A MOMENT OF SELF-REFLECTION
Although we blame racism and racial profiling on White people and dehumanisation originating from scars of slavery, colonial legacy and corrupt practices of African leaders; at personal and family levels there is a need for full stock taking. Please chew through the following questions. (1) Out of all fatalities resulting from racism, how many are of other races like Jews, Arabs and Asians? (2) In the prisons of United States and Europe what is the ratio of Black inmates compared to other ethnic minority groups? (3) Why are these minority groups not affected in the same proportion as Blacks? It certainly points to certain inherent strategic failures in Black families of Europe and America. Am not making excuses for racism and racial profiling. I simply feel we should think beyond the obvious in other to figure out how to overcome the challenges facing the Black race.
I learnt this a while ago that any race that fails to value what God has blessed them with, will be dominated and humiliated by those that value theirs. For example, we are the only race that believes acquisition of western education is a license to abandoning our values and traditions for the ones we consider civilised and modern. It is modern and civilised in our mind’s eyes for the simple reason that White man shares it. Culture prostitution is our speciality. Our Jewish, Arab and Asian cousins differ considerably. Every God given gift is valued – from the food they eat, the hair on their heads, to language and dress codes. Traditions and cultures are given priority. They wear them with pride and raise their kids in the way of their ancestors. The glue of unity, support and hard work is passed down generations, no matter the geographic location. Today in Europe and America, Indian, Chinese and other Asian foods are in competition with MacDonald and KFC. Indians, Jews, Chinese, and Arabs are dominating industry and commerce all over America and Europe. Black people are comfortable with travel visas, all night parties, permanent residence, European and American citizenship, opening churches and recycling members, etc.
It has been proven time and time again that no one can be perfect at another’s culture. As we abandon the traditions and values that made us who we are and the ancestral treasures we know best, in favour of alien cultures, values and instruments of containment we could never perfect in; we are left exposed, vulnerable, and confused. We lose our sense of self-worth, self-knowledge, self-love, self-respect, self-pride and self-dependency. Uniting around a common cause becomes a problem because of acquired selfishness, divisions and egos. Consequently our kids lack something tangible to associate with being African. Dr Ben once wrote:
African-Americans have not yet learned that no other people have continued worshipping another’s God, especially their slave master’s god or gods and freed themselves from cultural and physical genocide. Why should Africans and African-Americans be the only exception to this historic reality?”
Of all races in the world today, we are the one that spends more time in the presence of God, measured by hours in churches and mosques; yet there is nothing to show for it, politically, economically, technologically, or in leadership. What makes you think you can devalue God’s gifts to your race and ancestors and hope to buy his favour with speaking in tongues, memorising Genesis to Revelation, and clocking long church hours? He has reasons for creating you as beautiful as you are and placing you in Africa, the garden of Eden and bread basket of the world. He blessed your ancestors with values and traditions that instilled discipline, hard work, unity, respect for elders /authority, and longevity.
As a consequence of catastrophic parental failures, Black children are being born and raised in Europe and America with confused identity. There is nothing African, in most African families, for these kids to lay hold and be proud of – e.g. folk tales, sustained African dress code, language, customs, regular visits to Africa, enlightening African news, contact with grandparents, etc. A friend once said to me – if you fail to train and discipline your kids, the outside world will do it for you. Increasingly, single parenting, which African traditions and value systems frown at, has become the new symbol of civilisation. It is making an already bad situation worse. In America, the destruction of the black family by welfare, food stamps, abortion, and the minimizing of the role of black men as providers for their families is unforgivable. Black male kids who lack male role model in the house, seek satisfaction from other sources – gangs. Certainly gangsterism is filling the gap left by African parents. It develops the kind of codes of behaviour and dressing I must confess raises a degree of suspicion, increased alertness, and slight sense of fear even on fellow Blacks, as the following statement shows:
I realised that when I spot black men of a certain age, dressed in a certain way, I cannot help but react with a degree of suspicion. It’s not a question of me chasing them down the street or thinking they don’t belong. I simply become more aware of my surroundings, more wary and alert for anything that might be out of place.
I could maybe excuse this wariness as my being more careful in a dangerous world, but I must also honestly say that I do not get this same reaction when I see white or Asian kids who are dressed in the same way. I do not have the same reaction, the same increased alertness, the same slight sense of fear (Freedom Sithole).
So you see, we can’t blame it on Whites only. I am therefore 100% in agreement with a recent blog that places part of the problem on the doorsteps of African American parents and society. It reads:
It’s easy for black folks to blame all this stigma on non-blacks, but any meaningful dialog on the subject needs to include some discussion of the whole subculture that glorifies crime, violence and gang life. It exists , not just on the TV and in the newspaper, but in real life. Blacks are disproportionately represented in this subculture’s ranks , although all races participate. People notice this kind of pattern, especially when the media reinforces it daily,and they react accordingly ….usually with fear and mistrust, which isn’t necessarily the same as paranoia . Fear can be quite rational , whereas paranoia is , by definition, irrational..
I realize that the black community should probably include themselves in the finger pointing and blame game, due to the very visible and violent actions of a very visible and active “gangsta” culture within their own ranks. Those who call crime a vocation, a gang their “family” , and are proud to be considered street thugs , they do more to stigmatize blacks as a group than any other single source , as much as blacks themselves are loathe to admit it . It’s easier to point fingers at everybody else than it is to admit to some responsibility for the problem”.
As you can see from this discussion, The Black Male Code, as demeaning as it may appear, is a weapon of conscience. It commandeers the moral high ground at crucial moments and can trigger a sense of self-judgement and guilt on the other party, be it a racist civilian or law enforcement agent. I read about a young man who whenever stopped by the police, winds down his car window and stretches out his two arms in the usual position for handcuffs, and the police would ask politely to keep his arms inside. One day as he drove with his White girl friend, the police stopped him and he did the usual. The girl was from a different state and had never experienced such. She felt guilty, humiliated and wept uncontrollably. To the Black gentleman, it was business as usual. However the feeling of guilt moved to his White girl friend. I believe too that the police officers who deal with him from time to time do wrestle with their conscience.
Therefore let’s constantly wear the armour of humility, precision intelligence of our environments at all times, and deliver security and moral victory through the Black Male Code. Teach yourself and your kids to develop the power of intuitive spirit – a high level intelligence more advanced than any surveillance system known to man. Every human being is equipped with this gift. It provides early warning and real time intelligence on an intruding presence – be it a secret agent, a hateful presence, gossiping or admirer within your close proximity. Take it a stage further and you have the ability to identify faces and even read their intent, as long as you are innocent. Keep your head high and carry yourself with dignity. Mahatma Gandhi was right when he said that triggering a sense of guilt on your oppressors is a powerful weapon. That’s the mission of the Black Male Code. Teach your kids to use it with maximum effect.