MANSFIELD: “Not for Us.” Really?


Nothing creates a stir quite like a new supermarket in a neighborhood, and for good reason — we all gotta eat, right? And the newly opened Dave’s on Chester at 61st Street is no exception. I got to the 9am grand opening the other week an hour early and still couldn’t find a parking space. However, I went back later that afternoon and strolled around the huge wonderland of food. I’m the family shopper and I simply love looking at the abundance of food we Americans have, and feel a combination of blessedness and sadness. By now we, the first world countries, should have figured out how to feed everyone on the entire planet.

But I digress.

On a number of occasions since the new grocery opened, I’ve heard someone in the community make the absurd statement that the new Dave’s is “not for us.” Really? Then who is it for? Do these people mean the new store only sells food for other cultures and tastes, such as gefilte fish, sauerbraten, escargot, pierogis and sushi?

Hey, when I was in there, I saw tons of mac & cheese, fried chicken and fish, collard greens — and black folks were lined up as if they were giving it all away for free. And yes, I saw plenty of whites in the fried chicken line too, and at one point everyone in the line waiting for sushi happened to be black. Go figure.

My original thought was that the people making the asinine comments happened to be among those blacks that have been so victimized by racism (and for so long) that when something positive happens they can’t believe it’s really is for “us” too. Come on, if you’re black you know some folks like that — they’ve been beat up so much they are now beat down. They are to be pitied, but more importantly, we can’t allow this to happen to succeeding generations to feel they are undeserving. Before I’ll be a victim, I’ll proudly be a predator. Truth.

But on second thought, maybe these folks were not claiming that something racist was occurring at the new Dave’s. What they might have really been saying is, “It’s too good for us, we don’t deserve good, new shit.” Or most likely, some folks just hate change so much they would have preferred that the two old Dave’s (which they were comfortable patronizing) had not been shuttered for the new one.

In any case, when they get hungry enough I’m sure they’ll get over whatever problem they have with the new Dave’s. I just hope they don’t buy up all of the chicken wings when they do come around.

But I do have a bone to pick with the management of the new store: Each of the dozen aisles is named for one of the streets in the larger community. But how can they have a sign for “Broadway,” which is a good three miles away, and not have one for “Hough,” which is one block over? They don’t even have one for “Payne,” the nearby street where it all started. They’ve got plenty of room in the huge store; they just need to add two more street signs.

There, I’ve got it out of my system.

From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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One Response to “MANSFIELD: “Not for Us.” Really?”

  1. T.L. Champõion

    Mansfield, maybe a “Hough” street sign could be dedicated to the employee break room. (?)

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