Sunday, February 04, 2007

Do Not Relegate History To Dusty Old Books

Do Not Relegate History To Dusty Old Books

One of he most profound things that we’ve learned in psychology is that the most powerful forces that shape human behavior are those factors that are consciously not remembered by human beings, that are unknown by the person, are those experiences the individual can swear he never had. That is one of the paradoxes of human behavior, that the very things that shape us and make us behave the way we do, see the world the way we see it and relate to people the way we relate to them, are those things that occurred in our lives at points we cannot remember or recall.” Amos Wilson, The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness. Page 34.

I have noticed over the last few years we as a people have eschewed celebrating Black History Month. It is almost as if we have internalized our enemies dread of African and African-American history, we seem to be content being dummied down and satisfied being ignorant of our legacy of resilience, struggle, greatness and divinity. Have we acquiesced to the will of our oppressor, are we mindlessly cooperating in our own demise and destruction? History is not just what happened a hundred or a few thousand years ago, it is what happened last month, last week yesterday or a few hours ago. History is really personal, history is not what we were brainwashed to believe about the world, history is the accurate record and study of our past. There are lessons in our immediate and lengthy past which we generally call history that we need to learn, benefit from and resolve.
Much of what makes us who and what we are is the result of our history, our total past, meaning past lives, past world history, past ethnic and personal history. If we relegate our past to the recesses of our unconscious we fail to learn the needed lessons from them. Ironically learning the lessons of our past allows us to better live in the moment and wisely navigate our lives as we overcome past addictions, experience success and improve on the things we need to overcome. For example there are lessons about Hurricane Katrina Africans in AmeriKKKa need to discern, learn and master. For one thing we know each of the governments: local, state and especially the Bu$h federal government performed extremely poorly. We know in the case of the Bu$h administration they knowingly, callously and deliberately allowed conditions to worsen despite being warned by weather specialists and satellite imagery days beforehand that the approaching storm was capable of major devastation and destruction. This is one more example in a long series of criminal actions by the US federal government since its founding, comparable to their program of genocide against the Native Americans and the sanctioning of the trans Atlantic slave trade as a revenue source for the government’s treasury (See Article 1 sections 2 and 9 of the US Constitution as well as Article IV and section 2) that negatively impacted thousands of our people.
Our collective and personal history in AmeriKKKa is very painful and will continue to be so into the foreseeable future despite superficial changes in the AmeriKKKan socio-economic and political system. In his new book Pawned Sovereignty Ezrah Aharone shows how the Europeans who founded this country moved to codify the subordinate status of Africans. “The discriminatory content of the Constitution picked up where the Declaration of Independence left off. Article 1, section 2 paragraph 3 known as the ‘three fifths clause’, relegates the status of Black people to three fifths of a person and establishes bold boundaries between the races. It states, ‘Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included in this Union, according to heir respective Numbers which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free persons including those bound to Service for a Term of years and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other persons.’” . We cannot alter these facts but we can accept what happened and learn the lessons from what happened.
We can learn from our dealings with Europeans not to believe everything they say. We must make their behavior , how they act the real test of their integrity. We must also remember our history on this planet extends for millennia before our experiences in AmeriKKKa! One lesson we can learn from our collective past is if our ancestors could create magnificent civilizations throughout the continent of Africa like ancient Sudan, Kemet, Nubia, Zimbabwe and Mali and beyond as well as create a free republic in Haiti, we certainly can be just as determined and creative. It’s in our genes ad DNA. We can be creative and bold wherever we find ourselves in the world. History can teach and inspire (stir up within ourselves) us how to do it. We each have long personal histories of successes we can build upon.
Collectively African people can take direct action to resist our oppression and fight back in a myriad of ways. For example the New York police department recently fired over fifty rounds into the car occupied by three African-American males outside a nightclub killing one of them, Sean Bell. Suppose if every time there was an incident of police brutality in the Black community, our people retaliated against the system in some way? What if we stopped supporting our own oppression by buying products manufactured and sold by our enemies? What if we stopped going to the movies, buying magazines and books or watching videos that blatantly promote white supremacy and reinforced denigrating racists stereotypes about African people. What if we decided to go on a buying fast and absolutely refused to buy anything Black people didn’t make, own or distribute? Since white folks care more about the dollar then they do morality, I think such a boycott would be successful.
When we go to a doctor for the first time, they ask for a personal history so they can figure out what is wrong and how to treat us. History is just as important in psychological healing and restoration. Healing and redemption require also action. We have to cooperate in our own healing. To heal ourselves and our communities, requires both personal and collective action, mental action, emotional action and physical action! Our past is a valuable tool in our liberation, we have to embrace it no matter how painful it is, learn the lessons and use the past to heal and free ourselves now and in the future.

-30-

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