By Hakim Abdul-Ali
I was talking to a young and very aware young Afrikan-American brother the other day about what’s going on in Black society today. That was a rather intriguingly vague topic, but it’s one that made me think deeply about it before I engaged in dialogue with this soon-to- be rising college senior.
This intellectual individual, who was so concerned about the happenings in our Afro-communities today, is a longtime reader of my and other Chronicle columnists’ thoughts, opinions and feelings. His interests, nonetheless, were pertinent in that he required me taking a step back from my then present thinking patterns to address him.
Before I answered or responded to his inquiry, I took into careful consideration to whom I was speaking, and I say that with the greatest of respect and admiration. This local college student of color was as serious minded as can be about the current Black happenings, so I started off by being casually direct. I offered that I’ve been a student of seeking legitimate knowledge about many things in my life’s span, especially when it came to and applies to who God is, the nature of existence, religion, Afrikan culture and in viewing all of the many signs that the Most High has shown me and is showing us. As I’ve said previously, I started off with a direct approach where I told the college student that I believe all knowledge about any and all things should begin and end with the Most High Alone’s wisdom and guidance.
With that being said, I know that there are many strange and shocking things going on today until it’s somewhat hard to figure them all out, or even to try to explain them in any logical format, because they’re occurring at drastically rapid speeds of escalation. A “hip” spiritual pundit would defiantly say out loud that they are all signs of the time, a point I tried to lay on the college student’s mental barometer to ponder.
In my personal outlook about the present living process, I think that some “hue- man” oppressors over the annals of time have played with the true nature of the Creator’s teachings to enslave certain segments of societies souls for their own benefits, which they still do today. And when that’s done, innocent ebony victims of color throughout the ages and as a whole over the millenniums of time, mainly have fallen prey to bewildering myths, perplexing falsehoods, and baffling untruths, etc. about so many other things in “our-story,” until, again, it’s not funny anymore when you observe these hapless innocents of color acting like they are mindlessly deaf, dumb and blind.
Puzzling and unfounded misconceptions about them have abounded by the legions in “his-story’s” deceptive literary volumes, passing itself off as standards of authentically recorded truthful knowledge, until no one with even an iota of reasonable sense of intelligence would uphold them as sources of factual and reliable information. The young college student said he felt the same way after being in school for more that three years, but he still felt isolated and depressed in his consciousness and awareness.
I firmly told him that many folk think that what they were being taught, or programmed to learn, was sound, but, in actuality, nothing that they were taught or learned never positively really benefited them or us as a people needing solutions to the problems that afflicted us or them. That shouldn’t be difficult to understand, especially when you look at the reality of deciphering when will some of us who are nonchalant thinkers release the age old colonial and slave-like mentalities that some of us dearly hold on to this very day.
Upon hearing this, the college student said he felt that his college education, thus far, is no more than a systematic processing of his mind with no useful benefit or intent for him, or other young minorities, in aiding and resolving some of today’s critical Afrikan-American issues, problems and other relevant community concerns. The student said that I was making him think intently about being solution- orientated in looking at our and the world’s happenings which was a highlight of our dialogue.
He said it was also clear that rampant and continued racism towards Black males, in particular, and other perverse cultural biasses against Afrikan-Americans, in general, are so fossilized in today’s American “his-storical” educational, political and economic psyches, that he now wants to be a lawyer. The young brother mentioned that being aware of the hidden signs of bigotry and racism has come at a heavy mental price for him.
I told him when I was in undergraduate school during the early and mid ’60s at Howard University, I probably felt the same way he did. So, I decided that I “had” to study the salient things that were paramount to me and our Afrikan-American culture that existed outside the standard academic mills of the American indoctrinated educational system in order for me to gain pure authentic knowledge of self.
In understanding that bold assessment and wanting to alter it requires that one, sometimes, has to pay an exacting price to seek knowledge of God and self, especially if one cares about exposing the underbelly lies of centuries old bigoted writers and racist “his-storians.” Gaining knowledge of one’s self in order to free one’s mind from mental and educational slaveries has never been easy tasks.
I mentioned to the college student that seeking real knowledge of one’s authentic heritage requires a tremendous thirst and full discipline which means that that individual soul must persevere in the face of untold inner and outer pressures in learning truth about all things. Coincidentally, I had to remind him, as I’m reminding you, that we must never forget that what many folk today call relevant education to them is, in reality, no more than indoctrinated, hypocritical miseducation to others.
I told the young student that what I said to him then would probably be way over the average brother’s or sister’s thinking apparatuses because many of us in our present day culture are trapped in confused time warp dispositions. Regretfully, and in far too many other instances to count, there’s a sickening pain and a visible shame of being Black to some of these folk as they scamper earnestly about to adopt ways to look like other folk in the “hue-mankind” genome. I need not mention the alarming and escalating use of skin lightening agents that currently seems to be prevalent, e.g., among the young and old Blacks in places like Jamaica, South Africa, Dominican Republic and Brazil. It only further tragically highlights the dismal display and lack of being proud of their Blackness in some folk’s distorted mirrors of looking at themselves.
The college student said he was aware of this epidemic and that it was also disgusting for him witness the same at his college which is overwhelmingly non-Afrikan-American. He asked my view of this sickness. Sadly, I related that many of these folk with darkened pigments think that wanting to being lighter, or “white”, actually hides a dangerous psychological virus existing in their minds. This is sheer stupidity if you ask me, and many sectors of the global Afrikan culture are actively caught up and hit by this insidious virus big time.
It’s simply a deplorable mortification that this psychotic disease is so prevalent and pervasive in so many parts of the Black worlds of modernity, including America. We, as aware Black folk, have some real issues we need to sit down and have numerous heart-to-heart talks with each other because we need to do it quickly in order to save ourselves, our families and our communities from self-annihilation, before we become our own worst enemies.
That’s what I suggested to the college student that he could and should to do at his school. Please remember that the hatred of one’s natural self is a disaster waiting to implode. The college student understood it. Do you? For today and always, that’s “As I See It”.