The Crusader Newspaper Group


A very curious social phenomenon is happening in America: there is an extreme fascination with zombies. The Walking Dead is a television series that is extremely popular, and is in its 7th season. The Walking Dead attracts the most 18-to 49-year-old viewers of any cable or broadcast television series. In addition to this, there are a number of other popular culture artifacts with a similar theme, such as the movie World War Z, starring Brad Pitt, video games, novels, zombie toys, and more. There are even television commercials featuring zombies.

According to Wikipedia, Zombies are folkloric undead creatures who consume human flesh. There is no evidence to support their existence. A zombie (Haitian French: zombi, Haitian Creole: zonbi) is a fictional undead being created through the reanimation of a human corpse.

Why are zombies so wildly popular today? In an age where people are becoming more and more distant from each other because of electronic devices, it just might be concluded that zombies are a metaphor for the non-thinking, television, video game, cell phone junkies who are on automatic pilot. Many people are seemingly sinking into a technological stupor that has being “dumbed down” as its identity marker.

When looking at behavior in the African American community, traits of zombie behavior are evident there as well. It might be seen in the senseless killings of Blacks by Blacks; by thoughtless school dropouts; by the lack of hospitality and civility that is becoming more and more prevalent, and most importantly, by people dependent upon drugs and alcohol.

The Zombie syndrome can also be seen in the blatant racism that is evident when white policemen kill unarmed Black citizens; when public servants exhibit rude behavior toward those they are supposed to serve, and in the rising xenophobia that has become evident since the current presidential administration assumed office.

People have been saying that society is being “dumbed down” for years, and the way a lot of people behave seems to validate this notion. To make drastic cuts in programs that would benefit poor and/or seniors is a result of non-thinking, foggy behavior. To have individuals who hold high political office exhibit crass behavior is also an example of non-thinking, zombie-like behavior; and to witness the pissing contest that goes on with politicians in various countries as though the threat of nuclear annihilation is non-existent is a demonstration of zombie-like behavior.

Chiefly, when assessing the behavior of American citizens and leaders, it becomes clear why the notion of zombies has achieved such a high profile: we are living in a zombie culture where non-critical thinking is the norm. The Black community is not immune, and this is chilling because so many people are waiting for elected officials, who themselves often demonstrate zombie-like behavior, to step in and change things in the community. This is unrealistic, unfocused thinking.

Black people need to shake off the fog of the American zombie apocalypse. Members of the community need to embrace their own culture and to establish new norms of behavior so that the community realizes more positive outcomes. People need to wake up and to think critically about what is happening and demand accountability from elected officials. It is obvious that something is wrong; that we are not being told the truth about a lot of things. If we are to ever reach our social and economic goals, we will have to take the reins in our own hands in order to create better communities.

We live in a democracy, and, because of this, we are supposed to have a say-so in policies that impact us. If, however, we do not wake from this malaise that is keeping us down, democracy won’t work because it requires thinking people to create meaningful change. A zombie culture can’t do this. A luta continua.

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