CABS IN NEW YORK:
Ten thoughts that come to mind when you're Afropunk and an excited white death metal fan posts Confederate flags on your MySpace Page:
- Start a flame war. Right fu**in now. Send the individual--who's obviously out of his friggin mind--a panoramic postcard of the burning streets of LA. Make sure there are plenty of running niggas, raped white women and raging fires in the photo. Also make sure to mention your cousin who went to the joint for shooting white people. If he asks why, whats the anger for bro, send him a copy of Beloved.
- Okay stop, take a deep breath, think about it. Get beyond the way you felt reading The Ethics of Living Jim Crow for the very first time...count to ten.
- Now start again: instead of a riotous postcard pick out a funny Boondocks one, something sobering yet witty, political yet polite. And write on the back RACE MEANS NOTHING. Hate--black or white--is the real problem. Simple as that. In fact, mention that your best friend is young, gifted and white. Sign the card with: I just have a thing against dumb people...And flags built on tragic histories.
- I really do have a best friend that's young, gifted and white. He introduced me to Guns and Roses. The Guns and Roses that sang niggers get out of my way. I own all those G n' R albums now. I love Guns and Roses. I like to believe that Axl Rose was merely singing in character on that song. Why? Because its easier to believe in him and his songs that way. And because he wore NWA caps. And anyone that likes NWA, must like niggers.
- But maybe liking the word nigger and liking nigga music, has nothing to do with liking niggers at all.
- Which explains Micheal Jackson. Or well, maybe on second thought, nothing explains Michael Jackson.
- So count to ten again and ask yourself: what would the Clash do? Weren't they, James Baldwin, the Talking Heads, Basquiat and Public Enemy and Fela supposed to end all this bullshit? Where's King? Where's Jimi n' Outkast? Where's Malcolm X, Mos Def...Where's Krishnamurti when you need him? Or better yet, just send Dave Chapelle!
- Read a Phillip K. Dick novel. Something nice and dark like A Scanner Darkly. Something about drugs and the streets. Imagine youre walking down a street infested with a drug named Substance D. Imagine youre wearing a scramble suit. Now no one can see who you are. You can be Michael Jackson. You can be Axl Rose. The scramble suit digitally scrambles your phenotype into a zillion configurations, erases your identity completely. Now youre black. Youre white. Youre Asian. Youre Tiger Woods.
- If black people had scramble suits, maybe they could be president. Maybe they could get a #1 song on rock radio. And Gnarls Barkley could leave the UK and come back home. Dressed like normal people instead of Wookies.
- I love Wookies. I always wondered what they smelled like. And if there were weird racial slurs, or awkward moments between Chewbacca and Princess Leia on the Millenium Falcon.
- I love Gnarls Barkley. I love Deep Cotton. I love Iggy Pop, and Simon and Garfunkle, and Led Zepplin, and Frank Zappa, and Flannery O'Conner and damn it, every once in a while, I love America. There I feel better now. Until the next time...I try to catch a cab in New York.