What the hell?

I remember when my mother used to tell me this old saying: “Roman! If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say it at all!” At times, she used to yell that saying to me as well. As I was writing this, I had so much to say and did not know how to say it without thinking about the disgusting and inhumane way to let my community know why I feel this way. So, I am just going to say it!

What the hell? What was this person or owner (artist and business owner) thinking to allow a mural like that to go up on Chicago and Mayfield without community or community leaders input? Maybe, the artist and business owner did showcase the mural to the community leaders. However, the artist just did not give a good damn how it would affect the Austin community.

Anyone and anything associated with this mural need to be ashamed of themselves for allowing this garbage of a mural to exist in our community without our knowledge.

Every time I look at that mural, I remember reading and seeing pictures of our Black ancestors being portrayed as Jigger Boo’s, Coons, Spicks and other distasteful images in some of our history books. A cartoonish imagery and caricature describing Blacks with big lips, big teeth, big nose, nappy hair and round face that symbolizes a pig-like or monkey persona fashioned up on a mural for everyone to see 24/7, 365 days out of a year.

 At times in history, the illustration of Blacks was has been barbaric. This problem needs to be addressed at once. The mural is not a good representation of the Austin culture period and needs to come down.

As I walk by that disgusting mural, I feel sad for us as a community that we allow this bull crap to go up as a characterization of Austin. Someone who loves, sacrifices, lives and breathes Austin. As a person who fights behind the scenes to incorporate the Austin community in a positive light, this imagery is like spitting in my face and everyone else who lives in this community for decades and wants to see a better tomorrow for you, their children and grandchildren.

You and I see every day in Austin the killings, robberies, disrespect, drug addiction, bullying and other deficient portrayal of our community in the media. In addition, the media is not the one degrading us, it is us degrading us.

The degradation for financial gain is us. The degradation of pigeon-holding the people of Austin that is beneath our standards is us. The degradation of Chicago Avenue between Cicero and Austin as a Soul City is laughable because the mural does not have any Soul at all to me. The Soul of Austin is not in that mural.

We are better than this Austin! Stop portraying us in a negative light. Our children in the Austin community do not look like that at all. Sorry mom, I had to say it to them.

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com