There's a new documentary about James Baldwin. A Black philosopher and intellectual, who also happened to be openly gay. His defiance and intellect are things I cherish and wish to emulate on a daily basis.
Baldwin, instead of beating White people over the head often posed questions and analyses of race in terms of being introspective. The title of the film is from one of his dissertations, as defiant and smart as you'll ever find Baldwin.
Who is the Ni**er?
"What you say about somebody else, reveals you. What I think of you as being, is dictated by my own necessities, my own psychology, my own fears…and desires.
I’m not describing you when I talk about you…I’m describing me.
Now, here in this country we got somebody called a ni**er. It doesn’t in such terms, I beg you to remark, exist in any other country in the world.
We have invented the ni**er. I didn’t invent him.
People who identify themselves as white people invented him.
I’ve always known, I had to know by the time I was seventeen years old, what you were describing was not me and what you were afraid of was not me. It had to be something else.
You had invented it so it had to be something you were afraid of and you invested me with it.
Now if that’s so, no matter what you’ve done to me I can say to you this, and I mean it…I know you can’t do any more and I’ve got nothing to lose…and I know and I have always known and that is part of the agony…I have always known that I am not a ni**er…but if I am not the ni**er…and if it is true that your invention reveals you…then who is the ni**er?
I am not the victim here. I know one thing from another. I know that I was born, am gonna suffer and gonna die. And the only way that you can get through life is to know the worst things about it.
I know that a person is more important than anything else. Anything else. I’ve learned this because I’ve had to learn it. But you still think, I gather, that the ni**er is necessary.
Well he’s not necessary to me, so he must be necessary to you.
So I give you your problem back.
You’re the ni**er baby, it isn’t me."
Let the church say amen.