March 24, 2005

When religious concerns become more important than your Human rights (Guest Commentary)

Every now and then I come across commentary that says so much that it would be difficult for me to write about that commentary without basically re-stating everything in the commentary. Such was the case when I came across Brother Ras Jahaziel piece entitled “When religious concerns become more important than your Human rights” (from a yet unpublished book). After reading brother piece I e-mailed the brother and asked for his permission to reprint his words on this Blog as a guest commentary because I believe my writing about what he wrote would not do his words justice. Brother responded to my e-mail with these words; “RE-EDUCATION is our urgent business and I am glad that you would want to share the article with your friends. Go right ahead: thus I will post his piece.

One of the most profound statements in what brother wrote is when he writes that;

“The long feeling of powerlessness, hopelessness, vulnerable dependency, fear, and inferiority, can even shrink the slave's SELF-ESTEEM to the point that he himself would believe that his rights are wrong, and that The Robber's wrong version of rights is correct.

This is what I believe is at the root of the belief system held by Black folk specifically the negro-con that have accepted idea’s and policies conjured up in white think tanks and now repeated in their books, speeches and on their websites. The extent to which the African colonized in America is influenced both mentally and spiritually by our colonizer has determined the extent to which we love ourselves and are willing to fight for ourselves. This can not continue and must not continue. Enjoy and Check out Brother's Web-site.



When a people have been robbed of everything, brutalized, dehumanized, and stripped of their fundamental human rights for centuries, they may become so accustomed to the sight of their stifled humanity hanging from the tree of injustice, that it eventually becomes normal, natural, and acceptable.

This is not surprising, because such a history of fear and terrorism has the potential to subdue and domesticate any species, even to the extent that their future generations may be characterized by a weak and broken will, and a docile mentality.

Just like the animal who has similarly undergone CENTURIES OF DOMESTICATION, such people may become so broken and subdued that they would accept the hopelessness of cage-life, and subconsciously see themselves as eternal losers in an irreversible drama.

Everyone who is an inheritor of this history should do a self-check to search for the deep-down belief that the injustice done to Africa is an irreversible drama in which Blacks are eternal losers. Where there is evidence of inaction and indifference towards the cause of Reparations, there is proof that the feeling of being an eternal loser is firmly stamped in one’s psyche.

Afflicted by enforced amnesia which has left only a vague idea of the ordeal that they have gone through, slave-descendants will hardly understand its long-term consequences. They may therefore remain indifferent and apathetic as their rights continue to be made to seem wrong, and lose the confidence to even speak of Reparations, far less agitate for it.

The long feeling of powerlessness, hopelessness, vulnerable dependency, fear, and inferiority, can even shrink the slave's SELF-ESTEEM to the point that he himself would believe that his rights are wrong, and that The Robber's wrong version of rights is correct.

This easily happens when your self-esteem has been beaten down to zero, and The Robber's opinion has the blessing of "the authorities" and the backing of the much feared "law." Against such psychological odds, the idea of Reparations is bound to seem hopeless and ridiculous.

It is inevitable that after so many generations of dehumanization and domestication, a new mind-set would have been formed, for that is what domestication of a species is supposed to entirely new docile and controllable mind-set. After such a long period of systematic breaking-in, the brave warrior who would fiercely stand up for his rights would only be found in the museum, and in the dusty pages of some history book, but never on the modern plantation. What would have evolved on the modern plantation is an apathetic Negro who firmly believes that he is an eternal loser beyond hope of ever regaining his stolen inheritance. This sick condition is very much in evidence when religious debate takes precedence over the human rights debate on the modern plantation.

Having been reshaped by the tools of domestication, it is more than likely that the Negro’s head would have swapped places with his belly and genitals, and his dominant passion would be food, fun and sex…or religion. The realization that he has a responsibility to the coming generations to reclaim his stolen inheritance will not dawn on the Negro, because he has been sapped of his self confidence by centuries of terrorism and domestication. He would have developed a narrow short-term view on life that goes no farther than the scramble for crumbs, and in the most crucial of times when his ship is sinking, the Negro would be joking, sporting, overeating, over-screwing or arguing about religion. Rather than take to the battle field in pursuit of his rights, the Negro will furtively seek “a safe place” in the hope that when the battle for his human rights is over, OTHERS will have secured for him a safe inheritance.

Such is the effect of the breaking-in process on the Negro that he is the least concerned about the importance of his own humanity. He has become so accustomed to living without it that to him the term now sounds like an abstract luxury that he cannot afford. If the Negro really knew the long-term implications of his history, he would overstand that the only place where he can discard the idea of Reparations is in the same dustbin where he is unwittingly throwing away his offspring's prospects for a better life complete with their restored humanity.

Most of us who have passed through the loins of this slave-breaking process can see, if we only open our eyes, how it works to this very day, pressuring us to abandon our manhood, pressuring us to abandon our self respect and our nobility, pressuring us to abandon our sense of group solidarity, pressuring us to spy on one another, pressuring us to sell out one another, pressuring us to conform to the pre-designed inferior role of Negro-hood.

What therefore are the consequences for a people who have been broken-in and stripped of their humanity to the point where they have lost all confidence in self?

The consequences are tragic. Loss of trust and confidence in self equals loss of trust and confidence in your mother, your father, your brother, and your race. It also equals loss of trust and confidence in your own God, and ultimately loss of trust and confidence in the cause of justice. It could be said of such people: Their God has been imprisoned.

A BROKEN PEOPLE are never able to muster the ambition, the hunger, the drive, the focus, the commitment, the determination, the self-belief, and the self discipline that it would take to establish their rights on earth. As long as they remain locked down in this spiritual coma, their stay on earth will always be dependent on the permission of those who see themselves as "The Owners." They will always find themselves on election-day having to choose between the Devil and Satan.

If one were to venture into the inner sanctuaries of such people one would see sitting in the centre, an idol of the white slave-master with a dollar bill sign stuck to its forehead while holding in its hand the rod of individualism. In the lap of this idol one will also see the spirit of confusion dressed in the garments of religion. These are the evil entities that prevent cohesion and maintain a permanent state of distraction.

Ras Jahaziel


At 10:22 AM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...


I have been in the midst of some home improvement and gardening activities around my house over the last month or so. I bring this up not to point out that I am a homeowner, and not to engage in pithy discussion, but to explain how this experience has brought me closer to an understanding of slavery. As I work, laying floors, plaster, dry wall, etc., I have come to enjoy the pain of the labor. I have come to enjoy looking down at my hands and seeing chalk, cuts and blood, for I love to think that by laboring, I am showing respect to my ancestors. Pain and ablution help me understand what the life of a slave must have been like. The pain, the strength, the sweat, etc.

I also look at my dark-brown hands, and it's almost like I can see the white ancestoral blood coursing through my veins, just underneat the skin, and I wonder what my great great grandmother, who was raped by her master at the age of 14, must have felt like.

When I see all these black "Christian" preachers on TV or on the internet talking about their crusade against gay marriage, it reaffirms my belief that many blacks, particular black evangelical Christians, simply consider themselves a darker version of whites. They are the ideological descendants of white evangelical slaveowners, who beat and brainwashed our people from babies to adulthood. They idolize white theology and capitalism, and they strive, in every way, to deny their blackness. These people have become the TV and radio face of black America, leaving white americans with a false sense of black "introspection."

I have commented before that I do not support the reparations movement. It is a sisyphian endeavor. I do not want any blood money from the filthy oppressor. Nor do I think we'll ever get it. The best thing we can do is focus on our families and our communities and our economies.

I have been reading Frederick Douglass' "Life and Times" and he discusses the psychological warfare conducted against blacks, particulary men. This warfare continues today, and will continue for our lifetimes. The slavemaster was successful in convincing the slave that the sky was red and the sun was blue--only because the slave was born a child. By it shall not always be so. The mills of God grind exceedingly slow. And the white man will get his just desserts in due time. In His time.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Faheem said...

The most bogus reason to oppose reparations is that it is a Sisyphean which is the same as saying it is futile or a waste of time because we will never get it. It takes as much energy to oppose reparations as it does to support it, thus it makes no sense to understand the principle behind the reparations movement and agree that reparations is due but yet oppose it because you do not believe it will happen. I am certain you have taken on many things and challenges you could not see coming to fruition but yet through your effort and hard work it came to be. Such is the case with reparations, one does not have to believe we will ever get reparations to support the reparations movement, one only need to agree that reparations are due. If supporting reparation is a Sisyphean than opposing reparations is just as much a Sisyphean. I would hope that Black folk err on the side of supporting reparations if supporting and opposing reparations is a Sisyphean.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger bombsoverbaghdad said...

"If supporting reparation is a Sisyphean than opposing reparations is just as much a Sisyphean."

Well, I certainly don't agree with that statement.

Of course I believe that the white man owes us reparation, but I cannot direct my political activities towards that goal.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

This is where you make your mistake Bombs, you are not being asked to support reparations with your political activities, however, since you do believe reparations are due, you are being asked not to oppose reparations with your political activities, such as saying that you do not support the reparations movement. If you do not support it, than you are against it while maintaining the belief that they are due. Surely you see the inherent contradiction in that. There are plenty of things Black organizations are doing that I do not support with my political activities but I will not be found speaking out against them either, especially since I know that the outcome of those activities is beneficial to our people rather they be real or imagined. Your opposition is far more detrimental to the reparations movement that your silence on the issue would ever be. Passive support by way of silence is better that spoken opposition.

At 8:37 PM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

Faheem, I still have to read your essay but I thought I would offer this observation...

I don't know how Bombs comes down on this, but it's rather ironic how people pick and choose the things they fell are "worth" fighting for or otherwise consider an obligation. It's interesting to note his "respecting the ancestors" note about his "labor".

That aside, while I'm not suggesting or assuming Bombs takes this position, it is rather hypocritical for some Black folk to claim that We Ultimately Control Things when it comes to the Negative Images promoted in Hip Hop... but, when up against the same SYSTEM and Power Dynamics, they shrink it to the Defeatist Mindset of "It's Never Going To Happen."

Now, I can acknowledge that merits of the Hip Hop position which is, essentially, one of Accentuating The Positive - i.e. motivating people towards positive action. But, the Hip Hop issue is no different from Reparations.

We, as a people, have no more apparent control over the Hip Hop Industry than we have over the U.S. Gov't or American Body Politic in general. But, somehow, these Selectively Brave Champions Of Black Morality & Personal Responsibility & Accountability can talk tall shit about Hip Hop and the lack of mobilization on our part to take that part of our Destiny In Our Own Hands... but they get fairweather when it comes to Reparations.


Now, keep it straight. BOMBS~ the only thing I would wonder about you is how come your "respect" and accountability to "your ancestors" stop at such a comparatively superficial task like your own home improvement and landscaping?

I ask that because my fundamental belief and sense of obligation is that I have no choice but to be for and/or fight vigorously for REPARATIONS because anything less would be an utter disgrace and disrespect to the ancestors.

I like... How can we who've benefitted so much from their efforts all-of-a-sudden decide "The Fight is Over" when the Battle Is Not Won?

Take that how you will but I fundamentally agree with Faheem. This "it will never happen" mentality is steeped in selfishness and a lack of WILL. A lack of will to sacrifice and do our part...

At the very least, it says we're not willing to follow the example of our ancestors. They lived in Eras were it was much more reasonable to believe "it would never happen". And that relates to their contemporaries saying, SLAVERY WILL NEVER END. SEGREGATION WILL LAST FOREVER.

Did any of that stop our most venerated ancestors?

At 9:07 PM, Blogger NmagiNATE said...

The realization that he has a responsibility to the coming generations to reclaim his stolen inheritance will not dawn on the Negro, because he has been sapped of his self confidence by centuries of terrorism and domestication.

My sentiments exactly...
But put so much more eloquently and To The PUNCH Point more precise than I can ever state.

It is exactly that FEAR of White TERRORISM, be it violent or not, that causes Black people who otherwise claim Reparations Are Due to shrink away from the attendant responsibility of forwarding "The Cause."

If it's something else... I'd like to hear it. Nothing else seems plausible. Such a belief is tantamount to believing WHITES ARE AND SHOULD BE SUPERIOR. Of course, the corollary is the Belief In Black Inferiority.

We have a Dual Obligation. Both to our ancestors and to our progeny, as the brother pointed out. We cannot abandon the path our ancestors laid for us, landing us in the most privileged and advantageous position to-date to just abort that mission at the expense of our own children...

At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Comrade’s,

As the result of my Native American heritage, I received reparations in the form of a tax break, educational benefits and a relatively meager check. Everyday since then has been like Christmas! The streets have been paved with gold for us red folk now that the white man has acknowledged his heinous misdeeds. All the hatred and exploitation of my people somehow seemed to magically dissipate after reparations… beautiful!! All of my lazy, substance abusing, nihilistic, ignorant, and self-hating friends seemed to perk up and love themselves overnight. Now they’re all hard-working, successful and productive members of society. Our communities are now thriving and prosperous. Gone are the reservations and the dehumanizing poverty. How did this happen you might ask? It’s because the white man learned to love us, and see us as their equals once the government allocated reparations. This could be your reality too Negroes! Reparations will be the answer to all of your problems… just keep whining and complaining – it worked for us. The more pathetic, reactionary and self-righteously misguided your blame game is, the more you’ll get!! Don’t worry about personal responsibility, because when the white man decides to take care of you, and love you like he does us, you’ll be on easy street. Once people realize ya got screwed – you’ll get paid my friends!!!

So as you may have guessed, I totally support reparations. Besides, it’s the best way to continue the cycle of dependency - which is really a good thing! I mean, who wants to work anyway? It’s overrated! I don’t care what anyone says, it’s better to be given something that resembles freedom, that to actually fight for the real thing!! Hell, if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll get your own major league team mascot like our Cleveland Indian. It’s such a source of pride for us! Maybe your team will be called the L.A. Coons, or the Boston Sambo’s. Can you envision it? Ah… yes, such is the post-reparations good life!!

God Bless America!!

-Black Foot

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

Black Foot, clearly you are shooting for sarcasm and it is even clearer through your writing style that you are no more an Indian than I and simply have a Black foot which does not make you one of the Native men or women. Your argument is interested because it does not particularly oppose reparations but try to offer us an example of a people who have gotten some of what it is we ask for and then saying our condition after reparations would be similar if not exactly like theirs, however you provide nothing in the way of evidence to back this foolish claim but then again you were being sarcastic. You go on to make the bogus personal responsibility argument as if the lack of personal responsibility is what created our condition. Throw in there a few more Negro-Con buzz words, cycle of dependency, refer to clear and articulate arguments as complaining and whining, say making such arguments is blaming the white man as if the white man is without blame, the only thing you did not tell us Black foot is if you spit or swallow when the balls are removed from your chin.

Now that is real sarcasm.

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That’s not sarcasm on your part comrade, that’s just vulgarity. Sarcasm necessitates some form of wit and imagination. On the other hand, what I was doing was called satire.

Anyway, you’re so easy to rile Faheem. You should work on that…

All vulgarities and satire aside – what do you think reparations is going to do for your community, or for society at large? That’s the real question.

…Let’s smoke a peace pipe!

-Back Foot

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

You know MJ, your writing style is like your finger print, the question is why are you using the name Black foot. This is one of the reasons why we asked that everyone leave a name if they are going to comment because we know there are cowards online that like to throw stones and run or hide their hand. As far as getting me riled up, I can assure you all that I write is written with the same demeanor thus I am no more riled up than you.

To answer your question Blackfoot, MJ or whatever other name you use, I can not say what reparations will do for Black men and women as a whole, being that we all will use and react to it differently depending on how it is giving and what form it is giving in. This also means you can not say what the fallout from it will be either. As far as the society at large, I am not concerned with what reparation giving to us will do for them or what it will mean to them anymore than they are concerned as to what the crimes that is the underlying reasons reparations are due have done to us.


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