James Baldwin: Who is the n*gger? (video)

What an amazing man. I’d read James Baldwin before – Giovanni’s Room – but never saw him interviewed. Wow. What a mind.

JAMES-BALDWIN

This interview takes place in 1963 in a documentary called “Take this Hammer.”  Baldwin was born in 1924, so he was already 39 years old (though not looking it).

“What you say about somebody else, anybody else, reveals you. What I think of you as being.  It’s dictated by my own necessity, my own psychology, my own fears and desires. I’m not describing you when I talk about you, I’m describing me.”

Baldwin, who was gay, segues into discussing the concept of “the n*gger.”  The clip is only 3 minutes long, and worth a watch.  I found part I of the documentary, It’s below.  And here’s the entire collection.

Here’s part I of the documentary. I’m astounded by the clothing. The way people dressed back then – everyone in this clip is well dressed, “properly” dressed. It’s fascinating.  Part of what’s fascinating is that there’s a discussion in some circles as to whether clothing and mode of dress impacts discrimination (the hoodie example comes to mind, but it’s not the only one).  And while this doesn’t disprove that theory, since this is from 50 years ago, it is interesting to note that the African-Americans in this video looked impeccably dressed – what I’d call “preppy” today – but they were still discriminated against.

Here’s some of the more remarkable dialogue:

Young African-American kid: There ain’t gonna be no negro president of this country.

Baldwin: There will never be a negro president of this country. Why do you say that?

Kid: We can’t get jobs, how we gonna be a president?

Baldwin: Exactly. But, I want you to think about this. There will be a negro president of this country. But it will not be the country that we are sitting in now.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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77 Responses to “James Baldwin: Who is the n*gger? (video)”

  1. zorbear says:

    I’ll bet they were articulate as well…

  2. karmanot says:

    “…the African-Americans in this video looked impeccably dressed” the code is so internalized, that phrase sails by like a harmless observation.

  3. karmanot says:

    So true. Obama had the potential to be one of the greatest presidents in our history. Instead, he will go down as a PR mirage and a rather mediocre president.

  4. Naja pallida says:

    It’s always that first step where a few people start to realize that people different from them really aren’t all that different, and are not the threat that some would have them think to keep the hatred flowing.

  5. karmanot says:

    Let’s give major credit to Dan Choi for that!

  6. karmanot says:

    You missed the Civil Rights days. It was bloody suits or not.

  7. cole3244 says:

    to me left of center is more important than anything but i don’t believe in miracles so that option is out of the question, imho!

  8. Ninong says:

    I think I should have simply gone with my final sentence: “In a way it’s racist that people of mixed race are always called by what whites consider the lesser race, even if they are more white than anything else.”

    Barack Obama does look more black than white, so he’s not a good example of the point I was trying to make. Why is it that even a person who is three-fourths white and only one-fourth black is still considered black?

    The real point I wanted to make is that we always use the race other than white to describe a person of mixed race. That’s actually a throwback to the anti-miscegenation laws of the South and the old one-drop rule. If you’re not pure white, then you’re not white. That was blatantly racist. And that’s why to this day we always refer to a person of mixed race by the race white people consider inferior. It’s traditional, I guess. Whatever.

  9. Ninong says:

    John,

    I googled the actual Gallup results for you. In 1958, 94% of Americans disapproved of interracial marriage and 4% approved. In 1968, one year after the Loving v. Virginia decision, 73% disapproved and 20% approved. It wasn’t until 1991 that Gallup found more Americans approved 48%, than disapproved 42%. http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/05/20/177434/same-sex-interracial-marriage/

    Bear in mind that that’s all Americans, not just white Americans. If you had polled white Americans in the Deep South states where interracial marriage was still illegal in 1967, you would have probably found that at least 95% of them disagreed with the Loving decision… because, you know, the Bible. Sort of like Barack Obama’s original excuse for not supporting gay marriage.

    Most Colored people in the Deep South in the 1940’s and ’50’s did not support interracial marriage. That’s just a fact, not any sort of opinion one way or the other. Whites in the Deep South were extremely upset by the Loving decision. I was 29 when that one came down and I was surprised at the animosity it engendered. It just seemed like the right thing to do but most people didn’t see it that way.

    Loving was a case of the Supreme Court being ahead of public opinion. They were way ahead of public opinion in the Deep South when they handed down Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. I’m sure you’ve read the history of the Warren Court’s internal deliberations and the importance of getting to a unanimous decision. That decision was not accepted in the Deep South and it was violently resisted for years, requiring federal intervention.

    If the Court could hand down Brown in 1954 and Loving in 1967, their next decision making marriage equality the law of the land should be a piece of cake.

  10. Well, I care if he’s gay :) And I think his being black was a huge step forward for the country. So it does matter. But I know what you mean

  11. We’re discussing two different things. I don’t often remember that the president is biracial. I don’t look at him as biracial. I see a black man. I don’t really care that he’s a black man, but it’s what I see. And I don’t see him as black because he’s half black and not “pure” white. Racist might say that, that anything less than pure isn’t white. I think a lot of people see him as black simply because he looks black. :) While others may do it in a racist way, meaning, if his blood isn’t pure…

  12. That’s f’d up. And weird.

  13. Let’s face it, a lot of the Fox News crowd, back then at least, didn’t have a lot of gay guys they knew were gay in their living room :) And maybe that was their assumption – my job was to convince them otherwise, regardless of whether they were being silly :)

  14. And what did US servicemembers putting on their uniforms and going on TV saying they’re gay, and handcuffing themselves to the WH in uniform get us? The repeal of DADT :) The repeal DADT message was as straight-laced as can be, and it worked from a PR perspective, massively well. I just fundamentally disagree with the notion that public relations and image don’t matter. Sometimes in-your-face matters too, but that doesn’t prove that image doesn’t help.

  15. Really? I don’t think they came across as very suit-y

  16. And interestingly enough, I had a DC cop tell me, years ago, after some big gay street event, fair whatever, that he had never seen such a well-behaved crowd. He said after any other community gather, the place was a mess, garbage everywhere, and the thing had numerous fights break out. For the gay ones, never. He was seriously impressed. It’s one man, but still.

  17. lynchie says:

    All of us on the left are still captivated by great orators. The left is for the most part better read, more analytical and less bigoted than the right. Obama was that breath of fresh air, the hopey changey, the truth to power. He ignited a lot of people who were in need of someone or something to believe in after Bush but sadly the honeymoon has been over for a long time. He did however live up to the wishes of his corporate handlers, the back room boys who plotted his moves to beat Hillary and who put McCain/Palin up against him the first time. He is and forever will be the lost opportunity for many of us.

  18. karmanot says:

    Obama brought Stanford and Harvard, looked clean ( by one account), apprenticed himself to corporate power and genuinely convinced people by the greatest oratory since Daniel Webster that he had greatness—-all the characteristics of a power sociopath.

  19. karmanot says:

    Yes, my friend who was 95, when I knew him in the 70’s, and his wife always referred to his generation and family as ‘colored.’ It was amazing to see the family albums going back to the mid 19th century. Some of the descendents were white and the range of ‘colored’ was considerable.

  20. Yes, but, clothing absolutely colors people’s impression of other people. That doesn’t always mean changing your clothing will help in all circumstances. But the film Paris is Burning delved into this topic, and the whole notion of “drag” as being far larger than men dressing as women for a show. It’s about clothing being a disguise, or a reinvention of oneself. How the same kid in street wear vs a suit and briefcase looks totally different, even though he’s the same kid. Whether we should judge him differently is an entirely different question, but to suggest that people do not judge him differently by various types of dress strikes me as 100% false.

  21. karmanot says:

    This is an interesting account John. That you would assume the characteristics of an avowed enemy to gain credibility might be very Sun Tzu, but disturbs me for some reason. I suppose because it so reflects the staunch streak of conservatism in you. The good news is that it strengthens my belief that diversity is the greatest strength in our GLTBQ campaigns for equal rights.

  22. karmanot says:

    And if you ran into a kid like Trevon Martin?

  23. I know, I have another friend Joe, not Joe S, who likes to dress well when flies. Black suit, sunglasses. He got stopped at DCA once and asked by the TSA guy “are you a movie star?” Sadly just a lobbyist :)

  24. As I mentioned before, I intentionally would wear my best suit and tie when I went on TV to discuss gay rights issues, so that I would look like a Republican businessman type – and I intentionally called OReilly “sir” I went on for the same reason. I wanted to shatter every anti-gay stereotype just to get people thinking. And it worked with OReily, he ended up liking me (oddly) and repeatedly praising me, and even coming around on Dr. Laura among other issues. So I’m a big fan of clothing-PR for everyone :)

    I do judge people, black and white, by the way they dress. And if I see some kid walking down the street late at night, and whether he’s black or white, if as he approaches I see that he’s well dressed, I feel safer. My gut may be right or it may be wrong, but I fear getting mugged far less by a guy in a cardigan and a polo shirt – again, perhaps my underlying assumption is wrong, but if it helps to diminish fear, it’s accomplishing its purpose. And racism, or whatever-ism, was likely stronger, and more widespread, in the early 60s than it is today. Still exists today, but there’s no way it’s as prevalent as it was back then – just look at the opinion polls when Loving v VA decision came out, I believe 70% of so of Americans opposed inter-racial marriage. There’s no way the number is that high today. So it could still be argued that clothing and presentation might have an impact today that it didn’t have in years past just because the level of hate was so strong you couldn’t permeate it.

  25. Ninong says:

    That term, “high yellow,” was considered an epithet used by whites to describe a light-skinned Colored person, so obviously he was using it in a joking way, just as many of today’s teens of color refer to their close friends as “mah nigga.” It always gets a big laugh out of their black friends when they use that expression without actually being black, just a person of color other than white.

    My close friend was the son of a white mother and a quadroon father. His father’s African-American ancestry was obvious, so the family lived as Colored back then. I hope everyone realizes that back when I was young, Colored was the correct polite term, Negro was considered a little harsh, and Black would have been considered an outright insult. I guess that’s why it was embraced by the younger generation of Colored people during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.

  26. mpeasee says:

    interesting analysis, but the whole society has gone casual…look how people dress on flights…its horrible! Clothing does not last as long as the did in the 50’s-70’s, and its more expensive if its new. Having all of your black leaders assassinated doesn’t help with keeping ones spirits high.

  27. UncleBucky says:

    But could we say this: Both strategies (conservative drag as well as drag queens!) and then any other strategy that works, short of being a strategy for two steps backwards, is the way forward? :D

  28. UncleBucky says:

    Yes, dress — even undress — is theatre! :)

  29. mpeasee says:

    Indeed!!!

  30. UncleBucky says:

    Yep, no movement is complete without those who can connect with those who need schooling. And a suit doesn’t school a blue collar worker, except when he has made a prior positive connection.

  31. mpeasee says:

    …indeed!

    But OWS is not a failure…its alive and kicking, they were on the ground long and strong for Sandy, they are working with Keystone, here in PDX they are working with folks with foreclosures, water sovereignty, and a host of other things… That tactic of the parks; yes that is dead, but that is all it was, a tactic. The lasting message is “let’s connect”. People are still connecting on issues. Just because they are under the radar doesn’t mean that they are dead or not working, because they are alive and kicking!

  32. UncleBucky says:

    Well, no matter the background, John, BACK THEN, whether it be Greek, Polish, African-American, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Irish, Scots, English, whatever, there would be a Grandmother or other senior citizen, who would tell you in no uncertain terms to DRESS WELL, shine your shoes, be respectful, and clean up after any mess. We believed these ladies since they seemed to speak both from the point of view of their wishes for our welfare and love. Parents did not seem to have the same connection on matters like this all the time. But Grandma, you better be sure you do right. I am thinking right now of the grandmother in “A Raisin in the Sun” movie. Zowie, she could have been my Grandmother. So, in this case, dressing well still got you points with family, even though you may have gotten dissed for both dressing well and being who you were back then. I get it!

  33. mpeasee says:

    …and what did it get them…”nothing”…it was Stonewall baby that put the gay liberation on its course…That’s right, Drag queens and sissy boys not wanting to be pushed around anymore…I am not condoning violence, but conformity has never brought about freedoms….never!

  34. lynchie says:

    The amount doesn’t matter it is the lie and how easily the bigoted believe it and every other lie. The quote I wanted to put in was this one from 1976. It is more fitting today than perhaps at any other time.

    The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately,
    and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their
    slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children
    whenever and wherever they decide that their “vital interests” are
    menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are
    not to be taken seriously when they speak of the “sanctity” of human
    life, or the “conscience” of the civilized world.

    From chapter one of The Devil Finds Work (orig. pub. 1976), reprinted in The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985

  35. karmanot says:

    My old neighbor in Ann Arbor came from a long line of octoroon families and referred to his wife as high yellow.

  36. mpeasee says:

    “it is interesting to note that the African-Americans in this video
    looked impeccably dressed – what I’d call “preppy” today – but they were
    still discriminated against.”

    John you said this above…

    Clothing is just a symbol. People have the right to be an individual. I am wondering if anyone was really listening to what the woman says about the young man that is 14 or the young lady that graduates with the same level of education and ends up work as a maid for their classmate. Black people have been playing the “white” American dream game since reconstruction and people still are fixated on “…but they don’t look like me!” Give me a break, this is a “bitter joke”, injustice is injustice regardless if your in a hoodie or dressed like a hippie. Gees, did we see the same clip posted above? …Baldwin said, “…well, it is unnecessary to me, so it must be necessary to you…” Clothing is nothing compared to a deep seed ideology of hate and fear

  37. karmanot says:

    True: all torch and no justice.

  38. karmanot says:

    That was me thirty year’s ago. People, surprisingly did hear the message, but then I’m not a nice young man, even then.

  39. karmanot says:

    I totally agree that dress is theater and an effective tool for communication. There is no more common denominator than a suit for the power world and its factotums.

  40. karmanot says:

    As James stated” N’gger is the mirror of the hater.

  41. karmanot says:

    I realize that I’m swimming against the stream here, but the fact that OCCUPY was a complete and impotent failure was its beougious highly educated class message. There needed to be MORE ‘hippies (a ridiculous and outmoded term), working and blue collar workers. Suits don’t make a revolution.

  42. UncleBucky says:

    Man, a lot of things were nice before the corporatists (whatever party) trashed them.

    –UB.

  43. karmanot says:

    I’m absolutely amazed by the direction of this thread. James Baldwin—JAMES BALDWIN, probably one of the most heralded black writer geniuses of twentieth century gives a talk on N’gger and we talk about not dressing like hippies at demonstrations. What in the hell is wrong with you people?

  44. UncleBucky says:

    “…the African-Americans in this video looked impeccably dressed – what
    I’d call “preppy” today – but they were still discriminated against.”

    I have a number of reactions. First, I have NEVER seen Baldwin speak before. I had not known how gorgeous he was back then! And I had read several of his works.

    But the quote above. I was thinking. If even you wear expensive evening wear (in the 40s like the Robinson brothers?) and you still get discriminated against, then maybe for some people, dresssing down ain’t gonna matter? It’s giving up, depression, and growing cynicism that (for many of us) that prompted not dressing up anymore? I dunno.

  45. Naja pallida says:

    I do have access to Photoshop… but don’t think I’d want to do that to John. ;)

  46. keirmeister says:

    Hmmm…now THERE’s an image!

  47. Naja pallida says:

    Oh, no doubt about that at all. Just like with the civil rights movement, even though most of the people who spoke for the movement were educated, articulate, passionate, peaceful, well dressed, and tried to treat even their opponents with respect, there were those who still found every excuse to portray them as somehow inferior and dangerous. And then there were those within the movement complaining that by dressing and acting like white politicians, and treating white politicians with respect, that somehow in itself was hurting the movement. Which bookends nicely with John’s earlier post. That somehow, by accepting marriage equality is somehow going to dull the efforts of other gay rights issues.

  48. kwd says:

    Yeah, but if not the clothes those who opposed OWS would’ve found something else to complain about. After all, hatred can always be justified if one is determined.

  49. jomicur says:

    I’m reminded of the early gay rights protests staged in the 50s and 60s by Mattachine and D.O.B. (which I am just barely old enough to remember), where everyone was told to dress “properly–men in suits and ties, women in skirts and blouses or suits. Seeming “like everyone else” was an important part of the message those groups wanted to send.

  50. Ninong says:

    I have always thought that the way American society classifies the “race” of multi-racial people is in itself inherently racist. For background, you have to remember that I was born in the 1930’s in the very Deep South. George Zimmerman, for example, would have been official Negro there when I was growing up. In fact, in New Orleans he would have been called an octoroon — the offspring of a white father and a quadroon mother.

    Those were both very common words when and where I was growing up. If you’re unfamiliar with the terms, just use google. If I remember correctly, there was even a Quadroon Ball back then. New Orleans has a long history of multi-racial inhabitants that dates back to the days when it was still a French Colony — actually French, then Spanish, then French again before it became an American territory, the Territory of Orleans.

    It was also a time when some people “passed for white.” That’s another term I haven’t heard in a long time. Back then there was not only anti-black discrimination by most of the white population (Segregation was the law!), there was also anti-black discrimination amont people of mixed black and white descent. One of my best friends “passed for white” when he wanted to and passed for black the rest of the time. In truth, he was an octoroon, just like George Zimmerman. He was one-eighth black. Officially he was classified as Negro as far as the government was concerned.

    I remember when his younger sister got married and she had the wedding out of state instead of locally. That’s because she married a white guy of Italian descent and she was passing for Italian back then — actually she was passing for a white person of Italian descent. I remember attending the second or third birthday party of her first child while she was pregnant with the second one. One of her girlfriends jokingly made the comment, “shut up or I’ll wish more black on you.” I had to ask my friend to interpret that for me.

    So here we are with a president who is half white and half black but he’s called black. George Zimmerman is mostly white of German descent but he’s called Hispanic, even though he would have been called Negro in the middle of the last century because he has one Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather. Why is he Hispanic instead of white? He’s more white than Hispanic. In my lifetime he would have been called black (actually either Colored person or Negro back then because black would have been considered derogatory).

    In a way it’s racist that people of mixed race are always called by what whites consider the lesser race whenever they are of mixed race, even if they are more white than anything else.

  51. cole3244 says:

    yes for most white people the racial makeup means nothing, but for bigots it means everything, they need something that doesn’t scare them and black does, brown not so much, sad but true.
    myself i don’t care if our pres is gay, straight, bi, biracial, female, lgbt, pink (color not singer), purple, an atheist (preferable) etc, although left of center if i had my druthers (which i will never see).

  52. Naja pallida says:

    I hate to say it, but I think this is one of the things that hurt Occupy Wall Street. It ended up coming across as a bunch of hippies camping in a park, and being a nuisance, rather than a coordinated protest effort. Those people who work hard every day just to put food on the table, who should have been on their side, were unimpressed and essentially fell into the “Get a job, hippie!” mindset. Of course, a good part of that was how the corporate media chose to cover it. They were protesting corporate control of everything, and then that corporate control were the ones that got to frame their message for the general public.

  53. Naja pallida says:

    Such a nice man, for a gay guy? What, were they expecting you to show up in assless chaps, a policeman’s hat, with aviator sunglasses, and a flowing mustache singing “Macho Man”?

  54. Monoceros Forth says:

    I have to admit, it’d be nice if a (say) an anti-war protest more resembled a gathering of ordinary persons in working clothes and less resembled a hippie-dippy drum circle or the crowd at a Grateful Dead tribute band concert (though with worse music.)

  55. woodroad34 says:

    I agree. However, people like the fellow I argued with last night–a businessman of some wealth and stature–actually believe this crap; he’s also just-this-side-of-violence when he speaks of it and when you disagree with him. It’s an amazing sickness.

  56. Naja pallida says:

    Yes, but the question is, why was Obama suddenly a viable candidate, when previous black candidates, like Jesse Jackson, were essentially scoffed at? Or Al Sharpton, who has run for office many times, and has never been taken really seriously as a candidate even by his own party. And did Herman Cain ever really have a chance in the Republican primaries? Despite that one poll that claimed he was ahead, I just don’t believe for a second he would have ever become the nominee, even if his extra curricular activities had never become a factor.

  57. I’ve always been a fan. It’s why I used to tell people I always wore “my republican suit” when I’d go on O’Reilly in the early 2000s to talk about gay rights. People afterwards would email me about how I looked like such a nice young man for a gay guy, and it was people who didn’t necessarily agree with me. It worked wonders in terms of PR IMHO, especially in an era in which it was still important to show America that we weren’t the depraved maniacs the right kept painting us as.

  58. woodroad34 says:

    See, $5,000 is a big lie. That small amount of money can, in no way, help organize a riot–you need lap tops, people to man them, an EOC/center of operation to coordinate, feet on the street etc. The $5,000 was for plane and board fare.
    BTW, excellent quote.

  59. Drew2u says:

    Exactly. It’s a dead-end when one is trying to come up with a strategy based around the other side who, no matter what, honestly believe without a doubt they are the saviors of the nation and those on the other side want to personally destroy them and their family. This is especially true when they are told to believe in all 7 of these nation-destroying laws as being nation-preservation laws: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/15/2302051/6-dangerous-alec-backed-bills-beyond-stand-your-ground-laws/

  60. keirmeister says:

    Crap…you’re probably right about that! I guess the best way to win is to not play their game.

  61. Drew2u says:

    We laugh at teabaggers dressed in colonial clothing with teabags hanging off their foreheads, but they would not hesitate to also jeer well-dressed liberals if the liberals stop “dressing like hippies” (as it were; with Occupy) as another demonstration that teabaggers represent “real, hard-working Americans!”.

  62. keirmeister says:

    Maybe that’s something the progressive movement needs to adopt. It’s difficult to Hippy Punch an Occupy movement of nice skirts and dress slacks.

  63. Ninong says:

    All of that stuff is nonsense. All they “found” was that the Community Relations Section of the Department of Justice sent a couple of people down to Sanford, Florida for a few days to advise the local authorities (mayor, police chief, etc.) on how to manage community relations in a way that would allow peaceful protests without allowing anything to get out of hand. I guess that’s why it’s called the Community Relations Section.

    Whoever wrote that article is not an American. You can tell that by the spelling.

  64. Maybe, but for white people, the man is black. We don’t see him as biracial – I certainly don’t. It doesn’t mean he’s the black president you wanted, but he’s certainly a black president, and it’s certainly a step forward.

  65. Obviously absurd. Ignore it.

  66. That’s what I’d heard. It may be apocryphal, but I’d heard that people were told to dress well, suit and tie and dresses, for the 63 March on Washington. We don’t quite do that for our progressive marches today :)

  67. lynchie says:

    Just another false flag to get the old, white, scared shitless folks ready to shot any black on sight. They wish for a riot, it is their wet dream. Just as they wish for MLK to go all ghetto on their asses.
    It would prove the verdict was right, that Trayvon was a thug looking for trouble. But let’s say for a minute that Holder had spent $5000 for a riot, is it really that much different than what the Koch brothers spend every day to screw over the old, poor, and minorities in this country.

  68. keirmeister says:

    With regard to how folks dressed, there’s obviously a cultural element (this is how folks dressed back then); but from the black experience, there was also more to it.

    I’m a young-in, so I wasn’t around back then, but what I was taught was that black folks dressed well, or at least as well as they could, as a matter of pride. It was a way of breaking free of the “slave clothes” and showing white people that blacks were just as intelligent and well mannered as they were…that they BELONGED in society. It wasn’t about separation, but INTEGRATION. The dress didn’t represent prosperity, it represented DIGNITY. How can you fight to be equal if you go out of your way to look different? You can’t change your skin color, but you can change your clothing.

    So I think this may explain why older African Americans complain about today’s black youth culture (think Bill Cosby). They see it as an erosion and/or disrespect of the racial dignity for which they fought.

    …At least, that’s how it was explained to me growing up. But it makes sense.

  69. vergil arma says:

    I’ve often quoted in regard to American LGBT rights the remark Baldwin made in Ken Burns’ documentary on the Statue of Liberty. He said to him the statue was “a very bitter joke.”

  70. woodroad34 says:

    Somewhat along the lines of this same post, but something i haven’t seen spoken to is Judicial Watch’s EXTREMELY! SHOCKING! REVELATION! that Eric Holder had sent resources to “foment riots” if George Zimmerman was found not guilty. I had a heated argument about this with an ultra-conservative acquaintence last night saying it sounded like a conspiracy theory. After he was told of George Zimmerman getting off, he said “good! I can tell thug a mile away! (meaning Trayvon)” and then he went into this story that’s all over the conservative news (you know, Limbaugh, Breitbart, Investors.com, same ol’, same ol’) about how Eric Holder had spent $5000 to help organize and start riots. And I was told by a pair of wobbling jowls that I had better get ‘educated’! I looked this up and could find nothing on any reputable web source except SNOPES.COM, Every other reference was either a re-printing of the “conservative, but non-partisan” expose Judicial Watch put out of line-item expenses and an audio piece that was interpreted as a rallying cry for riots–hardly factual–more interpretation of innuendo–but in ALL CAPS!
    Anyone else hear of this?

  71. cole3244 says:

    america brags because it elected a black pres, it elected a bi racial pres that is acceptable to the white citizen because of his look and intellect, would america elect a black black pres in color much less in angry demeanor i think not, america is not ready for that and won’t be for a long long time, after all america has a racial bias to protect and it changes its prejudices only when made to do so.

  72. Indigo says:

    Je me souviens! He was the best!

  73. Ninong says:

    I remember when “Giovanni’s Room” first came out. In the Deep South, where I lived at the time, it was considered pornographic because of its topic. It was that criticism that actually gave it publicity and probably drove sales, especially among those curious about that topic. I remember reading it in paperback form when I was either 17 or 18. When it was published I was only 16. I read “Go Tell It on the Mountain” later.

    Baldwin was frequently on TV during the early ’60’s. He was the go-to guy for quotes the way CNN insists on going to Tony Perkins to “balance” out any positive coverage of anything “promoting” equal rights for gays. I think the main reason the TV people loved getting James Baldwin on TV was because here was this little black man who was so well-spoken — in either English or French. Getting him to make comments about equal rights for African-Americans was sure to frustrate and stir up those who opposed equal rights.

  74. GaiusPublius says:

    Nice. Note — This is what public television used to be, before Reagan and corporate Dems got at it.

    GP

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