Appendix III THE SOCIAL SPLIT
Discusses racism and responds to Du Bois's concept of split personality
Appendix III The Social Split searchable transcriptCollapse
THE SOCIAL SPLIT (vs DuBois’ idea of personality split)
American Negro racism begins with a rejection of Anglo-Saxon aesthetics, ethics, and deistic humanitarianism. Those American Negroes who are conscientiously “Afro-American” spurn the Nordic physiognomy as monstrous. The Afro-American scorns the duplicity of the Nordic ethical system that fosters exploitation. The Afro-American rebels against the Nordic ontology of human supremacy, especially that traditional human supremacy which has meant white supremacy. To the Afro-American racist, Caucasian symbolizes arrogance, vanity, egotism, conceit, avarice, greed, cruelty and duplicity; it symbolizes a dearth of both passion and compassion. The Afro-American regards Caucasian rationalism as Evil: and he regards cold-blooded dispassionate empiricism as the greatest Evil. To him, the typical Nordic physiognomy symbolically corresponds with the evil, cold blooded, dispassionate Medusa. The Afro-American racist strives to preserve his African bloodlines and personality.
The racist, however, does not dissociate himself from the Negroes’ revolt. His intellectual revolt is a passive attempt to preserve the integrity of his individuality; his physical revolt is simply an attempt to establish or preserve his economic security against second class citizenship, rendered acute by the mechanics of automation.
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There is another class of American Negro who is not a racist. He represents the other side of the equation in a sociological sense, not psychological. He has been acculturated. Neither the racist nor the acculturated suffers a personality split in the DuBois sense. This group of American Negroes has been has been as acculturated as circumstances would permit; some have experienced amalgamation with the whites. The acculturated Negro hardly wants to be classified as “Negro”, but wants one hundred percent Americanhood. He campaigns to destroy all barriers. He denies all concepts of race except that of the human race. He conscientiously adheres to a conviction that the salvation and preservation of America rests in a One World ideal with emphasis on human brotherhood. His ultimate objective is human perfection in a world subservient to the Will of God.
It is the racist who is the true danger to America, whether he be black or white; it is the racist who does violence to the American ideal. The danger is not the acculturated Negro, who would efface self, and sacrifice all distinguishing peculiarities of his individuality in order to bring to full reality the American dream of liberty, freedom, and equality, as a vital demonstration to this chaotic world.
True, there is this sociological split among American Negroes; but there is little evidence of the schizoid tendencies indicated by DuBois. DuBois’ conception of a personality split is as old and as erroneous as
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the antebellum myth of the “tragic mulatto”. Inherent in American culture is ambition with hope, aspiration, and perfectibility. It is not schizoid to recognize the restrictions of one’s socioeconomic plight and yet aspire to excellence. The acculturated Negro believes that the imposition of second class citizenship on any American is neither deterministic nor permanent; nor is it limited to Negroes. These two groups of Negroes have joined ranks in the cause of integration; but neither group has lost its perspective.
(Handwritten note in italics)Collapse