This might take a while.
Growing up, I was called the “white-black girl.” I was the token black friend and I even let some of my non-melanated or lightly melanated friends say “nigga.” Forgive me. For I knew not what I did.
Truthfully, I was ashamed of being Black. Embarrassed. I prided myself on not being an expression of the stereotypical Black archetype. Granted, I was a little different and my “differences” were genuine. While I was always reminded by Black people that I was different, I carried this responsibility to be the spokesperson for Black people and prove we weren’t all the same. But, I didn’t realize how similar we all really were.
There is a shared, multi-layered, and multi-faceted condition of most Black people in Western society. To describe it: We have little to no sense of identity, we are distrusting of each other, traumatized, disjointed family systems, imbalanced in our emotional expression, imbalanced in the masculine-feminine dynamic, exhausted, and manipulated. Ouch! Manipulated. Let’s hang there a little bit.
Disclaimer: The current state of Black people is not entirely bleak, but we have issues that have been perpetuated for entirely too long and I’m hoping collectively we can address them. Moving on.
About this manipulation thing–there seems to be ever present a lack of authenticity in society today. Everyone is trying to buy you. When you’re Black, the implications of this are dangerous! Being a part of a community that has been traumatized and disenfranchised means special interests groups such as the education system, church, and the government have the power to manipulate your emotions to fulfill their personal agendas.
It goes a little something like this, “Black people, you’ve had it so bad for so long. No one cares about you, but us. This is the only way for you to experience justice and peace. Don’t forget about slavery! Don’t ever forget about slavery! Here’s Black History Month. Like our red, green, and black? We’re fighting with you! You must be so triggered.”
Everyone proposes solutions to the ailments in the Black community. Religious folk say “church” or Jesus is the answer. The government says “our party and policies are the answer.” The education system says, “we’re the answer. We’re your only hope.”
Here’s the problem with this. All of these institutions are starting from the wrong place. The root of their so-called remedy is a belief that black people have no value. “Join us and have value” is what they mean to say. “You have no value all your own.” “Do things the way the ‘white man’ does and you’ll have success.” “You can’t trust yourself.”
These systems don’t have a complete picture (wholeness) nor a process by which to ascertain a complete picture. Therefore, they cannot supply the remedy!
The only remedy that will work is one that starts from the place that says, “You are whole. That’s who you are. You have value. You can trust yourself.” There is no fear in that reality!
Every other institution uses shame, fear, and distrust to tether us to their ideology to motivate us to apply their methods.
Education system: You can only have a good life if you do well in school and get as many degrees as possible. If this is such an excellent solution to the ailments of the Black community:
- Why is it that even though Black women are the most educated group of people in America, they are the group of women least likely to be married?
- Why is it that even though it’s common knowledge that children function and grow better in a home with both parents, women are being incentivized to split up the home and put their children’s father on child support disempowering him from growing financially? [There are other negative effects of this incentive.]
- Why is it that even though we know the family is the most sacred institution within which wholeness and purpose is fostered do we encourage our men and women to prioritize everything but the family?]
Christian Church: You will be lost if you don’t regularly attend. Your life will decline if you are not serving here. You need to sacrifice time with your family, rest, etc. in order to make sure the church house doors are open. You need to trust what the pastor says over your individual unction. God is pleased when you’re giving even if it means taking from your family. Pastor knows best. God is going to bless you if you bless the church. If this system is so upright:
- Why is there an imbalance in the male-female church attendance with majority of congregants being female? Why aren’t men finding value in attending church?
- Why are men being emasculated by the current culture of church?
- Why are Black people still broke?
- Why are Black people still living under shame and fear?
- Why are men being disempowered to be the men in their home for the sake of service to the church?
- Why are people leaving the church at such high numbers?
- Why is there such incredible disorder in the church?
- Why does the culture promote Black people saying they’re “blessed and highly favored” when they’re really “faking it ’til they make it?”
- Why is there no vulnerability?
We’ve been sold a pipe dream. It tickles our ears and we return to it like a dog returns to vomit. We are so blinded by our needs that we look for quick fixes and root ourselves in systems that can’t provide what they’ve promised. This only exasperates the condition.
None of these institutions have the desire or know how to see us whole. As long as we are crippled by trauma, they will always have access to pull the wool over our eyes.
It’s time. It’s high time we stop mimicking the cultures of others in order to feel a sense of value. It’s time for us to stop engaging in the media’s conversations about race. It’s time for us to see that learning happens at home first and primarily–not at school. It’s times for us to stop trying to convince people to remedy the past or present. We have all we need right now.
If Black people spent the next five years and put every ounce of their energy toward healing husband and wife relationships, parent-child relationships, honoring ourselves and each other,--the landscape of society would change drastically.
Because we’d no longer be susceptible to manipulation, these groups would seek a different vulnerable population. We’d have restored our sense of value and honor.
This is not to say that Black people have no value. Our value is in tact. We’ve simply lost sight of who we really are because our eyes have wandered everywhere other than where they belong–gazing upon Light.
YAH is light. Religion simply masquerades as it.
The way is plain for us. It’s been placed in plain sight for us to explore and take up. No one could hide it if they tried. It is inevitable, because this is who we are.