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- ANCIENT AFRICA
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- African Kings and Queens
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- Malcolm on Revolution
- African Fundamentalism
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- Facts About Africa
- War and Religion
- Death of African Languages
- Garvey Economics
- Cabral Theory
- NGO and Development
- Garvey Legacy
- Malcolm OAAU
- Garvey Legacy
- Ethics of the Reparations
- Afrocentrism Pseudohistory?
- Marley Film Review
- Abolition and Wilberforce
- Black Panther Critique
- Jews and Slavery
- Gay Rights
- Failure Of African Leadership
- Capitalism or Socialism?
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Failure to Engage
- Libya Invasion
- Dubois: Souls of Black folk
- Slavery in America
- Amilcar Cabral
- Agency and Africa
- Mis-Education of the Child
- African Revolt
- The Flag of African Cinema
- The Politics of Liberation
- White Supremacy
- The Horrors of 500 Years
- Africa and the Rise of Islam
- Why Kwanzaa
- Seen But Never Heard
- African Classical Music
- South Africa: 10 Years On
- Music and Dance in Religion
- White Abolition of Slavery
- A Threat to Black Studies
- Art of Revolution
- African Influence in Barbados
- Origins of Voodoo
- Black Out White Wash
- Ethiopian Slave Trade
- Darfur Report
Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter
– African Proverb
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will
– Frederick Douglass
The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave
– Malcolm X
Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.
– Ancient Egypt
Until the Story of the hunt is told by the Lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
– African Proverb
What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?
– Owen 'Alik Shahadah
We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.
– Chester Higgins Jr.
Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.
– Harriet Tubman
If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.
– African Proverb
If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.
– ' Alik Shahadah
If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it
– Zulu Proverb
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the American Psychiatric Association's standard reference for psychiatry includes over 400 different definitions of mental disorders. They define a mental disorder as a psychological pattern or anomaly, potentially reflected in behavior, which is not considered part of normal development in a person's culture. Mental disorders are generally defined by a combination of how a person feels, acts, thinks or perceives.
The first thing an afflicted person says? I do not have a problem. Despite all the empty alcohol bottles and the empty credit card balance—they are not sick. Denial. Redirection, are all medical signs of a mental disease. If someone was beautiful and started to tear their beauty apart they would be diagnosed as having a mental condition. Agoraphobia, Bipolar, Anorexia, Dyspareunia, Bulema, and . If someone destroys their beauty to achieve something which is not naturally beautiful is it not possible that person is suffering from a mental disease—like skin bleaching and extreme chemical treatment of hair. If a mother rejects a child, is that not listed under a mental condition? If someone acts outside of their own self-interest but in the self-interest of another person, clearly that is a brain misfiring. And that is exactly how mental slavery should be treated. Like Stockholm syndrome and all other mental diseases.
Like all mental defects or diseases, mental slavery is very hard to define. Bipolar disorder, despite all the medical technology, eludes detection by any know medical test. Likewise there are no instruments that can calculate the percentage of mental enslavement a person is suffering from. A person might be affected in one area, but not in another. It might subside for a while and later reoccur under certain stresses—like when a marriage breaks down, or when financial circumstances change.
Part of the criteria of diagnosis has to take into account patterns in group behavior—the group being African people. On an individual level you will find Europeans suffering from low self-value, they may have poor image of self, but this is very different because while on an individual level they have an inferiority complex due to inadequacies of their local self, they have zero racial inferiorities as a collective. They do not look at their racial station in the world and wonder, like Africans do, what have my people contributed to modernity. They are in the extreme opposite set-up by every single thing—not dealing with whether it is true or false—reaffirms their “superiority” station among the races of human kind.
In some cases, like the capitalist greed running rife in South Africa, it is a problem borne of two mothers; the legacy of low self-worth created during apartheid, and the naturally occurring bling bling culture of a people who were isolated from consciousness. Apartheid, in this case, modulated a pre-existing condition. An entire dynamic range of discussion now emerges. What is what and what belongs where? When is it mental slavery and when is it plain old garden variety human stupidity?
Many use the term mental slavery as a political devices for labelling all behaviors which are outside of their political “solutions.” So it has become a catch all box for a wide range of behaviors some of which are totally unrelated to mental enslavement. Not every bad habit seen in African communities is the legacy of mental enslavement. Not every instances of crime in Detroit by an African American male is due to mental slavery, not every negative urban culture is due to mental enslavement. And it is critical to distinguish where possible between these things. There are behaviors which arise, independent of slavery, from poverty. While in the case of many African people, poverty may have its roots in slavery, that slavery factor might be replaced by just the poverty factor. And one way to test it is to look at other situations where groups or communities have not endured slavery but display identical behaviors in similar circumstances. So poverty and poverty alone may be the consequences of obesity in America. Hence European-Americans, who have never experienced slavery—but experience poverty display identical habits. In this case we cannot list obesity in unprivileged communities as a direct legacy of slavery in America. We must accept a multi-rooted possible in all of our analysis without resting all the symptoms on one agent. So our treatment of the subject will attempt to tie the contemporary behavior to a behavior directly related to something passed on through the generations, up from slavery.
To assist in a better understanding of mental slavery, we will posit 4 mental theoretical states.
Due to the lack of natural reinforcement in reality which in most people reaffirms their self-worth. Mental enslavement produces exaggerated behaviors one key one being the Big Black Ego.
Slave Ego and False pride: I am not really sure of who i am, I am afraid of being who I should be, so I will define myself by hatred of anything that I can classify as "other", even internalizing it against people that look like me. That bigotry will make up for my own inferiority complex. I am confused so I will insult the faiths and cultures of those who are confident in themselves. I am torn down, so I will tear down anything that holds anyone up. I am lost and weak, so I will pretend to be strong by a culture of hate.
Pan-Africanism is a centralized way of us uniting and using our conscious collective intellect to solve problems and bring out the best in each other. Pan-Africanism is not 1000 people doing their own thing randomly as fragmented people. We cannot grow if we are not prepared to listen and learn from our peers. Ego blocks this ability to listen; it means we know even when we do not know. Advise is meaningless because ego feeds off of feeling good rather than doing good. Consciousness is an intellectual challenge peers place on each other to create excellence in each other. Today vulgar individualism blinds this exchange, where a challenge to make someone better is seen as a personal attack. But how can consciousness be attained in a vacuum where by its very nature it needs to connect to the broader community for its source of wisdom and information?
Someone gets more kudos and respect for saying two nice words about Whitney Houston than for spending 2 years fighting the International Criminal Court’s policies against Africans. They will get more props going on TV and shouting about police brutality than one would ever get from creating new educational reform that integrates African history to 20 million people. Mental enslavement affects the logic centers of the brain, it prefers spectacle and feel good over real pertinent issues: Substance is of no consequence over spectacle.
Mental slavery also means a disconnection from reality. Like a child who wants things but is unaware how things are obtained in the real world. So only two points - a start and an end point - can be seen, all the numbers and steps in-between to get from 1 to 10 are missing. Sure we can see the importance of history and owning media, factories and image of self. Sure they want to own a black version of CNN and Random House, but all those "little" steps on the ladder that lead to owning these things escape us (such as unity, organization, investment of time, support, spending). Looking at the stars without understanding space flight will not help you get there. Sure we can see the importance of history and owning media, factories and image of self-- yet spending on those things excludes us. Sure we want our own CNN and our own Random House but all those "little" steps (unity, organization, investment of time, support, spending) escapes us. We see the problem and then we see the objective, but all the steps leading up to that objective are vague.
I want my revolution, but I do not want to lose anything. I want to be healthy, but eat Chitterlings all day. I want the full pleasure of sex, but not the responsibility of marriage. I want all the freedoms afforded to me under this slave system, but I want all the perks of being fully liberated. I want my bank account to be full, but I do not want to work. I want to own my own house, but I do not want to pay the mortgage. I want to be African, but behave like a European. I want to be part of community, but behave like an individual. I respect the ancestors, unless I don't like what I am hearing. I want justice in the world-- unless it causes me to lose something.
Onboard the slave ships, the captives within minutes of landing in these alien environments, because only their bodies were chained, quickly sought to acquire knowledge of the workings of the ship to escape the condition brought about by the ship. They acquired the language of their enslavers, for the sole purpose of liberation. They acquired the information of the operation of the ship and the nature of their captors, again for the sole purpose of liberation. They understood that there were a series of stages, which were necessary to stop their captivity and return them to Africa. They understood enough that when the Amistad rebellion happened they knew to attempt to sail back to Africa, and not onto America. Today, there is a disconnection between objectives in the African mind and the process to obtain those objectives. The paths to the road ahead are obfuscated by the condition of being trapped inside a mind which is enslaved. The sense to ideologically return to Africa, has been replaced by the ideology of immersing oneself deeper in slave culture.
When you chain up a man in Africa and put them on a ship. They seek ways to return to Africa and their free state. You do not need to chain up mentally enslaved people. They do that on their own. You can leave them to run around the world and they self-impose slavery on themselves. Despite all the tools to Change your slave name, they continue to have slave names. All the tools to read about African history, they stop at MLK, all the tools to return to African culture. The Bible according to Eurocentrics still goes unchallenged, And they remain wrapped in the cultures of the people that enslaved them, while screaming out for change.
If you see the communication system in prison to get around the guards, these brothers use invisible encrypted codes, like what Japan used in Pearl Harbor. Uneducated brothers capable of this level of sophistication, so is there an intelligence or ingenuity problem with our people? So what is it then? The exact same brain that can set up a crack network cunning enough to evade the FBI can be used to set up a neighborhood supermarket chain store, or a car wash, or a service that develops the community. Very unlikely to meet Prison Industrial anything when selling Milk and Cabbage.
The exact genius and problem solving abilities used for negative can equally be used for positive. So all these stories about slavery and the "man" as obstacles are moot. Where there is a will there is a way, as proven by all civilizations regardless of the stresses and obstacles holding them back.
SLAVERY AS AN EXCUSE FOR EVERYTHING
Many, especially non-Africans have accused some African people of using slavery as an excuse for everything negative. But to be fair there is a lot to be blamed for slavery, its legacy is very real. So while this issue is very true the African must look at this world as a race.
Personal Note: So there is a race, you have to run it or not run it. That is the only options available. Be part of this civilization or be a victim of this civilization. If you opt out—as many have—sitting down means the Chinese come and own your country, taking everything colonialism left behind which most African leaders still squander. So you can sit down if you want, but do not complain when your water and oil are owned by multinationals. Now it is 100% that we come from the legacy of slavery, that comes as default, you still (with this disadvantage) have to run the same race with the Europeans, Arabs, Turks, Indians and Chinese. Everyone except the Europeans have some sort of handicap. Maybe the Arabs are entering the race with a broken arm, maybe the Chinese only a broken finger, maybe Africans are the most damaged in the race with no arms at all and myopic vision— but you still must find a way of running that race and being victorious. That is what life handed you. You cannot sit it out and say mental slavery made me late for the start, or the legacy of slavery slowed me down. That might well explain your handicap, but it is of no consequences to the finish line. In short the world does not care about losers and if Africans do not find a way the legacy of slavery will be extended until the Sun consumes the Earth. Its a choice, run or make excuses.
COMFORTABLE - DRUGGED OUT
If you were driving off a cliff would you like someone to scream and tell you? Or would you like them to smiles and say "Its okay...Keep driving." In the Diaspora we have a pacifying bunch of dark skin jokers that help to keep us anesthetized to the drug of White supremacy.
I am comfortable in my chains because I can switch on the TV and see a dark skin Pres. I need not rise up. I can watch Oprah and Beyoncé be celebrated as "accomplishment for our people" every Feb I get to hear "I had a dream" If I am lucky I can get rich playing with a ball or rapping some hate, and get a white chick who will later drain me of all I earned.
DOMINANT RACE CULTURE
Mental slavery is closely related to the effects of any group of people exposed to a dominant race-culture. In Arab or European dominated societies you will see identical effects on marginalized identities. In Han Chinese dominated societies, in Japan, or in India where the caste system is still rife. Most forms of oppression produces an inferiority complex, regardless of if it is cultural domination, religious domination, or class domination. So it becomes very hard to distinguish between what is caused by enslavement and what is part and parcel of cultural/racial domination. Therefore a free African who has no history of being a colonial victim or never had his ancestors enslaved in a remote village in Ethiopia watching American Television with all-white faces would have similar symptoms to an African American child or a South African child with that legacy in their history. The difference is that the Ethiopian, unlike the African American will have a positive cultural force competing with and acting out against the crushing power of the dominant race-class. That counterforce, like a body reacting to gravity, creates enough identity pockets for them to retain greater agency and defenses against this assault. This is what happened to the Jews, who were subjected to a quick burst of Holocaust. Not long enough to impact on their religion or on their deep inner self-worth. And while their bodies may have been burnt in Nazi ovens, their sense of identity in the face of the dominant Nazi culture was skin deep—not so the African in the Diaspora exposed to 500 years of White supremacy.
During the African Holocaust of enslavement marriage was pointless if you were owned by the slave master. A person could be sold off at any instant. Everything is temporary -- commitment is void when someone owns you. And we must, regardless of our marital status, be bold enough to see the errors that are outgrowths of enslavement. The destruction of people systems, the death of things that define our humanity. The temporariness of the enslaved reality meant also commitment was also fleeting. Long term arrangements in areas of marriage and parenting were nonexistent. And today the habits of enslaved people still run our relationships with each other. So a man can get a woman pregnant and simply abandon his responsibilities, this is slave culture. A woman feels no dishonor in having multiple children and no wedding ring. This is again only because we are a people void of culture.
The traditional view of mental enslavement in African Diaspora communities was to identity Uncle Tom behavior to mental slavery. This is not 100% accurate someone can be in total mental chained up, and still have a Malcolm X picture on their profile with the quote "The most pathetic thing is a slave who does not know he is a slave." The mere display of what is termed “conscious information” is absolutely not a sign that the person has escaped mental slavery. All the pictures of Ancient Egypt on a Facebook page are not indicators or litmus test for the absence of mental slavery. Quite often it is just another type of mask on the face of mental slavery. Because the underlying mental state, with the picture of KMT or not, is that of a person in a dialect relationship with their African self. The picture of KMT covers up an underlying self-hatred the same way paint can cover up a damp wall. This veneer is paper thin, a patina of consciousness, because outside of the quoting Malcolm or the Kemetic painting, the behaviors of that person in society may be identical to the person who is called an Uncle Tom.
Mental slavery promotes loyalty to the slave master, a form of Stockholm Syndrome. A 'Black' person who is still trapped in everything the Western Slave System created; with a slave name, the language of colonial English and French, and a slave culture is still so loyal to Eurocentric society that they will tell you the Arab, Saharan and the African were worse than the one that still has them as the largest forced Diaspora in the world. This is mental slavery. So eager to take blame off of the agent of your oppressor and align your politics with the Islamophobic politics of the imperialist West.
It does not matter how many bombs Western nations drop, it does not matter how many genocides they have their hands in, it does not matter how many African Americans populate the prisons, it does not matter how many of the mineral resources of Africa are shipped exclusively to Western destinations, it does not matter how many African leaders have been killed by CIA et al, the West is still BETTER than Arabs and Chinese.
Every time you switch on the news an African American youth is being shot in the back. Does that happen in Saudi Arabia or India? These places are no safe haven for being African but have we lost our natural mind to think there is anything worse than the system of White Supremacy? Big old slave name hanging around your neck 500 Years Later and you still think the White man was not the worst thing that happened to us.
The export of democracy around the globe has been the agent of Western hegemonic expansion, yet people who are mentally enslaved still think it is religion that is the agent of their oppression. Religion as an agent was given up with the birth of the free-market, industrialization and modern capitalism-- yet the old canards cannot be commuted by a people who are locked into the ideological arguments of Europe 200 years ago. Reality of democracies forceful expansion, war for oils, etc, are not processable in the minds of people who have been enslaved and brainwashed about their enslavement. So powerful is this that a staunch Pan-Africanist, such as Gaddafi, is seen as an enemy by post-slavery victims, but Obama as a friend.
IMPACT ON JUDGEMENT
No matter what you give a destroyed people they will use it as part of their destruction. If you pour them water—they will drown themselves. If you give them a rope—they will hang themselves with it.
Mental slavery is a medical disease, it impacts the part of the brain that controls judgment. So the subject is incapable of seeing and exploiting opportunities which are in his or her interest. This is why no matter what is provided they would rather play victim than go for liberation. They do not understand an opportunity so it is squandered.
So when we switch our paradigms, we then realize that the man with his fist in the air, waiting for the SYSTEM to change, or lying down waiting for 40 acres and a BMW is still mentally enslaved, regardless of the hot anti-system rhetoric. Because they cannot use all the tools in modernity to do for self; they have no vision of themselves as autonomous agents outside of the master's house.
So if a business person was to walk into a community and offer all kinds of wonderful opportunities and development, that person is more likely to be treated with suspicion and rejected because a mentally enslaved group cannot, regardless of how wonderful the opportunities, discern good for self from bad for self.
Slaves and children like and expect things for free. Nothing in this world is free; most people over the age of 7 know that things cost money, and mommy and daddy have to go to work to pay for stuff. YouTube is not free. Facebook is not free. But during slavery you thought the food was free, it was not. We have this strange expectation that consciousness should be free. Especially when collective public work (like this free site) suffers because every nascent contributor, even for proofing the text on a DVD, wants (thinks they deserve) executive salaries. These same people who would not switch on a light for free, but themselves demand a free world.
Free products and services are certainly not the tradition of Marcus Garvey or Elijah Muhammad for rebuilding Africa. But the tradition of those ignorant of the economics of liberation. And such ignorance is slavery, because slavery was economic. And part of its inequity was it created wealth for one group at the expense of the other group. That group—the African group—legacy is to continue to inherit the bottom graph of every positive static and the top graph of everything terrible and wrong. Therefore it would be safe to posit economics is one of the most critical aspects of the legacy of the African Holocaust. Ignorance of economic is mental slavery. Those who fail to engage in a revolution with a capital E for economics are recycling oppression on themselves—not liberation. And who introduced this ridiculous myth of the pious pauper? Which nation used the model and entered the globalized world? Who took the African struggle from do for self, to depend on the other? Who profits from this?