An Enslaved Mentality….Maybe?

“How many chains are needed make us feel important these days?”

So I saw this picture online and immediately it caught my attention for a number of different reasons. Perhaps the most important of them being the indication that there are quite a few people out there who have forgotten history (or are completely oblivious to it altogether) and what the “chain” meant and in many ways still means! Now I may not be the most knowledgeable about all of history to where I can give a long discussion about event after event that dealt with the enslavement of people of all races. However, I believe the above piece of art makes the argument that my people (African-Americans) have found a way to keep the enslaved mentality all while evolving it into a more meretricious practice. This has always bothered me, and at times worries me.  The reason being is if this mindset still exists at this point in time despite slavery being an abolished convention here in America, then there is no telling when or how it will be extirpated in the one place it constantly remains throughout this country…in people’s minds. I actually think it’s ironic that a rapper may have said it best when he said…

“It’s funny how whips and chains make me feel free…”(J. Cole).

This is a topic that I could go on and on about, but I would rather see what you all think about this topic. Let me know your thoughts about this piece of art and/or the topic in general.

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7 Responses to An Enslaved Mentality….Maybe?

  1. Tha Doc says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly sir. In fact, I was thinking about posting something that ties into this myself. Think about marketing and consumerism and Black folk make up a sizeable portion of the demographic. What is portrayed to us are nothing but flashy accessories. How often do you see someone rocking a chain, watch, new clothes, or driving a brand new car as oppossed to seeing someone investing in a retirement fund, stocks, or other investments. Hardly ever. Yeah, there may be some black folk with money, but the ones that are always highlighted are the ones who blow a million dollars at the strip club as opposed to the ones who invest. This ties in to the whole Prision Industrial Complex and laws which have us living in a modern day Jim Crow Era, but that’s another topic for another post. It’s not that black people forget their history, it’s that they are ignorant to it. By that I mean, we know we were slaves and treated (still on going) terribly in this country, but far too many of us think that just cause we buy flashy jewelry, etc that we made it when in fact we’re just playing into a new form of enslavement. It may not be overt, just more subtle. Unfortunately, I don’t see any forseeable end to this barring a miracle. Face it, money rules and sex sells and people who are poor and disenfranchised will want to experience “The American Dream” as quickly as possible without thinking twice about the consequences. Alot of people look to be rich and not wealthy and subsequently become bankrupt after whatever got them the money has inevitably faded.

    • Not only did you say a mouth full, but in my opinion you hit the nail dead on the head. I think that’s how the saying goes. Not only Blacks but all people are fixed on right now and a get rich mentality that they forget to think about their future and the future of their love ones.

  2. Dclay3 says:

    I agree with it wholeheartedly. If we had more people to explain this to our kids, they would strive to be something else in life besides a rapper or football player and actually care about school more or recognize the struggle our ancestors went through to gain the rights of education.

  3. Faux Real says:

    I think its an interesting observation but as Americans we are slaves to materialism. So perhaps its the terminology that’s makes it ironic. I don’t really know much about the history of hip-hop but I can understand how the analogy fits in to hip-hop/rap since its culture is enslaved by labels who push the image of the whips and chain

  4. Apeman says:

    I think it represents black people as much as ever. All we care about is $, womanizing and possessions. We don’t care about tradition ot history anymore. You can see that when these idiots waste there time planking. SMH

  5. LovelySavant says:

    Its hard to teach our youth not to aspire to this when it is so commercialized and promoted as truth for all people irrespective of color. Its the conundrum that I feel like Kanye best describes in ‘It All Falls Down.” Its difficult because the people rocking these chains really don’t understand the context of the material things that they tout as making them “ballers.” Got a Louis Vuitton back and nothing in it . . . fail.

  6. cthebizzybee says:

    Dr. Martin Luther King may have said it best in his quote that, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” It’s crazy how much Black people especially (generally, not all) ignore the past not seeing how it’s simply revving up to repeat itself. Rather than being held captive by whips and chains of slavery, we’re now held captive by closed, yet centered minds, on what we think we need to justify who we are (with the general male population that’s money = whips and chains). The picture above is a great depiction of this dilemma and should be brought up for more youth to see. It’s a shame how many of today’s youth don’t even understand now recent slavery was and how hard it was for them to be able to have the things they have now (whether that be a lot or a little it’s more than our ancestors possessed). It’s definitely hard to combat in the classroom or after-school groups what these kids are seeing over and over on TV and listening to outside and in the presence of their just as ill informed (or just too busy to screen everything their children come in contact with) parents. It’s a daunting task to consider how to reverse the damage that’s already been done and how to move forward. I suggest that everyone who comes in contact with youngsters takes it upon themselves to try and make an impact one kid at a time. Prayerfully, someone will catch on and pay it forward.

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