Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shared Consciousness

FreeMan said; "So how do we change the people?
This would seem to be the problem.
It isn't racism that is the cause of our malaise - it is the inability to overcome the obstacles put in place by racist institutions in general,
and Black racist institutions in particular.

The common (or shared) consciousness of our Black institutions is one of victimization, or of seeking the material rewards without having done the temporal works, or of surrender.
This view is racist because it assumes a position that is predicated on one's race.

When was the last time a major television bishop or pastor spoke on the second half of the Beatitudes?
Everyone knows the "Blessed is he ...", but what about the "Woes"?
There is a responsibility that goes along with the authority that is desired by most.
There is a responsibility to do for others.
But this message doesn't get ratings. This message doesn't elicit donations. This message isn't glamorous.

I was watching a young cousin clean only his dishes after he'd finished eating dinner ("Supper" in the South.).
When I asked his uncle why the children are taught to only clean up after themselves - "Because I ain't gonna' ", was his reply.
(I had to re-train these kids with the belief that one does something because it needs to be done - not just because one has made the mess.)

But this is the same thinking behind the NBA ball players who are more concerned with "getting theirs" than they are with the team winning.
This is why Iverson can't win a championship.
Even the boring-ass Spurs win championships because they play as a team.
Their slightly better than average group is better than an excellent individual.
(Or better than a group of players who play as individuals.)

This is why ghettos are so dirty and devalued.
People leave trash in the street because it is someone else's job to pick it up.
Kids do poorly in school because it is the teachers job to teach the children.
People don't point out robbers, rapists and killers because it is the policeman's job to catch the criminals.
Everything is "Someone else's job".
Everyone is only looking out for themselves.

Since religion is often used as a control of our shared consciousness - our religions are failing us.
Our religions are leading us down the wrong paths.
Our religions are leading us further down the path of dependence on others instead of having others being dependent upon us.
We are in a constant state of looking to others for the answers instead of having people come to us for the answers.
(Hint; Answers generate money, money generates power and power dictates the terms of peace.)

Ghettos and slums have been in place since there were two groups of people who lived in two different areas.
The more desirable area was the "burbs" - while the less desirable was the "ghetto".
But things are not always static.
When those from the "ghettos" ("Ghetto", in this case meaning low lands, forests, bayous, or any land or area that is less than desirable at any given time.) decided to capitalize on their resources, and market and sell those resources to people from another area, wealth began to flow into and take root in these areas.
As more people became aware of a better way of life - the better life became one that was expected.
This expectation created a shared consciousness of propriety.

But this prosperity wasn't readily available to all.
Some groups of people assumed that prosperity belonged to them alone.
These groups oppressed and subjugated the other groups to maintain their expected way of life.
This dominant group had a shared consciousness of dominance.
Most within the minority groups assumed the position of inferiority.
This group accepted and preached a message of surrender.
Their (the minority group) expectation (and eventual realization) became that of "The Victim".
Even when opportunities became available - most within these minority groups lacked the understanding to take advantage of them.
They had no concept of success beyond what had always been taught in their homes, schools and churches.
This group kept themselves back because they couldn't see themselves as anything other than "Victim".

Many of our schools coddle our children into a false sense of success.
If a group of kids can't pass tests - "Make the tests easier" is the common response from many of our school teachers, administrators and districts.
If a group of firefighters can't pass a test - "Make the tests easier" is the response from our local leaders.
Why not just make the schooling more rigorous?
I'm not saying that this problem is endemic to Black schools - but how many tales of remediation do you hear from teachers and professors at the college level that is required for Black students?
Why are students even graduating if their level of understanding is that of an eighth grader?
Why do we accept this as the norm?

But there are some who are called "Uppity", "Sidity", "Bourgie" or any other pejorative.
( )
This group possessed a shared consciousness of success.
This group viewed their former condition as a challenge.
This group knew that they were more than the limited expectations of the presumptuous dominant culture.
This group chose a life beyond the limited expectations of their friends - many of whom are still stuck on the block.
This group had to overcome the constant pushing by the dominant culture,
and the constant pulling by the submissive minority culture.
This group failed to believe that; Black=Bad.

(@ FreeMan - FreeMan Jr. will be part of this group and he will be called the same names that many call this group today. He will lack the understanding required to live on the block unless he is forced to experience the block. His values will be shaped more by his experiences than by yours. Seeing that you value success more than acceptance, expect him to do the same.
This isn't wrong.
We have no concept of what it is to be a sharecropper, servant or slave,
but our grandparents and our predecessors do.
This is just progress.)

So FreeMan, How do we change the people?
By being honest in our criticism.
By not settling for less from Black people just because they are Black.
By raising our level of shared consciousness.


FreeMan said...

I feel challenged! Is this a challenge? LOL

FreeMan Jr. will stay in his lane and contribute in the way he knows how. But unlike the bougie who usually are condescending and assimilate he will have a father who showed him how to stand on his own two and not see success as standing next to the majority but see success as a God given right despite the majority.

I just think we dont' agree on the focus. Black excellence is desired by myself too but I want to channel that success into our betterment not into competing with others that don't matter. If we are family then what the family knows, builds and shares improves the family. While the current way is to prove that we can run track, emulate, and be accepted by a group in their world and on their views. This is why I argue against the focus that is put out there because instead of teaching to band together they teach to work twice as hard to get half as far. They teach to assimilate instead of dominate.

Everything you say I understand it's just I don't always agree. I see your angle as what's right absent the current situation we are in. It's not wrong at all as I think even my own views if implemented will evolve into what you advocate. I just think at this point it's what's right when we have completed doing what's right for ourselves.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - Yep, that's the point.
Our shared consciousness evolves.
For some - it's still in the developmental stages.
For others - full-blown success.
But it's the fracturing of the whole into light/dark, rich/poor, educated/undereducated, that diminishes the value of our combined contributions.

Like Spike said in School Daze - we need to "Wake Up".

FreeMan said...

Without a direction a lot of ignorant people stand up and scream their short sighted views. On the other hand the ones with direction usually lack patience when people struggle to do what's obvious. The answer lies in the person who can steer people to a certain end and let them realize it for themselves.

Key to all of this is education from both sides the ignorant and the informed. For the ignorant its to seek it and for the informed is to be humbled by it. Until those two come into being we will always have fights over very petty things that will naturally disappear while undertaking growth and maturity.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - Amen.

FreeMan said...

@UBJ - Awww Man now I feel like a preacher. LOL! Next time just say great point because at least that makes me feel smart. LOL!

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - Okay.
"Good Point"

Did you happen to catch the CNN BIA2 part two today?
When they were talking bout the doctors who work through the barber shops?
Isn't that part of the FreeMan General Plan?

FreeMan said...

I have it on DVR but I haven't stopped to watch it maybe this weekend. The barbershop doctors was something you brought up as historically having similar origins.

I glanced at BIA2 but heard some woman singing gospel and turned back to NFL Live. said...

This is interesting stuff. Two thoughts.

One, black America, in particular its elites, once did a better job of instilling basic values of social responsibility into young people. Look at those early civil rights protesters: dignified, well groomed, polite, and capable of bringing great shame on their crude oppressors. I think the 60s unleashed a great deal of disorder, alienation, and the like on all of American society and black America was more vulnerable to the rot it causes, whether it was the anti-authority stuff or the sexual revolution or whatever.

Until black leaders stop talking out of both sides of their mouth and pretending the KKK is on the brink of taking power and recognize that racism is mostly a non-factor and black problems today are mostly moral and cultural and spiritual and require a spiritual reawakening and a culture of discipline and civic mindedness, then I think things won't get better.