Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WEB DuBois Would Not Want Anyone to “Stop Complaining”–Hear His Words on the Issue

web dubois speaks about "stop complaining"

Your Black World reports

President Obama took criticism this week for telling black people to “stop complaining.”  Rev. Al Sharpton said that the president is right, that African Americans must rally behind President Obama so they can avoid the alternative.

Rep. Maxine Waters claims that President Obama has never used such language toward other constituencies, and that these statements violate black freedom of speech.  Dr. Wilmer Leon also had something to say on the matter.

But the late WEB DuBois, were he alive today, would also want to weigh in on the matter.  Here is what he said in 1903 in his famous book, “The Souls of Black Folk.”:


But the hushing of the criticism of honest opponents is a dangerous thing. It leads some of the best of the critics to unfortunate silence and paralysis of effort, and others to burst into speech so passionately and intemperately as to lose listeners. Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched,—criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by those led, —this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society." ... "In failing thus to state plainly and unequivocally the legitimate demands of their people, even at the cost of opposing an honored leader, the thinking classes of American Negroes would shirk a heavy responsibility,—a responsibility to themselves, a responsibility to the struggling masses, a responsibility to the darker races of men whose future depends so largely on this American experiment, but especially a responsibility to this nation,—this common Fatherland." ... "We have no right to sit silently by while the inevitable seeds are sown for a harvest of disaster to our children, black and white.


Jacquelyn said...

Relevant!! Oh so relevant

Anonymous said...

" as it was when I was young, so as it is now that I am[a woman]...".

RICAREG said...

How in the world can anyone exclaim how W.E.B Dubois would react to President Barack's statement, when he was from a completely different era, when being outwardly expressive by any means necessary was all there was to gain attention. Just because the veil of invisibility has been lifted some, let's not forget from where we came from, which is all the reason why we need to clear up some of these counterproductive attitudes and get our act together for once and for all!

Anonymous said...

having a opinion is fine -expressing it is great.. BUT..everyone who is dissatisfied with a issue or situation should ask themselves "What am I doing to work for CHANGE..What effort am I putting in to get the results that I want to see for the betterment of the overall...this is where many of us fall short. Talk is okay but when you are not at the meeting to help initiate a change, what good is a complaint

Keith O. Nelson said...

Would discussion of this quote be more informed if reader's were aware that DuBois was directing this comment toward the Booker T. Washington "crowd" in response to the "blacklash" against the Progressive "race men" like himself: Monroe Trotter, Ida B. wells and others?
-Keith O. Nelson

Anonymous said...

I think Dr. DuBois would be disgusted by many of the blacks and black leaders of today. His ideas would surely have changed with the times, so yes he would say the same thing Obama is saying. Sitting at home complaining resolves what? Talk is only talk when you don't back it up with action.Latly, I would never think myself the one who speaks for what Dr. DuBois would say or think today. I'm not that arrogant. Question: WHY are we fighting Obama so hard?

Anonymous said...

I believe he would have agreed with the President because clearly he would have understood unlike Madame Congresswoman, that the President wasn't asking the CBC to be silent, He was trying to motivate them to organize. Ms. Waters thank u 4 the jobs fair to nowhere, respectfully we need u to stop voting yes on policies that allow free trade, that are outsourcing jobs and hoarding very large sums of our tax payers money out of the country. Bring the jobs and the money back to the u.s.a ma'am.