Maybe I’ve posted this before, I can’t recall. But, in light of all the talk of poor, oppressed white people, it can’t hurt to post it again.
I have friends who will not go into a store if they see only black people in there. I have co-workers who would mess their pants before stopping at a restroom on that side of town. I call it Negrophobia, and this ode is dedicated to those so afflicted.
Negroes on the Street
Of all the places for us to break down,
It had to happen on this side of town.
Call for a tow, don’t look around
At the Negroes on the street
Your cellular’s at home? Mine is, too.
Find a payphone, what else can we do?
We passed one by, a block back or more
In front of a crowded Negro-type store
Hold your pee, hon, look at that store
Its’s full of Negroes, a dozen or more
I’m not saying they’d rape you,
or that I they might beat
But if they did, who’d help us?
Some Negro? On this street?
I’m going, I’m going! Stay calm, be cool
Let these kids pass by, strolling to school
in their sneakers, baggy pants, and bandanas.
Where’s the police? These punks are a menace.
Walking on dirty, cracked negro cement,
past cars sporting rims of an odd Negro bent
Even the air here smells quite different,
redolent with rich, ripe street-negro scent
Stay calm, be cool, show no worried face
Negroes sense fear, a trait of their race
Black people hate us, or most do, I suppose
Everyone knows they’re all addicts and ho’s.
Peas and greens in a sunlit garden
growing beneath a fresh-painted wall
I’ve no time for such, I work hard and
I bet their food stamps paid for it all
In the doorway a gal kisses a “brother”.
“Have a nice day at work, dinner’s at Mother’s”
Okay, so he works, some do, a fraction.
Only got jobs ’cause of affirmative action
That one, with his girl, has he got a gun?
Or the one sporting corn-rows,
playing catch with his son?
Their music is strange, so’s the food that they eat
Fried fish, chicken and chitlin’s, and barbecued meat.
So many black people,
going this way and that.
There goes an old black guy,
in a suit and a hat.
And the lingo, how strange
Is it good to be phat?
I was afraid of this, here comes one now
all smiling and polite, asking us how
can he help us. Do we need a jump?
No, no. I think it’s the water pump
Help’s coming, go on your way now.
Shakes his head, frowning, as he turns away
a faux pas, I admit it, but what can I say?
Why even the clean ones, decently clothed,
could be out to get us; we wouldn’t know it.
The tow truck appears, rescued at last!
by a pale white guy, not moving too fast.
You gotta get out, can’t ride in the car
Laughs when he sees how scared we are.
Can’t ride with me either, company rules,
and no taxis come here, they ain’t fools.
I’ll send my brother for a hundred a head
Or walk ten blocks, catch the bus instead.
Defeated, I pay. “Tell him to be quick”, I say,
And climbing into his truck, he goes on his way,
smiling. Because of my fear, he doubled his pay.
And people fear most what seldom they meet
Like jaguars in the jungle,
and Negroes on their street.