Racism and Fascism

By Morrison, Toni | The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 1995 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Racism and Fascism


Morrison, Toni, The Journal of Negro Education


Racism and Fascism

Toni Morrison, Department of Creative Writing, Princeton University*

In this address, given at Howard University during its 1995 Charter Day celebrations, Morrison spoke eloquently about the origins and social significance of Howard and other historically Black institutions of higher learning, about the education and miseducation of African Americans, and about the aberrant societal tensions wrought by racism and fascism. In this excerpt, she describes the persistent fallacies that emerge when racial and gender issues connect and intersect, and discusses the tendency of some to focus on a narrow sector rather than the full range of human abilities to differentiate, and most often disparage, members of minority and underrepresented groups.

. . . Let us be reminded that before there is a final solution, there must be a first solution, a second one, even a third. The move toward a final solution is not a jump. It takes one step, then another, then another. Something, perhaps, like this: (1) Construct an internal enemy, as both focus and diversion. (2) Isolate and demonize that enemy by unleashing and protecting the utterance of overt and coded name-calling and verbal abuse. Employ ad hominem attacks as legitimate charges against that enemy. (3) Enlist and create sources and distributors of information who are willing to reinforce the demonizing process because it is profitable, because it grants power and because it works. (4) Palisade all art forms; monitor, discredit or expel those that challenge or destabilize processes of demonization and deification. (5) Subvert and malign all representatives of and sympathizers with this constructed enemy. (6) Solicit, from among the enemy, collaborators who agree with and can sanitize the dispossession process. (7) Pathologize the enemy in scholarly and popular mediums; recycle, for example, scientific racism and the myths of racial superiority in order to naturalize the pathology. (8) Criminalize the enemy. Then prepare, budget for and rationalize the building of holding arenas for the enemy--especially its males and absolutely its children. (9) Reward mindlessness and apathy with monumentalized entertainments and with little pleasures, tiny seductions, a few minutes on television, a few lines in the press, a little pseudo-success, the illusion of power and influence, a little fun, a little style, a little consequence. (10) Maintain, at all costs, silence.

In 1995 racism may wear a new dress, buy a new pair of boots, but neither it nor its succubus twin fascism is new or can make anything new.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Racism and Fascism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?