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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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should manifest his intelligence within the boundaries, within limits that -- in America, the most sophisticated intellectual, with very few exceptions, would find it difficult to think of a black person as someone who can think beyond the boundaries of racial problems, and think in terms of the human predicament as a whole.

Now, it just so happens that I believe that being required to cope with the absurdity and the idiocy of race in America must -- or certainly has forced me to look beyond that specific manifestation of human absurdity, to try to understand the general problem of human idiocy, moral idiocy.

Now, I see the American race problem as marely part of the problem of India, northern Ireland, and so on. I do not -- and here is where I did part company with the black nationalism, the black separatists -- to me, the problem is deeper than any particular manifestation of it.

And I felt that, as president of the American Psychological Association, I was obligated to share with my colleagues my broader view of the problem. What I wasn't prepared for was their unreadiness to grant me the right to have a broader view.

That's a hell of a cynical statement, isn't it?


I wonder if here we're not coming to another full circle? Your reference that you had expressed, that you characterized as what might be considered your “maverick tendencies” while working for your PhD, yet at the same time, at least your unconventional attitudes were apparent to your professors?

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