The words in this post’s title were spoken by “famed black writer” Zora Neale Hurston. She was “what today we are inclined to call a ‘paleoconservative’ or ‘paleolibertarian,’” who was “born in the early 1890s in the lower South.”
Thanks to Jack Kerwick’s profile of Zora Neale Hurston, timed for Black History Month, we know something about this brilliant (black) member of the Old Right.
Hurston resented the efforts made by black and white intellectual alike to make of black Americans a new proletariat, a victim class perpetually in need of an all-encompassing national government to ease the “lowdown dirty deal” that “nature has somehow given them.” Hurston was adamant that she was “not tragically colored.” She insisted that “no great sorrow” lies “damned up in my soul, lurking behind my eyes,” and she placed a world of distance between herself and “the sobbing school of negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are hurt about it.”
For what contemporary black commentator Larry Elder refers to as the “victicrats” among us, Hurston had zero use. “Someone is always at my elbow reminding me that I am the granddaughter of slaves,” she remarked. Much to their chagrin, though, “it fails to register depression with me.” Furthermore, she stated bluntly that “slavery is the price I paid for civilization.”
Our increasingly joyless generation is oblivious to another of Hurston’s insights: A sense of humor can bear most, if not all, painful things. Regarding racial discrimination, she noted that while she “sometimes” feels “discriminated against,” she does not get “angry” about it. Rather, the experience “merely astonishes me,” for how, Hurston asks, “can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”
… Pearls before swine.