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March 4, 2013

I Can’t Stand No More!

By Jay Thomas Willis

Senior Columnist and Political Analyst

Mid-South Tribune and Black Information Highway

There comes a time in overwhelmingly-frustrating situations when the average man says, “I’ve taken all I can stand, and I can’t stand no more,” as the cartoon character Popeye is noted for bellowing. This must be the conclusion that Jesse Jackson Jr. reached. Everyone has a limit to what they can stand. It’s felt that this saying definitely applies to Jesse Jackson Jr., the former 2nd Congressional District Representative from Illinois. He pleaded guilty to mismanagement of campaign funds: and used campaign funds to buy a Rolex watch, children’s furniture, stuffed elk heads, memorabilia, and many other goods.  Jesse Jr. faces up to five years in prison. He was also accused of offering a bribe to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich for the position that Obama once held as Senator from Illinois, but no charges are pending in this regard.

            There may be more to Jesse’s experience than meets the eye. Though, it seems that Jesse Jr. was a son of privilege, and should have had the skills to overcome most obstacles with relative ease: he attended some of the best private schools, including law and theology, but this doesn’t possibly tell the whole story of Jesse’s experience. A sudden privileged experience for Blacks has its own unique pressures, especially when there’s the slightest thing unfavorable about their background.

            The basis of Jesse’s history began much before his life in Chicago, and Washington D.C., or his father’s life in Greenville, South Carolina, and may be even more telling than his subsequent experiences. It is said that one’s life is a totality of the experiences of all previous generations. In that case Jesse’s life relates to the experiences of his ancestors in Africa, his ancestors who came over during the Middle Passage, his ancestors in slavery, and his ancestors of the post-slavery experience.

From the time the first group landed on the shores of Africa over 4,000 years ago we’ve been conditioned to destroy ourselves. We indirectly learned to destroy ourselves through learning self-hate. We were treated in such a despised manner that we learned to hate ourselves. A house divided against it self cannot stand. Jesse is influenced by all those who came before him, going back eons of time. He cannot escape the genetic memories of all his ancestors.

            Jesse indeed had a good background, but he had all the negative experiences of those who went before him to weigh heavily upon what he was to ultimately become. Even though he went to some of the best schools in the country, and came from a privileged background, he couldn’t escape the negative part of his background. The experiences of his ancestors had a heavy impact upon him. He tried to escape the conditions of his past, as many African Americans try to do, but you cannot escape gravity, the wind, or the atmosphere. You can try to escape but sooner or later it’s going to catch up with you. Jesse’s background finally caught up with him.

            Jesse had a seemingly nice family, two children and a wife; was going places in his career, and was considered to be one of the most promising politicians—possibly a presidential candidate. But there was something incongruent in the life he was living, and what he truly wanted from his life.

            Just when Jesse thought he had it all figured out something went haywire. Something about the collective-unconscious experiences of Africans in America causes us to at some point lose control, and to become destructive to ourselves. No matter what we have achieved, educationally, politically, or socially, we end up being destructive. The wounds from past experiences of living in America, and collective-unconscious experiences, can be so great that they eventually take their toll. The prejudice, racism, bigotry, and differential treatment can eventually overwhelm us; this along with the collective-unconscious experiences for the many years can wear us down. We have to put on too many facades to maintain our personal integrity. How soon it overtakes us depend upon the degree to which we’re exposed to these factors. All the years of taking a back seat, the years of going to the back door, the years of being a second-class citizen eventually—if you will—wears us thin. After an overwhelming amount of these experiences we will be set to self-destruct. It’s not unusual for us to make an effort to then destroy ourselves

            This fact along with the idea that we’ve learned to dislike ourselves, causes us to become destructive to ourselves. We’ve internalized that our physical characteristics and mental capabilities are inferior. Our exposure in an alien society has taught us to have self-hate. We were conditioned to hate ourselves because we were told we were treated this way because we were Black. Consequently, we learned to despise things Black. At times we simply implode. Since the person we dislike most is ourselves, we turn on ourselves, and attempt to destroy ourselves. Jesse has simply turned on himself, much as many other Africans in America have done over the years.

            We take everything thrown at us and turn the hostility, anger, frustration, and devastation right back at ourselves. This aids us in destroying ourselves. When we become defensive we attack ourselves. We channel our hostility, anger, and hatred inward because that’s the thing we dislike most. Black self-hate then becomes a mechanism for Black self-destruction. The aim of our aggression becomes the self, and we strike out at ourselves.

            Having inculcated and regenerated this self-hate for approximately 4,000 years has conditioned us to be destructive toward ourselves.

            It’s felt that this conditioning to self-hate and self-destruction historically, as well as negative-collective-unconscious experiences passed on from previous generations, is at the heart of Jesse’s eventual fall from grace.

The above is 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 jaytwillis@gmail.com  or MSTnews@prodigy.net or BlackInfoHwy@prodigy.net




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