January 06, 2006

Blacks are their own worst enemy

How many times have you heard someone make the suggestion that black people are their own worst enemy? I have personally heard it stated overtly or implied more than enough for a lifetime. How can any living entity be its own worst enemy given that biologically, all life is wired to promote survival and perpetuation? Is not this notion really suggesting that something is wrong with the biological programming of black folk relative to other folk? Isn’t such an assumption or conclusion simply a more politically correct or acceptable way of forwarding the notion of black inferiority? I think so.

Every action a person makes, instinctive and conscious, is made to promote survival and or the pleasure of survival, unless there is faulty wiring or physical or emotional pain to the degree that makes a person seek termination. When people make choices it is because the mental calculus has concluded that the act will best promote or stimulate survival. Life does not program entities to promote self destruction, at least not until reproduction, the second prime directive. The two greatest pleasures in life are eating and sex, not necessarily in that order. They are the greatest pleasures because they facilitate the prime directives. All our actions are born from biologically motivated calculation to fulfill pleasure because pleasure is biologically associated with promoting survival. Pain indicates threat to our survival and pleasure indicates promotion of our survival. Thus, people make choices in life to promote pleasure and not pain. Hence, to be our own worst enemy we must be guilty of not seeking pleasure.

People choose the pleasures that their environments have to offer and pleasure is not all physical, but also psychological. Social rank and status is a form of pleasure that serves as a conduit to physical pleasures that promote the second prime directive. The problem for black folk is that our historical and contemporary environment and experiences are different enough in degree or kind that the choices we make differ from others. We all want rank and pleasure however different environments dispense rank and pleasure differently. The dispensing of rank and pleasure in oppressed communities in America conditions behavior that in the long run is detrimental, but pleasurable in the short run. Contrarily, in the non-oppressed communities where people are conditioned that opportunity is boundless, if one follows a process, pleasure in a long term calculus predicated on the process.

In short, the black environment has been conditioned toward short term pleasures and immediate gratification while the white community has been conditioned to seek rank and pleasure based upon a long term process. One of the consequences of years of discrimination against blacks is that black people don’t have faith in the “process” to the degree that white folks do and for good reason. Thus, when faith in the process has been forsaken through the conditioning of empirical evidence, such people make different choices and seek immediate gratification and status and rank as defined by the environment that they know and live in. In actuality, these people for a short time achieve rank and pleasure in their communities…which hardly makes them their own worst enemy in the short run, but rather, successful. However, rank and success in a culture shaped from oppression can lead to failure and punishment by the dominate culture.

In conclusion, I don’t believe that black people are our own worst enemy. To make that suggestion is to make the suggestion that black people are biologically inferior.

15 Comments:

At 5:55 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Do you think blacks can be their own best friend and saviors ? That our salvation is within our own hands ?

 
At 5:55 AM, Blogger Scott said...

And our salvation is not dependant on what other do ?

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

Our Salvation is not dependent on what others do; however their reaction to what we do as we strive towards self determination can affect our journey on the road to salvation. Anytime there is an effort to re-educate Black folk on any issue of importance to us and our survival, “those other folk” have something to say and offer up as if it is important to what it is we are trying to do. Their actions support their hopes at keeping white supremacy as the guiding force of all things on the planet. Those other folk defend Black inferiority like they defend white supremacy so much so that as Noah pointed out, today you will find Black men and women proclaiming Black folk are our own worst enemy, mind you, not that “those other folk” are not our enemy but that we are our own worst enemy, which as written about above is an utterly ridiculous proposition.

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

For black people to be their own best friend requires discrimination. As biological beings, we are not programmed to self destruct, but to seek survival, hence, we cannot be our own worst enemy, which implies self destructive instincts, or external conditioning. The concept of being our own best friend while in a world dominated by whites requires treating black folks THE BEST or Better than we treat other folk. I don’t have a problem with this concept as a means to offset the affects of our REAL worst enemies…which is not us.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger Smitty said...

I hear this notion of black folks being our own worst enemy (OOWE) quite a bit while working in the Atlanta progressive community. Perhaps surprising to some, and not to others, I hear it from other black folks. I'm curious as to how people interpret that. I see it as an internalization of white views of people of African descent. I agree with the original post, the idea of black folks being OOWE harks back tothe 3/5 of a man thinking. A being incapable of long-term stability and sustainability without the intervention of higher beings.

V-103 is the black radio station hear in Atlanta. They get like a million listeners a day. The on-air personalities are celebs in this city and other cities, I hear. Anyhow, they never tire of the OOWE rhetoric. Then they don't let on the air callers capable of dissecting the argument.

What do you all think about black folks harboring the OOWE thinking?

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger Sheena said...

It is true: We are our own worst enemy. And this is why other minority groups are prospering as a whole race (academically, financially, and emotionally) becoming more tolerated/accepted in America. As a black woman in America, I have observed that we need to establish some form of genuine unity within our own race, and stop searching for equality, and start pursuing a STRONG foundation in Economics and Politics. In U.S.A. if you do not have this, you do not have anything. In addition, I wish other blacks could learn to accept constructive criticism from others within our race. If there should not be any room for improvement, then that would make us perfect; we are far from perfect.

 
At 2:05 AM, Blogger chris said...

Other minorities are treated better than African Americans. No other race has been treated like African Americans and yet African Americans continue to persist which signifies collective strength. I am for example West Indian. I have seen people treat my father better than the average African American many times over. Also when I state that I am West Indian instead of African American, just to gauge someones reaction, all of a sudden, as if I transformed into a different person, then I am treated with more respect. With lighter skinned people,and or more accepted races, they are treated even better than West Indians. This better treatment, which many West Indians and other minorities, especially lighter skinned minorities, will not admit to, grant them access while African Americans are left on the outside looking. Allot of the seperation in the African American community is caused by that want to have access that is denied them. African Americans are played against each other. To be accepted is a natural part of living.

 
At 1:59 AM, Blogger Jeffaz16 said...

Blacks ARE their own worst enemies. One example (which I've seen a million times and it is true): If a black kid does good in school and is in gifted classes, he's called a sellout by the other black kids because their parents taught them that racism. Apparently, getting good grades is "being white." Forget that it leads to college scholarships, a well paying career, and lots of success. I guess if you get bad grades, drop out of school, sell drugs and get arrested, then you're properly "being black." Beats me.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Kareem said...

Many in the black culture are wearing blinders and can not let go of their hatred of whites including the original poster. It's always easier to blame an outside source for your problems rather than accept responsibility. Let me ask you this, if white America seeks to undermine and oppress the black community, then why do blacks who immigrate directly from Africa do so well in our society? It's not a race problem its an urban culture problem that promotes hatred and entitlement. Urban blacks and whites both fall victim to this attitude. Most black children also grow up in single parent homes and develop attachment disorder. Meanwhile it's the liberal agendas that patronize blacks by buying our votes and spreading lies while they stay fat and happy and keep us addicted to the handouts. If you sincerely desire to help the black race, stop spewing your hate propaganda and start dealing in facts. But I suspect you are incapable of doing that because as you accuse others of racism, you in fact are the true evil that is racism. Do you label successful and intelligent blacks "uncle toms" as well? Do you undermine blacks that adopt "white culture" as sell outs and traitors? I pity those that have the misfortune of your influence.

 
At 11:04 PM, Blogger KeMoAforika said...

Well done - it needed to be said and you have captured it in way that does not offend or blame. If we could take this to heart and all act on our own responsibility I think things would improve. It is a so much more powerful message coming from a black person. As for white folk, perhaps this concept hold true for them. The essence is true for any color. The message the same - take responsibility for your own life. In doing so you allow others to take responsibility. While blaming whites has it's seeming benefits it has another side - whites can never forgive themselves, and therefore can never begin to work towards making amends. I would love it if you would post on my blog site www.africannews.co.za

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger AthensWriter said...

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At 9:46 AM, Blogger AthensWriter said...

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At 1:14 AM, Blogger joe said...

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At 1:16 AM, Blogger joe said...

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At 2:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You're are quite right! We need to educate ourselves more better

 

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