The Lucky Bastard Tribe

Racial divide depends on slotting: White is white, black is black, Latin is Latin, Indian is Indian, Asian is Asian. Except, all of that is demonstrably false.

There is one human species. If this disappoints you, a member of the Lucky Bastard Tribe, you’ll literally have to migrate to a different planet. Only Africans live here.

As the writer James Baldwin, addressing the facts, noted, there is no white, but there is a mass of people who “need to be white.” As in, European. And there is no such thing as “European.”

The “Europeans” were an African tribe that migrated from the First Continent and landed by sheer luck in the most advantageous geographical area for farming, metal mining and domestication. Pale skin came to dominate the region as evolution did its work and the need for melanin declined precipitously.

The Lucky Bastard Tribe settled in what is now called Europe. They chilled, paled, played with their resources, used them up and wanted more. Their resources, the ones made of steel, gave them the ability to conquer the world.

The Lucky Bastard Tribe created “history,” a term which means “stories of pale ones who won,” and “civilization,” which was a synonym for Lucky Bastard Tribe.

The writer Saul Bellow, a firmly entrenched “European” not noted for humility, was asked by an interviewer why he thought there was no literature beyond Western Culture. “I’ll be glad to read the book written by the Poet of the Zulus,” Bellow replied.

He was being sarcastic. Zulus were savages—we all knew that. Literature came from cultured people. Bellow died before science could inform him that there was only one human race.

“You are the poet of the Zulus,” wrote the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates to Bellow, in his recently published book “Between the World and Me.”

Saul Bellow, like me, like all pale-complexioned people from the Lucky Bastard Tribe, one of about fifteen original tribes out of Africa, was African: Poet of the Zulus. Culturally, he became Jewish, a sub group of The Lucky Bastard Tribe. The origins of literature, art and learning are African.

I had a doctor appointment in Bethalto on Route 140, next to a Speed Lube oil change place. I dropped off the car for an oil change and met my doctor. Then I went to get the car.

Two charter members of the People Who Need to Be White Club, the Speed Lube owner and a customer, were having a conversation about East St. Louis and “how bad” St. Louis had become.

Customer (paraphrasing): Remember when you had to drive through East St. Louis to get to St. Louis? St. Louis, the whole city—bad with them.

Owner (paraphrasing): Yeah, they’re everywhere.

Customer: The wife and I stopped to get a bite at Burger King in East St. Louis. And this car full of black guys parks next to us. They parked three inches from my car! They were going to rob us. You know what I did? I hit reverse and backed straight back before they could do whatever. And got the hell out of there.

Owner: It’s just getting worse and worse with the blacks. (to me) Oh, you’re ready to go, sir. Let me ring you up.

(I sign the bill.)

Me (paraphrasing): I’m writing a book about the NAACP’s civil rights struggles in Alton. (suddenly you can hear a pin drop.) I think I’ll relate this encounter when I get back home. Would you even serve black people?

Owner (agitato): Hey, I serve anybody. We didn’t use any bad words. I just said “blacks.”

Me: Good afternoon, gentlemen.

(I walk to the parking lot in back. The Customer, maybe 50, chases after me.)

Customer: Hey! Don’t you walk away from me. (I turn and stare at him.) You want to settle this?

(I pull out my cell phone.)

Me: Hit away, go to jail. I don’t care. (and I don’t)

Customer: You’re the one wants to hit.

Me (quote): Fuck you.

Customer (quote): You’re too ugly to fuck.

(The Customer gives me the finger, turns, stomps back into the Speed Lube.)
I’m not insulted. I may indeed be too ugly to fuck.

Imagine that carload of black kids pulling up to Burger King. Bad parkers? Probably. Hungry? Oh yeah, want some burgers. The white guy next to them? Is whack—look at him pulling out because of us. Had the kids had larceny on their minds, they’d have driven after him.

This anecdote is a consequence of fear—the very fear we instilled in people of color, and now they might get us—gross ignorance, and of needing to be white. And this is how I will die: some jackass with a gun puts me out of my misery.

And goddamnit, I am ready.

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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