Unenlightened Negro

Why do you verbally abuse me

When your mind is the one that needs to be free?

You! Black man! Too quick to call me a nigger.

Well, fancy that, my brother. Go figure.

You’re the one that’s using the white man’s label.

Ironically, you are the overseer that enables

Mr. Charlie to continue to divide our race.

But now you are oblivious to the shame and disgrace.

You are dancing to the tune that many white men sing,

Like a mindless dummy—a puppet on a string.

You even let “the man” steal your religion.

Why do you base your spiritual decisions

On misguided perceptions about the white race?

God sacrificed Christ so that all should have grace.

Black and white, and every color,

The goal is to teach all men to be brothers.

And you call me a nigger, you self-proclaimed “progressive mind,”

But you are the one that needs to free your mind.



by Phillip McCullough Jr.


This poem was actually inspired by a discussion (OK, argument) on a popular black web site’s message board.  You can kind of surmise how my interaction with another young black guy went.  He had the nerve to call me, of all things, an Uncle Tom.  And, yes, he did call me a nigger—and not in the affectionate sense.  Blacks have to realize—just like whites—that black people are not going to agree on every single issue.  Though there are issues where the vast majority of blacks may be on one accord, the black race (for lack of a better term) is not a monolithic culture, particularly in America.  Moreover, there is no need to start breaking down communication by insults and name calling.  People who actually think analytically should do better than this. On some level, this poem speaks to intraracial discrimination.

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