Monday, March 05, 2007

The meaning of a "Black Value System"

This is related to my post about A Black Theology of Liberation from the other day. In addition to the overview link I posted, I had also looked at a PDF that went into detail about what is meant by a Black Value System. This part stood out to me, and I think I heard it echoed when listening to Barack Obama speaking at an event in Selma commemorating the voting rights march that took place there 42 years ago.

Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness"

Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must keep the captive ignorant educationally, but trained sufficiently well to serve the system. Also, the captors must be able to identify the "talented tenth" of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor's control.

Those so identified as separated from the rest of the people by:

Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.

Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.

Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of "we" and "they" instead of "us".

So, while it is permissible to chase "middle-incomeness" with all our might, we must  avoid the third separation method-the psychological entrapment of Black "middleclassness": If we avoid the snare, we will also diminish our "voluntary" contributions to methods A and B. And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright, the leadership, resourcefulness, and example of their own talented persons.

Anyway, I thought that excerpt was worthy of some reflection. In yesterday's post, I linked to the lively exchange between Sean Hannity and Barack Obama's pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, about whether Trinity United Church of Christ espoused a "radical separatist" agenda. What I failed to mention at the time is that I do "get" why many White people are uncomfortable with the wording Hannity referred to from the church's web site--commitment to the Black family, the Black community, etc. Hannity asked, wouldn't it sound racist if you substituted the word White--if there was a church that openly stated it was all about supporting and strengthening the White community.

And I can't judge him for asking that. I've wondered the same thing in the past. Wright responded that churches have been that way for ages--White by default. White is "generic" to many of us, so we don't even use the word as a descriptor when we are describing a new person we met, for example.  But that's not an easy concept to "get".  It's going to take some serious thoughtful discussion among people of good will. Which means, and this is just a guess, it will likely be taking place somewhere other than Sean Hannity's television program.


Halashon said...

hi, i just happen upon your blog in a google search but it made my day. im glad that you "get it" and put it in your blog for others to read.

now, i can't speak for this particular church, but what else i would also hope you get about these type of ideals is the fostering of self worth in black people. there is a reason why we are the loudest, wear the baggiest clothes and biggest jewelry, etc. we over do it to try and prove it to ourselves, that we are proud to be black.

being in a positive black environment is what will create in us the ability to see you as an equal. in fact, its the exact opposite sentiment of a church exclusive for the white community. its not because we think we are better. its because we don't want to feel inferior. peace and blessings.

maltesetitan said...

Bull, All we have to do is read it. Words mean what they say. It is so interesting that this location (Trinity)uses books to create a doctrine and then to call it Theology . For Theology is the study of GOD. and to study GOD you have to use his word the BIBLE to create doctrine. You do not use any other books to say that this man said this and that is why I and call this a certain type of Theology (study of GOD). NO! this is against GOD and is wrong. Who says so GOD. "Thou shall not have any GODS before me". Exodus 20:1-3.
There is not exceptions to this rule. And there is no trying to explain what is mean by what is written in the Black Value System but that it is wrong and I will debate any so called Preacher, so called Reverend, or anyone else on this subject.
Col K Cecil

camib said...

Col K Cecil - If you believe what you say above, what do you say about the pastors that preach who to vote for in elections? That's happened in many previous elections, but especially the last two. And that was propagated by primarily white churches, I believe. So, you can't have it both ways, Col.