Psychonegrosis: A Deeper Look at Ray Lewis’s Inexplicable Behavior
When I first wrote Psychonegrosis: The Mental Psychosis that Blocks Black Progression, I primarily approached the idea from a generalized perspective. Here, I will place an emphasis on the behavior of Ray Lewis and his seemingly inexplicable behavior. When observing the frenetic and erratic behavior of Ray Lewis, I immediately think of Psychonegrosis, a term originally coined in the mid-1960s by the late Robert H. deCoy in his book The Nigger Bible.
Over the last several years, Ray Lewis has exhibited some behavior that is not in alignment with Black progression. His behavior has been so out of line with the Black perspective that Black citizens in Baltimore have collected over 20,000 signatures on a petition to have his statue removed from in front of the team’s stadium.
I have said on more than one occasion that the person who poses the greatest threat to Black progression is a Black man with a White agenda. Before moving forward, I would like to share the definition of psychonegrosis taken from the Urban Dictionary.
PSY-CHO-NEG-RO-SIS (c 1960s): A mental disorder affecting the spirit, personality, motives, and actions of Negroes who have failed to rid themselves of the psychological ills they have accrued from their collective experience with Foreigners. Marked by a distorted idea of Self and Others, Psychonegrosis results in unnatural patterns of perception, logic, thought, speech, behavior and emotional expression, and is accompanied by various other unnatural dispositive manifestations (such as, but not limited to, self-group deprecation, the championing of non-Black ideas, conversion to non-Black religions, xenophilia …esp. Anglo-centric xenophilia, cognitive dissonance, sexual deviation, escapism, dual or double-consciousness, conflicting loyalties, and unscrupulous Liberalism) –differing in degrees of severity from one individual to another.”
To understand why Ray Lewis and other Blacks like him take the political and social stances that they take, it is important to gain a scrutable perspicacity of Psychonegrosis as a pathological psychosis.
Basically, the primary thrust of Psychonegrosis causes Black people to behave in ways that are considered unreasonable, contradictory and infinitely dependent upon the culture, products, charity, aid, sympathy, and approbation of others, especially White people. Psychonegrosis places its victim in constant conflict with the reality of their Blackness and their inherent and insatiable desire to be a part of the White culture — a culture and system that they assess to be superior to their own.
This form of psychosis shapes the paradigms through which the victim views the world around them, and it impacts the way they interpret and define situations.
While Ray Lewis has had more than his share of psychotic moments in which his extreme case of Psychonegrosis was made evident. I will focus specifically on how he has approached the issues surrounding Colin Kaepernick and the reason that he is protesting, as well as why he has not been offered a position with any team in the league despite having the talent that demands it.
For the sake of properly framing this assessment of Ray Lewis, it is important to remember the fact that early in his career, Ray Lewis was at the center of a murder investigation in which he was ultimately charged with the murder of two friends after the Super Bowl in 2000. There are still many who believe that Lewis was responsible, or he at least played some role in the slayings of the two young men who lost their lives on Jan. 31, 2000 — Richard Lollar, and Jacinth Baker. It is important to be aware of this event in the life of Ray Lewis because it provides context for his incessant moral philippics on television.
When the media first became cognizant of the fact that Colin Kaepernick was not standing for the national anthem, they asked him the reason for his behavior, and he provided an immensely luculent explanation. He revealed that he could not support an anthem of a nation that had disparaged its citizens of color. He spoke specifically to the injustices that are far too common for those in the Black community, including the disproportionality in which unarmed Black men are gunned down by White police officers with no retribution. He spoke of the inequity that exists in the justice system. This is and has always been what Colin Kaepernick is protesting.
There has been a constant effort to rewrite the narrative to shift the focus from the shedding of innocent Black blood to the disrespect of the national anthem, the American flag, and the United States Military — none of which have anything to do with the true reason behind the protest.
Psychonegrosis has served as a catalyst to drive a number of Black men in key roles to participate in the rewriting of the narrative associated with the protests in the NFL under the guise patriotism and love for this country — none more vocal and visible than Ray Lewis. There have been other Black dissenters, including Charles Barkley, Stephen A. Smith, Steve Harvey, Jason Whitlock and James Harrison (Pittsburg Steelers), but Ray has drawn the ire of the Black community more than any of the others. I believe much of the frustration that Blacks are experiencing as they attempt to process Ray Lewis’ behavior is the fact that they can remember when he was charged with murder and his career was in jeopardy. They remember that it was Blacks standing up and speaking out for him. It was Blacks praying for him. And, it was Blacks who celebrated when he finally walked away as a free man. Yet, his allegiance seems to be pledged to the very system that attempted to take his freedom and career.
I want to be perfectly clear here in expressing that I do not support the idea of giving Black men passes when they have taken the lives of other Black men. There are two families in Akron, Ohio who will never see their loved ones again due to what happened 17 years ago. However, we often find ourselves pulling for our brothers and sisters based solely on their Blackness. This type of behavior is normal under the circumstances in which we live. Blacks in this country are marginalized and their presence diminished to the point in which we are all but invisible. When relating to this reality, we develop a proclivity to cheer for those who look like us, simply because we know that no one else will.
In his most recent brush with the Black collective, Ray Lewis was called out because he took a knee, or more accurately two knees, during the playing of the national anthem at the beginning of a Baltimore Ravens game. The fact that Ray took a knew is significant because he has been so vocal about the fact that he would never disrespect the anthem or the flag by taking a knee while the anthem is being played.
Lewis taking a knee during the anthem came on the heels of President Donald Trump referring to NFL players who take a knee as “sons of bitches” and demanding that NFL owners fire them. This statement by trump again set the stage for a shift if narratives, from kneeling in protest of racial injustices aimed at Black people to players and owners standing against the tyrannous imposition of Trump.
Once again, this protest was not about Trump. In fact, when Kaepernick started his protest, Barack Obama was the president.
The image of Lewis on two knees with arms interlocked with active Ravens players quickly circulated through the media and it unleashed a firestorm of criticism for Lewis, and rightfully so. Even his close friend, Shannon Sharpe, openly called him out — something that ran Lewis hot.
Most Blacks saw the act as highly disingenuine. Basically, the vast majority of Blacks thought it was primarily for show, and that it had nothing to do with showing solidarity with the other players. Black Twitter fired back quickly and viciously.
Kaep when he saw Ray Lewis taking a knee lol pic.twitter.com/oOatoqQi7n
— Leed (@pc_leed) September 24, 2017
Ray Lewis on his knee crying and thanking God he beat that murder charge
— Fancy Black (@DanaeLovesYou) September 24, 2017
Ray Lewis isn’t taking a knee, he just fell and can’t get up. That’s why he’s on both knees 😂 pic.twitter.com/btw2UmUlAP
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 24, 2017
Ray Lewis took a knee with the Ravens. Did somebody hit him with a camera flash?
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 24, 2017
— NUFF (@nuffsaidNY) September 24, 2017
Lewis responded by saying that he was not kneeling in protest but praying for peace amid the chaos. This was an attempt to send a visual message of Black solidarity while delivering a verbal message to the White wealthy elite that he is still in compliance.
What makes things so complicated here is the fact that Ray Lewis wants to be viewed as a leader in the Black community, but he refuses to embrace much of the ideology necessary to holistically support Black interests. This internal conflict is the result of the fact that his desire to earn the approbation of the White establishment places him in diametric opposition to Black progression. When Ray Lewis’ current stance is placed in juxtaposition with the concept of Black progression the two ideas don’t line up.
One of the outgrowths of Psychonegrosis is the way the victim will fight assiduously for interests and policies, including the homosexual agenda, abortion, interracial relationships, feminism, forced integration, and consumerism — policies that clearly assist in their demise. On the surface, the arguments made for these policies and interests appear to have merit, but when examined under the light of the progressive microscope, each of these interest serves a malevolent and counter-intuitive purpose in the progressive demise of Blacks. Ray Lewis is center stage now because of the platform afforded to him by the White wealthy elite who he panders to incessantly; therefore, his case of Psychonegrosis is readily on display, but please understand that he is not alone. In fact, Psychonegrosis impacts a substantial number of Blacks at varying degrees.
In my latest book, Born in Captivity: Psychopathology as a Legacy of Slavery, I go to great lengths to identify behaviors that are so imprinted upon the African American psyche that they are often viewed as cultural norms, and it has become evident that if these behaviors continue to go unchecked, Black liberation, as we define it, cannot be achieved. We must break free of the psychological chains that restrain our progress as we press inexorably toward our destiny of liberation and power. ~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.