Listen Siblings, I come in peace,
“Whatever liberty is worth to the whites, it is worth to the blacks; therefore, whatever it cost the whites to obtain it, the blacks would be willing and ready to pay, if they desire it.” — Martin Delany
Martin Delany beautifully sums up the legacy of African struggle, putting to the African oppressed the reality that the European oppressor, in a similar oppression, would not suffer lying down. Not to suggest that there are not cowards among the Europeans, for there may be too many; but what’s suggested is that the European for all his foibles organizes what we know as “White Privilege” and asserts these privileges in nearly every corner of this Globe even for the waste of his race. It’s a real shame. Booker T. Washington had told Europeans how when holding a man in a ditch, the holder must stand in the ditch as well; and it’s true, in the European’s limitations on the African, the European limits himself. Yet that cost for “White Supremacy” is shouldered by the European; and the most important lesson from there is “How much are Africans willing to spend to restore African Prosperity, Independence and Community?”
Of everything that one can say about W. E. B. Du Bois, one thing about him should occupy the foreground. On his twenty-fifth birthday, in a diary entry, he pledged to devote all of his energies to our liberation. He lived for seventy more years. No, he was not Garvey’s friend. Yes, he did have some self-hating qualities. No, he didn’t perfect Originalism. Yes, he may have, in some capacity, spied on us. Yes, he was far from perfect. Very far. But read his story below and ask yourself whether you see Delany in Du Bois’ words. Many of us don’t enunciate this well. And it’s about time that we start to.
This is “Principles” by W. E. B. Du Bois. When you finish reading this, reflect on Delany’s quotation, and the reality that on the whole internet, of any and every site out there, the only place where you can read this story is on the African Blood Siblings Newsletter. Again, I transcribed this. How many other stories are missing from our digital canon because we’re not making the effort to digitize them? Are Europeans as irresponsible? Is it any wonder why they are the Oppressors today and we are the Oppressed? It’s upon you to be Responsible and Organize. Write. Subscribe, share, love.
By W. E. B. Du Bois
From The Horizon 5 (December 1909):1-2
The Eminent Philanthropist entered the suburban street car and appropriated the best seat. Then he looked about and spied Me.
“My Friend,” he said, after greetings, “My dark and dear Friend , you are impatient. You are Over-Anxious and Ultra-Sensitive. Suppose your Rights are at times invaded, suppose you are not treated as you think you deserve–what of it? Look up, look out, look forward! Give up your right to Vote, don’t insist on entrance to Theatres and Concerts, don’t crowd into the Best Streets, be glad of Caste Schools all these are little things; Seek the greater; enjoy God’s bounty in sun, air and beauty. Forget your Rights, do your Duty, don’t complain, suffer and wait, let the abstract principle go and seize the concrete present advantage,–”
Here the conductor reaches his grimy paw for a second fare. The Eminent Philanthropist withers him with a glance.
“I have already paid, Sir–as I was saying–what? Two fares for this short distance? A new rule? Well Sir, it is an outrage. I’ll not pay it–do you hear, Sir? I’ll not pay it. It is deception, theft, highway robbery. Impatient? It is time to get impatient with these grasping stealing corporations. Moreover, Sir, I demand more respect from you–your tone is insolent. I’m not sensitive but I am a gentleman and demand treatment of one. Very well, I will get off. I stand upon my Rights, Sir! Damn the nickel, I don’t care a rap for it–it’s the Principle, Sir, the Principle.” And the Eminent Philanthropist got off and walked.