Before I begin, let me express a fervent wish that dark(ish)-complected people would decide once and for all what they want us palefaces to call them. Some of them call each other "nigger", but we can't say that. "Negro" is long gone from our vocabulary. "Darkie" is verboten, as the makers of the eponymous toothpaste discovered years ago.
"African-American" is ridiculous, IMHO. If your ancestors came here two centuries ago, whether you're in the hold of a slave ship or above decks, and you're the sixth generation to be born on this side of the Atlantic, any ties with the Old World have long since been cut. During my time in southern Africa, I've heard visiting "African-Americans" say of the natives, "Man, these dudes ain't nuthin' like us!"
So "blacks" it is, then. OK? That's the term preferred by the late, great Civil War historian Shelby Foote. Not long before his death, Mr Foote was interviewed by Tony Horwitz, for his admirable book Confederates in the Attic. Here's what he had to say about the black underclass.
"Slavery was the first great sin of this nation. The second great sin was emancipation, or rather the way it was done. The government told four million people, 'You are free. Hit the road.' Three-quarters of them couldn't read or write, The iniest fractino of them had any profession that they could enter.
"What has dismayed me so much is the behavior of blacks. They are fulfilling every dire prophecy the Ku Klux Klan made. It's no longer safe to be on the streets in black neighborhoods. They are acting as if the utter lie about blacks being somewhere between ape and man were true."
I have emphasized Mr Foote's assertion that it's no longer safe to be on the streets in black neighborhoods because, twenty years after he said that, we had fresh proof on Friday when Nykea Aldridge, a 32-year-old mother of four, was shot dead while pushing her baby in a stroller near a school in Chicago's South Side.
In broad daylight, two men walked up and fired shots at a third man, hitting Ms Aldridge (the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade) in the head and arm. Chicago police say she wasn't the intended target. She was just "collateral damage" in the random gun violence which afflicts American inner cities.
Two brothers Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, were charged with the murder of Ms Aldridge and attempted murder of the gang-banger who was the actual target.
Darwin and Derren seem to me poster boys for Donald Trump's appeal to "people of colour" [Ed., is that term OK] to vote for him because... wait for it... people of any colour should be able to walk along the streets without fear of being shot!
The US of A has endured eight years of the progressive, politically correct policies of the only President who can legitimately call himself "African-American". Are American blacks better off today than they were 22 years ago, when Shelby Foote made those remarks? As The Donald said, if you're black and you live in some blighted project in Chicago (or Newark or Philthydelphia or wherever), why in hell wouldn't you vote for him?