How does Christophes attitude in the section of Black Like Me labeled November 14 relate to self-destructive behavior?

Christophe's attitude could be seen as self-destructive in that his subservience to whites destroys his sense of self-respect. By fawning over white people, Christophe is actually damaging his own interests, and not only his own interests, but those of African Americans generally. In destroying his soul, he is reinforcing white supremacy.

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Griffin's rather irritated by the attitude of the well-dressed young African-American man he sees one day aboard a segregated bus. Christophe, as he's called, displays excessive subservience to white people as well as looking down his nose at other African Americans. Griffin feels positively offended at such a pitiful sight.

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Griffin's rather irritated by the attitude of the well-dressed young African-American man he sees one day aboard a segregated bus. Christophe, as he's called, displays excessive subservience to white people as well as looking down his nose at other African Americans. Griffin feels positively offended at such a pitiful sight.

In all probability, Christophe is using such a subservient attitude as a kind of defense mechanism, a way of protecting himself against the ubiquitous violence of white Southern society. He figures that if white people see that he's subservient then they're much less likely to subject him to any kind of abuse, be it verbal or physical.

At the same time, Christophe's attitude, though understandable on one level, is self-destructive. In kowtowing before white people, he is destroying all sense of self-worth. Abasing himself at the feet of his oppressor may well save him from an egregious racial insult or a beating, or maybe even a lynching, but it won't do anything for his soul. A quiet life has been bought at the expense of pride. And so long as Christophe maintains this lamentable attitude, he will continue to destroy all remaining vestiges of his dignity as an African American.

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