Toni Morrison’s “Ten Steps Toward Fascism”, (Excerpt from speech delivered at Howard University, March 2, 1995)
“… Let us be reminded that before there is a final solution, there must be a first solution, a second one, even a third. The move toward a final solution is not a jump. It takes one step, then another, then another. Something, perhaps, like this:
(1) Construct an internal enemy, as both focus and diversion.
(2) Isolate and demonize that enemy by unleashing and protecting the utterance of overt and coded name-calling and verbal abuse. Employ ad hominem attacks as legitimate charges against that enemy.
(3) Enlist and create sources and distributors of information who are willing to reinforce the demonizing process because it is profitable, because it grants power and because it works.
(4) Palisade all art forms; monitor, discredit or expel those that challenge or destabilize processes of demonization and deification.
(5) Subvert and malign all representatives of and sympathizers with this constructed enemy.
(6) Solicit, from among the enemy, collaborators who agree with and can sanitize the dispossession process.
(7) Pathologize the enemy in scholarly and popular mediums; recycle, for example, scientific racism and the myths of racial superiority in order to naturalize the pathology.
(8) Criminalize the enemy. Then prepare, budget for and rationalize the building of holding arenas for the enemy–especially its males and absolutely its children.
(9) Reward mindlessness and apathy with monumentalized entertainments and with little pleasures, tiny seductions, a few minutes on television, a few lines in the press, a little pseudo-success, the illusion of power and influence, a little fun, a little style, a little consequence.
(10) Maintain, at all costs, silence.
In 1995 racism may wear a new dress, buy a new pair of boots, but neither it nor its succubus twin fascism is new or can make anything new. It can only reproduce the environment that supports its own health: fear, denial and an atmosphere in which its victims have lost the will to fight.
The forces interested in fascist solutions to national problems are not to be found in one political party or another, or in one or another wing of any single political party. Democrats have no unsullied history of egalitarianism. Nor are liberals free of domination agendas. Republicans may have housed abolitionists and white supremacists. Conservative, moderate, liberal; right, left, hard left, far right; religious, secular, socialist–we must not be blindsided by these Pepsi–Cola, Coca–Cola labels because the genius of fascism is that any political structure can become a suitable home. Fascism talks ideology, but it is really just marketing–marketing for power.”
via: Dr. Ray Winbush
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