Townsend
> to the board. "I guess there would be a different response."
> 
> A spokesman for the Biotic Baking Brigade, Al Decker, said the black
> community leaders were playing the race card, and it wasn't warranted.
> 
> "The Biotic Baking Brigade has pied seven people,and six of them were
> white men in positions of power," said Decker. "What we did to the
> mayor focuses on his policies."
> 
> By the way, Decker used to be known as "Al Baker," but dropped the
> alias because he wants people to know he isn't ashamed of tossing pies
> as a means of social change.
> 
> "I debated Supervisor Amos Brown on TV last week, and he raised the
> race issue three times," Decker said. "It's just ridiculous."
> 
> *
> 
> The ministers and community leaders who spoke before the supervisors
> didn't talk about race only. They also spoke of how they teach
> children to settle issues by dialogue, yet pieing the most accessible
> of mayors is treated as a joke. They spoke of how offended they were
> that the pie gang would do this in the name of the homeless.
> 
> "When you are concerned about the homeless, you don't make grandstand
> plays to get in the newspaper," said the Rev. Townsend. "You do
> something."
> 
> "They can send their pies to Glide Church," said the Rev. Williams.
> "We'll even come pick them up."
> 
> The bottom line for the pie-throwers, though, was expressed by the
> soft-spoken labor leader Leroy King: "We want some jail time."
> 
> *
> 
> This was a best-of-Board of Supes meeting. After the black leaders
> expressed their outrage at the mayor being pied, Supervisor Mark Leno
> made a presentation honoring Dame Edna.
> 
> It's tough on the faculties to go from a racial uproar about pies in
> the mayor's face to a tall Australian guy in Queen Mother drag. But
> this is San Francisco, and most people in the supes chamber survived
> the cognitive G-forces.
> 
> The pie in the mayor's face may not have been funny to most in the
> audience, but Dame Edna made quite a few of them laugh.
> 
> OK, it was a completely bizarre Board of Supes meeting, even by supes
> standards. But the question I was left with, and I believe leads to
> more serious questions, is why pie-throwing can have racial overtones.
> 
> *
> 
> Let me say that I am sure the people in the Biotic Baking Brigade
> intended no racial insult, and did not pie Mayor Brown because he is
> African American. I also completely understand why African Americans
> would be upset about it.
> 
> Let us consider the image of a distinguished black mayor covered with
> goo. It was not a pretty sight, even though he was wearing a warm-up
> jacket and not an Italian suit.
> 
> Those of us who remember the late Stokely Carmichael also remember the
> sit-ins at lunch counters in the South where white toughs poured
> ketchup and mustard all over black protesters' heads.
> 
> Imagery counts.
> 
> Let us also consider some of the racial undertones and overtones one
> hears in conversations about Mayor Brown. Most are not overtly racist.
> Most do not use the ugly words.
> 
> People say things like, "Well, you know, he only cares about his
> people."
> 
> I say, who's that? The people of Pacific Heights? The developers and
> lobbyists? The people of San Francisco who smile and say hello to him
> on the street, even if they disapprove of his handling of Muni or the
> homeless issue?
> 
> No, whatever his flaws, this is an intriguing man and a great
> politician.
> 
> Hit him with a pie, and the incident may make the front page of the
> New York Times, as it did last week. Maybe it drew attention to the
> plight of the homeless, or maybe just to the plight of Willie Brown as
> yet another mayor saddled with the homeless.
> 
> But you can understand why it draws the attention of African Americans
> to something else.
> 
> Nothing is as simple as pie in America. Nothing is as complex as race
> and dignity.
> 
> EBD FORWARD
> 
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-- 

ARON KAY......http://www.pieman.org 
              http://www.calyx.net/~pieman
           
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