YANA DJIN

LETTERS FROM AMERICA



 DRIVING WHILE BLACK
 
Moscow News
August, 2001
        “If you are born black in America, you are born a suspect”, joked Chris Rock, a black American comedian. Most blacks, however, find little humor in their lives, predominantly plagued by poverty, discrimination, inadequate medical care, crime-infested neighborhoods and constant threat of abuse by the police. Although America has been undergoing a tedious make-over, otherwise known as political correctness, this trend did little to improve the plight of the black population in this country. The newly published findings by the Census Bureau revealed rather disturbing news to the public which, brainwashed by the pseudo-sensitive psychobabble, deemed itself to be prejudice-free. These findings, alas, point to the much-too-real fact that the racial divide is as strong as ever here and that, contrary to the believes of our nearsighted and sly ideologues, referring to blacks as “African Americans” does not prevent the society from treating them like niggers. 
         According to  the Census Bureau, blacks and whites continue living in segregated areas, attend segregated schools, and are submitted to segregated hospitals. Moreover, the white population, hiding comfortably in the placid suburbia, is out of touch with the problems that the blacks have to cope with throughout their un-American lives. If 35 years ago the sentiment among the urban white population was to march to BobDylan tunes and fight racial discrimination, today, the very same generation are singing a completely different tune. Here is its condensed version: “This is America where everyone is free to pursue his/her dream. If you don’t succeed, tough luck!” It is regretful that these ex-hippies did not indulge in more hallucinogenic mushrooms in the sixties while they were licking the feet of opportunistic Indian gurus. Regretful, indeed, that they did not manage to kill all their brain cells and were left with enough to concoct a hypocritical society based on unjust laws. Regretful that they did not personally meet nirvana and are now sporting tough-guy attitudes and waving aging fists from their suburban purgatories. 
         These former “revolutionaries” are voting for laws which make it impossible for the black population, crouched in the ghettos, to better its destiny. One such law gives the police the right to stop and search any car if they deem it suspicious. A recent Gallup poll shows that the 80% of the drivers, pulled over for no obvious traffic violation, are black.  Driving While Black, is a more serious offence today that Driving While Intoxicated. When the “brave cop” pulls over a black male and finds a half-burned marijuana joint in his glove compartment, the latter is placed on a year-long probation during which he has to submit weekly urine samples. This is done in the “good spirit” of spotting drugs in his system and ridding the society of the African-American element. This is why another Gallup poll indicates that one out of two black males in a major American city, Washington DC, for example, is either on probation or in jail. 
           The American judicial system, ever ready to come up with empty slogans which are meant to varnish ominous agendas behind them, insists that giving more power to the police is a necessary step in the infamous War on Drugs masterminded by the blindingly white Reagan Administration. Some black activists claim, and I believe with good reason, that what good ol’ Ronnie really declared war against was the black population which he deemed no longer necessary for the American Dream. After all  the cotton has already been picked! 
          And besides, if America was honestly fighting a War on Drugs, I would think, they would want to pay attention to their own polls conducted here by every imaginable research group with hysterical consistency. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency published embarrassing findings half a year ago: 65% of teenage drug-users are concentrated in the white suburbia while 85% of juvenile prisoners, locked up for drug offences, are black. To repeat after our current President, a man of few, unpolished words: “This fuzzy math confuses me!” Of course, George was not referring to the obviously unjust treatment of blacks when he voiced his confusion. I believe he was talking about surplus which after his arrival to the Throne has dwindled considerably. 
         But back to the issue of white and black. If you happen to live in America, you really do not need polls to notice the rate of discrimination in this country. Two eyes are a sufficient equipment. Take a walk, for example, through the streets of Midtown New York and feast your eyes at the staple shops and cafes with predominantly white crowds. And then take the train, if you dare, to South Bronx and notice rows of cheap liquor stores, dilapidated houses with every housing violation in the book, and the people -- ragged, poor, abandoned. It is no wonder that blacks sing the blues! 
Not anymore, though. The sound you will hear blasting from the radios is no longer the lamenting voice of Billy Holiday decrying the conditions of poor blacks in the South. The new sound is threatening, punchy, angry, fed-up, and rebellious. And it is giving white America the creeps. It is the sound of RAP music and screams that “Hey, if you’re a nigger/put your finger on the trigger”. 
         The rappers, like Martin Luther King before them, have a dream: to kick the corporate America’s ass. Fortunately, they have succeeded so far by making their music mainstream in this country. The flabby suburbanites are in horror as their children dance to rap and dress like ghetto kids. Tough luck, I say, they shouldn’t have sold rock’n’roll for their stock portfolios. Now reap the rewards! What they will do, however, is enact laws which will “whiten” RAP and outlaw curse words on records produced by major record companies. That would be like prohibiting blues singers to sound sad. Judging by the popular white music, they did just that. One can only hope that the rappers stay angry enough to see this administration’s demise and help promote the time when unqualified blacks and browns will join the unqualified white men in running this country.

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