Blacks Only as Slaves All the Time. HBO asks “What if the white South had won?” Fuck HBO. Stop Supporting White Supremacy. From [HERE] HBO’s prospective series Confederate will offer an alternative history of post-Civil War America. It will ask the question, according to racist suspect, co-creator David Benioff, “What would the world have looked like … if the South had won?”
Ta-Nehisi Coates explains "the creators have said that their hope is to use science fiction to “show us how this history is still with us in a way no strictly realistic drama ever could.” And that really is the problem. African Americans do not need science-fiction, or really any fiction, to tell them that that “history is still with us.” It’s right outside our door. It’s in our politics. It’s on our networks. And Confederate is not immune. The show’s very operating premise, the fact that it roots itself in a long white tradition of imagining away emancipation, leaves one wondering how “lost” the Lost Cause really was." [MORE]
by Dr. Amos Wilson explains the following [HERE]
Why Study History
The study of history cannot be a mere celebration of those who struggled on our behalf. We must be instructed by history and should transform history into concrete reality, into planning and development, into the construction of power and the ability to ensure our survival as a people. If not, Black History Month becomes an exercise in the inflation of egos; it becomes an exercise that cuts us further off from reality. Ironically, we now see even other people who are not our friends joining us in this celebration, which means that they must see in it some means of protecting their own interests, and see in it something that works for them, and possibly against us. If they can celebrate our history and see it as something positive, then it means that we are not using it in a revolutionary sense. They do not see our study of it as a threat to their power. If we are not studying it in a way that it is a threat to their power then we are study¬ing it incorrectly, and our celebration of it is helping to maintain us in a state of deception. So let us make sure that we look at and study history in a light such that it advances our interests, not inflates our egos and blinds us to reality.
Now let's look at European History and what I call Historiog¬raphy and Oppression: Its Functions and Outcome. By historiog¬raphy I refer to the writing of history.
We see in many of today's newspapers and popular media that many people are complaining about the state of the study of history — the fact that it's not being studied that much in high school, or that "Western civilization" is not being studied enough. Now we see a number of universities and colleges re-instituting as a part of their core curricula the study of Western civilization. I'm sure some of us are familiar with the controversies that are going on because the feminist movement is saying that feminist history should be interjected into the study of so-called Western civilization. Of course, Afrikan history advocates are also demanding that Afrikan history and non-Western civilizations be included in this area.
Sociopolitical Role of Historiography
We have an issue here that I call the projection and image of history. History has been down-played in this society. History has a poor reputation; often it is looked upon by too many people as essentially a set of dates and events. People ask: "Why should I study these dates; why should I study these events; what does it have to do with today?" It is as if they say, "OK, it may be used to explain how some things came about in today's world, but probably we could live without it." Often history — among even many of our people — even so-called Black History itself, has been looked upon as irrelevant and unprofitable. The idea is, "Why study Black History; it's not going to make me any money? It's not going to get me a job; what can you do with it? You should get yourself a degree in computer science; get yourself a trade. I'm not interested in Black Power; I'm interested in Green Power." These statements express foolish concepts. When we hear them we recognize that the individual has not seen the connection between history, power and money. There is a direct connection between history and economics.
I often say in this regard that if there were not a direct relationship between history and money, a direct relationship between history and power, history and rulership, history and domination, then why is it that the European rewrote history? Why is it that the European wants to take our history away from us? Why is it that the European wants to rewrite our history and distort it? Why is it that he doesn't want to present it at all? Apparently the rewriting, the distortion and the stealing of our history must serve vital economic, political and social functions for the European, or else he would not bother and try so hard to keep our history away from us, and to distort it in our own minds. Let us meditate on these issues and I think we'll come to realize that there is a direct relationship between history and economics, political and social development.
History and Psychology
History is projected in this culture as being irrelevant, I don't think by accident. Again, if it is made to look irrelevant, if it is made to look unprofitable, then making it appear so must serve some profitable purpose. When courses in college or university are apparently presented "nonpolitically," "objective¬ly," "neutrally," they are actually presented in the most political way. We must understand that it is in the nature of this racist culture to hide its political agenda. Therefore, it presents so-called facts and information as if they have no political connections or implications.
I often try to show how making something political creates knowledge and information that can be of great value. I often use the concept of the "Skinner rat" to show how that concept is presented "nonpolitically" in the psychology of learning: how the rat is put in a box and can only eat if it performs a particular behavior. So if it pushes a lever — it is only as a result of pushing that lever — that it is allowed to eat. The experimenter determines when this rat is going to eat, when it is going to drink; he determines the living conditions under which this rat must survive. The rat becomes conditioned and changes as a result of the fact that the man has control of vital things in its life. Thus, we can present this paradigm in a very sterile way, in terms of learning and reinforcement principles. We can write a whole book about them, with graphs, arcane language and the whole bit.
I often point out how a Black student can learn Skinnerian psychology better than a White student and still as a result of having learned it be made dumb by it. Because, it is taught on a "race neutral," nonpolitical level. But I often ask my students whether there is only one way of looking at this situation. Why not look at it politically? This rat is conditioned; i.e., it reflects the conditions under which it is forced to survive as the result of a set of power relations. So why not analyze this experiment in terms of power relations? Based on these terms we may reach the conclusion that the conditioned rat is socially created; its personality is a social creation. What it learns is the result of a power differential between the rat and the experimenter, because the experimenter has power over the rat and uses that power to transform and create something new in the rat.
As a result of the conditioning experiment the rat is different from other unconditioned rats. It shows the effects of its conditioning. The experimenter is able to do this because the experimenter has control over the rat's circumstances. If we will go further and identify with the rat we then begin to learn something about ourselves — something of value. We will then have grasped something that can lay the foundation for revolution and change; not a sterile bit of knowledge and information that we can't use.
I've often asked my students: "Who has control of your food? Who has control of your electricity? Who has control of your water? Of your jobs? Who tells you what to wear when you go to work? Who tells you when to come to work...when to leave...when to go to lunch...how to speak...how to write...how to do this...how to do that...and how are these things taught, and how they are conditioned?"— It is by reward and punishment. "You do this you get paid; you don't do this you don't get paid; you get a raise, you get docked." What do we have here? We see the same basic situation and the same basic principles for conditioning rats are now transferred to life and reality itself. Therefore, to live in the "ghetto" under the power of another people is to be created by that people. To be rewarded or punished by that people is to be created by that people. What would happen if these "ghettos" we live in today are surrounded by a force that blocks the food and the water, cuts off the electricity and the other things? What kind of situation would we be in? But even with the water coming in, the food coming in, we are still created and conditioned by the circumstances under which we live. We are living under them as the result of the exercise of the power of another people over us. Therefore, if we wish to change this situation (i.e., the conditions under which we live), then we must change the power relationships. If we are to prevent ourselves from being created by another people and are to engage in the act of self-creation, then we must change the power relations.
With the political approach to Skinner's rat the Afrikan student not only learns what the White student learns, but learns more and learns something of value to himself. What he learns becomes a basis for self-understanding and knowledge, a plan for the future and a means by which he or she can change his or her situation. Without the lesson being taught in this way we will have a bunch of educated people who wonder why we cannot get out of the condition that we are in. We thus produce a bunch of educated people, as I have expressed before, who, the more degrees they get in business administration the fewer businesses they have to administer; who, as they go into the colleges and the Wharton Schools of Finance and the Harvard Schools of Finance, etc. find their communities being inundated by Asians and other groups. Apparently their degrees are not designed for them to control their own economic situations and circumstances, put because the information in the courses in economics are seen as "neutral" and "non-political," the student is more radically politicized than in any other way.
Afrikan-centered education recognizes that the whole of human life is a political system and, therefore, it interprets its materials politically. It is through political, economic and military action that we must change our circumstances. If those things are not applied in the context of our education then we are being educated just to be servants — educated servants! Because it is the intention of Europeans' that Blacks never escape their condition of servitude. A higher education means that we will just be educated servants nothing more, nothing less.
Hence, we have to look at our situation politically and socially.
So when history is projected as irrelevant, as unprofitable, as a system of dates and events, as a system of rarified causes and effects, it is projected that way, I think, because it helps to maintain the political and social status quo, and because it serves a politicoeconomic function. People who are ahistorical, who have little knowledge of history, are people who are more gullible, more easily manipulated and people who can be more easily adapted to the capitalist machine than people who are historically knowledgeable. History can become a basis for self-criticism, a basis for self-understanding, and more importantly, the basis for the understanding of the motives and the psychology of others. When history is not taught appropriately we are left to just follow orders, and to just trudge to our work, our jobs, without knowing the reasons why. Yet trudging to our jobs has not secured our futures at all. We must recognize that merely going to work, merely studying computer science, merely going to the office, is not enough. We are going to have to understand the psychology of the people who run this world.
We can only understand our oppressors' psychology by understanding their history. They rob us of a knowledge of history and want us to think that history is irrelevant and unimportant so that we cannot see through their deadly games. We must recognize that history is at the very center of life. As I go on I will indeed try to demonstrate more profoundly the relationship between history and life itself.
Because European history often is seen as unworthy of study in many high schools and is not at the center of the high school educational curriculum, how much more so are we, as Afrikans, tempted to see Afrikan history as unworthy. We usually take our cue from Europeans: "If they're not studying much history and their kids don't care about history then why should ours care about it? If they say it's not relevant, then how relevant can our own history be?" Watch out!
I will show that our ignorance of our history has a different outcome from the Europeans' ignorance of their history. We must also recognize that history is not only written in books, but that history is contained in every facet of life. We are interacting in the context of history right at this very moment. This church, this building is a historical event and represents historical evolution, and inside this historical structure people's minds and bodies are changed and created. History is everywhere written in the streets that we walk down, in every building, in every highway, in every yard, everywhere we go it's there; it's shaping; it's transforming; it's creating; it's blocking; it's constructing. So even though the European may stop reading his history in the books, the history of the European is still "fine and dandy" and operating everywhere we turn and every place we go. In fact, one of the reasons why it may have been reduced in terms of history books per se is because it is hidden everywhere else. It is inextricably linked and wrapped into every situation, circumstance and event of life. We study math and we would think it originated in Greece. It is usually introduced that way. We get the Pythagorean theories and Euclidean geometry and Boolean algebra and other European names spread throughout mathematics. The names and the concepts and who "first" discovered it are history; images being projected. We're not learning just neutral science and mathematics; European history is inculcated right in their study.
Every course we go into is intertwined with European history. We can't escape it. So simply because we don't show up in some class that calls itself the History of Europe, don't think we're escaping European history. Not by a long shot. In every discipline we study in the college/university/school we're going to run into European history: it is intimately intertwined with all disciplines.
As long as our own history is not intimately and inextricably entwined with everything we do, with every study we undertake, is not represented in our Universe, in our buildings and on our walls, in our houses and on our streets, then we need to study history more consciously than do the Europeans! We cannot always follow the route of European people. They build history in the books and then they build it into the world, or vice-versa. They may reduce their attention to the book, but history is still there and still functioning in the world. There¬fore, we must forget about what the Europeans are doing and how Europeans are studying or not studying history, because we are not in their situation. Therefore doing things their way leads to injurious and different outcomes for us.
History as Psychohistory
We should look at history, more accurately, as Psychohistory, i.e., the psychological result_of undergoing certain historical experiences. We, as individuals, are our history. I'll show later on that history is not that which is forgotten and left behind. We don't leave history behind. History is the present, history is the future. Those of us who are Afrocentric and mystical must know that the division of past, present and future is false, Eurocentric and political. The world is not a linear structure. Past, present and future are one and the same. When we have been made to believe that the past is separate and in some straight line with the future then we've already been brain¬washed and set up. Our past never forgets us and is never left behind.
If you forgot your past you would not be able to understand me right now. You would not be able to walk or talk. You did not learn to walk, talk and do the things you're doing at the moment you entered here; you learned to do them in the past. Forget that then! Since that is history, leave that behind. You will see that you also have no future! Past, present and future, are one, and that proposition is at the center of an Afrikan-centered history and approach.
As men with their knowledge and desire ultimately make history, so does history make men.
This is quoted from Joel Kovel's White Racism: A Psychohistory. When we go to see a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or psychotherapist, one of the first things they do is to take a so-called case history. They recognize that they cannot appropriately understand us as individuals unless they understand something about our unique experience as individuals. They cannot take the history and experience of another person and apply exclusively the psychology that flows from that history and experience and accurately describe you as an individual and person. That's why each person that walks through the door of helping-professionals must provide his or her own case history, and must be dealt with in terms of his or her own case history.
The same thing is true about a people. We cannot take the psychology of Europeans — and often I've stated this as a rationale for my writing of the book, The Developmental Psychology of the Black Child, which is based upon their history and experience, upon their values and their goals — and apply it unmodified to ourselves. This leads to misunderstanding and misdirection. One of the major problems I often point out in this context, in the area of education, is that we have a situation where the educational psychology that's taught to teachers and others who are in charge of our children is a psychology based on the history and experience of another people, and despite the best intentions of these educators they will miseducate our children in terms of that psychology.
To a very great extent the problem with the education of Black children, the crack epidemic and all of these other things we complain about day in and day out, are the result of a psychology that flows from a particular type of historical experience.
We have a school system that is based upon the psychology of White children and White people. We are trying to educate our children in that system; they are bound to fail. The very structure of the educational system itself is based upon a White model and therefore it has a built-in failure mechanism for us, one way or the other.
We must develop a psychology of our children based upon our own history and experience. It is only then that our pedagogical and educational approaches will be in line with their personalities. Only then can we move our children forward to fulfill our needs and our desires as a people. If we wish to understand ourselves and wish to understand other people's psychology we must then understand our history and their history. We must be very clear about this matter.
For us to come to understand ourselves as individual units we must ultimately come to understand not only our own personal history and experience but the history and experience of our people, since they overlap and are connected. Therefore, it is through studying the history of our people that we come to understand ourselves as individuals and as a people.
Although each person in a society is unique in the detail and fine structure of his/her life, all members of that society share certain common styles of action or ways of knowing. In other words, to the degree that we share history and experience, we share common styles of thinking and knowing. There is no such thing as an "individual" in the absolute sense of the word.
Language and Power
When we get ready to create revolution we must redefine the world, and redefine words; there's no way around it. In Genesis, we see Adam being given the power to name things. Through being given the power to name things he is given dominion. There is a connection between naming and dominion, between naming and bringing into reality. When we permit another people to name and define, we permit another people to gain dominion and control over us.
The languages that people learn and speak are most frequently directly related to the power relations between them. Many people will now learn Japanese, as for a while they learned Russian, as for a while they learned German, Latin, etc. Why? Because the people who speak or spoke those languages were or are in ascendance or in power at that or this time. There is no "good" English or "bad" English, or "good" language or "bad" language; there is language that's connected to power. People tend to learn first after their native tongue, whatever language is spoken by the people in power. There's a connection between the capacity to have other people speak your language and to call things by the names you give them, and power. If we wish to assume power then we must assume the capacity to name and define things.
The psychology of a culture is to a great extent a symbolic precipitant of the kinds of experiences forced upon a group of people by their history. We must recognize the intimate relationship between culture, history and personality. If we do not know our history then we do not know our personality And if the only history we know is other people's history then our personality has been created by that history.
We must recognize this in the case of European history. It is not so much that we know European history (because 90 percent of us don't know European history and have not read it), but that we are left with some image of it, some residue of it — that we have a sense of it — is all the hegemonic European needs to begin to dominate and to control non-European peoples.
History as Mythology
I'm going to look briefly at European history as mythology, as propaganda, and as the creator of personality (which it is). It is mythology. European mythology (European hallucination) can only work against us where there is an absence of contact with reality, an absence of knowledge of Afrikan history. We hallucinate every night. These hallucinations are called dreams, and they occur at the point where we become detached from reality. We maintain our mental balance and sense of self by the input of our senses. It is necessary that for human beings to maintain sanity that they receive random input (and changing input) from the world. That is why we suffer so much when we are put into solitary confinement — where we can't see or hear anything — we may begin to have visions and hallucinations as a result thereof. There are what we call desensitization experiments. Some of us might have gotten a chance to see the movie, Altered States, that speaks to this kind of experience where when you remove a person's capacity to see, feel, hear, touch and so forth, very peculiar things happen to the mind. Hallucinations begin to occur, orientation is lost. The individual becomes imbalanced because the information that's normally used to maintain mental equilibrium is absent. We're in a similar state when we are asleep and the mind creates its own reality, its own movie show, and we watch it throughout the night. Often we don't know that we are in an unreal world until we wake up the next morning.
Mythology and hallucinations, such as those European history represents, can take us where it has taken us only as the result of the fact that we are not in touch with reality, not in touch with our Afrikan history in a realistic sense. European history is written in such a way, or projected in such a way, that we become detached and disconnected from the reality that maintains our sanity, maintains our balance and orientation. We then can fall victim to created visions and hallucinations, delusions and illusions.
In the final analysis, European history's principal function is to first separate us from the reality of ourselves and separate us from the reality of the world; to separate us from the reality of our history and to separate us from its ramifications. We will then take the hallucinations which result from these separations as representing what is real. That is its primary function — as mythology.
From the first day a reporter asked the first tough question of a government official, there has been a debate about whether government has the right to lie. It does. And in certain circumstances, government not only has the right but a positive obligation to he.
This is stated by Jody Powell (who served under former President Jimmy Carter, as press secretary) in his book, The Other Side of the Story. A very interesting admission. Many have heard me say that Europeans, who comprise 10 percent of the world's population, can only rule over the 90 percent by lying, by deceit and force. The only way that we can be in the condition we are in, as a people, is to believe lies. Our mentality has been reversed and our behavior made backwards because we take the lie for the truth, and the truth for the lie. A small minority in the world can only rule by making backwards the mentality of the large majority. It makes mentally backward the large majority by reversing the truth, creating lies and getting the majority to believe the lies that it creates. Powell has honestly admitted it.
European historiography lies in many ways. It even lies when ostensibly telling the truth. An effective propagandist doesn't want to tell too many big lies, too many obvious lies; he wants to tell the truth in a sort of way that gets him where he wants to go.
We have to recognize that European history-writing is an institution the way any other discipline is an institution. And the function of institutions in any oppressive society is to maintain the status quo. I don't care what institution we may talk about; whether we talk about the family institution, the criminal justice institution, the economic institution, the religious institutions, the health establishment, the educational institutions; they all have one thing in common in a Eurocentric oppressive system — to maintain the status quo and to maintain Afrikan people in oppression. We must keep this in mind. It is not so much what they say or don't say they represent. It is how they function that is of importance. The European writing of history is in tandem with everything else European and its purpose is ultimately the same: to maintain European power and domination.
European historiography does this by a number of means. It may do this by the pure falsification and concealment of history, by omission and by commission. It may do it by what I call a "theft of history." We, in studying Egyptology, are trying to take back what European historiography has stolen, completely falsified; to erase the new false identities it placed on the Afrikan Egyptian people. Or when there isn't a direct lie we get a history book that's written about Egyptians without any reference to ethnicity. We have an unwritten rule which says that if ethnicity is not mentioned then we are talking about White-folks. That rule has been so deeply ingrained within us that we can read history about ourselves in great detail but project whiteness right into it and "whitewash" our own identity.
We have been set-up by Eurocentric historiography in such a way that when the word "slave" is mentioned we assume that they are talking about us, Afrikan people. So we read about slaves in history and right away assume they must be talking about "colored" folks. As if no other people has ever been enslaved but Black people. In other words, historiography can create an outright lie (as it often does), or present itself "neutrally", "non-ethnically", and achieve deceptive ends since it has already set us up to misperceive reality and truth. The European historiography so "beautifully" sets us up that we supply the lie while looking directly at truth.
This society gets away by pretending that it is free and open. Ladies and gentlemen, it does provide tremendous amounts of information and puts that information right in our neighbor¬hoods, right before our eyes; we're just overrun with informa¬tion. There's so much information in libraries until one young man went into one and just by reading found out how to develop an atomic bomb...the mechanism, the whole thing...not from classified data, but data right on the library shelves. He had to have intentions and needs to do that, didn't he? He had to have goals, values, other things that took him to those books; and those mental structures allowed him to pull out the relevant information and piece it together. Without appropriate motivational structures information can be put right before our faces and we will gain nothing from it.
So we're in the situation, as Black people, where the information is put right before our faces and we gain relatively little from it. It can only be put before our faces the way it is because we have been so mentally and motivationally structured that we will not and cannot take that information and transform it to our own advantage. Therefore, this country talks about ...freedom of information! "See, we let them read anything." But it goes back to the phrase: The best way to hide anything from a Negro is to put it in writing.
Historiography may function as propaganda — propaganda being an effort to persuade people to a point of view on an issue. History can be used to intimidate. European achievements are inflated and the next thing we know, we are asking ourselves "How we can fight this great people?" We've been frightened! They talk about the great discoveries they've made and we say to ourselves, "Hey, we'd better hang in with these people because if we lose them we're going back to the Dark Ages." We think this way because they've destroyed our confidence, our capacity to think for ourselves and to believe that we are capable of creating a world as great or greater than the Eurocentric one that presently exists. In this way European historiography functions to maintain a social system, to "psychologize" and create a personality orientation in its readers or hearers.
Even if we forget every fact and detail of inflated Eurocentric history, its intimidatory impression stays with us even when the content is lost. That's the point of it, to leave the impression, because that impression will become a dynamic source of behavioral orientation toward the world.
The European doesn't care whether or not we remember the facts and the details as long as we just remember the impression, as long as our personalities have been impressed and transformed in a fashion compatible with European interests. Historiography may be used and function to rationalize ideology and justify the status quo, to motivate activity and to create consciousness. We see that all the time, the rationalization of slavery through the use of history, the rationalization of European domination through the use of history. Why is our cultural history stolen from us? So that we can think that we had no culture until the European gave us his, or projected his own upon us; so that we can feel that we are not capable of culture, and of developing a culture of our own, one that could be respected the world over; so that we develop an inferiority complex and the other kinds of complexes we talk about so often today.
When you steal a people's history you can justify ruling over them and thus justify domination. More importantly, history may be used to influence personality, culture, roles, and to motivate us to commit suicide, to provoke us to commit menticide (A term coined by Dr. Bobby Wright to explain the mental genocide practiced against Afrikan people) and may be used to create or rationalize fratricide, genocide and self-destruction.
How many times have we, maybe in our own personal lives, attacked someone because we were given the wrong history about them? How many murders have been perpetrated because someone believed a lie? How many wars have been started because the population was lied to and a history projected in such a way that it motivated them to kill? A bogus, thoroughly wrongful fabrication can lead one to imprisonment, can lead one to murder, or lead to wars, or to being killed and destroyed. So there is a direct connection between history and the way people behave and act, between what one thinks of as history and killing, death, destruction and imprisonment.
So history is no casual thing that one picks up while passing through school. It becomes a part of one's total orientation toward the world. If it were not, why then does the European see himself as the sole, valid historian in the world and tries to see himself as the only one who should determine what history is? We are, to a very great extent, what we are today as people as the result of believing lies presented as truth. We must recognize that this often comes in the guise of history.
Eurocentric history most popularly functions as mythology. Mythology has many functions. We can't go into them here today due to constraints of time. Mythology often can be seen as a form of denial of reality. If a memory is too painful to be recalled, if recalling it means suffering, pain, shame, guilt and other negative things, the individual may not only deny the reality of that memory and experience but may actually create a mythology in their places. By becoming obsessed and caught up in that mythology, he uses it as a means of keeping out of his conscious memory the traumatic experiences that he fears.
The European must undoubtedly fear the truth of Afrikan history. Recall the phrase: Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. Arid if we are not free today, then we must not know the truth. If Eurocentric history and other disciplines are true then why aren't we free? The knowledge of truth threatens those who wish to imprison us, keep us imprisoned, and keep us dominated. The projection of the European version of history into our minds as mythology is a way of repressing truth within our own minds and within our breasts as a people.
European historiography functions to maintain repression. Often, the person represses painful information that threatens his equilibrium because he may be profiting by the lies he tells himself and others. The European profits by the lies he tells, the false perceptions and consciousness he creates in himself and others. Therefore, truth and a more realistic history threatens these gains. His self-esteem and vision of who he is and what he is, is maintained through the projection of his history as mythology. That's one of the functions of mythology — to maintain self-esteem.
The European projection of history not only serves to drive out and repress truth, but also to maintain the inflated European ego. Therefore, truthful history is not only seen as a correction of his history, but as a direct attack against his ego, status and position in the world. That's why Afrikan-centered history is reacted to with such great anxiety. That's why almost anything Afrikan is reacted to with alarm. But it is only through Afrikaness, only through the projection of the truth of Afrikaness, that our freedom can be attained as a people, and European domination brought to an end.
Whether a mythology is perceived as true or false is sociologically unimportant. Some Blacks would debate Elijah Muhammad's view of the world, about the White man being the Devil, Of course, the "negro" who doesn't want to do anything gets into the fine points of that. He's very careful to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones and the ones in-between. He has a graduated measuring rod; he works them out by degrees. But when the White man enforced segregation down South, the good Black-folk and the bad Black-folk sat right in the back of the bus; it didn't matter. The mythology didn't differentiate: "You're black; get back." That's the deal; you're bad. The function was not that of telling truth. The idea was how that mythology (i.e., all Blacks are bad) helped maintain the racial status quo. The idea is not whether Whites are Devils or Angels, but what would happen if we dealt with Whites as if they were Devils. How would that transform our situation as a people? How would that transform our behavior as a people? Would it move us closer to doing for self, would it move us closer to controlling our destinies, our own behaviors, gaining control of our economies and our nations? Would it remove us from being manipulated and used by another system? It is not about truth alone; it is about self-control. It is about the gaming of power. It is about being able to protect and advance our survival. But if we get caught up in the minutiae of trying to figure out whether there are good ones and bad ones and others in-between, we may find ourselves being destroyed in our studies. That's why we have to recognize that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was the greatest psychologist we ever had, and many of us still have not come to understand that yet. Some of us thought that we were doing our "intellectual thing" when we got caught up trying to point out his "mythologies." Not at all; we must look at function.
So European history, whether it is true to the extent and/or in the context within which it is projected, or whether it is false, is really not the ultimate point. It's the fact that it functions as a mythology, and as mythology it functions to maintain European power, domination, and control. It is our attack against it as a mythology that we must be concerned with as an Afrikan people. Because the mythology becomes a part of our mental structure. It is used as a tool of intellection, a tool of comprehension", a tool of dealing with the world and relating to the world. A mythology organizes the world, organizes behavior; it organizes interpersonal and intergroup relations. Whatever mythology we believe is one that organizes our approach to other people, our perception of ourselves and of other people. It provides answers. The answers may not be right, they may be wrong; but it still provides an answer. And that's psychologically satisfying. Nothing threatens us and nothing upsets us like unanswered questions. Often Man projects a mythology in order to get himself out of his agony of dealing with unanswered questions and to put his mind at rest.
We have to recognize the function of mythology since mythology seeks to mold character and to motivate, as well as to de-motivate. Mythology often takes control of the domain of discourse, in the sense that just the presentation of European history — leaving Afrikan history aside — implies that Afrikan history is not worth learning. I often tell college students that "you look at your college catalog and you see a course in there and assume that because it's in the catalog it's worth learning." You say to yourself, "If it's not there then it must not be worth learning; because if it was worth learning it would be there." You look at the list of required courses and you don't see anything about your history as being required. You assume that the most important courses are required and since the ones related to us are not required then they must not be important. Just the reading of the catalog inflates one group and deflates the other. It creates a superiority complex in one and an inferiority complex in the other. When we name things, when we speak of things in order to exclude contrary truths, we create and uncreate reality. This is the role that European historiography has arrogated to itself. [MORE]