Noam Chomsky: White People's Fear Of Revenge For Slavery Is 'Deeply Rooted In American Culture' | Kulture Kritic
Connect with us

Noam Chomsky: White People’s Fear Of Revenge For Slavery Is ‘Deeply Rooted In American Culture’

black history

Noam Chomsky: White People’s Fear Of Revenge For Slavery Is ‘Deeply Rooted In American Culture’

Slave Rebellion

April V. Taylor

Renowned linguist and activist Noam Chomsky has been speaking with philosopher George Yancy as part of a feature for the New York Times in which he discusses race and racism in America.  In the most recent installment, Chomsky discusses  the roots of American racism and the legacy of black enslavement and subjugation in America, going into detail about how “fears that the victims might rise up and take revenge are deeply rooted in American culture.”

The conversation begins with Yancy pointing out that when terrorism and the United States are discussed, there is often an omission of “the fact that many Black people in the United States have had a long history of being terrorized by white racism.” Chomsky elaborates by saying, “We…cannot allow ourselves to forget that the hideous slave labor camps of the new ’empire of liberty’ were a primary source for the wealth and privilege of American society.” As Chomsky puts it, “The America that ‘Black people have always known’ is not an attractive one.”

When the exploited labor force of slaves was no longer available because of the abolition of slavery, “Blacks were arrested without real cause and prisoners were put to work for…business interests. The system provided a major contribution to the rapid industrial development from the late 19th century.” The Thirteenth Amendment’s Exception Clause, allowing slavery to continue if a person was convicted of a crime, was being used to its fullest extent. Reagan’s War on Drugs provided more Black bodies to be exploited for their labor, leading to what Michelle Alexander terms, the new Jim Crow.

While slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration have been the source of innumerable tragedies, Chomsky points out that perhaps the greatest tragedy is America’s refusal to acknowledge its own history of oppression, violence and genocide. Chomsky describes it as an ‘intentional ignorance,’ that compels Americans to put the horrors of slavery, genocide, racism, and mass incarceration, “…behind us and march on to a glorious future, all sharing equally in the rights and opportunities of citizenry.”

READ  First U.S. commercial flight to Cuba in more than 50 years lands in the city of Santa Clara

While this may sound like a compelling ideal, reality is much uglier. Black people in America continue to fall at the bottom of nearly every statistical indicator for wealth, economics, education, and health while white America seems to all to easily forget how much their “wealth and privilege was created in no small part by the centuries of torture and degradation of which [white people] are the beneficiaries,” and Black people are the victims.

Hundreds of years of forced labor, racism and subjugation have inevitably led to resentment and anger, and Chomsky does not shy away from acknowledging that white people have long been gripped by the fear that those they have oppressed will rebel against the forced racial hierarchy.

Chomsky states, “Some of the slave-owners, like Jefferson, appreciated the moral turpitude on which the economy relied. But he feared the liberation of slaves, who have ‘ten thousand recollections’ of the crimes to which they were subjected. Fears that the victims might rise up and take revenge are deeply rooted in American culture, with reverberations to the present.” Alongside this acknowledgement, Chomsky admits that there is not easy answer to ending racism, no magic wand that can erase hundreds of years of violence and terrorism against nonwhite American citizens.


Continue Reading
You may also like...

Loading Facebook Comments ...


  1. PDS

    March 24, 2015 at 9:10 pm


  2. Billy_Ray_Valentine

    March 28, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    My precious Black people please hear what I have to say. One day soon WE will receive reparations for past and current injustices, but once WE accept what will be an enormous amount of money WE can not safely remain integrated with others. Are we prepared to forge our own destiny?

  3. Daniele

    October 17, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Out there today you can find two-door straightforward
    restroom vanity cabinet to the additional elegantly created timber cupboards.

  4. Tania

    October 18, 2015 at 6:19 am

    I’m an intermediate prepper but would love to satisfy people that are
    prepping too.

  5. Mackenzie

    October 26, 2015 at 12:48 am

    You could discover affordable cabinets for your kitchen area as well as a lot of the work could be done by yourself.

  6. Kit

    October 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Right here are some pictures of tiny shower rooms and suggestions that
    will motivate you to redesign or restore a small restroom.

  7. Vance

    October 26, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Among the most effective means to save money on kitchen makeover is to go
    with projects that you should do yourself over weekends.

  8. Shani

    October 26, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Possibly that smart expert needed to share a wardrobe sized
    restroom with 3 children and a spouse.

  9. Glory

    October 27, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    As long as those house remodeling ideas will profit and please the house owners, then that’s a stimulate of luster.

  10. Gennie

    October 28, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Workplaces and also locals need to offer concern towards healing damp basements for they can, in a snap affect and destroy your property or store.

  11. LY

    October 31, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I jսst could not go aay ƴour website prior to suggesting
    that I аctually enhoyed the standard information an individual proviide onn your guests?
    Is going to be baсҝ often in rder tօ investigate cross-check new posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in black history


Follow Us On Facebook

Our Team

To Top