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Troy

Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

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I'm about 1/3 of the way through Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

http://runt.it/BrainWashed

The book insightful in many ways. It is actually the best selling non-fiction book on AALBC.com for March/April 2010. i have not had a chance to post the bestsellers list, but I ran the report a couple of weeks ago and was pleasured to see something knock Confessions of a Video Vixen off it's perch for a change

I do have a few issues.

Women's Hair.

This is an extremely complex issue and I would not simply say it is women trying to be white -- not in the 21st century. This seems to be Burrell's position. It is a different dynamic today.

Burrell explains how Chris Rock (of Good Hair Fame) and had to explain to his daughter that there was nothing wrong with her hair. Burrell then points out the Rock's wife has an 18" weave emphasizing the contradiction. Ok that's cool, but then Burrell goes on to say the women like Eryka Badu are more positive role models with her natural hair style. This is problematic for me because Eryka wear wigs too. So one is afro and the other is straight as far as I'm concerned they are equivalent -- Eryka is not better than Chris wife in the hair department....

Burrell, thus far in the book blames all of Black people's woes on slavery. This premise does not explain, at least in my mind, the ground that we've lost on many respects. We made great strides after reconstruction creating universities, communities, churches, in a MUCH more hostile environment. Today we can't even get our boys into college -- let alone create one.

Burrell complains about a bunch of authors including Noire solely on those author's book's titles. I doubt very much if he has read the books he is slamming.

Again I'm only 1/3 of the way through, but I still applaud the work, despite my issues. Burrell's insight into advertising is indeed interesting.

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Every now and then somone comes forth, fresh from a journey to the top of a mountain where they have received an epiphany which has inspired them to proclaim to the world that "black folks are brainwashed"! It’s almost like they don’t know that Carter Woodson beat them to the draw over 50 years ago when he wrote “The Mis-education of the Negro”.

I haven’t read this book, Troy, but I doubt if it will tell me anything astounding. I can’t imagine how the author would assume that the average black adult doesn’t know that slavery stripped us of our identities or that freedom turned us loose into a society that made us over in its image, the result being a mixed bag of ex-slaves heavily influenced by the dominant culture of the country where they live, all of which according to the book's sub-title has erroneously relegated Blacks to the ranks of the inferior. I've heard it all before and my reaction has always been that writing about this issue is a good way to sell books.

And talk about re-cyling revelations, does anybody not know how hip-hop has influenced the advertising industry, and how black side-kicks and magical negroes and sassy black sistas are staples in the entertainment world?

The monumental question is what are poor ol misguided Blacks to do about this brainwashed state of mind? Re-program themselves to emulate Africans? Abandon Christianity and embrace Islam? Pass themselves off as Nigerian royalty, maybe running a money-making scam in the process? Adopt new names? Celebrate Kwaanza? Will doing any of these things dispel the feelings of inferiority unsuspecting Blacks are supposedly mired in? Me, I don’t know, and am too old to care. Ignorance is bliss. BTW, I don’t think this subject is a priority of the President of the United States, either.

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Well. I'm almost done with the book and Burrell does touch upon the success we had immediately after slavery but the backsliding was explained away by slavery too...

Burrell does ention a couple of things I can related to but had not seen articulated as a phenomenon.

One is called the Myth of Individualism. This is really a tough problem preventing small business owners, like myself, from banding togteher with other entitites to "get to the next level". It idea is best described by the quote,"why should I give up a piece of my enterprise when I put in all the sweat equity".

Another is; The Best Black Syndrome: "Creating separate categories of achievement gives children an artifical sense of accomplishment. it also encourages the belief that whtes are superior and can't be challenged"

I guess I was looking for solutions too and I may not have gotten to that part. I skipped and see what was coming next and I noticed that a friend of mine, Deborah Cowell, wrote a significant portionof the final chapter -- can't wait to read that part.

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Check out advertising pioneer Tom Burrell’s video, which highlights his book Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority. It is running on almost every AALBC.com page, including the homepage. Burrell is taking advantage of an AALBC.com video advertising unit: http://runt.it/video_ad

I have to admit when I get a client that understands advertising it make me smile.

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Women's Hair.

This is an extremely complex issue and I would not simply say it is women trying to be white -- not in the 21st century. This seems to be Burrell's position. It is a different dynamic today.

(How is it different. Answer me a question--these weaves, perms, etc--what kind of hair are our women trying to get doing it? I'll answer that--straight hair. What group has straight hair? I'll answer that. White folks.

What other group are they trying to emulate, that is, if they don't have naturally straight hair.

Let me ask you this--when MALE Negroes processed their hair--who were they trying to look like?

Did you ever see the Movie Malcolm X.

Denial is not just a river in Africa.

Negroes are sick with this. And then Negro women wonder why their men go to white women. Hell if they are trying to look white, maybe I should go to the source.

I mean, if I want a white woman, why shouldn't I have a real one.

Haters, commence!)

Burrell, thus far in the book blames all of Black people's woes on slavery.

(You hate it, don't you. Repeat this 400 times. Our ancestors were SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!

Until it don't hurt. It should be a mark of pride--what other group has come from NOTHING like we did to where we are?

I blame all or most of our woes on the fact that many--if not the majority--of Negroes hate their own black face! They can't stand it and are mad with God for making them that way.

It is not as bad as it was when I was coming up, but it is still out there.

Negroes as a whole won't do nothing until this is eradicated)

This premise does not explain, at least in my mind, the ground that we've lost on many respects. We made great strides after reconstruction creating universities, communities, churches, in a MUCH more hostile environment. Today we can't even get our boys into college -- let alone create one.

(What happened? Some Negro cut you off in traffic? Some Negro owe you some money? Did you embarass yourself in a restaurant ordering watermelon? It don't take much to set it off.

Let me ask you a question. Would you go back and live in 1950? Or before?

I am sick of all this crap of how we regressed.

Here you are, college educated, got a business, and talking about going back.

We got more Negroes in college today than ever. And cut out this WE shit. If YOU don't go to college now, how is that the fault of 40 million other Negroes. No you can go if you want.

It would be a waste of time for most that don' go.

College don't teach you how to run a business. It teaches you how to work for somebody.

Where are all these jobs for all these folks.

NEGROES! Take a look at this! The man who posted these comments is one of our best.

How the hell can WE do anything if they are thinking like that?

I quote the movie the Black Klansman:

"You're all useless! You're a bunch of cowardly, useless Uncle Toms!

YOU AIN'T WORTH SAVIN'!

I'm gonna save ya anyway!

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Chris I'm not a woman, and I don't have the data, but I don't believe that all the women who wear perms, extensions, weaves ad wigs are trying to be white.

I've been married almost 20 years I was raised by a woman and I raised two women myself. I don't see these women trying to be white.

I doubt you have sufficient evidence to provide otherwise. While YOUR experience may be different, the plural of your anecdotes is not data...

Negroes [men] processing their hair was generations ago, move on Brother, let it go and move on, the rest of the world has.

Chris you were never enslaved, nor was your father or was his father before him... How much longer do you want to use this as an excuse or a reason for not going to school or doing the work required to succeed? We did it right after slavery ended, why are we stopping now?

Spend less time watching the "Black Klansman"; it seems to have poisoned your mind.

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Chris you were never enslaved, nor was your father or was his father before him... How much longer do you want to use this as an excuse or a reason for not going to school or doing the work required to succeed? We did it right after slavery ended, why are we stopping now?

(No, I was never enslaved--but I seen the slave mentality. You think it just went away overnight, especially since we were kept in a sort of semi servitude until the 60's?

I used to reject this notion too. It was Ishmael Reed who hipped me to it.

You see, like they said of the mythical Vampire, the secret of the slave master is to get people not to believe in him.

Ishmael Reed said that the old institutions of slavery did not go away. They merely mutated. And they have. You got the House Negro, the Mammy, all that stuff.

Didn't your mother ever talk to you about GOOD hair? What do you think she meant? This still has never gone away.

The Israelis are still screaming about things that happened 2,000 years ago. Read the literature of the Jews, it is full of how the centuries of mistreatment affect their conduct EVEN TODAY?

Ever heard of The Masada Complex? The Jews insist it is strong although it is based on events that happend in Palestine 2,000 years ago.

Let us come up to today and white folks in America. When they are racist, do you think it is based on something they learned YESTERDAY, or racist beliefs hundreds of years old?

Dig again--you know how they train an elephant? They chain his foot to a stake. After a while they remove it. And the elephant goes no further than that chain let him, even though it is gone.

I feel you loosening. You resist this. As soon as you accept it, you will be that much freer.

Let's go back to my other question.

Would you like to live like we had to in 1950 or even 1960? When you couldn't even use the same TOILET as a white person? When the best an educated Negro like you could think to do was work as a teacher or at the POST OFFICE?

Blame that on Negroes. Say it was because they wasn't good enough. Didn't have the chops.

There was a black judge here. McMillain was his name. They let him go to law school. He graduated first in his class. Nobody would take him--first job? Slinging mail sacks at the Post office.

Now you'll talk all that positive keep on pushin' bullshit. A Negro like you couldn't live one week in the 40's and 50's.

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Chris in some ways you sound like Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks.

We'll have to disagree about Black women who straighten their hair trying to be White. Again this is perhaps more about a need that has been created. White and Asian women make their hair less straight. Are they trying to be Black?

What hair style would YOU like Black women to have Chris? Oh mighty arbiter of acceptable hairs styles for Black women.

Personally I would not want to live in the any other time but the present. As a relatively young man of modest means, I've been able to travel the world, send my kids to private school, buy Manhattan real estate, run my own business. This, with rare exception, would not have been possible 50 years ago.

The most fascinating thing about your argument is that it would be better applied to YOUR way of thinking not mine. You tell me to "Repeat this 400 times. Our ancestors were SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES! SLAVES!" I know some of my ancestors where enslaved here; but what does it mean?

You and Ish can languish and wallow in the muck and mire of some perceived modern day slavery if you like, but I choose to live -- In 2010, we have that option. The whole idea of trying to equate chattel slavery pre 1865 with modern day America, on any level, is fucking ridiculous.

Chris remember this: Freedom is not Free. You, nor anyone, else will be free, unless you WORK at it. Sometimes you have to fight for it. But always have to learn and educate yourself. You never be free sitting around complaining about our ancestors being enslaved.

I bet if one of our enslaved forefathers saw read the ideas you were espousing -- they'd slap you upside the head!

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Chris in some ways you sound like Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks.

(Damn! You must be psychic! I AM Uncle Ruckus from the Boondocks!)

White and Asian women make their hair less straight. Are they trying to be Black?

(When they wear them Afros, they are. But they are just trying to get attention--they don't wanna be black--unless they are basketball players or singers or something or wish they had more booty)

What hair style would YOU like Black women to have Chris? Oh mighty arbiter of acceptable hairs styles for Black women.

(Any kind they want, as long as it ain't blond or some other unnatural color and as long as I can put my nose in it and it don't stink.

I have been thinking I'd prefer them to go bald if they got a nice shaped head. Then I can rub that mf all I want)

The whole idea of trying to equate chattel slavery pre 1865 with modern day America, on any level, is fucking ridiculous.

(This of course is not what I did. They are not equal. You resist the idea that you, Troy Johnson, business man,New Yorker, Sophisticate, might be thinking the same in 2010 as Kunta Kinte in 1850. Understandable.

The type that exists now is even more pernicious. Negroes back during slavery could not deny the chains, the whipping, the breaking up of families all that. Negroes today can deny that they had any effect.

I resisted this idea myself when first broached. Then, I watched Negroes. I watched myself. I watched the so called upper crust negroes closest of all. And I seen it. Then I seen what I was doing.

Let's take a little quiz. Ever go to an affair and you were the only black there? Ever go to some black folks afterward and that was the first thing you told them about it?

Hmmmm?

You think it's harmless. And taken by itself it probably is. But piled up on top of the hundred other things Negroes do, well

Chris remember this: Freedom is not Free. You, nor anyone, else will be free, unless you WORK at it. Sometimes you have to fight for it. But always have to learn and educate yourself. You never be free sitting around complaining about our ancestors being enslaved.

(What does this have to do with this conversation?)

bet if one of our enslaved forefathers saw read the ideas you were espousing -- they'd slap you upside the head!

(I bet if he looked around and saw how Negroes were acting, he'd shake his head and moan that ain't a damn thang changed)

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