I try. I really do try. I try with all my mind, heart, and soul to go through my day and see shit the way others do. But it just doesn’t work for A New Millennium Nigga. Take the picture above. What do you see? A President creating a photo-op with a popular athlete? Maybe you even saw the video and realize that he’s having a little fun with the fact that he and Reggie Bush share the same last name. You may even admire the way that President of the Stepford PTA Laura Bush is literally standing by her man.
See, that’s not what I see.
I see a long, ominous shadow cast. I see a modern media echo of the slave auction.
I might not even have thought of it if Bush — the President, not the player — wasn’t greeting New Orleans as part of an acknowledgement of the Katrina debacle. I might not have thought of it if I hadn’t one year ago offered a heartfelt “Amen!” to Kanye’s simple statement, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people!” I might not have thought it if Bush — the player, not the President — wasn’t a part of the whole spectacle solely because of his physical strength(s). But those are a lot of if’s. And as I’ve been told, “If a frog had a glass ass, he would slide instead of hop.”
So, I did think of it. I thought, “Muthfucka. What the fuck so so funny? Chances are that his last name is Bush because somebody who looked like you kidnapped somebody who looked like him … or bought their ass! That somebody who looked like you probably whupped that somebody who looked like him until he called himself ‘Bush!’”
I might not see it that way if I hadn’t been watching “When the Levees Broke” on my TiVo recently. I might not see it that way if I hadn’t had my heart ripped out of my chest with images of Americans — some, but not all, who had skin like mine — floating and rotting in flood waters that should have been held by those levees. I might not see it that way if it hadn’t taken George W. Bush two weeks to get his ass down to the scene of his crime. I might not see it that way if — as Kanye also pointed out, as Mike Myers and America looked on dumbfounded — black people weren’t described as looting food while whites were described as finding food to survive. But that’s a lot of if’s. And as I’ve been told, “If ‘if’ was a spliff we’d all be high.”
So, all I see here is Massa and Missus showing off their little Black Bush. And it pisses me off. So I laugh to keep from crying. Because sometimes I feel like I see shit that ain’t actually there. And sometimes I feel like I see shit that is actually there, shit that a lot of other muthafuckas just don’t see. And sometimes I wonder how people can be pissed at me for using the term “nigga” when this image is everywhere and nobody seems to notice the bitter irony of a rich white man celebrating his “shared” last name with a faceless black buck.
“Toby Bush,” said the muthafucka who looked like George W. Bush as the muthafucka who looked like Reggie Bush made the whip heavy with his blood. “That’s your name now, Kunta!” And then Louis Gossett, Jr. taught him not to have such a rebellious spirit. And that shit was passed down from generation to generation.
I was taught when I studied biology that there are dominant and recessive genes. A New Millennium Nigga submits that there are also dominant and submissive genes. There’s some shit that seems to be embedded within us, like a compliant reporter in Iraq, that allows us (across the races) to think nothing of it as Bush — the President, not the player — uses Bush — the player, not the President — to have a lighthearted moment over the corpses of men, women, children, and a city who didn’t have to die that way, whom he forgot a little over a year ago, who rotted and drowned and starved to death, whose blood is — at least, in part — on his rich, white hands.
I might not see it that way if he hadn’t told “Brownie” on camera that he was doing a good job. I might not see it that way if I didn’t feel in my heart that it would not have taken two weeks to show up had the tragedy happened on Martha’s Vineyard. I might not see it that way if I didn’t feel he trades on — and perhaps buys into — the “The South Will Rise Again” mentality that exists just beneath the surface of the national political landscape. But that’s a lot of if’s. And as I’ve been told, “If your mom had a dick, she woulda been your dad.”
So, go back and take another look at that picture. And then ask yourself if A New Millennium Nigga saying “nigga” is really the problem facing niggas today. And if you still think I am … then to paraphrase Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men: That’s why you want me on this blog! That’s why you need me on this blog!
Orlando Bishop, a.k.a., A New Millennium Nigga, is a writer living in L.A. You can find more of his work at The Musings of a New Millennium Nigga.
Miscellaneous | September 6, 2006 | Comments ()