James Baldwin: excerpts from the KQED documentary “Take This Hammer”

Yes, we have come a long way. A very long way. But after watching the documentary, you might be surprised at how much has remained the same.

Just because we elected a Black President doesn’t mean we are a “Post Racist” America.

The following excerpts are from “James Baldwin: Who Is The N*gger”  by which appeared on AmericaBlog.com (7/15/2013)

“What you say about somebody else, anybody else, reveals you. What I think of you as being.  It’s dictated by my own necessity, my own psychology, my own fears and desires. I’m not describing you when I talk about you, I’m describing me.”

Some remarkable dialogue from “Take This Hammer” which illustrates Baldwin’s remarkable faith in man.

Young African-American kid: There ain’t gonna be no negro president of this country.

Baldwin: There will never be a negro president of this country. Why do you say that?

Kid: We can’t get jobs, how we gonna be a president?

Baldwin: Exactly. But, I want you to think about this. There will be a negro president of this country. But it will not be the country that we are sitting in now.

James Baldwin Take This Hammer Part 1

James Baldwin Take This Hammer Part 2

James Baldwin Take This Hammer Part 3

A Message To White People

We, as caucasians, have to understand that we don’t know all the answers. We need to recognize when to speak up, and when to shut the hell up and listen.

The Zimmerman trial verdict picked open a scab that has not had a chance to heal properly. The anger of non-whites is not an overreaction. It is a valid emotion stemming from centuries of systematic mistreatment, and downright cruelty.

Just because we elected a Black President does not mean we’ve evolved into a “Post Racist” America.

You can’t just say you’re not racist and make it so. It’s easy to find out if you are, though. Just ask any person of color you regularly come in contact with; any non-white person at all.. But be prepared for an honest answer. And don’t get pissed off if you don’t get the answer you wanted to hear.

Whether or not you use the six letter N word doesn’t determine if you’re a racist. Your actions, how you treat people, are a reflection of your true nature. Treating people as a group, instead of individually, is indicative of racism.

Here’s the deal. We all have our own truths; our own experience, if you will. The only way for us to understand is to listen. When people tell you there’s a problem, you can’t solve it by being defensive. Yeah. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. But life’s not easy, so get over it.

If someone says or does something offensive, don’t let it slide. Speak up.  If someone is trying to tell you there’s a problem, shut the hell up and listen.