*Many of us deny it, but we have American mindsets.
Why wouldn’t there be an American mindset for us?
Very few of us are actually free thinking and enlightened, otherwise there would be no word for enlightened, which takes work to become.
Only in America would a group of people be captured, enslaved, beaten, raped and tortured, only to be “freed,” and have most of it continue. Yet the same people begin to talk about how they need to “get over it” and “move on.”
There are nations around the world still fighting centuries-old conflicts that they may not really have enough social memory to fully understand, yet mentally enslaved knee-grows in America tell each other to get over slavery and move on. We’ve lost and continue to get scars in the battles, yet we tell each other to move on while the conflict rages on? That’s like telling all the kids who get pushed around by the school bully to move on, because he went from beating them up and taking their lunch money every day to simply pushing them and taking their lunch.
And it wouldn’t be so bad if the liars were moving on themselves. But we know they aren’t because they are upset that no one else will move on.
The biggest question is what is there to move on to?
It’s not like we can “move on” to full parity in society.
Nor can we “move on” to some fake “Post Racial Society.”
Here’s what we can move on to:
We can first stop telling each other to move on without a destination.
Second, we can actually create a destination, which will be built on something that any of us can come up with based on our needs, our history and our potential. For example, we can select something as specific as mentoring our youth, which will have a direct and measurable impact.
Third, we can create a plan where more than a few individuals can move on. If the least of us are unable to move on, the best of us can not truly move on.
Finally, we have to shake off the shackles that have been our minds since the physical shackles were removed. I’ve said before that if we simply change our minds, we prepare ourselves for growing into something good.
We can only truly move on when we are prepared to move beyond that which has enslaved us. That includes pretending that we are the only group of people exhibiting the negative behavior that some of us exhibit and pretending that it is “most” of us.
We can truly move on when we change our minds about each other and stop accepting the dark side of statistics that have been misinterpreted to make us look bad. For example, we are not the majority of the prison population, we are not the majority of any kind of criminal, and we are not the majority of any other bad behavior group.
Even if we don’t embrace an African mindset, we need to develop an African American mindset, so that we have something to move on to.
Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles in 2001 and will become a feature film in 2012. View previous installments of this column at www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at [email protected].