By Dr. Clive Williams, BH(M)
I could no longer accept the denials, unproven claims, excuses, and rationalizations of a society that murdered my ancestors on a whim, orchestrated the demise of my ancestral worth, destroyed all vestiges of my tradition and family structures, rendering me nameless and faceless, then offer me the poison pill of a religion that justifies their supremacy. Who does that? I am sure you agree that making friends and influencing people was absent from that playbook. Not that I want to belabor the point but breaking through the noise is getting tougher and tougher, so, for more clarity – help me figure this out – pretend your wealthy neighbor finds a way to legally claim that parts of your property is in fact his, because of his superior wealth and power he prevails in court and steals parts of your property. He does not stop there he eventually invites you over to bible study in order to introduce you to the God he worships, and the superior relationship he enjoys with his Church. He goes even further by offering you food for your family and toys for your children, and what do you do? You unquestioningly accept his deity, his food, and his way of life as you help him celebrate his successes with enthusiastic admiration. This scenario plays out before our eyes every day, as it has for hundreds of years, and tells a sad and shameful story – the story of a people whose journey has been ambushed by marauders!
The case I am making is this, in the above, you just read the distilled and sanitized version of a social conditioning that was awful, and way more violent, way more insidious, but still remains as threatening and pernicious as it always was; the stark difference is the migration from physical slavery to mental slavery. Here we are in the 21st century, constantly singing, “we shall overcome,” or chanting “no justice no peace,” or screaming “Black lives matter,” and its all falling on deaf ears. Why? Because, until we demonstrate by our awareness, resolve and determination that our lives have Meaning; until we shed the traditional straightjackets of a manipulative religious system, miseducation and excessive cultural appropriation, our lives have no meaning.
You will continue to be that child who has to be fed your diet of soft food, the religious and political diatribe that’s easily chewed and digested as you continue listening to the fables, nursery rhymes and fantastical stories, which while entertaining, ensured your naivety and gullibility, reinforced your ignorance, and systematically programmed your mind with fear, guilt, and inferiority.
Our Black communities find some sort of distorted solace with cliches which they use liberally as if to cast off despair. They say things like, “I am too blessed to be stressed,” while they’ll rip your head off if you stare too long, or you defend your place in the line; don’t even try saying hello or pay a compliment, you’ll learn more about the ravages of stress than necessary. Another famous belief is, “the strong Black woman mythology, I am too strong to be phased by circumstances.” Then, “I am a person of faith,” which comes out of the mouth of too many Black people I meet, yet when the weather report says heavy rain or snow is in the forecast, they cry like babies. When relatives die, they are inconsolable, confused and hopelessly lost, go figure! There are too many Black folks who are sadly out of touch with reality, they have left the ranks of the resistance, and joined forces with the acquiescent. They no longer fight for meaning, for the liberation of the mind, or for the abolition of mental slavery. A former client of mine remarked, “It is too much work to begin to ask the questions we must, in order to regain our freedom and self-worth, it’s too much work to change the way things are.”
That statement is emblematic of the dilemma that has dismembered the Black family, persistent and intentional social engineering and conditioning has forced many of us into states of anger, apathy, self-loathing, guilt, insecurity, helplessness, and hopelessness. Since Mental Health Institutions and Psychiatric support facilities are now almost non-existent, that patient load has been transferred to our respective homes and churches creating a cascading psychological burden on Black and Brown communities. If sanity is to prevail, then there has to be a psychological reset! The sane among us must declare that we must mentally deconstruct the belief systems, traditions and institutions that has harmed us for hundreds of years; our manipulators have used fear, guilt, and divisiveness to achieve our mental subjugation, they have hypnotized us, domesticated us and zombified us into submissiveness. We have become too lazy, too apathetic to resist and deconstruct the deception of religious and political dogma that defines the new slave.
Yes! The work is hard, it’s unending, it’s often very lonely, but that is the only way you will find Meaning in your life – deconstruct all the bull$h!t around you and figure it out, there is always an invisible presence, a cosmic energy to facilitate, guide and enhance your search for life’s meaning.