Morally, all racisms are the same. Historically and psychically, racism against people of African descent has been a targeted assault on black intelligence and black beauty, black capacity and black potentiality. When one thinks of anti-Jewish racism, which has inspired vicious pogroms and an indescribable Holocaust, one sees that the attack on Jewish intelligence is very different from the attack on African intelligence. African Americans were three-fifths human – we were monkeys or rapists. Now we are projected as crack addicts or criminals. We have always been put in a position of having to defend our humanity, a circumstance that often prohibits an honest exploration of just who we actually are.
Cornel West, Hope on a Tightrope