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Black Like Me Essay

2166 words - 9 pages

This novel opened my eyes to things I could never imagine. Some of the encounters that Griffin had, I honestly believed only happened on The Jerry Springer Show. I, being too young to have experienced segregation, have never known anyone to cat in such hypocritical ways. This book truly enlightened me on my own personal ignorance of my own ignorant country. When Griffin first began his "transformation" into a Negro, I was astonished at how the doctor reacted. I am sure that the doctors intentions were good natured though the way he kept warning Griffin made it sound as though "becoming" a Negro was the worst thing a man could possibly do to himself. By sending this subtle ...view middle of the document...

By calling a beggar a "dogass" directly to his face and by purposely degrading this man Griffin and his Negro friends are putting themselves on a higher level than the beggar. This is exactly what the whites do to them. The saddest part of it all is that Griffin and his friends actually take pleasure in doing this and making this poor man feel as if he were on a lower level than they were. Maybe some Negro's do understand why the whites act in the way that they do. The whites do it for they same reasons that the Negro's do it, to feel as if they are better than the other person. Somehow this makes them feel good about themselves. That same day Griffin encounters a white boy harassing him. This really irritated me because I just do not understand how any person could take pleasure in seeing someone else terrified of him or her. It is all about feeling superior. Just like how Griffin took joy in seeing the beggar beg, this boy takes joy in seeing Griffin get scared. It is sick! Yet, the worst part about this episode is the old couple that seems not to care in the least about a man (no matter what his color) that is terrified for his life. Griffin never mentions what color the couple was, but weather they were black or white how could a person sleep with themselves at night knowing that they are capable of being so uncompassionate towards another human being? Griffin meets some Negro men at a café at the Y.M.C.A. They talk together about many different subjects. One subject really struck a nerve with me. One of the men Griffin was talking with said, "If you want to be a good Christian you mustn't act like one." And "if you want to be a good American, you've got practice bad Americanism." From the Negro's point of view this must be true. The whites viewed any attempt toward racial justice and equality as unchristian. For some ignorant reason most whites in the south believed that that was not what God had intended. Therefore, they had the wonderful idea to just kill all the "damn niggers". Anyone who attempted to take the first step towards racial justice was seen as a communist and had some long drawn out conspiracy against the white race and ultimately America. The whites believed that the Negroes would take over the country. So, in the ignorant minds of the southern whites the idea of Negro take over gave them all the more reason to suppress the Negro's. It is painfully obvious that these moronic white people are not only ignorant but hypocrites as well. How can a person say that they are a man of God (as so many of them claim) and either justifies their own actions or those of others when those actions are detrimental to the livelihood of other people? At this point in the Novel Griffin is still in New Orleans, where he had begun this project. A few very degrading things happened to him there. At one point Griffin is simply reading a menu outside of a "white" restaurant. For some...

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