I POSTED, "YOU CANNOT USE JACKSONVILLE AND PROGRESSIVE IN THE SAME SENTENCE", earlier on Facebook. Nothing is truer, for me. And as expected, I received “pro and con” comments from my Facebook Friends. From “I know many Progressives in Jacksonville” to “Jacksonville is not as bad as some other places I know” to “I could not disagree with you more.”
So, Lets unpack:
1) I did not post MY comments asking for your support or your blessings or your agreement. I could give let’s than a Tinker’s Damn if you agree with me that Jacksonville is NOT Progressive.
2) I do not work for the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, so it is not my responsibility to be a Jacksonville Cheerleader.
3) Jacksonville is still very much Racist and even with a Pro Football team. I see very few changes in that.
4) Jacksonville’s religious community both Black and White are as passive and non-threatening as other White folks and Black folks in the Jacksonville community, and they act as if they just found out Jesus Christ was crucified. I don’t know if some of them who believe in the Bible, internalized that Jesus also arose from the dead. But that is how "un-engaged" they are with what is happening in Jacksonville. Speaking out against Racism and For Civil Rights and Against Police Brutality and For Equality...Not From My Pulpit! But let someone give out "pennies" as offerings to FIGHT CRIME and they are the first ones in line with their hands out, as if they are law enforcement officers.
5) Many Blacks in Jacksonville who should know better, have taken a Go-Along-to-Get-Along posture as if speaking out against Injustice and Police Brutality and Racism will sour their “good” relationships with their White Friends. Not only is being quiet a sign of complicity, but saying nothing will not make Racism disappear.
6) Jacksonville still refuses to have real conversations about Racism because those conversations make Whites in Jacksonville and Blacks in Jacksonville, Uncomfortable.
Whites in Jacksonville ALWAYS want to tell me what THEY think is best for me. I call it “The White Expert on Black Folks Syndrome.” And they get their feelings hurt when I tell them to “Throw that stupid sh*t out of the window.”
Then Black folks go along with the “White Experts” as if that is a way to make peace. White Experts, like White Privilege and White Racism is a White Arrogant Lifestyle which has permeated Jacksonville since time Immemorial.
Fairness...Equality...and Civil Rights...are not even footnotes in Jacksonville’s history and its conversations...and you have Blacks in Jacksonville who would dare say, “I know a lot of White Progressives in Jacksonville." Well Whoop-De-Doo. You must keep them hidden.
WE can join hands and sing... have prayer vigils... rally around art... go to luncheons and dinners ... have your study circles about Racism...and visit each other's churches all you want...all a “contribution to Progressiveness," but if you think that is ALL that is necessary to call yourself a Progressive, you are only fooling Yourselves and Blacks who do not know any better. Jacksonville is still Jacksonville...with its feet in 2019...and its head in the 1950’s and the 1960’s ... and IS STILL not Progressive.
Jacksonville is the home of my birth and my late wife’s birth and my children's birth and my grandchildren's birth and my great grandchild's birth and many of my friends' place of birth. I went to school in Jacksonville...I attend church in Jacksonville and I fight Racism (and fought Racism) in Jacksonville. I reserve the right to Criticize Jacksonville Whenever I want and Wherever I want, until Jacksonville does better...and that is With or Without your help. And I certainly do not need your approval or blessings.
The Struggle Continues.
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.