It is no secret that a lot of people harbor the notion that Black people are not as smart as some in other races. This is because Blacks in America seem to lag behind others when it comes to tests of academic proficiency. The hierarchy propaganda posits that Asians best everyone when it comes to academic test-taking, whites are second, Hispanics are third, and Blacks come in at the bottom. The dialogue that is missing in this scenario is not whether one is smart, but HOW one is smart.
Firstly, it has been demonstrated time and time again that achievement follows intent; i.e., when people focus intently on a goal, it can be achieved. Deep down inside, a lot of people believe this, and this idea is probably the root cause of white bigots’ “fear of a Black planet.” For example, it was said that Blacks were physically inferior and could not excel in competitive sports. That was before Jack Johnson, Joe Lewis, Michael Jordan, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Lebron James, and others too numerous to mention who abolished that ridiculous assertion. And then it was said that Black people didn’t have bodies built for ballet, and along came Misty Copeland and the Dance Theater of Harlem, among others. It was said that Blacks couldn’t excel in Science and Mathematics, but then along came, George Washington Carver, Dr. Charles Drew, Dr. Patricia Bath, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and a whole host of others who have made, and continue to make, mighty contributions to the foundation of this country and the world. And we don’t need to mention those Blacks who have made a mark in the world of culture and entertainment.
An astute observer would have to conclude that intelligence is not the purview of any one race or ethnic group; it shows up wherever people develop an interest and apply themselves. Those in positions of power who can benefit by a dumbed down populace know this, and this is behind the need to dominate the print and electronic media, because they can control the promotion of the “expert” paradigm so that people adopt whatever is spoon-fed to them as truth.
Black youth have seen that basketball and entertainment are avenues for the quick buck. This is why a disproportionate number of them aspire to be famous rappers and sports figures. The fact is that they have bought into the propaganda promulgated by mainstream media moguls that these are the only fields of endeavor easily available to them. In other words, Black youth who do poorly in schools have bought into the propaganda that they are not smart, and that being smart is “acting white.” As a result, a lot of them have adopted an alternate way of coping and, to protect their fragile self-esteem, have elevated the street life above academic achievement. They don’t set their sights high; they aim for subsistence or criminal enterprise which results in them being highly represented among school drop-outs.
We know, of course, that education is a powerful force, and we must remember that at one time it was illegal to educate Black people. That notion didn’t disappear, it just morphed into a new way of manifesting! Once upon a time, shackles were placed on human flesh in order to keep Blacks enslaved, but when that became no longer tenable, the oppressors strove to enslave minds, and that is what we are witnessing today. Black people, and others, have bought into the propaganda of Black inferiority to such an extent that self-hatred trumps self-respect and Black-on-Black crime proliferates because “ni**as ain’t sh*t,” as some believe. It is super ironic, however, that while this mindset prevails too often, everywhere you look Black people are making great strides in every area of endeavor, thus debunking this myth! As we celebrate Black History Month, we must remember this fact in order to remove the blinders of Black inferiority put in place to keep Blacks enslaved, separate and dysfunctional. A luta continua.