Nurse's Lounge: Brooklyn Carnival, a political battleground?

>> Thursday, September 10, 2009

New York City will be voting for a mayor on the first Tuesday in November. Rightfully, the politicians are carefully showing up at all the right places to get some attention. For those of you who attended Labor Day Carnival in Brooklyn, you may have been enjoying yourself too much to notice the campaign signs absolutely everywhere. But signs were just one thing the mayoral candidates contributed to the festivities.

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell was there. He's a American of Jamaican ancestry who was born in New York. He utilized his special role as a parade grand marshal to endorse the incumbent mayor, Michael Bloomberg. He appeared on "Larry King Live" about two months ago singing the praises of Bloomberg, and he continued to echo that support in a news conference before the parade on Monday.

The Democrats didn't miss the chance to show face too! William Thompson, a democratic challenger was there as well. He's currently a City Controller whose grandparents came to the United States from St. Kitts and Nevis.

I'm not an American or a New Yorker, but I do have a Political Science degree (and it's my blog!) I feel like adding my two cents. Carnival traditionally enabled the common person to make satirical critique about the powers that be. Campaigning at carnival is sort of a slap in the face of our heritage. We jump to poke fun at government, to criticize government, to hold them to a higher standard. I personally would love to see a mas presentation that depicts the merits and downfalls of the various candidates competing for your votes. Lose the campaign signs and say it in mas. Let the spectators decide.

In case the mas bands find it tricky to sell costumes in the "Blue-Blooded Millionaire" section or the "Republican in Independent's Clothing" section, they might consider directly hitting up the campaign offices for some cheddar. In the world of politics, the true test of a community's value in the eyes of a politician can be measured in dollars and cents. Let them know the Caribbean community requires more than handshakes and baby kissing. Let's see them cough up some support for Caribbean culture; money for Pan-o-rama, sponsoring kiddies costumes for disadvantaged youth, or maybe footing the bill for the necessary city permits. In so doing, they can earn the privilege to display signs. However, there will be no ownership of Carnival. The best they can hope for is favourable media coverage, and an electorate that has reason to believe that these candidates might actually take heed of its concerns when the voting is over.

Next time those "powers" feel like exerting their influence on the peoples' festival, let's find a way to make it empower us. Then we can start talking about what to do on November 3rd. Politics does belong in Carnival, but never forget that the political voice must echo the heartbeat of the people.

Love and Culture!

0 x 2 cents (comment, nuh!):


Enter your email address, to receive a daily update by email:

Delivered by (Nurse) Karen (Etc)

subcribe in a reader

Add to Google



Do you have news you think we should know about? Do you want to share your opinion about something your read on (Nurse) Karen (Etc). Call de Nurse for free from anywhere in the US or Canada! Click below to connect her phone to yours...

Follow (ETC)!

  © Nurse Karen Etc Nurse Karen Etc by Mustard Seed Media 2005 - 2009

Back to TOP