Why do some Black parents imbue their children with a victimology/passive consciousness & mentality
when it comes to socioeconomic achievement & success, inculcating them to settle for being less than what they CAN be? Disclaimer: I am a Black woman who have observed this among some in the Black American community.
I believe in their own "well meaning" way they call themselves trying to keep their children from getting heartbroken. Therefore they attempt to get their children to be more "realistic".
However I would imagine today's kids believe they have more possibilities. Most parents tend to live forever in their own past.
There was no President Obama, Oprah, Robert Johnson (founder of BET), Ursula Burns Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation, Kenneth Chenault CEO of AMEX, Donald Thompson CEO of McDonalds, Cathy Hughes owner of Radio One (53 radio stations), James D. White CEO of Jamba Juice, Janice Bryant Howroyd founder of ACT•1 Temporary Agency, Collin Powell and Condoleezza Rice (both) former Secretary of State, Magic Johnson owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team, Michael Jordan owner of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team, Tyler Perry owner of his (own) movie studio, Kenneth C. Frazier CEO of Merck & Co., Inc. (pharmaceutical) company, Clarence Otis, Jr CEO & Chairman of the Board for Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Long Horn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52...etc)
The list goes on and on not including any Hip/Hop rap moguls like Jay-Z and P. Diddy who are said to be worth $500M each.
There are just too many examples of black people succeeding for any parent to be poisoning their children's mind regarding what is "possible". It's time to stop playing the race card as an excuse and stop being a "dream killer". It's almost 2015 and not 1915!
In Central Ohio, the victim scenario has largely not been taught from 1994 - 2014. Only a small percentage pass that mentality forward here, but it is passed on by both blacks and whites, including my mother's side of the family - all now deceased, every one.
It has been my awe to see about 2,000 annually of lower-income black youth ages 14 through 24 plan their own businesses, and many of them become successful either in business or in working upwards through related businesses after high school and college. They weren't limited by previous generational habits.
Creatively, these individuals and small groups planned businesses to alleviate the problems they witnessed every day in their communities and families - pain clinics that did not emphasize narcotics, private schools and tutoring businesses that need not be expensive, vocational training programs, neighborhood sports activities, coalitions to address the topics of slum landlords, unfairness in legal and medical treatment, and many more.
We have a Mayor that emphasizes opportunities for all and individual initiative and he has been successful for over a decade in pushing blacks and white forward.
We have a core of families that flounder, but a greater emphasis on helping the mentally challenged and unhealthy in this region may give them the light of a brighter morning.
Sometimes, it is not just the parents. When they hang out with teens who have this attitude they tend to be influenced. Parents can only do so much but maybe the best they can do is choose to live in an environment where there is a different culture, one that encourages them to become winners.
Like any other compound recipe it is a combination of different ingredients that determines the final product. For one our gross under representation in mainstream history as it is taught in our schools.
The redlining practice by the financial institutions whom are suppose to help preserve the community value.
The imbalanced portrayal of us in the entertainment industry. Most of the community fall prey to this psychological modeling thinking it is a normal way of life.
Coupled with how we are represented in the justice system vs the opportunities presented to us from corporate America.
These and a few more mixed with them destroys ones pride and self worth. Fills a community with sense of hopelessness, therefore you dare not share these dreams with your children for fear of looking like a failure because of your accomplishments.
It is like the ugly duckling who didn't realize he was really a beautiful swan. Because he was too busy trying to be what he was never meant to be.
The African American culture took a left turn about 35-40 years ago. Single parents and refusal of trades/education somehow became the norm. While 70% of women head household and have children without being married it has become a desired "norm" by the majority.
In every culture, except African American culture, there appears to be some type of solidarity while it is the practice of African Americans today to practice the crab in a barrel mentality and Willie Lynch Syndrome of living. When African American's were enslaved, we learned to read against threat of death and passed it on to others. The underground railroad was navigated to guide those to freedom while escaping death.
Now we have a generation that does not acknowledge slavery, jim crow laws, nor take advantage of what the ancestors could not do for themselves.
Now, broken homes and we act as if a single parent household is a desire while the statistics reveal the devastating effects on children. Education and trades are not pursued while complaints are made about one's standard of living. Complaints were made about the welfare system designed to remove the African American male from the household while rooted perhaps in racism, it makes no sense for a man to live in the house and not provide/contribute to the family. Thirty or 40 years ago people did not review assets, pre-nups, and their interaction was based in reality and not in reality-tv (aka the new soap operas). Years ago, rap stars, were not the only dreams of African American Men. We lost religion. Now most of the churches are filled with older members while people adopt the culture of stripper pole classes. Men lost respect for women when women lost respect for themselves. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your body but you and a street prostitute should not be dressed the same way when you are a quality woman. The commercialized "hip hop culture" has many men thinking they are Jay-Z/Lil Wayne looking for that top notch eye candy to validate them and women think someone is going to scoop them up and pay for cars and shopping sprees while they fantasize about the "Pretty Woman" effect.
The Ruby Dee and Ozzie reality of a life spend together is not there. There seems to be a conditioning of buffoonery to aid African American failure and collectively we are comfortable with this scenario.No one is recognizing the president and his wife, spiritual goals, two people working hard to achieve that truly love each other.
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