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Retribution From A Gangsta
11/18/2015 4:58:28 PM

By Barney Blakeney

Like most others, I couldn’t believe my ears - North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey vowing to retaliate against those he said waged a nasty election campaign to unseat him in the Nov. 3 municipal election. I’ve been around a long time and have seen a lot of political shenanigans, but Summey’s remarks totally were unexpected.

Over the years I’ve seen some municipal leaders who everyone understood were not the people you want to mess with any ole way. Joe Riley is one. He’s a good guy and smooth as silk, but you don’t want to get in his cross hairs. I think most people know that Joe is one cool cucumber. He’s calm and methodical, but beneath the unravelled exterior lies a firestorm.

I think that’s a trait of highly successful people, they’re aggressive, unyielding. And they don’t forget.

The real suave ones never let you know they’re coming. A guy once crossed me. We had a physical confrontation. I got the worse of the battle. Later I spoke with the Black community’s midnight mayor, whom we all know is another smooth guy you don’t want to cross. I told him I wanted retribution. The mayor told me to always keep those kind of thoughts to yourself.

Summey knows that. The guy is gangsta. Keith Summey came out of the North Area’s gangsta world. His father-in-law was one of the most powerful men in the North Area back in the day. Summey ain’t no joke. Look at what he’s done for North Charleston. In my opinion, he’s the best thing that’s happened for the North Area in the last 100 years. But the guy ain’t sophisticated. He’s no Joe Riley gentleman.

The real Keith Summey came out the night he reflected on his win at the polls. He was ticked off that so many people openly defied him. Some folks openly said what most Black folks have been thinking all along.

Civility never was tossed aside during the campaigns, even during his declaration of vengeance, Summey was civil. What was tossed out during the campaign and Summey’s declaration, were raw emotions.

The allegations made against the Summey administration during the campaign are not new. What’s new is no one ever confronted the mayor in such a way publicly. The audacity of a young Black man to publicly criticize such a powerful white man. Back in the day that nigro might have been lynched. Today, it’s about a different kind of retribution.

Now Black folks are backpeddlin offah Summey’s case. I talked to some folks two weeks ago when the thing happened. They were indignant.

Now I’m hearing folks talk about accepting apologies and a willingness to see if Summey will be vindictive. You think that gangsta wasn’t serious about retribution?

The Summey administration has turned its back on North Charleston’s Black community for 21 years. What makes anyone think all of a sudden anything will change because Summey realizes he needs to use a little more finesse?

Black folks are hopeful people. Our hope brought us through slavery, Jim Crow and the neo-reconstruction era we’ve seen the last 50 years since the Civil Rights Movement died. I’m not surprised Black folks hope Keith Summey will change the policies that have maintained North Charleston’s urban Black communities among the most crime-ridden, under-educated, unemployed and disadvantaged in America. Against such adversity we have nothing left except our hope.

But the Black communities of North Charleston should not be swayed from the rebellion born during the recent mayoral election campaign by pontificating negros unwilling to acknowledge the gangsta in a mayor who has taken the lump of coal that was North Charleston and pressured it into one of the state’s finest jewels while simultaneously maintaining its Black underclass.

Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t got nothing against Keith Summey, he’s just doing what any successful gangsta does, capitalize on and exploit their subject population. In fact, I like Keith Summey. I think he’s a decent guy for a white boy. Black folks in North Charleston just have to make him do what he’s supposed to for their communities as well.

That ain’t gonna happen with a bunch of negros who feel that all that’s required are press conferences and public statements. Black folks in North Charleston just elected five Blacks to city council - half the city’s political power rests in their hands.

It’s a new day in North Charleston. Just as Chicago took its city back from gangstas like Capone and the Daleys, the people of North Charleston have the opportunity to take their city back as well.

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