Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the negrometer.

the cvs around the corner from work has a rotating cast of homeless players shucking and jiving out front for loose change and hand-me-down sandwiches. and since it's my second home i see them fairly regularly. upon my exit a few days ago i was immediately accosted (physically, mind you, he touched my coat; ew and NO) by the dirtiest dude i've ever seen in my life. "hey, little sistah," (uh oh) "can you spare some change?" now i have absolutely zero problems giving homeless people money. and i could give a fuck about what they do with it. how goddamned arrogant is that? "i'll give you money, sir, but you have to use it to buy some food." man, fuck that. if you want to allocate your charitable contributions, find an organization you believe in wholeheartedly and write them a check. dude, if you don't mind cirrhosis, here's my dollar. off to the liquor store, you!

so my wallet was buried in my bag, because i am a notorious loser of wallets, and he enlightened me with some scripture while i dug past all the mascaras and extra mittens to get it out. who knew the lord's prayer had so many curse words? in my wallet was a handful of laundry quarters and a five. my man was about to get the quarters when he blurted out: "aww, come on GIRL. i know you ain't gon' be like that?! let me hold that five!" okay, so i'm generous, but i'm also a giant bag of assholes who doesn't respond well to verbal abuse. so i cocked my head and gave him the shittiest look i could muster and said, "i'll keep that, but i can give you--"

"shit, i shoulda known," he interrupted. "you oreo girls never give real brotha like me a motherfuckin' thang." (brakes screeching. record skipping. insert your own metaphor.)black people who are uncomfortable in their own skin and with their own identities often try to control and demean other black people by challenging their "blackness." it's an age-old trick. maybe you won't notice that i'm wrong and an idiot if i deflect and put you on the defense about your heritage. because there is no right answer to the question of who's blacker than whom, it's an ideological pissing contest. and a fight, by the way, that the negro-lite can never win.

i dated a dude who called me a "house nigger" once because i don't think nas is a genius and think tupac's depth is overrated. oh, for real. a rational person would understand that maybe i just prefer biggie. and i grew up in the fucking suburbs, man! that's the reason i speak this way! for me, this is keeping it motherfucking real. BLARF. apparently each racial judge comes equipped with his own specific ruler by which we uncle toms get measured. for some, appropriate slang usage is the gauge; for others, style of hair and dress dictate the guidelines. typically, a dude bathed in his own excrement wouldn't lead me to question anything about myself; and, unless i'm mistaken, nat turner is dead, not shaking a starbucks cup outside a drugstore. but i thought for shits and giggles i'd come up with my own black litmus test. i mean, shit, it's almost february. let's black up some history.

i have brown skin. 5000 points (my scoring system is wholly arbitrary.)
i speak "properly." (i totally take offense that this is a negative and not the standard.) -100
i have natural hair. +500
i don't smoke newports or kools or black and milds. -200
or weed, regularly. -500
i am 27 and i don't have any children. -500
i don't know anyone in jail. -200
my name is sa-man-tha (no double-consonants or unnecessary apostrophes) -800
i have a wide gangsta rap collection. +1000
and a lot of metal and alternative. -1200
i know who my father is. -1000
i grew up on section 8. +500
i don't read ebony. -100
or jet. -100
or vibe. -500
but i do read XXL. +100
i got a 32 on my ACT. -1000
when i say "pitcher," i mean a vessel for liquids. -200
i have a giant ass. +1000
i have scary tattoos. +100
my parents were divorced. +500
and they were married before i was actually conceived. -500
i sometimes say "soda." -50
i like pork. +800
i love 30 rock and csi. -900
but i can name all the characters on girlfriends! +100
paul mooney is one of my heroes. +1000
i never use the word "finna." -200
i've never had a weave. -500
or acrylic nails. -600
i'm writing this list. -6,000,000,000

see kids? racism hurts. and is HILARIOUS. i might not be black enough, but i'm a good fucking time. and i'll always have a job. laura's mom teaches in flint, and has a set of twins named chardonnay and merlot. for realsies. i hope one of 'em is a judge at the NAACP when i go on my "black trial." just picture it, a jury box full of my peers with their cornrows and jordans and prepaid cell phones. it's all in fun, bitches. don't get bent. but if i have to defend my lack of blackness, i'm shining the mirror on my judges. i just better make sure my baby phat looks tight as hell when i drop it like it's hot up in tha muthafuckin' court room, nah mean?! i better play my cards right (and by cards i mean spades) in front of the judge. or he might just revoke my use of the n-word. and THAT would be a tragedy.