Friday, October 21, 2011

Blacks' Self-Sabotaging Beliefs

One of my clients is seeking feedback on an article he wrote on self-destructive African-American beliefs. The article is titled, Group Psychosis in the Black Community.

I found the article of potentially significant societal benefit, for example, as the basis for a workshop for African-Americans.

I don't normally like to mention the race of someone I'm writing about, but in this case, it seems appropriate. The author of the article is Black.

The site on which he posted the article gets little traffic so he asked me to post it on this blog. Feel free to post your comments below.

HERE again is the link to the article.


Jeffrie said...

(Part 1 of 2)

The author's "key aspects of black psychosis" are as follows:

* Shame
* Fear and Anger
* Paranoia
* Victim Mentality
* Jealousy and Envy
* Entitlement
* Exaggerated Success
* Scapegoating
* Empathy
* Hopelessness/Helplessness

Shame: I'm not ashamed of being black, nor am I proud of it. I just am black, always have been & always will be, for all my life.

I do feel different sometimes because of my race. Most of the time I don't.

Yes, I'm the descendant of slaves. I'm also the descendant of slave owners. There's a whole lot of people alive in my family today that I'm not proud of. I don't feel shame because of any of those people. It is what it is for me.

Fear & Anger: "Blacks are afraid of the unknown and distrustful of the actions of others." What does that make the rest of Americans, bold adventurers? Lots of people are that way, not just blacks. It doesn't mean we all live in constant fear & anger.

Paranoia: White people have called me the infamous "n-word" twice in my life in earshot. I've applied for lots of jobs that I didn't get, and I've been in situations where I was the only black person there, including a job.

I do not live in fear of whites, nor do I believe racism lurks around every American corner, not in my failures, and certainly not in my successes. There is still plenty of racism in America, but it is not in the heart of every person who doesn't look like you. If anything, many of us are bending over backwards to prove we're NOT racist.

Considering how much genuine racism, sexism, & other forms of discrimination exists in many other countries, I thank my lucky stars that I was born American. It can't be that bad of a place when people from other countries come here in droves, sometimes risking their lives & breaking the law in doing so.

Victim Mentality: why is it that we love to hear about heroes & underdogs overcoming great obstacles, yet often feel sorry for ourselves? If it's heroes we cheer on, that's what we should aspire to be ourselves.

Jealousy/Envy: yeah, I want what others have. Lots of people do. That's why some people work to earn those things for themselves, and others who haven't earned such things steal from those who have. I'd rather earn what I can get.

Jeffrie said...

(Part 2 of 2)

Entitlement: I only feel entitled for what I have earned. Government handouts & affirmative action have not been earned, but the longer they stay around, the more entitled the recipients feel to them.

I don't like depending on other people. Even though it's been a long time since I was a teenager, I remember being dependent on my parents. I had to do what they said, not what I wanted. It's not a good feeling.

Exaggerated Success: "It’s not the spending of the money that makes this part of the Black psychosis, it’s the spending of the money in a way that lets everyone know he has (or had) money. It’s the exaggerated and very public display of success."

If I had any monetary success, the last thing I'd want is for people to know about it. I don't want to be "rich & famous." I want to be "rich & anonymous."

Scapegoating/Empathy: when a black person does something stupid, I see them as a person that's done something stupid who happens to be black. I have no empathy for them because they're black, and I don't see such an act as proof of continued racism & discrimination.

Helplessness/Hopelessness: "Helpless are the Black professionals, tokens in the sterile corporate offices, medical practices, law firms, classrooms and plumbers’ unions. They live in mainstream America and confront racism every day."

Are you kidding me? I'm not quite professional level yet, but I do have a pretty good job. You know when I felt helpless & hopeless? When I had a CRAPPY job, not a GOOD one.

Hmm. Perhaps I've already taken ownership of my circumstances? So have many blacks more successful than me. We're not all that way.

I hope your client isn't, either.

ST said...

I agree, this could be about any race.

The person is probably not getting many hits on the article, because it's hard to find. Why didn't he make his own blog? I tried going to the home page of Hubpages, and it took me a while to drill down to the exact article, and it competes with a bunch of others there.

Also, I didn't see a possible solution or a positive set of outlooks as a result. I was anticipating it at the end, but it wasn't there.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you that the race of the article is relevant. Just because he is black doesn't mean he speaks for all black people, it just makes it harder for people to accuse the article of racism or stereotyping, which in my opinion it is. It once again defines all black people as being the same. Anyway, I read the article and found it to be typical victim blaming. No silly black people, people aren't racist anymore, you are just being paranoid!

Dan said...

How can black men and women overcome poverty, negativity, and despair if they are unwilling to look at harsh truths about themselves? People like Anonymous have to put aside defensiveness and recognize what is wrong and then change it. I applaud the article writer for his/her bravery to discuss the poison of the victim mentality that has infected the black community and holds back the rest of society.

Anonymous said...

This article is well written. I applaud the courage of the author to bring this out into the open. I also agree with Dan, how can blacks break out of their self-defeating patterns if they don't face the truth?

I was interested in the writer's assertion that "nobody wants to see blacks succeed." I've never heard that before and it was a bit surprising to me. The white nationalists I know aren't, as far as I can tell, upset by seeing a black person succeeding in, say, running a business; they're upset by seeing black people living on the dole, or watching mediocre minorities getting promotions they wouldn't get if they were white. In other words, they don't want to see blacks succeed just because they're black, or at the expense of white people.

The closest thing I've heard to that is an old statement about how blacks are treated in the North versus the South: "In the south, they don't care how close you get so long as you don't get too big; in the north, they don't care how big you get so long as you don't get too close."


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