Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The price of repression

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Men came to the idea of exclusive black slavery by gradually enslaving the workers, as was the world’s long custom, and then gradually conceiving certain sorts of work and certain colors of men as necessarily connected…Today in larger cycle and more intricate detail we are passing through certain phases of a similar evolution. Today we have the caste idea—again not a sudden full grown conception but one being insidiously but consciously and persistently pressed upon the nation. The steps toward it which are being taken are: first, political disfranchisement, then vocational education with the distinct idea of narrowing to the uttermost of the vocations in view, and finally a curtailment of civil freedom of travel, association, and entertainment, in systematic effort to instill contempt and kill self-respect…

This is the problem of today, and what is its mighty answer? It is this great word: The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

W.E.B. Du Bois, “Evolution of the Race Problem”

Written by nevalalee

August 20, 2017 at 7:30 am

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