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Steve Tesich, Oscar winning movie director:

Everything, not just charity, begins at home

Watching the videos of Bosnian Serbs being bombed I am reminded of the video of Rodney King being pummeled by clubs while lying on the ground, tied up, helpless to defend himself, enraging his attackers even more by trying, like a human being, to get back up to his feet and stand up like a man. This upright position tends to enrage those who think that niggers should either be lying down like dogs or kneeling in front of their superiors.

It is neither the Balkanization nor the tribalism of the world which is the real problem confronting mankind today. The real problem, instead, is the American sponsored niggerization of the whole globe into two camps: nice white people like us with our nice McValues and them, those who don't want to be just like us, the niggers of the world.

The principle and the practice of niggerization is very simple. It works like this. You brand a human being or millions of human beings like him as being nonhuman. When we're injured by "them", even by nothing more than their presence on this earth, it is a crime. When we kill them, or circumscribe their lives with wretchedness and ruin it is not only not a crime, it is not even an event.

Being treated as a nonhuman, or at best having your humanity confirmed by turning you into a human target or a human punching bag, comes with being who you are if you're a nigger, which means not being one of us: nice white people with family McValues of the nicest kind.

African American niggers, red niggers of the Indians wars, Mexican niggers of the Mexican war, Vietnamese niggers, Iraqi niggers, Cuban niggers, Serbian niggers.

It's all the same policy and the same values and the above list is just the beginning of the long list of peoples and nations who are candidates for niggerization.

Everything, not just charity, begins at home.

The sinister beauty of niggerization is that once it is implemented, once a people are branded nonhuman niggers, the whole thing runs on its own momentum. Active support of the citizenry is not needed to keep it going, only to stop it. The social and political apparatus which implemented the policy is transformed into an automatic niggerizing mechanism in our minds by our indifference to that policy.

In that way when a black man or woman or child is killed or raped or humiliated or deprived of human dignity the niggerizing mechanism in our minds makes that a nonevent, unless the victim of that niggerization responds with rage or defiance. In that case the victim's response, not the crime which triggered it, is deemed a crime.

There is no need, once this policy is in place, for any additional political or social programs to validate it or to make sure it continues.

There is no need for an affirmative action program to reaffirm the status of African Americans in this country as niggers. They just are since they're not us. And so are the Iraqi men, women, and children, and Serbian men, women and children, niggers all.

Everything begins at home.

Long before America created New World economic concentration camps out of Iraq and Cuba and Serbia, long before we imposed murderous economic sanctions on these people, we perfected the imposition of economic sanctions on our people. The inner city ghettos and the Indian reservations are nothing less than concentration camps of the economic kind. Therefore when thousands upon thousands of Iraqi and Cuban and Serbian men, women, and children die for lack of basic medical attention which the imposition of our economic sanctions keeps them from receiving, we are not moved in the least. We are not moved because they are niggers and we have learned not to be moved by what happens to niggers.

The horror of course is that so many children die, or go blind, or are crippled by chilhood diseases they needn't have had. They are dying now. Little children are slowly and painfully choking to death for lack of two to three dollar respirators. Or screaming in agony while undergoing operations without anesthesia. But children of niggers are niggers too and it moves us not because we have learned not to be moved by what happens to niggers.

Just as we can niggerize now anyone in the world we can also in our magnanimity choose to deniggerize, for a while at least, whole countries and peoples.

Having killed between three to five million Vietnamese niggers we then went through the obscene ritual of forgiving them for what we did to them. Having made a rubble of their country we are now ready to let them be consumers of Coca-Cola and have with much fanfare allowed a Coca-Cola bottling plant to be built in Vietnam.

So there is hope that a day may come and that we Americans after much soul searching will find it in our hearts to forgive our African American population as well for what we did to them. But not anytime soon.

Perhaps not anytime ever.

The restless American spirit is made restless and driven by the heart of darkness of racism at home. It engenders violence within us and we confuse that pent up violence with energy. We run on racism. Niggerization is the nuclear fission which keeps us going. And the lack of peace we feel we export to the rest of the world.

The cold war with the Soviet Union is over. The Third World War against peoples we call third world people, or bomb them or blockade them into becoming third world people, the war of world wide niggerization has begun. It began at home a long time ago.

Steve Tesich

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Copyright Nadja Tesich 1995

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Last revised: March 25, 1997