“They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word”- W.E.B. Dubois
Last night I had trouble sleeping. Lately I have been suffering from extreme night terrors. However, last night’s episode was far worse than any of the previous ones I have suffered from. I usually wake up in a cold sweat after having a vision of falling into an abyss of nothingness. That imaginary abyss is minor compared to the frightening horrors that I battled with all last night. Brace yourself…Last night I dreamt that someone called me a NEGRO in 2010. Well it didn’t start it out just like that. In fact, there was quite a lot that built up to this. Since there is no way for you to experience what I did, allow me to paint a picture.
Setting: Anywhere in the United States of America at anytime on any day
Characters: Joe America & Me
Joe America: I can’t believe those damn bleeding heart liberals really pushed healthcare reform through. It’s just another way for those poor Blacks and Mexicans to suck off of the government and take money away from hardworking Americans like me.
Me: I don’t understand why you’re complaining. You’re currently unemployed and have no healthcare whatsoever. This package should help you just as much as it will help anybody else.
Joe America: You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve been drinking Obama’s kool-aid for far too long. I don’t want my hard earned money going to illegal aliens.
Me: First of all, the bill doesn’t extend coverage to those who aren’t citizens. In fact, on page 143 of the bill it says, “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”
Joe America: Don’t sass me boy.
Me: I know I may be younger than you, but I’d appreciate it if you called me by my name.
Joe America: My deepest apologies. Let me rephrase that, don’t sass me NEGRO!
Me: Excuse me! My name is Edward, and I’d appreciate if you referred to me as that only that.
Joe America: Well aren’t you so uppity? If your college education were worth anything you would know that I have every right to call you that.
Me: Really? Why is that?
Joe America: That’s what the government refers to you as. How does it feel it to be a problem?
Me: Where is all this coming from? The government refers to me by name, and I’m not a problem.
Joe America: Yes you are. You take me for a fool? I read Dubois. Yes, there still is a NEGRO problem.
Me: I’m not even going to argue with you. My father told me never to argue with fools because people from a distance can’t tell who is who.
Joe America: Yea, yea, yea! No matter what you do or say you always be a NEGRO, at least for the next ten years.
Then I woke up in a cold sweat. Let it be known that in 2010 we are still seen as Negroes. That is not a Negro problem that is an American problem.