how it feels to be number three

three the hard way...

Caesar: You hear the news?!

Huey: What?

Caesar: It’s official. We’re Number Three!

Huey: Huh?

(Headline of newspaper article reads: “Black Americans Third Most Hated Ethnic Group. A proud day for the race, say leaders.”)

Caesar (with arms raised): We’re Number Three! We’re Number Three!!

-Aaron McGruder, The Boondocks, November 7, 2001

* * * * * does it feel to be number three? honestly, not all that different. not when i can still be looked down upon by the new outsiders.

i’ve seen the worst of people come up to the surface. a white man gets out of a cab, shouting and berating the driver, telling him that he sends all his money back home to finance terrorist efforts. he storms off in a huff. the cab driver just got a taste of my world. was it all you thought it would be, my brother? we breathe the same air, but that wasn’t enough. we bleed the same color crimson, but that wasn’t enough. what about now? you just got to experience some of my pain. what you’re feeling right now, i’ve been there. ain’t no fun, is it? so now that our common bond is staring you right in the face, can you take me uptown?

i was answered with an “OFF DUTY” sign. isn’t it amazing? i’m living in a country where just about anyone wearing a turban and looks even halfway Arab is looked at suspiciously and labeled a terrorist on sight, but at the end of the day they can still dump on me. somebody in America is calling these people “sand niggers,” yet they still get to treat me like i’m nothing. how can that not give them a sense of pride, no matter how false?

* * * * *

Huey (reading from newspaper): “Newsweek has confirmed through an exhaustive national poll that Black Americans are no longer America’s most hated group. The results do not come as a surprise to many experts, who have observed a dramatic change in Americans’ profiling and discrimination patterns since September 11th. The last ethnic groups to remove Black Americans from the top spot were the Japanese and the Japanese-Americans, who had a brief but memorable run at the top in the early 1940s.”

Caesar: I’m so proud...

-Aaron McGruder, The Boondocks, November 8, 2001

* * * * *

the television miniseries Roots just celebrated its 25th Anniversary. that is the DVD must-have right there. but i must admit, i didn’t always love Roots. any brother or sister that attended a predominantly white school growing up HATED Roots. or had a love/hate relationship going, at least. as soon as February came around, here come the audio/visual squad settin’ up the TV and the VCR. and if we weren’t watchin’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, it was Kunta Kinte and them. wanna know the whole reason why i hated Roots? cause if you were black, you were the first thing white students looked at when anybody got whipped, put in chains, or put to death. nothing but Virgin Island ocean blue eyes starin’ back at me. palefaces put me on an auction block, checkin’ my teeth and my muscle tone, and didn’t even realize it. then again, i guess that’s what my ass gets for sittin’ in the back of the class room. i never forgot that feeling, though, and i never took a back seat again. EVER.

* * * * *

Huey and Caesar watch the news:

Anchorwoman: “President Bush invited Black leaders to the White House yesterday to celebrate Newsweek’s announcement that Black Americans were no longer the most-hated racial/ethnic group in America. They fell to third place behind people of Middle Eastern/Arab descent and people of East Indian descent – because they kind of look like people of Middle Eastern/Arab descent. President Bush said that with God’s help, soon Black Americans will beat the French and move to number four.”

-Aaron McGruder, The Boondocks, November 9, 2001

* * * * *

after September 11th, some brothers got patriotic overnight. i’m talkin’ ‘bout “wipe Afghanistan from the face of the earth,” “kill-Osama-and-his-mama” patriotic. ever see the spirit of Joseph McCarthy leap into the body of a black man? it’s almost comical. i’ve had brothers telling me that we need to not only kill bin Laden, but kill his family, too. assassinate his children, wives, the whole nine. one brother called for round-ups of everyone of Middle Eastern descent. like detainment camps will solve the problem. wanna pour syrup on a pile of shit and call it a stack of pancakes? be my guest. personally, i ain’t trying to eat at no excrement IHOP. and did this nigro just suffer convenient historical amnesia or something? what about your round-up? here’s a hint: it involved a REALLY LONG BOAT RIDE. and if a round-up were to occur, headwrap-wearin’ sisters had better run for cover – best believe they’re getting caught up in the mix. let’s face it: america never goes about this stuff in a careful manner. if there are two dumb ass bombs for every smart one, if we were stupid enough to make the food rations the same size, shape and color as the cluster bombs, what makes this McCarthy darkie think that a sista rockin’ the Badu look won’t get snatched up off the street?

i have three words for black Muslims in America: FIND JESUS – NOW. say “Allah u Akbar” too loud in this country and Mr. Yacub could drop a “food ration” squarely on your head. and to Mr. McCarthy’s future successor, i had this to say:

“ashcroft and rumsfield just called. they got a hold of your views via FBI’s Carnivore program. your words please them greatly. expect a limited edition red, white and blue Third Reich FUBU jumpsuit with matching Timbs in the mail shortly. they’ve got big plans for you.”

there’s gotta be a way to feel fortunate about living in America without feeling patriotic. that’s as close to a happy medium as i’ll ever get in life. cause the whole problem with being black and patriotic is that you tend to forget what most flag wavers really think of you. one thing that America has always done well is fear anything other than itself. before they hated Arabs, they hated us. America always has hatred left over for us. and while we might be number three now, this country has no problems letting us know exactly how little our opinions count in a New York minute. does it feel to be number three? honestly, not all that different.

{vic feedle}

other Black History rants include:
2.7.01 - when you laugh...
2.2.00 - 2000 black
2.24.99 - exhaustion...

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