�People say white folks have it easy.
But poor folks got it tough no matter what the skin color, except when hooking up with welfare, where niggers don=t get stared at as much. Black or white, you have to work hard to survive the street. People say a white man should get any job he wants or make people trust him just by putting on new clothes, changing our characters with a brush or comb. They think we can put down a switch blade and pick up a wrench, just like that, taking up the straight & narrow without help or education. Go up to college and ask to get in and they look at you like you=re crazy.
�ABut you=re not black!@ they say, and tell me to find a job and earn my way, blaming me for all that talk white people handed black people about picking ourselves out of the gutter by our bootstraps.
�My pa used to talk like that, between drinks lecturing me about how if I wanted something bad enough and worked for it long enough I=d have it, though I got scars all over my head from banging against that wall, and scars up and down my arms from the needle. But I quit that, got a job, and was pretty proud of myself, too, until one day this suit & tie nigger says he=s now my boss. I=m not saying I=m better than him, or that some nigger didn=t deserve to be boss, but he just sort of slipped by me, someone high up somewhere saying the time=s come to have a nigger boss.
I didn=t cause trouble. I accepted it. I=d had enough trouble in my life without causing more. I figured if he could live with me, well then, I could live with him.
�But when he started lording over me as if he=d earned his job, I got pissed. Maybe he knew I didn=t like him and wasn=t afraid of him, and wouldn=t listen to him unless what he said made sense. I certainly didn=t think he was anybody important, and then he got peeved, riding my back day after day to make me understand my place. He didn=t understand. He didn=t come up from the street the way I did or know what kind of beast I=d whipped to behaving inside me. But day after day, he rode me and day after day I wished him dead.
�Until one day he rode me too hard and I did just what the witnesses say.
�And now you=re telling me that no man=s ever been executed for killing a nigger before and that somebody ought to start paying the price for all those niggers who=d died before. And I say, maybe that=s right, maybe somebody ought to start, but why does that somebody have to be me?