Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Friday, March 04, 2005

A Very Un-PC Statement

In the legal clinic where I now volunteer, there is a poster celebrating the Harlem Renaissance. On that poster there is a quote by Langston Hughes, which impressed me such that I immediately wrote it down in full:

"...We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter. We know we are beautiful. And ugly too. The tom-tom cries and the tom-tom laughs. If colored people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, their displeasure doesn't matter either. We build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how, and we stand on top of the mountain, free within ourselves." The Negro and the Racial Mountain, 1926 (emphasis mine).

And from Frederick Douglass:

"In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us.... I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! ... And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! ... Your interference is doing him positive injury." What the Black Man Wants: An Address Delivered in Boston, Massachussetts, on 26 January 1865 (as quoted by Clarence Thomas, who liberals deny is really black, in last year's Gruttinger v. Bollinger, emphasis in original).

Is it un-PC for me to say I agree with those sentiments? I'm not completely opposed to the idea of the nation attempting to root out the effects of systematic racism which have darkened our past, but only if it can be done without causing worse harm than that which is to be remedied. And it seems to me that improving the financial and educational situation of blacks in America is not worth the effort if it can only be done in a way that consistently reinforces the message, "You're not good enough. Without our help, you never could have made it this far. You can only achieve as much as we will let you achieve. Your problems are not your own, but derive from past actions."

What social interest could possibly justify the systematization of that horrible lesson?

If the blacks as a race are to fail, isn't it better to let them fail on their own merits, after giving their own best efforts, knowing in their consciences that they did their best?

I've already trodden far into un-PC territory. So now let me say something that is perhaps equally as shocking, from another point of view. Last year, Louisiana's favorite son, David Duke, was released from prison into a half-way house. Duke was, of course, the guy who had to drop out of the race for the White House when it was discovered he was in the KKK (dude, join the Democrats. They never let a little thing like white supremacy stop them from repeatedly electing Klansmen). About that time, Duke made some statements, possibly in a book he wrote (what, like I'm supposed to pay attention?), to the effect that the white race was in serious trouble because other races were out-breeding it. He forecast with doom in his voice that some day soon the white race would no longer dominate.

Had I been present to hear Mr. Duke's statement, I would have asked him, So what? So what if white people are no longer the numerical majority? So what if white people, because they only have one child apiece, are eventually eradicated altogether? What reason is there to believe that any one race deserves to continue, if it collectively acts in such a way as to indicate it would rather not continue after all? If government is no legitimate engine to prop up black people (i.e. through affirmative action), then it is no more legitimate an engine to prop up white people. And should whites prefer voluntary extinction because Hispanics and blacks like large families and whites do not, what of it? Where did God or the philosophers ever guarantee that whites should have a place?

So if I'm un-PC, at least I'm consistently so.