Disclaimer: If you’re offended by the word nigger or are uncomfortable reading or discussing race issues then this post isn’t for you.
Let me start this post by stating an interesting tidbit about me. I see color. Black and White mostly. I’m aware that I’m African [American] and I live in a country that wasn’t designed with me in mind. The fact that three different amendements had to be made to the Constitution to make black men (four for black women) somewhat equal in the eyes of the law proves this. I also don’t believe we live in a post racial society.
I grew up in the DMV area and lived there most of my life. I moved to the south (Nashville, TN) one year after college graduation. I lived there for seven years. Talking with a lot of my friends about my experiences with racism, they say that they would rather deal with overt racism of the south than the closeted racism of the east. Their rationale is that they’d rather someone be upfront about how they feel about them. I’ll tell you now. They’re tripping. I remember clear as day the first time a white person called me a nigger to my face. There was so much hate and animosity in his voice. I was in Knoxville with some bruhs I was cool with for their homecoming. While at a red light a car pulled up next to us and the passenger proceded to yell racial slurs at us while they pulled up to the next block. At the next light the my friend calmly got out of the car walked over and punched the passenger of the racist dude in the face through the window. I swore we were going to get lynched that day. That was not the last time a white man called me nigger to my face.
I’m about 30 pages from finishing reading the Native Son for the fourth or fifth time in my life. This book which my blog is named after (click here) and while reading it invokes the same emotions as whenever I watch A Time To Kill. The Native Son attempted to explain the racial divide in America in terms of social conditions imposed on African-Americans by a dominant white society. In my opinion not much has really changed. Sure on the surface America looks like a post-racial society but dig right below the surface and you’ll find screaming examples that prove otherwise. Today while riding the train home and reading I happened to look up and see a white man staring at me. For some reason I wondered what that man thought of me. How he viewed me. I started to actually get upset. Why? Because I thought perhaps he was racist and was looking down on me.
The Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1865 which compared to now was kind of a long time ago. No one alive on this planet today was a slave or owned slaves but bear with me for a moment. Jim Crow laws really didn’t end until the 1960s (fucking Plessy v Ferguson).
Now ask yourself how many people do you know that were alive in 1960s. Whenever I come across a middle age to older Caucasian (especially in the deep south) I wonder if they were out of the closet racists at one point in their life. I give the odds about 50/50.
My thoughts here probably won’t be the most popular but they are honest. I’m comfortable enough to admit that which others are afraid to confront. A lot of people these days want to sweep race issues under the rug instead of dealing with head on.
No questions to end this post. Just hope you take something away from it.