During my last voyage to America, I enjoyed the happiness of seeing that revolution completed, and, thinking of the one that would probably occur in France, I said in a speech to Congress, published everywhere except in the ‘French Gazette,’ ‘May this revolution serve as a lesson to oppressors and as an example to the oppressed!’
You have discovered so much kindness and good will to those you thought were oppressed, and had no helper, that I am sure you will not despise what I have wrote, if you judge it will be of any service to them.
But love, like the sun that it is, sets afire and melts everything. what greed and privilege to build up over whole centuries the indignation of a pious spirit, with its natural following of oppressed souls, will cast down with a single shove.
It is absolutely essential that the oppressed participate in the revolutionary process with an increasingly critical awareness of their role as subjects of the transformation.
At a certain point in their existential experience, the oppressed feel an irresistible attraction toward the oppressor and his way of life. Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration.
Legitimate revolution must be led by, made by those who have been most oppressed: black, brown, yellow, red, and white women-with men relating to that the best they can.
Never elated when someone’s oppressed, never dejected when another one’s blessed.
How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate in developing the pedagogy of their liberation?
To throw oneself to the side of the oppressed is the only dignified thing to do in life.
Critical and liberating dialogue, which presupposes action, must be carried on with the oppressed at whatever the stage of their struggle for liberation. The content of that dialogue can and should vary in accordance with historical conditions and the level at which the oppressed perceive reality.