The United States of Denial

This past week has been heartbreaking on so many levels.  So many lives lost, endangered and threatened fundamentally because of hate.  That may seem harsh to hear nevertheless it is true.  Hate has brought all of this upon this nation. The division between the “races” has been long-suffering and simmering for thousands not just hundreds of years.

As a woman of color, I speak from personal experience as many others can.  During my six decades of surviving in the United States, if I know nothing else, I know first hand the undeniable subtle discrimination of daily living.  Prejudices are displayed in a unique way in the Northern states as opposed to the South.  It is often said amongst Northerners at least in the South you know where you stand.  Whites do not like Blacks and vice versa, not because of anything an individual may have done or not, the hatred is based purely on the fact that one has the darker skin.  Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds?  I do not like you because of the color, the pigmentation of your skin… Yet this idiocy is embedded into all of us not only here but around the world.

Denial of the atrocities of one ethnic group against another is paramount in coming to grips with our problem as human beings. When we as people recognize and acknowledge this denial then and only then can healing begin, however, there is no desire from the oppressor to own their denial and that is a greater issue.  When people will not acknowledge their part in their wrong thinking it makes a situation more difficult to come to grips with.

We can speak of centuries of denial from what are deemed authorities who have acknowledged the ancients, those of Africa specifically who have contributed to the origins of many cultures. Noted personalities, Sigmund Freud acknowledged that monotheism for example was a Egyptian invention.  Although not an invention, African “religion” was not understood by Europeans but thought of as a cult. Sigmund Freud had much to say in his book “Moses and Monotheism.”

“Moses and Monotheism” was not an easy book for Freud to write or to publish. He began it in the 1930s while he was living in Vienna, and he was well aware that when and if he brought the book out he could expect trouble from the Austrian Catholic Church. The book, after all, insisted on some strange and disturbing things. Most startling, it argued that Moses himself was not a Jew. How did Freud know? First of all, he claimed that Moses is not a Jewish name but an Egyptian one; second, Freud’s study of dreams and fairy tales convinced him that the Bible had inverted things. In the Exodus story, Moses’ mother, fearing Pharaoh’s order to kill all Jewish boys, leaves the infant Moses in a basket on the river’s edge, where he is discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter. But Freud maintained that the Jews were the ones who had found him by the river. (In fairy tales and dreams, the child always begins with rich parents and is adopted by poor ones, yet his noble nature wins out — or so Freud insisted.) Freud also said that monotheism was not a Jewish but an Egyptian invention, descending from the cult of the Egyptian sun god Aton. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/magazine/09wwln-lede-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 )

Further denial is recorded in the halls of history and because of bias, our history as Africans was stolen from us. We were forbidden to speak our language as the Indigenous tribes were also forbidden.  We were denied to hold onto our beliefs because others (whites) felt threatened.  Quiet as its kept they still do.  Watch in the workplace  today if two or more African-Americans are gathered together, the white supervisor or one of the appointed snitches will come to scatter the group, they do not like us talking together. This was also practiced during slavery for fear of not knowing what they were up to.  When it came to religion some historians would say Christianity was welcomed and easily accepted by the slaves but nothing could be further from the truth.  Religion, rather European belief systems like everything else was forced upon us.

A writer for a program on PBS shared this;  An unquestionable obstacle to the acceptance of Christianity among slaves was their desire to continue to adhere as much as possible to the religious beliefs and rituals of their African ancestors. Missionaries working in the South were especially displeased with slave retention of African practices such as polygamy and what they called idolatrous dancing. In fact, even blacks who embraced Christianity in America did not completely abandon Old World religion. (Religion by Kimberly Sambol-Tosco: ( http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/experience/religion/history.html )

Even today many anthropologists and other scientific types are finding ancient artifacts that are clearly African in origin. The so-called father of medicine learned from our ancestors:

Imhotep’s best known writings were medical text. As a physician, Imhotep is believed to have been the author of the Edwin Smith Papyrus in which more than 90 anatomical terms and 48 injuries are described. He may have also founded a school of medicine in Memphis, a part of his cult center possibly known as “Asklepion, which remained famous for two thousand years. All of this occurred some 2,200 years before the Western Father of Medicine Hippocrates was born.
Read more: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/imhotep.htm#ixzz3ZB8DUM9g

So many of our ancestors are responsible for so much greatness yet we are denied to know these things because they are deliberately left our of the “history” books in the school systems we are forced into.  There is so much we have been lied to about and it’s not only African-Americans who have suffered, many Whites have no knowledge of these things either, yet they insist on keeping their foot on our necks.

My purpose is not to hate on anyone, my purpose is to simply say if our situation as people are to change we all have to face the denial of this American/Eurocentric culture.  Whites/Europeans must face their participation in the denial and face their personal biases.  Yes! Your ancestors started this but you today are still practicing the same belief system and it’s called “White Supremacy”. This country in particular has benefited from the inhumane treatment of an entire race of people and it’s reflected throughout the entire world.  The other issue is slavery has not stopped it has only taken on another shape, i.e. institiutionalized prisons, taxation without representation.  Yes! That is yet a problem because those who are voted into office are not representative of the majority, it’s a set up for the rich to continue to live off the servitude of others.

African-Americans must also face their denial of responsibility to ourselves.  I speak of the petty grievances we hold towards one another.  The petty belief systems we have accepted as truth but are “not our truth” but the head twisting  madness of others forced on us. We are beautiful, our hair has a purpose, our nostrils are beautiful and broad, the hues of our skins are like the rainbow, we are our ancestors and we as a people of origin must represent.

If anyone is offended, oh well get over yourselves and make a difference; acknowledge what is and make the effort to change it.  If we do not change we will destroy one another and because of what!?  Think about it!

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