I am white. I wrote this story as an experiment to test the effect of political correctness on literary competitions. I did this by creating a story which both had a black theme and was written in a way which implied the author was black. However, the judges of the competition had no certain knowledge of my race or background.
Black was entered in the 1996 London writers completion. It came fourth. There were several thousand entries which meant that winning was something of a lottery and, consequently, the fact that my entry made it to the last four at my first attempt masquerading as black strongly suggested that the nature of the story had influenced its choice as one of the best out of thousands.
When I attended the award ceremony there was hilarious consternation when I went up to accept the prize because the judges had all assumed that the author of black was black. There was also a great rumble of amazement amongst the audience – I noted a solitary black face in the entire gathering.
Although I wrote the story for the purpose described and the dismayed look on the judges faces as I responded to my name being called was worth a tidy fortune, the story had other purposes. I wanted to explore the mentality of blacks towards their lives in England and just to complicate matters I distinguished the character further by making him highly intelligent. This allowed me to have him set apart from the mainstream black mentality which in turn enabled me to examine racial issues from an angle few blacks would have approached and to slaughter the holy cows of black victimhood.
See also comments at http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2011/02/want_to_win_lit.php
Now for the story.
I’m black. Yeah. Black! Black! Black! And I mean coal skin and I mean flat nose and I mean thick lips and I mean woolly hair and I mean…what do mean? I mean I’m not your honky nigga with a skin the colour of Cappuccino and those nice Caucasian features which don’t frighten the horses or white liberals, least ways, not overmuch.
I’m going to tell you what it’s like being me, being me being black, being me being black in Britain. And I’m going tell you without any liberal lying and self-delusion rockfalling the road to truth.
Let’s begin with what everyone but a blind man can see. You’re all probably thinking that because I’m real dark, my parents are. But that ain’t the way it necessarily works. Sure enough, my old man’s black as the proverbial Ace of Spades, but my ma’s quite a few shades lighter on the genetic Dulux chart. Me? I’m a tint or two up the whitey frightening level from my old man.
Fascinating subject genetics, but a touch complicated so hang on to your neurons and throb your axons for a sentence or three. You mate a pure white and a pure black and you get a mulatto. Now, a mulatto will always be a colour midway between the parents. Why? Because the child takes half the genes for colour from each of its parents. But breed two mulattos and their children can be anything from pure white to pure black because the parents can give them all their white genes or all their black genes or a mixture of both. Mate a pure white or a pure black with someone of mixed race or mate two people of mixed race other than mulattos, and you can get every colour variation other than pure white or pure black, unless, of course, those mixed race parents have enough black or white genes to add up to pure black or pure white. You can relax those neural connections now.
Same basic genetic thing with facial features, although that’s more complicated. My ma’s got a nice refined whitey type face and my old man on a bad day looks like he’s auditioning for King Kong. Whose features have I got? I’ll give you one shafting guess.
Now the moral of this tale is that with a different throw of the same genetic dice I could have been one of those honky niggas which don’t frighten ol’ whitey too much. On the other hand, if my parents had been mulattos I might have been ol’ whitey or even blacker than I am. Who says God ain’t got a fucking sense of humour? I guess He’s just sitting up in heaven laughing his head off and saying you shouldn’t have been conceived if you can’t take a joke.
Where do I live? I live in England. I live in London. I live in Brixton just off the Railton rioting Road. Not that I have to live there, I just choose to do that. Why? Because there are lots of people who look like me and talk like me and don’t make me think that I’m a fucking freak.
Am I angry? Yeah, I’m angry, really pissed off. I walk down the street and I see a white man talking to another white man and they laugh. Now my brain tells me that they’re just laughing, but my heart says they are laughing at you, boy, laughing at you ‘cos your black and big and threatening and my heart says that they’re telling you, boy, that you don’t belong here.
The worst of it is my brain says they’re right, I don’t belong here. Intellectually I can understand exactly why whitey don’t want blacks around, don’t want me around. Flush away all the liberal anal discharge about humans being humans being humans and what do you have? You have invasion of territory. It’s as simple as that. Well, simple to say but not simple to act upon, not simple to cast away all them comforting sops and part truths about how the world is morally black and immorally white, not simple to desert all you know.
Back to the starting line. My old man came from Jamaica in 1959. Settled in Notting Hill. Came with his head full of the Empire, the mother country and Pax Britannica. Them things seem not merely antiquated now, they seem incredible, but truly, brothers and sisters, that’s how it was forty or so years past.
Anyways, my old man was hardly off the boat before he had a real surprise because Mosley – yeah, that Mosley – arrived and there were white riots indubitably, categorically, beyond any argument, saying ‘No blacks’. And here were signs on boarding houses saying ‘No blacks’. And there were employers saying ‘No blacks’, or at least ‘No blacks’ in anything other than grovelling positions. And there were pub landlords saying ‘No blacks’. And there were neighbours saying ‘No blacks’. And there were…there were a thousand and one other things saying ‘No blacks’.
Now, you might have thought that my old man would have taken the hint and gone home. But, of course, he didn’t, just like all those other mother fucking stupid black men who wouldn’t see, perhaps couldn’t psychologically see, what was before their eyes, in their ears, about their brains, and who now sit and whine away their old age saying “I hate England. It so cold. It no place for me when I is old.”
So my old man stayed and stayed, always talking about going back to the old backyard, but having his life quilted ever more into England. After a few years he met a nurse from Antigua – there’s an up-your-arse cliché for you. Soon they were married. A few years past that o’clock and I came into the world. Thirty one years, two hundred and twenty three days later I’m still here, being black in England. That’s my first humping problem.
My second humping problem, a real undiluted knee-you-in-the-gonads difficulty, is that I’m not just black, I’m smart. And I don’t mean streetwise, though I’m that too. I mean smart as in very high IQ – very, very high IQ – smart as in educated, smart as in understanding without being told, smart as in being curious about everything. That kind of smart. I’ve got a hell of a memory too, just soaks up data like sand receiving the sea, and a Rolls Royce query and retrieval system rattling around my head. Add to that diamond pointed psychological cuteness and an instinctive sense of the sociological, toss in a pristine aesthetic awareness and you’ll have some small idea of what it’s like to be inside my head.
I can just hear you all – black, white, brown or yellow – saying, that’s a get-you-to-the-back-of-the-uterus problem? Or maybe you’re thinking that there should be an exclamation sign rather than a question mark at the end of that sentence. Perhaps you’re down the middle correct in thinking so. So, conjure up a Bateman cartoon, ‘The nigga who was super intelligent!’ If you’re of an ironic mind, you’ll easily be able to imagine all the honkies hitting their heads on the ceiling.
So, yes, it’s a real screwing problem and the real screwing problem is that there ain’t many people like me full stop and hardly any of them are black and in England. That’s not surprising, of course, because there are only about a million or so blacks here. That means I’m fucked by genetic necessity because natural intellectual talent like mine is real rare and contingently shafted by nurture because most blacks in Britain come from working class families who never put much store by education, leastways not beyond reading, writing and counting.
But knowing the why’s and wherefores of a problem don’t signify when the problem is hurting you day by day. It ain’t so much that I’m lonely, it’s more that almost everyone irks me because they seem so slow and ignorant and uninterested and as like me as chalk is to cheese. I think it’s the being uninterested which pisses me off most. Believe me, brothers and sisters, being smart means I’ve got an even bigger bird about my neck than being black.
So, I’ve got two twenty-four carat problems I can’t do a damn thing about. I can’t make myself white. I can’t make myself stupid. In fact, it’s enough to make Jesus Christ forswear his mission. But short of moving my existence to a different plane, like creating myself a cadaver, there’s nothing I can do but occupy a point in space and experience what may be.
You might think that I could at least pretend to be stupid but that’s more difficult than you might imagine, because being generally smart like me means that you do everything faster and better. If you’re like me, it don’t matter how hard you try, sooner or later you are going to forget yourself and do something too well or understand something too easily.
But if I can’t act stupid, I can try to fit in with my peers, my fellow Jamaicans, my fellow West Indians, my fellow Afro-Caribbeans, my – God help us – fellow Africans. So, I dress in the fashion. I wear my hair in the fashion. I play music in the fashion. I even speak in the fashion, though at times it pains me, saying “ain’t” and “fucking” and suchlike, rather than speaking with a genteel vocabulary and a proper respect for case, number, mood and tense as I could, I should, I would, if being black didn’t define mylife.
But fitting into a black universe ain’t a joy ride for someone like me. Being generally smart means that I can’t buy the black supremacist rectal effusion. When I hear some stupid nigga spouting off about how the Roman legions invading England in 43 AD were led by a black Muslim or that Beethoven was of African descent, I don’t merely reject it, I find it grotesquely embarrassing.
Then you’ve got those platinum plated daydreams, Rastas, worshipping an African who lived in a way they couldn’t even begin to understand. And that ain’t just because he was living in Africa. No, they couldn’t know because Selassie was a real, live, autocratic king and who the fuck in this day Britain understands what is to be such a king or what such a king may do? How much of England have I in me? I can’t rightly say. I know that the English don’t think I’m English. I know that I don’t feel any kinship with the English. No, that’s bullshit! What I mean to say at this point in my rage is that I don’t feel any kinship with whitey, period, full stop.
But on the other hand – there’s always another hand – I don’t feel at ease with blacks born and raised abroad in the same way that I do with blacks born and raised in England. And I don’t feel as much at ease with Africans as I do with West Indians. So it ain’t a simple straight down the line yes or no circumstance.
I reckon the English are the strangest people. You might think that a nation who ran the only world empire worthy of the name for a century or three would be pretty cosmopolitan. You might think that a people who lived in a very mixed city like London would be cosmopolitan. You might think that a people who lived side by side with an almost equal population of blacks in Brixton would be cosmopolitan. Not on your humping life. I won’t say that no Englishman failed to go native during the Empire. I won’t say that there aren’t Englishmen who sincerely believe in universal brotherhood. I won’t say that no Englishman ever made a genuine attempt to accept blacks as just people. But I never met one who could do it wholly convincingly. Always the barrier, always the sense of difference. But then blacks never act natural with whites, although with them it’s being too aggressive just to show that they’re not uncle Toms or all over whitey just to show that they’re just like honky inside.
Once, I thought I had an English friend. Exact physical opposite to me : all ash blond colours and fine cut features. Moved well too, a natural athlete. Add to that the fact that he was a newly graduated, post graduate, top of the range mathematical physicist – and they don’t come much better equipped with the wetware than that – and you’ve got a real superior being. Charming too.
Anyways, he and I would sit as happy as sand boys talking for hour after hour about the strange world of quantum physics with its Never Neverland particles. And we would see how such things related to cause and effect, free will and a thousand other necessary consequences of being. I’ve never felt so much in harmony with anyone.
We went on sublimely for months like this, this honky and I, but for all the pleasure I took in our talk I couldn’t help noticing that this brilliant, engaging whitey wasn’t over keen to introduce me to his honky friends. And he certainly wasn’t stubbing his toes in his haste to meet any black I knew. So eventually I asked him why, and all this beautiful honky, this putative friend, this man I felt was so like me as to be my intellectual twin, said was ‘It must be coincidence’. Fucking coincidence! Not, ‘I’m embarrassed by you’ or even ‘My friends might be a little put out by you’ but a ‘a coincidence.’ I could have accepted either for its honesty. That’s when I finally learned that ol’ whitey wasn’t for me. At that time he was everything for me: I was just an idle amusement for him. That’s the epitome of white and black in England!
I reckon the secret to understanding the English is to realise that they have a superiority complex. It don’t matter how much they’re ridiculed or insulted, they still think that they are superior, not self-consciously, but simply as part of the natural order of things. What with never being invaded for so long and running an Empire and producing the only bootstrapped Industrial Revolution and generally being top dog in the world for a century or more, perhaps that ain’t surprising. In fact, the English are the only people in the world who don’t have to lie about their past to feel good. The strangest thing is that they don’t realise their good fortune.
Now, I’m going to say something which will surprise you, for a nigga who don’t feel any affinity with the English. I’ve had a love affair with the English language for as long as I can remember. I love its powers of description, its precision, its lyricism, its general all round utility and toughness. And I never love it more than in Chaucer’s time when it was in-your-face honest and direct and there wasn’t a black in England. The English language is psychological home to me. Ain’t that a fine joke for a nigga like me in 1996 and in England?? Well, if you thought that joke was good, let me tell you another one.
I’m a real old theatrical at heart, but how can someone who looks like me play the great roles other than Othello? I would like to be – you all think I’m going to say Hamlet – but fuck Hamlet, a whining loser. Who do I want to play? I want to play Richard the Third, an heroic man and a tragic man. Who could wish to be more than that in his three score years and ten? I want to play Henry the Fifth, a man transmuted. I want to play Lear and Coriolanus and any number of other honkies. I want to be all these English people, and a whole cartload more, but I can’t simply because I’m black as black could almost be, and I look like King Kong’s first cousin.
One thing in particular about the English has always hacked me off into the clouds, right up into the resentment strato cumulus. You might think that they would prefer blacks to Asians, or at least West Indians to Asians. After all, we don’t really have any fucking culture except white culture, British culture, English culture. But it don’t work like that. No, on the whole whites prefer Asians. Why? Well, being sociologically inclined and historically cute, I could spin you a fine old tale of class and education and intellect. But I don’t believe it’s any of that, or at least, not any of that in the main.
A black can be as intelligent and as educated and as intellectually mature as can be, but somehow it don’t make any difference to ol’ whitey or, for that matter, ol’ browny or ol’ yellow, when it comes to behaving naturally with a black. In fact, I reckon ol’ yellow is the most complete racist of the lot because he don’t just think he’s superior, he thinks everyone else is at his pleasure. To tell the truth, ol’ yellow don’t care for any other human being even in the way that I might care for a dog. Truly, brothers and sisters, may God help us all if the East comes West again.
But that’s a digression. Back to the problem. Or rather, on with the problem. So what is this devil’s mark which makes human beings sit apart as surely as if they were models cast from opposing dies? I reckon it has to be physical. Why? Because we know that immigrants of like physical type ton the majority receiving population can integrate absolutely in a couple of generations. That don’t mean that such immigrants necessarily must or do assimilate absolutely, but at least it’s possible. That’s never the case where the immigrant is of a different racial type. So, my brain tells me that racial prejudice, racial separateness or whatever you want to name it , has to be down to good old Nature, red in tooth and claw and never asking more from an organism than that it passes down its genes to another generation. I must own that this matter of racial prejudice fascinates me. Thought about for a long, long time. I reckon it’s all down to S E X. You see, there’s something called assortative mating which is common throughout the animal kingdom. Now, that’s just a bit of jargon for saying like goes to like, or more correctly that certain aspects of an animal, such as size or colouring, become signals for mating. So animals seek other animals which resemble themselves in these particulars. For why? Because any animal wishes to mate successfully. For a physical peculiarity to be chosen as a mating signal, it must be commonly found within a species. Ergo, an animal’s best chance of ensuring that it’s offspring mate is to produce offspring which closely resemble the majority of its species.
Now, humans are genuinely different from any other animalbecause they’re both much brighter and vastly more self-conscious. So they don’t just select mates according to physical signals. They chose mates using class, wealth, education and culture as their mating signals. But they also select mates by racial type and all historical experience is that racial type is the most emphatic assortative mating signal. Worse, to the liberal way of thinking, men, being self-conscious and creators of culture apply the same criteria when selecting their friends and acquaintances. That’s why, brothers and sisters, that’s why you have racial prejudice.
Why, you might well ask, if this assortative mating is so powerful do a goodly number of white women breed with black men? Well, you must first understand that assortative mating is only a tendency not an absolute natural law. Then you must realise that the overwhelming majority of white women breed with white men. Which leaves us with the white women who do breed with black men.
The stripped truth is that most of them are working class and uneducated and broke. So they ain’t got a lot to offer any white man worth anything. Which means that they have a choice only between some idle do nothing white no hoper and a black with money or prospects. Of course, that ain’t the only reason that white women go with black men, but it’s a common reason.
Why don’t white men breed with black women as often as white women breed with white men? Well, that’s real simple, it’s the men who set the agenda in any society. Always has been and always will be. A woman takes her status from her man and a man must preserve his status. Now, if I belong to the highest status racial type in a society, I take a mighty risk in having children of mixed race because they will be discriminated against. Consequently, I don’t do it, well, not if I’m smart I don’t.
Do I like white women? Well, I like the look of them. But the trouble is that they never act natural with a black man. In fact, whites never act natural with blacks. Even if a white woman’s trying to be nice, it’s all self-indulgent guilt or nervous bonhomie or unintentional superiority.
And black women? Well, black women tend to get on with honky more than black men because they don’t threaten and there’s always good old S E X. Black women are always trying to straighten their hair and whiten their skin. But it don’t do most of them no good in the end because black men don’t like it more often than not and white men ain’t likely to take sexual notice. Real sad, ain’t it?
Who do I most despise? Taking one thing with another it’s the ol’ liberal whitey, forever going on about how awful racism is and how wonderfully tolerant he is and how intolerant others are. Yet this sonofabitch can’t even bear to send his children to school with our children. And isn’t it strange that these people, who are forever going on about how they are the friends of coloured folk, always seem to live in places which don’t have many black folks actually entering their lives in any meaningful sense? And that’s true whether it’s liberals living far, far away from those black and brown faces which frighten them so much, or in one of their “gentrified” places, close by where black and brown faces abound, but set aside from the black and brown faces by leafy squares and wagonloads of money.
You don’t believe me? Then take a trip to the ancestral home of white liberals. Go to Hampstead and something seems odd. You are in central London but there’s precious few black and brown faces. If you walk on the two main shopping streets, perhaps you’ll see one coloured face in six. But you get off those two streets and it’s an ocean of honky.
The thing to understand about ol’ liberal whitey is that he is a masochist, and masochists only enjoy pain which they can control. So, they will tell the black man anything so long as they don’t have to actually live with the black man or send their children to school with the black man or spend any significant amount of their own money helping the black man or letting the black man have a slice of their ruling class pie.
If you want understand how much I despise liberals, let me say that I’ve got vastly more respect for the white working class. At least they tell the truth about how they feel.
Truth to tell, the time’s long past for some honest talking by blacks about blacks in Britain. There are some exceptionally stupid blacks in public places who think that white liberals mean what they say. There are some even stupider blacks in public places who don’t believe that liberals mean what they say, but think that it doesn’t matter because circumstances will always make the white establishment behave as though it believed what liberals say. And there are some quite stupendously stupid niggas who believe that and also think that they can insult ol’ whitey to their heart’s content for ever without ol’ whitey taking enough offence to do something. Ain’t that something!
Now, my brain tells me that minorities are always going to be fucked by the majority, tells me that if a minority makes a big thing about being separate, they’re putting up signs saying persecute us, tells me that if a minority becomes more privileged than the majority, it is shouting from the rooftops, get those gas ovens working! But blacks don’t want to hear such things. No, blacks want to hear fairy tales. Blacks want to behave as though they are miraculously protected by God. What mother fuckingly stupid niggas.
Perhaps it ain’t their fault. It’s just stupid black people and stupid white people living out a fantasy. Can you imagine what will happen if race riots really start to take hold? I can. Let’s suppose that we have a nice little rising in Brixton or Toxteth or St Paul’s. Let’s suppose further that a dozen whites are killed and perhaps a hundred or so are injured. Pretty small beer by international standards, but that’s all it will take in safe, cosy old England to make ol’ liberal whitey run like the wind for cover. That brothers and sisters is when you’ll all discover that you’ve been living in a dream. What, you say, what if blacks are killed? Ah well there’s your want of intellect, there’s your emotional blindness. It don’t matter how many niggas are killed because we are a small minority. In the end we have to lose. That’s the political arithmetic.
Now don’t get me wrong, I can get myself up in the indignation stratosphere about slavery and the way blacks were treated for a long time after slavery died. Late at night, with a few drinks inside me and the pulsing radical brothers and sisters whispering in my ear, I can be shouting for reparations for blacks, demanding the world to smooth away the past. But that’s just weak self-indulgence and a form of slave mentality, for all I’m doing is asking honky to control my life as surely as if I was on a plantation. I’m saying to honky, you give me money for hurts never done to me or my father or grandfather or great grandfather nor done by you or your father or grandfather or great grandfather. Put like that, it don’t seem reasonable. Even more to the point, put like that such reparations seem like fairy gold.
Why don’t I go and live in Jamaica? Well, the truth is that’ve been there. And the even bigger truth is that I didn’t like it there, didn’t fit in. For Jamaicans I was always an outsider. In fact, they called me Englishman. There’s a fucking irony for you.
But it wasn’t just that. I was bored in Kingston and if you’re bored in Kingston, boy! will you be bored anywhere else in the West Indies. In London I can always find something to do. And everything works, more or less anyhow. And then there’s that little old British welfare state with its benefits and its free education and its free health service. You only sniff at that if you’ve got it and don’t know that you’ve been born. Try living in a country without them things and see how you get on.
Who do I blame for this suppurating mess of a racial predicament? Well, I would like to just say ol’ whitey, nice and clean and simple. The trouble is, in my heart of hearts, don’t feel that ol’ whitey is to blame, or at least, not ol’ whitey generally. No the honky side of the blame equation is all those self-deluding liberals and internationalist simpletons dreaming their dream of the brotherhood of man plus the Pax Britannica merchants who wanted to pretend that the peoples of the Empire were just one big happy fucking family. And you can add to them all the white cowards in power who weren’t deluded, but didn’t have the backbone to stop what was happening back in the fifties.
That’s the honky side of the blame equation. And the black side? There we find all the stupid blacks who thought that they could Uncle Tom their way to whitey heaven. Behind them come those blacks who believe ol’ liberal whitey or pretend to believe him.
But most of all I blame my father and my mother and all those other selfish, stupid niggas who came here, found racism all about them, yet stayed and had sons and daughters knowing full well that their sons and daughters and their children and their children ad infinitum would suffer the same rejection. And one last thing. To go back to where we began, I’m really sick of hearing those mothers and fathers standing round now saying “I hate England. It so cold. It no place for me when I old.” Well, it never was no place for you when you was young or middle aged but you stayed. So don’t stand there now whining as though it’s anybody’s fault but your own.
Perhaps the trouble with the English is that they are too controlled, too law abiding. Perhaps if riots had been real serious in the beginning. Perhaps…a thousand times perhaps.
Jesus! What a fucking mess!