In a society that is entirely hostile, and, by its nature, seems determined to cut you down - that has cut down so many in the past and cuts down so many every day - it begins to be almost impossible to distinguish a real from a fancied injury. One can very quickly cease to attempt this distinction, and, what is worse, on usually ceases to attempt it without realizing that one has done so. ... And this leads, imperceptibly but inevitably, to a state of mind in which, having long ago learned to expect the worst, one finds it very easy to believe the worst.
- James Baldwin
from "The Fire Next Time"
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