Friday, October 27, 2006

Askia Muhammad endorses Faith

Askia At-Large
Election Day: A Leap of Faith

Askia Muhammad
The Washington Informer
Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lost, I assure you, among all the pre and post-election analysis, interpretation, spin, punditry, gibberish and jibber-jabber that has already been said or has yet to be spoken or written regarding Decision 2006 will almost certainly be the story of perennial D.C. mayoral write-in candidate, Mayor “Capture the Rapture” Faith Dane.

Faith is a perennial write-in candidate who performed her own “campaign cabaret, dinner concert” at Steve’s Player’s Lounge in Southeast D.C. one election eve. She’s a believer. She’s a performer.

“Faith can move mountains,” she declares.

You know: Faith.

You’re at a grassroots political event in the District of Columbia, maybe even in a church. At a time pregnant with possibilities, the political air, the sanctity of the sanctuary is pierced by the sound of a trumpet! Loud! Brash! That’s Faith, campaigning for mayor!

You know Faith. You’ve been at a meeting when Faith blew her horn. Sometimes she was made to leave the room after the outburst; sometimes, her horn was simply confiscated. It’s memorable political theater of distraction. You see her with her horn in her hand at an event. You hope.

You know Faith.

She was the “show-stopping comedy star of the Broadway show & movie ‘Gypsy’” which also featured Ethel Merman, Jack Klugman and Sandra Church in May 1959. Then there was that movie with Marlon Brando! “Gypsy.” Faith played the trumpet-blowing striptease artist, one of three strippers in the musical fable based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee.

“I’ve known her since I was 22,” Mr. Brando told Washington Post writer David Montgomery in 2002. “She’s always stood up for what is right and stood up for principles.”

And she’s never been afraid to be disruptive, Brando continued. Many years ago “she was at a party and somebody made some untoward remarks about me ... and she grabbed this guy and broke his nose.” That’s Faith, all right.

But, dear voter, if you persist and wade on past the “show-stopping comedy star,” there is the kernel of a truly valuable political concept in what Faith preaches. The idea is: “Arts and Culture for Statehood.” Of course, that means statehood for the District of Columbia, but she also says arts and culture are important for “statehood” with a small “s.”

You don’t really know Faith.

She says arts can become a vital infrastructure for statehood. “Using FDR’s WPA Federal Arts Bill as a model,” Faith declared at the D.C. Statehood Summit in 1993, her project would “sponsor arts training throughout the city, in every neighborhood, in storefronts, public buildings, workplaces, schools and churches to provide an accessible, universal resource for human nurturance, self-expression, and careers that can lure people away from drug and alcohol abuse and crime.”

That’s a good idea! It should be introduced before the D.C. Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities!

That is the centerpiece of Faith Dane’s horn-blowing, political being. Meaning.

Faith is a write-in candidate for ... mayor this year. Faith is a perennial write-in candidate for something, running on faith mostly, with a good idea or two for good measure and well beneath the public facade.

Write-in Mayor Faith “to Free D.C.” her perennial poster/handout reads.

Askia Muhammad is Editor of National Scene News Bureau, which provides editorial, audio and photographic content for broadcast and print clients, including The Final Call, National Public Radio, Soundprint, WPFW-FM and The Washington Informer. His e-mail address is


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