During last three days following the 2016 Presidential Election there has been more than 3,000 racially charged and hateful incidents posted on social media (since November 9, 2016).
How do we have conversations with our own children, students, friends (Facebook and Twitter) about these incidents? What now is our focus forward under Trump’s administration and the explicit hateful words and actions that he has awaken in others?
During the famous 1963 interview, James Baldwin posed some very serious questions to both Black and White America that we must answer in order to move forward today.
The question for Black America he says,
“… part of the dilemma of being an American Negro; that one is a little bit colored and a little bit white, and not only in physical terms but in the head and in the heart, and there are days — this is one of them — when you wonder what your role is in this country and what your future is in it. How, precisely, are you going to reconcile yourself to your situation here and how you are going to communicate to the vast, heedless, unthinking, cruel, white majority, that you are here? And to be here means that you can’t be anywhere else.
The question for White America he says,
“It is entirely up to the American people and our representatives — it is entirely up to the American people whether or not they are going to face, and deal with, and embrace this stranger whom they maligned so long.
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.
The question you have got to ask yourself — the white population of this country has got to ask itself — North and South, because it’s one country, and for a Negro, there’s no difference between the North and South. There’s just a difference in the way they castrate you. But the fact of the castration is the American fact. If I’m not a nigger here and you invented him, you, the white people, invented him, then you’ve got to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that. Whether or not it’s able to ask that question.”
This post is to help you build conversation around social justice and the current state of America. The subtitle of this post is “A Lesson From James Baldwin: What America Needs to Do to Move Forward After the 2016 Presidential Election”.
Reference Video:The Negro and the American Promise Video