Letter to Christopher Darden
May 23, 1996
Mr. Christopher Darden
Dear Mr. Darden:
I believe the total time I watched the O.J. Simpson trial was probably less than five minutes for the entire nine months of the proceedings. I couldn't stand it. My sentiments were justified as it all turned out -- from what little I have seen of the law, it does not work.
However, my wife is an attorney herself and was intrigued by the proceedings and watched as much as she could. She also has read all the books -- and insisted that I at least skim yours. Thus, I perused In Contempt and could not stomach it either -- not because it was bad but because it was so painfully true.
However, you peaked my interest when you informed me how the shift from "Negro" to "black" occurred, i.e. Stokely Carmichael's recommendation. I had often wondered just who instigated this process and what the rationale was and I thank you for informing me. It had something to do with "self-definition" and abandonment of "Negro" with the embracement of "black."
In a real sense, we all are defined by reality and not only our wishes and goals. In a realistic way, Negroes were real victims in contrast to black pseudo-victims parading and savoring victimhood. Negroes fought valiant battles while blacks embrace a manipulative pathos. Negroes won and brought fullness to humanity in that effort (incomplete as of yet) while blacks imitate the worst of whites and don't even know it. Negroes fought and paid for it all while blacks have defined themselves out of it. Negroes destroyed barriers while blacks want barriers to enable them to play victim. Negroes became free while blacks became slaves as they rely on color in a most counterproductive way. Negroes professed total human beingness while blacks professed color just like most slavers before them. Negroes did it all . . . They defined themselves as survivors and winners and total human beings . . . They taught all mankind something! Negroes taught humans to be human (and it still is not easy), and no one can take that away from Negroes! Blacks teach nothing but color (again: not "white" like before but "black just like white" -- got it?). So . . . blacks are no better than whites at a ignorant, oppressing, self-righteous, slaving worst. You ought to know all this -- the trial you just went through proved it.
Invoking the Law of Unintended Consequences, the outcome of abandonment of "Negro" for "black" has been a disaster from many perspectives. I enclose some of my writings stimulated by "the trial" in an effort to make sense of what has happened and what is happening to us. You see, the outcome of "the trial" is directly related, I believe, to this shift of emphasis from "Negro" to "black." This abuse of justice is the natural end result of the use of "black" just like it was in previous decades by the use of "white."
This imitation of slavers' use of "white" is so intrinsically true and so pathetically sad that one just wants to cry. Indeed, to use "black" as it has been used is nothing more than a mirror of the use of "white" in the previous century and some decades of this century. Anyone using black as anything but a color has a slaver's mentality. The analogy is just staggering because it holds in every way that one wants to analyze it -- from abuse of others, from misuse of power, from self-aggrandizement, from special pleading, from total logical inconsistency, from dehumanization of other colors, and so on. Stokely Carmichael was wrong.
What you participated in was the end result of this unwitting but malignant embracing of KKK mentality, which has proven so functional for the African-American community, that its leaders and members will have a hard time undoing and abandoning their racism and therefore becoming no better than Caucasian racists of years before.
So you think you can "define yourself" -- that's like trying to "save oneself." To some extent we are helpless to the forces around us, and our definition of oneself cannot exclude our history, both its good and bad aspects. And no self-defining can be based upon anything but complete and absolute truth. Fabrications and fantasies, whether Afrocentrism, personal feel-good self-esteem pomposities, or just plan lies, will never work. It will not be sustained, and it is not a real identity but a false one.
I enclose some materials which may be of some help. I beg you to read them and reflect and hopefully get on with what needs to be done.
Samuel A. Nigro, M.D.
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