POSITIVELY BLACK Junious Ricardo Stanton Creatures of Habit habit: a acquired response, an activity that has become relatively automatic through prolonged practice, relatively consistent pattern of thought or attitudes, an acquired drive such as drug addiction, a characteristic form of behavior, a trait - Dictionary of Psychology "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them." - George Santayana Human beings are creatures of habit. We are conditioned to do things over and over until they become so ingrained we do them without conscious thought. This is true for individuals, families, groups, tribes and societies. Reflect on some of your own habits. Think about some of your family's patterns. Collective habits are called by sociologists: folkways (traditional patterns of behavior in a given culture or social group- Dictionary of Psychology) customs or mores. Anthropologists call the traditional patterns of thought, behavior and human interaction, culture ( the totality of the customs, arts, sciences and religious and political behavior taken as an integrated whole that distinguishes one society from another- Dictionary of Psychology.) All of us are creatures of habit, both personally and collectively. It is important to keep this in mind as we go about our daily activities and as we contemplate what is going on around us. We must be mindful of the type of culture in which we live. For example, the recent bugging of Mayor John Street's office and the ongoing "investigation" of his administration is a habit, a pattern by the US federal government of targeting black leaders for discredit or ruin. This is a pattern that goes back to the turn of the twentieth century. It did not begin with J Edgar Hoover's infamous COINTELPRO. It is a habit based upon an attitude of white supremacy, white domination, the need to keep non-Europeans in a position of subordination and white's concomitant fear/dread we will resist, seek vengeance and retribution for all the evil white people and their society do to us. Before there was a United States, when this hemisphere was colonized by various European nations; a pattern was set, based upon cultural patterns that existed throughout Europe before they arrived here. When you study European history you will be hard pressed to find a prolonged period of time when the various Caucasian tribes and nations weren't warring either internally or with their neighbors. Whites transported this cultural dynamic with them once they ventured beyond the confines of Europe. There has not been one place on planet Earth white folks have gone that as soon as they arrived, some type of major disruption, war and rapine have not resulted. Whites have wiped out whole civilizations and disrupted the ecology everywhere they've gone! Another habit Europeans have mastered is lying. Whole industries like education, advertising and sales are based upon this trait. The Native Americans said of them, " The white man speaks with forked tongue." We as Africans have come to realize this is true. I say all of this to point out the "investigation" of John F. Street is another ongoing pattern of behavior. The FBI initiated what it called Operation Fruehmenschen a national campaign to target black elected officials on all levels, federal, state and local based upon the notion, "Black politicians are inherently immoral, unethical and illiterate, to the extent that they can not lead people of a "high moral" order (Caucasians) and are incapable of high-level governing." Keep in mind this initiative was started after COINTELPRO was supposedly shelved. The scenario goes like this: "Patterns of harassment of Black officials usually begin with an interplay that takes place between the news media and law enforcement agencies, usually beginning with a rumor started by the FBI or by an ill-founded news report. This usually spirals into a 'trial by media,' criminal investigations and sometimes culminates in an indictment. The indictment typically results in acquittal, or in a conviction which is ultimately overturned on appeal." This according to former FBI agent Hirsch Friedman who blew the whistle on the operation. Sound familiar? The longstanding pattern of the Federal government "investigating" and persecuting black leaders goes back even before Marcus Garvey. Mrs Callie House who founded the Ex Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association the first organized attempt to gain reparations for blacks who actually lived and experienced slavery in 1894 was investigated, railroaded, convicted and jailed on unsubstantiated charges of mail fraud in 1917. Their success against Mrs. House's organization encouraged them to use the same tactics on Marcus Garvey and on and on. Once you learn/know a person or group's habits you can predict their behavior and if it is negative, learn to effectively counter it.