Lessons on Hate from James Baldwin’s ‘Going to see the Man’

I woke up in a very bad mood. Angry. I read a short short story by James Baldwin yesterday that upset me. ‘Going to See the Man’, a story of a lynching somewhere in the US south. Told from the Point of View of a cop who as a young boy, was taken to the lynching as if it was a Sunday picnic. The anger and hate carry with the boy into adulthood. Impotence leads to rage.
And I woke up angry this morning. My anger is directed at the people blocking roads and railroads in Canada in the name of First Nations people. Just as the cop in the Baldwin story wonders why they can’t learn, meaning the black people, I think someone should crack some heads on these climate change shits to teach them a lesson. Which I know is exactly the opposite lesson Baldwin would want. But he does see and show how hateful dehumanizing behavior can spread and infect people, over and over, like a virus.
We need to be on guard for it, aware that in weak moments, when tired or irritated, we can lose patience and revert to this thuggish behavior.
I am ashamed when part of myself leans to that course of action. They say good writing is honest, so I share my shameful thoughts in the hope of creating good writing, and becoming more aware of the thoughts and feelings that course through me and all other people. None of us are saints.