Retalls (11.11.18)

American Devilry. Adam Hochschild. The New York Review of Book.

”At least four thousand black people were lynched in the United States between 1877 and 1950. Not all of them were in the South. In 1922, a black man seen kissing a white woman barely escaped being killed by a mob in midtown Manhattan. (...) Where, then, does this deep American racial fury, so skillfully manipulated by Donald Trump’s jut-browed scowl, come from? Churchwell reminds us of how white Americans, no matter how poor, have long been compensated with what W. E. B. Du Bois called the “public and psychological wage” of being white. “White laborers,” he wrote, “were convinced that the degradation of Negro labor was more fundamental than the uplift of white labor.” Fountain quotes another distinguished black writer, James Baldwin, making essentially the same point: “The contempt with which American leaders treat American blacks is very obvious; what is not so obvious is that they treat the bulk of the American people with the very same contempt. But it will be sub-zero weather in a very distant August when the American people find the guts to recognize this fact.”