posted by James Murray
“…but as far as the problem of the Negro industrial worker is concerned, I feel that it is not so much racial as it is the problem of the masses. As soon as the masses, including all our minority groups have achieved economic security, racial problems will reach a solution of their own accord.” He turned to me. “Won’t you agree with me to that extent, Mr. Jones?”
“No,” I said, “It’s a state of mind. As long as the white folks hate me and I hate them we can earn the same amount of money, live side by side in the same kind of house, and fight every day.”
He got one of those condescending, indulgent smiles. “Then how would you suggest effecting a solution to a minority group problem?”
“I don’t know about any other minority group problem,” I said, “but the only solution to the Negro problem is a revolution. We’ve got to make white people respect us and the only thing white people have ever respected is force.”
“But do you think a revolution by Negro people could be successful?” he asked in that gentle tone of voice usually reserved for an unruly child.
But I tried to keep my head. “Not unless there were enough white people on our side,” I said.
“By the same token,” he argued, “if there were enough white people on your side there wouldn’t be any need for a revolution.”
“There’s a lot of them who don’t do anything but talk. If we had a revolution it would force you to act, either for us or against us – personally, I wouldn’t give a goddamn which way.”
“Suppose your revolution failed?” he asked.
“That’d be all right too,” I said, “At least we’d know where we stood.”