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« President Obasanjo’s Diplomatic Finesse: Unheralded in Nigeria! | Main | The Oil Companies are the Real Terrorists »

February 02, 2006

Ozodi Osuji Weekly Series on Psychology 2006, #7 of 52: African-Americans, as I see them

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- PREAMBLE Like all people, African Americans are individually unique and no two of them are the same. It, therefore, seems a mistake to talk about them as if they are all the same. Be that as it may, the fact is that there is such a thing as group character. For example, I am an Igbo African. There is such a thing as an Igbo character type, within which are individual Igbos who are unique in their personality types.

I understand why folks are leery of talking about national character types; it tends to lead to treating people as members of groups but not as individuals hence stereotyping them. This is a noble intention. All human beings ought to be treated as individuals, not as members of any given groups. Nevertheless, it is silly denying the obvious, that there are national character types.

There is the generalized English, French, Italian, German and American personality type. If you do not accept this fact then randomly select a German and a Russian and give them work to do and see how they do it. The German is more likely to be methodical, thorough and efficient and produce high quality product, whereas the Russian is more likely to be lackadaisical, carefree and inefficient and produce a shoddy product. All said there is such a thing as group personality type, within which there are individual differences.

African Americans have a group based personality type, within which is individuation. Making stereotypical statements about them may be unfair to those who do not fit the group stereotype; nevertheless, we must attempt to understand the generalized picture of the African American. We must do so with the understanding that every general rule has exceptions to it.

I have lived in North America from the time that I left secondary school in Africa. During that time, I have had occasion to interact with most of the ethnic groups that constitute the great mosaic called North America: whites, Asians and African Americans. As a result of my relationships with these various people I come to certain conclusions about them. This essay is not going to dwell on the other ethnic groups that constitute North America but on African Americans.

The individual is seldom objective in his perception of other people, and perception of anything for that matter. He looks at whatever he sees with his past learning, and his internalized presuppositions and preconceptions of what is good or bad. We all seem to wear lenses through which we look at the external world. These myopic lenses probably mean that none of us ever sees anything as it is. In that light, I probably do not see African Americans as they are? My past colors how I see the present.

Having admitted the probable prejudiced nature of my perception, yet my perception is my perception. I am entitled to sharing that perception with those who care to know about it. They can do with it, though admittedly biased, whatever they want to do with it. My obligation to myself is to be honest and describe things as I see them. If my perception is not correct, which is probably the case, I stand to be corrected. You, the reader, please feel free to correct my misperceptions; and while you are at it, please do remember to do so, on rational grounds, not by begging the issue, or merely telling me to share your perception just because it is yours.

There is a common adage that admiration is the highest form of compliment. You want to be like those you admire.

I do not want to be like African Americans. That just about says it all, does it not?

If I were an idealist, I would set about trying to change African Americans. But I am a social realist and know how difficult it is to change people.

My goal in this essay is merely to describe African Americans, as I see them, and leave it to them to ponder how this African sees them. If they think that there is some merit in my perception, they could decide to change what is changeable in them and live with what is not changeable in them. My function as a social observer is to describe phenomena, as I see it, and, hopefully, that description enables individuals to better understand it than they did before.

I should say that the sword cuts both ways. Just as I have my perception of African Americans, they have their perception of me and other Africans. Their perception of us may not be positive? That is their prerogative; they are entitled to their perception.

Each of us behaves in light of his perception of phenomena; his only obligation is to ascertain what that perception is and strive to make it as synonymous with the truth as is possible.

(What is the truth, Pontus Pilate asked Jesus? I, a mere man, certainly do not know what the truth is. May be the alleged only son of God, a Jew, Jesus, knows what the truth is. Those of us who are not sons of God, are perhaps sons of an unknown God, do not know what the truth is. But please do not tell us what the truth is until our unknown God tells us.)

Every human being operates within a context; he operates with a frame of reference that his context gave him, a world view that he internalized while growing up. It is, therefore, necessary to know something about the individual’s context and frame of reference before we can understand him and his perceptions.

I am an Igbo Diala. I was socialized into Igbo Omenala. I internalized Igbo culture and operate from its parameters.

Igbo culture is very republican and democratic. Igbo culture is individualistic, achievement oriented and realistic. Igbos are not a sentimental people, they accept life as it is without unnecessary adornments. Their language is overly realistic. Consider: Owu manu ji ara edebere otu? (I will not interpret it for you, you try to figure it our for yourself, after all, if I have taken the trouble to understand your language, English, the least that you could do is take the trouble to understand my own language, a language, we believe is the best in the world. The Igbos say: Speak Igbo and then die, indicating how proud they are of their language.)

My grandfather grew up in the early 1900s Alaigbo (Igboland), a world that the British had recently conquered. What did him and his contemporary Igbos do? They would tell their children: Look, children, the British defeated us, not because they are better men than we are but because they have advanced science and technology. We must acquire science and technology, if we ever want to compete with them. Therefore, we must all go to school and study science and technology. We must work hard. With science and technology and hard work, in a few generations, we shall be able to do what the British do. We might even surpass them. Thus, these hardy men and women resolved to send their children to school. Going to school and working hard became their mantra. Today, many of these amazing people’s children are university graduates and are found in the best universities of the world.

The Igbo does not countenance laziness. He does not listen to excuses as to why one is poor. He says: if you say yes, your Chi (personal God, your real self) will say yes. (See Chinua Achebe’s novel, Things Fall Apart.) He does not accept the thesis that he is a victim of circumstances. He sees himself as in charge of his life. He has internal locus of control and believes that no matter what the external environment is like that it is up to him to do what he could to extract a decent living for himself and his family. However, he is not naïve as to the powerful effect of the external environment on the individual; he recognizes the reality of the external world but does not resign himself to it.

My grandfather’s generation recognized that, for the time being, the British were in charge of their affairs. But that was a temporary situation. With hard work, they believed that sooner or later they would be able to compete with the British on their on terms.

The Igbo does not want you to pity him, see him as a victim and give him anything out of pity.

(When the Igbo comes to North America and beholds such policies as Affirmative Action, he is annoyed by it; he says: if you cannot get into the school you want to attend on merit, and then do not go to that school. When I was in secondary school, my father would say to me, Tom, I want you go to Oxford or Cambridge University. To do so, you must have excellent grades in your studies, including your GCE Advance Level. He could not tolerate mediocre grades. I had the requisite grades to attend those top colleges, not because I was particularly smart but because father could not let go of my case until I behaved realistically, studied hard.)

The Igbo context from which I came from is one where individuals are expected to compete and receive from their world whatever their abilities could give them in the competitive world they live in.

I am an Igbo and carry the Igbo culture in me to wherever I go. I brought that culture with me to North America. I view the social phenomenon of North America through the lenses of my Igbo worldview. My perception is biased by my individual personality and by my cultural upbringing.


In my perception, African Americans, on the whole, seem to lack initiative; they seem to lack entrepreneurial and business skills. Generally, I see a people who do not start their own businesses; I see a people who wait for others, whites and Asians, to start business ventures and then come around and employ them.

(My parents were small business persons; my father started trading from age fifteen and by the time he was twenty, had gone to most West African countries, buying goods from them and reselling them at a small profit in Alaigbo; my mother ran a restaurant at an army barracks).

The African American that I see does not seem to realize that he can start his own business and employ himself and employ his own people. He stays around waiting for other persons to employ him. And when they do not employ him, he complains, bitching about discrimination against him.

Of course, in North America, discrimination is real. What do you expect? Human beings seem self-centered. (See Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.) Human beings seem motivated to first help themselves and later help those like them.
Whites start business to help themselves and help their brothers and sisters; Asians do the same.

Human beings seldom identify with those who do not look like them. White Americans generally feel comfortable among whites and generally will employ fellow whites before they employ those who do not look them, those they do not feel comfortable around.

In North America, African Americans are generally the last hired and first fired in the workplace.

As soon as he obtains the token jobs white Americas give him, he feels very important. As it were, he says: see, I am now somebody important because I work at a prestigious white outfit.

The African American seems to derive false social importance from his proximity to white folk, folks he, apparently, assumes are superior to him.

The few African Americans that attended Ivy League colleges, such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, even Stanford, tend to think that they are very special persons. They tend to carry themselves like they are godlike. Apparently, it never occurs to these folks that they attended schools that were started by individual white men and that they, themselves, can start their own schools and build them into top ranked schools.

(The so-called Negro colleges, such as Howard, Lincoln, Fisk etc were actually started by white men of good will, those invested in training Negroes during the era of Jim Crow and racial segregation).

On their own, African Americans have not really started great universities and large business corporations and made them outstanding. African Americans, apparently, wait for whites to achieve excellence and they come to bask in reflected glory of white achievement.

Generally, African Americans work for governments (city, county, state and federal) and major American corporations. They seldom start their own business and work for themselves.

Those of them who mange to be in positions of authority in white started employment places seldom employ other blacks, certainly, not in positions that they believe that those fellow blacks would compete for their positions. When they see a talented black person, they become afraid of him and do everything in their power to get rid of him. They surround themselves with mediocre persons and or with white women who would not threaten their positions.

The African American manager is perhaps, the most insecure human being on earth; he feels so insecure and protective of his sinecure position that he spends most of his energy keeping other blacks out. At the various universities, if a token black man is hired, usually to satisfy affirmative action requirement and have one Negro around, he proceeds to do whatever he could to keep other blacks out, certainly to keep out those blacks he believes are more talented than him. But when his unproductive position is challenged, when he does not secure tenure on the basis of his scholastic work, he suddenly seeks other blacks help and starts talking about discrimination against him. But when he has used black support to secure tenure in his school, he could care less about other black folks. In fact, he seldom mentors and nurtures other blacks to become scholars.

The African American is very jealous and perceives any talented black competitor as his enemy, a person to be kept out of his work environment.

African-Americans do not encourage each other to become the best that they could be.


Africans who have had extensive contact with African Americans generally report that the brothers are generally intent on using them rather than helping them. They say that African Americans would like to use Africans’ labor for free and not pay for it. A young unemployed African PhD told me that a head of a black studies department had asked him to come teach a couple of courses at his school and that he did so but found out that the man had no intention of paying him for his services. He wondered how the Negro expected him to pay his bills. He concluded that African Americans, no matter how educated they seem to be, are pimps and hustlers, and that if you do not protect your interest that they would use you for their own good and dump you, just as they use defenseless women as prostitutes to make a living for themselves.

(Actually, to make money to buy drugs, for a pimp could never respect himself; how could a person who exploits another human beings suffering respect himself? No, the pimp must be self a self loathing and destructive person and be addicted to cocaine, crack cocaine, amphetamine, heroine, and the other staple drugs these living dead persons are prone to).


African Americans seem to not value their lives. In their great ghettos, black on black crime is very high. For the slightest excuse, they kill each other. One would think that they would reserve their anger for the group that oppressed them, white folks. Instead, they seem to tolerate white abuse and seem to displace their repressed rage at whites towards fellow blacks. If their brothers, sisters and wives do anything to them that they consider disrespectful, what is left of their pride and vanity is pricked and they strive to rehabilitate their injured vanity by killing them.

These people seem to have no respect for each other’s life. Apparently, their experience of slavery and discrimination so devalued their lives that they do not place much value on black person’s lives.

Not valuing other blacks, not seeing them as important enough to be respected, they find it easy to kill other blacks.

Moreover, the white controlled environment made white life seem very important and blacks accept that feedback and seldom harm whites. At any rate, given the racist nature of American jurisprudence, if a black man committed a crime against a white person, he is most likely to be quickly apprehended and put away in prison than if his victim is another black person.

White judges seem to relish putting black Americans into jail; apparently, they define their role as protecting white society. In America, a minor crime would get a black person prison term and a slap on the wrist for a white person.

Institutional racism is a reality in American jurisprudence; we do not need to deny reality.

(As an Igbo, I am extremely realistic and accept things as they are without illusions that they could be ideal. I expect discrimination from whites, receive what I expect, and am not bothered by it, for, I assume that whites do not owe me anything in life. As I see it, by and by, we, Africans will come to our own and do unto whites as they have done to us. There seem a principle of cause and effect operative in the world; as we sow we reap; by discriminating against other people, whites have sown hatred for them and will so reap. For now, we, Africans, have to take it on the chin, and still keep our heads up and work hard. We must file away all grievances we may have, since you do not have the technological means to retaliate in kind for the injustices we currently experience in the world. We must work towards a future where Africa would have science and technology, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and thereafter we must insist that we be respected. No body respects weak persons and since extant Africans are too weak, no one respects them. So be it. Such is life, cest la vie. I do not cry over reality, I accept it as it is, stoically. But make no mistake about it, every insult Africans have experienced is filed away in our memory banks and in time some one must pay a heavy price for our degradation. Mark that point in your memory bank. Africans are not a forgiving people. All though many Africans are learning the Christian theology that folks forgive those who abused them, however, forgiveness does mean condoning of abuse. Abuse must stop, period; if the imported Jewish God tolerates abuse, he must be given back to masochistic. Our African God, Chukwu, Olorun, Obasi, will do, thank you).


In the past, social scientists tried to describe what they called the Negro personality. See W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Negro Folk; Kardinar and Oversay, the Mark of Oppression; Karon, Negro Personality; Franz Fanon, Black Skin-White Mask; Thomas Pettigrew, A Profile of the Black American; Franklin Frazier, The Negro Middle Class; Kenneth Clark’s studies on Negro children choosing white dolls over black ones; Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy, Omanini, Prospero and Caliban, The Psychology of the Colonized persons; Albert Memmi, The Colonizer and the Colonized.

These largely psychoanalytically oriented observers essentially concluded that the Negro is infantile in personality structure and that he is terrified of harm from his white oppressor and does whatever he does to obtain approval and attention from his white master.

Apparently, the person who is oppressed internalizes his oppression and comes to see his oppressor as superior to him, fears him and tries to emulate him, albeit in a childish manner.

In the Negro Middle Class, Franklin Frazier describes that annoying behavior still seen in many so-called Negro Middle Class (such as the petty clerks who work at the post office, licensed nurse’s aids, teacher’s aids etc). These marginal middle class Negroes seem to devote their entire lives to efforts to seem like they are very important persons. A Negro who is merely a clerk at a post office would buy a Cadillac and other expensive cars and dress in expensive attire, doing every thing in his power to impress other Negroes into thinking that he is a very important person.

A person who in the larger white controlled world is a no-body, in the ghetto, pretends to be a very important person. In the meantime, he does not do what real middle class white folks…medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, college professors etc…. do, work hard and compete for promotion on the basis of merit and train their children.

You seldom see Negroes sacrificing for their children, saving most of their monies to train their children in colleges; no, they would rather drive a Mercedes Benz, or whatever car they associate with high status symbol than pay the school fees of their children. In fact, if elementary and secondary school education were not free in North America, Negroes probably would not even have that marginal education.

These people often seem pathetic in their infantile efforts to seem important. They ape appearances of importance when clearly they are not important. It is not ones appearance that makes one important, it is what one does that is useful to other people that make one important in their eyes.

Are you the best medical doctor, or lawyer, or engineer or professor in town? If you have demonstrable work that makes you stand out from the crowd, you are important, if not, you are not.
(Do what those of us who have failed in the world’s rat race do: accept our failure; we do not attempt to seem what we are not, somebody important. What is important, high social position or peace of mind and happiness? Some of us accept our real self and leave it at that. What is the real self? Is it body or spirit? That is a topic for another essay).


I believe that though the African American has been theoretically emancipated from slavery that he is still a slave, psychologically. He is not psychologically independent, yet. He lacks internal locus of authority. He sees himself as a victim whom whites control.

He may talk volubly about victim-hood and seem to give the impression that he resents it, but, in fact, he seems to relish his sense of victim-hood. He likes the complaining rights being a victim gives him.

In fact, the African American seems to like whites to tell him what to do. Though he complains when his white masters call him boy, he is still a boy, psychologically and seems to like to take marching orders from those he perceives as adults, white men.


My belief is that to be healthy a person must work for what Alfred Adler called social interest, that is, for the common good of the human community. Those who are pro-social in their behaviors tend to be healthy persons.

On the contrary, as I look at African Americans, in the main, they seem self-centered in the extreme. Those of them that seem to have attained so-called middle class status, generally run from their fellow brothers and sisters and disappear into the white world, where they are nonentity and are invisible men.

These people do not reach out to help their fellow black persons. Black children grow up in inner city ghettoes without black adults caring for them. Black men get black women pregnant and disappear. They do not seem to have a sense of responsibility for raising their children. (Of course, I am exaggerating the situation; I am employing the literary device of hyperbole to make a point that needs to be made).

Over seventy percent of black children are raised by single teenage, and virtually illiterate black mothers. These children feel abandoned by the male folk. They grow up feeling angry with the men who did not care for them. They resort to taking drugs in an effort to salve their pain. They engage in petty crimes to obtain money for their drug habits and, of course, are picked up by white police officers and put through the kangaroo criminal court system that seems to exist with one thing in mind: jail young black males.

It is reported that one out of every four young male African Americans between ages 14-24 is either in jail or is being supervised by parole and probation officers. Society spends over $35, 000 a year to keep these folks in jail and spends less than $6,000 a year to train each child at school.

I believe that the intolerable state of black children in North America is largely produced by the self-centeredness of adult African Americans. In my encounter with these people, I often wonder whether they are animals. To me, a human being is a person who struggles to transcend his own self-interests, which is admittedly difficult to accomplish, and helps other people. But here are African Americans and their fancy cars and fancy Super fly clothing not bothering to care for their own children who are starving and craving for adult attention.

I must confess that I tend to not have positive regard for those who abandon their children. If truth must be told, I see them as the dreg of humanity. How can a human being abandon his children? If my poor mother and father could send all their children to university level by working two jobs, I see no reason why African American adults should not help their own people. I resent their tendency to ignore their people’s suffering and not intervene to help.

Consider Michael Jackson, the absurd one who turned his beautiful black skin into hideous looking pseudo white skin. The man has probably cut every bone on his face in his misguided effort to transform his face into Caucasian futures. This is clearly self-hatred at work. The man obviously hates and rejects his black self and thinks, erroneously, that white skin is better than black skin.

One assumes that there are some black psychologists and psychiatrists? How come they did not counsel this confused young man on the need to accept his real self, which includes his skin color?
Generally, a person is living dead and unproductive if he rejects his true self. See, when Michael Jackson lived comfortably in his skin color, he made beautiful music, but now that he is a pseudo white man, his creativity has gone to pot.

From where I stand, African American mental health professionals ought to have intervened and helped the confused soul called Michael Jackson. I think that these self centered folks should quit their annoying tendency of not caring for one another. There self-centered and social disinterested behavior reduces them to animal status.
As I see it, a human being should live to serve other human beings and not just exist for the sake of his own self.

Without other people, there is no such thing as the individual self; over emphasizing the separated self is a waste of time. For example, one cannot talk, for speech presupposes the existence of other people. We are social creatures and are fully alive when we are socially engaged, helping one another.


And here is the saddest part of it all. African American men and women are increasingly embracing the absurd life style of homosexuality. This phenomenon is seldom talked about but when you get to know these people well, you will be surprised at the large number of them that are gay and lesbian.

Actually, it is understandable why African Americans are turning to this absurd life style. The homosexual person is a person who society has thoroughly emasculated. All power has been taken from him. Civilization makes him feel like he or she is powerless. His government has so oppressed and reduced him to powerlessness that he feels lower than animals in worth. Now, he is below animals and does what no self-respecting animal would do, place his penis into other men’s anuses and mouths and call such nonsense sexual activity.

As Alfred Adler pointed out, these people feel so powerless that they can only derive vicarious power by engaging in absurd acts. Defying the obvious natural sexual processes apparently makes these pathetic folks seem powerful, when, in fact, they are as powerless as powerless can be.

Consider the American lesbian feminist woman who raves and rants about power. This woman is so powerless that she cannot even get her oppressive government to give to her what governments in Western Europe have given women: paid for childcare centers and medical insurance. The raging campus dictator called lesbian feminist who gets cowardly liberal professors to teach that her insane behavior is a legitimate alternative life style lacks real power to get her abusive government to do the right thing: give all children day care centers and health insurance.

No, the American is controlled by his oppressive government, so much so, that the only way he seems to derive some sort of existential efficacy is to do the absurd, such as engage in the bestial behavior called homosexually. (Very soon they will be having sex with animals, why not? Who should tell them not to do anything? Tell them to not do something and they defy you, for the sake of being defiant. One expects these folks to soon embrace bestiality and pedophilia. When society begins to go down, it does so rapidly. Rome embraced homosexuality and declined and America is doing the same).

African-Americans, the most emasculated and powerless group of Americans, are sadly embracing the absurdity of homosexuality. And since whites could care less whether they lived or died and since every homosexual act places the individual at risk of contracting diseases born by virus, bacteria, fungus etc these African American homosexuals will probably die out. Who cares if niggers die, and homosexual niggers at that?


I know many Africans who would not permit their children to play or befriend African American children. Apparently, they believe that their children would incorporate what seems to them the unacceptable culture of the African American. In fact, when I was in college and associated with African American students, other Igbos used to pull me aside and tell me to avoid those people, Ndi Akata, they called them. They saw them as hot headed and imprudent persons who are more likely to resort to violence at any time and might use a gun to settle a minor dispute rather than reason it out. An elderly Igbo man once told me:

If those African American friends of yours ever have a dispute with you, you are dead meat; they would shoot you. They do not believe that black life has worth and upon killing you would not feel guilty or remorseful. If you value your life, avoid them.

It should also be noted that Africans tend to consider African Americans as not particularly intelligent. I do not know where they got this information from, from white stereotype that blacks are not intelligent?

If African Americans are not intelligent and since they are Africans, Africans, too, are not intelligent?

I do not believe that there is any truth to the belief that African Americans are not intelligent. The so-called fifteen points’ difference between average African Americans and white-Americans score on IQ tests (85:100:115….blacks, whites and Asian average scores) can be fully accounted for by cultural differences. There are African Americans who score at the superior range (IQ over 132). Logically speaking, if one black person scores very high on these tests, you cannot make a categorical statement to the effect that all African Americans are unintelligent.

Intelligence is a product of biology and social experience. The experience of being black in America, being an ex-slave and a second-class person can fully explain whatever differences exist in-group scores on intelligence tests.


African Americans were slaves. This means that they permitted other people to oppress them and use their labor for free, rather than fight and, if necessary, die fighting than tolerate others abuse. To tolerate others abuse, they must have been afraid of harm and death.

African Americans, of course, were not the first human beings to tolerate others abuse. Slavery existed in Africa and, indeed, still exists in Sudan and Mauritania where Arabs enslave Africans. In Alaigbo some dialas enslaved other Igbos, called Osus. The Osus still live as second class persons in Alaigbo.

Whites did enslave other whites. Indeed, until recently most whites were serfs. In Western Europe, the aristocratic element, who were equivalent to today’s criminal gangs, prevailed on the masses to kowtow to their criminal will. It was only in 1862 that the criminal elements that ruled Russia, the so-called nobility, freed the Russian masses from serfdom.

The point is that all human groups had history of slavery and, as such, contain folks who so feared death that they permitted the sadistic psychopath called slave masters to oppress and abuse them.

Nevertheless, I believe that African-Americans developed fearful personality structures from their recent history of slavery and second class social status in America. They seem like cowards who are fearful of harm and death and will obey white men rather than fight for their freedom.

I believe that it will take a couple more generations, say two hundred years, before African Americans are fully emancipated from their slave psychology and begin to live like free men.

I do not think that we can readily change the personality of the African American. I certainly do not expect him to immediately change the character traits that I delineated above. What I hope is for him to become aware of how other people see him and, if that perception makes sense to him, for him to start working on changing himself.

It is not for me or other people to change African Americans. Only a people, in fact, only the individual, can change themselves. I do not have the delusion that I can change any other human being, both at the individual and group level. As it is, I have a difficult time changing my own negative traits. It is enough for me to struggle to improve me. My sole task, as I see it, is to improve me and in so far that all human beings help each other to become improved, to tell African Americans how I see them and in so doing, perhaps, motivate them to change themselves.


As I pointed out in another essay, African Americans seem to have developed a masochistic personality structure that allows sadistic white persons to oppress and abuse them. They formed a sadomasochistic relationship with whites, whereby whites act as sadists, abuser, and African Americans act as the masochists, the abused. Both parties in this pathological relationship tolerate their unnatural situation. (See Eric Fromm, Escape from Freedom for elaboration of sadomasochistic, symbiotic relationships).

I believe that both whites and blacks in North America need to emancipate themselves from their pathological relationship.

A healthy human being does his best to help other human beings, not abuse them. It is obvious that abusive white Americans are psychologically sick creatures and if they have not learned this fact by now, the rest of the world will soon teach them that lesson. As they go to the rest of the world and try to relate to them as they relate to their Negroes, abusively, they will learn that to others they are no more than sick persons whose warped and stunted approaches to people would not be tolerated. Americans are about to be disabused of their neurotic sense of superiority by the rest of the world; they are about to learn the truth of all human beings equality and sameness.

I am not here to advise white Americans. I am here to focus on black Americans. I have done so and if African Americans see any credence in my obviously negative perception of them, they could work to change it. If they do not want to change, that is their choice. My existential function is to tell folks how I see them, and for them to tell me how they see me, even if all our perceptions are biased.


In this essay, I chose not to wear the blinders of a particular profession, from whose parameters I see the African American. I did so for a purpose. I just wanted to describe the typical African American that is before me. I did not want to do a study of him or try to understand why he is the way he is.

The African American is probably the most studied human being on earth. White scholars have studied him to death. The conservative ones like Arthur Jensen see his faults as either in his genes or weaknesses of character; the liberal ones have offered every possible excuse for him that the human mind can come up with. Why is he not doing the right thing? Why does he abandon his children, why is he unable to do well at America’s schools’ and job places? Tons of liberal environmental explanations have been offered. These studies, by and large, see him as a victim of his external environment, as determined by the racist milieu he lives in. In effect, they make excuses for him. It is not his fault that he is the thing he has become, it is other folks faults, so, do not blame him, blame white Americans.

(In the real world, only a child is made excuses for; adults are blamed for their poor behaviors; thus, liberal scholars actually treat African Americans like children by making excuses for them. In my part of the world, we say: do not make understanding excuses for the individual, just provide him with equal opportunity to work his butt off and take the consequences of his performance, no rationalizations for his failure, please. White liberals have killed African Americans with their pseudo understanding of why they do what they do).

In the 1960s, a northern liberal, Daniel Moynihan, provided one of the first in dept study of the African American family. He alerted folks to the fact that over 25% of black children are raised by single parents, specifically female headed families. Psychoanalysts alerted us to the danger of raising boy children without the presence of men to exercise authority over them, the danger of their not internalizing law and order and behaving lawlessly and winding up in jails. Boy children are naturally aggressive and wild and it takes a lot to tame them, to make them obey the laws of society. Sigmund Freud and his disciples tell us that we are born with the instinct of Id and need the Superego (introjected and interiorized social norms) to tame it and a strong ego to balance our nature and society’s needs for law and order.

Today, over 70% of African American children are raised in single parents home, not the 25% that alarmed Daniel Moynihan. Today, America’s jails and prisons are practically the second home of African American young men. That is, despite all those social science studies, or, as I call them, rationalizations for the shiftlessness of African Americans, the problem has worsened.

I am not motivated to make excuses for any one. Of course, I do try to understand why people do what they do. I am a social scientist and if I choose to I can don the academic hat and provide us with a study of why African Americans are who they are.

In the light of social science, if I see African Americans not helping one another, I would approach the problem from a historical and sociological perspective: they were slaves and a salve’s humanity was systematically destroyed by the slave master; they were transformed into things and made not to care for other people; they were socialized to not care for their children and fellow slaves; they were made not to care for the future but to live for present, for immediate gratification..

In this essay, I am not interested in providing external environmental excuses for African Americans seeming shiftlessness. I just wanted to describe them, as I see them. As to why they are the way they are, I leave it to you to use your methodological approach to phenomena to explain it to your heart’s content.

I have honestly described the African American I see with my two eyes. I do not like the character of the African American that I see. I would like these people to change and become “better” persons. (I do not want to engage in a philosophical discourse as to what are better persons).

I really do not want to hear why African Americans are not doing well at ridiculously easy American schools; all I want to hear is that they are doing well. I want them to do as well as Asian students, to come to classes and make excellent grades. I want them to become diligent workers and responsible parents who stand by their children and do whatever it takes to provide for them. I want them to stop stealing so much so as to stop winding up in jail.

Of course, I understand the inherent institutional racism in America. I understand that many white racist judges seem to gratify their sadistic nature by looking for every opportunity to put blacks behind bars. Be that as it may, in this essay I am not interested in the behavior of white America.

I do read history and appreciate that whatever goes up must come down. America is an empire. We have had empires before. Just as soldiers come and go, empires come and go. The American empire is, in fact, rapidly burning itself out. China is already knocking on the door. Soon, a resurrected Europe would start making noises, asking to share power with America.

Within two hundred years, Africans would have gotten their structural issues settled and undertaken industrial revolution and begin to ask to be taken seriously. Africans will acquire nuclear weapons and there is nothing any one can do to prevent that from happening. The genii are out of the bottle.

America, for a while, out to protect its self interest and prevent its enemies from using such weapons on her, may retard the spread of weapons of mass destruction, but history shows that once a weapon is developed it is only a matter of time before most people have it.

Physics increasingly understands phenomena and soon what we consider today’s advanced physics would become child’s play. So, in time, all people will have advanced science and technology and will challenge their present oppressor, Americans. That is guaranteed. Therefore, I do not loose sleep thinking about white Americans’ current hegemonic control of the world. The sole superpower has her rendezvous with destiny and when she has performed her historical tasks would wither away and be replaced by other equally temporary powers.

I am not motivated to offer excuses for why African Americans are who they are; I am interested in providing a gut level picture of how they come across to me. In this essay, not study, I described how I see them. I relate to them as I see them.

Generally, I do not take African Americans seriously; I tend to assume that they are irresponsible folks who cannot be counted on to stand up for commitment to issues outside their immediate self interests. I tend to see them as folks who when the going gets tough run and make excuses for their cowardice.

If I need things done and done well, I tend not to go to African Americans, I go to white folks. White folks understand the need for working hard, and for volunteering and doing something because it is worth doing.

I expect African Americans to be lazy and uncommitted workers and to exploit folks if they could get away with doing so. Simply stated, I do not have a positive perception of these people.

Of course, I would like African Americans to be different. What I would like and what is, however, are two different things.

January 31, 2006.

Posted by Administrator at February 2, 2006 02:16 AM


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