Responses and Reactions VI
I THOUGHT this month to depart from the regular form of the column and quote no particular passages out of the Tales of the Hasidim. No one, I think, could read Norman Podhoretz’s “My Negro Problem-And Ours” and then go through the full spectrum of letters which followed without being provoked to some new ideas, or at least some new notions, on that forever re-emerging loch monster of sociology- the real nature of a minority group. What follows is an excerpt from a new book-it was obviously stimulated by the discussion in this magazine.
MINORITY groups are the artistic nerves of a republic, and like any phenomenon which has to do with art, they are profoundly divided. They are both themselves and the mirror of their culture as it reacts upon them. They are themselves and the negative truth of themselves. No white man, for example, can hate the Negro race with the same passionate hatred and detailed detestation that each Negro feels for himself and for his people; no anti-Semite can begin to comprehend the malicious analysis of his soul which every Jew indulges every day.
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