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OMG! Sun and Stars

May 29, 2015

Just now I was imagining what America will be like, if we elect a Woman President.

I remembered this pasage in Baldwin’s “Letter to My Nephew”:

Many of them [white folks] indeed know better, but as you will discover, people find it very difficult to act on what they know. To act is to be committed and to be committed is to be in danger. In this case the danger in the minds and hearts of most white Americans is the loss of their identity. Try to imagine how you would feel if you woke up one morning to find the sun shivering and all the stars aflame. You would be frightened because it is out of the order of nature. Any upheaval in the universe is terrifying because it so profoundly attacks one’s sense of one’s own reality. Well, the black man has functioned in the white man’s world as a fixed star, as an immovable pillar, and as he moves out of his place, heaven and earth are shaken to their foundations.*

The morning after the returns show that we have elected a woman to be the most powerful person in America, and indeed in the world (in contrast, for instance, to the male poser, V. Putin), will be like waking to a sky lighted by both the sun and the Milky Way—a view straight through the center of our societal galaxy, by daylight.

Some people (most of them men) will Freak. Out.

*The Progessive magazine, December 1962. Full Text.  A superbly well-written piece of American prose.

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