Friday, January 8, 2010

The 2010 US Census,The 'Negro' Problem & The Neo-Negro

"You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger" - James Baldwin

Look, I got some shit to get off my chest; yes, a good rant is in order. I don't know, but maybe my mood today was set by the 4am call from Memphis City Schools informing me that the kids would be out of school today due to...EXTREMELY COLD TEMPERATURES! Yeah, apparently the brains of children go dead as hypothermia sets in while sitting in warm classrooms. So what it's only 10 degrees here in Memphis which is unusual. Try calling in to your job and telling your employer that you're not gonna be there because it's too cold outside, but anyway....

And now I hear Negros are upset and going ape-shit (pun intended) all because the US Census bureau is going to use the word NEGRO as a racial/ethnic category on this years census. No shit, I've even heard some of them talking about boycotting the census this year because of it. Now if that's not the dumbest shit I've ever heard? Boycott the fuckin' census?! Are you kidding me? Especially since Blacks cannot afford not to be counted in the census?? Yes, counting black people in the census is that important. The distribution of federal funds to state, county and municipal governments and the distribution of political power at every level of government depend on the Census dumb-asses.

I'm sorry, I'm aware of the change in American lexicon from back in the day to now. But when did Negro become a pejorative? Was Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and just about every other Black leader in America insulting "certain folks" when in fighting for freedom, justice and equality they referred to them as Negroes? When did we ever get together and vote for the term African American to identify us as a people? Was it "us" or "them" who came up with that one? I mean the way some people are expressing disgust over this you would swear that for the purpose of the census, we're being officially identified with the label Monkey, Jigaboo, or Nigger by the US government. But naw, as a government conspiracy, this years census will be collecting the DNA of every person of African descent for government use and storage - yeah, it's a setup y'all.

Negro is not the only word/term used to identify people of African descent on the census as they would have you believe. But I guess as a people we're so "image conscious" that we can't help to express disdain over the use of the word Negro - that internalized oppression is a bitch, ain't it? Oh well, I guess black folks are gonna boycott and protest the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), because, well, they're insulting and outdated, right?

Speaking of which, here's something else that has me fired up today. Why has the NAACP nominated Michael Jackson's funeral for an Image Award? I mean I loved the guy like a play-cousin and all, but giving an award to his funeral? A funeral NAACP? Really? I mean if you wanted to award a funeral with an Image Award, why not give one to that foolish burial of what y'all call the "N-Word" of all places in Detroit a few years ago. That really changed things, didn't it? Either nobody got the memo or the saying "Niggers don't die, we multiply," must be the gospel. And then there's this bit of commentary from every-body's favorite turd on television:

See what you Neo-Negroes did? You people got the shit-stain of the right-wing media all fired up talking about us, as if he really cares. And you know what? I hate to say it, but he is partially right that African American is not a race. If anything it identifies a hyphenated nationality which underscores the fact that people of African descent were once second class citizens. And since race is merely a social construct, and as my man Francis L. Holland has said time and time again, there's a big difference between race, and being "color aroused" as is everybody in this country...

That said, I think it's ridiculous how "aroused" some of "us" are over this issue as it relates to the 2010 census. Instead of protesting the use of the term Negro, why not protest the tens of thousands of incarcerated Negroes who are counted as residents of the counties within which they're housed by the census? Being counted and used to the benefit of these all white rural communities. Yes, these counties gain federal funds and political power at the expense of urban communities. Even worse, is the fact that black inmates in these counties don't have a vote, nor a voice. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don;t see this census thing as that big of a deal.


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