Book pages 60-61
My travels through the slavery-like conditions of the South resembled more
and more a journey in internal colonialism. In Scandinavia, democracy and
unions are traditionally seen as inextricably connected. Though it is well
known that the U.S. gives military support for bloody repression of unions in
Central America, it nevertheless came as a shock for me to find hardly any
unions in the South.
Not least in the lumber industry did I see how the rough
work traditionally has been done by the blacks, while the white man gives
orders in the best colonial style.
This worker received no compensation when
the saw cut his fingers off, and had to be back at work two days later, for as
he was told, "there are a lot of hungry niggers outside waiting to get work."
In a society which makes such violent inroads on life while spending almost
no money on research and prevention of work-related diseases and accidents -
and where European concepts such as workers' management and Economic Democracy
are light years away in the worker's consciousness the time-clock easily
becomes the new whip of the slave master, a symbol of the constant and
persistent violence of the system.
Traveling in the world of black Americans
inevitably becomes a journey into the soul and the history of every person you
In such a journey you begin to understand the traits and tendencies which
were impressed on the souls and entire consciousness of black people by slavery
and how ever since the system has perpetuated and even intensified these
© 2005 AMERICAN PICTURES; All rights reserved.