Slave Mentality-The Scars Remain-Part I.

Two schools of thought were born out of the American slave institution.  One school embraced the social mentality of W.E.B. DuBois and the other embraced that of Booker T. Washington.  The difference lie in the fact that W.E.B. DuBois was born a free man and Booker T. Washington was born a slave.  The mental conditioning of a free man was vastly different from that of a slave.  The slave was handed down the values of the slave system and (I’m afraid) he got caught up in the conditioning of the Willie Lynch proposals.  In consideration of another parallel we can look at the Late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the late Malcolm X.  Martin Luther King, Jr’s conditioning was not about Willie Lynch and slave mentality but more about Mohandas Gandhi and “Passive Resistance”.  Martin Luther King Jr. chose a smart course of endeavor-not a compromising one-as did Booker T. Washington.  Martin Luther King’s movement was almost tantamount to taking up arms in those days.  Some people who joined his movement loss their livelihood and some lost their life.  On the other hand Malcolm X was considered a radical in those times and would also be considered a radical today.  Any who speaks against “business as usual” by white America is considered radical.  I often wonder if Malcolm X’s tactics would have made blacks better off or worst. Often necessary change only comes on the heels of a complete upheaval.  France and other countries have experienced theirs-America hasn’t and is still tinkering around the edges of necessary change.  Sufficient change will not come to America unless it is forced to make it.  Never mind the progress some speak of.  The progress is far too little and far too late.  America speaks of electing the first black president-that was after 219-years.  Even in light of the first black president; the event ushered in an era that sees America more divided than at any time except during the Civil War.  The hatred is so deep “you can cut it with a knife”.  Some in the white community refuse to join the president-even on causes that are vital for America’s interest.  Maybe America should have had its revolution first and elected the black president after.  The whites had become basically contented with the slow pace of racial progress until the nation elected the black president.  The offspring of slavery are still living with enslaved minds.  In the days of Martin Luther King, Jr. he remarked “Black people have to learn to stick together”.  They haven’t learned that yet.  Those who haven’t are products of the Willie Lynch conditioning-they have slave mentality.  The question remains-why does it appear that some blacks in America seem unable to get their act together?  The whites of America have always been steps ahead of most blacks.  They had help from the system that blacks didn’t have.  We call that “white privilege”.  Immigrants came (especially white immigrants) and were also able to take advantage of the “white privilege” offerings.  Other non-white immigrants came and they seemed to have advanced in life at a pace that far out-stripped the pace of some black Americans.  The Asians coming out of that non-white mixture advanced at a pace that exceeded the pace of both the whites and blacks of America.  Their advance couldn’t be considered white privilege-they were non-white.  Then wherein lies the secret to their rapid advancement? The secret seems to lie in the several distinct areas of their social make up.  These areas embrace education, low unemployment, high income and a cohesive family structure.  Of course, low unemployment and high income go hand in hand with education.  The desire for educational attainment is an embraced-value within their community and a cohesive family structure helps to make it a reality.  The social make-up and value system among the Asians go beyond the ability of whites or blacks to duplicate.  Whites are running a close second in those areas and most blacks aren’t even in the game.  The foundational areas are family structure and education.  So what is happening within the black community that suggests some blacks don’t see the benefits of a good education and a cohesive family structure? America is one of the few countries (among the developed that I know of) which virtually considers it a crime not to partake of the requirements of basic education through high school.  Even in consideration of this the high school graduation rate in America is the lowest within the black communities.  There is something within the psychic of black America that clouds their vision when it comes to the importance of a good education.  That “something” (no doubt) boils down to social conditioning.  I’m an opinion writer.  Opinions aren’t facts but I strive diligently to support my opinions with fact and/or good sound logic.  Much of my opinion comes forth from the question and answer sessions I often have with myself and others.  I often ask myself “Why this or why that” in an attempt to bring forth a sensible, logical answer.  I constantly delve into the black experience in America and my curiosity questions why some whites see black Americans as they do and why some black Americans arrive at different places in life as they do.  Some blacks begin the race at a parallel starting point with other blacks or emerge from and with similar parental nurturing but end up at entirely different success levels.  No one should deny a desire or opportunity for success-that should be a normal human striving.  No one really wants to be a failure.  However, success seems to come to some and elude others.  Success is relative.  One man’s level of success may be seen as a failure in the eyes of another.  There is something particularly puzzling about so many African-American people that drives them to self-destruction.  I will use black and African-American interchangeably.  It has been suggested the slavery experience has so damaged the black race in America that the scars never left; they engender a slave mentality and it (somehow sits vicariously) on the psychic of the offspring of some former slaves.  For example Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois view the slave experience in entirely different ways.  Booker T. Washington embraced the Atlanta Compromise, which was a stance that didn’t rock the boat; appeased the white constituent; suggested to the whites of America that blacks knew their place and would remain in it.  His idea was that blacks (even post slavery) should learn to be servants to white people before they could even think of being served.  American whites loved this about Booker T. Washington and accepted his go-slow rhetoric and goals.  Maybe his rhetoric was the only fitting rhetoric for the time and maybe any other position would have been destructive for blacks.  The Atlanta Compromise was an agreement crafted by Booker T. Washington which provided that Southern blacks would submit to white political rule in exchange for Southern whites’ guarantee of at least a basic education and some economic opportunity.  On the other hand DuBois insisted on full civil rights and a broader political representation.  He believed the African-American elite could bring this about.  He also believed advanced education was a key factor in black progress-it is.  DuBois was on target with the education issue because 20th Century statistics substantiate that the lack of education within the black population is the reason for their being on the lower rungs of the economic ladder below that of Asians, white Americans and others and on the higher rungs of the crime ladder above Asians, white Americans and/or all others.  Granted, the scales are tipped when it comes to the inclination to over-arrest within the black community.  That is one of the white biases towards blacks in America.  Education is one of the key pathways out of poverty.  Maybe the Willie Lynch Letter in Part II will explain why more blacks don’t travel it.

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