The Slave Mentality and the Oppressed Mindsets

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D-Source 12/30/2015

 

I had a discussion with Jamaican American last night, which inspired what I’m about to say:

A lot of people disagree with me on this; but after years of research, surveys and actual work in the field, I have concluded that one of the worst things that Black People do is educate our children that they are oppressed.

This education is delivered in many ways, but primarily by pointing at a group of people who have been named ‘Our Oppressors’. Who are these people? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some say it is the White Supremacists, who are almighty and powerful Puppeteers, pulling the strings that make the Politicians move. Some say White People, as a whole. But regardless of which, the result is that White People get to enjoy what has been named ‘White Privilege’. And this title relates to how and why White People tend to receive preferential treatment within our Justice System and within our Business Sector when it comes to hiring, promotion and pay, as well as in other areas of our society.

As a Black Man, I would be a fool to deny that ‘White Privilege’ exists, as much as I think the terminology is provocative and unproductive. I have personally witnessed this over and over again in my own life and in the lives of my others. And because I am an educated Black Man on the history of why and how we have arrived where we are today, I can understand why it is difficult for many Black People to shake the old ‘Slave Mentality’. Now, depending on who you talk to; you will receive different definitions for this mentality. My definition is very simple: The Mentality that says you are still a slave. And then there is what I call the ‘Oppressed Mentality’, which simply says that you are still oppressed.

Now, assuming that we can all agree that it is vital that our children are educated with the truth; it is just as vital that we understand exactly what the truth is. The questions become: Are we, as Black People, in fact, still Slaves and are we, in fact, oppressed, today?

Well, this is where many disagree with me. Let’s take the first question… The way I see it; unless we have rightfully or wrongfully been convicted of a crime, none of us are locked up, have shackles on our feet or are being whipped by ‘Master’ for being disobedient. We are all welcome to come and go as we please. We can leave our city, our state or this nation, if we choose and no one will try and stop us. We can eat what we want, when we want, live where we want and education is available to everyone who chooses to become educated, rather through school, the library, the internet and by traveling to see things for yourself and through word of mouth, from the more educated to the lesser educated. Wisdom is available from our Elders and the Holy Text, which we are able to read and study. We are free to worship whatever God we choose, without persecution, although some are, now, advocating Religious Persecution, out of fear. We can vote, which way too many of us choose not to do. We can also run for office, which way too many of us choose not to do. Why? Because many of us accuse ‘Our Oppressors’ of developing an ‘Oppressive System’ that it makes no sense for us to participate in.

In other words, from my perspective, one could certainly say that we, as Black People, do suffer injustices and that there are some inequalities and so on… But these injustices and inequalities are a far cry from ‘Slavery’. So, I see no reason to walk around claiming that we are still slaves, when, in fact, we are not. And I see no benefit in educating our children on something that is not, factually, accurate and true, so that they have a Slave Mentality

Now, are we oppressed? This is a little more difficult question to answer, because one can easily argue that the facts show we are disproportionately imprisoned, targeted for arrest, that we have the highest Unemployment Rates, High School Dropout Rates, Poverty Rates, etc., etc… So, the tendency is to automatically say “Yes, it is obvious that we are oppressed”. However, I recommend that we examine the actual causes for some of these things that make us feel oppressed.

After years of study and work in the field, my team and I have concluded that the overwhelming majority of the misery that Black People suffer in the United States is a direct or indirect result of the choices that Black People make. It is a result of our own relatively poor Morality, Values and Ethics. Now, this is definitely where I split hairs with my own race of people, because how dare I point a finger at ourselves, when clearly all of this misery we suffer is and has always been brought on by our ‘Oppressor’.

Well, let’s take a look at the facts concerning the following issue…  The Guardian is for a project called “The Counted”, which is a continuously updated, interactive database of Police Killings in the US. This is widely recognized as the most accurate database for such information, because the US. Government currently does not maintain or publish such a listing. According to this data, as of approximately September 1, 2015, there were 776 people killed by police. More White People had been killed this year than any other race (385). And 66 of them were unarmed. However, activists like the members of the Black Lives Matter movement argue that police kill blacks at a rate disproportionate to their total percentage of the population — an assertion supported by The Guardian’s statistics. Police killed almost five black people per every million black residents of the U.S., compared with about 2 per million for both white and Hispanic victims. The vast majority of those killed — 745 — were men.
Now, out of the 776 killed, 28.3% where Black People or 220 of them. More than one in of five those killed so far in 2015 were unarmed. While 31.6% of black people killed were found to be carrying no weapon, that was true for only 16.5% of white people. So, that means that out of the 220 Black People who were killed, 150 of them were armed (Gun, knife or other weapon).

What is my point? Well, there were roughly 70 unarmed Black People killed by Police in 2015, up to September 1st. This compares to the over 6000, young black men who were killed by other young black men in the same time period. Even if you take the total Black People killed by Police of 220, there is no comparison. Only 3.6% of young Black Men killed, were killed by Police. According to FBI records, in 2008, out of 520,161 interracial violent crimes, Blacks committed 429,444 against Whites and Whites committed 90,717 against Blacks. I don’t raise this point to try and prove that Black People are more violent than White People, although we are (With explainable reasons why); but to point out that it is not White People that are the biggest threat to the lives of Black People and certainly not the Police who; but other Black People.  When it comes to Murder; We Black People are our own worst enemies.

Now, there are those who will argue that the statistics are rigged or fixed. But these are the same statistics that show Black People being killed at a huge disproportionate rate than White People are. So, the finger points in different ways, based on these statistics, which offer them credibility, in my opinion. And I could offer many more of the same statistics from the same data that lends credibility to many of the arguments that Black People make, but for the purpose of this discussion and the point I want to make, these are the relevant statistics that I bring forth.

Now, as a Black Man, I certainly understand and feel the same anger that all Black People feel when we see videos of unarmed men and kids gunned down in the streets and parks and when we hear the news of suspicious deaths in jail cells and in the back of Paddy Wagons. It is one thing for young Black Thugs to kill each other on the streets and another for those we count on and trust to protect and serve us, to be gunning us down and then for there to never, ever seem to be any justice. None of these Officers go to Prison; not even in the most egregious cases, which causes us to feel like Black Lives don’t matter. But “Black Lives Matter, too!”

So, my mission is not to water down the legitimate concerns that Black People have, because I have the same concerns. My mission is to point out that while these concerns are legitimate; they are not, by far, the cause of the overwhelming majority of the misery that Black People face in the US. While we are enraged over the senseless gunning down of Black People and the lack of justice over their murders, we ignore our own ‘Self Genocide’.  While we are enraged over the 70 unarmed men and women who die at the hands of those we entrust to protect and serve us, we ignore the over 6,000 young, Black Men who die at the hands of other young, Black Men and the misery that results from it.

Each one of these 6,000 resulted in close friends, relatives and parents grieving; many to the point where they can’t function, go to work and end up losing their jobs. Many turn to drugs and alcohol, which leads to dysfunction in the home and the community. Many of these young Black Men are fathers to children who will grow up without fathers. And even the Killers are fathers of children who will grow up without fathers. The parents of the victims and killers are often financially devastated by the Attorney, Court Fees, Fines and Funeral Costs. Many family members, friends and gang members turn to more violence, in the form of revenge, as a solution, creating more misery. Whole communities become like war zones as the Police are forced to take extreme measures to crack down, leading to Racial Profiling and the like. Officers become afraid and begin Policing with fear in their hearts. They, naturally, begin to stereotype and when they make a stop of a young Black Man, they are little more nervous and anxiety is a little higher in both the mind of the Officer and the one being stopped. The odds of something bad happening have increased before the Officer even steps out of his vehicle. And it all begins from the illegal drugs we sell each other, which are killing each other and leading to wars over territory to sell them. We blame the White Man for bringing those drugs into America and then into our communities; but just because I hand you a crack pipe, a rock and a lighter, does not mean you have to smoke it nor sell it to your brothers and sisters. We have the ability to say no… But we rationalize our own bad behavior by saying that if ‘Our Oppressor’ didn’t have their foot on our neck, we wouldn’t be forced to make these poor decisions. We say “It is a result of the social and economic condition we find ourselves, today, which is a result of the over 400 years of slavery and oppression that we have suffered at the hands of our Oppressor and the Oppressive System that systematically breaks down our….. Blah… blah… blah…..

Yes, I get all that… But how long do we let all of that be our excuse? At some point, we have to take responsibility for our own bad behaviors, don’t we? If your son kills mine; I don’t want to hear that none-sense about how our Oppressor is to blame! I’m angry that you didn’t rear your child with the proper Morality that says “Though shalt not kill”…. Period. There is no excuse for the murder! We need to stop making excuses and take responsibility for the education we deliver to our children. When they kill each other; they are not killing because of an oppressive system or because their Oppressor is, somehow, making them or causing them to kill and they are not killing because of the Blah… blah… blah… They are killing because they do not value the lives of others and because they have poor morality and because they have gotten caught up in a lifestyle of selling drugs for profit.

They do not kill because they are oppressed. When they kill; they create their own oppression… They put themselves in a position to become Slaves, as they are arrested and incarcerated and help to fuel the prison population growth. How difficult would it be to have a War on Drugs, if we refused to sell each other mind numbing poison?

We are tired of being incarcerated… Well, let’s stop breaking the law. And by not selling each other poison, we become a more productive and there is no more need for gang violence over territory to sell drugs and less retaliation for that violence and less fear by the Officers who patrol those communities and more children who grow up with fathers and more stable households and less grief, despair, loneliness and more productivity and better health, due to less drugs and alcohol and so on… and so on… and so on….

Let’s not educate our children that they are Slaves and Oppressed. A  Slave or Oppressed Mindset is a mindset of little or no hope. And where there is no hope, there is little need to try. Why stay in school for 14 straight years? Why go to college for 2, 4 or even 6 more years? Why work hard for pennies making someone else rich, while I try to save my chump change to open my own business, which will fail? Why not sell drugs? Why not rob and steal? Why not do things the easy way; because the system is oppressive and my oppressor will hold me down? This is the Slave and Oppressed Mindset… But it is not the Oppressor who is oppressing… It is we who oppress ourselves. And only we can improve our own mindset and only we can improve the way we educate our children and only we can refocus our efforts to the things that will make the biggest positive difference within our own communities.

Please, let’s stop educating our children to be negative. Let us, instead, teach them to adapt, improvise and overcome. Will they face occasional discrimination? Yes… Will life be somewhat unfair? Yes… Will they have to negotiate hurdles that their Caucasian Counterparts will not? Yes… But can they achieve? Yes… Can they make a positive difference within their own communities and in this nation and in this world? Yes… Point at the multitudes of Great Men and Women in this nation who have already proven that success is possible and that upon becoming successful, they must reach back and help uplift others. Positivity is what we need to instill in our children; not gloom, doom, negativity and education on how to remain divided and suspicious and untrusting and fearful. Teach them, instead, on how to be bold, on how to unify and unite and strive for a new world where men are judged by the goodness of their hearts and the strength of their character. They will never achieve this, if they don’t try. And if this is never achieved, then there will never be equal justice under the law and equality…. Neither a Slave Mentality nor an Oppressed Mindset will ever achieve us anything…

 

Filed under: D-Source, Inspiration, Justice/Injustice, Let's Change the WORLD Movement, Philosophy, Race, Unlimited Education for Our Children | Posted on December 30th, 2015 by DSource4U

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