Quote #180

James Baldwin, My Dungeon Shoook – Letter to my Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation (1963):

And I know, which is much worse, and this is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it. One can be, indeed one must strive to become, tough and philosophical concerning destruction and death, for this is what most of mankind has been best at since we have heard of man. (But remember: most of mankind is not all of mankind.) But it is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also be innocent. It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.

and the essay ends

You know, and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.

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