This is an excerpt from my first book You Ain’t Hungry Until I’m” Starving. I wrote this piece in 2006 after two men assaulted and called the girl I dated at the time a “nigger lover.” These two guys moments before tried to sell me a slice of their pizza as I headed inside to by my own pizza pie. Moments later these two guys threw the girl into oncoming traffic. I intervened to protect this young lady. Soon witnesses arrived and told me to get into my car. Next thing I know is I’m forced on the ground by seven police officers. Thank God for the witnesses and the crying lady saying I wasn’t the person in the wrong. At this time the two guys walked off. The polices officers did apologize and they did try to catch the guys who assaulted the young lady. The funny thing about this is earlier in the day I had a talk with a guy who lived in the “hood” I grew up in. He basically called me a “sell-out” for going to college and doing my best to better myself and the community.
Disturbed by the fact of no matter well you do or carry yourself some people will still see you as a “nigger”. While others will think you are “selling out” for striving to do better in order to uplift the community, no matter how true you stay to the community.
SELL-OUT AND A NIGGER
It’s sad that no matter what I accomplish in my life I will always be a nigger to you because of the color of my skin. I’m tired of being harassed when I try to get into “your” so called bars, colleges, jobs, movies, etc. All I want is to have the same opportunities that you have, but you consistently push me down. Why? Because I am of a darker complexion than you.
On the other hand, even some of my own race will consider me a sell-out for striving to make a difference and take advantage of the opportunities that are before me. My brother, don’t you see that in bettering myself, I am bettering us – not as a single race but as the whole human race? However, you do not see that – because all you see is that I am trying to be better than you – by going to school, having a career and not hanging out in the streets.
Well, my friends, how much do I have to prove to earn something in your eyes? Whether you think that I haven’t struggled enough – or that I don’t know what it feels like to be treated as an outcast without a voice in this world – I’m certain that you have never experienced life’s struggles from my point of view. Have you been excluded by other races and even some of your own people, despite the fact that you’re a respectable, hardworking, goal-driven human being? Have you consistently been discriminated against, felt like you did not have a voice, and we’re being prejudged before people even got to know you? It’s frustrating and defeating to work as hard as I have, just to get knocked down on both fronts. But I will not give up.
I see what you try to deny. That is, that both of you fear me – I am your worst nightmare. I am the Dream that Dr. King envisioned. I am diverse in my taste, my intellect, influences and activities. Some of you treat me as a nigger because you’re scared to compete with me – so you try to disqualify me before the competing even begins. However, I do not want to compete against you. I just want to be afforded the same opportunities. And some of you call me a sell out because you are afraid of trying, of succeeding, of getting out of your comfort zone. So, call me whatever you want – but I am neither the nigger, nor the sell-out. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to take advantage of the opportunities before me – until you all can get it together and get on the bus.
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Vid Lamonte’ Buggs Jr is the author of You Ain’t Hungry Until I’m Starving and Vid’s Viddles. Copyright© 2017 http://www.vidbuggs.com.
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