Saturday, May 10, 2008

"FILTHADELPHIA"



Warning, this post is going to make some folks uncomfortable; or maybe not.


Today I was in a North Philadelphia visiting a client of mine, and after spending an hour or two with the lady, I headed back to my car. Philly parking being what it is, I was parked about a block from her house. While walking back to my car, a grown ass man who was walking ahead of me decided to throw a rather large box -that previously contained take out- right on the sidewalk in front of me.

Now please understand that nothing sets me off more than seeing people just throw trash on the f*****g sidewalk. There is absolutely no reason for it. It is nasty, inconsiderate, and just downright ignorant. Here in Philly we have a serious problem with that shit. (They don't call us "Filthadelphia" for nothing.) Folks will just throw their trash on the ground like it ain't shit. As if the ground is just one large trash receptacle (I am not mad at Nagin, he was right). But what does that say about the mind- set and the mentality of someone who does some ignorant shit like that? Clearly if you just throw your trash on a public sidewalk, or on someone's lawn, you don't care about the community in which you live or the image you project.

And black folks, can we talk? Why is it that I mostly see this shit in our neighborhoods? Why don't we care about keeping our neighborhoods looking beautiful? I go to some of the poorest white neighborhoods here in Philly (and yes I know they are white, because here in Philly we are divided like that ), and you can tell that the people there are poor, but you know what? Their shit is clean. The sidewalks are swept, the lawns are clean, and there is little or no graffiti on the walls. What the hell is it about our people that we think it's okay to mess up shit? Walk down the street, just throw whatever trash you have on the sidewalk, and there is a trash can two f*****g feet from you. Honest to god you have to wonder what the homes of some these people look like.....actually, never mind, I have seen that, too, and it ain't good.

"Oh come on field, why are you being so hard on our people, most of these folks are poor and don't know any better." Yeah okay, but since when did poverty have anything to do with just being plain nasty? It doesn't cost shit to pick up a piece of paper, or hold it a few seconds longer until you can throw it in the trash can. Sorry, it's time to declare jihad on some of you nasty ass Negroes giving the rest of us a bad name.
 
So fam. looks back at me, and I am giving him the fuzzy eye ball. Fam. gives me a look like; "yeah motherfucker, I just threw that shit on the ground, and what the fuck is it to you?" I size him up; it's the middle of the day, and the motherfucker looks high. He has the hardcore shit down pat, and he is probably thinking, pussy. Of course he would be wrong. And I am thinking right about now that I ought to just roll on his ass. Attorney shot to death on North Philly street, police are still trying to figure out the motive for the shooting. I think better of it and dip into my car. The motherfucker is still looking at me like he is waiting for me to say something. There is a few things I could say to his ignorant ass, but I hold it in. I am thinking I will just blog about the shit later when I get home.
 
As I drove away and looked in my rear view, I swear that I saw the motherfucker throw something else in the middle of the street. I really want to turn around, but I don't. Sometimes blogging can literally save your life.

63 comments:

The Ink said...

It is amazing how indifferent some folk are to how much of a difference a clean street makes as opposed to a dirty one.

Giuliani was a bastard of the highest order, but the whole broken window theory is not without merit.

Anonymous said...

Field, I'm glad you decided to write about the incident instead of saying "WTF" to the sideWalk Negro. Of course, you know had you said anything, there was going to be blood in the street, and you know you weren't even going there. We know you, Field, and we know that you know that you ain' ku-razy. Some folks just don't give a muckitty-muck, 'cause that's the way they "was raised."

Jonzee said...

I now live in bmote after living in NYC. There is a cleaning crew that cleans my block once a week... Yet some little bastards and some grown ones too manage to trash up the street in less than 24 hours... And we have a trash can on either end. Tired of picking trash up on front of my and the neighbors house,I staked out my stoop one night. I lot onto someone good about it. I mean good. One major part of attracting and keeping new residents in a city I'd being able to keep the streets clean and demonstrating pride. I will keep lighting onto folks who do this, I hope others will do the same. Our folks....its the crack generation and the me generation at work.

field negro said...

"Giuliani was a bastard of the highest order, but the whole broken window theory is not without merit."

Yes, sad but true.

"Field, and we know that you know that you ain' ku-razy..."

Well actually....


"One major part of attracting and keeping new residents in a city I'd being able to keep the streets clean and demonstrating pride"

jonzee, that is so true.

szechuanpork said...

One thing they did in AR is lower the fine from 500 to 100 so the police would be more likely to ticket offenders. I really think pride in your city etc... starts at home or doesn't at all.

James C. Collier said...

Amen!

Anonymous said...

lawd Field lawd.. you obviously do not take public transit. If you did you would be amazed at folks getting on the metro with their popeyes or McDs or Wendys and big gulps... dining right there stop after stop until time for them to exit.. which they gingerly do leaving their leftovers, gulp cups and garbage right on the floor or seat...Mind you now here in the west coast bay area, we have a rail system from the 1970s..it has cars with carpet floors and upholstery seats!!! Not like the formica MTR cars of NYC. So, one has to be careful not to sit in ketchup, tartar sauce and the like on all occasions. So, while i feel for you since i had this same reaction once when some kid threw their trash in the street and the public trash can was a mere 2.5 feet from them at the time.. no joke!!! i was about to light into young dreds ASSets but pulled up short when i detected a hint of rasta green medicine. His mind was comfortably numb. We must all get use to walking around with a host of folks that are anesthetised in varying degrees - sex, food, drugs, noize, drink. Pick your flavour of walking zombie. And, one might be wasting energy bringing them out of their shelled state[s] for underneath is a real big unknown that could be meek or extremely volatile.

segue--

i heard somewhere that the only predator of rats is humans. And that if the human populace declined, rats will evolve quite rapidly. Imagine rats the size of an armadillo or three-year old pit bull terriers running through the gutters, streets and subway tunnels at night.. and not just interested in your garbage cans no longer but you!!!

now, picture a turf war between the zombies and the big mofo rats..! who you think gonna win... feeling better now...

PS one reason i cut out the 14 hour nonstops across the pacific to asia was i got real mad once on a flight to china by the number of males [and some female] fellow passengers who after the meal services were so fast in and out of the loo you knew they failed to wash their hands... i mean if you can sit and see the door open and hear the flush still going and the offending party is exiting...one and one and one is "they better not be sitting next to me...heck naw!!!" anyway, circulating air and that lack of hygiene cured me fast. I now go in stages with a air carrier whose society is noted for its hygiene.

Leota2 said...

Yeah, sometimes I wonder.
I grew up in the sixties and seventies with images
of a crying Native American getting garbage thrown
beside him out the window of a moving car. Shit--we got preached at in school and at home. . . .
The thought of anyone dropping a piece of paper let alone garbage makes me want to howl at the perpetrator--. Which I've done a few times. I live in a small town so no gunplay was involved.

august said...

the thing is people like that have never owned anything in this life so they have very little to lose.

truth said...

This is a microcosm of all the problems in the inner city. It's the anti social culture of the street that would make someone throw trash on the ground in their own neighborhood.

The ignorant thing is, they probably associate throwing trash in the garage can with "Acting White."

There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. Even if you weren't taught to throw trash away into a garage can, which I find hard to believe, common sense should be able to guide you in this manner. It's just a sad state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

[TITO] Trash In, Trash Out.

Anonymous said...

Reading PA had blocks of poor 'white trash' housing for the factory workers. When goin' to the job in the am, lots of little old white ladies would be out cleaning their stoop. Many were scrubbing on their hands and knees. The black and Hispanic sections would be knee deep in waste. The minorities living in the white areas would be out at the same time, cleaning. Gives the racists lots of ammo when they go by and see stuff like that.

Mold

Anonymous said...

Littering Creates Jobs, It's messed up but it does!I stay in a Chicago and we're getting a lil better with our trash problem but my Grandpa used to make me clean up around our building every weekend, i hated it but now i sit back and see that the city hires people to clean the streets every week white, black , latino wherever,so maybe thats what you guys need to do?

jjbrock said...

Field would you call that being unpatriotic? Thanks for not being Killadelphia murder count 106.

heartsandflowers said...

One of the first things I noticed when I went to Toronto back in the 1980's was how clean the city was, They have trash cans on every corner and even designated recycling bins for glass, paper and plastic. I thought it was hilarious at the time but now know how important it is.

NSangoma said...

~
Now leave them nas·ti·dy Negroes alone.

It would seem that the good fathers' of your good city need to not only start regularly cane·in·nin Negroe derriere for throwing rounds at people standing on the sidewalks, but also cane·in·nin them for throwing trash on the sidewalks.

Cane dem Negroes, publicly; 3 hots and a cot is insufficient punishment for the things dhey do.

Rattans in the Negroe schools and rattans on the Negroe streets.

Or do we need some white college students to come clean up our 'hoods as a part of their summer community service project?
`

jody said...

Field... its not just north philly... here in center city, too! Even with the street sweepers and cans everywhere, people just drop trash.
Say what you will about Texas, one thing they got right was the Dont Mess With Texas Campaign.. which for all you who dont know is an anti-litter campaign. They got musicians from all genres of music to make promos that play on the radio and tv sayin Dont Mess With Texas.. that and they planted wild flowers all over the state. Results... the highways and cities are CLEAN and beautiful, especially in the spring.
I have often thought that if Philly could do the same... get Will Smith, the Roots, Bon Jovi, and others who are Philly area based musicians and artists to do promos and come up with a catchy, urban slogan, it would have the same effect.... Hey Nutter...are you listening????

gwpriester (i before e) said...

This says more about society as a whole. As you see these same comments are echoed by people everywhere.

When it comes right down to it, most people are pigs. No, stop. Actually pigs are cleaner than most people.

Hathor said...

When people do use the trash receptacles in center city, the City doesn't empty them enough. The City council thought it fine to grant only the City the right to recycle from the public streets and parks. The guys with shopping carts were doing a pretty good job of keeping the cans from being litter. I guess the City begrudged the few dollars they made.

Wine Dog said...

Field, I got to give you an AMEN! on this one. It's a pet peeve of mine as well. It's so ignorant. It makes me want to go to their house and empty my trash can on their porch, but I figure they're so ignorant they'd just wade through it.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Walking away from a moron who is wrong and deserves a good ass whopping is tough. I had to do it recently and it was like a haunting for a day or two until I told enough people about it and they all said, "yea, no choice, ya gotta walk away, ya coulda been shot or stabbed." Fucks with your man thing though.

Anonymous said...

My wife has me trained to pick up the streets when ever we can. On the way into stores we pick up the pathway and deposit in the receptical at the entrance. We do find the same problem as hathor. My wife and I ran into the same situation you did, however the fellow apologised when my wife bent down and picked up his trash. My wife, Ronnie and I are in our sixties, in shape at + 6ft. and armed with matching snubnosed .38's, which we find comforting.

Christopher Chambers said...

Be careful Field. The same aging Black Panther-ess who tracked me down after my first Washington Post mentions on the O man to call me a "race traitor" may find you, too. After, nothing--from youth gun violence to popping out babies a bit too nonchalantly, to trashing our own schools, our own neighborhoods, to watching my wife's alma mater Howard graduate about 20% fewer undergrad seniors than who enrolled in as freshman (and have abot 65% be female at that!)...NONE. NONE I say is our fault or responsibility.

You sir, are a House Negro for this post. You sir are one of those haughty Island Negroes who look down on Black Americans and oversimplify their plight!

Shame on you Field! SHAME!!!

Now I'll get to cooking this damn Mother's Day brunch for my wife before she kicks my ass...

MacDaddy said...

field, you used the word mindset. I think it's key. In the black community in which I lived, in Atlanta, the mind-set seemed to be one of family and community pride. People seemed to say, "We're not animals. We're people with respect, and our community is going to reflect that pride and self-respect."

But South side Chicago, where I lived during the summer, was a different story. No disrespect but the people in my neighborhood, for whatever reason, didn't seem to care. Their mindset seemed to be, "Mayor Daley and the folks down at city hall don't care about me, so I don't care about me or their neighborhood either."

It was sad. I remember walking a few blocks through a black neighborhood pass cut window and door screens, large furniture like sofas and mattresses on the sidewalks and trash all over; and I remember ending up in another poor but clean Polish neighborhood with no furniture or trash in sight-- where older white ladies literally swept the entrance to their front doors and nearby sidewalks with what looked like home-made brooms.

It may have been different in other neighborhoods on the South side. But that's what I saw in mine every summer. It kind of makes you wonder if there's a connection between the names "Filthadelphia" and "Killadelphia"-- between maddening violence and unnecessary trash.

hennasplace said...

I do not understand why anyone would just throw garage on the streets. What really gets me is when there is a trash can as you say a two feet away, and will still throw trash on the ground. it is usually people who do not live in the neighborhood and just throw their trash while walking on the street. I caught one person throwing his lottery ticket down in the front my house while I was looking out of the window, and yell out to him to pick it up. He did only to still throw it down a someone's else house a few doors up.

What is the difficultly in throwing trash in a garage can? Is it too taxing? In doing that, you are showing the wall that you have no pride in yourself or the community, and it has to stop. It's a health hazard. I was reading an article in the New York Press where in the South Bronx where one in four children have asthma due to the industrial factories, one being a trash recycling place and another that produce manure. I have asthma and I can stand it when I see people throwing trash on the streets polluting causing me not to breathe well. It is bad enough I have to suffer in the Spring and Summer with tree and grass pollen in the air, but the pollution further contributes to my coughing and wheezing. Damn it, now I am angry because my eyes are itching and it's another bad allergy day.

I have to tell you Field, that white people will not trash their neighborhood, but they will throw trash out of their cars on the New Jersey State Parkway. That's another thing annoys me trash flying out of cars. People will take their fast food bags and soda cups and throw them out of their cars than wait to get the next stop or destination to throw it in a trash can. Bastards!

field negro said...

"Field would you call that being unpatriotic?"

Actually jjbrock, I think it is unpartiotic.

"When it comes right down to it, most people are pigs. No, stop. Actually pigs are cleaner than most people."

Damn gwpriester, pease don't be so hard on us, those are some nasty ass animals.

". My wife and I ran into the same situation you did, however the fellow apologised when my wife bent down and picked up his trash."

Wow, clearly he wasn't a Philadelphian. But good for you and your wife. Sounds like you guys can handle yourselves.

anon.3:04AM, I actually do take the train from time to time, and the stuff you described happens here too. Which is part of the reason for my frustration. I am sick of seeing that type of behavior from young and old people.

Good points about the mindset of the people in certain neighborhoods macdaddy. Let me be fair to my peeps here in Philly. Some of my people's neighbiroods here in Philly have their stuff together. (West Oak Lane comes to mind) and I think it goes back to that pride thing. I wish we could put that in a bottle and make sure that all our people grab on to it.

Chris, you are wrong.I have seen some of the worst trash and litter on the streets of Kingston,so this is not even about the uppity yawdie. Some of my Jamaican peeps are no better when it comes to this type of ignorance. And again, poverty is no excuse for this type of behavior.

Teacher said...

Field, the photo of your wife & children is absolutely beautiful. Happy Mother's Day to the Mrs.

The "African Americans contributing to our own environmental pollution" issue is very distressing. As a teacher, I am use to bossing kids around, so I usually ask people to pick the stuff up. surprisingly, they usually do it. I've also said things to people who threw trash out of car windows if I was able to pull up next to them. But you did right to protect your life 1st, because your family needs you most of all.

We do need the public service announcements and campaigns in our communities. We do so many things unconsciously, and a part of it is a collective lack of self esteem. I hate to juxtapose our communities against those of Asians who beautify everything they touch.

I love Philadelphia, but I'm glad I don't live there.

Word to all the Mothers. Please recycle.

field negro said...

sorry about the bad spelling folks (dyslexia or not, it was pretty bad in those comments.) I am trying to multi task here.

"I have to tell you Field, that white people will not trash their neighborhood, but they will throw trash out of their cars on the New Jersey State Parkway. That's another thing annoys me trash flying out of cars"

hennasplace, I am going to give you that one. That's a good observation.

AgentX said...

Yeah Field...the crackhead is probably talking shit about you on his blog as well.
He up in dat Internet Cafe, lighting a bol, sippin a 40, typin and txtin like a mudda. He sayin somethan like thuz
"I fro dis box a Churchs I miss the garbage can and his big suit wearing Island muddafukka looks at me fuunni. I say 'butch whut u lookin at? move biatch or ah uh ma smoke yo ass!' and u know what? He took his ass back 2 da islands wit them crusty teeth ho's iz from!
Music: Nas- Hate me now
Mood: not givin uh shuit, biatch!"

Christopher Chambers said...

Field, I was just messing with you. When I was in Kingston w/my dad for a family visit a long time ago (I was 10 or 11), I had just eaten a Twinkie and was about to toss the wrapper in this 55 gallon oil drum being used as a trash can. This rasta intercepted it and licked the residual creme and crumbs off it, then handed it back to me.

No point to the story, just gross.

Nevertheless, what to do? This is the kind of crap in Philly that will be used against Barack sooner or later.

Ms.Martin said...

Field, I so feel you on this. THROW YOUR TRASH IN A GARBAGE CAN.

And, plant some grass where that dirt spot is and walk on the sidewalk not the grass.

Don't get me started.

Constructive Feedback said...

Field-Negro:

Can I borrow your account so I can do some posting under your name? For some reason the name of the poster makes the difference when the message is just about the same. I can tell by some of the subjects that you post and hearing you on NPR that you are not "lost", but instead are just a "bound man" in a similar way like your boy is.

But what does that say about the mind set and the mentality of someone who does some ignorant shit like that?

WOW. I could not have said this better myself.
But wait, let me ask you Field-Negro - of the messages that these people living in this "mindset" how many of these messages are one of "YOU ARE THE PRIMARY DETERMINANT FACTOR OF THE CONDITION OF YOUR COMMUNITY. OUT OF YOU WILL COME YOUR COLLECTIVE DESTINY"? versus "Our community is being SHORT CHANGED by the powers that be who reside outside of our domain! VOTE for me and I will fight for your behalf. These external resources will rain down and wash us clean"?

[quote]I go to some of the poorest white neighborhoods here in Philly (and yes I know they are white, because here in Philly we are divided like that ), and you can tell that the people there are poor, but you know what?[/quote]

Field-Negro - on yesterday a White church pastor paid tribute to Kathryn Johnston, the 92 year old Black woman who was shot and killed by the Atlanta Police in December 2006 by organizing a "Clean Up The English Avenue Neighborhood" day. I am mixed on my feelings about this. On the one hand having a Christian church express their charity for the poor is a worthy thing.

On the other hand I am made to wonder - how many of the shovels, brooms and trash bags will they leave behind for the RESIDENTS to have the tools in hand to maintain the STANDARD OF LIVING that this outside crew has temporarily created for them? How many of the COMMUNITY OCCUPANTS were asked to participate in the clean up of their own community on yesterday? Surely they were made to feel "good" and no doubt many of them said "Isn't that nice? I am glad that someone cares for us POOR PEOPLE who are here on the margins of society".

Do you see that if these two points are not central mandates of this project then all that has been done is to have a FOREIGN STANDARD OF CLEANLINESS AND UPKEEP IMPOSED upon the residents by some external force? This force will have to return 3 months later to do the very same thing. A dependency is created right there!

I use the word "INFERIORITY" a lot to explain the situation. I believe that this is appropriate despite it not being P.C.. Some people who offer such charitable services have in their mind a "zoo keeper / kept animal" relationship between themselves and this person they are attempting to "help".

Did the Philly Zoo when they shifted from the cement cages that the big cats were kept in when I was a kid 30 years ago over to a more NATURAL environment from wince these animals came bother to ask the lions, tigers, leopards and panthers what they wanted out of their current environment or did they ask them to HELP in rechristening this environment so that the kept creatures can feel more at home? This is the perversion of some of the people who "work on behalf of" the inferiors of society all along. Their goal is not to RECONSTRUCT these individuals by having them become a central part of their own "salvation". Their goal is to have these people IN RECEIPT OF the benefit which, in their minds, shows the world that they are EQUAL HUMAN BEINGS....just look at how clean their streets have been made to be!!

Sure call me names as a "Black Conservative", hee, hee, hee - the bottom line of the matter is that there is continuing cultural damage that is being perpetuated upon our people. The hole gets deeper as time passes.

Some people confuse GROWTH IN HEADCOUNTS of seats assembled in the AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM as resulting in automatic benefit within the streets of and more importantly the MINDS of those who they USED TO GET INTO POWER. Philadelphia is a laboratory experiment that can show how FLAWED AND FRAUDULENT such a claim is.

Some of these fixes are APOLITICAL in nature. We will continue to be USED and these communities will continue to be the "mental unemployment centers" that they are UNTIL our people promote our OWN INTERESTS above someone else's POLITICAL interests.

My message does not have to be "popular" with respect to where you currently reside while in your (general "you", not "you" Field-Negro) state of discontentment with your condition for it to be a correct statement. Sometimes one's frame of reference needs to change before basic truth can be recognized.

Thembi said...

My Two Cents:

I grew up in a nice part of Philly with no trash on the ground whatsoever and always thought Center City was repulsively littered. But after leaving and coming back 10 years later Center City has gotten noticeably cleaner and I have to give the city (and it's efforts at capturing post-911 liberty-loving tourists) that much credit.

But oh, on the contrary... Now I live EXACTLY on the line between "University City" and "West Philadelphia." Yeah, they're the same thing for all purposes except for a few things -, my rent is about 20% cheaper than if I lived on the other side of this imaginary line, for one. Also, the U Penn Patrol stops *precisely* at the Easternmost corner of my block. I have literally seen U City patrolmen on bikes leave skid marks making u-turns to head back to save lil' white children from hoodrats or whatever is it they really do. Realistically they've gotta stop somewhere but the difference is really stark. As soon as you cross 50th street there's trash blowing around on the ground and the public trash cans magically disappear. On trash day, especially on public holiday weeks, blocks west of the imaginary line, including mine, get mysteriously skipped. There is no street sweeping past this imaginary line either, in fact I've seen the little street sweeper cart leave the same skidmarks as the patrolmen. The West Philly side is ugly enough that I'd rather live where I do and have a view of U City than live East of 50th and have to look at that mess out of my window. We have our neighborhood cleaning weekends and such but its kind of demoralizing to look right across the street and see a block that's always clean without full-on community effort.

All of that said, littering is unacceptable no matter what, but no one messes up what is already clean. The city's standards for the public services they provide seem 'racist' but are really just a function of how many people they know will complain - just like a 911 call from Chestnut Hill will get answered way faster than one in Southwest.

By the way, it kills me how we'll pick thru some trash but not pick any up. It's not like people don't see it - in fact I once accidentally dropped a set of headphones on my curb and within a few hours they were gone, yet all of the Popeyes boxes and whatnot were still there chillin'.

Anonymous said...

Field,
I know how you feel. It is disheartening, but you are a bit off base here. We like to think that inner-city black "pathologies" are somehow unique--slave mentality, or whatev, but I encourage black folks to travel some. Yes, poor white neighborhoods might be tidy in the US , but I work in international public health.. and none of you have seen good old England or Ireland--aka the piggeries. It is a poor and hopeless thing...not a race culture thing. Sad ass poor people are very, very dirty, everywhere...Shall I tell you about Russia...if you want to see depressing and filthy try the poor Russian hinterlands. It is hopelessness, anger and often illness, substance abuse galore, that is a major factor in well, dirty surroundings.

Deacon Blue said...

Field, if that man was looking at you and thinking "pussy," he must have been very, very high. And on what I wouldn't want to know. So, I'm glad you chose the better part of valor with your discretion.

Shit, I'd have to be hopped on meth, coke, crank AND tequila simultaneously to give you the "you're a pussy" look.

Julie said...

What drives me crazy is that the same people who so casually drop trash on the ground are usually the same people who would beat the daylights out of you (or worse) if you accidentally stepped on their new Nikes.

I know people who brush their sneakers clean daily with a toothbrush and take their jeans to the cleaners to keep them crisp, but they don't give a d**n about where they live.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

MAcDaddy said "mindset." That includes alot of things.
In southern WV where coal is king and nobody but the coal companies own or take rel ownership of anything, the people trash thehell out of anything. . . frontyards, valleys, streams, whatever are all covered with trash from old cars to candy wrappers and everything imaginable in between.
Go a few tens of miles north into a plavce where there is no coal culture and it's a whole nuther story. . . nice houses, clean and well manicured yards.
Oppressed people with little or no stake in the claim aren't all that interested in keeping their environment clean.

Cali Tejano said...

We don't have that problem in Cali. $1k fines and the enforcement of them do the trick, unless you dump a sofa at a park entrace in the middle of the night, which I saw yesterday.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Oppressed people with little or no stake in the claim aren't all that interested in keeping their environment clean.[/quote]

SagaciousHillbilly:

Indeed - these same people will do as Carter G. Woodson had indicated - when there is something blocking them from their seat at the back of the bus they will figure out how to bore a hole to get back there.

Please detail how the people in modern day Philly are "oppressed"?
Who is "oppressing them"? Mayor Nutter or the Democratic majority city council?

microbrother said...

Field, been there, done that and got the T-shirt on dealing with the knuckle-heads in our community. At this point in our lives, I think we (bloggers) and the community will be better served if we continue to do what we do better than street fighting and that is, speaking our mind, bringing attention to the ironies and injustices in our world.

BLKSeaGoat said...

Field,

We have the same problem here in DC, but it seems to not only affect poor blacks, but some of the middle class working folks too.

I saw a grown woman with a Gucci purse, who was impeccably dressed, drop a plastic water bottle on the ground and she was ONLY 3 FEET from a grabage can.

Now perhaps she may have had on knock-off shit, but to the untrained eye she looked the part.

I wouldn't have expected her to actually be so damn trifling.

I too was incensed at the fact that she could be so disgusting, but, I live in DC, where every place has some semblance of the ghetto.

What saddens me most is that it's ALWAYS some black or brown person engaged in the littering and it seems to be "normal" for our communities.

In my neighborhood, there are trash receptacles on every city block. One would think that folks would actually use them, but they simply throw shit on the ground. It's so bad that I had to buy a separate broom and dustpan get-up just to deal with the outside trash.

field negro said...

Teacher,thanks for the kind words,but that is not Mrs.Field in the photo,and unfortunately I don't have any children.

I don't even know the people in the picture,it just seemed appropriate

"Goody" was my mother's nickname when she was a little girl.

And Julie you are so right about some of these clowns and their sneakers.

Chris,I know you weren't serious. Me,a HN?Not!

Con...feedback do you mean I actually sounded articulate? See, us field Negroes are full of surprises:)

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

I know this is NO EXCUSE, but I think Dick Gregory said it best in his book, "The Shadow I Fear".

He said that if we don't have a sense of ownership, we won't take care of it. At least that was his excuse for why the projects became jacked up.

It's no excuse for not wanting to do something as simple as keeping the streets clean. Some people are just jacked up in their thinking and being people of color have nothing to do with it.

I keep remembering that commercial back in the 70s with the Native American riding into the city, and looking at how Americans had jacked up his land. When the passing car threw out a load of trash from take out, and it landed at his feet, the tear streaming down his face was a powerful sight and I always remember it, to this day, when I'm even tempted to throw something out on the road while I'm driving.

Because of Iron Eyes Cody, I look for a trash can. I do it because that Native American not only had his land taken from him, he also has to watch people jack it up.

rikyrah said...

FN,

I'm so glad you didn't say anything, because like others, I wouldn't want you to be on the Kiladelphia roll.

This is a peeve of mine too. It costs nothing to be clean. Nothing. The biggest divide within the community is now values. Got nothing to do with money.

baatin. said...

thanks for this, dude. here in the city of angels, it's just like that. i work in a building in skid row, and i'll be standing outside the front door, talking to some of my clients, when they throw their shit right on the sidewalk when they're done with it! right outside their own fucking building! it drives me berserk, and yest when i propose getting a garbage can, other resident's tell me that they'll just rifle through the shit in it, and dump its contents out onto the street, or just throw their shit on the street anyways. people have got to a place where they devalue their immediate environment so much, devalue themselves so much that they simply don't give a flying fuck. and it's almost always our people. this shit has me in a tizzy every morning when i got in to work. you wonder what the fuck you're actually doing down there. thanks for the post, field. i really appreciated the fact that other people see that shit and feel the same way.

Michael Davis-Dallas Progress said...

Being from North Philly, I can remember when my grandmother (RIP) would have me pick up the trash in front of our stoop and then she would pour bleach and water or detergent and water on the front porch and steps, and then sweep it with a broom. People didn't throw trash on the street unless they weren't from around there. That was the program.

My, how things have changed!

Progressive for A Better America said...

I feel you, Field, but there are a lot of filthy Americans all over this land, inlcuding many who ride mass transit.

Litterers are low-lifes from all walks of life.

Homeless, homeowners, apartment dwellers, kindergarteners, tweens, teens, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Yers, seniors, elders, Caucasians, Latinos, Blacks, corporate, blue collar, college-educated, non-educated - I see 'em litter frequently, even in Beverly Hills. You can't buy gentility; you can't buy class.

The other day I saw a little kid of about 4 attempt to shove a grocery sales paper through the fence onto the ground at the grocery store. I had to say something to the little crumb snatcher seeing as her mammy was standing there talking on the phone while the rugrat littered. Sometimes I say something to adults, depending on the situation because it just really chaps my buns when I see folk littering.

It's a despicable habit that tells a lot about their upbringing and lack of home training. About a year ago, I saw a nasty old Negro man whip out his tallywhacker and piss on the streets in broad open daylight as people stood on the bus stop and with high traffic, automobile and foot, including children walking along the sidewalk.

One morning as I waited for the bus, I encountered a naked woman, mammary udders hanging down to her knees literally AND she was littering.

There are a lot of lowdown littering folks whom I would be very hesitant to befriend. It's just a huge pet peeve of mine.

Then there are the people who remove the shopping baskets from grocery stores even in Beverly Hills.

But that's another story and they've gotten those buggies with the brakes now which prevents removing them out of the parking lot.

War got it right 30-odd years ago - The World is A Ghetto. It truly is.

isonprize said...

I agree with you, Field, but thembi at 2:46pm also has a point.

I live on the divide between "east" and "west" oak lane. We got trees too! But the snuffaluffagus (people with kids know the machine I'm talking about...) never comes on my side to suck up the leaves and trash.

Yes, triflin' folks can trash a neighborhood, but city services make a difference also.

Teacher said...

Oh ha, ha, Field. I don't know when I'm going to learn about the picture/avatar thing. I guess I'll figure it out one day. Until then, I guess I'll keep cracking myself up (wow is that the writer's goat?).

I hope your little Field Negros will be as beautiful as the one's in the picture, whenever you and the Mrs. decide to have them.

@Constructive Feedback, why was the 92 year old lady shot and what, if anything was done about it?

I agree with anonymous 3:31 who talked asbout what s/he saw during their travels. I have also seen the (white) poverty of Appalachia where you see cars that stay on cinder blocks indefinitely, and "projects" in Spain and Puerto Rico. A lot of rural places don't have trash pick up. You can't necessarily compare it to urban areas.

I also agree with Rikyrah about the class issue. Its a global issue as well as a challenge in our community. I really wish we had a way to run PSA's targeting our communities, but I think it would be up to specific cities & states to do it. I think we should do everything we can do for ourselves, and it will put us in a better position to use our tax dollars in the best way. Peace to everyone.

moaz said...

"If the Good Colored People would interest themselves more in having the Law upheld a “Buffet Flat” would not be so Brazen; vice could not encroach upon us with impudence; thieves and gamblers would not be so bold and thrive so easily; Hoodlums would not be so manifestly boisterous and a White Drug Store on 18th street would not sell Liquor with such abandon to inebriates, derelicts and fiends on the beautiful Sabbath – when the legitimate saloons are closed." [Kansas City Sun, February 16, 1918] - A City Divided

Another interesting read

Anonymous said...

@Cali Tejano - you are so wrong. I was living in Koreatown, right near some expensive neighborhoods too, not down by the hood parts, and there was more litter there than in the East LA barrios. McDonalds bags, half packs of beer bottles, newspaper, bags, furniture, soda cans, dog shit, drink cups, and food wrappers. In fact, it wasn't even the local black people doing most of this. I never ever saw a black person littering there (just in other parts of the city... but the Ktown negros were kind of middle class or from africa). It was whites, Latinos, and Asians perpetrating the filth.

A mile away, I was checking out apartments, calling up managers, and I saw this asian muslim woman, in full headscarf and long sleeves, finish her Fritos and then toss the bag onto the grass. I was about to raise my voice, but happened to be waiting for a manager to answer the phone, so I shut up. And her phone starts ringing! This building manager was littering in front of her building!

She starts to try to convince me to move in, probably because I was Japanese American and "artsy" looking, but, I didn't see it happening. The rent is fair, but that littering incident was a big turn-off.

That same day, I saw all kinds of littering. Kids were dropping candy wrappers, fruit vendors dumping scraps into the street, cig butts being tossed. It was all bad. Los Angeles is turning into a big trashcan.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

ConFeed, Carter G. Wodson was a great man. Please do not take his name in vain for your agenda.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

OMG!! I just blogged abut a dude spitting on the bus I was riding in Boston. I'm from the South and had been trying to locate the black folks, then I finally find them and I am all happy as I was riding the bus realizing I was where the Boston’s black people live, you know liquor stores and beauty supplies lining the streets. And then the young ass wipe spits on the bus!! On the bus!! I was in complete horror and shock!! My people...my people sometimes I can only shake my head. I feel you I often wonder WHY? WHY? WHY?

That’s the thing about being black… I mean, why must it be this manic depressive ride of highs and lows? I went from YEAH I FOUND THE BLACK PEOPLE to damn I found the black people in a matter of seconds. I feel you Field, great post!!

-OG

Anonymous said...

You are completely right white people don't litter, hey you see one black person doing wrong, it must be everyone, great blanket statement.

I saw a black person cussing damn we's ignorant, white people never do anything wrong. thanks for the uplifting message.

In Chicago, the same potholes are onthe streets for twenty years, as soon as you get to the white neighbor hoods no potholes, damn we's ignorant. any city white parks clean, black parks filthy, damn we's filthy. Has nothing to do with public works keeping the white neighbor hoods clean.

Try living somewhere else, you might actually experience different kinds of black people, amazingly we all do no act the same.

west coast story said...

Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco are three of the filthiest cities I've ever been in. It's not just in poor neighborhoods either but it's worse the lower the income. Downtown Tijuana is cleaner than many large sections of these three cities. You can't believe how disgusting it is. Market St. in SF, Telegraph in Berkeley, Broadway in Oakland, will have you pulling your clothing tigher around you in the hope you don't get any on you. I've been with friends who toss something on the ground and when I call them on it, they act like they were somehow possessed when they did it because of course they know better, blah blah, blah. I joke all the time that Californians have never seen a garbage can they couldn't ignore.

Upscale Montclair in the Oakland Hills has a Peet's Cofee that has a filth encrusted sidewalk just outside the shop where people sit and drink their coffee.

A tony little hamlet across the estuary from Oakland named Alameda fronts on the bay. On Sunday mornings as you walk along next to the water, you will pass garbage cans where (I swear this is true) there are empty six packs and pizza cartons leaning up against a garbage can. Not put inside, where there is plenty of room for them, but next to the garbage can. It's so ha-a-a-r-r-r-d to pick up that trash and put it in the garbage.

There's an annual California event where people pick up trash and debris from beaches and creekbeds. One year they announce that some number of tons of cigarette butts were lifted off the beaches, etc. Nasty, disgusting, yuck.

west coast story said...

cali tejano: I forget where you live in southern Cali but LA is the exception. And the reason is because there are no pedestrians. LA is the least pedestrian friendly city and far fewer people are strolling and tossing debris on the ground. Every time I visit, I can never get over how empty the sidewalks are. Also, the cops in LA will give you a ticket for just not looking right. LA cops handed out far and away more jay walking tickets per capita than any other city one year and it made the national news.

Elizabet said...

ayyyy! yes this shit pisses me off SO MUCH in nyc it happens constantly. I was JUSt giving it to a student of mine this weekend for dropping her wrappers on the floor not ONE FOOT away from a trash can. really? REALLY?!?! Her excuse "someone's going to clean it up." Drives me f-ing crazy but I do agree with what someone above said about a sense of ownership. I think maybe they were referencing Dick Gregory but I can relate to that...if you don't feel ownership or investment in something, its easier to divorce yourself from it, to feel disconnected...I think it's the same way dehumanization happens...people develop a way to distance themselves from something/someone and that enables them to trash it/them...

i remember learning about some "broken window theory" something about how if a window was already broken in a community, it was more likely that people would continue to trash the place because there was no visible standard to uphold.

it would make sense to me that where i live in harlem some combination of seeing trash perpetuates trash AND disconnection from the community due to gentrification tearing the shit up, among things...probably contributes to this...

Constructive Feedback said...

Field-Negro:

Should I change my name to "Progressive Constructive Feedback" or "Constructive Progressive Feedback" since you seem to attract so many people with moniker?

[quote]He said that if we don't have a sense of ownership, we won't take care of it. At least that was his excuse for why the projects became jacked up.

It's no excuse for not wanting to do something as simple as keeping the streets clean. Some people are just jacked up in their thinking and being people of color have nothing to do with it.[/quote]

Sense of "Ownership". Hummmmmm

This is an excellent learning opportunity to audit the COSTS of certain POPULAR policy positions of certain people within our community as issues come up along the road way of time and debate.

"Ownership"?
When this idea was driven over the past few years it was perverted into "ON-YOUR-OWN-ership" society and shot down. The socialist proclivities of some trumped the notion that with OWNERSHIP also comes RESPONSIBILITY. They had a choice to make. They chose to fear the conditions that would result in these communities if the people where LEFT ALONE UP TO THEIR OWN DEVICES instead of driving the message to these same people that YOUR COMMUNITY WILL BE AS CLEAN AND SAFE as you as an individual make it!

Indeed my viewpoint is different than many of yours'. Instead of showing you "where I stand" in a big gulp it instead needs to be demonstrated one bite at a time by showing you how despite your popular positions that are more favorable than mine ----- they are not WORKING FOR YOU and your community to achieve the ends that we both have in common.

Jacked Up In Their Way Of Thinking

A young person living in these streets today was born in 1985 or there about. How exactly did these messages get his head that "jacked up their way of thinking" in such a short span of time in his life?

Clearly there is a void in the culture of community where this person living in Philly and elsewhere reside. If there is a need to avoid INDIVIDUALISM and talk about COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY it is at this street level. This is what frustrates me about the Michelle Obama types. Indeed she talks about "community obligations". We all know, however, that she is directing her words at the people with money in their own wallets. To not ASK OF THE POOR because they are inferior, in your mind, and set them up to be NET RECIPIENTS rather than NET CONTRIBUTORS is only repeating the cycle. If it is true that we all are enriched when we give to another - what better way to enrich someone who doesn't have any square paper with green ink in their pockets to become wealthy in their own spirit than by asking them to GIVE TO THEIR OWN DAMNED CAUSE BY KEEPING THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES CLEAN????

The NERVE of someone to ask them to keep their own communities clean!!! I know that I would be offended. :-/

Some of you all can't see that YOUR POLICIES/IDEOLOGY has created this monster. You have been so willing to nationalize the diaper that you want to put on these people in these communities to ABSTRACT THEIR RESULTS FROM THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR THAT THEY HAVE DONE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THAT END that you forgot about THEIR HUMANITY and the expectations that must be placed upon them to express this humanity.

Some of you don't get it. You can open many fortune cookies and read the passage "The Journey is more important than the Destination". To translate this to this current situation - it is more important to have the people's culture BUILT UP by what they learn on the JOURNEY toward perfection than it is for them to ever actually reach perfection. Some of you are more inclined to want to see these people IN RECEIPT OF BENEFIT, having this prioritized over the METHOD by which they received these benefits. The concept "teach a man to fish" has never been more appropriate.

Instead to detailing the RIGHTS that people have to certain government services and benefits it is clear that it is more important for these same people to be in service to themselves.

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Justin said...

Why should Blacks care about littering when dumb-ass Whitey will eventually come along and clean up the mess?

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