Self-Sabotage Among Many Black Americans

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  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 12 years ago

    Disclaimer:  I am an educated middle class Black woman.  There are social problems among Black Americans.  Yes, there is racism; however, please do not use this as an excuse not to become educated and achieve your dreams.  Yes, there are many Blacks who use the issue of racism and past injustice as a pretextual basis as not to attempt to advance and improve their lot in life.

    There are Black Americans who succumb to banal, negative stereotypes of the thug culture.  These Blacks believe that "being Black" means being antiintellectual, speaking in slang, and succumbing to pathological behaviors.   They believe that any Black person who aspires to become highly educated and successful in his/her career endeavors are "acting white."   This thinking is totally atavistic and is only hampering the progress of Black Americans.

    There are Black Americans who want to be rescued, relishing being in the mode of victim.   They believe that they are "powerless" and are at the mercy of outside forces.  The passivity is quite phemonenal among these Black Americans.   They actually believe that there is nothing that they can do to improve their situation. 

    Yes, Black Americans with those of the Black diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America were also enslaved but it is time for Black Americans to stop using the issue of slavery as an excuse for Black passivity and fatalism.  Black Caribbeans and Black Africans who come to America have a more respectful attitude towards education and achievement than Black Americans.   I have noticed this firsthand.  Simply put, being Black in America is not an excuse to be mediocre in life. 

    If Black America wants to achieve affluence and to be successful, they must develop a more positive attitude towards education and learning.   They must also become more proactive in their schools and participate in teacher-parent conferences.   Furthermore, they have to be more proactive in their communities and make them more positive places for them and their children to thrive.  If a fellow Black person succeed beyond his/her wildest dreams, do not deride him/her as "who does he/she think he/she is, he/she is no better than me".  Cheer all those who succeed as those successful Blacks are role models to the Black community.   It is really time to do some inhouse cleaning in the Black American community.  What are your thoughts on this subject?

  2. CMHypno profile image83
    CMHypnoposted 12 years ago

    I don't think that it is just Black Americans.  I think that many people find reasons and excuses not to follow their dreams and find fulfilment in their lives, whatever their nationality, race or religion.  This needs to be addressed in early education, when every child should be encouraged to find their talents and develop them, and be told that they can choose to make whatever they want to from their lives, while also teaching how to overcome the inevitable tough times and setbacks.

    Too many people do not realise that they are choosing their victim status, it was not thrust on them.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      To CMHypno: Thank you.   Yes, there are many people regardless of ethnic/racial status who are in dire situations thus bemoaning and cursing their lot in life without assessing why they are in this dire situation in the first place.   Such people love to blame the establishment for their predictament instead of becoming proactive and improving themselves.  What you have presented a well thought out premise.

    2. tohimilook profile image59
      tohimilookposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      This is a problem where people not only blacks have a scape goat type mentality.  Instead of setting goals and disciplining themselves, they seek to blame everyone except themselves.    There are many successful blacks that can be role models.   People make their own choices.  Ben Carson an African American grew up poor, BUT his mother knew that a good education meant the difference between just eeking out a living.  He is now a brilliant neurosurgeon.   Blacks in America must realise that they
      MUST WANT TO ACHIEVE.  Noone can be ambitious for you.   By allowing
      this kind of mental slavery to persist they are allowing their offspring and future generations to be doomed economical and educationally.  Blacks have not been the only people who were enslaved.    The choice is theirs.
      People in the Caribbean were enslaved BUT the difference is their ATTITUDE.   They need to wake up and realise that noone owes them a living.  If people from other parts of the world can emigrate to the USA and become successful, black Americans can do the same.   Slavery was a cruel and harsh system.   But remember, Booker T Washington was brought up in slavery BUT TAUGHT himself to read, his situation was 100 times worse than the modern black Americans.  If black continue to believe in this negative way, it will just become a self fulfil prophecy.

      1. gmwilliams profile image84
        gmwilliamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        This is so true.  Many Black Americans have the slavery mentality.  They subconsciously believe that they are inferior and are undeserving of the good things in life.  Thus this thinking is mired into their memes and they act upon it.   

        I hear many Black Americans remark derisely on how immigrants and so-called foreigners outsucceed them.  Well, it is their attitude, work ethic, and a positive belief in the power of education.   Some recent immigrants come to America with nothing, yet they work and put in much sacrifice in order to become more successful.  These immigrants inoculate their children of the importance of education, especially tertiary education.   These immigrants have the belief that when one is working, one is free and never to depend upon the government. 

        Many Black Americans into the 21st century see the government as the answer to every thing.  If you have noticed a lot of Black Americans go into civil service employment(this is government employment) and/or working for others but seldom do they attempt to work for themselves.  Black Americans must get rid of the slavery mentality and learn to become entrepeneurial.   Besides that, Black Americans should plan for careers and not just jobs.   There really has to be some inhouse cleansing of the Black American mentality in for Black Americans to become more cohesive and successful than they are at the present time.

  3. Shadesbreath profile image78
    Shadesbreathposted 12 years ago

    Tough cycle to break though. Not gonna unravel so much cultural and historical momentum without a lot more people rolling up their sleeves and getting in there to help fix it. That will take money, and it will take time.

    It's easy to sit back and point out the problems, at least some of the bigger less-nuanced ones, but as a nation we don't seem to have any interest in really getting in there in an "intervention" like way and helping people reshape the vicious paradigm.

    I'm not pointing fingers either. I'm no different than the rest, just a squirrel trying to get a nut, worried about what's happening in my own tree. Etc. Not sure how it gets solved, though, because most people are squirreling their way through life and don't get involved until it becomes THEIR problem. And for the most part, the people who might help in those situations just move to a new tree, because they have the resources to do so. Etc. again.


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