Apparently, Montgomery, Alabama, Mayor Steven Reed recently had one of those conversations you definitely don’t want to have in front of mixed company, or any company, really, besides the person the discussion was meant for. And, in this case, that person would have to be someone who has no qualms about the first Black mayor of a city that is more than 60% Black declaring that he doesn’t really give a damn about “the Black vote” or Black money that is unaccompanied by white money.
Unfortunately for Reed, that conversation was recorded and leaked to social media, and now everybody knows the first Black mayor of this majority-Black city is out here betting on white every time.
“I can come smile—I don’t f**king have to do no goddamn work,” Reed is heard saying in the audio recording. “I don’t have to do no work systemically, and I’m going to be fine. And guess what? I will always get 38 to 45% of the white vote. If I can get 30 to 45% of the white vote, I don’t f**king have to damn get the black vote I got this past election. I’ll f**king win.” (White people represent more than 31% of Montgomery residents to Black people’s 60%, so I feel like Reed’s math isn’t quite mathing, but maybe they do numbers differently in the Shuck ‘n’ Jive University of White Acceptance.)
“You got black city? That’s great,” Reed said during another part of the discussion. “You can have all black everything, and guess what, you won’t have green nothing. If white, the white money, thinks that you aren’t looking after their shit, they will take their shit to Prattville. They will take their sh*t to Pike Road, and you won’t have shit.” (Apparently, “white money” is so valuable it’s actually sentient.)
More audio from the discussion was obtained by 1819 News, and it indicates that Reed is very much aware that white power will never invest itself in any “systemic change” that would diminish white power.
“You think motherf**kers around here gone invest in Montgomery?” Reed asked rhetorically. “You think I expect the decedents of Confederate soldiers f**king investing in Montgomery? Beyond what’s good for them? They give you some charity. They’ll give you some charity … They’ll do something nice over at Valiant Cross, where I’m on the board.
“But will they really invest in systemic change? Hell f**king no, they’re not going to invest in it. So don’t ever mix up what I’m doing… You haven’t seen a scientist as diabolical as me because no one has come into this with what I have.” (This man really went straight from talking about Black votes and money like they were something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe to sounding like Dr. Doom Malik Shabazz Luthor from the extended DC Comics hotep universe where whitey is both his enemy and his friend.)
Anyway, according to WAKA, Reed issued the following statement regarding the leaked audio:
“There is an audio clip that features me speaking privately with a member of the Montgomery community. This clip has been heavily edited and features carefully selected sound bites of my voice. The conversation was recorded without my knowledge or consent by this community member almost three years ago.
The meeting with this community member was prompted by our concerns about civil unrest in the immediate aftermath of the death of George Floyd. During this meeting, it became abundantly clear to me that this individual sought personal financial gain during a time of crisis in our city, state, and country. You have my word that no one in my administration will ever give in to a shakedown or extortion.
The mission of our administration is to bring more opportunity to each and every resident while making sure that Montgomery’s success is their success. As Mayor, I will continue working tirelessly for our citizens and not let distractions keep us from doing the business of the City.
I will be meeting with the media tomorrow to discuss this matter further.”
Yeah—it’s going to be a hard sale if Reed wants Black people to buy that there’s a context where “I don’t f**king have to damn get the black vote,” or “You can have all black everything” but “you won’t have green nothing” without “white money” becomes less problematic during the discussion he claims was about civil unrest after George Floyd. Still, maybe he was just keeping it one hundred about the power of whiteness while talking to someone he didn’t expect to betray his confidence.
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