Nose Cutting

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Zeb, one of the maintenance men at the law school, was arrested on Friday night. On Monday morning, Zeb’s coworker, Danny, mentioned it to a few of the Law Students as they passed to class. Nera, a student Danny hadn’t spoken with, approached and he told her; “Richie’s going to deal with it.”

Richie did not deal with anything. After class, Richie went to the library to do his work.

When Nera asked him if he were going to check on Zeb, she got a look as if she’d offered him rotten meat for lunch. When again she spoke to Danny, Nera was told; “Zeb doesn’t want a white woman to check on him.”

For two weeks Zeb remained in custody. Eventually he pleaded guily, was fined and released. Zeb no longer had a job at the Law School. Zeb had chosen to spend two weeks in a jail, lose his job, to maintain a ‘principle’ of ‘Blackness.’

By inculcating the belief that ‘all white people are racist’ and ‘all blacks are brothers’, the Black community builds its own trap.

The story of Zeb is not just about his principles of blackness. It is also about his expectations that Richie, a Law Student who happened to to be Black, should drop everything to show his ‘brotherhood.’

Richie saw no link between himself and the guy who mopped the floor.  To leave the Ivy Halls of a prestigious Law School, travel to a police station to inquire as to why the guy who mopped the floor had been arrested, was as odious as eating rotten meat.

Why should Richie, by virtue of the melanin in his skin, be obligated to disturb his day, for someone who meant nothing to him?

Zeb saw Richie as a color.  Richie did not see himself through that lens.

Nera saw a principle; Zeb worked at the Law School, the Law School should take responsibility for him. Of course, being melanin deprived, Nera was excluded from Zeb’s understanding of the universe.

Zeb behaviour is not unique. Many people, judging by the ‘color of the skin’ not the ‘content of character’, put themselves at risk.

Recently, a black ‘businessman’ was able to fleece the most vocal ‘black power’ advocates of a great deal of money as he had no trouble convincing them not to deal with the white guy.

That the white guy could supply the benefits claimed was not considered.  ‘Helping’ a ‘Black Brother’ was.

The ‘Black Brother’ took every cent he could and disappeared.  The victims considered, ‘how would it look for Black men to put another Black man in prison?’ which was exactly what the scam artist expected.

Using ones own prejudices against them is how those who have agendas get things done.

In some cases, it might be positive, such as getting a nursing school for black women in the south to prevent white women having to treat black patients.

In most cases, however, it is a way to have one act against his own interest.

Whites have often used it.  In selling a house, for example, it is more likely the white home owner living in a mostly white area, would sell to a white person for less than listed as opposed to a black person for the list price.

One should never factor complexion into a business deal. It is irrelevant. One must never bet their freedom on the ‘consciousness’ or ‘solidarity’ of a person who might not share the ‘unity’.

When it comes to marriage, friendship, inter-personal social encounters, race, religion, sexual preference can be paramount. But when it is not, to rely on those attributes can be hazardous to your well being


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