EDITOR'S NOTE: Kathy was too busy to write a new letter to Santa Claus, so she sent last year's instead. A version of this column first ran in the issue of Dec. 20-26, 2001.
Can you please come straight to the ghetto? And on your way, could you please, pretty please, straighten out Soul Brother No. 1 James Brown and tell him never again to accept another invitation to visit from an elected official in Cincinnati?
Could you spare some change for our panhandlers so they can get themselves something to eat, medical attention for their pregnant wives and cab fare back to Louisville?
The new Streetvibes Vendor Action Figures are out. I want the "armed" ones — the ones who do us a "disservice."
And while you're at it, could you puh-leeze give us some bathrooms during the Coors Jazz Festival weekend that aren't only for paying customers so Negroes from Detroit, Cleveland and Dayton won't have to pee at the library?
How 'bout a spine for my mayor? You know, the "strong" one.
I'd also like two World Trade Centers, an undemolished Pentagon and an undisturbed cornfield in Pennsylvania. Throw in a president without a pedigree and an Osama bin Laden Power Ranger who'll use his powers for good.
Hmmm. Lemme see. What else?
Oh yeah! How 'bout a new April, a different police chief, an Officer Stephen Roach Doll with a gun that shoots only rubber bullets and one of those Timothy Thomas Dolls that breathes, speaks and walks.
There's a life-sized Happy Black Mamma Angela Leisure Doll that goes with him. You pull her string and she says, "Don't run, Timothy!"
Santa, could I pleasepleasepleaseprettypleasewithsugarontop have two winning professional sports teams?
Can you not bring another Cincinnati CAN committee? The last one was defective. It imploded after my Charlie Luken Attack Dog "lynched" it one day. Speaking of that, how 'bout another Nate Livingston Chatterbox Figurine to bring some action to city council?
And can you tell the white people in Hyde Park and Mount Adams that the next time my Charlie Luken Attack Dog issues a curfew it applies to them, too? It'd be really cool, too, if you could repeal Article 12 of the City Charter so everyone could have the same rights under the law.
I'd like one of those reality checks, too. You know, the ones where you don't ever really expect to host the Olympic Games in a city where you can't even guarantee the citizens are safe from the cops or where gays are legally classified as inferior.
Since I've been asking for so much, Santa, I'd like to thank you for this year scaring religion into the Ku Klux Klan. What with all the racial strife here, they got spooked and decided not to apply for a permit to erect a cross on Fountain Square.
I know, I know. My list is lengthy, Santa, and it's a lot to ask.
But I've been a really good Negress this year. I told the truth, I ate my vegetables and I gave "Alms to the Poor" (see the issue of Oct. 11-17).
Besides, I really need this new stuff, Santa. I'm bored with the old stuff. None of it works well at all.
I'll understand if you can't bring it all at once. It's a really heavy load.
But I'll take what you've got. I'll take it in installments, even.
Anything's better than nothing at all.
Kathy Y. Wilson
Your Negro Tour Guide
P.S. Mine is the intolerant city on the right. Thanks again.
Hear Kathy's commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered.