A Revolution of Value

An excerpt from Eddie Glaude, Jr.’s recent release Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own (2020).

In our after times, our task, then, is not to save Trump voters—it isn’t to convince them to give up their views that white people ought to matter more than others. Our task is to build a world where such a view has no place or quarter to breathe. I am aware that this is a radical, some may even say, dangerous claim. It amounts to “throwing away” a large portion of the country, many of whom are willing to defend their positions with violence. But we cannot give in to these people. We know what the result will be, and I cannot watch another generation of black children bear the burden of that choice…

Our task, then, is not to save Trump voters nor is it to demonize them. Our task is to work, with every ounce of passion and every drop of love we have, to make the kingdom new! The first step involves what I called…a “revolution of value.” This involves telling ourselves the truth about what we have done. It entails implementing policies that remedy generations of inequities based on the lie. It requires centering a set of values that holds every human being sacred. All of this will be made possible by grassroots movements that shift the center of gravity of our politics…Our task involves shaking loose the warm “swaddling clothes” that secure us in our prejudices and prevents us from confronting our fears. Our task means speaking truth to power and looking the darkness of our times squarely in the face without the security of legend or myth, and without the comforting idea that black people will save you.

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