“White Supremacy in the House”
An American Intervention Featuring Samuel L. Jackson
Hey. I was hoping to talk with you. I know all the stuff that’s going on in the world has you taking a pause. I know you are upset about all the things in the news. Shootings and such. If it’s okay, I’d like to sit with you and share some of my thoughts. I have asked my friend Sam to help me say things in a way that maybe you can hear better than I have been able to say. He brought some folks along too. We are not trying to gang up on you. I promise. I hope you are willing to hear.
Imagine you were part of a family. You love it. It means the world to you. You have always been taught how great your family is. There’s a lot to support that. You know your family is not perfect, but from where you are sitting, it’s pretty damn good.
Now imagine you're told that the strongest person in your family is complicit in the abuse of their own children. Not you of course, but your relatives. You may see them as your step sisters and brothers. Maybe your cousins. Maybe you consider them distant relatives, but the fact is you see them all the time.
I like to think of them as your brothers and sisters.
Because they are.
You are told that those brothers and sisters are disrespected, marginalized, denigrated. Their own siblings tell stories about how they are destroying your family from the inside. Those stories are based in fear, lies and hatred that are Cain and Abel old. Cain and Abel deadly.
Some of it may sound innocent but take it as a whole and it is way beyond sibling rivalry.
Kicked under the dinner table and criticized for calling out. Called horrible names as they move through their day. Sometimes said in code or whispers so the perpetrators do not bring attention to themselves. Told this family would be better off without them. Their most earnest efforts are undermined by angry hands. Then told they need to get themselves together and keep up. Blamed for things you had no hand in or control over. Sleeping with one eye on the door. Ever vigilant. Never knowing when violence will come in the night. Never knowing what prompted the assault. Unfairly singled out in ways that you can’t imagine. They are attacked, beaten, and killed.
All the while, the strongest member of your family turns a blind eye to the atrocity. Not all the time of course. Sometimes they engage with a distracted eye.
So much to deal with. So much going on. They sometimes yell from the other room like the Senor Love Daddy they want to be seen as “Whoa. Y'all take a chill. You got to cool that shit off. And that's the double-truth, Ruth.” They like to think that’s doing the job, but in reality that it does not seem to make an impact on the abuser. In fact, it seems to embolden them. They don’t come into the room and really take a look at the behaviors.
The assaults persist till even other neighborhood children buy into it. Many of them have wounds of their own. Rather than look inward and seek help. They lash out. Justified in their narrow toxic reasoning because it is echoed and given a place to act out. They hold meetings in your backyard. Each gathering gets louder and angrier than the one before. It is hard to ignore, but somehow you do.
How would you describe the relationship between you and that “most powerful” person in your family? Psychology would define it at the least, as enabling or at the worst codependency.
I will not take the time to go deep into those definitions. They are easy to look up, but long story short, your enabling turns a blind eye to the suffering happening in your own family. Or, it seems, you need this codependent relationship to feel whole within your national house. Put simply, it's you.
You. You, You, You, You, You.
And what you may not understand is that you are both. The parent and the child with great influence over the parent.
The reason I’m talking to you is because we both know there are some people in this house who don’t believe for a minute that anything I’m saying is true. In fact, they would, as Jules Winnfield might proclaim with “great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy” their sense of reality. They will go on about how insulting it is to be seen this way. Like any addict or emotionally stuck person, there will always be those who are in denial about a condition they enable. So, they are not in play when it comes to taking responsibility (even though they are).
By the way, I know this is not just a political thing. I know that is not all Republicans or conservatives. Sadly, the ugliness I’m talking about has found not just cover, but aid and comfort within right-wing, Christian, conservative circles. The Christian part of that is especially sickening. Somehow Jesus’ teachings seem to have fallen on ears unwilling to hear.
I’m talking about the way too silent majority. Those who may be less political but see themselves as caring about people and country. The liberal, progressive, left leaning “woke”, affirming faith segment of this white American house. Or those who believe their moral center would stand in such moments. They know there is a problem. They see it in the news and do what you are doing right now. Your heart goes out to the victims. You write checks. You show up at some rallies. You take a knee for Charleston. Orlando. El Paso. Pittsburg. Atlanta. Now Buffalo. I have added a few non-racial attacks just for context, but for now, my focus is principally racial. In this single moment I am focused on White Supremacy.
For all my loved ones on the spectrum of social issues that make your lives more challenging than you deserve, I won’t ignore you for long. For now, I must. I now feel with a deep well of pain that some of my other my own older and younger siblings have shared with me in more ways that I can remember. But back to you.
You can’t believe you live in a country that is so ”racist”. “How did we get here?” you ask. You blame Trump. You blame the south. You blame the Republicans and a host of other social ills that live in pockets of society that don’t reflect your so-called beliefs. You have shared your outrage with those in coffeehouses and after work drinks. After an evening of cable television or dinner with friends. It’s “those” people. I have heard you repeat what you heard from one of those people, but not what you did about it. It’s not those people.
The ugliest of realities is that it is you. Nobody else.
You make up the critical mass that could really make a difference if you did more than just feel bad about what you have known for so long. For Black people this is a crisis generations in the making. After emancipation it really got kicked into gear.
Plain and simple, you enable the slow and systematic destruction of your Black brothers and sisters’ bodies, minds, and spirits. I’m not necessarily talking about white women and those on the LGBTQ spectrum. To the best of my knowledge, they have yet to pick up guns and start some final solution action. But they are in there as far as they are part of the side that has the power to do something.
For whatever reason, you live in that space between paralysis and action where our suffering takes root. As I alluded to before, if you think it’s just us, you’re wrong. But make no mistake. This is a war. Why? Because the ones who are plotting and killing have called it one. And it is only getting bloodier. As Nick Fury might say of our situation, “we are hopelessly, hilariously outgunned.”
Thousands lynched. Entire communities destroyed with not a penny in remuneration given. Generations denied access to the very things that made this American house so magnificent. Barred from government programs or veterans’ benefits while at the same time feeling the impact of disproportionate scrutiny by the legal and judicial system.
We did not ask for any of this. No one would. What you may not understand is this so called “war” is your problem. The problem is you have never really showed up to the fight.
This is a white people's war that is playing itself out on non-whites among others.
Racism is a White people's problem that expresses itself on people of color. Just like Sexism is a male problem that expresses itself on women. Similarly, religious intolerance (in America) is a Christian problem that expresses itself on non-Christians. The pattern is the same across all social issues. This is your problem that we are being forced to deal with.
We as people of color do not have the power to make the perverted narratives that are used to destroy us stop. We are doing what we can. Just to clear up any confusion, here’s another tidbit to chew on.
Black people make up about 13 percent of the American population. So, we don’t that the numbers to “replace” anyone. As if that were a thing. If smart people like you would speak up against the ones who whisper that garbage in the ears of the easily influenced and emotionally unstable maybe we would not be where we are right now.
White people make up just over 70 percent. Just for the sake of being overly generous, let's say that the “you” I’m talking about is only one third of the total white population. That’s still over 20 percent. If half of that third (12%) actually got up and stood up to the small, but deadly minority that continues to terrorize the members of your own American family, how much difference do you think that would make? I’m talking tens of millions. Millions of you. Millions of people can do damn near anything if they really want to. This is way I wanted to talk to you right now.
I live in hope. I believe in compassion. I know that we are an evolution toward more love and care, but that evolution has to be intentional. History has given us more examples of once enemies who are now friends and allies. I live in the belief that good people will stand against a clearly wrong system that tenaciously conspires to kill the human spirit. I know that standing is a conscious choice. I believe this American experiment is the best example ever in elevating our humanity. I believe cynicism brings nothing to the table. I believe that bitterness corrodes the soul. So, for all those who may doubt the power of change, don’t look to me. You are looking in the wrong place.
I'm the way I am because, since I was a child I have lived in a cultural and racial middle ground. Told by Blacks, even in my own family, that I am not “Black enough” or ‘acting white’. On the white side of the spectrum, I am often suffering through bias or straight up racism from people who choose not to know me, but they think they do. Kicked out of places. Followed in places. Arrested for minor discretionary offenses. I have been called out from both sides in ways that made me hesitant to either call my true home. It took me decades to put to rest the pain of this oddly alien status. I know I am far from alone in this.
I came to realize that much of what I was forced to deal with on both sides came from either majority fear and ignorance or the non-dominant blowback that comes from being disrespected for too long. All of it starts in the heart. I came to understand that the only thing that will bridge the gap of fear and pain is to be the thing that will fill the gap. Courageous love. Radical compassion. Ferocious engagement. I have been able to make a humble living by my beliefs. This does not mean that I accept the ugliness from either side of the equation. But to change a mind, you have to change a heart. I won’t get everybody but I may get some.
I have to live the very tenants laid out in my faith and in my nation's constitutional mandates. It has given me an appreciation for all the people that make up my American tapestry. In all its grime and beauty this is still a wonderful house. I truly love you all. Truly.
All that said, I am afraid like I have never been in my life. I have never felt so alone in my calling and my very existence. I am having a hard time not focusing on the idea that there is no place where someone like me can feel safe. Not walking the streets or going for a jog. Not in the park or at work or school...Not in my sacred places of worship. Not in my home. I am trying as hard as I can to continue to give as much love as I can to all of you in my American family. At the same time, I understand more deeply why some of my own Black and Brown siblings have given up on this American family. For all the neglect and abuse they have had visited upon them it’s easy to feel like an orphan in your own home. They are tired. They live in perpetual trauma. They are angry and have been telling you so for centuries. It gets so much harder when those who profess care watch you get beaten down. It’s sick really.
For as much as you laud Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, he gave an acute insight into what was needed to make real change. Fifty-nine years and one month ago in his “Letters from a Birmingham Jail”, he outlined just about every aspect of the problem and laid out solutions.
He called you out. He said:
"Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”
He said of the church:
“If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”
Maybe you were too busy to hear.
Almost 55 years to the month the Kerner Commission laid out in much greater detail the problem we all faced as a country. It gave a perspective that was generations deep into the issue. Its principle conclusion was:
"What white Americans have never fully understood — but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”
This was akin to social services coming to our house and told you exactly what the problem was. You said thank you, then you mosey back into the kitchen to make apple pie.
It has been said time and time again, yet somehow, not enough of you seem to be moved to action. A small percentage, consistently engaged in changing long standing problems. I will be even more generous. Let’s say it was 5 percent of you showing up consistently. That is still just over 10 million people.
Some of it is easy to understand from the point of view of dominant power and how it works.
Most every American has been given a slanted, and diluted narrative about who we all are. This oversimplified story of our national journey has always been used to avoid what most historians knew.
Regular people, for the most part, were only taking what they were given. I don’t know how fair it is to blame them for this. It’s just an ugly reality. Power will only speak ill of itself when it must. But we are now in a place where not wanting to know better has become a sickness. If you really wanted to get a glimpse of what so many marginalized groups are talking about, just look far enough back in your own history.
It was not all that long ago that many of you white people were not allowed to be such by other white people. You were considered infiltrators. Ignorant, dirty, mongrel people who would pervert real Americans. You were half-American and every trope that is towards us now was used to describe most every European group at some point before and since the inception of this “land of the free”. Because too many of you have forgotten this, a loud segment of you white brothers and sisters have taken to heart Jules' advice. “If My Answers Frighten You, Then You Should Cease Asking Scary Questions.” Maybe you believe that the very act of asking will make Black and Brown people rise up and serve you a heaping helping of comeuppance. The fact is that no group of people who have ever been afforded more of their dignity through rights and laws have ever risen and punished those who had denied them said rights. For as true as that statement is, it seems to give you little comfort. Some have even thrown their children out as cannon fodder in the name of protecting them from imaginary war. They have built a straw man out of Critical Race Theory and offer up their own as a sacrifice.
On that front, I feel deep sadness for the messages you are raising our next generation with. This ugly mix of selective nation pride served with a side of intellectual defensiveness will only make them sicker and weaker. You serve them poison and call it America's bounty. All the while whispering in their ear “Mmm, This Is A Tasty Burger!”.
The thing is that the questions are not “scary”. They are just the facts of history.
History does not care what you think of it. It just wants you to learn. I have learned. I have gone into the depth of some of the most outrageous atrocities that one human could visit upon another. I have looked at them from the personal, group, societal, and institutional level over time in this country. They are facts of history. Terrible facts, but just facts. The real measure of a fact is what you attach to it. The measure of a person is you do with those attachments.
I have used them to concluded that we, as a humanity still have a long way to go. If I am to make a difference, I must extend my humanity to as many as possible. By virtue of the nature of my religion and its intersection with my countries mandate, I must love you. Not just tolerate you. I must accept that I must at least try to do this. Both fail if I do not try. That is true for Christianity and the country as well. You, the dominant gut of my country are failing to be the parents you profess to be.
Any good parent knows that raising a child is not about just making it comfortable. Building character isn’t designed to be comfortable. This goes for nations as well as people. Your character will define theirs. You are forcing them to choose between their love of parents and the world they can see does not fit well into the bedtime stories they keep getting told. You have been told very recently that those old stories are dangerous. Moreover, that they are a nightmare in the making.
On March 2nd, 2021, FBI Director Christopher Wray said to congress that the greatest threat to the homeland was “white supremacist violence”. This message has been echoed by many in the national security space more loudly than ever. But because too many have made this message about “ just whiteness” you believe they are talking about all of you. You may not be a racist, but not standing against them is not that much better. No problem is ever defined by everybody. The same can be said for any solution. All it takes is enough of everybody. And it does not matter what side the majority culture picks. Fear or apathy, you allow your less dominant brothers and sisters to be bullied by those too sick to stop themselves.
So, I find myself in this moment asking why? Why won’t you help? Really. Why won’t you, as Bayard Rustin used to say, “put your body where the problem is”? Alright. Let say it was only 1 or 2 percent working actively on the house. That’s still a couple million you. You always say, many hands make light work. That’s a lot of hands.
Why won’t you deal with your problem? This is the question that so many people like me continue to ask. So far, I have not been able to find any good answers. I know it has driven some to madness and worse. I find myself heartbroken. I am a terrified child living in an abusive household; I am just waiting for the next big bad. All I can focus on right now is how big and how bad the next one will be.
To be totally honest, much like an abused child, this is a fear I have lived with most of my life. I have developed some coping skills, but that does not mean that the trauma does not still flex its muscles in me more than I wish. I have bent myself in the belief that if I reflected the child that you wanted to see, you’d protect me. Some of it was conscious. Some of it was informed by the environments I was steeped in. I worked to disarm you in the hope that you would give me grace. I gave an easy smile. A quick wit. I became so benign that I felt indistinguishable, while still distinguished. Still trapped in so many of the markers that others gave too much weight. Called a sellout by my Black brothers and sisters. Feeling like one from time to time. The damage I have done to myself in the name of living up to other expectations was, at times, almost too much to bear.
I came to terms with the fact that kindness and generosity of spirit for the sake of putting others at ease is a blessing expressed, so long as it is given to all. And I do. It has only made me fall deeper in love with all of my human family. It has also made me more aware of the many forms pain can take. Now more than ever, I’ve become acutely aware of the spectrum of suffering. In this way, we are all on the spectrum. Some of us just suffer way more. Waiting on Big Bad. One eye open yet trying to rest.
The big bad does not care if I am rich or poor. Republican. Democrat. Libertarian or otherwise. Straight or gay does not enter into its thinking. Disabled or not. Kind or evil, religious, or not. Age or geography is not in big bads equation. Unless it comes to finding us. It only knows it has to kill me. This process will also kill something even more beautiful than me and mine.
What literally makes my heart and mind ache is the idea that this, the most beautiful of human civic experiments will die violently because people like you are too…something to stand up and take charge of your own house. I find myself left to one ugly conclusion. You are scared.
I’m not necessarily talking about the kind of Brett staring down the barrel of Jules gun fear. Maybe that is true. I wish to believe it is more of a “I got something to lose” or “This may not work out the way I hope.” I believe it is fear based on facing your privilege. Driven by the unknown of dealing with your role in our shared past and future.
As I said before, I do not blame you for the past. You were not there. I do blame you for not wanting to face the ugly truths that gave you so many of the things you can now take for granted. I will be the first to say that I live with many of those same blessings, but I will be among the first to say that you and I are far from equal under this star-spangled banner. The land of the free and the home of the brave is being choked to death by cowards.
Your cowardice is killing me and mine. Your cowardice is killing the country and it is the exact thing ignorant, hateful, hateful people are depending on to get their job done.
I am not asking you to fight fire with fire. I am begging you to fight fire with water. Cool loving water. I am asking you to get old school. Embrace the strength that James Baldwin articulated for all our sake. I’m talking about the real MLK style showing up. I’m talking about living your faith in the same way that clergy for 16 churches in Decatur, Georgia expressed. Facing simple humble truths that love is built on. Giving. Sacrifice. Humility. Compromise and most importantly, vulnerability. If you are in a loving relationship, so you know what it means to show up.
Showing up for you children. Your siblings that have been abused for too long. Showing up in political forums. Supporting candidates that support telling the simple compassionate truth about who we all are. More importantly, espouse the beautiful gospel our founding fathers aspired to when they put this civic experiment into motion.
People like me have been telling you how bad it is. Native Americans and other POC. Jews. Muslims. LGBTQ, and even Women have told you. Yet, somehow, you refuse to attach yourself to the suffering that is destroying our bodies, minds, and the heart of the country. We stand and give you our impassioned Russell Franklin speech “Now you’ve seen how bad things can get and how quickly they can get that way. Well, they can get a whole lot worse. So, we’re not going to fight anymore! We’re going to pull together and find a way to get out of here.”.
The only difference is that we know the great white supremist shark is right behind us. We know it will pounce again. It’s just a matter of when. It's a matter of what you do. Stand, continuing to offer solemn thoughts and prayers or will you take my hand and pull me to you before it is too late.
Hate is an insatiable predator. It will ravage everything in its path then it will turn to its next meal. It justifies itself through lies and fear and conspiracies that no one can ever control once unleashed. Make no mistake, they have been unleashed. That next meal may just be you or your children.
There has been talk of a race war for decades. Some would say it has been here for a long time. With the advent of the internet, those small pockets of toxic ignorance now have a storefront. Hell, they got a friggin’ mall and everyone can get there. Once they do their shopping and mingling, they go out into the world with their AK’s, AR’s, bullets, bombs, body armor and manifestos. They show the world their white pride with our black and brown blood.
In the past, I have written, I have tried to avoid telling people what to do about getting involved for the sake of making change. I do not know your resources and what part of these overlapping issues you are more focused on. My hope was to inspire you with the type of love that would make you feel more comfortable stretching out into these issues knowing that you would find people like me there to help you in any way I could.
That did not seem to take hold, so I will give you some of my suggestions on things that you can do right this minute to make a difference.
Call the offices of the congress men and women that stand on both sides of legislation that would hold people accountable for what they are/ are not doing to protect their own.
Take the time to see what is going on in congress. Start with your own representatives. I recommend 45 - 60 minutes a week. I’m not talking about the news. I’m talking about going on the state / federal government sites and see what your representatives are supporting/ sponsoring. See who they are meeting with. If you can not find that on their websites, go to the above point. Push for more ethical and fiscal transparency. One hour a week! You will be surprised how much more knowledgeable you get.
Call out (But really in. The difference is huge) those who spew the bigoted, violent, hateful language that gins up the blood of the already unstable. Like on social media of major media outlets.
Make no mistake about it. There are people who are driven to share ignorance. Some of them get paid millions to do it. You have more power to make them stop than you EVER exercise. Boycott. Protest. Bring light to the practices of those who get rich off of sewing division. I’m talking media and the sponsors who support them. They wouldn’t do it if they didn’t get paid. Difference will always exist. It never has to be couched in hate, fear. For as much as some would paint it as “Cancel Culture” it’s not. It’s “Consequence Culture”. Actions have consequences.
When it comes to individuals that you may come across on a day to day basis; deconstructing the emboldened posture that so many have been given over the last few years is necessary. Far too many decent people have become mute when it comes to facing vocal ugliness. Know this. Your absence only gives them more room to spread out. Engagement is absolutely necessary. Calling someone into a dialogue is better than calling them out for what and how they express an idea. This can be as simple as speaking to / addressing moments of ignorance. Do not blame or accuse. I believe this is the best way to address these issues, but it is not for everybody. That will only make people defensive. You can call them out if you want. If that is what you believe, fine. Sometimes that is really what needs to happen. Ultimately, learning to find the most productive balance between “calling out and calling in” should be your goal.
Volunteer for a cause that you feel strongly about
There are way too many organizations out there to give your time to. These are the training grounds that will show you what on the ground, direct action is all about. Show up. Shut up.
Be intentional with your children (And vice versa)
If you are a parent who cares about these issues. Take the time early and often to express the importance of your principles on their level. When you volunteer, take them with you (if appropriate). Give them the chance to share their insights from where they are. Help them evolve into activism.
Give money to legal defense organizations that support these causes (To be clear. Money is a critical resource to any social change. You are worth more than money. Checks are not your body or time.)
No matter what you do on the ground from day to day; there will always be a need for people to work the legal system. Support the organizations that are already in the midst of the fight against unjust laws.
Most every American has been given a slanted, and diluted narrative about who we all are. I don’t blame anyone for this. There are a host of resources out there to learn and know better. I would start with Letters from a Birmingham Jail or The Kerner Commission Report.
Don’t feel guilty. Feel accountable
I don’t want anyone to feel bad about what and who we are. To be accountable means you have a role in balancing the American moral leger, and not just using the privilege of its credit line. Doing so will bankrupt us all.
Support the elected officials/ candidates who advocate for these causes. Then hold them accountable.
I truly believe that our biggest problem is the lack of real civic engagement. Some politicians depend on you staying too distracted to pay attention to who they are running the house. That’s on you.
There are more things I could offer, but this is more than enough to start.
Much like any dysfunctional household, sometimes the so-called adults are too caught up in the mix and mess to see what they are doing and how much of an effect it is having on the kids. Sometimes youth has to go it alone. Call on me if you need. I’m happy to help and hug. I need it too. Together we will be less alone even if we are not always together.
In many ways youth have always heralded change. For the sake of everyone like me who has tried. For the sake of all those who have and continue to suffer. For the sake of growing up in the house that you deserve; I believe you can fill the breach. Bring your parents along if you can.
I have spoken to a number of my white friends and asked them what it’s gonna take to make more of your own have the necessary intervention. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get in these conversations. I just felt I had to ask the question. God bless them for being open to the conversation.
I got a number of responses like “I don’t have any good answers.” or “People focus on their own interests.” and so on. The most resounding statement I got was “I don’t know what to do.”
This seemed to come from the belief that you need our permission to act and if you screw it up we will somehow get mad at you. Maybe you believe you will make it worse.
Why would you need my permission to fix your family? You can ask me for help because I can see from a perspective you have long overlooked. And after all, it’s my family too. But you have to do the work. Treat this like it was your kid who is out of control. Because it is. You may not get it exactly right but at least you are getting practice in becoming a better parent. The racist and supremist are practicing all the time. They are fine tuning hatred and you seem stuck on which instrument to pick up.
Remember, I know all of you won’t be moved to action. I’m not talking to all of you. I’m talking to you. Just you.
You. You. You. You. You.
You are the difference.
Jules pointed out that this moment is much like the moment in the diner when he sat across Pumpkin and tried to lay out who was who in his epic prologue to taking a life.
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides By the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will Shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children And I will strike down upon thee With great vengeance and furious anger Those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers And you will know my name is the Lord When I lay my vengeance upon thee”
He concluded that Pumpkin was the weak and he was the tyranny of evil men. More importantly, for the sake of not squandering a transformative moment he was “Trying real hard to be the shepherd.”
Nothing changes unless power chooses to make it so. This is not to say I or my other marginalized siblings are helpless, but when it comes to the big systemics, all we can do is bring light to what you may not see. We are the conscience. You are the muscles. All part of the same body.
So here we all are. Frightened and unsure. One family that can choose who they will be to one another if they have the courage to finally face our shared past. Like Julius, do you have the courage to take this moment and change or will you take the same path.
We know how that worked out for Vincent.
All that said, Samuel L. Jackson himself wanted to say one more thing. He was kind enough to bring so many others along for this intervention. Here he speaks of two worlds that are both in play in the American house.
“People know about the Klan and the overt racism, but the killing of one’s soul little by little, day after day, is a lot worse than someone coming in your house and lynching you.”
They did not need to come into the house. They were always here, and you knew it.