Tony Wafford (Courtesy photo)

Last week, the city of Huntington Beach’s majority Republican city council voted, that going into 2024, the beach city would not be celebrating Black History, Women’s History and please don’t come up in here talkin ’bout no LGBTQI+ stuff.

Check this out.  They said that they are doing this because the city no longer wanted to engage in “identity politics” while at the same time, and for whatever reason, the city’s mayor, Gracey Van Der Mark, called for a recognition of the Holocaust in January.

Maybe it’s me, but I thought that is when Nazi Germany committed mass murder killing some six million Jewish people, not just people, but Jewish people who were killed because of their identity and their politics, yet the city is going to recognize their sacrifice and triumph over evil; isn’t that identity politics?

Now don’t get it twisted.  I am in no way trying to compare pain, but as a people, Black tragedy and triumph over evil is the same as recognizing Jewish oppression, so why isn’t there space in Huntington Beach to address Black strength in overcoming evil and celebrate our victories?

Think about this, and I’m going to use White folks’ numbers.  They admit that we (Black people) lost more than 15 million (the number is closer to 50-100 million) Black men, women, and children during the middle passage and millions more after we got here to America during our holocaust of enslavement; which I would say was the greatest holocaust in human history.

Now just in case you’re freaking out because I’m using the word holocaust, it’s only because you don’t know the definition of the word.  Holocaust means the destruction or slaughter on a mass scale and the last time I checked; the killing of 50 to 100 million Black people constitutes a holocaust.

Others outside of our culture would like for us to use the term “slave trade.”  Well, I learned many years ago from my friend and brother, Dr. Maulana Karenga, that when we say slave trade, we are reducing what I would say, the greatest immoral, wicked, and monstrous act ever visited on the people, down to just business gone bad.  Then we only see the loss of our people as just collateral damage in a business deal gone bad.  Looking through those lenses, you lose sight of the perpetrator and diminish the sacrifice of the victims.

And just so you know, the word holocaust is not unique to Jewish or Black suffering.  Our Native American brothers and sisters suffered a tremendous holocaust when European colonizers came to what we now know as America and killed over 56 million indigenous people.  So, it’s not identity politics that the city of Huntington Beach is against, it’s having to recognize our ability as a people to overcome evil and suffering, and the power we have as a people, to live through tragedy and still be standing and to be proud of our history, heritage, and humanity that some of the members of Huntington Beach’s city council have an issue with.

As far as Women’s History month, I can only smile and shake my head, because these are the same people that made a movie Throw Mama from the Train—who thinks of something so crazy as to throw your mama from a train; that’s not even a funny joke!  These are the same people that don’t want women to be able to determine their own reproductive health, so why in the world do you think they would want to celebrate you?  Hell, they already told you what they think about you!  The only thing I can say to you ladies is to try and protect your head when you hit the train tracks.

Now let’s address our LGBTQI+ brothers and sisters.  Isn’t it deep how since the HIV/AIDS pandemic, white folks all over this country have spent 30 plus years trying to convince anyone who would listen that the Black community is the most homophobic group of people in the nation.  Now you’ve got a hold damn city with a population of 198,711 and only 1.06% are Black calling for a ban on all LGBTQI+ public recognition.  Oh I get it, ruffly those 1% homophobic negros living in Huntington Beach are the driving force behind the Huntington Beach ban on the flying of the LGBTQI+ Pride Flag and a host of other flags on government property in February by restricting it to only city, state, national and prisoners of war banners.  Oh, did I tell you that even the City of Compton recognises LGBTQI+ month; so much for Black homophobia.

Here’s another thing that the republican majority city council members voted on.  They voted to disband the city’s Human Relations committee which was aimed at combating hate crimes.  They also voted to eliminate any mention of hate crimes in the Human Dignity policy, I guess that is unless it happens in January or the victims are wearing a red MAGA hat—in either case you may get the death penalty; death by surf board.

For me, I just wanted to say thank you Huntington Beach city council for being upfront about the way you feel about Black people.  Now I know this may not be the sentiment of the entire city, but it’s just enough to keep me out of Huntington Beach not that I was going to hang out there anyway.  It’s always good to know where you’re not wanted and it’s even better to recognize and celebrate yourself.  “One thing that your oppressor can never give to you is self-respect”, Malcom X.  So, Black people, Ladies, and LGBTQI+ folks, celebrate yourself just don’t do it in Huntington Beach!