When I'm asked about the relevance to Black people of what I do, I take that as an affront. It presupposes that Black people have never been involved in exploring the heavens, but this is not so. Ancient African empires - Mali, Songhai, Egypt - had scientists, astronomers. The fact is that space and its resources belong to all of us, not to any one group.
Repentance out of mere fear is really sorrow for the consequences of sin, sorrow over the danger of sin — it bends the will away from sin, but the heart still clings. But repentance out of conviction over mercy is really sorrow over sin, sorrow over the grievousness of sin — it melts the heart away from sin. It makes the sin itself disgusting to us, so it loses its attractive power over us. We say, ‘this disgusting thing is an affront to the one who died for me. I’m continuing to stab him with it!’
It is very easy to say that your opponents have been guilty of a breach of faith, but it is a great mistake to splash the paint about so freely that your words cease to have any real meaning and cease to carry any sense of affront even to those to whom they are applied and cease to bear any connection with any genuine feeling of indignation on the part of those on whose behalf they are spoken.
Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition of our most expansive self-interest. From the recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.
I'm achingly aware of my own limitations as both part of the human race and as an individual. I'm just, casting this out that, maybe, I'm not so perfect as is the affront I oft put on. After all, the lyric is 'I wish I was special'. I truly just want to be loved and accepted, I think, like all humans.
There are men whose sense of humour is so ill developed that they still bear a grudge against Copernicus because he dethroned them from the central position in the universe. They feel it a personal affront that they can no longer consider themselves the pivot upon which turns the whole of created things.
The bravery founded upon the hope of recompense, upon the fear of punishment, upon the experience of success, upon rage, upon ignorance of dangers, is common bravery, and does not merit the name. True bravery proposes a just end, measures the dangers, and, if it is necessary, the affront, with coldness.