A Quote From James Baldwin’s The Cross of Redemption | Blog#42

A Quote From James Baldwin’s The Cross of Redemption

What I’m trying to say to this country, to us, is that we must know this, we must realize this, that no other country in the world has been so fat and so sleek, and so safe, and so happy, and so irresponsible, and so dead for twenty years. For twenty years. No other country can afford to dream of a Plymouth, and a wife, and a house with a fence, and the children growing up safely to go to college and to become executivesand then to marry and have the Plymouth and the house, and so forth. A great many people do not live this way and cannot imagine it and do not know that when we talk about “democracy,” this is what we mean.”

“One of the great confusions, again, is the nonsense that we hear about states’ rights. We hear this from people who have no concern with states’ right, and still less with freedom, but who simply want to perpetuate a system which is doomed. The truth is that whether I like it or not is absolutely irrelevant. It is over. The sun did set on the British Empire, and there won’t be any more British gunboats down the Chinese rivers. I am trying to explain that I, speaking now again as a black man, have been described by you for thousands of years. And maybe I loved being described by you. But time passed, and now whether I like it or not, I can not only describe myself but, what is much more horrifying, I can describe YOU! Now this is why in this country which we call the leader of the West, there is such confusion. This panic is the real key, as Mr. Make pointed out, to what we call, in this country, anti-communism. The people who are running around throwing people in jail and ruining reputations and screaming about Communists wouldn’t know one if he fell from the ceiling. And wouldn’t care! What they are concerned about is propping up somehow the doctrine of white supremacy, so that they can seem to have given it up, but really still hold the power.”

James Baldwin

The Cross of Redemption: From Nationalism, Colonialism, and the United States: One minute to Twelve – A Forum

Collected Writings, 2010

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