European Menticide and The African Condition "The controllers of this society have made use of psychological warfare to erode and destroy the will and mind of Black people. This is menticide pure and simple. Once the victims discover the truth, we are forced to change our lives. But, the victim fears change because the victim doesn't know where that change will take him or her. Indeed we fear the unknown. The victim seeks to deny but denial of this reality is problematic because the victim is reminded everyday. The victim is caught in an internal double bind, damned if they don't, damned if they do."- Olomenji, From an essay entitled Mentacide, Genocide and National Vision: The Crossroads for the Blacks of America. Olomenji a Chicago social worker contributed a cogent commentary on the subject of menticide in a book entitled African Psychology in Historical Perspective & Related Commentary edited by Daudi Ajani ya Azibo . In his commentary Olomenji elaborates on the slave mentality foisted upon Africans in AmeriKKKa as part of a trans-generational program to destroy our minds and sense of self. This menticide manifests in what Olomenji calls survival fatigue, "As the victimizer applies continuous, constant pressure, the victim begins to slowly die inside. As the victim loses the self, depression and fear set in, causing illness, death etc. What has the victim done to deserve this fate of a slow tortuous death? The victim has lost hope and has learned to be helpless." When we extrapolate what Olomenji has written examining the symptoms and conditions in ourselves and communities we see depression is pandemic, so much so people are walking around depressed thinking it is normal! African-Americans suffer disproportionately from autogenic diseases (conditions that originate inside the self) such as diabetes, stroke, cancer (although there are environmental and lifestyle factors that cause many forms of cancer.) hypertension, heart attack, arthritis and many allergies. Africans in AmeriKKKa engage in self-anaesthetization using prescription and illicit drugs as well as alcohol to dull the pain of our victimization in a predatory culture based upon white supremacy and the ongoing oppression and marginalization of melanated people. We also engage in delusion, denial and escapism, the vain attempt to negate our reality by imitating whites, not admitting to being African or consuming so much media we are distracted momentarily from our untenable reality of being dehumanized and made to feel "less than". We despair because we see no possibility of relief . Even conforming to stereotypical roles as entertainers, athletes or agents for our own oppression or the oppression of other people of color brings no respite formour oppression and exploitation. Our energies enrich our oppressors and continue our denigration in the very system that dehumanizes us. Seeing no viable alternatives, having given up on our personal dreams or having no dreams whatsoever, we increasingly feel no agency or efficacy over our lives which leads to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness which increases our depression. In addition to the depression and illnesses we are seeing a rise in suicide and self-destructive behaviors. In their book Lay My Burden Down Unraveling Suicide and The Mental Health Crisis Among African-Americans Alvin F. Poussaint M.D. and Amy Alexander point out that in many instances reckless living and self-destructive behaviors are unspoken signs of low self-worth and negative attitudes towards life and living. These behaviors are actually symptoms of menticide, our minds and our sense of self have been assaulted and traumatized by Euro-American culture, a culture that feeds on the dehumanization of non Europeans. What can we do about this? We can teach our people the problem is not us, the cause is the oppressor's culture, their virulent xenophobia, violence, gender chauvinism, class and color cast system. We must teach our children and re-enforce it in our adults we have the power of self-determination. We must create a new vision of ourselves, not as New Jack slaves, coons, sociopaths or hoochie mammas but fully functioning self-actualized persons and communities. Our oppressors cannot provide this vision for us, they lack one for themselves. If they had a clue of what it means to be really human their behavior and resulting culture wouldn't be so predatory, exploitative and oppressive! We must create a new definition for ourselves and work assiduously to make it real drawing on the models of our African ancestors who placed great emphasis on life affirming values, harmony, balance, right relationships, mutual respect and responsibility. We must do this despite the menticide and genocide Europeans intend for us. If we fail, our lives will continue to manifest the insanity they have planned for us.