Tyler Perry (via his wild, gun-toting yet wise, Southern Grandma character by the name of “Madea”) once emphasized a very valid point in one of his movies: It’s not what people call you, but what you ANSWER to. Personally, I respond to a plethora of names; Marquis… Quis… Quisy F Baby… Mr. Campbell (If you’re nasty)… Motionn… And there’s one other name by which I am frequently, yet indirectly addressed (which I’ve now surprisingly embraced). To the best of my knowledge, neither my six-year-old, nor my twenty-nine-year-old sister has any children. Nevertheless, I am given the title “Uncle”. No, it’s not Uncle Marquis. Or Uncle Motionn. Or even Uncle Pookie. My valued readers, with the intention of hurting and insulting me, folks have dubbed me as “Uncle Tom”. The last time I checked my birth certificate, Tom wasn’t there. But I guess no one pays any attention to the validity of birth certificates. Isn’t that right, President Soetoro? (Oops, I mean “Obama”).
For about as long as Blacks have tried to mentally step OUT of the mental and political plantation, their complacent Black counterparts have made the term synonymous with self-hatred, betrayal, and more negative terms than Hollywood liberals apply to the United States of America. For those readers who have never heard the term “Uncle Tom”, let me give you a brief introduction (and summary all in one, since it’s so shallow and useless). According to a good portion of Black leaders and “scholars”, an Uncle Tom is a Black individual who kisses up to those of the Caucasian persuasion in hopes of attaining a higher level of acceptance (as well as success) in this White-devil-controlled American society. When a Black person calls another Black person an Uncle Tom, their intention is to hurt, sting, and denigrate that fiscally/socially/personally responsible individual for veering away from the group-think mentality. The term is used so hatefully, it’s as if their want to call the person a NIGGER without actually saying it. Fox News personality John Stossel made a statement that’s slightly comparable to this subject: “Where I’m from, liberals say ‘conservative’ the way all people say ‘child molester'”. Now here’s my spin on it: Where I’m from, Black people use the term “Uncle Tom” the way true Americans say Usama Bin Laden.
The term originates in a novel, titled “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, of course. Liberal Black Americans have characterized the title character as Tom, a large buck slave who was intellectually and mentally extravagant. He was essentially ordered by his last master, Simon Legree (who was pretty much characterized as the worst slave owner in the history of slavery… even worse than small business owners are), to become an overseer, and report to Simon any dissent from the mentality in which massa desired of his slaves. Most folks depict Tom as a “House Nigger”, a derogatory phrase for slaves that were allowed to work in the living quarters of their owners, as opposed to just doing back-breaking field work. However, these traits have been PROJECTED on Tom, but the real kisser-uppers were Quimbo & Sambo, two field slaves who were eventually appointed as overseers. Tom was hardly a brown-noser, but rather the antithesis to everything that is said about him. Quimbo and Sambo took their derogatory names from the warped Mr. Legree. The two were said to evolve into a mirror image of the cruelty embodied by Mr. Legree. The slapstick duo obliged their master, and by doing so were afforded privileges, above and far beyond fellow slaves. They were designated as leaders by slave owners who perceived a willingness on their part to take charge of their brethren on behalf of their masters. In exchange for the intoxicating false glory attached to the position of leader, they were required to demonstrate an allegiance to their appointing masters that was tantamount to self-loathing. There was, however, a sharp turn in history when Legree received, as payment of an old debt, a slave named Tom from a neighbor. It was Mr. Legree’s first encounter with Black dignity . This encounter would also lay the foundation for a not-so-subtle division among blacks, which exists even to this day. The book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, as well as other notable works describing the history of slavery, refers to Tom as a rugged individualist who resisted, with dignity, the dictates of an insane system of humans owning humans. Like the character of Kunta Kinte in Roots no amount of oppression or cruelty could break his spirit. Word spread from state to state after he challenged his new master to stop the cruelty exacted on field hands by the overseers. During an incident when the parents of a young female slave ran to Tom’s cabin for his help to prevent Quimbo from raping their daughter, Tom confronted Legree as being the source of the evil that reigned terror on the entire plantation. He offered his own back to the whip in exchange for the freedom of the young woman. The lack of fear for his own life and his willingness to stand up to Legree earned Tom the respected title of Uncle, a title reserved in those days for the most honorable male in any given plantation.
Black slaves adopted Tom as their own uncle and intercessor between master and slave. In addition to performing his assigned chores with the utmost precision, he became champion of the mistreated, and eventually the political opposition to the leaders. Legree, as well as other owners of Tom, found that to mistreat Tom brought about a work slowdown. Soon, Tom lived in his own cabin, which became the place of counsel and sanctuary for slaves with grievances. His willingness to confront black and white injustice earned him a limited freedom long before the Civil War. He did encounter opposition however, but it was not from white slave owners. His biggest enemies were those black overseers appointed as leaders over the people. They were being increasingly challenged by slaves who found the bold courage of Uncle Tom very attractive. The historical fact is that a quiet but growing movement could be found in plantation after plantation of slaves who wrapped themselves around the concept of individual rights and dignity. By the mid 1820’s these rugged souls, who grew in their boldness to stand up to their overseers, became known as Uncle Toms. Black leaders who discovered they had an Uncle Tom among those they supervised were struck with panic at the impending challenge to authority. A line in the sand was drawn which some believe aided the spark we all know as the Civil War. The spark of contention, lit so long ago, continues to burn in the black community even today.
Okay, so let me get to the point, for all the readers who grow tired of the historical accounts and whatnot. If one reads this story, then looks at today’s social interactions, it is quite evident that the racial “civil war” is still brewing. It is being kept alive by ne’er-do-well individuals, who want to chastise and belittle successful Black individuals because they are economically sound, and have a vocabulary that isn’t limited to profanity and boasting of hot commodities (like cars, clothes, jewelry, and EBT cards). No Black individual must ever stray from the path of high taxation, low-motivation, government debt, bureaucracy, inefficiency, sloth, indifference, and subjugation. If you do otherwise, you are simply guilty of hating the fact that you are Black, and trying to escape from it. You are guilty of not wanting any other minorities (but yourself) to prosper, and of doing anything to get in the “house” of Master Whitey (you hear that, Brother Herman Cain?). Well, I say that such isn’t the case. If it means enlightening others like myself to stray away from the comfy Victicrat status that many urban folks have adopted, then I will gladly be an Uncle Tom. If it means not belittling myself in order to entertain others (Black OR White), then I will gladly be an Uncle Tom. If it means speaking with intelligence and depending on myself to put food on my table (and NOT Uncle Sam, or should I say SAMBO), then I will gladly be an Uncle Tom. Hell, I’ll be an Uncle Tom, Father Tom, Brother Tom, Pastor Tom, or even just Mister Tom.