Friedrich Nietzsche’s and Web Du Bois’s Points of View
Friedrich Nietzsche is well known for his book On the Genealogy of Morals in which he writes several essays addressing topics such as good, evil, bad, guilt, bad conscience, and much more. He targets what he calls the noble or master morality along with slave morality. More specifically within noble morality he discusses what defines a person as “good” or “bad.” W.E.B. Du Bois is known for his famous work in The Souls of Black Folk where he discusses the lives of Africans, how they are treated, and why they should not be viewed through such negative perspectives. A question that may arise throughout reading these two works would be, how might Friedrich Nietzsche respond to Du Bois writing and would he classify Du Bois and “good” or “bad” according to noble morality? It is most reasonable to conclude that Du Bois would have been viewed as “good” in terms of Nietzsche’s idea of noble morality because of his willingness to inform the whites and help the blacks. However, another plausible argument could be that Du Bois could have been seen in a “bad” perspective if Nietzsche were to claim that his attempts of helping his own race made him selfish.
One could argue that Du Bois’ strive for the wellbeing of his race is a way of helping others. His telling of stories about the people of his race, the Africans, in an effort to inform the world of what they have to go through is what makes him truthful. Du Bois’ effort to get the world to treat his race better is what makes him good. If one were to view Du Bois’ book through Nietzsche’s perspective, they would draw attention to the fact that, according to the noble morality, truthfulness is one of the main traits that Nietzsche uses to define a person as good. When referring to the “good” people he says that “they call themselves, for instance, “the truthful”… The truthful: in this phase of conceptual transformation it becomes a slogan and catchword of the nobility and passes over entirely into the sense of “noble”” (Nietzsche 29). It is clear to see from this part of On the Genealogy of Morals that Friedrich Nietzsche would have viewed Du Bois and his work as “good.”
However, it could also be argued that all Du Bois’ efforts to inform the people around him of the way his own race is being treated, makes him a somewhat egotistical person, one who focuses on work that will better themselves and their own people. Despite the fact that his writing did not focus on his own life in particular because he was very well educated, unlike the Africans he speaks of in his book, it is possible that Du Bois’ work could be interpreted as a somewhat selfish tactic to get himself recognized. Nietzsche says that “unegoistic actions were always habitually praised as good” but if Nietzsche were to read The Souls of Black Folk as if it were a strategy of Du Bois for making himself seem higher in status or a way of getting himself recognized then Nietzsche could, perhaps, have thought of him as egotistical and therefore “bad” (25). Yet, this is not a very likely argument for Du Bois is quite clear that he refers the all of the suffering Africans of his race, rather than himself or his own family.
Disregarding the topics that Du Bois discusses in The Souls of Black Folk, the manner in which he speaks is viewed as very respectful. He is sure to go about explain his points in a calm way, despite his controversial opinions on things such as Booker T. Washington’s speech. His disagreement with Washington was a very bold section of The Souls of Black Folk yet Du Bois addresses it in a very harmless and professional manner. He shows no signs of attacking any certain people, despite the fact that it is clear who he is suggesting was the wrongdoer toward the Africans. The tactic that he uses is befriending his readers in attempt to make them see that people of his race were not actually so bad. If Friedrich Nietzsche were to read The Souls of Black Folk in this way he would certainly find Du Bois to be “ good” and we know this because he states that “he is good who does not outrage, who harms nobody, who does not attack” (Nietzsche 46).
Despite all of Du Bois’ efforts to write a selfless, harmless, educated book, there were some aspects of him that he had no control over that may have caused Nietzsche to view him as “bad” or not “noble.” One of these traits would be that Du Bois was not a rich man. We never learn of Du Bois as having much wealth or power but Nietzsche says that “in the majority of cases, [the nobles] designate themselves simply by their superiority in power or by the most clearly visible signs of this superiority, for example, as “the rich,” “the possessors”” (Nietzsche 29). Although this is a small and uncontrollable argument that he had not way of changing, since W.E.B. Du Bois does not speak of himself as a noble or a man of great fortune, it could possibly be assumed that Nietzsche may have viewed him as “bad” in that aspect.
Continuing with the argument defending Du Bois’ “goodness” because of his truthfulness, Nietzsche most like would have favored Du Bois and viewed him in a positive perspective because of how realistic his writing is. Not as opposed to being false but as opposed to being spoken about in an indirect manner so as to confuse his readers. Du Bois was very clear in what he was saying throughout The Souls of Black Folk and he was brave to do so because many of his readers could have been extremely skeptical and not in agreement with his points, as mentioned earlier with his arguments against Booker T. Washington. “The root of the word coined for [truthful] is esthlos, signifies one who is, who possessed reality” (Nietzsche 29). The editor of On the Genealogy of Morals, Walter Kaufmann, mentions in the footnotes that the direct translation of this Greek word esthlos is good or brave. Therefore, Du Bois’ truthfulness in his writing is a strong reason as to why he most likely would have been viewed as “good” through Nietzsche’s perspective.
Despite his vast intelligence, Du Bois could do nothing to prevent the separation that Nietzsche and people of his time would have immediately seen upon first look at W.E.B. Du Bois. Apart from his not being wealthy, he was also a different race, a darker one and that, by default, could have caused him to be placed into the category of “bad” people. In The Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche briefly mentions that “the Latin malus may designate the common man as the dark-colored, above all as the black-haired man… who was distinguished most obviously from the blond, that is Aryan, conqueror race by color” (Nietzsche 30). Therefore, there is a small chance that, when being viewed through this perspective, Du Bois may have been defined as “bad” in this sense.
As you can see, this idea of Nietzsche determining Du Bois’ writing to be “good” or “bad” according to his idea of noble morality could be debated in either direction depending on which traits he was looking at in Du Bois and from which perspectives. Du Bois’ truthfulness, intelligence, and the polite manner in which he addresses the problems he discusses could help Nietzsche to view him in a more positive or “good” perspective. On the other hand, certain traits that Du Bois expressed in his work such as his desire to help better his own people along with the facts that he was not rich and was not Aryan could have caused Nietzsche to act negatively, thus viewing Du Bois and “bad” but some of these things, as mentioned earlier, were things that Du Bois had no control over and therefore, do not provide as strong an argument. In the end, it is much more reasonable to assume that Nietzsche would have read Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk as “good.”
Attitude of Booker T. Washington and Web Dubois to the Civil Rights Movement
In the Civil Rights Movement of the 1900 s the semi-conservative strategies of Booker T. Washington proved to be a more appropriately developed plan for the gaining of African American equality, the reduction of racial discrimination, and in dealing with the poverty situation of the Black Americans. Contrary to Washington s conservative views, the radical assumptions made by the civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois proved to an inconceivable alteration to the American society, in that DuBois desired his principles become instantaneously incorporated into the American way of life. DuBois believed that all Black Americans should indeed from the moment of their liberation have at their disposal the right to vote, civic equality and ability to run for public office, and the rightful education of the Black American youth according to his intellectual ability. DuBois commented that without these three self held desires that all Black Americans are to be made a servile caste, . Booker T. Washington contested however that the Black American could only receive the prize of social equality through the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing. Washington also subscribed to the belief that Black Americans should be taught a basic skill to earn themselves a position in the rapidly expanding American work force. Washington believed this would reduce the poverty rate among the Black Americans and would encourage the students to pursue further education. The beliefs of Booker T. Washington although hounded by scrutiny of critics calling Washington his races largest detriment, still proved to be the most adherent path for the progression of Black American equality.
The civil revolution of the 1900 s produced an opportunity for men to make a positive change in American society. Booker T. Washington was one such man whom took advantage of this opportunity and produced his path for the upcoming equality of the Black American. Washington provided motivational propaganda in the form of the Atlanta Compromise Address, in the address Washington made a plight to the southern white Americans to support the newly achieved freedom of the Black Americans. He was certain if the whites supported the Black Americans in their struggle to achieve equality, the whites would continue to be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law-abiding, and unresentful people that the world has seen. Washington believed that through the support of the white southerners, the Black Americans could slowly reverse the tides that had rolled against them only fifty years before. Washington stated in his address
Casting down your bucket among my people, helping and encouraging them as you are doing on these grounds, and to education of head, hand, and heart, you will find that they will buy your surplus land, make blossom the waste places in your fields, and run your factories.
Booker T. Washington believed that Black Americans should indeed gain ultimate racial equality, however Washington believed this would not be a quick process. Instead of preaching to the Black American population the objective of instantaneous equality, Washington focused on the objective of helping all Black Americans achieve a certain level of technical ability. Booker T. Washington in his thoughts, determined that if the Black Americans could obtain a level of acceptance in society as responsible individuals, the remaining steps to gaining total racial equality would be a much easier incorporation into the American society. Washington developed this theory himself through his own story; Booker T. Washington was born into slavery, and liberated during the American civil war effort. In 1872 Washington enrolled in the Hampton Institute, a vocational training institute for young Black Americans. After Washington s graduation in 1875, Booker returned in 1881 to found the Tuskegee Institute which would become responsible for Booker T. Washington s reputation rising as a spokesperson for the African American Community. Booker T. Washington having developed the Tuskegee Institute had produced a manor in which young African Americans could obtain vocational positions for sustenance, and through the development of the American view of the Black American as responsible individuals, the discrimination of the Black American race could possibly be diminished.
In 1888 there emerged a man named W.E.B. DuBois, DuBois was a radical clone of his early predecessor Booker T. Washington. The ideas of DuBois however may have been much too radical for the Black American situation. W.E.B. DuBois participated in the launch of the Niagara Movement in 1905, this led to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or the NAACP in 1909. DuBois viewed the Black American situation as a crisis at best, and believed the all Black Americans should, from the very moment of their liberation, insist continually, in season and out season, that voting is necessary to modern manhood, . This demand would not, and was not excepted by the still sour community of the southern whites. To the southern whites it was if the Black Americans should get this special treatment simply because they are Black Americans and they ask for it. It was no surprise that this radical racial recombination never materialized, there was also very little done by W.E.B. DuBois to ensure the progression of his beliefs. Instead DuBois disgusted by the American peoples rejection of his ideas left the country and denounced his American citizenship.
In the civil rights movement of the 1900 s the semi-conservative strategies of Booker T. Washington proved to be a more appropriately developed plan for the gaining of African American equality, the reduction of racial discrimination, and in dealing with the poverty situation of the Black Americans. The views of Booker T. Washington provided the Black Americans of the time to provide themselves with the image of responsible individuals, making the acceptance of the Black American social equality a more palatable taste for the White American community.
Bound to Respect: the Dred Scott Incident
In W.E.B. DuBois’s Of Our Spiritual Strivings and Walter Johnson’s No Rights Which the White Man Is Bound to Respect, the theme of “being a problem” or “being a burden” is recurring it is very hard to shake. Your sense of identity really takes a toll on you, whether you realize it or not. Comparing the two articles, the theme of their sense of self identity was tested every single day. African Americans constantly felt like aliens not just back then, but it is still evident in today’s world and will likely never be without it. The slavery aspect is not the remnant of the past, as it would seem, but the fact that it is our horrifying present.
The term “self-identity” by definition means the recognition of one’s potential and qualities as an individual, especially in relation to social context. Picking endlessly at the readings, I presumed that self character is made out of generally changeless self-appraisals, for example, individual qualities, information on one’s aptitudes and capacities, one’s occupation and diversions, and familiarity with one’s physical traits. Each person has a unique view of the world and the people around them. A great amount of people don’t have an unmistakable or cognizant comprehension of what the world really is and how they build up their self-personality while experiencing this world.
From 1833 to 1843, Dred Scott dwelled in Illinois and in the Louisiana Territory where subjection was restricted in all perspectives by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. In the scandalous instance of Dred Scott v. Sandford, which was contended in 1856 through 1857, the Supreme Court went to the decision that Americans of the African decent, free or slave, are not viewed as American residents, and in this way people could not sue in the government court. Furthermore, the Court likewise decided that Congress did not have the ability to boycott servitude in any U.S. domain. He then returned to his home state, Missouri. Right after arriving home, Scott filed a lawsuit in the Missouri court for his freedom. He strongly claimed that his residence in the Louisiana Territory, a free territory, made him a completely free man. Unfortunately, Scott’s master maintained the no descendant of slaves could be a citizen according to Article III of the Constitution.
While investigating this thesis further, it is easy to notice the racism evident in the past and most definitely still here in today’s world and how oddly normal this was. Sedimentary hints of socially built information about race and whiteness have been archived in America’s history of subjection, Jim Crow, isolation, and segregation dependent on the credit of some proportion of social downgrading forced on non-white people groups and normatively characterized as racial qualities. Under these conditions, one could contend that various Americans have been unfavorably affected by ‘bias by desires.’ Racism by reason works at the level of the individual and is showed as racial inclination and division toward non-white people. In other words, having low expectations of minorities in schools and other forms of achievement is of normal bigotry in these days. While being told this every day, the minorities all over the world began evolving their sense of identity in what other people engraved in their brain all of these years. This contradiction looks consequences of ‘fanaticism by plan.’ I examined how much bias is evident in today’s world because of this racial tension throughout the world. Such a middle reveals, that the idea and start of whiteness gets from the components of partiality by desire, a kind of bias that is built up upon custom and show, yet breaks against social intelligent measures.Throughout the passages and reports, the author and people discussed throughout unintentionally show their sense of self-identity. In Walter Johnson’s report, No Rights Which the White Man Is Bound to Respect, Johnson provides a quote from Taney that set the minorities sense of self-identity for them. By going against everything that was right and just in the courtroom, Taney finished up and announced that they had no rights by any stretch of the imagination. Despite what might be expected, he contended they were of a mediocre request and inside and out unfit to connect with the white race, regardless of whether in social or political relations, thus far sub-par that they had no rights which the white man will undoubtedly regard. Those last 10 words go down in history as being the 10 most notorious words in history. Those words were undoubtedly degrading the African American race. They unwillingly stuck with those words throughout history and continue to carry that idea that Taney made for them.
Believe it or not, the minorities from this time period never had the chance to develop their own sense of self, it was always engraved into their brains for them by other people that have absolutely no right or space to make that for them. Although these passages are mostly set years ago, there was an abundant amount of discrimination and racism being directed towards the African Americans every single place they went. It is extremely scary to see how much racism and discrimination is being dragged back in today’s world, whether we notice it or not. The fact that we do not consider the implicit ways racism slithers its way in everyday interactions, including in our professional environments, is becoming more of a norm in today’s society. Instances in schools have been increasingly part of our culture, “while students chant “Build the wall,” “White power,” and “Heil Hilter,” (Vogel 1), they are directly targeting the miniority group. Minority groups are tested every single day and their self of sense identity becomes more and more negative throughout their lives of being constantly targeted and verbally or sometimes physically abused. They start to believe the atrocious thoughts that white people are putting in their head and believe that they are “worthless” and “trash.”
As indicated by Walter Johnson, The Dred Scott choice viably contended that dark individuals lived in Missouri by the finesse of white individuals. It clarified that there would be no legitimate point of confinement to what white individuals may do to them, exclusively or as the nearby or state government. Anybody being engaged with the wrongdoings against minorities and any other person around are viewed as unfortunate enough to stand close by. This chillingly speaks to a startling picture of the world to come, for our minorities, however a general public overall. Also, presently what I have quickly portrayed in somewhat of a blueprint showed from numerous points of view, with cherishing accentuation and more profound detail, that men may tune into the spirits of dark people.
Du Bois’ Double Consciousness in the African American Community
W.E.B Du Bois was born Feb 23, 1868, Great Barrington, MA. He was an influential African American rights activists. One of the first African American sociologist, to earn a PH.D. from Harvard University in 1895. He mostly grew up in a white American neighborhood where he attended school, and was well respected. He not only researched racial identity but also looked at black and whites day to day lives. In 1896 the unviesrty of penssleivena hired Du Bois to do a survey on black communities in Philadelphia.
In his book called “The Philadelphia Negro” he explains some of his methods of inquary that he used to collect data from black communties. From there he went from door to door asking people different questions and observing. He used qualitative and quantitative research methods for this project. He focused on the 7th ward of philadelphia which was historically a black neighborhood. He documented everything from people of that neighborhood such as Age,Gender,Education,Crime rate etc. He then looked at the survey and compared it to the white neighborhoods of philadelphia to see how these two were different from each other. The results were no shocking black neighborhoods, were way behind in everything than the white ones. They had high rates of crime and poverty level was also high. They had low to zero health coverages.
One of the hardest parts of these kind of research are, you want to make sure you get the accurate numbers to be able to support your claim. In the second chapter of his book it’s stated that “The student of these questions must first ask, What is the real condition of this group of human beings? Of whom is it composed, what sub-groups and classes exist, what sort of individuals are being considered ?Further, the student must clearly recognize that a complete study must not confine itself to the group, but must especially notice the environment; the physical environment of the city, sections and houses, the far mightier social environment the surrounding world of custom, wish, whim, and thought which envelops this group and powerfully influences its social development.” in these kind of studies, one must have to invest a good effort in order to achieve their goal. Du bois fought for African American’s rights and made his voice heard throughout the nation. His fight for equality and against racism was credited by many in the U.S.
He was one of those influencer that people looked up to and dependent upon. He later became a well known historian and sociologist. He was dedicated to helping his students through teaching and his experiences. He wanted his black students to be the leaders of their own race and work together. In one of his other books called “The souls of black folk” he talks about the discrimination and the hiden identity of African Americans. As a writer he thinks back on his life and can not separate himself from “what was then called the Negro problem, Even his consciousness is divided into two parts, becoming a double consciousness. He calls the experience generated by the color line “the Veil.” As a man living behind the Veil, part of his being is hidden. One part of his consciousness belongs to the human race, and the other consciousness is shrouded behind the Veil. Du Bois allows his readers to look behind the Veil, to share his pain and humiliation and to celebrate a world populated by heroes and by joy.” which means that it’s difficult to have one unified identity. It is hard for them to unify their black identity with their American identity. Double consciousness create problems within African American as a struggle to really understand their identity and how other white American perceive them.
“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” These prophetic words tell the story of American slaves and their descendants who continue to search for freedom in America and throughout the world. The international dimensions of the color line are rooted in the economy and in the politics of a worldwide struggle.” meaning the fight for freedom will continue until we have ended racism not only in the U.S. but also throughout the world.
This long lost battle of African American struggle has to come to an end. African American throughout the U.S. history have been oppressed and treated terribly. Their rights have been violated to the point where they are still going through the cycle of “Double consciousness” and they have been ignored. Social media is getting things a little better but it’s not so effective because of our justice system. People are raising their voices through it. The American justice system is not meant to be for minorities group but only for the whites. Throughout Du bois’s life time he had always fought for the rights of African American. He is worldly appreciated by many and his books are read throughout the world.
The Presence of Double-consciousness in Ethnography of Race
The article “Ethnographies of Race, Crime, and Justice: Toward a Sociological Double-Consciousness” aims to introduce double-consciousness thinking into ethnographic studies of race, crime, and justice (RCJ) in order to “redefine what it means to study practices, structures, and cultural processes within the field” (Rios, Carney, & Kelekay, 2017, pg. 2). It emphasizes the importance of Du Bois’ work in the field of sociology and advocates that researchers acknowledge power-blindness and both explicit and implicit biases in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of minority groups and to enact sustainable policies that will benefit the marginalized and down-trodden.
Like many sociologists who followed the social-conflict approach, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois believed that sociologists should not only learn about society’s problems but instead should try their best to solve the problems around them. His biggest contribution to sociology is the theoretical tool called double-consciousness. He defined this as the “sense of always looking at one’s self-thought the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” (Rios et al., 2017, pg.2). He believes that African Americans live under the strain of two distinct identities by which the world sees them as, and this theory brings to light both the psychological and social divisions in American society. His work argues that African Americans have never had the privilege to see themselves as “Americans,” as they are constantly forced to view the world on two plains; being an American, and being a Negro. The article argues that Du Bois’ work is more relevant than ever in today’s divided and broken America, and by understanding his work and applying it to policies and laws, we can attempt to move closer to a world of equality and social justice. While the article focuses on American society, it is equally applicable to issues facing minorities in Canada.
A sociological theory that relates and can expand on Du Bois’ theory of double consciousness is George Herbert Mead’s concept of the looking-glass self. It states that “what we think of ourselves, depends on how we think others see us” (Macionis, Burkowicz, Jansson, & Benoit, 2017, 3.2). By integrating these two concepts, it makes it easier to see just how damaging it can be to live life with the lens of double-consciousness. If society sees African Americans and minorities as being a separate class, it may be easier to understand why these demographics see themselves as the problem, which brings on low self-esteem, lack of trust in institutions, and an overall negative worldview. This is a problem when is it done by society, but it is a crisis when it is being perpetrated by legal institutions and the powers in government.
One valuable aspect of this article is that it takes into consideration the work of many sociologists who have tried to tackle RCJ inequalities, and it reinforces its arguments about the destructive tendencies of double consciousness by pointing to the many factors that play a role in keeping it alive. It outlines ways in which schools, crimmigration, prisons, and policing, all help to perpetuate injustice, thereby causing minorities to see themselves differently in society (Rios et al., 2017, pg.8).
Double-consciousness is directly linked to the inequalities between African Americans and whites in society, and it is reinforced throughout a person’s life. As a heterosexual white male, the concept of double-consciousness is quite foreign to me, as I have the privilege of not having to deal with this societal burden. From early on in my life and into my college years, I always felt safe when dealing with law enforcement, and never felt uncomfortable in my own skin when dealing with day to day activities. It is something I rarely think about – or ever have to think about – in our western society. This is by no means my sole experience, as many of our laws, research methods, and economic circumstances benefit white people in North America. This affects African American and other minority communities in more ways than imaginable, and one of the most harmful ways in which this manifests is in the enforcement of crime, and policing. Police killings of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and countless other African Americans and Latinos shows the imbalance of power and the negative effects this has on minority groups (Rios et al., 2017, pg.15). For an African American man, simply being pulled over for a traffic violation can put him into a life and death situation. Knowing this, African Americans do not see themselves as equals, and often fear what should not be feared in everyday life. The rise of movements like Black Lives Matter is one of the ways in which minorities try to shed light and fight back such racial injustice. On the other hand, young white people are “often allowed to grow out of their delinquent activity and become well-integrated adults in the community” (Rios et al., 2017, pg.11). This is not just at the policing level. It goes much higher than the street level policing that so often puts black lives in danger. This belief is held by those at the top of the courts’ hierarchy, seeing young white men as deserving a second (and third, and so on) chance before harsher sentencing and prosecution for their actions. Recently in Canada, a white farmer named Gerald Stanley was found not guilty by an all-white jury for shooting a young aboriginal by the name of Colten Boushie in August 2016. The verdict led to major unrest in the province of Saskatchewan and was a story of debate across the country. Many in the Aboriginal community claimed that Mr. Stanley murdered Colten Boushie, and believed that the courts’ verdict was unjust (Graveland, 2018). Cases like this bring a spotlight onto the meaning of white privilege and are clear evidence that the court systems in Canada are unjust, maybe even racist. This verdict will negatively affect visible minorities for decades to come, as it further reinforces injustice in the legal system. By developing a better understanding of double-consciousness, more research can be done to aid in the change of archaic laws and practices that disadvantage a large number of the American population.
What can sociologists in the RCJ field do to alleviate minority groups of their social inequalities, and how does the awareness of double-consciousness theory help solve current problems? The article states that sociologists must gather more feedback from primary sources; the people who are directly affected by the injustice. Their views and experiences can help researchers understand the effects of double-consciousness at a deeper level, producing “more robust, sophisticated understandings of the populations under study” (Rios et al., 2017, pg.14). Other ethnographies of race, crime, and justice are starting to look at the institutions which “shape the daily life of criminalized communities” (Rios et al., 2017, pg.15). This is referred to as “studying up,” and the aim is to get a better understanding of the powers at play who endlessly marginalize certain racial groups and minorities. Police officers, judges, politicians and lawyers contribute to the racial injustice of the criminal justice system by too often giving unequal punishment to marginalized groups. By better understanding the system, change can hopefully come from the top down, but to do so, better research must be done to hold specific (predominantly white) people in positions of power accountable.
While the article makes a good case as to why double-consciousness is important to understand and solve, it falls into the trap of generalizing all African Americans and minorities as viewing society in this way. Given that Du Bois’ work was done through the lens of social conflict theory, it does not apply a scientific approach to his work, and this also translates into the article. While ethnographies of RCJ are very effective and shed light onto these issues, more statistical records and numerical data could help to solidify the article’s conclusions. The article also looks at the issue of double-consciousness from a macro scale and offers top-down solutions, which are often very hard to implement. Removing established judges and people of power and privilege is not an easy task, and waiting for these positions to be filled by more understanding and diverse individuals could mean having to wait decades with no guarantee of success.
The article does a good job of defining the issues with the criminal justice system and how it affects minorities, however, how people see the world and themselves is a personal position that everyone experiences differently. A micro-level approach to solving double-consciousness would be very effective in that it would find the precise communities and people most affected by double-consciousness. This would lead to a better understanding of how the problem can be solved on the individual level, as you would receive input from the target population allowing one to implement ground-up interventions. This is recommended in the article, but it is clear from the body of the work that very little research has been done at the micro-scale, and that a lot of what is understood about double consciousness and RCJ is extracted from a macro methodology. Who in the black community is most affected by the double-consciousness lens? Why? By extracting information from individuals, and looking at their life experiences, sociologists will get a better understanding of how double-consciousness plays a role in individuals lives, and what institutions they are affected by the most in their day to day lives.
The Web Dubois’ View on Segregation and Social Activism
Gun-related violence in schools is a pervasive issue and has greatly increased in recent years, although school shootings have occurred since our country was being formed. The earliest known school shooting in the United States took place in 1764 and was known as the Pontiac Rebellion School Massacre; out of 13 children enrolled in the school, only three survived (Dixon, 2005)W.E.B. DuBois was born in Great Barrington Massachusetts 1868. He graduated from Barrington Massachusetts high school in 1884. Soon after that, DuBois went to college in Cambridge Massachusetts until 1892 when he moved to Germany to receive more education. Afterwards he taught in Ohio. It was here that he met his wife and they got married in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Afterwards he studied more in Philadelphia as well as taught in Atlanta. He was then convinced to teach summer school at Tuskegee Alabama in 1903 once (Holt, 2008). In 1903 he left Atlanta to join the NAACP in New York where he stayed for a while. He visited Liberia in 1923 as well as the Soviet Union in 1926 for conferences. Once again he returned to Atlanta University to serve as the chair of the Sociology department in 1934 for ten years until 1944 when he went back to the NAACP. In 1958, after a brief period when he wasn’t allowed to travel with his passport, DuBois traveled to the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, and Moscow and then returned home. In 1961 He lived in Ghana where he eventually became a citizen until his death in 1963 (Holt, 2008).
After DuBois graduated from highschool he received scholarships through the mentorship and the help of his principal, Frank Hosmer, allowing him to go to the prestigious Fisk University (Holt, 2008). At fisk he learned about African culture in America which is said to have helped him develop his sense of cultural pride (Rucker, 2002). He also had experiences teaching during the summers of 1886-1887 at Tuskegee. After his schooling at Fisk, applied to Harverd and got his BA in 1890, his MA in 1891, and his PhD in 1895 in history. During this time DuBois became good friends with Albert Bushnell Hart and Wiliam James, who became his professional mentors as well. Dubois continued his education in Germany at Friedrich-Wilhelm III Universitat, but unfortunately was not able to complete his economics degree formally there due to residency issues. (Holt, 2008).
DuBois initially believed in the initiation of black nationalism, but then slowly gravitated to equal education and treatment for all as well returning to his theories on black national nationalism later on in his life. He stated that he wanted to “make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows….’ (Rucker 2002). Much of his life he also argued about issues with White supremacy, European imperialism, and the continuing loss of dignity for Africans (Rucker, 2002). DuBois wanted to prepare African Americans to be ready for when segregation was no more, for he saw that coming in the future. As stated by Johnson “DuBois called upon Blacks to take advantage of every opportunity to be the intellectual and moral equals of whites so that when the walls of segregation finally came down, blacks would be in a position to compete successfully for positions throughout the social system. DuBois, a humanist, believed that educa- tion must be more complex than a simplistic focus only on societal and individual economic interests” (Johnson, 2000).
The Discussion Around White Privilege by Web Dubois and Others
White supremacy suggests many cruel and terrifying things which include inequality, exclusion, injustice, and vigilante violence. The issue of white supremacy and racism seem to explain the theory of Durkheim, Simone De Beauvoir, and W.E.B Dubois. Collective consciousness is a fundamental concept for Durkheim that refers to the set of shared beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and knowledge that are common to a social group or society. Deeyah Khan, in the film White Right: Meeting the Enemy, explores how the values of white supremacy impact the lives of former and current white supremacists. She explores why there are hate groups around the world and why these groups are advocating for white supremacy. White supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and therefore should dominate society. White supremacy culture is reproduced by all institutions of society, in particular the media, educational systems, and western science.
In today’s society, white supremacy is on the rise and hate groups keep recruiting new members. It is a term that often carries a primarily legal and political connotation. More individuals join these groups because they have come from broken homes and poverty. White supremacy is often linked to far right extremists who are afraid that their race is under attack. By becoming a member, they feel connected to a group of people who come from similar backgrounds. People join hate groups in order to feel power because there was a time in their life they felt powerless. According to the article written by Simi and colleagues, there are four racist groups which are called the Ku Klux Klan, Christian Identity, Neo-Nazi, and Racist Skinheads (Simi et al, 2).Once an individual becomes a part of these groups, it’s very hard to leave. Disengagement from white supremacy is characterized by substantial lingering effects that subjects describe as addiction. “The process of leaving deeply meaningful and embodied identities can be experienced as a struggle against addiction with continuing cognitive, emotional, and physiological responses that are involuntary, unwanted and triggered by environmental factors” (Simi et al). Joining these groups creates a new identity for the members and often time they dedicate their lives to the movement.
Durkheim on White Supremacy
Race is a social fact in which the social and political significance of whiteness plays a critical role. According to Durkheim, the concepts of race and whiteness are social facts, meaning they do not require the action of individuals to continue (206). Social facts are the reason why people within a society do the same things, such as where they live, what they eat, and how they interact. “They consist of manners of acting, thinking, and feeling external to the individual, which are invested with a coercive power by virtue of which they exercise control over him” (205). These are concrete ideas that affect people’s everyday lives. Not only are these types of behavior and thinking external to the individual, but they are imbued with a compelling and coercive power whether he wishes it or not (204). He acknowledges the fact that all concepts are social facts and they are real because they determine what we do and what we feel. Durkheim was involved politically and participated in political scandals (Lecture 11). Durkheim is considered a political liberal, in that he advocated individual freedom and opposed impediments to the free operation of the division of labor. In this paper, I will use a Durkheimian perspective to see why people join hate groups and what produces the solidarity within the group.
The first question that arose after watching the film and reading the article is why do people join hate groups? Durkheim would ask this question because he is interested in the effect of the individual and the group. He was primarily interested in what holds society together when it is made up of people with specialized roles and responsibilities. This would fall under the concept of solidarity, which is the type and strength of bonds between individuals (Lecture 12). Society exists because individuals feel a sense of solidarity with each other (Lecture 12). In the film, Jeff Schoep, the leader of National Socialist Movement, understands why white supremacists act the way they do. He rationalizes this as a reaction to society changing around them. Durkheim would refer to changes in society as mechanical and organic solidarity. Mechanical solidarity is based on bonds of commonality, similarity, and strong collective consciousness (Lecture 12). “The individual does not belong to himself; he is literally a thing at the disposal of society” (233). Mechanical solidarity connects the individual to society. Society is organized collectively, and all members of the group share the same set of tasks and core beliefs (Lecture 12).When things in society don’t go as planned, there is a feeling of solidarity or crisis of solidarity. In this case, Jeff Schoep recognizes that society is not operates they way they want it to.
Durkheim would hypothesize that participation in theses groups increase social integration. In other words, people join hate group because they seek powerful experiences and want to feel part of a group which “includes a complete identity transformation, in much the way that describes opiate addiction” (Simi et al, 8) “Addiction can be defined as thoughts, emotions, bodily experiences, and unwanted behavior of a chronic, relapsing, and compulsive nature that occur despite negative consequences and are characterized by episodes where people feel they have lost control” (Simi et al. 5). White supremacy groups allow their members to feel powerful as if they are above everyone else. This often time leading them to become addicted to the power, causing them to remain a part of these organizations.
Many of the white nationalists who were interviewed in the film experience loneliness, or what Durkheim might refer to as anomie. Anomie eventually becomes a part of their internal structure. Durkheim explains anomie by claiming “the limits are unknown between the possible and the impossible, what is just and what is unjust… All classes contend among themselves because no established classification any longer exists (239). There was a point in their lives where they felt a sense of disconnect from their community, whether it was because they were living in poverty or they came from a broken home which caused them to feel isolated (Film, Khan).
For the second question, I was interested to see what produces the solidarity within the group. Durkheim would be interested in this question because he studied religion within group settings. In this case, I hypothesize that groups symbols and rituals produce collective consciousness within these communities. Hate groups have a shared experience around symbols and slogans. These symbols, which people organize themselves around, are crucial to feel like they share one identity. The documentary shows a group of white supremacists chanting in a parking lot before a rally, saying, “now we start the deportation” (Film, Khan). These type of chants brings people together giving them a common goal. The sacred object which in this case is the chant, must be protected, and oftentimes rituals are performed. It is considered to be sacred only because a community has marked it as sacred. Once it is labeled sacred, it becomes a symbol of religious beliefs. For these groups the symbol of the swastika is considered sacred. For each member, the swastika and salutes hold different meaning. For example, a Hispanic employee at Jack in the Box got an order wrong and a former white nationalist got angry. “I told her, White power, and I walked out and I threw a heil up [Nazi salute]” (Simi et al, 12). The power of collective representations and ideas change the society. People assembled can exhibit a special state of collective effervescence (251). Collective effervescence refers to moments in societal life when a group of individuals that makes up the society come together in order to perform a religious ritual. Another example of religious rituals would be from the film; there was a scene about combat training where an individual wanted to practice getting pepper sprayed in the face. This idea of getting pepper sprayed shows a significant practice that these people hold because getting pepper sprayed is common when attending White Civil Rights rallies.
Self and Society Essay
The achievement of the self was fundamentally shaped by racial hierarchy. The world and the self is viewed through a veil. DuBois discusses the constant awareness of dissimilarity to others. Dubois considered himself as the ‘other’ because he was an African American male who was constantly outcast by white Americans. White supremacists look at society through the veil of their skin color, whereas people of color look at social, economic, and political aspects of society. The issue of white supremacy and racism was a concern for Dubois, just like it was for Durkheim. A question that would reflect Dubois’ work would be, how did the people within white supremacist groups articulate collective identity? He would ask this question because he is interested to find out why people act the way they do. I would hypothesize that they keep themselves as a group to understand themselves as the ‘other’.
According to Dubois, racism is an outcome of the double consciousness. People view themselves through the eyes of other people and they cannot separate themselves from society. “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” (405). This quote tries to explain that Black people in America can’t be themselves because being any other race than white is considered to be a minority, causing white Americans will look down on you. In other words, individuals of color are stuck in this double-consciousness because they’re forced to see themselves not just as a person, but specifically as a black person. Ken Parker, a former Neo Nazi, admitted that the ‘other’ groups, such as Jews and homosexuals, should be exterminated. After the interview, he claimed that Muslims were okay and he wouldn’t mess with them anymore, but he still dislikes all other races.
Almost everyone in the film claimed they believed that the white race is under attack. They feel as if the ‘other’ people are taking jobs and opportunities away from white Americans (Film, Khan). Whites have historically been viewed as perpetrators of bias, with racial minorities as the victims. White Americans overall are experiencing lower birth rates and overall immigration has increased to the United States. White supremacists are worried that if ‘other’ people come to the States, they won’t be at the top of the hierarchy anymore.
Simone De Beauvoir’s theories can relate to the issue of white supremacy. White supremacy connects and combines racism to colonialism and capitalism. White supremacy intersects and interconnects with sexism, and particularly the patriarchy as a global system that oppresses and denies women’s dignity and the right to be different from men, who are the ruling gender in society. She claims that women are the ‘other’ and are treated as such in society. “She is determined and differentiated in relation to man, while he is not in relation to her; she is the inessential in front of the essential. He is the Subject…She is the Other” (26). This relates to white supremacy because the film only portrayed white males. Women were not actively participating in the movement, but often times were on the sideline supporting their husbands or boyfriends. In addition, the director of the documentary is considered an ‘other’ because she is a woman of color.
De Beauvoir would be interested in looking at the role of gender, so she would potentially ask how does gender play a role in hate groups? My hypothesis for this question would be that gender plays a role because masculinity drives these hate groups. White supremacy primates a violent tendencies, not only expressed through verbal slurs, but physical violence as well. As a result of the violent tendencies, an innocent female, Heather Hyer, died due to a white rights activists crashing a car into a group of protestors opposing the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville (Film, Khan). This case was about the drivers decision to act on his anger when he saw the protestors. “When directed at a social group, hate often refers to extreme dislike associated with prejudice that provokes aggressive impulses” (Simi et al, 5). This quote emphasizes the idea that when a white nationalists dislike a group of people, they often act on their emotions to show their hate.
De Beauvoir’s language of the self and the ‘other’ provided a lens of masculine domination as the imposing domination on the ‘other’. She has been denied from participating in society because of her gender. The ideology of male supremacy, represents all women as genetically inferior, who exist primarily for their reproductive and sexual functions. Hypermasculinity is over exaggerated male stereotypical behavior such as a strong emphasis in strength, aggression and sexuality. Men portray hypermasculinity because it gives them power over women. An example of this in the film was when Ken Parker didn’t want to go to his own graduation because he didn’t want to wear a dress (Film, Khan). This shows that he takes pride in his masculinity and he does not participate in anything that can be considered feminine. Another interviewee that showed hyper masculine traits was Peter Tuft. He wanted everyone to like him when he was younger but often times he felt like a ghost at school. Eventually he joined the Nationalist Socialist movement and he gained power over others. He saw so much wrong with the world, which made him rethink certain aspects of life and he felt like it was his duty to act heroically. He later compares himself to fictional superheroes, because others at his church thank him for being a warrior of Christ.
While Durkheim correctly argues that racism is a crisis of solidarity because individuals do not have a collective consciousness that binds people together, Dubois and De Beauvoir, in my opinion, present a more compelling argument. I think their argument is more persuasive because their idea of being an ‘other’ relates strongly to society. For many years, people of color and women have been fighting for equality and are still fighting today to receive the same rights as white male Americans. In addition, masculinity, specifically for white males, is a fixed mindset where they need to be dominant and above everyone else. This results in supremacy groups and the perpetration of hate crimes. This notion is sadly ingrained in our society and it is very hard for individuals to drift away from this sort of thinking. As much as I agree with Durkheim on his concepts of religion and rituals, I do believe there is a deeper meaning on what produces solidarity within the group. He does present a strong argument, but does not specifically look at mindset at an individual level. This is because his main theory is used to support evidence for a group as a whole. This issue of white supremacy only continues to get worse as the years go by, unless we as a society can come up with a solution. Using theorist such as Durkheim, Dubois, and De Beauvoir can help society as a whole understand the thought process of white supremacists and why they won’t accept the ‘other’.
The Common Ground Between Web Dubois and Ho Chi Minj
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, better known as W.E.B Dubois, was an author, writer, Pan-Africanist, etc. Dubois is well known for transforming the way that black lives are seen in America today, as an activist and co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese communist leader who spoke out about Vietnamese independence and was known to be very against European colonial rule in his country and was also not very fond of the United States aggression. Both W.E.B Dubois and Ho Chi Minh had a common stance on their thoughts about the empire and their ideas were very similar, in aspect, of who they thought should replace the European Colonial Rule.
W.E.B Dubois believed that the primary stance of imperialism in Africa, put upon the continent by America and Europe, was very much for economic reasons. Africa was the primary “hub” for most of the products being put into trade. “Due to this investment there were exported annually from Africa, just before the present war, seven hundred million dollars’ worth of products.” (Dubois) The monopoly of trade in Africa went from slave labor to the trade of raw materials which led him to this belief of the economic profit for North America and Europe, they were now gaining higher monetary benefits than ever before. Dubois described Europe as the “slave-trading nation” in the eighteenth century. In the 19th century Europe flipped and seemed as the “emancipator” in Dubois’ words.
During the 19th century England seemed to abolish slavery in their territory and garnered Africa to be its own nation if trade remained free between the nations. Dubois being a Pan-Africanist, meaning in simpler terms “All of Africa for Africa”, felt that this came with greater reasoning, such as the return of investment on slaves not equaling out for Europe, Napoleon’s interference during this time period, the sugar economy dropping substantially, etc. All these factors had a huge impact on Europe’s decision to let Africa, in more ways than one, do its own thing as a free nation, ideally. With this came Europe’s sense of a ‘Mother Country” having colonies throughout Africa causing no real unity within the country. Africa developed culturally very different throughout due to England having colonies, France having colonies, etc. There was no real psychical or cultural unity throughout.
In the article the main question proposed by Dubois was whether this should be for “European Profit or Negro Development”, this being the development of Africa after the war. This was an important question for him to consider because it would, in the end, immensely affect the many people to come. Dubois believed in order to gain world piece “that it is necessary to renounce the assumption that there are a few large groups of mankind called races, with hereditary differences shown by color, hair and measurements of the bony skeleton which fix forever their relations to each other and indicate the possibilities of their individual members.” (Dubois) Thus meaning we must join together and not only focus on the differences between us, but instead prioritize the similarities and see each other as equals, no one being placed higher than the other due to something made to separate and diminish equality such as race.
Ho Chi Minh believed heavily in the independence for the Vietnamese people and was very outspoken about it during the World War when he lived in France. He eventually announced the creation of a Democratic Republic of Vietnam, but was it was quickly shot down by France who only wanted to re-take control of Vietnam. They came to an agreement of a certain quantity of French troops to be in Vietnam for 5 year, but south Vietnam would be left out of being recognized as its on republic. Ho Chi Minh was of course dissatisfied with this and surprisingly so were the French. This only led to fighting between Vietnam and France, which Vietnam ultimately won and garnered Vietnam the independence he so badly wanted for the republic. This was also later soiled when the U.S. took over the south of Vietnam by never signing a treaty to have peace, the same treaty that France signed to garner Vietnam their independence.
After the war, Ho Chi Minh wanted Vietnam to be organized into Communism, but he often made his communism flexible and more into nationalism. He flexed this in order to suit his needs and wants for the new nation to come. The Cold War heavily influenced Ho Chi Minh into his communist beliefs and for the independence of Vietnam. The colonialist in Africa and the Middle East heavily influenced his beliefs as well seeing the very strong divide it was making, especially in Africa being that there was no unity throughout Africa, culturally or psychically. He was also very intrigued by the Irish struggle for liberation from the British Colonial rule, when in England. These instances only made him more serious about his approach to how he would approach his attempt to lead the country in the path to independence and liberation, which was never going to be an easy feat.
Ho Chi Minh viewed the decolonization of Vietnam from England/Europe as a great thing. In his time as leader he was able to seize power and gained the country’s independence, something he was very outspoken about doing in his time and well before his time as the country’s leader. There was tension between the two divisions in Vietnam, with the U.S. supporting south Vietnam’s anti-communist beliefs against the Democratic Republic of Vietnams strong communistic beliefs, led by Ho Chi Minh. This led to more conflict now not only with the United States, but also with South Vietnam, thus only furthering the divide in the country.
W.E.B. Dubois and Ho Chi Minh didn’t share the same beliefs, but they shared the same ideology of what they would like for their respective countries after decolonizing from Europe and the United States. Many other newly independent states thought the same, as presented during The Bandung Conference. During this conference, newly independent nation states discussed peace and the role of the “third world” in the war, decolonization, etc. In this meeting, there were many nations that wanted to stay completely neutral during the war and they were subsequently put in the Non-Alignment Movement. This movement was just as stated, a bunch of new states not wanting to align with either side, the U.S. or Europe. The nations that were non-aligned included: Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
During the Bandung Conference, most of the nations had the same ideology, one of complete independence from the U.S. and Europe. “The core principles of the Bandung Conference were political self-determination, mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, and equality. These issues were of central importance to all participants in the conference, most of which had recently emerged from colonial rule.” (U.S.) Every nation in the Bandung conference were completely set on becoming independent and not interfering with foreign and internal affairs in other countries and didn’t want to have other countries meddle in their internal affairs either. They did not like the imperialistic aggressions constantly being spewed out of the United States and Europe and forced upon them. They then sought to challenge two of the most powerful nations in the world, then and now.
W.E.B Dubois and Ho Chi Minh have various similar points on who should rule after the decolonization of their respective countries; however, they do contrast on a few different points of interest for their countries and the way their country should rule after becoming independent. While Ho Chi Minh was very much for Vietnam becoming Communist but being very willing to become flexible and taking from Nationalism, granted just to suit his needs and wants for his country, W.E.B Dubois was very dead set in Africa becoming Unified and Independent and not wavering in their beliefs. Dubois was also not a leader in Africa, but he was a very strong and outspoken activist who co-founded the NAACP, which later paved the way for Africans and black citizens in America. He wanted everyone in Africa to be for Africa and not to settle and put other nations before their own, they needed to be for them in order to help others. Africa was already so divided with Europe and France having colonies throughout, that they were already developing culturally, very different and had no true commonalities. This can be seen today with many parts of Africa being so different culturally, many of the states have no real similarities.
The bigger significance of this liberation and independence gained by many of these nations is that these nations were able to gain independence and decolonize from Europe and the United States. Even though after they were colonized European powers still were able to dominate the economic affairs of those who were formerly colonized underneath Europe, such as former colonies being forced to produce cash crops for Europe’s gain. Even with the dominance still being very prevalent, they were able to steadfastly grow their own empire and gain unity throughout their own respective countries and give rise to natives who had beforehand been labeled as beneath Europeans.
In the end, W.E.B Dubois and Ho Chi Minh both had very similar stances on how they felt about imperialism and the empire that consumed their time. They both were very strong and outspoken activists for their respective countries and sought to see to it that they would spread the word that there should be independence in their nations and that European colonial rule should end. They felt that the empire and imperialism were both very negatively impacting the society and culture in their countries and were not for the best interests of their respective countries, Africa and Vietnam. They sought to get the best for their countries and the citizens of their country. W.E.B Dubois wanted the best for Africa and its citizens. He wanted more unity culturally and the ability to have commonalities with those who reside in the same country. Ho Chi Minh also wanted the best for the citizens of the country he led, he wouldn’t let the aggressors over power and take advantage of the people who resided in Vietnam. Minh wouldn’t let them take over, but he also made a point to address the strength and resilience of the Vietnamese people, they wouldn’t take no for an answer and would not go down without a fight.
Ho Chi Minh and Dubois ultimately gained the independence and liberation they strived so hard for. They did not let the much larger nations suppress their nation to be and hold them under the reigns of the colonial rule. Both men’s views of imperialism and the empire was maintained throughout this time and were both on a similar understanding that the people of each respective country should rule and that there shouldn’t be just two or three country’s extending their power and influence throughout the world through military force and devastation.
The Disagreement Between Booker T. Washington and Web Du Bois
In spite of being naturally introduced to servitude and encountering s lave proprietors stripping captives of their entitlement to training firsthand, he felt that Black significance required White endorsement and along these lines accepted that Politics of Accommodation would bring about a temperate trade off among Whites and African Americans. He expressed that effectively battling for rights and challenging abuse by Whites compared to asking, and adjusted himself to the idea that Blacks ought to depict the recently referenced righteous qualities (as they would act like an insightful speculation to Whites) while their own aggressors came up sho1t on each and every characteristic on the rundown.
As one may figure, Washington’s convenience of Whites (trying to in the end accomplish equivalent rights) paying little mind to their proceeded with treatment including lynchings, voter disappointment, and the Jim Crow Laws during the ho urs of his talks, (once more, to generally Whites and the well off [an case of one case during his fame discourse in Atlanta on September 9, 1895 as he definite Black dependability to Whites]) picked up him acknowledgment among Whites, and earned a few unique reactions (positive from the individuals who were dazzled with his status with Whites, and negative from the individuals who favored a more straightforward way to deal with White severity) from African Americans (Schaefer, 2019). This kind of to and fro thought would irritate Aristotle’s idea that the proper activity falls into place without any issues, as what Booker T. Washington recommends may not be what falls into place without a hitch for an African American who has endured on account of Whites.
W.E.B Du Bois censured Booker T. Washington for his hypotheses, calling him ‘The Great Accommodator,’ and said that his Politics of Accommodation made fault be moved to the shoulders of Blacks. Furthermore, he accepted that Washington utilized his prevalence among Whites to discourage and upset African Americans who effectively battled for their privileges as prescribed by the Social Contract Theories’ Justice as Fairness proviso for social dissent (Sesanker, 2014). Du Bois felt that Washington had redirected reserves from scholastic training which would best improve the status of Blacks, and toward professional instruction which would almost certainly keep Blacks in exchanges (Schaefer, 2019). He accordingly thought that it was important to make another hypothesis which identifies with Virtue Theory necessity of insight. He made the ‘Capable Tenth’ much like the disciple like preparing itemized by the Virtue Theory wherein intensely taught Blacks support, teach, and influence the other nine-tenths of African Americans to restrict Washington’s substantial help for professional training. Du Bois felt that scholarly training would ease African Americans from the apparent preferences and segregation from Whites, and worked close by the Niagara Movement who made the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) which joined White dissidents and Black militancy (Schaefer, 2019).
The Opposing Stances on Racial Rights of Washington and Dubois
W.E.B Du Bois was an American historian and author known for his significant impact during the primary portion of the twentieth century. Du Bois was born on February 23rd 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. After graduating with an advanced degree at Harvard University, Du Bois took an interest in social science. He lead an empirical study into the state of blacks in America. Booker T. Washington was an American reformer known best for being the president of Tuskegee University and as the most influential spokesman for the African American community between 1895 to the day he died. He was born on April 5th 1856 in Franklin County Virginia. Du Bois often disagreed with Washington in terms of how blacks should handle the situation with race. They both lived in a time where there was extreme violence towards people of color and America was separated with Jim Crow segregation laws. Washington was born in pure poverty which made schooling nonexistent at the time.
Washington was so passionate to receive an education, he enrolled to Hampton University where he worked as a janitor to help financially with university expenses. Later on in his life, Washington was chosen to lead a new school for African Americans called Tuskegee University. He devoted his life to this University for thirty-four years, making some notable improvements to the school. Due to this upbringing, Washington believed that it would be in the best interests for black individuals to acknowledge through education. He philosophized accomadation and encouraged African Americans to accept discrimination for now, to upraise themselves throgh hard work and finacial gain, therefore gaining respect from the whites. Du Bois, due to his background in social science, concluded that the only solution to social change was through agitation and protest. Du Bois publicly attacked Washington in his book,” The Souls of Black Folks.” He stated in chapter 3 of his book ‘So far as Mr. Washington apologizes for injustice, North or South, does not rightly value the privilege and duty of voting, belittles the… effects of caste distinctions, and opposes the higher training and ambitions of our brighter minds so far as he, the South, or the Nation does this we must unceasingly and firmly oppose them.
By every civilized and peaceful method we must strive for the rights which the world accords to men.’ (B. 1967). That quote was towards Washington and how he felt about his ideas. Du Bois praises Washington’s acknowledgement and realization of the injustice happening at the time but also argued that in order for Negro people to have absolute freedom, they need political representation not just education to excel. He believed one must not only fight for injustice but for equal rights like voting as well. In 1905, Du Bois founded the Niagara Movement, which was devoted to attacking Washington. After three years, this small organization disbanded but was the direct inspiration for the NAACP.
This feud between Du Bois and Washington parallel Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. Malcolm X approached the situation in a more violent manner whereas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. approached the situation more peacefully. The problems never really went away, it always just morphs into something new. This problem paralles the discrimination happening to the LGBTQ community, to women, and even still the African American community in present day.
In conclusion, I agreed more with Du Bois’s stance on how to go about things. I am a firm believer that if you want change, you need to act on it. If you followed Washington’s philosophies, there would be no change in this world. I guess this view on things is in my blood because I’m Haitian and when the people of Haiti were being enslaved, they revolted and fought for their freedom. They acted on it, and change was granted to them. They became the first independent black country in the western hemisphere. You could accomplish a lot if you don’t accept things that sit right with you in your gut.