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    Esquire | Esquire Editors | 8/2/17 | 44 min
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    Esquire
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    • Tonianni1 month ago

      Wonderful bittersweet interview.

      But if we are willing to change our point of view…

      Well, then, the person to talk to is first of all your own heart, your wife, your child. It's your country, too. I've read a great deal about the good white people of this country since I came back to it in 1957. But it's the good white people of this country who forced the black people into the streets.

      Absolutely spot on. White people live with heads buried in the sand but can’t see that the fabric of this society is woven with racism, ofcourse your children and their children will absorb it without it being ‘taught’ What needs doing is actively teach your kids to be anti-racist, and not just with words but with your own behaviour and attitude.

      1. Update (6/7/2020):

        I’m reminded of a job I had earlier this year nannying two ‘white’ kids being ‘black’ meself. One day while having dinner, the 4yr old says (there’d been an ongoing chat) “White people go up and all the brown people go down” Her 7yr old brother provided the interpretation. Up is heaven, down is hell. (They aren’t Christian people) I was aghast. I asked her who told her that, she said it was her dad. I could not believe that but after telling her that it was not true, I decided to tell the parents when they got home (such a tough decision it was) They looked horrified and said they will talk to their kids and that they don’t bring them up that way plus the girl goes to a nursery where she is a minority! (Doesn’t matter in a country where the fabric is racist) Now, I do not know how they bring up their kids but if they are like the avg white person, they do not have conversations about race and I think it is an absolute must! People should not be this ignorant.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        You’re brave for telling the parents. Thanks so much for sharing. Jaw-dropping stuff.

        • Tonianni1 month ago

          Mehn (phew) I thought I’d lose the job......My jaw certainly dropped when the little girl said it, she was laughing and smiling and I had to ask her to repeat it and she did, then said “you are brown you are going down”

          I did continue with the job and came to realise that kids pick up all sorts! They tell lies easily too like she said once that their dad hates them but when the dad comes home they run to him ( clearly not! ) So there’s lots that need active correction/teaching otherwise they grow up thinking things are meant to be this way.

          Thanks.

    • anayar
      Scout
      1 month ago

      Essential reading, I cannot for the life of me believe that this was published in 1968.

      • bill
        Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        Right!? So many thing have changed. And yet so few things have changed. I was born in ‘87, so ‘68 feels like ancient history to me. Yet most of this reads like right now. Incredible, haunting.

    • bill
      Top reader this weekTop reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Surreal. Profound. This is why I read. And this is why I believe in the power of reading.

      This originally appeared in the July 1968 issue of Esquire Magazine and was republished in 2017.

      This is way more than just “still relevant today.” It’s essential reading in June 2020. It’s astounding how far Baldwin was ahead of his time. Half a century has gone by, yet I can see only one difference between the world in this article and the world I currently live in: white interviewers and journalists at big magazines and newspapers are now better able to pretend like they aren’t part of the problem. In other words, we have become increasingly skilled at talking our way around these problems, instead of talking through them.

      More things need to burn. Bigger, more precious things.