The Boy Who Helps Griffin Clean Quotes in Black Like Me
We had a long conversation during which he brought out the obvious fact that whites teach their children to call them “niggers.” He said this happened to him all the time and that he would not even go into white neighborhoods because it sickened him to be called that. He said revealing things:
“Your children don’t hate us, do they?”
“God, no,” I said. “Children have to be taught that kind of filth. We’d never permit ours to learn it.”
The most distressing repercussion of this lack of communication has been the rise in racism among Negroes, justified to some extent, but a grave symptom nevertheless. It only widens the gap that men of good will are trying desperately to bridge with understanding and compassion. It only strengthens the white racist’s cause. The Negro who turns now, in the moment of near-realization of his liberties, and bares his fangs at a man’s whiteness, makes the same tragic error the white racist has made.