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sympathetically at a Negro’s ears don’t mean anything now; they are part Of the mockery. A cracker is a cracker: The “good” ones are just less bad than the bad, bad crackers. They won’t join the mob, but they belong to that mob that sees the Negro individual as nothing but the stereotype; that talks to him about “your people” and “your problems” and tells him how much it admires “the Negro race”; and some say they are proNegro instead of saying they are pro-humanity. And all of this shows that one way or another a cracker is a cracker, more or less, and they’ll never realize in time. They won’t learn really to love before Negroes learn really to hate. The new, new Negroes, the ones today, are products of this painful disillusion. They see that gradualism as practiced by southern whites is going to stretch on into eternity. They see that their children and grandchildren will have no more hope than they unless they do something about it now. They see that their actions and reactions are judged not as those of humans defrauded of their rights to grow as humans, but as “nigger reactions”smart-alecky, cocky. DISRESPECTFUL. These American Negroes have learned to be bitter. They see that America is not America, that we have cheated and beaten the American Dream to death. They are sure that if we had time this dream could come to be something great again, but daily events, daily abuses of justice, daily compromises of principles tell them that time is running out, and they say now that since they were born with rights, they will not go on being patient while the System defrauds them of those rights. Most Southern whites see it differently, of course. They hastily construct slightly better school buildings with brick veneer and with no inside finish and one toilet for a hundred students. Separate, not equal, but better than before. They say, why don’t you look at these good things we are doing for you? Why don’t you look at both sides of the question? Negroes laugh and say our tax dollars helped pay for that ; we’d give more tax dollars if you allowed us to earn fairly; our tax dollars also go to support State Sovereignty Commissions, to pay for psuedo-scientific state-sponsored books that seek to prove we are intrinsically inferior and 4 The Texas Observer should be deprived of our rights of citizenship; our tax dollars also go to support public beaches and parks that we are not allowed to enjoy. Our tax dollars, Sir, are used to pay for the rope that lynches us. Now why don’t you look at both sides of the question? We have been shouting:’ “Whatever you do against me you do against yourself, against this country. And I cannot carry the load forever. You cannot expect me to go on fighting to protect America’s freedoms abroad and not fight for them at home.” You do not hear. PERHAPS t h e greatest source of frustration is the fact that more and more we have two groups of citizens with two different sets of knowledge and information. Negroes are fully aware of the many current instances of rank injustice and violations of civil rights, but the non-Negro masses are not aware of them. Uninformed, the national conscience cannot manifest itself. For example, I have spent most of the autumn on a national lecture tour. The McComb, Mississippi, scandals, which have shaken the Negroes, are almost wholly unknown to the nonNegro population. In speaking to thousands of interested and concerned whites, I found only one person, a professor of sociology, who -had even heard of the McComb depredations. The real substance of such scandals simply does not make the local newspapers and therefore usually is not picked up by the wire services; or if it is, many newspapers choose not to run it. Newspapers are reluctant to deal with real controversy or indeed with anything that might offend popular prejudice and therefore cause them to lose subscriberS or advertising revenue. This lag in communication means that we are at least two versions behind “the New Negro.” He is not the “race man” protesting through Hipnot the hipster. That came and went. He is not the loud flash out to impress the white. Not any more. He is the informed, polite, rock-hard, nononsense man who says that by-damn this is something worth dying for and none of your soft white-man words are going to fool us ever again. How many whites realize this?. Few, as far as I can tell. To most, the Negro is still the handkerchief-head, the uncle tom, or perhaps the hipster. A Negro’s actions, his demands, are therefore misinterpreted. They bewilder and frighten many nonNegroes. This new Negro is going to do exactly what a proud white man would do in his placeeither stand up and die or Ore get the rights that are being withheld from him, so that his children won’t have to take the garbage they’ve always taken; so that his children won’t have to despair. This new N e g r o says: “Nothing’s worth that. I’m going to be a man.” You call him “nigger” when he shines your shoes in a barber shop and he’ll never show up for work there again. The word has spread. The shine boy has the dream, too. Southern white menwhite men in East Texaswill react against this, too: will Deny it. They know Negroes, see them every day, and although they are more “sullen” perhaps, they are otherwise no different; don’t have these complex personalities, these dreams. White men must realize that they do not know what goes on in Negroes’ homes at night, what they say and think and discuss. Complex as the situation is, in a sense it is desolatingly clear. Even a concerned, sympathetic white knows practically nothing about Negroes or their real problems because he seldom stops looking upon a Negro as one of the Negroes. A Negro snatches a purse and this is all Negroes. A white man ranes and murders, but he is an individual white. On the other hand. Negroes cannot believe any longer that white men are simply unaware. Five years ago, Negroes saw Little Rock. Last year they saw Oxford. They saw that they were identical in pattern. Five years have produced nothing. They are not edified by Southern moderates or liberals who are scarce