July 18, 2005

An honest look in a cold mirror

Marc Xavier takes a cold look at the history and state of black culture at Very Small Doses. A lot of people may not like some of what he has to say though.

In the turbid sojourn that we’ve made in the past 400 or so, African Americans have endured a historical experience unlike any other ethnicity in this country. When my ancestors were brought over here from Africa, they were spread across the New World with little regard to family ties or tribal affiliation. It was in this process that we originally lost our culture.

Our customs, our ideas and our worldviews were gradually smothered in a manner not dissimilar to what the Babylonians tried to do to the Jews during the Captivity. By breaking up our family units and moving us around to the highest bidder, our ability to pass on the building blocks of our culture to the next generation was lost. It’s like what the good Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said: "The Negro is an American, we know nothing of Africa."

Time passed, we lost even our languages and we learned to speak English. The succeeding generations of slaves born in captivity increasingly had no recollection of the Old World we came from. It’s a horrible thing to be robbed of one’s identity like that, but even more so because we had no way of even knowing what we had lost of ourselves. But it’s a testament to my ancestors that they nonetheless persevered, even building a new culture.

most young black men see themselves in an intractable socio-economic quagmire and needlessly carry the weight of generations of past wrongs on their shoulders. It appears to me that many African Americans feel emasculated about these wrongs of the past, and in order to prove ourselves our culture demands that we act in a manner to show that we are a force to be reckoned with. Though lacking the calm self-assuredness of one who truly knows our history, we overcompensate by behaving hyper-masculine, or “hard” as the term is used. Violence is the inevitable result.

To coin a phrase, the mirror is a harsh mistress.

I have to agree with him; though many folks will find other reasons to work with. Many people refuse to deal with taking personal responsibility for their actions, instead pointing to some sort of "generational post-traumatic" disorder or some other such gobbly-de-gook.

Is there an easy answer? No; but with time, effort, energy and introspection, progress can be made. There's no reason not to.

Posted by mhking at July 18, 2005 09:15 AM | TrackBack

"The mirror is a harsh mistress..."

C'mon, you can't really believe anybody who'd write something as bogus as that would have anything worth listening to.

His entire essay was little more than a string of cliches. The guy doesn't have a clue,so what he does is string together cool cliches and phrases that regurgitate the same race-card pseudo history we've been hearing since the 70s (which got us in the current mess we're in in the first place.)

Black culture failed a generation ago which is the reason why Hip Hop culture replaced it. Now black culture is dead, killed by it's own hand -- Hip Hop culture.

That's right, Hip Hop culture is "anti-culture." Hip Hop culture is about destroying every civil impulse people have. Hip Hop culture glorifies drug usage and black women bashing. It says it's cool to call a black man a "nigger" and a black woman a bitch.

Of course, confused fellows like the one you're beating your drum about say it's all the white man's fault, that it all goes back to slavery, etc.

Bottom line, the race has failed and Hip Hop is the evidence.


ric landers

Posted by: ric landers at July 18, 2005 06:04 PM

That's strange, Ric. Cuz I read what you just posted as a comment and it doesnt strike me as particularly offensive or necessarily incorrect. I don't know where you got the idea that I said it was all "the white man's" fault . . . the entire essay is introspective and designed to get us to look at the future.

Which basically tells me you didnt read it all the way through, or didn't read it carefully. Alas, it's your own choice to generalize as you please, even if you misrepresent the arguments of someone else.

Posted by: J. Marcus Xavier at July 18, 2005 10:31 PM

What do you mean when you talk about "'generational post-traumatic' disorder? Someone posted on my blog concerning this, but I'm not sure exactly what it's in reference to.

Posted by: J. Marcus Xavier at July 18, 2005 11:13 PM

About a year or year and a half ago, a professor from a college in Oregon was called as a defense witness in a murder trial. The professor claimed that the perp should not be "guilty" because he suffered from some sort of disorder that linked said perp's violence to a historical/genetic/generational response to the legacy of slavery in this nation.

She claimed that she had researched this "condition" and was a supposed "expert witness" in that regard.

Posted by: Michael at July 19, 2005 07:30 AM
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