Brother Malcolm would say “Make It Plain,” which was one of the most prophetic statements ever spoken. Of course, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome is the biggest problem black people endure but there are other institutional problems that hinder our progress. I have come up with a list of some of them to suggest/offer my view of some of the causes systemic institutional problems that keep people of the African American Diaspora in mental slavery and continuous bondage.
You may disagree, or not, but there are facts from the past that we must understand that does have an effect upon black people done the dominant culture in order to maintain control. I am not going back to slavery or segregation because in modern times some of the mechanisms of control are ever present still. Those in power who benefited know, “if you control what a man thinks, you never have to worry about what he thinks”. As a result, most of the media is owned by whites and everything you see is white, white views and position regardless of the communication vehicle.
During slavery, and from the 1800’s through the 1980’s, the African American family was tight-knit, strongly woven, and the envy of all other cultures. The family unit survived in spite of unimaginable cruelty and adversity. It is only recently, during the last thirty/forty years or so that the black family became dysfunctional and lost its direction. One has to think, for some twisted reason, we do not feel whole because, in many cases, we allow others define us.
Aside from the initial and root-cause, which we know was slavery. I have identified 12 key issues that did impede black progress:
- The Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of strong, intelligent, hard working black men were shipped abroad to be murdered, returned home shell shocked, severely damaged, or addicted. Many of which were unable to get back on track after returning from war because the government abandoned them.
- COINTELPRO: The covert actions of J. Edgar Hoover in the wake of the Civil Rights Era and the Black Power Movements all but insured that anyone speaking out against the government’s wrongdoings would receive either long prison sentences or a bullet. This fear silenced our forward progression, fueling distrust and removing many of our leaders, as well as potential future leaders.
- The Assassinations of the 1960’s: Left a huge void in leadership that has yet to be filled, particularly within the Civil Rights Movement to include within the community. Instead, a universal acceptance of the pimp/hustler image in popular culture that presented alternative heroes to black youth, which resonant in the form of Gangster Rap. This genre leads to the glorification of the criminal element amidst immature minds that lack familial structure. Also to black on black crime and staying silent while, black youth are murdered by other black youth.
- The Feminist Movement: Backed by liberal white women to fight for the equal rights of women; the same rights most black men had yet to be fully granted. A lot of black women got lost in the rhetoric of how men were keeping them down, losing sight of the fact that black men were down there with them. To this day, the power exchange and infighting among black men and women is sadly considered the norm, a tool enumerated by Willie Lynch.
- Oliver North & the Contras: The volume of drugs, mainly crack cocaine that flooded the black community during the 80 to which most of the drugs came in on U.S. ships with the support of the Government. The CRACK era escalated death and incarceration rates, unwanted pregnancies, neighborhood prostitution and a culture of violence. Folks were selling their kids to hit the pipe, and selling their souls to sell what went in that pipe. This epidemic destroyed our community in ways slavery could never have done. This form of contemporary was the cruelest type of slavery imposed upon our communities.
- Mass media brainwashing & mind control: The influences of propaganda and distorted images of beauty and male/female roles. Shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Dynasty, Different Strokes, and the Jefferson’s for example. The American conscious during the 80’s was money driven. Materialism became the idea that stuff defines you and others.
- Education: The lack of proper education, financing support, and knowledge being taught by African American professionals. In addition, our leaders and academics failed us as they fled the hood in droves for the suburbs during those crazy 80’s. Prior to this period, kids saw on a daily basis married couples that looked like them, even if they didn’t live in their households. Yet, the great migration to greener pastures left a void in the community leaving it to be replaced by the image of the hustler-pimp-thug, ruthlessness, and violence.
- Communication: This speaks to the education of self and listening to the wrong messengers. The communication of values – parents became unavailable to hand down family legacies, traditions, and value systems. We’re like POW’s locked in the same building for 20 years, unable to converse thru cement walls confined by our persona’s, egos, insecurities, isms, etc.
- The Black Church: Many churches have lost their way. The business of religion is bankrupting our communities. Many churches are not touching the lives of those outside of the church most in need. Just like back in the day when it was the design of slave masters, who did so much wickedness to use this as a tactic by offering a bible and in most instances nothing more than pain and the promise of a better life to keep us in line. This is not the same as faith, which was necessary to survive our struggles.
- Urbanization – work and home were once connected. Parents were near their families, and children understood work as a way of life. Urbanization helped create “latch key” kids and images of hard work disappeared while replacing it with material objects.
- Social Services: The advent of the system of welfare that demanded the absence of the influence of the black man in the home. Before Claudine during the early 50’s, welfare was designed for to help white people and back then you HAD to be a complete family to apply. When it became available for black people, the rules for welfare changed to fit the application process for welfare for blacks. For decades to follow, trillions of dollars in government spending on ineffective social programs in our cities have not, by enlarge, benefited the mobility of the family and that a black man/father could not be in the home.
- Segregation: Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes that prevented legal marriages, dehumanized people, and discriminatory practices in work/education left many African Americans unable to access resources necessary to build strong family base; causing disillusioned men/husbands/fathers to abandonment rather than face daily reminder of their “failure”.
Let us not forget that the Willie Lynch Theory, real or not, but the concept is working! There is a designed plan, as it has been from the beginning to enslave mentally people of color for those of privilege and maintain white supremacy. And that’s my THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVE!!!