Blacks Are Conditioned to Violence and Self-Destruction*
By Jay Thomas Willis
Senior Columnist and Political Analyst
The Mid-South Tribune and the Black Information Highway
(July 28, 2012)
The stage was set years ago, and is continuously being prepared for the type of violence we see in Black communities today. We have been conditioned over the years to violence and self-destruction. People seem to wonder why we have so much violence in Black communities, and say it must stop if we’re to ever have wholesome, viable, and functional communities. Few ask how we got this way, or more specifically the exact historical aspect of our confusion, chaos, and disorganization.
Shortly after the first outside group landed on the shore of Africa over 3,000 years ago we’ve been conditioned to violence and self-destruction. We indirectly learned this violence and self-destruction through learning to hate ourselves. We were treated in such a despised manner that we learned self-hate.
We were mistreated from the time others appeared on the African shores. There were many successive invasions that lasted to the time of the slave trade. Our culture was occupied, and we were taught that our culture was inferior. There was an attempt to change the way our basic institutions functioned. We were mistreated by other groups until the time of the slave trade. At that time we were so confused, disorganized, and chaotic by all those years of occupation by other cultures that we were vulnerable to the slave trade.
We were treated in such an uncivilized manner during our capture and transport to the New World that we further learned to despise ourselves. In slavery we were brutalized and sold at will. Men were separated from their families, used as studs, and treated as property rather than human beings. This continued until after slavery, when an even more insidious form of racism, discrimination, and prejudice became effective. Also we suffered lack of adequate educational systems, lack of job opportunities, and lack of being able to participate in economics and politics on an equal basis.
Blacks have lived with Black Codes, Jim Crow, and all manner of legal legislation to keep them disfranchised. Many suffered violence from the Ku Klux Klan, other groups, and ordinary citizens.
Some Blacks have internalized that their physical characteristics and mental capabilities were inferior; and seemingly tried harder to change their physical characteristic than mental abilities. We seem to try to change some of our physical characteristics, but we don’t seem to work hard at changing our intellectual abilities. It’s unusual that we would try to change something that’s impervious to change, and not try to work at what could actually be changed.
For example, we can get a better education, and improve our mental functioning over the generations, but we resist. It seems that we resist this notion of working harder and being more studious in school as acting white; while straightening our hair, getting blue-contact lenses, and reconstructive surgery on some of our physical features.
Our exposure in an alien society has taught us to have self-hate for our own physical characteristics. Consequently, we learned to despise things Black. Through having internalized this self-hate we’ve learned to dislike and strike out at everything that looks like us.
This self-hate desolates Blacks and leaves us self-destructive as well as destructive toward each other. This causes us to turn on ourselves and perpetuate all manner of inappropriate behavior on each other and the community. Blacks take everything thrown at them by other groups, and turn the hostility, anger, frustration, and devastation right back at each other.
Blacks have been conditioned away from taking their hostilities and aggression out on the legitimate object of their frustration. Therefore, other groups haven’t had to worry en masse about Black aggression against them. Though we commit murders, robberies, rapes, use drugs and alcohol, and involve ourselves in many other inappropriate behaviors; we mostly violate each other.
When we become defensive we attack each other instead of those responsible for our victimization. Those things we hate we attack when we’re angry, hostile or aggressive, and attempt to destroy them. If we attack the things we hate and hold hostility toward when we’re overly frustrated and angry, when we hate ourselves we’ll attack each other, suggested Amos Wilson, a late and great psychologist in his video, “A Blueprint for Black Power.”
We’ll channel that hostility, anger and hatred inward because that’s the thing we dislike most. Black self-hate then becomes a mechanism for Black self-destruction and Black self-defeat. The aim of our anger and aggressiveness becomes self and others who look like us. Others provoke our anger, but we get upset and strike out against each other.
Our conditioning has made us confused, disorganized, and chaotic about our position in the world. We’ve learned to not unify as a group, and to be alienated from one another.
We must keep in mind that if problems are allowed to build over an extensive period of time without meaningful intervention, they’ll exponentially increase. This is what causes some of the violence in the Black community. Problems have exploded out of control, and there’s so much confusion, chaos, and disorganization that violence is a predictable consequence.
Having inculcated and regenerated this self-hate for approximately 3,000 years has conditioned us to be destructive toward ourselves and each other. Consequently, we see the violence existing at such a high level in the Black community.
The situation won’t change unless we do something to change the historical and ever-present conditions that keep refueling the problem. They say to extinguish a fire one way to do so is to remove the source of the fuel.
We must reorient ourselves to our values and seek to find new ways of dealing with our frustrations, hostilities, and aggression.
We must also do like another group, and vow to discontinue this holocaust!
*The above is also on the Black Paper lane on the Black Information Highway and The Mid-South Tribune ONLINE. Mr. Willis is the author of twenty-three books, fifteen professional journal articles, a number of magazine articles, and over 300 newspaper articles. His books can be reviewed at www.jaythomaswillis.com . Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or MSTnews@prodigy.net or BlackInfoHwy@prodigy.net . Also, travel on the Jay Thomas Willis lane on the Black Information Highway and The Mid-South Tribune ONLINE at www.blackinformationhighway.com . Black Papers are presented as thinking pieces and studies to stimulate dialogue and; therefore, do not necessarily reflect any editorial stand of the Black Information Highway and The Mid-South Tribune. Welcome, Travelers!