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Diary, Tuesday 18th June 1996:

The Reverend Ronnie Thwaites, a priest who has become an MP for the PNP and is a professional broadcaster, interviews Louis Farrakhan the leader of the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan never misplaces a syllable. The man has a reputation, does not eschew pursuing an end with violent means, and yet during the interview he keeps to general principles and I find myself agreeing with nearly all of them. I too believe in self-reliance, the striving after your own dignity. I too think that the only way downtrodden people can stand up again is to achieve a sense of their own dignity, by demanding it of others through their behaviour. His judgement on white supremacy is largely accurate. I do not, however, think that white people are morally different. Their technology made their oppression of others pervasive but white people are not the only ones to suppress and oppress. Suppression and oppression is a universal phenomenon: men oppressing women, the old suppressing the young and vice verse, strong men using weak men to suppress and oppress the other. In his own line of argument the oppressed in fact have a lot to answer for. Their responsibility is to demand fairness. We are in a dynamic of lust and desire, lust for power desire for status and respect. Whether you do or do not join the race, you will face the consequences. That does not exonerate the perpetrators of oppression, but because of an existential logic giving everyone responsibility for their own life, with which is meant the requirement to respond to the situation given to you in life, it demands of the oppressed that they emerge of their own strength, by whatever means, and pursue whatever ends they feel to be good and right with the means they can justify to themselves.



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