Were it not for the unspoken and intangible presence of racism (the proverbial fart in the wind as it were) in the daily lives of black people in this country most of them would have long since severed their ties to blackness. Hell, even with racism running rampant, the "upscale communities" are over run with latte drinking, buppy, proper talking, oreo, negri looking down with pity on the the masses of ignent, under dressed, miseducated, under resourced, inappropriate po folk like a bunch Haitian boat people.
Well, ich bin ein Haitian.
Racism is the glue that holds the diaspora together. If black folk could ensure that racism wouldn't affect them personally how many black folk would be willing to accept racism as a fact of life just like black folk are willing to accept poverty as a fact of life as long as it doesn't affect them personally.
OK let's pause a second and let that one sink in a bit.
If black folk had put half the effort that was put into driving racism underground we might be a looking at poverty's last hurrah.
Instead of running from each other the world should embrace the diversity of what it means to be black or brown or yellow or colored. Maybe if the ones who get to cash in their lottery tickets didn't make a bee line for the Mercedes dealership and start wearing overpriced crap with unpronounceable brand names made in third world sweat shops that stole jobs from the very people trying to buy this crap maybe the ones who don't have a lottery ticket wouldn't try to emulate an impossible and unnecessary standard. It should be possible in this country to be from the hood and still hold your head high. Everyone from the hood doesn't cheat, steal, plunder and create general anarchy. James and Florida Evans taught us that on Good Times.
Point of personal privilege.
People who haven't eaten in a week are not looting they are trying to survive. I thought we resolved this issue during hurricane Katrina. But the media seems to have forgotten this little jewel.
We now return you to our feature presentation.
All the black folk who have "arrived" ought to wear their blackness proudly and quit trying to emit the "I am not one of them" vibe in order to obtain the approval of barely post teen sales clerks and snooty waitstaff. Once a month the "movin on up" crowd should don their best "look like I just stole something" attire and roll out to the mall incognegro ©. And while you are there act real suspicious so you draw attention. Then when the entire security team is all over your ass like stank on shit, walk up to the register with your purchases and slam your gold card down on the counter like a trump card in a bid whist tournament. (Alternatively, you could adhere your gold card to your forehead in anticipation of your transaction.)
Why do this you may ask? Simple, fighting racism by making it harder to practice overt racism will surely diminish racism. Sure it starts out as keeping an eye on those poorly dressed suspiciously behaving black people. Then it morphs into keeping an eye on those suspiciously behaving black people. Eventually it always becomes just keeping an eye on those black people.
It is not OK to judge a book by it's cover. Ultimately, that is the substance of racism. If it is impossible to delude themselves into thinking they can tell the "good ones" from the "bad ones" simply by looking at them maybe sales clerks will begin to evaluate everyone on the sole criterion that clerks should use to determine the good from the bad. To wit, will that be cash check or charge. Ultimately, this might also end up preserving the dignity of some honest hood dweller that ends up at the wrong mall. Security needs to think twice before body checking some honest brother whose only crime was that he "looked suspicious".
In the post segregation upwardly mobile America that we have become, racism is the only thing that black folks still have in common. Hell, sisters can even get their hair done with confidence at the mall now so those semi monthly trips to the hood are no longer required.
Racism is the only thing that reminds folks who have ascended the wall to throw the rope back down so somebody else can climb up. There is plenty of room up there for everyone isn't there?
We got love for yall but yall don't love us.
Don't hate on us we fabulous.
THE 2022 ZURICH FILM FESTIVAL
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