"I'm not a nigger, I'm a man"

    3 February 2006, early morning

My Marxism professor felt that the moment blacks ceased to consider themselves slaves, and saw themselves as men and women proper, that the abolition of slavery was inevitable. If you think about slavery, you can see that it is both a state of being and a state of mind. Only the first state can be overcome by forces external to oneself. The Emancipation Proclamation made salves free in a pragmatic sense. It takes more than a piece of paper to make someone free in the truest sense of the word.

I was thinking about this after my cousin showed me an interview with James Baldwin. It is part of a series of three interviews, the two other interviewees being Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the end of Baldwin’s interview, he is asked what he sees as the future of Blacks in America, to which he responds:

What white people have to do, is try and find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place, because I’m not a nigger, I’m a man, but if you think I’m a nigger, it means you need it.

This interview is definitely worth watching.

If you are curious about what the abolition of slavery has to do with Marxism, the same ideas about slavery come up when you discuss the worker overcoming his slavery to the capitalist, to his work, and to the products of his work.

As an aside, I should mention that Steven Harper plans to reopen the gay marriage debate in parliament, presumably with the goal of having the previous law on the subject overturned. I am of the opinion he is wasting his time. Once people have decided they aren’t second class citizens, you can only do so much to hold them down. Does Harper think the gays and lesbians in this country are going to sit down and keep quiet all of a sudden? I think you can only stifle personal freedom for so long.

 

Comments

  1. It never happened in history the slavery worse than the slavery of the man in the Marxist states of XX century. The black slavery is nothing, nothing compared to it.

  2. Some advice to people who have comments to make: you should make sure what you write is a coherent. I think I get what you are trying to say, but your first sentence is a mess. And I write horribly my friend, so that is a serious condemnation.

  3. god bless u

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