I was sitting at my computer one night, thinking about all the ways that our minds are controlled from the time we are born. I thought about the many flawed concepts that are dropped into our psyches by media, the educational system, and even our own families. Some of these ideas hit us so early that we hardly have a chance to escape them. Others simply leave us crippled and unable to fight white supremacy.
So, I made a list of all of the things many of us believe about the world and ourselves at an early age, as well as things we are trained to do that may end up being to our detriment. Of course this list is not final, nor is it presumably correct on every count. At the same time, it gives us something to think about, because the brainwashing is pretty deep in our society. Here we go:
1) Letting your oppressors educate your children, medicate them, and put them into the school-to-prison pipeline
2) Thinking that white people are supposed to give you a job when you can actually create one for yourself: When you were slaves for as long as we were, it can be difficult to see yourself as the boss instead of the laborer
3) Thinking that every black person who goes to prison is automatically a bad human being: Mass incarceration is real and it’s not by accident.
4) Eating food that is going to give you diabetes and/or heart disease and/or high blood pressure by the age of 45
5) Valuing sports and entertainment over education: Not many people know the name of the black kid who won the math competition, but everybody knows who won the state championship.
6) Believing that black people you see on white-owned TV networks are supposed to be leaders or role models to your community: Reality TV stars come to mind – people with virtually no talent who influence our kids because they live their ridiculous lives in front of a camera.
7) Believing that every tax refund check and every paycheck is supposed to go straight to the mall to buy overpriced European brands from companies that don’t even hire black people: Money is capital to be used for investing, job creation and building businesses, not a consumption item to be given away at every available opportunity for the sake of materialistic excess or instant gratification.
8) Thinking that being “rich” means having a high paying job, a big house or a fancy car, even if it’s all financed with debt: Chances are that the “baller” down the street is one paycheck away from being homeless
9) Calling yourself and your friends n*ggers (or n*ggaz) and seeing nothing wrong with that: Listen to me carefully – You’ are NOT a n*gger, no matter how often Jewish-run record labels pay black rappers to tell you that you are.
10) Giving your money to white businesses and avoiding the black ones
11) Thinking that we’re all supposed to vote for the Democratic Party in every election: Even Bill Clinton admitted that he put too many black people in prison, and President Obama’s not letting them out anytime soon.
12) Believing that Africa is a poor, dirty, horrible place with nothing but poverty and disease, and that you should thank your lucky stars you were “blessed” enough to live in America: Newsflash – you live in arguably the most racist country in the world. No country on the planet incarcerates black people the way we do in the United States of America.
13) Believing that Harvard and Yale are better than Spelman and Howard
14) Not realizing that both Spelman and Howard were founded by white people
15) Not realizing that most of the people who founded the NAACP were actually white and that this organization never really belonged to you in the first place.
16) Thinking that straight hair is “good” and black hair is “nasty,” then giving all of your money to Korean beauty shops so they can make you feel better about yourself
17) Believing that light skinned women are more attractive than those with dark skin
18) Knowing nothing about African history, but believing every great accomplishment occurred in Europe, starting with Christopher Columbus “discovering” a country that was well-populated thousands of years before he got here.
19) Believing that you’re only supposed to pray, march and be peaceful every time your children get slaughtered by whites
20) Delivering those prayers on your knees to a big, white Jesus
21) Looking up to historical figures like George Washington who put our ancestors in chains and probably raped them
22) Believing that integration was a sign of progress for black people and not an era where black institutions were destroyed and left for dead
23) Believing that Martin Luther King is more important than Malcolm X because white people market him more regularly
24) Believing that Martin Luther King only spoke of peace and forgiveness instead of the same rage and reparations that many of us talk about today
25) Thinking that its normal to have an all black neighborhood with a mostly white police force, when there are no all-white neighborhoods with a mostly black police force
26) Believing that a half-white president is going to be significantly different from a completely white one: Hint – most high-level politicians think alike, since they are supporting the same system that has oppressed you for 400 years. Also, our system incentivizes them to worship corporate money
27) Thinking that the first black (fill in the blank) to get into a white institution actually represents progress, even though whites have never considered it be progress to get into our institutions (Does standard White History include a story about the first white man to get into Morehouse?)
Once again, feel free to add to the list. I don’t know everything, but my brainwashing as a PhD tells me that I am supposed to think I know everything. So, maybe this is my first step toward escaping my own psychological plantation. We have all been
Dr Boyce Watkins is a Finance PhD and the creator of the Black Wealth Bootcamp. For more information, please visit www.BoyceWatkins.com