on emancipation and why bad-mind is not just something DJs sing about

first of all

happy emancipation day!!!

yes free up time now Amistad style give us us free!!!! <–if you don’t know what that means you better ask somebody

but, before we leave home for the party (what Jamaican public holiday is complete without one) or while we digest the big family meal or sober up from Negril weekend let us talk about a likkle ting called bad mind

Now, i know you may be thinking what does bad mind have to do with emancipation day? and the answer is- everything

if we are to be truly free as a people we must do away with all the in-fighting, back-biting and black on black and oppression that has become almost synonymous with the community. There will be no freedom if we consistently make a conscious or unconscious effort to hold each other back. essentially we have to bun out the bad mind.

However, this mentality may be more than just ‘grudgeful’ or ‘red yeye’ it may actually be our unconscious perpetuation of behaviour that was cultivated in us during the time of slavery. true ting.

Think about it….is there anything so different about black people that should make them ‘naturally’ more envious of each other or less supportive of each other than other races? unless we are willing to accept the proposition that black people are intrinsically bad or hateful, it doesn’t make sense. why do we, as a race, have such a difficult time with this. something must have changed us somewhere along the way

enter slavery

arguably the most impacting social phenomenon ever. over 100 years later and we’re still not done with it. so many people still cannot sit comfortably with it. so many cannot find peace within themselves and with others. so many still using the old plantation criteria to assess their lives

creme hair

bleaching

contacts

complete disassociation from all things affiliated with ‘blackness’ and assimilation of  so-called ‘caucasian ideals’

Now don’t get me wrong, i cast no judgment. I know that straightened hair is easier to handle and contacts are just another accessory. Hell, i’ve had blue hair, that doesn’t mean i’m trying to be marge simpson.

but if i hear one more person call somebody a dutty rasta, or tell somebody with natural hair that they need to soften it to neaten it or bring out their true beauty, or call someone a pretty dark skinned girl i will lose my mind. why, why can’t black be beautiful. not blackandbeautiful, just beautiful full stop?

but i digress

we are still trapped in the same cycles that they used to control slaves on the plantation.  At the basis of the method are two things, competition and control.

it goes like this- pit the light skinned slave against the dark skinned slave,  they will never unite and therefore never overthrow the master, leaving him in control

would you like to see that at work in another way?

pit the wife against the woman on the side- they will never unite to see that the man is enjoying the best of both worlds and essentially disrespecting them both.

another way?

pit PNP supporters against JLP supporters and they will never stop fighting long enough to realise that neither party is really doing much except padding their own pockets and making a cushy life for party leaders and don’t have the best interest of the country at heart.

set them to compete. highlight their differences, assign senseless value to the smallest things and watch them kill each other to affirm this value, while ignoring everything else that’s wrong with their lives.

and so it goes. You may have heard of William Lynch and his speech (not the one responsible for the term lynching, that would be Charles Lynch.  <—my apologies to all the people with the last name Lynch, we don’t hold it against you, but y’all was busy back in da day.)

William Lynch was supposedly a slave owner, from Jamaica, who gave a speech to  other slave owners in Virgina on how to control your slaves. There has been much speculation as to the truth of this speech and this man’s existence, but after reading it and stepping back to take a look at our behaviour and mentality as a race, one does begin to see certain disturbing truths in this possibly fake speech.

And even if he didn’t exist, i don’t find it hard to believe that these tactics were used to divide and conquer, and now, we do the division for ourselves. Sadly.

I’m pasting the the speech below, all i ask…..is dat you read it and give it a likkle thought.

and look out for this line

“The Black Slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generation for hundreds of years, maybe thousands”

next time you see somebody being bad mind or find yourself thinking how yu pretty because yu brown, think about where it’s coming from and if it makes any sense. and i will do the same because this madness has got to stop somewhere.

yes?

yes.

Gentlemen:

I greet you here on the bank of the James River in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and twelve. First, I shall thank you The Gentlemen of the Colony of Virginia for bringing me here. I am here to help you solve some of your problems with slaves. Your invitation reached me on my modest plantation in the West Indies where I have experimented with some of the newest and still oldest methods for control of slaves. Ancient Rome would envy us if my program is implemented. As our boat sailed south on the James River, named for our illustrious King, whose version of the Bible we cherish, I saw enough to know that your problem is not unique. While Rome used cords of wood as crosses for standing human bodies along its old highways in great numbers, you are here using the tree and the rope on occasion.

I caught the whiff of a dead slave hanging from a tree a couple miles back. You are not only losing valuable stock by hanging, you are having uprisings, slaves are running away, your crops are sometimes left in the field too long for maximum profit, you suffer occasional fires, your animals are killed, gentlemen, you know what your problems are; I do not need to elaborate. I am not here to enumerate your problems, I am here to introduce you to a method of solving them.

In my bag here, I have a fool proof method for controlling Black Slaves. I guarantee everyone of you that if installed correctly, it will control the slaves for at least 300 years. My method is simple and members of your family and any Overseer can use it.

I have outlined a number of difference(s) among the slaves; and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and [they] will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences, think about them. On top of my list is “Age” but it is there only because it begins with an “A.” The second is “Color” or “Shade,” there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantation, status of plantation, attitude of owner, whether the slaves live in the valley , on a hill, East, West, North, or South, have a fine or coarse hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action but before that, I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect and admiration.

The Black Slave, after receiving this indoctrination, shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generation for hundreds of years, maybe thousands.

Don’t forget you must pitch the old black versus the young black and the young black male against the old black male. You must use the dark skin slave vs. The light skin slave and the light skin slaves vs. The dark skin slaves. You must also have your white servants and overseers distrust all blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us.

Gentlemen, these Kits are keys to control, use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. My plan is guaranteed and the good thing about this plan is that if used intensely for one year the slaves themselves will remain perpetually distrustful.

Thank you gentlemen.

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5 Replies to “on emancipation and why bad-mind is not just something DJs sing about”

  1. very appropriate for the day

    and i think ur reasoning of things is spot on. some people just dont like to see others do well and they have absolutely no basis for being that way. and no matter what others do, its just a problem. their success is a problem. their failure is a problem. everything is a problem except them.

    for some reason ppl cant be happy for others or accepting/tolerant/supportive of them, yet they wonder why there is no cohesiveness amongst themselves. the sooner ppl stop fighting out what other ppl are doing and start doing good things for themselves and others, absolutely nothing will change. there will be no progress or change.

  2. hey Carla. great post. It has caused me to think a little further back though. It is my understanding that evidence of “William Lynch” strategies still exists in our society. This is clear, however we must also remember that black people also guided white colonial master into the villages in Africa to recruit slaves for a profit. I think this thing where black people have hated their own goes back as far as Africa and not just on the plantations and why is it that only the black race was so easily penetrated to be mass recruited into slavery? Just makes me wonder…….

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