Facts Mean Absolutely Nothing to the Conditioned Mind!
I am often asked why Blacks, with so much factual information at their disposal, fail to seize it and effectively appropriate it. My response: Facts mean absolutely nothing to the conditioned mind.
As a race, Blacks underestimate the power of mental conditioning. I would even argue that the ones who argue the loudest against it are actually the most conditioned.
Mental conditioning is more than the result of suggestive thought influences; it is the complete constructive dynamic that serves to develop and sustain the paradigms that determine the lens through which a certain group of people see life.
The conditioned mindset that so heavily influences the black collective is one of the most complex constructs developed, implemented and sustained throughout history. It dictates how we see ourselves, how we see others, how we treat ourselves, what we expect from ourselves and more.
This conditioned mindset is so strong that it serves as the most prevalent form of slavery. There is an old saying that says, you have not created a slave until you can, with certainty and comfort, remove the chains and maintain control. The only true slavery, is mental slavery — physical slavery is actually a manifested symptom of psychological slavery.
As long as a captive desires freedom, and despises his captor, he is a prisoner, not a slave. But when the captive adopts the thinking submitted to him by his captor — when he accepts the captor’s idea of God — and their assessment of inferiority, he will naturally submit without the chains and boundaries. He will actually find a certain level of comfort in his current position and situation — it becomes his new identity.
This level of conditioning was so successful during slavery that when a slave still desired freedom and would run at the first opportunity, they were diagnosed with a mental disorder called drapetomania.
Mental conditioning begins with the creation of an identity crisis in which culture, faith and family is disrupted for the purpose of separating people from their history and heritage. When a person loses sight of who they are, it becomes much easier for someone else to provide them with an identity that makes it easier to manipulate and control them.
A person who does not have a clear understanding of who they are will actually turn to someone they perceive to be greater to tell them. While reflected appraisals are key in the development of a person’s self-concept or self-image, regardless of race and socioeconomic status, it is significantly more prevalent for those who suffer from an identity crisis.
There is actually substantial validity associated with the idea that perception is reality. Perception must be understood as a paradigmatic lens through which a person views a singular situation or event, or life in general. Based on the lens through which life is viewed, reality will be associatively interpreted. If a person views life through the lens of inferiority, everything they encounter will be interpreted from a position of inferiority. So, even when the person is presented with facts that reveal that they are actually, in many ways superior, they will dismiss it, misinterpret it or flat out attack it.
The disequilibrium or psychological discomfort created by the introduction of facts that are diametrically opposed to their reality generates a discord within their thought processes known as cognitive dissonance. This discord will be so disruptive that they will be forced to confront the cause — in most instances rationalizing it away.
A good example of this would be the introduction of the idea that Black group economics will provide the social, political and economic strength necessary to initiate the process of holistic empowerment. The general response will be, “we already tried that on Black Wall Street and they destroyed it. What is actually happening here is that the conditioned mind is actually acquiescing to the idea that Whites are superior; therefore, it is useless to try anything that might lead to a more advantageous position.
One of the most devastating facts about mental conditioning is the fact that once it has been set, it becomes autonomous in that it will be naturally perpetuated through generation by those who have been conditioned. In other words, a person who has been conditioned to feel inferior to whites will pass these ideations of inferiority on to their progeny, and even insist that their offspring behave accordingly.
You can’t reason with the conditioned mind, because the conditioning does not take place in the conscious mind, but in the subconscious mind — meaning that the only way you combat this type of conditioning is through reconditioning — which requires a long-term plan and consistent access.
Whatever the subconscious mind is exposed to the most will work to develop the paradigms of thought and perception. Because this conditioning is being carried out on a collective level, the conditioned group actually serves as reinforcement mechanisms to keep one another in check — which explains why so many Blacks are speaking out against Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem.
One of the reasons that Blacks who are at or below the poverty line see affluent blacks as uppity is because they see them as those who stepped out of their natural place in the pecking order. In the same way, those who escaped poverty had to change their thinking, and therefore find it hard to relate to those whom they have left behind.
Life, in its simplest form, is the manifestation of thought; therefore, the one who has the greatest capacity to influence thought has the power to dictate life.
While the collection and anatomization of facts and information is absolutely necessary, we cannot make the mistake of believing that it is the end-all-be-all, for the vast majority of us cannot successfully process it. We must develop comprehensive strategies that allow us to effectively inculcate this information into the collective psyche of the conditioned minds of African Americans. We must be willing to create positive propaganda campaigns to counter the negative ones. We must develop and implement racial socialization programs that create prosocial behavior and positive self-concepts. It is imperative that we stop insisting on dealing with our issues through superficial engagement.
Our innate need to oversimplify things has caused us to completely miss a large portion of the elemental dynamics at play. Simply put, it is not just the facts, but how they are disseminated that matters. ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.