The end?

Book pages 293-293




But how long... how long... ?
Popeye was the last friend I wanted to say goodbye to in this way. With the murder of Sally and Popeye I could take it no longer and fled the country.
All my feelings and senses had been killed. I had lost 12 of my hest friends in the senseless American violence, and numerous others had disappeared into prison for life.



I loved the American people more than any other I had ever known. I wished in the end to become a part of it and did not mean to leave the country.

The human warmth I had met everywhere was a fresh breeze in my life after the detachment and reticence I had known in Europe.



But the warmth and openness of the American people stood in such glaring contrast to the cruel and inhuman ghetto system which had grown out of their deeper pain.



I had been on the highest peaks and I had been in the deepest shadowy depths with one foot in the grave of America, and everywhere it hurt me to see the increasing fossilization and fortification this warmth and openness is subject to - a warmth from which I could still benefit as a foreigner, but which has long ago petrified into fear, hatred, and bitterness towards fellow-Americans, who live more isolated and in greater alienation from each other than any other people I know of.
But the violence goes on - the violence against all oppressed people. Our own European violence against the Third World each year kills more people through underdevelopment and unbalanced trade than were killed in the whole of World War II and will drive millions towards our shores as refugees and immigrants.



Yet another body are we ready to cover up, but just how many are we prepared to dispose of in our fear of a deeper personal change which better serves the interests of the entire world population.

This man was murdered where I lived in New York right across from a ghetto mural (seen behind the shroud) which he perhaps never paid attention to and perhaps was unable to read.

On a late evening we find at the same wall two crippled Vietnam veterans who have been out defending "Western civilization" - and who now have to beg in the streets. The scene is changing.

The colonized peoples - their backs to the wall - now must serve as colonizers and oppressors and are sent out over the oceans they came from. Our inhumanity has come full circle. We have finally managed to create them in our civilization's own sanguinary image.



Yet another child has been killed in the ghetto violence - five years old.
The ring is closing. Once again a black mother must throw her child in the ocean - as she did 300 years ago...



The ocean shall lead her back to the shores her ancestors once came from when we needed them.

How much more suffering are we still going to witness - or to cause? We don't know.
We throw our uncertainty in the ocean with the ashes of our victim.....



Ship Ahoy! Ship Ahoy! Ship Ahoy!



As far as your eye can see,
men, women and baby slaves,



coming to the land of Liberty,
where life's design is already made -



So young and so strong
they're just waiting to be saved...



The end?


Having been oppressed during this presentation you may now feel:

Guilty, paranoid, frustrated, drained, upset, numb, tense, angry, pissed, silenced, dumb, confused, unworthy, cautious, inferior, powerless, fearful, meek, passive......

Further oppression could also have made you... protective, inattentive, hostile, turned off, shrewd, playing games, deceitful, plotting, manipulative, retaliatory, superior, observant (of the oppressor), crafty, destructive, detached, cagy....
.....and finally violent!


These emotions are the same as those experienced by blacks living under the oppressive patterns of American society, by Muslim immigrants in Europe, by Palestinians under Israeli occupation and by many other oppressed groups in the world.

The hurt accompanying these emotions forces people into paralysis, hopeless and self-consuming anger.

The irrational and powerless behavior that results in turn fuels white racism.

Being aware of how this vicious circle works gives us the power to work together to free ourselves from these oppressive patterns...
 ...for the love of humanity and our own selves!


But we should not forget one important thing.

Having been "oppressed" ourselves through this presentation we now run the risk of ending up in the other end of the oppression pattern:

Without an appropriate or constructive outlet for our pain, we may end up using our new knowledge to become even more sophisticated racists than before.

I therefore urge you attend one of my racism workshops, or to "let go" of and share your emotions in a safe setting with a close friend.


The pain, compassion, anger, guilt or sadness you may feel now demonstrates the human caring in each of us and our deep longing to see things made right.

Sharing our feelings and deep concerns about racism is a meaningful first step toward breaking out of the fear and inhibition that keeps us stuck in hurtful patterns.