Tuesday, December 19, 2006

(Court) House Negro

I rarely blog about real sh** that goes on in my day to day existence, but I am compelled to put down some thoughts on what transpired with yours truly and a sister today in the course of doing my law hustle.

So here I was rushing into the court room to defend a client who was allegedly openly selling her...ahh body for money on a public street. She was charged with obstructing a public highway which is basically a glorified loitering charge here in Philly. Girlfriend had some priors so it wasn't just an in and out kind of deal. Still, given the nature of the charges, the field planned to plead out. Try to get non-supervised probation, and maybe community service, and be on my way. If I am really lucky, the arresting officer doesn't show up-hey, it's almost Christmas, cops have families too- and the Judge happens to be in one of those moods and throws out this bad boy.

So I go over to the Assistant District Attorneys' table, and as is customary, ask who is handling my case. Well low and behold it was a sister. I had never seen her before, and I am guessing she was just out of law school. Probably some Ivy League hook up like Penn, or Columbia. Folks, our District Attorney here in Philly loves Ivy league law school grads, especially of the Penn Law persuasion. Although Lord knows I don't know why. They get their asses kicked on a daily basis, and I am guessing some street smart kid that went to some state law school or an HBC would do a much better job out here in the real world. But I seriously digress. So here is this sister giving me the fuzzy eye ball treatment, just because.... I don't know, I wish someone could tell me. But I am guessing just because she...well f**k it, she is a house negro.

"Hi I am the field, and I represent Mrs. Brown (Not her real name), you must be new, what's your name?" Now folks, this is exactly what I said, and how the conversation went down. She then looks me up and down, and says something like: "I am A-D-A- Jones" (Not her real last name) So this is where it really went down hill, because I think I said something like: "I am sorry is your name Ada and you were spelling it for me?" She was not amused, nor did she see just how stupid and pretentious she was coming off. She literally threw the discovery file at me without saying another word, and proceeded to engage someone else in conversation.

Now here is my question: Just why does it have to be like this between us? Girlfriend clearly wanted me to know from the door that she was not my friend and she was not going to cut a deal. The irony is, that there are a number of white ADA's in her office who I consider friends, and who would have thought nothing of giving me a deal with this bu** sh*t case. But no, not the house negro, not black Marsha Clark. And there she was cheesing with an older white defense lawyer in the room, and totally ignoring the field. (I bet she gives him a deal) Now before you go thinking, oh field you are just being petty because girlfriend ignored you, so she bruised your male ego while just doing her job, get over it already. No, I can't get over it, because first of all it wasn't even about my ego. Yes girlfriend wasn't hard on the eyes, but it's not like she was a certifiable dime piece or anything. Hey, unless the Larkster herself disses the field, no diss is personal, not on a boy girl tip. Besides, this was a totally professional environment, and trust me, the last thing I was looking for was love.

But back to my question. Why do the house Negroes among us have to behave this way? From the white collar lawyer to the blue collar security guard. We uphold Mr. Charlies rules and we are his gate keepers. We do that sh*t with stronger passion, and with more energy than even Mr. Charlie does. We defend his store and all his things as if our lives depended on it, and we give no quarter, especially when it comes to other black people when a little give and take is all that's needed. And don't tell me that you haven't experienced it. You know what I am talking about; the lady at the customer service desk who won't let you scratch your ass without a picture I.D., the security guard who is all too willing to shade you while you browse through Massa's store-meanwhile the white haired old lady is robbing the place blind-and the cop-remember that scene in Boyz N the Hood?-who will let you have it a little harder just because you look like him, and you embarrass him because you are out doing the sh** you do. So this was ADA Jones, the "gate keeper", but only for other n****rs not Mr. Charlie, after all, she is working for him. Or so she thinks. So she has to impress him, and show him that just because she is one of them doesn't mean that she can't be tougher stricter in her actions, even if it means bending over backwards to f**k them. It's why I am never surprised when a black police officer is involved with the questionable shooting of another black man. The Negro must protect the house at any cost.

"Mr. Field are you prepared with your case?" " Yes I am your honor." "Is the Commonwealth ready?" " No your Honor, we are not, it seems Officer Kelly (Not his real last name) is unavailable, he might be on vacation your honor." " You honor, the defense is going to ask that this matter be dismissed as this is the second listing, and they weren't ready the last time." "Defense request granted, this matter is dismissed!" I am looking at ADA Jones, and I think her makeup is starting to run. I wonder if she knew that this was the second listing?

Sorry black Marsha Clark, you should have taken the deal.

"Thank you your Honor, may I be excused?" " You may field, and have a nice day." You too your honor, and have a happy holiday."

The look on a house Negro's face as my client switches out of the court room. Priceless!


Brian said...

Nice work man...

I can't tell you how many of these scenarios I have been through. I deal with similar nonsense all the time. I get it from both blacks and whites (but usually whites).

Just because i'm black, and I currently work in a "Field Industry" that is not exactly "corporate", people assume that I have shit for brains.

I have had situations where I am out with a new white employee (who I am training), and people will look at the both of us and begin speaking to the trainee as if he is "official" or he is training me....as if he will be able to assist them.

Working in the dreaded private security industry.... I have even responded to a call where an older white woman needed assistance.... upon seeing me... she immediately requested that a white officer respond instead. She didn't want to talk to this monkey.

It's toxic out there....

I dread waking up in the morning at this point.

At least you have a great career, and you have a law degree & law license. You have half the battle won right there. That's a serious asset that no one can take away from you.... not the house negroes, and not even Mr. Charlie.

wst... said...

LOL fn. great post.

Tasha said...

I deal with this more often than I care to. I work in an upper-level position in my company and once I got there, I was informed with the quicknes by the "house Negroes" that they will not treat me as a friend or even an associate. Most of the problems I've had have been due to them. I've got it bad because I'm young and have the title I do, so I have all of that resentment being hurled at me as well.

I think a lot of the issue is that the "house Negroes" feel the need to outwardly assert that they have some power and can exert some level of control. They're not really trying to prove anything to the public, but more to themselves. More than likely they grew up or acquired some type of (racial) inferiority complex, and now that they've got a title or some letters after their name they feel that they have to prove to themselves (and in a small way to the world) that they are deserving of their position.

Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

12 20 06+

Whoa Field:
You have hit so close to home it is scary. Where I live in CA, there aren't too many Blacks. We have majority White, Mexican, Portuguese (yeah a separate ethnic group here!), Laos, Hmong, Cambodian and Indian. What I have noticed is that the racism House Nigga syndrome isn't just relegated to Blacks. Other colonized groups have it REALLY bad as well.

I recall my high school experience in Modesto. Boy oh boy was it difficult! The Negroes in Modesto are house folk of the highest level. I have never been to a place where a person sees you and intentionally turns their head to ignore you over and over and over again. Even my husband noticed it.

When I have been in certain professional settings, at times, the house negros have made life more difficult than any blatant racist ever could. It hurts.

Sometimes I wonder if there are more house negroes in positions of power than not. Perhaps it is because Mr. Charlie knows that if he hires house folk, he can get a self hating minority to do all of his dirty work.

Oh I digress and sorry for rambling.

Tasha, I feel you!

plez... said...

LOL! Everywhere I've landed in my professional career, there seems to be one of Da Massa's Lackies guarding the door (especially in the executive suite)! I'm glad Field prevailed in this trial.

But you have to ease up on the jabs at Penn, one of my brothers went there as an undergraduate and for medical school ... hmmmm, I wonder if he's a House-? nahhh! *smile*

Liz Dwyer said...

In my regional office, I'm the only black employee out of a good 50 people...well, there's a girl who's biracial but she flat out told me that she's not black and doesn't want to be considered as black...of course, they love her at my job, but I digress. Out of the vice presidents in our national office(and there are dozens of VPs, the title gets handed out like a crack pipe), there are no black men, only a few black women. Those women have no sense or need to mentor anybody and they don't think it's a problem that there are no black men. "If they aren't qualified, they aren't going to get the job." Wow.

Friðvin said...

That's just beyond "priceless."

GREAT post!

Cynthia said...

Love the post. I've had many run ins with the house Negroes online and off. I'm doing a PhD at Northwestern in biology and one of the house Negroes in the lab decided that she was going to chastise me at our weekly meeting in front of everybody. You could tell she was the spokesperson for her white girl friends. Well, let just say, when I got through reading all four of them at the meeting, they didn't speak to me for a month. That was the best month I had in the lab. And that was the last time they talked to me like that.

field negro said...

Mmmm, just as the field suspected. All these testimonials about the behavior of the house negroes and gate keepers among us,leads me to believe that there is a real problem here.

Folks, this can only mean one thing: We must find these people and expose them so that we can prevent them from keeping the rest of us down.

Mmmm, maybe a house negro registry would work. This way, if we suspect a co-worker, a friend, or, God forbid; a family member of being one, we could look it up to confirm :)

Jameil said...

ugh. we can't SOME of us get along. not even all of us. such b.s. does it really hurt you to be cordial to someone you'll have to work with? i'm going with no. such bullshit. grinnin up in charlie's face and treating black people like shit. i work w/this black woman who could not be bothered to speak to me the 1st 3xs she saw me but grins and giggles and TOUCHES ALL OVER charlie. word? bet. thanks for that. i'll have fun stepping over your ass as i move straight to the top.

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