The Fourth of You-Lie amerikkklan County Fair

Tiny - Posted on 07 July 2017

Leroy, Tiny, Tibu and POORMagazine

Part 1 By Tiburcio
“Come on, let’s get out of here, we have to get out of here” those were the words of my mother, frantic after we told her what happened to Uncle Leroy. “That is so messed up”

She was reacting this way because after me and Leroy, still cracking up about what happened explained what she missed. We were in the Star Wars exhibit of the Marin County Fair, the most racist place we could be inside of California the weekend before Fourth Of You-Lie.

We (Uncle Leroy, My mother and I) had just experienced a special type of racism and ageism. The ignorant kind. As we walked in the Star Wars exhibit, three completely regular people just trying to enjoy ourselves at the county fair (we weren't even protesting or in revolutionary action!) and Leroy wants to take a picture with Greedo* and when he’s walking over to leave after the picture, the people who were about to take a picture with Greedo, then...

Part 2 by Tiny
“What kind of creature is that?” the elder white woman’s gray strings of hair flowed down her back and blended into her tie dye t-shirt and matching tie dye pants as she mumbled this loud enough to hear. Her words were directed toward my brother, Po Poet and Kip Hop founder Leroy Moore. It was 4th of U Lie in the stolen Miwok territory the colonizers call Marin County. We were at the County fair which is always loaded up with an excess of white folks, but this year something was very different. We were at the Star Wars exhibit and this hater racist statement was made by a woman who herself resembled part troll and part wookie and yet felt emboldened enough to express her hate openly.

From the minute we arrived we noticed an extra eery amerikkklan arrogance pervaded the warm sunny afternoon. First of all there was only one Lemonade stand, which I’m not sure how this played in but it irked me just the same, as in previous years there was a lemonade stand on every other corner of the fair.

Since my days of unlicensed micro-business vending t-shirts on the street with my mama, we went to this fair because we got in for free, and were always able to sit with the animals, which relaxed my trauma filled concrete jungle stuck mama even though she barely was able to tolerate the great white way of the fair. But in the end the animal calmness always made everything ok so we went anyways.

As we walked in this year the veneer of racist hate was palpable. We walked to the tent that in previous years held all the POC entertainment under one little roof, was now filled with mediocre “folk” singers doing Beatles covers. The entire day’s offering of POC music was reduced to one mariachi band tucked between literally doznes of variations on folk music. By this time me and Leroy and Tiburcio were getting officially concerned. but we pushed on determined to get our Turkey leg, corn on the cob and see farm animals, which is the only reason we came.

Then we saw it. The protest we didn’t know we needed to hold. Proudly standing at the first row of vendor booths was a huge red , white and blue amerikkklan flag slathered with the words Trump/Pence . Yes it was a Trump /Pence booth. and there were literally dozens of people swarming around it. When we saw it, we both looked away. Nooooooooo we cried in unison.

“Do you want some yogurt?” Our next encounter which was actually more typical than strange for Leroy and me with my mama, who are and were always being “mistaken” for unhoused  people, (whatever racist and classist, ableist and ageist indicators tell people that about us?)  was another woman who began to shower us with free clover yogurt and carefully napkin wrapped spoons, repeatedly mumbling sorry to Leroy. Sorry for 525 years of stolen land and stolen bodies, for white supremacy? for her soft complicitness in the criminalization of black, brown and poor, disabled bodies, sorry for wealth-hoarding, sorry for her enabling of anti-poor laws, sorry????

“Moooooooo, “ we finally made it to the fair tent and had some quality time with the goats and cows and llamas and mules, which made everything a little less crazier seeming and was the only reason we went there cause we could get free animal advice and ideas for our tiny, poor people farm at Homefulness. Then onto the Star Wars exhibit. When we walked in we were bombarded by the soft confused strains of renaissance music aka the only time white people had culture or something… and then we finally found the much reduced Star Wars exhibit with the usual Star Wars characters- a couple of guys of in “storm-trooper” suits, a couple of guys playing Darth Vadar, a guy who was supposed to be a wookie and the requisite “bar Scene”. At the sight of the Bar Scene, Leroy said, take a picture of me there. Me and tibu and Leroy ambled over to ostensibly “take a picture” it was there that we encountered the wookie-troll doll family.

“Get Out”……
“Ive been called a lot of things in my 49 years as a disabled Black man, but that took it to a new level,” Leroy recanted as we figured out the closest exit to this terrifying place.

Before we left i had to get some coffee, so we stopped at the outdoor cafe area, thinking what else could possibly happen? well never fear, Trump fans were here.Out of the corner of our eyes while we were sitting quietly sipping our coffee in a corner, a wave of stop -motion blue nylon floats by. Yes it happened, a white man with a blue and white Trump Pence flag tied to his shoulders like a child playing batman, floated by looking at us with a weird threatening look. Or maybe he didn’t look at us. Me and Leroy looked at each other and screamed under our breath that is, GEEEEEET OUUUUTTT….

As a Black physically disabled man, I have been called a lot of names/things in my forty-nine years on this earth from cripple to lazy n@gger, to a waste of space to a drain on society and the list goes on from youth to adults but on July third 2017 at the Marin County Fair in Marin County in the Bay Area took the cake!
My sister and nephew, Tiny & Tiburrcio, came and got me out of my Berkeley apartment to go to this county fair that they attended many times before so knowing my sister I was thinking that this fair was going to be diverse and fun although it was in a wealthy areas of the Bay Area. As Berkeley then Richmond passed us by in the Poor Magazine’s family car, I was getting a little bite nervous remembering what Melissa, my sister, who moved to San Francisco in the late 80’s told me over and over and that was, “The Bay Area like SF, Berkeley and Oakland is like a bubble and once you leave that bubble you can run into a lot of isms, strange people and experience all kinds of worried moments.
Let me tell you once again Melissa was right again because as we pulled into Marin County passing outside of Poor Magazine’s family car were more and more American flags however even on the 4th of July weekend that was a lot of flags to see. I told Tiny that I get a little bite nervous when I see a lot of American flags probably because I grew up in CT and whenever my family left the city and go to the countryside you would see not only more white people but you would see more trucks and American flags. However in the Poor Magazine’s family car I talked myself down and told my East Coast self to be quiet!
Tiny, Tiburcio and I walked into the Marin County Fair (Tiny had a manual wheelchair for me so we can cover more of the fair) and the first thing that smacked me was a lack of people of color.  The smack came after Tiny told me in the car about her experiences with her mother attending this fair in the late 90’s. In the car she told me about the music tent where it was like world music with all people of color getting down however as we approached this tent all we heard was Folk music. We looked at each other after viewing the stage that was full of White people plucking their banjos. Walking away from that tent we were smacked with aTrump table and many people with Trump t-shirts on! My mind flipped!
As a person with a disability I had many people back in the 90’s in San Francisco who came up to me to give me their two cents on what I should do or be like throwing change in my hot chocolate cup in a cafe to saying that I should be not leave the house to calling me names like cripple, lazy and even got on their knees to pry for me to get healed etc.. So at 49 today, I’m not shock with people’s reactions towards me but I do get nervous when police profiles me that has happened a lot inside the liberal Bay area bubble. So Tiny was shocked at my calm attitude at the Marin County Fair when a thirty something White lady kept on approaching us to give Tiny frozen yogurt, forks, napkins but she kept on giving us stuff while looking at me like I was dying or something!!   I told Tiny, “yeah people give me stuff out of the blue but I wish they would give me a house, car or pay my rent!” We both laughed.
After eating a yummy turkey leg and buttery corn-on-the-cob, we thought we were ready for more of the fair. The animals gave us joy but that joy turned into more fear and nervous laughter as we entered the arts and craft tent where they had paintings of White folks, more Folk music and Star Wars characters walking around. My mind was saying WTF! Something pulled us into the Star Wars section of this large tent. Tiny was pushing me in the wheelchair when we approached a big table with a round bench and in the middle was a green Star Wars character statue in the same area with all kinds of guy who was supposed to be a wookie and the requisite “bar Scene” and other Star Wars characters. A White family, mother, father and a pre teen son was sitting at the table taking a picture with the green Star Wars character. When they saw us, Tiny, Tiburrico and I and when I got out of the wheelchair slowly with my solid Jamaica carved cane, the mother screamed and pointing at me, “What kind of creature is that!” Then the son looking at me said, “It’s a zombie!” At that same time Tiburrcio and I made eye contact and we both realized what just happened. We both tried to hold in our laughter and shock!
Trying to make sense of what just happened, we were outside of the tent sitting at a table drinking water, talking about what just happened when all of a sudden a White guy in his twenty with a cape around his neck runs by picking up his cape that was red, white and blue with big letters spelling out DONALD TRUMP! The Cape hit Tiny’s arm and swept our table then puff he was was gone! We drank our water and ran to the Poor Magazine’’s family car to get back to our bubble i.e. Berkeley & Oakland!


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