Sunday, May 30, 2010


by today's Urban Chameleon Contributor The Activist formerly known as Undungu Goldstein

I'm retired from the game. I have my reasons. I turned in my afro picks, my Kwanzaa-kit, my library of revolutionary rhetoric and all of my Curtis Mayfield albums about 6 years ago. Currently I reside in a no-need-to-mention-the-name town in New Mexico. I say "no-need-to-mention" I mean, if I told you the name, you wouldn't know of it anyway. Besides, i don't need any unsolicited emails, calls and definitely visitors!

Despite my state of retirement, I can not turn a blind eye to certain things. I mean after all, I'm retired, not dead.

So the other day I'm at Ci Ci's Pizza… WHAT?! I'm retired and living on a black revolutionary's budget! SHOOT ME… Anyway, I'm in line behind a brother and his clearly teenage daughter and I hear the following exchange;

Cashier: "Ok sir, you have three adults and one child in your party, right?

Man: "Oh, this is my daughter, she's not an adult yet"

Cashier: "Yes, but our child price is for children 11 and under. She told me she was 14"

Man (to daughter): "Why'd you do that?!" (to Cashier): "You can't give her the kid price? C'mon. She's still a baby, my baby. Hahahaha

Cashier: "No sir. Its store policy."

Man: "Ahhh c'mon. I'm not going to tell your manager. You can't help me out?"

Cashier: "No sir."

The man sighs, stares at the cashier for a few hoping his anxiety will sway her. She does not budge. He scoffs and passes the cashier his American Express card.

Did I mention, that the buffet at Ci Ci's Pizza costs $3.95 per adult? THREE DOLLARS and NINETY-FIVE cents!!! Brother, you wanna haggle and hold up the line because you have to pay $3.95 for your teenage daughter to eat at a PIZZA BUFFET?! Did I mention that the kid price is $2.95! It's a dollar. ONE DOLLAR. I sincerely doubt that one dollar is going to bring about your ruin. And further, after all of this huffing and puffing, you pay with an American Express card! What's the real sense of it?

See this is why I had to get out of the game. I realize that brother and sisters have their priorities out of sorts. I appreciate the art of haggling and negotiating, its virtually an African institution. In African markets, merchants and patrons haggled and negotiated over their goods. A person's tradable goods were valued based on what they meant to the buyer. I might be able to get 6 yams in exchange for 1 chicken. Another man might be able to get 12 yams if what he had to offer in exchange meant more to the yam vendor. I am quite sure the adage "one man's trash is another man's treasure" was born of these type exchanges. The problem I have is that far too many neo-negros don't know what to haggle for, what to fight for, what to stand for! As a result we end up haggling over the price of a $3.95 buffet. Fighting for the right to destroy our minds and bodies for the most trivial of things. And standing for everything but anything that looks like progress.

Choose your battles. Wisely.

Have your Urban Chameleon story featured by e-mailing

Click here for: How the Urban Chameleon Came to be

No comments:

Post a Comment