The Danger of Superficial Knowledge in the Black Struggle
The Danger of Superficial Knowledge in the Black Struggle
The Danger of Superficial Knowledge in the Black Struggle ~ You know, it is actually okay to not comment on topics that you are not educated on, academically or auto-didactically.
As we struggle to develop some type of apprehension of the forces behind the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, we must also take an introspective examination of ourselves. As a person who is deeply entrenched in the struggle for the empowerment and elevation of Blacks, I have become aware of a lot of tendencies of Blacks that are immensely counterproductive to empowerment and elevation, and I am not talking about the more obvious issues like disunity, consumerism, the disintegration of the family unit, etc. I am speaking of the proclivity of many to discount or dismiss that which they do not understand.
For example, there are blacks who completely dismiss the idea of slavery still having an impact on the collective behavior of African Americans. But, these individuals have little to no experience or understanding of intergenerational transmission of trauma. They lack the understanding of epigenetic influences on trauma and behavior. The will likely not have even a rudimentary understanding of neuro science and the role it plays in the intergenerational transmission of trauma.
For instance, while having heard of the term post traumatic stress disorder, these individuals will not understand the physiological implications of the condition. They would not understand that in the early stages of development, an infant who is born into a family where at least one parent is suffering from PTSD, will possible sense neglect, anger and hostility, which will impact the development of their brain before they can even speak. They would not understand that when neuro -circuits fire simultaneously, they tend to become interconnected, changing the entire way the brain responds to specific stimuli. It changes how they learn, and it impacts their capacity to be effectively educated. Being born to a parent suffering from PTSD can literally cause the brain to be rewired.
This is why many of these same individuals will argue against anyone who speaks out against police brutality in the black community — stating that we should be more focused on dealing with the inner-city, intra-racial violence. While they can quote statistics, they do not have the capacity to explain how and why it is happening. When you ask most of them, they will respond that it is based on poor parenting, with a statement something like this: “They need discipline in their lives (referring primarily to corporal punishment). Actually the truth is that most African American men who are incarcerated for violent crimes, and other felonies, were physically disciplined as children. So, there has to be some other influence.
These people have no understanding of the influences behind African American Adolescent and Young Adult Male Violence. They have no cognitive comprehension of social influences, such as:
1. Urban Hassle
2. Being a prior victim of violence
3. Witnessing violence (conditioning and desensitizing responses)
4. The lack of proper racial socialization (huge)
5. The African American Adolescent Social Respect Scale (the number one influence of African American male violence)
Long before I ever made my first public statement about police brutality, I was dealing in the intra-racial violence, and I can tell you that the idea that Blacks are not concerned, frustrated and angry about the fratricide that is taking place in our communities is absolutely ludicrous. There are actually more organizations and groups confronting the fratricide than there are fighting against police brutality. This could be easily confirmed if these individuals were actually more interested in the truth than being right.
Here is the Danger
The killing of Blacks, especially Black men, by police officers, is a completely different dynamic than the fratricide in our communities, and the impact it has is different. While both involve violence, one is more an act of terror, and it is processed differently by the human brain. The paradigms in the black community provide context that can at least provide explanation. John killed Todd, and Todd’s brother Kevin, killed John. While this string of murders are still senseless and must be curtailed, we are able to process it, and with the exception of stray bullets, we can navigate around it.
The attacks coming from police officers are, for the most part unprovoked. This is actually due to the genetic emasculation the White man experiences when in the presence of a Black man. This is why you should read books written by Whites to understand them more. There is more to it when a police officer says they feared for their life while confronting a black man than what we are willing to apply. To understand the behavior of White cops, read Breaking Rank by Norm Stamper (a man who is now hiding in the Mountains of Argentina because of what he wrote in that book.)
Here is a quote from the book:
“Simply put, white cops are afraid of black men. We don’t talk about it, we pretend it doesn’t exist, we claim “color blindness,” we say white officers treat black men the same way they treat white men. But that’s a lie. In fact, the bigger, the darker the black man the greater the fear. The African-American community knows this. Hell, most whites know it. Yet, even though it’s a central, if not the defining ingredient in the makeup of police racism, white cops won’t admit it to themselves, or to others.”― Norm Stamper, Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing
Additionally, the racial caste system that is in place is fully cognizant of the power of terror. They are aware of this because they have mastered it over the years. They know the damage that lynching caused to the collective black psyche. The sad Black souls that were lynched did not experience the worst of the terror. It was the ones who were forced to watch helplessly in horror. You see, there is a wealth of empirical data that reveals that the sense of helplessness is a major component in becoming traumatized. It plays a major role in determining why some people who experienced the same traumatic experience are not traumatized by it, and others are.
For instance, Alton Sterling’s 15-year-old son saw the video of his father being murdered, and he is most likely severely traumatized. Now, the question is, how many people will he traumatize, if he does not get adequate help.
The same for the children of Philando Castile, who were in the car with him when he was killed. There is a reason Mike Brown’s body was left in the street, uncovered for hours.
So, one can actually argue, with empirical support, that the cop killings, while significantly lower in number, may have a more nefarious impact on the black collective than the fratricide.
We need to deal with both. It is like going to the emergency room because of an unexplainable hemorrhage, and somebody saying, while you worried about that hemorrhage you need to be focused on treating that cancer. The truth is that they both need to be treated, and the possibility is that each will be treated by a different doctor with a different set of skills. Everybody is not built to fight the war on violence in our communities, and everybody is not prepared to fight the war on police terror.
We are too quick to allow superficial knowledge and emotion to guide our dialogue in a very critical time in our existence. The danger in this is that social media gives a great deal of leverage to erroneously spoken opinions. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.