Tag Archives: Son of Baldwin

Son of Baldwin…

[Re-blogging from Medium.com – Son of Baldwin on James Baldwin…]

On James Baldwin and How Oppressors
Try to Misuse Him to Shame Me

by Son of Baldwin, Medium.com

This is a great article on Baldwin with some fiery quotes I’d not heard. Much like Malcom, he was non-violent, but only to a point. As Malcolm said, we have the right of self-defense. Understanding that of course, is always tricky. This article is in response to people who criticized the author for suggesting that oppressed people should not feel constrained to follow traditional moral standards in protecting, saving, or helping the lives of their oppressors. I responded to the original article, “Let them fucking die”, by suggesting that though I understand the impulse, as Gandhi said, “An eye for eye will leave the whole world blind.” His response to me was:

“But it seems, John F. Eden, that white Americans are only concerned about a “true objective moral standard for our common humanity” when they fear that it may be them who are in danger, that it may be that their own lives are on the line.

Black people are expected to Mammy and Uncle Remus everyone else, to always, perpetually worry about the lives of others and to treat those lives as though they matter more than our own, but when we’re victims, everyone else uses sophistry and inhumanity to somehow blame us for our own predicaments.

We say Black Lives Matter, and white people lose their fucking minds at the thought, and simultaneously want to shoot us and want us to take bullets for them.

No. No longer.

I’m not advocating violence, but I am, indeed, advocating that white people, and any other anti-Black/anti-Queer people be left to their own devices.

The wages of bigotry is death and I say let bigots get what they paid for.”

 Which is pretty good. I still advocate we need to search for some ‘objective’ standard to which to hold the haters and the fascists and the alt-right etc. accountable. He is  absolutely right in that ‘they’ (the white patriarchy) created the moral system they expect us to go by but they don’t follow, at least not when it comes to anyone they consider ‘other’. But I would hope we can begin to find and live by something that affirms our common humanity.
It may be a few generations in the making, if we survive, but we need to consider it.
Baldwin and Malcolm sound the same notes often, as in this quote from Baldwin:
“People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.”
Sounds a lot like what Malcolm said about the chickens coming home to roost.
It’s an interesting article, and I have found all his writing that I’ve read well-done and thought-provoking in the extreme.