Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by RAPTOR, Sep 24, 2009.


    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Sep 12, 2009
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    {Excerpt from Dr. Amos N. Wilson's Last Interview* done by Muzunga Nia of RAW (Real Afrikan World, in January 1995 in his hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.}


    "RAW: Now you have raised the possibility of genocide before in books such as Black-on-Black Violence. Could you briefly talk about how Black-on-Black crime serves white supremacy by playing a role in our own genocide?

    WILSON: Well, what we are experiencing in the African American community is not just confined to America. You'll find this experience in the Caribbean, in Africa, wherever you have large populations of Black people. You go to Brazil Black children are being shot in the streets; people just get in their cars and shoot Black children. You will find this sort of thing going on in Uruguay. A lot of us don't realize that there are large populations of Black People in Central America and South America. Africa is suffering tremendously. You can even look the millions of Blacks in Europe. We are finding that there is a general oppression of Black people across the globe as the global economic system reorganizes itself, and reorganizes itself in a way to leave Blacks out of the global economic system, just as they are being left out of domestic economic systems. What you're getting here when it comes back to Black-on=Black violence are reactions to the dynamic economic changes.

    You've got a lot of people who want to lay all of this on family values and the absence of old time religion and things of this nature. And while that's a part of the mix, you cannot just blame this all on the loss of family values. People don't eat values, you know. You have to actually work; you have to feed your family. There are concrete material things that people have to have. The mere training of people in family values is not going to solve this problem. As a matter of fact, when you transform people's material position in the world, you transform their values. So a part of transfor- mation of the values that we complain about is a result of the transformation of the concrete living conditions of Black people.

    The key to understanding the relationship that Black-on-Black crime has to white supremacy and genocide is knowing the context in which the problem occurs. Too often people want to talk about the problems that exist in the Black community as if they are unconnected to everything else going on in the country. This is a terrible mistake in analysis. You have to begin with the political and economic context in which a people exist in order to begin to understand their behavior. When Blacks commit violence against other Blacks, they're committing it within a certain political economic context. Violent acts are social acts. We may call them anti-social, but they are still social, whether anti- or pro-, which means that they have to do with the nature of relationships between people. That's what we mean when we use the world social. If we are to understand the social relationship of Blacks to whites and to the social and political system in which we exist When we look at this system under which we exist as Black people, we'll see a connection between it and the kind of behavior the Black community is undergoing at this particular time.

    RAW: So you're saying that the rising tide of Black-on-Black crime is a direct result of the position of powerlessness that we currently occupy vis-a-vis the restructuring global economy?

    WILSON: Yes, to a very great extent. We don't think of crime as serving a social function. Some people's negative behavior serves the interest of other people. For instance, Black children dropping out of school serves the interests of other people's children, who then don't have Black people to compete against. Our dropping out becomes a service to those who then can enter the positions for which we are no longer in competition.... As a matter of fact, during the first reconstruction, Blacks were robbed of the 40 acres and a mule promised them by the U.S. government as part of the REPARATIONS for slavery. A lot of people think that's just a myth; but that was an actual act of Congress. This would have given Blacks an economic leg up, an economic independence which would have served as a platform for our political independence as well.... the white planter recognized that if you gave Black people this kind of land, they would not be able to use them in the cotton fields; they wouldn't be able to profit from their destitution. It's important to understand how you actually create poverty in a people so that you can use their services. You strip them of everything; therefore, they become utterly dependent upon you, and you use their dependecy as a means of creating your own wealth and power.

    Black people aren't poor by accident. This serves the interest of somebody. The energy that we put into hurting each other is the energy that we can't use to compete against other people. The stereotypes of Black-on-Black crime serve as a justification for other people to take advantage of us. But in a deeper sense, it serves to hide the criminality of whites. It makes us think that whites in America are not criminals and have not created a criminal.

    RAW: Now is it not true that numerically and statistically, whites commit more violent crimes than Blacks?

    WILSON: Definitely, just as there are more whites on welfare. Because of the media, you are lead to believe that Blacks are the only ones on welfare. But whites get far far more money out of the U.S. government. Most of the money distributed by the U.S. government is paid to middle class white folks and upper-classs white folks while we are made to believe that it is the poor Blacks and the people on welfare that are getting the bulk of the money from the federal government. You see, a service is performed there. While the white uper class robs the nation of its wealth, and even robs the white middle class, the elites point to Blacks as the ones who are bankrupting America.

    This is why you get image after image of Blacks on welfare, Blacks on crime. Those images serve the interest of those who are taking advantage of the system and want to hide how and what they are doing to the system. Our so-called criminality, our so-called being on welfare serves a useful political and economic purpose in the society."

    RAW: In your book, The Falsification of African Consciousness, you write about the critical role that history plays in developing the consciousnes of a people. Could you elaborae on how knowledge of our true history can help us to overcome the myriad of problems facing us?

    WILSON: Those who do not study history will repeat it. We're talking about the first and second Reconstruction repeating itself. What I find interesting is the attitude that we in America have toward history, the belief that history is mere recapitulation of dates and times. Some people actually believe that history is unimportant in academic life or the life of a people. But one of the things that brings the importance of history to mind very quickly is when you try to teach Black History in schools, watch the objection you et to teaching Black history and culture. If history were so unimportant and meaningless, why is it that we have such strong opposition to the teaching of African history and culture? Why is it that the powers that be define how history is taught and what history will be taught? It's because they know intrinsically that history defines who we are. We are history. We cannot live in the future - the future is always in front of us. And the present is essentially the leading edge of the past. You don't leave your past behind. The past lives in your brain; in your behavior; the way you see life and the way you see yourself. Everything that happens to you in the present is filtered through past experiences present in your mind. This means the past is operationally present at every moment If that past is distorted, if your perception of it is incorrect, if it's absent.. Then when you look at things in the present, your perception will be distorted. You will not be able to effectively use what your see right in front of your face. You will not be able to take advantage of possibilities that you have nor will you be able to design your own future, because your history has been distorted. Whites have stolen and distorted the history of Blacks so that they can influence the type of behavior we exhibit. They have been able to shape our behavior to support hteir domination of us as a people. Thus, we continue to serve their interest.

    RAW: Even when some of us find ourselves in a position of power such as Mayor, Governor, or President....

    WILSON: Oh yes, definitely. You must recognize that consciousness is power; being aware, knowing something, and being able to do something is what consciousness is all about. This grants power. Remember, we act in terms of what we know, what we believe, what we expect, what we value, what skills we have. All of this is part of consciousness. Therefore, when you manipulate these things, you manipulate people's ability.

    History teaches us methods of coping. We learn from experience. Why do we teach our children things? We don't want them to make the same mistakes we did. In teaching history, we transfer from one generation to the next methods of solving problems. When we don't pass history on, you don't pass on problem solving methods and tecniques to the next generation. That generation, without a sense of history, is unable to solve problems, because it has not recived methods to do so. It's important to understand that the history we've been taught is not a history that brings with it problem-solving skills and other things needed to solve the problems that we face as African people.