Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I didn't fully capture my outrage.

Pursuant to my previous post, during the Nazi era, Jews were not individuals. They were part of a community. Their guilt was collective. The alleged action of one Heschel Greenspan when he killed a German ambassador in France led to Kristallnacht--pogroms all over Germany in which over 1200 synagogues were burned to the ground.

The same, of course, was true during the slave and Jim Crow eras in our history. By definition, racism abnegates individualism and generalized group characteristics. So when Nat Turner rebelled on a plantation in 1830s South Carolina, all the slaves in the region were accused of insurrection and were lynchable. All slaves everywhere were on the cusp of rampaging, slaughtering and raping with farm implements.

How different is the phrase "black community" from "you people," or "those people."

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