Just to reiterate. . .

19 Apr

I feel that for white America to understand the significance of the problem of the Negro will take a bigger and tougher America than any we have yet known. I feel that america’s past is too shallow, her national character too superficially optimistic, her very morality too suffused with color hate for her to accomplish so vast and complex a tsk, Culturally the Negro represents a paradox: Though he is an organic part of the nation, he is excluded by the entire tide and direction of American culture. Frankly, it is felt to be right to exclude him, and it is felt to be wrong to admit him freely, Therefore if, within the confines of its present culture, the nation ever seeks to purge itself of its color hate, it will find itself at war with itself, convulsed by a spasm of emotional and moral confusion. If the nation ever finds itself examining its real relation to the Negro, it will find itself doing infinitely more than that; for the anti-Negro attitude of whites represents but a tiny part–though a symbolically significant one–of the moral attitude of the nation.

Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity, It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it connot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness. Am I damning my native land? No; for I, too, share these faults of character! And I really do not think that America, adolescent and cocksure, a stranger to suffering and travail, and enemy of passion and sacrifice, is ready to prove into its most fundamental beliefs” ~ Richard Wright, BLACK BOY, 1944.

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One Response to “Just to reiterate. . .”

  1. e February 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

    Just reading that book now, I have to say that’s an awesome quote. Wright’s book, especially sections such as this do much to explain what’s happening on the Right and Left today, 70 years after he wrote it.

    Thanks for sharing it.

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