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Gibran

EXCERPT: THE UNMAKING OF THE BLACK MAN

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                Added to this insight is the process of habit since any time a people perceives their environment via memory,  there is no degree of separation between conscious action and habit. And for our evolutionary purposes, this must be recognized as extraordinarily regressive. Why” Because whenever close families and extended neighborhoods reside in close proximity to any crippling memory, that people will shape their survival around that memory, and then will suit their habits to satisfy that memory.

                Case in point. Unarguably, black folks continually shape their passive behavior towards white folks because we remember slavery, lynch mobs, Jim Crow, and the KKK. Via memory, we have gained the habit of being submissive, and since evolution is a slow process, we still haven’t discovered how to defuse our memories, or how to de-energize our fears.

                For brothas and sistas, this is most unfortunate since all social interactions are cued from memory. What else is important to remember is that since memory  sketches the visceral pictures that has kept us in our place, it also compels us to live habit-shaped lives. Fundamentally, habits are neither hard-working nor heroic, yet they instruct us on how we should view ourselves, And how we should relate to the world at large.

                The purpose of a habit is to be as precise as clockwork, and since we have no historical memory of ever being treated fairly by white America, our collective habits urge us to use the same universal method that all vulnerable species have forever employed when in contact with a superior species------passive submissiveness. In essence, we ‘bitch up’. And that has been our image.

               Image rules!

 

                We now recognize that white America, if it was to enslave an entire race for all of eternity, had to develop image-producing skills unmatched in the universe.  How else would their power be revealed, or our hopelessness invented?

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                It is possible that the science of image-assassination began some time before the Willie Lynch era, but the study was considerably expanded during this time when it became anchored to scientific methodology. It wasn’t that Europeans, prior to Willie Lynch, had guessed wrong about screwing together a program to manufacture slaves out of men, but if slavery was going to last, forward-thinking white men understood the techniques must be refined.

                In earlier times, slavemasters possibly thought of slavery as a condition of circumstances that could be measured by war, remedied by ransom, and understood by all, but entering the 17th century, the science of slavery gathered momentum, but did not become painstakingly exact until “image” qualified the process. Prior to this model, slave-breakers had experienced with a variety of “taming” techniques: beatings, and torture among them, along with the fathomless craft of stripping away one’s culture. Yet, against these gloomy odds, some of the Africans miraculously resisted transformation. No matter how vicious or cruel the technique, these Africans, though dehumanized, could resurrect themselves.

                An African warrior, as long as he maintained the “image” of himself as a warrior, would resist and fight. Even  stripped of his culture, deprived of his religion, and placed on foreign soil, it would still not matter because even without these things, the warrior would still remain a warrior. He could still focus. He still possessed an image of himself.

                By inventing an image of the African that was beyond the range of his experience, the slave-makers forced the Africans to accept unqualified and unsubstantiated assumptions about themselves, and thus it began. Almost.

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