Today's noisepaper had a short article from the Raleigh News & Observer about the (sarcasm) brilliant (/sarcasm) strategy of Jackie Wagstaff, candidate for mayor of Durham. Durham, where I spent and misspent by not misspending four years of my young life. (Durham panhandler: "You got some spare change? All I got to my name is this here .38, nomean?") Allow me to quote: The candidate "donned bright-orange Chuck Taylor shoes and large gold earrings to announce her 'hip-hop agenda' for City Hall." Puh-leeze! Why not just don big orange hair and a ruby red nose while you're at it?
Wagstaff said she would use "gangsta" culture and rap music to appeal to disaffected youth, luring them away from crime with the offer of free studio time to record songs. T-shirt giveaways would serve as another enticement.Good idea "J-Dub." Count on "disaffected youth" to get yourself elected and actually run the city. In other news, David Duke runs for New York statewide office by campaigning in Harlem. Then again, let's look at "J-Dub's" track record: "She survived a 2002 effort to remove her from office after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts for doctoring check requests from the nonprofit North East Central Durham Reinvestment Inc., a city-financed social services organization she ran. She also has been evicted several times for nonpayment of rent." At least she knows her constituency. And yes, she thinks her malfeasance is a qualification. Using the "it's a feature not a bug" approach she "embraces the tag that she is 'too gangsta for government.' She bills herself as the only candidate with the street credibility to solve the city's problems with gang violence and school dropouts."
If elected, she would hold monthly meetings with her Hip-Hop Cabinet, streetwise teens with insights on how to improve the Bull City.
"You can always take something bad and find something positive," said Wagstaff, 46, who recently adopted the nickname J-Dub. "Gangsta to me is an organizational structure -- not organized crime, but organized good."
Perhaps she can solve the problems of funding government by, oh, let's say, writing bad checks and just not paying bills! What an innovator. At least we can be sure that the "J" in "J-Dub" does indeed stand for Jackass.