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November 10, 2006

More election night photographs

Notice anything?

The whole album can be viewed here.

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Well drinks $7.50?

Oh, not that.

It could be that, in an attempt to heal rifts created by earlier insensitive remarks, Allen insisted on doing as much business as possible with African-American firms throughout his campaign.

What? It could be.

I'm reminded of that scene in "Buffalo Soldiers" when a black GI is forced to serve drinks at the officer's party in a Confederate uniform.

I doubt if even one of the liquored-up GOP honkies noticed. They wouldn't notice the nature of the help serving the booze any more than they'll notice the brand name of the urinal they're going to drain the filtered booze into. It’s all the same to them.

Ah, yes, the state of Virginia. I remember it well.

That's nothing. I've been to the Sunday brunch at the Tara-esque Jefferson Hotel in Richmond and happened to be there at the same time as a pre-parade gathering by the Sons of the Confederacy. Pasty men in gray Confederate Army uniforms, pasty women in giant crinolines, and the staff doling out the goodies were almost all black. I felt like I'd just stepped out of the Wayback Machine. It was one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever found myself in. (But I had the brunch anyway.)

I don't believe that shot...except I'm seeing it with my own eyes!

"Notice anything?"

They serve whites there? hahahaha I still recall living in southern Maryland in the 70's. Still recall the bars with entrances for blacks in back, or my fav, King's Tavern that had two front doors. Walk in, there is a wall down the middle until it hits the bar. Bartender, he can serve both whites on the right, and the blacks on the left.

I shit you not. And mind you, this was by choice: There were plenty bars there where both whites and blacks socialized, though usually in their own groups.

It reminds me of a book review I read several years ago: a Harvard-educated black man did a sort of update on "Black Like Me," taking a job as a busboy at an exclusive country club peopled with Ivy League brahmin scions (don't say that three times fast near a wormhole). He reported seeing a young whiteman saying with alarm, "that busboy has the diction of an educated white person!"

"Hey, do one of you macacas have change for a 20?"

What? That the bar staff is all black?

That looks so normal to me I had to read the comments to notice. I worked my way through college working banquet service; at least half the time, I was the only white American on the floor. (That was in Charlotte NC, not Richmond.) Banquet waiting is hard, low-status work; like most kinds of hard, low-status work, it's done largely by minorities. (I had many colleagues who were immigrants.)

So I would suspect that the all-black staff is more a function of majority-black Richmond, and banquet work's normal demographics, than anything campaign specific; I'm pretty sure that Jefferson-Jackson Day would look the same.

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