The Usual Fckry: “Who’s Laughing At The Black Bitch?”
Beautiful woman speaking through rouge lips. Five minutes left of Django and she asks “would you have come back for me?” I want to answer honestly, and tell her if she looked like Kerry Washington, and if Elisa Toffoli’s Ancora Qui played softly, just once, while we passed one another on a porch, in a yard, or while setting the dinner table, I’d not only come back, but I’d love her like the world’s happiness depended on the smiles I was able to put on her face. I give a half truth and tell her “yes, baby. Of course I would.” She smiles.
And my thoughts travel on without her. There’s laughter behind me, but the only thing I believe I just heard was “Black bitch” come from the house nigger’s mouth. Who’s laughing? Broomhilda, tough life notwithstanding, stands there in a pain accompanied by clothing from what Kanye recently titled “The Rosewood Movement,” and these pink folks are laughing. This isn’t 1995 and this isn’t Detroit and Higher Learning isn’t showing on the screen. I am not fearful that someone may lose a life tonight, but I am curious as to why they’re laughing and I found nothing funny. “Black bitch?”
There are men and two women who can tell stories of my soles for once laughing at such a thing, and for once being at the trigger of that gun, spitting epithets they should have been killed for. I am nobody’s nigger. “When you see a nigger, fuck him up for me,” I told the white boss’s white daughter when she tested the limits of her Blackness in 1998.
Honestly, I just want to talk. We’ve never had that opportunity. At least I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been alive for quite some time. I won’t come to the table Malcolm X quotes, pre-Mecca. I will come with solutions, ideas, and my experiences. To know why Officer Santiago held me and Nancy at gun point at that Daytona Greyhound. To know why I didn’t laugh when “peckerwood” was first introduced in the film out of respect, and because I genuinely didn’t find it funny, but why close to every “nigger” received a giggle.
With Brooklyn, NY as one of the main characters, I’m telling the story of a Palestinian woman and an Israeli fella involved in ways for which I was cursed for by my Muslim classmate from Jordan. We’re not talking; at least not out loud. I want to talk about race out loud. I also want to talk about why I feel Kendrick Lamar’s album reminds me of that guy who showed up to open mic poetry nights with too many accessories, a bag of incense, spitting off poppycock in hopes of sounding “deep.” We’ll do that another time. I don’t want to whisper when I tell you about the Indian folks who come onto the elevator in my building smelling like a pot of Tandoori and Black Love fragrance oil, no matter who’s around. I just want to talk.
And in Kanye’s version of Rosewood, Armani silk blouse and organza skirt, she grabs my arm when the shooting begins and knows even though she’s far from Kerry, I’d kill every motherfucker who thought about selling her into an existence unbecoming of a Black woman.