The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin Essay

1048 Words Aug 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
There is a certain pungency to the topic of racism, in America. Now, mind you, every country has its scars which are born on the pages of history books along with a little note off to the side saying “Sorry, we know we suck!”. However, what America considers to be its most painful and harrowing scar is not a scar at all, it is an open wound. The mere mention of racism in this country makes politicians cringe, and citizens squirm in their seats because even today, it is an idea that threatens to break the delicate skin which the country has built as a defense. In his novel The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin makes the statement that “we can make America what America must become,” (10) and America must become a country that is not solely defined upon its ignorance and rather a country that is aware of its faults, reforming itself into what it is supposed to be.
There is a trend in which the American people attempt to find solace in ignorance, applying the idea “if I can’t see it, it isn’t there” to nearly every controversial issue that springs up on the news regarding racism. Now, this is not a new occurrence and, unfortunately, it will probably be a reality for a long time to come. However, what the American people - specifically white Americans at that - do not realize is “that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it” (5). It is one thing to be completely aware of the horrors that plague…

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