“If you can only be tall because somebody’s on their knees then you have a serious problem and my feeling is white people have a very, very serious problem and they should start thinking about what they can do about it, but take me out of it…”
In an interview on the Charlie Rose Show years ago (Jan. 19, 1998), Toni Morrison, our brilliant Nobel Laureate, asked and said what millions of people try to ask and say everyday about American racism. How do you feel about racism?
Morrison stated that she was not “a victim” and refused to be one. She shared that growing up she always felt she was morally superior to White people even though they treated her as a second class citizen. It was an amazing response.
African Americans realize that America needs to deal with race and its racial past. This has little to do with African Americans, and everything to do with White America’s struggle to accept the idea that race is a construct created to make them feel superior. This construct has left them feeling “bereft.” According to Morrison, they are suffering a kind of sickness, a “neurosis.”
“What are you without racism? Are you any good? …Do you still like yourself?”