People are quick to tell you to think for yourself, but what they really want is to usher you to their way of thinking. They’ll speak of things like being a team player and sacrificing for the sake of the group, with the promise that everyone will be better off for your individual sacrifice. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri call out elements of groupthink and wrong-headed thinking related to a list of 25 issues that Blacks supposedly need to address, encouraging you to think for yourself.
Topics discussed include Black History Month, 25 things that Black people need to address, black-on-black crime, HIV/AIDS in the Black community, calling each other “nigga”, “hating” and Black unity, gang banging, worshiping and displaying white depictions of God, women and equality, the role of the preachers in the Black community, doing too much singing and marching for change, Black men marrying white women, rich people as the gold standard for behavior, Blacks expect whites to solve all of our issues, Blacks trying hard to assimilate into the mainstream culture, only finding validity and credibility in the white establishment, expecting racism to magically disappear, Black-owned businesses and being capitalists, operating as a group instead of being an individual, identifying with something and not knowing its history, vilifying rap music from people who don’t understand it, only buying things that will bring profits, worrying about “ignorant” Black images on TV, continuing to sell drugs after making enough money to transition to a “legit” business, and more!
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- Discussion about Black History Month. It actually started out as Black History Week.
- Discussion about a list of 25 things that Blacks need to address/deal with. We came across this list on Facebook:
THE TOP 25 THINGS BLACK FOLKS DO THAT WE NEED TO STOP!!!
is a compilation of acute intellectual censure of certain longstanding belief systems, traditions, and activities that many African-Americans have held and practiced, both historically and presently. In this critical and very well articulated thesis, the authors specify and expound upon 25 problematic issues that are adversely affecting blacks in America: Issue #1: Black on Black Crime Issue #2: Acting As if AIDS is Not a Black Disease Issue #3: Calling Each Other “Nigga” Issue #4: Hating on Each Other and Trying to Hold One Another Back (Being Easily Divided) Issue #5: Gangbanging Issue #6: Worshipping & Displaying White Depictions of God and Jesus Issue #7: Calling the Preacher (and the Preacher only) Whenever Something Goes Wrong in the Black Community Issue #8: Marching Issue #9: Getting Rich & Famous….Then Marrying White Women (Black Men) Issue #10: Expecting White Folks to Solve Our Problems for Us Issue #11: Expecting Racism to Magically Disappear Issue #12: Trying Too Hard to Integrate & Assimilate Issue #13: Becoming Sellouts & Uncle-Toms in Order to Get a Little Power & Money Issue #14: Allowing Competing Groups & Races to Own Nearly All the Businesses in Our Communities Issue #15: Thinking and Operating as Individuals and Start Thinking and Operating Moreso as a Group Issue #16: Calling Ourselves Christians without Knowing Anything about the History, Authorship, and Origin of the Religion Issue #17: Allowing Ourselves to be Mistreated, Abused, Disrespected, and Taken Advantage Of by Other Groups Issue #18: Glorifying Violence, Drug Dealing,and Black on Black Crime in Our Music (Rappers) Issue #19: The “Baby Mama” “Baby Daddy” Syndrome Issue #20: Spending Too Much Money on Clothing, Entertainment, & Other Non-Appreciating Items Issue #21: Engaging in Stupid Fads (Spinning Rims, Gaudy Jewelry, Cosmetic Gold Teeth, Sagging Pants, etc.) Issue #22: Acting Ignorant While on T.V. (Court Shows, Cop Shows, News Programs, Reality T.V. Shows, and Music Videos) Issue #23: Celebrating Holidays like The 4th of July and Thanksgiving Issue #24: Selling Illegal Drugs, Getting Enough Money to Start a Legitimate Business, and STILL Continuing to Sell Drugs Issue #25: Ignoring the 25 Things Listed in This Book Intended to be a wake up call for Black America, this book is sure to generate not just awareness but also inspiration for what many believe is overdue collective contemplation and self-correction within communities of color all across the nation.
- Discussion about black-on-black crime. Most people probably think of violent crimes.
- Before we can address any of the issues on the list, we must address the underlying causes–like poverty.
- Discussion about HIV/AIDS in the Black community.
- Discussion about calling each other “nigga”. This shouldn’t be on the list, because it’s not as if stopping using the word will resolve all (or really any) of the issues in the community.
- Discussion about the word “nigga” as specifically meaning descendants of slaves in America. The obsession with this word needs to stop.
- Discussion about “hating” and Black unity. “Hating” is not a Black issue.
- Discussion about how it is perceived as “trying to hold someone else back” when you are critical of other Blacks.
- Blacks have never been one cohesive group, even when it comes to the ancestors back in Africa–there were different tribes, etc. So, why is this the standard now?
- Discussion about gangs in the Black community. People seem to prefer certain types of gangs–like bankers.
- What’s wrong with gang banging if they do something positive?
- Discussion about worshiping and displaying white depictions of God. This subconsciously puts the image of whites being better/closer to god than Blacks. What does it mean if you don’t look like god is supposed to look?
- Discussion about worshiping Black idols, like the president or other prominent people in the community.
- Discussion about women and equality. Some women use religion as the excuse–under the guise of having different roles–that women are not intended to lead families or anything else.
- Discussion about the role of the preachers in the Black community. The preacher is seen as closer to God–a liaison of sorts.
- Discussion about singing and marching as a form of protest and social change. Willie D said it best in his song, “Fuck Rodney King”:
- Marching doesn’t have the same effect as it did in the past. As the times change, we should be changing our tactics and approach to solving issues. We should be evolving.
- Discussion about rich Black men marrying white women. When you make it in the white system, you should at least bring a Black woman with you. This is probably why Black women love Barack Obama so much–because he has an undeniably Black wife.
- Discussion about statements that Barack Obama had issues with the Black side of his family:
- Why are rich Black people viewed as the gold standard for what we should be doing?
- If you date exclusively outside of your race, then you probably have a self-hate issue.
- Discussion about the accusation that Blacks expect whites to solve all of our issues.
- Discussion about how many Blacks don’t find validity and credibility in a source unless it comes from the white establishment.
- Discussion about expecting racism to magically disappear. People will always find differences to set each other apart–to divide one another. It is unrealistic to expect people not to categorize one another.
- Discussion about Blacks trying hard to assimilate into the mainstream culture. It’s stupid that the same culture that has done Black folks wrong should be the ideal for us all to aspire to.
- Discussion about becoming sellouts for money. Nobody’s become rich and famous without selling out.
- Discussion about Black-owned businesses and being capitalists.
- Discussion about operating as a group instead of being an individual–take one for the team.
- Discussion about identifying with something and not knowing its history.
- Discussion about vilifying rap music from people who don’t understand it. Why are they not criticizing movies and books the same way?
- Discussion about having children out of wedlock in the community as an issue in the community. This is B.S.
- Discussion about only buying things that will bring profits. Why the emphasis on making money, rather than questioning whether you need the thing in the first place?
- Discussion about worrying about “ignorant” Black images on TV.
- Discussion about continuing to sell drugs after making enough money to transition to a “legit” business. People probably make more money selling the drugs, so why would they stop selling drugs for a different business?
- To think that we can reduce our issues as Black people down to a list of “dos and don’ts” to live by. We are not all intended to be the same.
- We could cut this list down to three things: 1) Be yourself–Black, white, or whatever. 2) Treat people decently, and 3) Be a thinker. Don’t just go along with what someone says you should do. With these three things, you can address most of the ills in the world.
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