American Book Award-winner “NATE” Being Reissued in November, 2017–on Kindle

From Ishmael Reed: “I enjoyed reading NATE so much that I read scenes to anyone within hearing distance. P. Lewis is an original talent whose English cuts through a lot of contemporary BS like a butcher knife. His characters don’t give a flying F- whether you feel for them or not. It’s important that a powerful novel such as this surfaces at a time when the black lit. scene is being smothered by a lot of dumb frivolous chick-lit and down low scribbling. Anybody want to know where the kick-behind black male literary tradition of Himes, Wright, John A. Williams went? It’s alive and well in Berlin.”  

From Darryl Dickson-Carr: “A brutally funny novel satirizing diverse subjects from American military misadventures, African-American cultural politics, to the chaos of contemporary American life. Like the protagonists of Nathaniel West’s The Day of the Locust or Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the eponymous hero, Nathan James Morris, is a classic picaro, a naive everyman and would-be artist whose foolhardiness shows us more about American life and the human condition than would seem possible in one novel.”

 

My second novel, Nate, won an American Book Award in 2006. A lot of people have been asking about this novel and how they can get their hands on it. I’m putting out an e-book of it in November, and the following year a CreateSpace version will be available on Amazon. (That’s the best I can do right now.)

Also keep an eye out for my third novel, Berlin Asylum, in the Spring of 2018. The both of them will certainly raise eyebrows. 

So for a little taste of the novel which rubbed black middle class sensibilities the wrong way, read below…

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Chapter Thirteen

Imagine yourself entering Robeson Hall, early in the morning, hungry, exhausted, unwashed, your brain inundated by everyone’s wild screams. Look into their faces as you pass: there’s your story. They make you reach for your revolver. The coeds are everywhere, with plenty of time on their hands and nothing to do except sit on the stairs or slump against the walls and around the soda machine or filling up the lounges and the bathrooms, eating, drinking, playing their radios; they look so charming and luscious, like JET centerfolds—you’d love to have them dangling from the end of your dick—until they open their mouths, roll their eyes, and look at you. They BREATHE hostility and contempt. It oozes like sweat from every pore of their over pampered skins.

They look even more brutal than the 34th Vandal’s worst MP’s. They look ever more mercenary, more cold-blooded, more hostile, and often, they even strike you with terror. I listen to them speak; it sounds so affected, so childish, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Absolutely superficial. But they seem contented enough with life—so whenever I see one of those cute, cuddly coeds coming up my way as I pass through the lobby to see my name on the Dean’s List—after licking asses and not getting my due for it—I deliberately let the door fly into their face. Some of them are scared of me; others resolutely hostile, though I haven’t been attacked—not yet. “Dirty black-ass motherfucker!” one cute coed clucked when I hurled the door in her face.

I shrugged. Why bother with manners if it doesn’t help?

I’ve got fifteen minutes; no assignment is due in Professor Spade’s class, so I don’t even know why I’m wasting my time here. I hadn’t been doing any homework for a week, anyway, I couldn’t concentrate. I could always do my artwork in the studios, but I had to be careful lest one of the students broke in and stole my work and fixed his or her name to it—something that happened all the time. And Leopold Spade—I finally admitted to myself, with some deliberation, that I genuinely hated him. He is one of the few people I’ve ever truly despised. I didn’t want to admit this at first; I wanted to accept his arrogance for something other than just crude hostility. Besides, I had heard from so many people that Spade really admired my work and “had nothing but praise for it”, so I couldn’t figure out why he was being so cool and nonchalant. But I was still young; I had a lot to learn about C.S.U. art instructors.

Designers, without exception, are assholes, sociopaths, egomaniacs and insufferable windbags. And there is no design teacher without a record-book full of failures and withdrawals and these sudden, strange disappearances (“incompletes”) so common amongst Coon State art students. Whenever Spade shows up in class or up the hall, every one of the freshmen groans in disgust as he whistles his self-satisfied, dreaded ass off.  Worse still, he shakes down every cunt in the classroom. At the end of each class (like at the end of his dick) all the girls hover around him like mosquitoes, chirping and cooing lasciviously: they being women, he can pass them with an “A” if he can fuck them. That’s how he shakes them down, the bastard. But he occupies an enviable and almost eminent position in the local art community. He’s gracious, so I’m told; he’s helped many a career, he’s so fucking concerned about “his people”, a man of the streets, a block boy bathing in a tub of champagne. All of which doesn’t explain why he refuses to give me an “A” or “B”, no matter how much time and effort I put into all the work I dish out to him.

Fortunately, there was a godsend seated at the far end of the classroom. I remembered her face very well—her chestnut-colored hair, long sexy legs, almond eyes, puckering lips, slender build did not escape my memory. It was Maya Arschloch. The one Marcus disdained because he said she had a “svelte” ass. At first, I was highly suspicious—I thought she was some agent sent by the consulate to have me jugged. But when I broke the ice with her I found she knew nothing of my desertion. Solid, I thought. The girl had quit the goddamn consulate two days after I called up sick.

“I was wondering why you never came back,” she said, sipping a soda through a straw. “Hell, I decided to take off myself. The nerve of you guys working there, talking all that trash about us! Especially you, Nathan.”

“Me?”

“Yes, you,” she said, “Because you’re so much better than the scum who worked there!”

“Safiya and Khalida were scum, too, you know,” I insisted.

“Yeah, but MARCUS?! I mean—damn! He was impossible. And such a fucking racist, it was incredible. He was always looking through my things—I don’t know why, unless he was looking for nude pictures or some shit. Oh, my God, Nathan,—look.”

“Where?”

I followed her finger to the man seated two rows away from us, three seats from the wall in back; his bespectacled face was filled with bruises, his hair uncut, his sport coat scuffed. “That’s onea my old boyfriends,” she told me— “you think all that stuff about him is true?”

“What stuff?”

“Didn’t you hear the rumor that he’s a male whore, and he supposedly sucks people off for forty dollars a pop? That’s—Sellers! Guy Sellers!” She gasps…. “Oh my God!”

I swear I felt my hair stand on end when she said that. But, thanks to Christ, that was NOT Guy Sellers—the man just looked very similar, that’s all. He was medium-to-dark, like Guy was; his eyes were full and round like his but, thankfully, they were grey. Never minding this strange Guy impersonator, however: some voice just outside the classroom provoked an even greater feeling of dread: Professor Spade. Guy, after all, was just a bad memory; this motherfucker was real. And he never looked more ominous when he strode into the classroom.

We all quickly fell silent.

Spade was a dark-skinned, balding man who wore round mirror shades. He had an angular face with a thick nose and a smug, tight mouth. He looked like a fucking murderer. I bade hello to him, just to say something, maybe to get on whatever good side I still thought he possessed….but Spade said not a word. He drew up his shades, took them off, and then briefly landed his eyes on me.

He stood there looking at me in a very unpleasant way. It was a strange look of disdain, the kind of look I once found in the eyes of some hateful corporal. Whatever the hell was eating him up, I knew I had nothing to do with it.

“Someone’s been smoking in here,” he said, coldly. “Was it you, Mister Lomax?”

“No,” spits the battered-faced nerd from the rear in a muffled, weak, self-conscious voice.

“Excuse me, I asked you a question, so I’d like for you to answer it, please,” he then snorts, pompously.

“I said  NO,”  Mister Lomax snorts in anger, “I didn’t smoke in here. I don’t smoke, sir. You know I don’t!”

“No, Mister Lomax, I DON’T know that you don’t smoke, thank you—for your information. You know,” he adds, icily, “you should learn to show me some respect when you walk in here next time.”

Spade takes out his stool and sits on his bony ass while Mr. Lomax looks at him perplexedly. Today the bastard is in a strange rage, and he himself admits to it. He pompously sniffs the air, and looks at me again. Uh oh. I know what he’s going to do, what he’s going to say. I’ve heard it for the past year already.

“So, Mister Morris,” he continues, laying his things out on the table, “it seems you finally decided to come to class again and take this course for a third time?”

“Yeah,” I said, “I need to. That’s the only reason why.”

“You WHAT?!” he suddenly spat, jerking his head up so vehemently it frightened even me. “Well, I….I said—”

“You said you needed credits, is that right? That’s what I THOUGHT I heard you say! Is that right?”

Everyone was looking at him and I, scratching their heads….

“Yes, I said that,” I stammered, looking into his hard eyes, “I….need them to pass. To graduate.”

The students, Maya included, found my mumbling and fumbling very funny. Spade took his goddamn eyes off me for once, and scanned the class with them. “You must be joking,” he suddenly said. “Hand in your assignment, Mister Morris. I want to see what you’ve done that makes you think you’re so damn tough.”

I looked askance at him. “I didn’t say—”

“Hand in your assignment, Mister Morris,” he snapped. “NOW.”

I dug it out of my bag and made it over to his table, almost feeling as if I hadn’t really left the military. Spade looked at it, over and over, up and down; Maya was sulking in a corner flashing nervous grins; Mister Lomax was looking up at the ceiling, and then at me—he put his finger to his head and “fired.” I know, my eyes tell him, you don’t have to tell me a thing.

“Morris,” Spade shot, “tell me, what’s so damn great about this thing? This stinks!”

He hurls it on the table.

“This is slop, Nathaniel Morris. SLOP. What makes you think you can say what you said an’ just—you know….”

“Say about what?”

“You know what I mean, Mister Morris,” he shot back.

“I think you’re nuts,” I mumbled out loud.

Spade looked up at me once again. “I know I didn’t hear Mr. Morris say what I thought because if he did, he’s not going to find being in this class a very pleasant experience at allllllll.” He cocks his head. “Let me clarify myself, Mister Morris. You—I find you very disrespectful to all the people in this art department. VERY disrespectful.”

“You told Lomax the same thing,” I grumbled.

“I’m not talking about Carl, sir, I’m talking about YOU.”

“But what the hell did I do?”

Spade took a deep breath, shook his head, and sat down. He flopped some papers down on his table; he looked over them for a long time. I couldn’t figure out what his damn problem was myself. “Morris, this is a D-minus,” he snaps, tacking a sheet of paper onto my assignment—the one I’d slaved on all night, the one I had swimming in my head for so long I couldn’t remember. Then all the other students were told to turn theirs in. I was aghast to note that theirs was shit compared to what I’d done.

“Morris,” he begins, as the students stack up their shit in front of him, “Mister Morris. Lissen to me. One month has already passed in this class, and your grades right now are so bad, I don’t even know why you are even bothering to hang around. I doubt very seriously if you can accumulate enough A’s to pass this course with a ‘D’. Maybe, if you would stop clowning around, get serious, an’ show me work comparable to what I’ve seen you do, then, maybe, we’ll see about you getting passing grades. I want to see you in this class. I am NOT going to let you slide, mister—”

“I did my work just like anyone else in here, I don’t know why YOU’RE pissed, unless you personally dislike the damn thing. Or,” I said, jerking my brow up at him, “maybe it’s something else.”

“Oh? Like—”

“I don’t know,” I snorted, “I just think you have a problem with me being in your class. But that’s tough. I gotta right to take this class like anyone else.”

“You know, you really didn’t have to come to class, you coulda stayed home—”

“But I chose to! What the hell’s the matter with that, anyway?”

“Nate, you listen, and listen hard. Do you REALLY want to learn something from us, or do you just want to disturb us again?”

“Disturb—?”

“Yes! Disturb. You disturb this class by coming in late, that’s disturbing as hell, Nate.”

“I wasn’t late this time.”

“Listen, man. Don’t you even care if you graduate or not? What’s the reason for all the clowning around? The bad assignments? What?”

“I’ve been doing my very best,” I insisted.

“I asked you a question,” he shot back—“What is the reason for it?”

“But you come in late, and others do, too! Why single me out?”

“Me?” Spade spat, pointing arrogantly to himself, eyebrows raised, half-smiling. “What about me? I’m not talking about ME, Mister Nate. I’M talking about YOU.  What is it now? Too much fun? Alcohol? Drugs?….Sex? Don’t tell me….it’s the sex, isn’t it?”

I try to keep from hurling something into his face—a bottle on the floor, a thick piece of wood, a stray tire-iron, a balled-up piece of paper. I feel his hatred building up in my bones like poisonous phosphates. The guy starts getting red underneath his ebony tint; my stomach tightens. Every week it’s the same old dreary shit. Spade glares at me one more time and then snarls “get out”. Just like that. “Mister Nathaniel Morris,” he says, “please leave this classroom immediately, and come see me after class.”

“I didn’t do anything,” I protested.

“Now,” he snapped.

Joe and Jacky Cooke appear just as I’m making it out the gate, past the entrance where the cars come in. Two of my “good friends,” whom I’ve known for about a year. One of them trim and smartly casual, the other a big, fat, tall behemoth dressed in shabby T-shirt and jeans. Of course, Jacky is the monster, the toughie, who was so hurt by Coon State’s rejection of him that he went mad, grabbed his soprano sax—and bopped his music instructor in the head with it. Joe, on the other hand, is just a nice guy who amuses himself observing my social gaucherie. Remember him? He was the schmuck I encountered a couple years ago when I was living in Adams-Morgan. Along with him comes Carl Lomax, bemoaning his own plight at C.S.U. and pathetic as usual. Joe calls out to me while I’m down on Georgia Avenue, and, as is the custom, I snub Carl and face Joe. Carl angrily walks away.

I’m sorry, but that’s just the way things are. I have a bad enough reputation as it is without Carl buzzing around me like a fruit-fly.

“Hey, Nate,” Joe says, once he approaches, “Where you headed?”

“Nowhere special,” I say, still angry, still hearing Spade’s sneers in my head. “I guess I’ll go to a museum or something.”

Jacky frowned. “A museum?” He raised his brows. “Oh, I get it! Wanna talk to somea those artsy-fartsy honeys up in there, huh?”

“It wasn’t even on my mind,” I said. And that was no lie. “Actually, I got hooked up with this one girl in class, she’s pretty hot.”

“I don’t believe that shit,” Jacky shot. “Really?” Joe added, right about the same time. “Joe, man, he’s just sayin’ that shit to impress his friends! Ar-hargh-har-ar! You can’t talk to these snotty-ass hoes up here, ‘cause all they want is either some fuckin’ pimp or a white dude—either which, they certainly don’t want you, Nate!”

“That’s not true, I knew this girl from Numidia, from way back,” I explained. “Her name’s Maya Arschloch.”

“That’s a helluva name,” Jacky said, “sounds like German for asshole! Nate, you sure she’s okay? ‘Cause I’m tellin’ you, I’ve been up here before all y’all. I was in this motherfucker twelve years ago. Back inna goddamn seventies! Man, that was nothing but total sell-out time! Every motherfucker wanted to be a goddamn pimp, a fuckin’ hustler—I mean, it was fucked up! The decade before they were all into that ‘black is beautiful’ shit—then, they just freaked out!”

“Tell me about it,” I snorted, “look what became of them.”

My words were complimented by the sudden appearance of three happy, merry, huckle-bucking students, dressed in loud “COON STATE” T-shirts and cut-off jeans and gold chains, yelling and screaming like lunatics; following right behind them were a group of enormous negroes with their hair shaved to the shape of Greek lettering, making funny noises right out of Monty Python, their feet ensconced in Adidas sneakers, running two and fro from the gateway entrance to the steps of the School of Business in repetitious patterns only seen in the mentally autistic. “Oh, shit,” I snorted, “the goddamn Greeks.”

The three of us continued down Georgia Avenue, until we passed the rows of rotting brownstones and store-front churches, the beer joints and crumbling sidewalks, the stripped-down cars, the post offices and cathedrals with grilled windows….We popped up in Chinatown, still talking. Chinatown looked more or less the same—the main difference being the lettering was Chinese, and that the windows didn’t have grills in them. Right around the corner from us—we were on H Street—I saw this obscenely bloated figure in pink tights and a black T-shirt pushing a baby carriage; I was aghast to see that the bloated thing had the face of Rhonda Randolph. Even more outrageous was the fact that it was smiling! “Damn, that’s a goddamn gorilla right there,” Jacky huffed, with a chuckle…. “That bitch is so fat, she can’t even make it through the fuckin’ door.” He squints his eyes at her face. He sees what Joe sees, what I saw before any of them. They turn and look at me. “Oh, my Lord,” exclaimed Joe…. “Nate??”

“What?” Jacky cracked, his mouth widening into a shitty grin. I bit my lip. “Yes, I know, I know.”

“It’s your girlfriend!” Joe giggled, and then broke out laughing. Jacky wasn’t laughing, however; his eyes said something else. “Hell, I’d fuck her,” he admits, shrugging. Joe laughs even harder, though the shit is really directed at me, as he makes clear when he leans on me when I got my back turned, trying to make sure Orca doesn’t see. “Yeah! I mean—she may be fat, but it’s the good fat, yo! She’s hugely but evenly distributed! Hell, African dudes like their bitches fat, so I guess I’m more in tune to the Motherland than you niggers are! Ar-har-har-argh!”

“Hell,” I snorted, watching that huge rear-end swish disgustingly away, “she IS a motherland all unto herself.”

“You know, it’s really fucked up, how the sisters at Coon State be doggin’ a nigger, yo,” Joe begins, as we make it onto 9th; thank God Orca goes down the escalator of the Gallery Place metro. “I mean….there’s this one bitch I heard about, right. She’s up there now. She’s such a freak. I mean, she’s such a big freak, Vanessa del Rio don’t have nothin’ on her, okay? Light-skinned bitch. She’s got this answering machine, an’ all these niggers kept callin’ her ass up, one after the other. ‘Cause she had this message on it where the girl was actually rubbin’ the phone up against her pussy an’ sayin’ some wild shit, lickin’ the phone an’ stuff. She looks almost white.”

“Oh, yeah,” Jacky says, cutting his eye at me jocosely, “I remember. I think I recall. Melvin told me about that bitch when she used to work overseas! She got those long, sexy dancers’ legs, like a, a ice skater. Yeah, she’s fine! Got that luscious skin, that svelte ass….”

“She’s the one Luc’s in love with,” Joe says, cutting his eye at me. “The stupid-ass fool!” Jacky replies. “She’s like the fuckin’ mirage you see inna desert. That’s all she is! A goddamn flirt! You think you gonna get something but you don’t get shit from her! Goddamn dickteasin’ bitch! She be whippin’ her long dark hair around, flashin’ them sexy cat eyes—she ain’t nothin’ but dirt. She ain’t but nineteen an’ she’s already had five abortions, slept with about a thousand niggers, Melvin told me he’s got this film of her with eight guys shootin’ sperm into her mouth, big ol’ fat juicy gobs, too, not that small shit, you know, these ol’ tiny-ass droplets—I mean, BLISSSSSSSHHHHHH!! Shit looked like she got doused with wall-paper paste….Damn!”

“The nastiest, sluttiest, whore-ass high-yellow bitch of the class of 1992,” Joe said, mordantly. And then he turned and faced me, and said: “Does that sound like somebody you know?”

“Well….”

In my silence the void was filled with raucous laughter, with Joe laying it on thick for effects. No big surprise: his whole face seems like it’s been constructed just for that purpose—to laugh in other people’s faces. “An’ to think he’s been to bed with Orca an’ shit—bitch is so goddamn fat that when a nigger fucks her, the motherfucker sinks right in! Takes him a whole week to find his way out that bitches’ pussy!”

“Man, Nate,” Jacky laughed, “I thought you had some good taste in women.”

“She’s my ex-girlfriend,” I snorted, angrily. Then, for some strange reason, Orca reappears, through the Metro’s elevator. Joe and Jacky are in stitches watching her huge thighs wobble around; I move away from them. They follow, sheepishly giggling. “Okay, man, we got you. FORMER girlfriend.”

“I’m serious!” I furiously whispered, in vain. Jacky nods. “Okay, man. Gotcha.”

“I mean, we don’t even know each other anymore,” I continued.

“Yeah, man, we get the point already!” Joe snorted, still laughing. “Former girlfriend. FORMER GIRLFRIEND. Shit, that’s what they all say.”

They are still laughing when we enter the clothing store further down on 11th Street, North West. I didn’t care to go in to the goddamn place, since I usually picked up something cheap at a flea market. And I know that THIS IS A STICK UP! doesn’t have the kinds of things that I like to wear; their stuff is too hip, too self-conscious. “Look around, man,” Joe says, once we’re into the men’s section, the sounds of Public Enemy pounding over the intercom. “All this,” I snorted, “just to lay these stupid cunts on campus. They won’t give a shit! I’ve been through this whole thing before!”

“Nate,” Joe says, as I pick up a black long-sleeved shirt with red poker-dots, “you may be a veteran of a nasty war, but there are other wars to be fought. Keep your head up, you ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

Joe moves away from me, over towards Jacky, who’s checking out a new pair of Elleese tennis shoes. Yesterday it was Fila; the day before that Gucci; the day after tomorrow it will be Timberlands….and these silly names will be the only reasons why guys like us will die in these streets.  Nearby, two beefy security officers, one a fat black woman, the other a jaunty-looking white guy with a mustache, are watching me discreetly but carefully; a sales representative, dressed smartly and casually in jeans and olive sport coat, Asian with unusually round eyes and slick, trimmed, oily hair, a face full of acne and thick, pink lips, a white name tag reading “DOUG” stuck on his coat, starts hovering over me when I’m looking at a double-breasted suit. The sales rep says, “Need any help?”

“No,” I say, “I’m just fine.”

I put the suit back down on the rack, and then pick up another one, a single-breasted jacket with one button only. “No, that’s not you,” says “Doug” the retailer, who pulls out something strange— “this is. Yeah.”

He holds it up to me as I face the mirror. The thing is triple-breasted, with buttons running up and down the bright blue fabric like black cockroaches. “Now, that’s bumpin’, that’s cool. You a Coon State student?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“I figured you were,” he said.

I go into the fitting room and try it on. The pants are too tight, and they haven’t even been cuffed. The shoes are too stiff, too shiny, like they’ve been made out of plastic; besides, I don’t like the combination of red and black. And the jacket is a four button-holed monstrosity. Only a lunatic would pay three hundred and forty dollars for this trash. Of course, I don’t say that to “Doug’s” face when I give it back to him, and simply take the black poker-dotted shirt for twenty dollars.

Joe and Jacky are in the women’s section talking to a coed from Howard University. I am just leaving the cash register, ready to walk out the door when “GREG”, the other sales rep, black and medium-complected, narrow-featured and Latin-looking, calls out, while striding towards me:  “Oh, sir?”

“Yeah?”

“Could you mind putting that shirt back where you found it?”

“You mean this? I just bought it,” I said.

“No,” he says, grinning forcibly, suddenly tugging on the one I’m wearing. “I mean this. Please take that off right this instant and give it back to us.” Very strange how he has suddenly become so rude.

“Oh, no, this is my shirt,” I say, watching his face—it isn’t moved once. “I’ve had this shirt for a year.”

The security’s ears are pricked up: the fat black female one wobbles over, eyes popping, fingers itchy to pull out that pistol she’s got in her black leather holster. “Don’t start that shit with us,” I hear her snarl. I froze: my mind rambled back to Pointe-Blanche, to Adjrar, to Camp Jejune, to Freedom College, and all the past humiliations I had ever suffered at the hands of authority figures.  “Take it off.”

“But this shirt is mine!” I exclaimed, and then wheeled to Jacky and Joe, who were still in the women’s section, still talking to the Howard U. coed. I tried to wave them over—but, lo and behold, I found them acting like they didn’t know me. Neither one of them said a goddamn word when I asked them had they seen me with my shirt on. The female security officer tugged on the sleeve of my shirt…. “I’m sorry, boy,” she barked, while the other one came closer, chewing gum, eyes set dead on me, “but you gon’ have to show a receipt if you claim that shirt’s yours!”

“I bought it a year ago,” I said, my breathing starting to speed up apace. “Why would I have it? Those guys over there, they’re my friends, they saw me with this shirt….”

All along, the burly white guy with the moustache kept nodding, chewing, nodding, nodding, chewing, chewing, and then going, “uh, huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, sure it is. Sure, pal. We believe you.”

“Take off that goddamn shirt, nigger!” the fat black bitch rasped.

I started arguing with them, thinking, this is the last straw, I’m not going to take this crap. But everyone else in the store, save for the personnel, was indifferent, even though I observed the cashiers laughing and joking with some customers about the absurd scene. Then the big white guy seizes me roughly by the arm. “C’mon, c’mon, let’s go, kid,” he snorts, hurtling me through the doorway of the room reserved for “employees only”.

C’mon, Nate, I thought, wake up. Stop dreaming, you can’t fight the world all your life. Give them the shirt, and walk out of the building, back to campus, back to school, and get your degree. Maybe they will let you off easy. You know they are right after all—even if they are wrong. What are you going to do about it, motherfucker?

The door closes on a room filled with unopened boxes, scattered tables full of invoice papers, trash cans filled with discarded Dixie cups and soda cans and potato chip bags and empty boxes of Kentucky Fried Chicken, a water cooler, a soda machine, and two bright, dangling bare bulbs. They say, after they lock the door, “Take your pants down.” I refused to take them down. So the two guards held me as “Doug” reached for my pants. I smashed my knee up in his face and the two guards wrestled me to the ground; I punched the honky in his face with my left but the black bitch quickly pointed her gun between my eyes. Then “Doug” ripped my pants off, zipper and all. “Greg” filched out my wallet; the honky took the wallet, went directly for the ID’s, pulling each and every card out, VISA, Master Card, etc., etc. “Is your name Nathan James Morris, or is this some shit you made up?” he spits. “Yes,” I say, “it’s my real name.” “Well, is it!?!” “YES,” I shot back, observing “Greg” put on rubber gloves, and “Doug” filching my remaining cash out of my wallet and sniggering. “Fuckin’ sonofabitch,” “Greg” giggles, while he sticks his hand up my ass and starts probing around in my asshole for what he thinks he can find….Unfortunately, by the time the cops come, it’s all over, the damage has been done, my pants have been buttoned back up. Five police officers stream in through the door and, without a word, point their finger outside, towards the waiting patrol car. I stroll through the doorframe feeling one of the security officers kicking my sore ass. Joe and Jacky have long since left. People stop and stare at me; the old Korean owner of a nearby hat shop puts down his broom and, his wife coming out, starts pointing, jabbering stuff in Korean; both their slit eyes carefully follow my clumsy steps from the STICK UP!’s doorway to the patrol car. The mastiff in back of me keeps barking down my ear, giving me a head-splitting headache by the time we get to the precinct station.

The precinct is an olive-green walled hell-hole alive with the endless ringing of greasy telephones, the ruffling of papers, and swarms of dick-headed cops of every race(though mostly black men)and their equally repulsive victims: hookers, drunks, armed robbers, gang-bangers, pushers, etc. By now, after a year in this goddamn city, it comes as no surprise to me that nearly all of them are young black men. The man behind the desk, a patrician-looking fatherly guy with gray speckling his neatly combed kinky hair, keeps asking me a whole bunch of insulting questions, one after the other. My only line of defense, unfortunately, is to tell the truth. “Uh, huh,” he merely snaps, after everything I tell him. I give him Joe Washington and Jacky Cooke as witnesses, provide their phone numbers and campus addresses—all of which comes in the end to nothing. They take me into the booking room for “attempted petty theft”. They flung a sign around my neck, snapped some horrible pictures of me, had me roughly fingerprinted, then led down dark, stale corridors to—the Drunk Tank.

Why the hell were they arresting me for public drunkenness?

I go inside the place, and there are about fifteen mothers in there, all black, and all male. Eight of them are huge brutes, eyeing me very, very carefully as I’m shoved inside. The other six are non-descript-looking, dirty fellows clad in dirty jeans, torn overcoats, soiled pants, some wearing only underwear; one guy masturbates in a lone corner while talking loudly to himself. The whole place smells of piss and rotten blood. The fifteenth guy stood out above all, because he was dressed in drag. He had on a shiny black wig with black fishnet stockings, red plastic earrings, a tight pink mini-skirt obviously padded around the hips, breasts and ass to give him the semblance of woman ness. Had not this figure stunk so bad of alcohol and unwashed ass, I would have never guessed—though the prickle of beard should have told me so. And, above all, the eyes: they were too green, with that coldness that one sees only in snakes.

“Hey, man,” he says, when he sees me, “what’s happening? Whad’chu do to get in here?”

After my shock wore off, I only said, “whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t what YOU were doing!”

“Man, it was just a ruse,” Guy insisted, stumbling around drunkenly, “it’s not like I was selling myself.” He then began a spiel about how he worked with some other guy in a fake prostitution scheme: Guy, dressed up like a woman, would lure suckers into a trap in a dark alley, pull open their pants, go through the motions….when the other guy, unbeknownst to the sucker, would bash him in the head. It sounded very believable, but I couldn’t be so sure after noting that the front of Guy’s dress was encrusted with flecks of what looked like dried wallpaper paste. Myself, I said nothing, wanting to believe it was all a bad dream.

“You got twenty dollars, man?”

“No, I—the security officers took my money,” I stuttered.

“Where was this at?”

“THIS IS A STICK UP!, you know, that place,” I said. Guy laughed. “Man, I don’t believe that shit,” he snorted.

Hell, I thought, I don’t believe you, either. What the hell happened to all your money?

Late that night I managed to place a call directly to my dormitory at Hillcrest Heights. But it was four days before Lucius followed up on his promise to get me out. Guy, on the other hand, stayed behind. I watched the look of despair on his face as I left the Drunk Tank, thinking to myself, it’s the fitting end for a stinker.

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SPRINGTIME FOR HITLER

Fick das AfD arschlochen!

(Fuck the AfD assholes!)

Desertpeace

German Election Results ….

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The only thing Bibi ever got right …

The picture shows a “Hitler moustache” inadvertently cast on the face of Merkel by the pointing finger of the Israeli Prime Minister.
The image was captured by Marc Israel Sellem, a photographer for the Jerusalem Post, who immediately posted the picture on his Facebook page, leading to an avalanche of tweets, comments and Facebook likes and shares.

Related report  follows (Click on link)

Germany’s new Nazis see Israel as role model

Israel and its supporters have made alliances with racists, anti-Semites and Islamophobes all over Europe. (via Flickr)

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White Racist Liberal Paternalism–in Blackface

(Part One of Two)

Patriarchy takes for granted that women are inferior and “the weaker sex,” as assholes used to refer to women decades before. The system of patriarchy is smug in its paternalism towards women. Patriarchs love to hold open doors for women and treat them with what they (patriarchs) imagine to be “respect.” “Respect and protect women,” they chant, like a bunch of crows perched on a tree branch. They love to talk of women being “queens” and how “strong” and “lovely” and “noble” and “fair” they are. They say women are romantic and emotional while men are visual and phallic, that women are from Venus while men are from Mars and all that crap. Actually, both are from planet earth but who cares? The language of patriarchy puts women on a pedestal that women themselves did not create.

The paternalistic language of patriarchy is highly indulgent and ever-adaptable. It is a shape-shifting chameleon, and therefore a dangerous language. Actually it has evolved to the point where self-proclaimed feminists can borrow extensively from it without their even realizing it. Feminists speak of their bodies being “sexualized” by “heterosexists,” of the “oppressive male gaze,” and so on. This is a white, Western middle-class concern, voiced in rhetoric that has precise roots in the blue-stocking language of Victorian social reformers, nearly all of whom were White, female (and largely racist) Anglo-Saxon Protestants. But today’s Social Justice Warrior does not do his or her research; in fact they do not read books at all unless they are schlock books by Amanda Hocking or Jonathan Safran Foer. They refuse to realize that when they express shock and horror at the expression of overt sexuality they are walking in the high-laced shoes of Carrie Nation, Anthony Comstock and their ilk.

These modern-day Victorian social reformers will never admit to themselves that their rejection of sexuality (especially heterosexuality) is heavily tinged with racism. It is the exact same racism of their late 19th century American ancestors, who were horrified that newly-freed black male slaves were now free to put their hands on white women. These ancestors had once been Abolitionists and felt relatively safe in protesting the enslavement of Africans–safe, because he was in chains; because he was illiterate, and generally not in any position to challenge the authority of white Americans. But when he was freed he became a threat. Feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton made her position clear in an oft-quoted statement from 1868:  “Think of Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a republic, who never read the Declaration of Independence or Webster’s spelling book, making laws for Lydia Maria Childs, Lucretia Mott, or Fanny Kemble.”¹

Of course, it probably never occurred to Ms. Stanton that Patrick the Mick, Sambo the Sambo, Hans the Kraut and Ching Chong could ever rise to the high Democratic cultural standard of the superior Anglo-Saxon Race. Today, her ideological descendants, many of whom are black, think that such a feat might still be worthwhile. Many of these black descendants are self-styled “feminists,” “feministas” and “New Black Men,” who are quite young and generally middle-class oriented. A lot of them are self-styled “Afropunks,” and though they are among the most privileged of all African Americans in light of their economic standing (and the willingness of the white Establishment to employ them), they often pretend to be at a social disadvantage vis-a-vis other black people–most especially “heterosexual black men.”

The writer is familiar with these kinds of privileged blacks because he attended high school and college with them. He knew (and still knows) a lot of them personally. So when someone such as Damon Young writes that “Straight Black Men” are the white men of Black America, he just rolls his eyes to the ceiling of his room and says, “here we go again.”

Yep, here we go again. There are no shortage of articles in print or on the internet that deal with this very same subject: the supposed savagery of the Black Male. I compiled such an enormous amount of data researching it that I decided to tackle the subject of Black Male Savagery from an entirely different historical context and in an entirely different nation: French Algeria.

“Beneath the patrilineal pattern of Algerian society,” Frantz Fanon writes, “the (French settler) specialists described a structure of matrilineal essence…The Algerian woman, an intermediary between obscure forces and the group, appeared in this perspective to assume a primordial importance. Behind the visible, manifest patriarchy, the more significant existence of a basic matriarchy was affirmed. The role of the Algerian mother, that of the grandmother, the aunt and the “old woman,” were inventoried and defined.

“This enabled the colonial administration to define a precise political doctrine: ‘if we want to destroy the structure of Algerian society, its capacity for resistance, we must first of all conquer the women; we must go and find them behind the veil where they hide themselves and in the houses where the men keep them out of sight.’ It was the situation of woman that was accordingly taken as the theme of action. The dominant administration solemnly undertook to defend this woman, pictured as humiliated, sequestered, cloistered…The behavior of the Algerian was very firmly denounced and described as medieval and barbaric. With infinite science, a blanket indictment against the ‘sadistic and vampirish’ Algerian attitude towards women was drawn up. Around the family life of the Algerian, the occupier piled up a whole mass of judgments, appraisals, reasons, accumulated anecdotes and edifying examples, thus attempting to confine the Algerian within a circle of guilt.”² (Italics mine)

If Fanon’s words sound eerily (and nauseatingly) familiar to an African American reader, that’s because they are familiar. Since the end of Reconstruction we have heard similar rhetoric not only from our avowed enemies but even from liberal and even left-leaning whites and blacks who call themselves our allies. From Elizabeth Stanton to Joel Chandler Harris to Charles Carroll to Robert Shufeldt to Susan Brownmiller to Alice Walker, Ann DuCille, Sapphire, Mark Anthony Neal, bell hooks, Bill Cosby, Cornel West, Kevin Powell and lately Barack Obama, Robert Lashley, Jemelle Harris and others we have heard variations on this same tiresome theme. It would be a waste of our time to trudge through all of their paternalistic nonsense–I invite the reader to do this independently–but to sum it all up their words toward black men (particularly heterosexual black men) can be summed up with a few words: stop acting like a nigger savage and act like we tell you to.

We are not that stupid. We know that VSB is a subsidiary of The Root, which in itself is a subsidiary of Univision, a white Cuban-American owned TV station. The Root is really rootless. (Univison pretends to be non-white whenever it has to deal with Dolt 45 and the alt-shite. When it deals with African Americans or Afro-Latinos, it puts on blackface and makes monkey noises.)

Although not entirely without merit, The Root has a long history of condescending to rank-and-file African Americans. Nearly ten years ago The Root was roasted by Ta-Nehisi Coates for insinuating that African Americans were an anti-intellectual people. The author of that article was right on many accounts but Mr. Coates was even more correct in calling the author into question. It was the same old black bourgeois condescension towards the unwashed black masses that we have been hearing for God knows how long, and quite frankly we are sick and tired of hearing it.

The “heterosexual black male” as seen by neoliberal society

We, the unwashed negroids, are surfeited with privileged blacks scribbling this stuff on high for Harper’s, or the Huffington Post, or from The Grio or The Root telling us to “clean up our act” and “pull up our pants” or some such shit. And in the case of Mr. Young–well, it isn’t so much what Damon Young said concerning allegedly heterosexual black men vis-a-vis “black people”–one wonders which “black people” he really has in mind–but how he said it, and how he framed his narrative concerning black machismo. He generalized about an entire subset of the American population and not-so-subtly stigmatized them as The Enemy.

It is white paternalism disguised as black brotherly advice. Damon Young talks of black heterosexism³ and “patriarchy,” parroting the language of the white liberal academy, which doesn’t give a shit about blacks one way or the other. The white liberal academy’s job is to make sure that African Americans are sufficiently divided and compartmentalized so that the white political establishment can manage them better. Some have suggested that Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas was being satirical. He isn’t being satirical; he is doing the white liberal’s dirty work, like Robert Lashley before him, and Mark Anthony Neal, Kevin Powell, Randall Kenan and countless others before that.

Mr. Young’s piece is getting accolades from wannabe black establishment writers who foolishly believe that this is actually a subject worth talking about. “I thought Damon did an excellent job tackling a difficult and complicated issue, and I was happy that he used his male privilege to help tell our stories,” a Dr. Kristian H. wrote in the Huffington Post. “Black women have not been allowed to be both Black and female. Historically, we have had to choose our race over our gender, and we have not had the space to express the challenges we face as women. We have not talked about our pain in order to protect our Black men’s dignity. We have not been able to be truly feminist, for fear that it disregards, or contradicts, our shared Blackness. We are so worried about the repercussions of discussing our issues with toxic masculinity that we ignore them.”

Of course, when Kristian H. says “we” she is referring to her own subset of black middle-class women who go through the same trauma and pain she describes. I’m not going to say that the pain is all in her head, but she is pointing to the wrong source of that pain. She can at least gently protest Damon Young’s whitewashing of “heterosexist” black men by saying his basic analogy is “divisive and hurtful,” but in her elite feminist angst she goes on a tear and contradicts herself: “You are not absolved of the responsibility of both acknowledging and uplifting your Black women. Black men have a heavy burden to bear, and you have been taught and conditioned that it is somehow acceptable to dump that burden on Black women. Black men have historically only had power over Black women, so you’ve made us suffer to help ease your pain. You have disrespected us, you have degraded us, you have silenced us. Yes, slavery, oppression, colonization, and dehumanization can take its toll on your psychological well-being. We get that you are in pain, we are too, and we want to support you. But being in pain is not an excuse to cause pain; we must stop the cycle of abuse.”

Kristian H. continues: “Black women are often harassed on the street by Black men who objectify our bodies,* and we are taught to be polite and smile to ensure our safety from a young age.º We are taught victim blaming, we internalize it, and we try to dress a certain way because only “respectable” women deserve respect. I am sorry, Damon’s piece is not dividing Black men and women; Black men are dividing us with their own actions, of their own accord. They are doing that when they refuse to date Black women. They are doing it when they call us aggressive, argumentative, or a feminist (which is apparently a bad word) for talking about these issues.” (Italics mine)

If I were white, I might believe Kristian H’s rant. But I am not. I can only remember my mother decades ago frequently putting my father firmly in his place whenever she felt he had said something she disagreed with. (I owe my razor-sharp tongue to my mother as well as my father, by the way.) I can only recall black women on the streets of Washington D.C. in the eighties, nineties and 2000s wearing skin-tight latex pants and not too worried about the “heterosexist male gaze;” if anything, they appeared to relish it. They made up the majority of black women in that city then and still do now. Kristian H. does not. She is a product of a fake white liberal academia that thinks it can not only manufacture our history and identity but even dictate the exact terms of our own oppression to us. And that’s insane.

*

Fanon himself has been accused of sexism on more than one occasion. Yet in spite of this we should listen carefully to Fanon’s words here, in light of Damon Young and Dr. Kristian H. We have seen all of this before and not just in America, not just in colonial Algeria. “Colonial society blazes up vehemently against this inferior status of the Algerian woman,” Fanon writes, and a French feminist-settler is quoted in the book as saying, “We want to make the Algerian ashamed of the fate that he metes out to his women.”

Today we know that the colonial French were completely full of shit. When Algerian women refused to fall for the bait, the French colonial patriarchs and matriarchs alike declared a “nigger-hunt.” After November 1, 1954 the French liberals and feminists decided that an Algerian was an Algerian, feminist, patriarch, gay, straight, light, dark, rich, poor, or otherwise. The events of that day (and subsequent ones) showed French colonialist liberals that their attempts to forestall Algerian independence had been in vain. Nonetheless, they kept at it:

A strand of hair, a bit of forehead, a segment of an “overwhelmingly beautiful face” glimpsed in a streetcar or on a train, may suffice to keep alive and strengthen the European’s persistence in his irrational conviction that the Algerian woman is the queen of all women. (Fanon, p. 43)

Algerian women were not falling for it. After 1955 Algerian women were allowed to fight in the war for independence. Whatever Djamila Bouhired thought of Algerian patriarchal machismo she was not chipping in her lot with French liberals and certainly not writing sob sister stories to center-left French magazines, detailing her abuse at the hands of macho Algerian men. Nobody is dare suggesting that such men did not exist: they did. But that is not the point.

One million Algerians lost their lives in a fight against the kind of liberal fuckery that Damon Young and Kristian H and Kevin Powell and Robert Lashley childishly spout. Understand that the aforementioned negroes are only concerned about their own personal glory. They want literary prizes, they want book contracts, they want to see their names on the New York Times bestseller list. But they don’t want to look like obsequious alt-right colored bootlicks like that lump of shit, Jesse Lee Petersen, or those two gold-dust twins Diamond and Silk. So they take a route which they imagine is more honorable: calling out black men on their abusive and irresponsible behavior. And not just any group of black men, mind you, but straight black men.

But Black liberals do not understand gay culture, whether black or white. The black liberal image of the black gay male is just as condescending as its image of the straight black male: whereas all straight black men are priapic crotch-grabbing machos, apparently all gay black men are limp-wristed, faggoty snap-queens who look like RuPaul. As a heterosexual black male even I have to call bullshit on this. But you know American liberals–they, like their supposed enemies on the far right, also live in a world of cheap stereotypes.

Most of these violent black machos–and there are many of them–are either heterosexual failures, or actually gay. A few of them have been caught wearing dresses, as this lovely example clearly shows. Many of these ultra-macho black (c)rappers are rumored to be gay, and according to Suge Knight himself at least ninety-five percent of them are. Now American society does not give a shit about black gay men, but they see some of them as useful tools in beating other black men in the head with; they imagine that the black gay man–because he has been ostracized from his community (and let’s face it, he often is)–will be useful in ridiculing and beating down the rest of us.

Anyone who has spent time in Black America knows who the real “white” people are in our communities. They are the pseudo-educated black males and females or they are black male drug dealers, entertainers, politicians, pimps, cops and of course, thugs. The irony of this is that in real time–not in Harvard’s make-believe ballroom time–black women are far more likely to avoid jail, to get employed, to choose whichever mate they wish to be with, and in general they are single out of choice (no matter what some liars may say).

Black American women in general prefer men they perceive to be glamorous, and that perception is unpleasantly skewered towards outlaws, bad-boys, thugs, etc. It is one thing to accuse the black heterosexual male of being a thug and quite another to ask who made him that way. The Harvard liberals won’t go there for a reason. They know that it was that black thug’s mammy who made him the way he is and they also know that black women (generally speaking) prefer black men to be thugs because they—well, many black women think that’s sexy.

Your average straight black man in America is not considered desirable because he is “a broke-ass nigga,” as anyone will tell you on the street. He has no real money and drives a shitty car. He is unemployed or underemployed. He does not own anything. He does not manufacture anything. He does not print the money. He does not head any army or any navy. He has a flag which, at the moment, does not stand for much more than angry ressentiment. Above all he has zero control over black women, who will tell him exactly what they feel about him in no uncertain terms. These same women will insult him, reject him, beat him up, jail him or even kill him. He has no privilege other than that which exists in the heads of Anglo-Saxonized negro feminists, racist Asians, racist Latinos (especially Mexicans), racist white ethnics, and toothless redneck trash who think “niggers” are stealing their jobs and women. In fact he is collectively what white men used to call “the lady of the races,” and for good reason: he is nothing in the eyes of America, nothing in the eyes of the world, in the eyes of his wife, girlfriend, mother, father, children and finally even his own.

Negro-Saxons and their lot are not interested in talking to this man. They have already decided that he is not really a human being. They are too keen on playing leap-frog over this man to get to the top of the Anglo-Saxon’s totem pole. They don’t give a shit if this black macho is systematically dehumanized and depersonalized. They don’t give a shit if his actions have less to do with privilege and more to do with his having been turned into a man-child after four centuries of slavery. And more importantly, they certainly don’t give a shit if millions of black women really do get beaten and killed by these machos–as long as they can’t write a book about it and make millions.

*

Damon Young “clapped back” when thousands of angry writers responded to his ill-thought out article. He now pretends that “moist” is worse than the word “nigger.” Damon is entitled to his opinions, but he needs to stop treating black Americans like children. Not just STRAIGHT black American males–we don’t need anymore of these stupid colonial-style divisions–but African Americans, full stop. Everyone is implicated. Any mother who has raised a straight black male child is also implicated, because that mother largely made him what he is. Mr. Young, Mr. Lashley and Kevin Powell are either too ignorant, too confused or too contemptuous of African Americans as a group to see that when they attack “heterosexual black men,” they are also leveling the gun at themselves.

They are too short-sighted to see that articles and theories such as these are used as alibis by the white public to socially ostracize black men on sight, regardless of their sexual orientation. When a cop, or a white woman or man sees a black man in a predominately non-black social setting, the first impulse will be to have him singled out and then detained. We know that white society makes no distinctions, and when the shit hits the fan in a few years Damon Young just might find himself in the gas chamber before most of us—if only because he is more visible and more prominent than the rest of us. But—like those Jewish collaborators for Adolf Hitler– he might get lucky and join some future Neger-rat that will protect his ass from immediate death.

Sterling Brown once said, “Harvard has ruined more niggers than bad liquor.” He was right. And ditto for white liberalism.

 

FOOTNOTES

¹Written in 1868 for The Revolution, a suffragist paper funded by Irish-American Democrat and arch-racist George Francis Train.

²Fanon, “Algeria Unveiled,” Studies in a Dying Colonialism, p. 35-45

³White people call it a “jock mentality.”

*How quaintly Victorian of her.

ºSpeak for yourself, Kristian H. Most black women we see on an every-day basis are as in-your-face and rude as they see fit. Of course there are exceptions, but we don’t see too many of them.

 

‘Neoliberalism’ and ‘Capitalism’ – what’s the difference?

“The neoliberals are distinctive in opposing this view. They think that capitalist conditions should be extended as far as possible into every domain of social life, by force if necessary.”

All of which makes Neoliberalism (essentially) the New Fascism.

jeremygilbertwriting

I wrote this in response to a discussion  of this theme on the NEON list. Thinking it was both too long for an email list and might be a useful resource for some people, I posted it here…
What’s the difference between ‘neoliberalism’ and ‘capitalism’ 
I think that neoliberalism and capitalism are simply different types of thing.

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The Birth of a Nation (1915) The Fall of a Nation (1916)

And to think that a piece of shit like The Birth of a Nation is hailed as a “masterpiece” in the USA, while Jud Süss is rightfully banned throughout the European Union as anti-Semitic poison. Food for thought…

Writers Without Money

D.W. Griffith’s masterpiece has long haunted film critics and historians. The first “blockbuster,” it’s the most important, and until Gone With the Wind in 1939, the highest-grossing film in the history of American cinema. Yet it’s also an evil work of racist propaganda that helped spur on the birth of the second Ku Klux Klan. As Richard Brody of The New Yorker wrote, the worst thing about Birth of a Nation is how good it is.

The first thing to keep in mind about the release of Birth of a Nation is that 1915 was exactly the same historical distance from 1865 as 2013 was from 1963. For Americans in 1915, the United States Civil War was their Kennedy assassination, and their War in Vietnam. The second thing is that, in September of 1914, the French had just fought the Germans at the First Battle of the Marne

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