When I say we Blacks are afraid of whites I don't necessarily mean an individual Black person is afraid to engage in a physical confrontation with a white person. Neither do I refer to our individual anxieties about colliding with a gang of drunk-young-white Batista-like rugby players, on a Saturday night, who might moer the last bit of Blackness out of you.
When I say Blacks are afraid of whites I refer to a neurotic paralysis which makes it possible for Blacks (even those in positions of authority), to automatically discipline their speech and make sure whatever comes of out their mouths is manicured in such a way as not to offend whites.
I refer to the condition wherein in a Blacks only meeting, to discuss issues that concern the Black community, it is possible to have one Black person stand up and ask: 'But what about white people?'.
I refer to the condition where in a discourse on the impact of the centuries-old white violence against the Black body -a highly certificated Black person can confidently say: 'But we must also deal with Black racism'.
In a nutshell, I refer to that paralysing-all-consuming-undetectable mental violence which convinces Black people from birth that, unless white people approve what we think, say, what language we speak or how we speak it, how we sit, eat, smile, laugh, dance or dress-all these forms of being can't be valid.