Sarah Waggoner | Indy Week

Sarah Waggoner 
Member since Oct 12, 2015


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Re: “Gray Brooks will change the name of "Hattie Mae Williams Called Me Captain"

Just stumbled across this... seemed like something we could all be interested in! Could be super academic and way over my head, but I am going to try to attend one of these talks... http://humanrights.fhi.duke.edu/our-right-to-say-gentrification-and-durhams-future/

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Posted by Sarah Waggoner on 10/23/2015 at 1:41 PM

Re: “Gray Brooks will change the name of "Hattie Mae Williams Called Me Captain"

"A friend and I were walking through the cloister of the Quadrangle when we were suddenly met and forced out of the way by what turned out to be a civil rights protest. I said to my friend, 'What's going on?' Whereupon one of the marchers, a young white man, turned and said to me in utter fury: 'You damned well better find out!' I suppose that my southern (i.e., north central Kentucky) speech had identified me to him as a racist. Though I was not a racist, I was fully aware that I belonged to the history of racism and had the influence of it in me. I felt that I had a stake in the outcome. And so I observed these encounters with interest- indeed, with fascination. It was obvious that the presence of such feelings in the nation could not be without political results, and that the results might be to some extent good. But the implicit agreement on the historical scheme of white guilt and black innocence, white victory and black defeat, seemed hopeless to me. In this public life of the issues of racism and civil rights, one felt the possibility of an agreement of sorts, but nowhere the possibility of the mutual recognition of a common humanity, or the possibility of forgiveness and reconciliation, or the possibility of love. If love was present at those public meetings, it was the self-love of self-righteous anger and the self-love of self-righteous guilt. I did not speak at any of those meetings, and I cannot imagine how I might have done so... I want to say that, though I knew that American racism had put whites and blacks into the roles of oppressor and oppressed, I had not experienced it as a victory for the oppressor. I knew well that racism had caused pain to black people, but I knew too that it had been a cause of pain to white people- it had been a cause of pain to me- and not just because of guilt. I knew that for white people it had involved loss and spiritual disfigurement. And I knew, from my own experience, that it had involved love" ... "Our present idea of freedom is only the freedom to do as we please: to sell ourselves for a high salary, a home in the suburbs, and idle weekends. But that is a freedom dependent upon affluence, which is in turn dependent upon the rapid consumption of exhaustible supplies. The other kind of freedom is the freedom to take care of ourselves and of each other. The freedom of affluence opposes and contradicts the freedom of community life. Our place of safety can only be the community, and not just one community, but many of them everywhere. Upon that depends all that we still claim to value: freedom, dignity, healthy, mutual help and affection, undestructive pleasure, and the rest. Human life, as most of us still would like to define it, is community life."... "It is necessary to look beyond the government to the possibility-- one that seems to be growing--that people will reject what have been the prevailing assumptions, and begin to strengthen and defend their communities on their own." -Wendell Berry, _The Hidden Wound_

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sarah Waggoner on 10/12/2015 at 8:15 AM

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