Saturday, May 26, 2007


I was over at Tariq Nelson's place and he has this post where he is commenting on a comment and I can understand what he is saying because I feel the same way a lot of times. The commenter is talking about how the white man keeps the black man down and there is some truth to that but there is more truth in what Tariq is saying. I really want to get into this post because there is a lot that I have to say on this issue. The whole poor me I'm oppressed black man syndrome. I would like to speak on the two sides of the coin on this one.

On the oppressive system by design side I believe that it is true. The way that the Black community is constructed only supports the degeneration of our society. Starting with the home followed by the school system. There are many arguments that were brought up by John Taylor Gatto about the school system that doesn't just affect African-Americans but all less than privileged people. Our educational system is one of the first things that is exported to countries that we want to dominate or continue to dominate in the future. Does anyone find it odd that regardless of how many Doctors and engineers there are in Muslim communities and countries from a strategic standpoint they remain backwards and subservient.

So yes I believe there is a mental slavery that is present in the African-American community. In fact I believe that it is the testing ground for new oppressive concepts. What proof do I have, None probably because I don't read as much as I could, but I look around and observe and ask myself how is this reality helping to perpetuate this situation? Like you have to think why is it that our neighborhood look the way it does? Why is it that there are Fifty million churches in a 30 block radius of abject poverty and a liquor store directly across from the churches? Why is it that the children aren't taught anything in the schools that will help them to advance or think critically or think like a entrepreneur or anyone that will build anything of worth?

It is a systematic mode that locks a people into a certain mode of thinking and then the only thing that is done by Management is to maintain or perpetuate the mentality. It takes a strong mind to break the mold, most others will just automatically fall in line to the plan of design. The beauty of this peer induced failure is that it follows natural societal pressure. I have a case in point. In the 80's there was a lot of pro-black uplifting rap music. There was a surge of afrocentricity. There was a lot of self study going on that was spurned on by the topics spoke of by the artist. KRS One was big and others were intellectually stimulating such as Public Enemy. The rap was very intellectually stimulating. The lyrics were very complex and spoke about something that you needed to think about. Then gangsta rap rolled on the scene and the industry clung to it like glue. It got heavy rotation. The next explosion was southern rap which is some of the most ignorant rap I have ever heard, but a lot of times it has a good beat and catchy/raunchy tunes. It however doesn't uplift or offer any hope past the heavily materialistic shallow values. Then there is the Thug scene that only promotes the police and prison industry. Then there is the devaluing of women carte blanche in the African-American community. A society without a respect for women is doomed to fail ultimately, because she is the foundation of the society. So there are much more issues that the system imposes on the African-American community that are psychologically very difficult to break, and very easy to deny that you are doing it.

On the flip side of the coin you have the African-American responsibility. As a people we have to fight how easily the big money manipulates us as a people. It is very difficult because you have children raising children. So if you haven't had to tell a headstrong teenager anything lately let me tell you it is very difficult when they pop the "how you gonna tell me" attitude. Now the way that the system is constructed there is no positive male influence. Lack of Positive adult male influence in the community leads to a break-down in the ability for a society to advance. You then have basically full grown teenagers seeding women (because they aren't building families). So you have to ask yourself what does this supply? If not nothing but an endless supply of Need for more law enforcement Taxes, Need for more prisons, Taxes and an endless supply of youths that aren't good for anything except what they are told they are worth and when they rebel they go to jail, Taxes. So the system is very well orchestrated if you continue backing up enough to look at the comprehensive picture. For every inmate in jail it is what on average $50,000 in what is reported, but actually it is worth more than that, because a shift guard makes probably $30-$40K on average. So if he is in charge of 10 inmates in an overcrowded system it more than pays for itself.

Jail and the System is just one avenue, how would an African-American community combat this. Without strong male role models and an honoring of women there can be no salvation from this debacle. When we look at the pop-music that caters to our children regardless of color we see on the regular that women are devalued as sex objects. Currently in many of the songs getting heavy rotation several of them refer to, or are in praise of strippers. Let me ask you how is a stripper valued in society? If the base desires are the only things being valued then what Vision for the future can there be? This is one of the major problems with SUSTAINING a break in the conundrum that the African-American community is faced with.

As an African-American male and a Muslim the double Whammy it is frustrating to see that the views of our people having not changed much as a mass collectively than it was shortly after the abolishment of slavery. Many would argue that it is a far step off, but as a collective whole we are in bad shape. Yes there are African-Americans that have made great strides but like the most of America these efforts are on an individual level and not as a collective, because there is no collective mindset. The efforts of the collective have been subjugated to the one and destroyed. So without a vision of community there can be no community there can only be self. This also ties into the marriage/ divorce problem in our community. There is no we in the self so therefore all other relationships are subjective to the needs of the self, and since both parties have the same view the divorce rates in the African-American community are much higher. With higher divorce rates this translates to a lack of wealth accumulating in the African-American community with in turn perpetuates the crab in the bucket mentality.

So all in all this is by no sense of the imagination an extensive list. I could go on offering excuses, but until there is a collective movement to establish a family base where elders are honored and women respected there can be no uplifting of a people.

That's my two cents on the issue.

Blogging with my treo. Man I love this thing.


  1. Muhammed, I think you've hit on so many interesting points. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland (it was really 'country' back in the day) and was only really exposed to a wide variety of ethnic groups in college. I recall a conversation with an African-American colleague of mine (we were both students) about our classes. She said she felt disadvantaged based on her education. She felt that education and good grades were not something valued by her community, be it friends, some family, etc. I thought that was a really tragic statement. I'm no book worm, but at the end of the day, it was my parents who made good grades (or at least decent ones) a requirement...though never 'cool'.

    I do think your post touches on issues that most Americans (regardless of colour) are afraid to address. There is something to be said for the victim mentality and how it sets one up for failure. Though nothing compares to our history of slavery in this country and the long-lasting effects, there are other groups that come to America as immigrants, suffering a great deal of prejudice. And yet most of these groups overcome. What can be learned from that?

    (Sorry this is such a long comment, m!) Finally, your point about a positive male influence couldn't be more spot on. The recent Imus contraversy brought many questions to the surface about what African-American culture was, and how it was defined. Many professionals commented on the hip hop culture being equated w/ the culture of African-Americans. Public Enemy was true social criticism, yet Nelly is pandering this unrealistic lifestyle that too many kids aspire to. The point I'm trying to get to, is that there need to be more positive black role models (particularly male) who do real jobs: academics, doctors, mangers, independent contributors, lawyers, teachers, fireman, policeman, techonological specialists, etc. so that young African-American boys and girls look to them as heroes.

  2. Very well written post.

    Do you have any suggestions that "outsiders" (as in non-african-american americans) can do to help change this?

  3. Suggestions, hmm well I think it is more important that you think of yourself as outside of the problem, when in fact you are not, because everything that happens to the African-American community happens to every other community eventually.

    When there are no more A-A's to put in jail who will they pick next? What happens to poor blacks almost always happens to poor whites. America as a whole is dumbed down but the psychological effects that are trained and practiced in the A-A community are eventually exported to all other communities. So whether you are red, white, green or brown it will affect you eventually.

    The only thing that could be done and should be done is the oppressive systems that are in place be actively withdrawn. If you are going to promote family then it would make sense that your tax code and your public assistance policy praises families and penalizes single parenthood. Bring charges and fines against producers that promote anything other than a strong American family regardless of color, maybe you can throw it in under the patriot act. Because these children of these situations fan out and rebel wherever they go whether it be college or military and it costs industry billions of dollars in lost time and wages. It doesn't promote a strong economy in the long run. In the short run it does because instead of one house you now need two living dwellings. Instead of one Christmas gift you are now buying two etc. but overall in terms of the stability of the society it is detrimental. From a capitalistic standpoint it works very well because you now have basically a bunch of babies running around and we all know how easy it is to take candy from babies.

    It trickles into the white american culture because the largest purchaser of Rap Music is the 16-25 yr old white male and with it that negative culture so along with this demographics penchant for porn you have the masochistic tendencies that this culture spews thus making the white demographic very similar to the black demographic from the same age group, even if there is a possibility of higher earning power.

    Divorce rates remain on the consistent rise all of this can be found in the core systems that are affecting the A-A community.

    So how do we fight it. I would suppose it would start with a speculation of how big the problem extends and then begin to break it down into smaller parts. Ultimately proper education is one of the key components necessary in changing a world view. The next component is action, programs that keep that core group of impoverished children involved and active and positive is what is most necessary. Without positivity it is very easy to slink back into that which is familiar and if the familiar is negative than that is where it will land.