I recently had a moral dilemma of epic proportions.

I was tasked with the responsibility of picking up some help with one of life’s more painstaking and tumultuous endeavors.

I helped a compadre move. I HATE moving. With the passion of three Lil Wayne features and Jimmy McNulty watching The Passion of the Christ. Yes, that much. But, for a friend, I put aside my reservations, rolled up my sleeves and hit the skids to be a friend.

Ah yes, back to the help. I’m old. And with this wisdomful old age I realized that backbreaking labor is for the birds. Partridge. So I did what any civic minded individual would do who held an interest in this nation’s economic income distribution problem and similarly stood firmly against Arizona’s immigration reforms: I went to Home Depot to get me some Mexicans.

Except I live in DC, so my Mexicans are really El Salvadorans, but whose counting? Abacus.

Racial distinctions aside, Home Depot is where my dilemma manifested itself. Gangstarr. Anybody whose gone to any locale to pick up some help knows that there really is no rhyme or reason to who you pick up. Generally, you know how much you’re willing to pay and to how many people. Most folks getting their day laborer on are all about that tax-free paper and as a man of the people, I get it. I’ve also dabbled in some tax-free pay a job or two.

It’s possible that you see where this going. Tyler Perry.

So I’m driving into the parking lot and see something like 6,000 day laborers throwing me hand signals which seemed to have ranged from I’m short and gay to gang signs to possibly wishing leukemia and the heebeejeebies on my grandmother. What can I say, I’m not well versed in such labor practices.

Amidst the see of ESL compadres, I noticed a swath of Ebonically proficient dudes. Now, I’m also Ebonically proficient. I’m also listening to Nirvana right now. My point is that I’m a lot of things. My first reaction is to stop, pick my ‘Twan and Jerome since we all speak the same language. But then my spidey sense went off.

“Your boy has a big screen TV and at least 12 pairs of Jordans – hire the hombres.”

Hmmmm. I wrestled with my conscience for no less than 7 seconds when I concluded that I have 3 cousins who are robbers who have sold me stuff that they came up on “suspicious circumstances”. Of course, anybody who has seen your wares can tell somebody else who can tell somebody else who can find a reason to be in your place when you come home relieving you of the stuff you hadn’t sent to Cash 4 Gold yet. But for some reason, I just assume that the homies would be a more likely word-of-mouth siren than the hombres, who did get hired by the way and did a bang up job for a reasonable price and two cases of Coronas.

Of course this touched off a hilarious debate amongst me and my friends about my blatant racism. Which, well, is blatant. I mean, I’ve been robbed no less than 7 times during the course of my short time on this planet and each time it’s been at the hands of people that, ya know, looked like me. I profile. Arizona.

(By the way, four of those times included my next door neighbor on that Westside. Zone 4).

I defended my stance vigorously but in my heart of hearts, I’ve been going back and forth about this. I mean, Tupac said it best, “it’s not them that’s holding us down, it’s us that’s holding us down.” I’m sure somebody more poignant than Tupac said that first but my Bible is missing a few pages.

So I bring it to you, good people of VSB, is Panama Jackson a racist? An intra-race racist? Am I the only one? Or was I just being smart?

Unperplex me. Ugh, that’s nasty. I’m not asthmatic.


Filed Under:
Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • MsEsquire77

    1: The Drake inspired sentences and the tags on this post are ridiculous! This is why I love you and all your 3-ness ;)

    2: I understand your dilemma but I probably would’ve done the same thing. I love my people and I believe in supporting Black businesses but in this scenario I think the Spanish-speaking folks were the safest bet. Not racist, just realistic.

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

      Aw, looks who’s first? Couldn’t happen to a better broad. ;)

      • MsEsquire77

        Thanks, Cheeks! **throws glitter AND confetti**

      • http://www.nicknotnikki.blogspot.com Nick_L_Odeon

        lol… “broad..”
        lovely… just lovely..

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @Cheekie – dang girl, you slippin

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

          I’m slippin’, but time keeps on doing the same thing. Seal.

    • Mrs. Dr. Evil


      “There can be only one!”

    • Mr. Gundam

      Cheekie not first O__O

      I don’t know what to believe in anymore lol

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

        I was first, but Panama demoted my post out of hate.

        That may or may not be a Pinnocchio version of the truth.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @Cheekie – lookin’ at you tellin’ tales out of school

          • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie


    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @MsEsquire77 – I made Drake references? Toronto.

      I wonder how that happened. Ripley.

  • http://www.talulazoeapple.com Talulazoeapple

    I ALWAYS listen to my spidey sense. Miss Cleo. It will never fail you.
    Instinctively you know, the hispanic day laborers don’t really have a lot of choices for work if illegal. The brothas on the other hand, do.

    So day layboring for them is either a hustle or a comeup.
    You do the math. Euclid.

    • Mo

      Exactly. Unless you’re a college student, being a day laborer at Home Depot as a black person is suspect. Stamp it Arizona-inspired, but I call it. Profiled, politically incorrect and perpetually uncaring about it all.

      • coldsweat3

        While stereotyping does keep life simple I think we need to consider the economic times. Ninjas are unemployed by the MASSES!!! I personally would have helped the brother. While we do oddly choose to rob our own people perhaps the young men had Ludacris’s perspective in Crash and could not rob from our own people.

  • its2010dammit

    You were being practical. Principle has gotten many a pair of Jordans displaced.

    I ain’t mad at ya’

    No Bullsh*t

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @its2010dammit – and see that’s what its really all about, saving the Jordans.

  • http://lizburr.com Liz

    You need to step away from the Drake album.

    And yes you are racist. But perhaps, a smart racist.

    • Pretty Cute

      Co sign!
      And, I am glad I’m not the only person who thinks that it is odd that Drake feels the need to cite his rhymes….what in the English major hell is that??

      • http://www.thefriendraiser.com jenifer daniels

        again VSB keeping me up to date and cool. i was just wondering where that whole ‘citation’ ish was coming from. seems like drizzy might be making up smarter after all.

        and yes, you are racist and two, ain’t nuttin wrong with that when you have LG’s in the crib. Best Buy.

      • http://thecochranfirm.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/my-ultimate-goon-squad/ Dash

        Are his rhymes so deep that listeners have a need for citations?

        • Pretty Cute

          absolutely not!

          • http://thecochranfirm.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/my-ultimate-goon-squad/ Dash

            Here I was thinking Drake crafted Hip Hop’s answer to James Joyce’s Ulysses.

        • http://www.thefriendraiser.com jenifer

          clearly i was being funny. satire.

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

        Also, it’s kinda like those people who ruin a joke by over-explaining it after the punchline.

      • tnt_ftw

        what do you mean he “cites his rhymes?”

        • coldsweat3

          He will say a metaphor then basically reference some movie, software or book.

          ex. I can teach you how to speak my language. Rosetta stone

          Swimmin in the money, come and find me. Nemo

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Liz – You need to step away from the Drake album.

      I can’t step away from the album. I love this damn album like a fat kid loves cake. 50.

  • PJ

    I think its falling into stereotypes, but you have to hire the best person for the job no matter the race. I moved recently and one guy helped me that i had never met before. He was just a friend of the other guy that helped, who happened to be a good friend. They did not even want payment; just settled for gatorade.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @PJ – with all the stuff my boy had, wasn’t no way in hell anybody was settling for Gatorade. trust me. the illegals (no Cali) i picked up did a damn good job though. quick fast and in a hurry.

  • Southernbelle

    OMG – I would’ve done the same thing.
    That is sad. LOL
    But knowing my track record the hombres would’ve thought I was one of them and may have done me dirty like I would’ve assumed the homies would’ve done.

    I can’t win.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Southernbelle – “I can’t win”. Obama.

  • BlackGirlWhoReads

    I would have probably done the same thing… It’s kinda weird though… Like weird science or something…

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @BlackGirlWhoReads – Weird science is weird?

      is toucan sam…sam? or toucan? is westside clyde from the west side? things like this keep me up at night. NoDoz.

  • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

    “My point is that I’m a lot of things. ”

    We’ve all concluded that you’re a “racist three.”

    • Gem of the Ocean

      lmao i hate that i love you sometimes, cheeks

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Cheekie – and yet you still love me and want me.

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

        I want you..

        …to go sit down somewhere and do the opposite of talking.

  • JamaicanGirl

    You made a smart and concious decision no racism there! lol I had a similiar situation happen just last week….

    I went to Jamaica last week for a wedding, stayed at this great all inclusive resort in Negril. I was born and raised in Jamaica but i have been living in the States for over 10 years. I speak patio mostly to family or when im talking about people. My genius cousin decides that since were Jamaican and the staff at the hotel is Jamaican she will speak patio to them and then gets mad when they stop waiting on her hand and foot. So i already peeped what was happening so i refrained from speaking any patio while there, everybody knows they treat the foreigners better. I payed good money to enjoy my stay….lol So now my cousin thinks im a sell out…. I beg to differ…lol

    • caballeroso

      Being smart is never being a sell-out. Your cuz is just mad that she didn’t peep out what was up.

    • superwoman

      sooo true!! some of these natives will do you wrong like that! ha ha ha!!! for some reason, my own people often assume i’m american, and when i break out and respond to them in seTswana or isiZulu, they’re all like “oh, you’re from HERE! you come from the ghetto, soweto, a lowly local, just like us??’ –

      more often than not, the service gets better, coz they’re pleasantly surprised that someone who ‘looks like a nee-gro (local talk for african american)’ is not ashamed to speak her own language (we have issues around that – long story)

      but other times, oh man… you regret that you opened your mouth to speak in your mother tongue, because they begin to treat you like you killed their sisters child…

      • YAYER

        someone who ‘looks like a nee-gro (local talk for african american)’ is not ashamed to speak her own language (we have issues around that – long story)

        didn’t know you guys had that problem as well…

        btw i was born and raised in one of your neighboring countries,so having said that,- WOZA WORLD CUP!!!


    • SmartFoxGirl


      I had to comment as I am Jamaican and been to Negril fiftyelevin times. With that said, I COSIGN your whole post as this has happened to me every time I go to Jamaica. On my next trip I will wear a sun dress, wide brim hat and biggest pair of bubble eye sunglasses I can find….and can’t forget the vuitton on my arm.

  • http://liferequiresmorechocolate.com Tiffany

    LMAO, do what you gotta do.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Tiffany – roger that. ramjet.

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