We all know this quote, it is the lead off from which DuBois builds his philosophy concerning Blacks in America. I have grown up with this quote, interpreted it under the tutelage of White teachers and Black. However, it now is apparent that this is a loaded term. It is a slighted insight into the gruesomeness that is Blackness.
Why would DuBois start with this? You start a discourse labeling the objects of this discourse a problem in order to make it clear that they will be treated as a problem, in the full sense.
The experience of Blacks in America is a history of attempts to solve a problem. Now, how do you solve a problem?
You try to remove it; social campaigns for “Go Back to Africa” countless lynchings of Black bodies. You try to break it; “Jim Crow laws”.
You try your hardest to figure out fix this problem. And when it seems that the problem will not abate, you deal with it the best you can. For Blacks this meant the subversification of the attempts against their life, the continual perversification of their right to live freely, and the innateness of the refusal of their autonomy. When the problem must be dealt with, when Whites realize they have to deal with us you get this world.
This world where Black boys can be gunned down because they are too Black to be in a White neighborhood, or too Black to not have robbed someone. The world where Black girls can not be raped because they are naturally overly sexual and were asking for it. This world were the problem is being dealt with by making and illegal murder worth a standing ovation in court, by throwing Black men into jail off of a false pretense to Stop-and-Frisk (more like Stop-and-Jail), by fetishizing and stereotyping the Black Community, by making us a problem to be solve; destroyed.