By Rahim Islam
Rahim Islam is a National Speaker and Writer, Convener of Philadelphia Community of Leaders, and President/CEO of Universal Companies, a community development and education management company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Follow Rahim Islam on FaceBook(Rahim Islam) & Twitter (@RahimIslamUC)
Whoever told us that “life is fair” is a liar. What is the evidence? When you examine what men do to each other without any visible evidence of consequence, fair doesn’t come into play.
What humans do to other humans can sometimes be absolutely brutal and animalistic and many times without consequence: the brutal kidnapping of Black people from their origins; the massive series of pillages, wholesale murders, atrocious brutalities, and industrial and structural exploitations; the series of disfranchisements which have created the current level of disparities that threaten to commit the Black community to a permanent underclass in America.
I often wonder, “How did this happen?”
How were so many Blacks forcibly sold into mass slavery? Who is guilty? Our ancestors were treated less than cargo. That horror was overshadowed by a life of hell and horror for untold millions that would continue for nearly 300 years. How did this happen and why?
This was and is the biggest crime against all humanity that was ever committed, yet we treat it like some incidental event of the past. How can one group inflict so much hurt and pain on another people?
We’ve seen many human atrocities but many never get to mature because the world addresses them. Why hasn’t the enslavement of our ancestors who were so disrespected and their pain and suffering so minimized been address and treated? Life can’t be fair!
Unfortunately, no one cares because life isn’t fair. If life were fair, our struggle wouldn’t be so pronounced and so prolonged.
If it were fair, slavery would not have happened. If life were fair, the struggle for human and civil rights for Black people wouldn’t have been so difficult.
There is absolutely nothing fair about life. Our history in this country has been UNFAIR and today finds us in a dilemma that is a direct result of that history.
If, for any sane and rational person, seeing this is a “no-brainer,” then why has it been so difficult to even get traction?
Our problem is exasperated by the fact that many Blacks believe that life is fair and we waist time, energy, and resources, trying to get the White community to feel our pain and do the right thing by us; it hasn’t happened yet. Why?
Those that oppress very rarely feel the pain of those that are oppressed. Those that victimize very rarely feel the pain of the victim.
Those at the top of the food chain rarely understand the plight of those at the bottom of the food chain.
No one will care about our plight except those who have had similar experiences of persecution and/or discrimination. No one cares and no one should care except for us; however, we don’t ourselves. WHY?
There are no words that I can use to reflect the horror that many of our ancestors experienced during this period of the American Institution of Slavery.
Every known and many unknown atrocities were perpetuated against our ancestors with the sole purpose of breaking the Black people to force them into submission.
What I’ve learned that happened during this time is not suitable for the newspaper but I urge everyone to read more about our history and to learn firsthand what happened to us.
However, the story isn’t over; it gets worse. Around 1719, the slaveowners, in an effort to get a better and more submissive slave, began to implement a diabolical strategy that can only be called “Making a Slave,” a scientific process that would insure a master/ slave relationship utilizing the following six principles (Willie Lynch):
Both horse and nigger are no good to the economy in the wild or natural state; both must be broken and tied together for orderly production.
For the orderly futures, special and particular attention must be paid to the female and the young offspring.
Put all of your attention on the Black female and get her to eat out of your hand – so will her children.
Both must be crossbred to produce a variety and division of labor. Both must be taught to respond to a particular new language.
Psychological and physical instruction of containment must be created for both.
Take the biggest and meanest Black man and beat him to near death in front of everyone – until you put the fear of God in him, the Black woman, and the children.
We don’t care about what has happened to us because while we are physically free, mental slavery exists for so many members of our community.
Over the past year, I’ve been writing about our community as part of an effort to challenge the status quo and begin to organize the Black community. My writing is not intended to preach, but to teach or at least encourage us to rethink why we’re in this mess and how important our history is connected to our current plight.
I’ve received so many criticisms from a few of our Black leaders with the majority questioning why I continue to bring up our past – “why do you have to go there?”
I continue to bring our past because it’s fundamental to my argument.
Where you start is critical and every issue we face today results in the reality that we have no capital in a capitalistic “free market” society (this fact handicaps every aspect of Black life in America).
While we suffer from other social and economic issues as the result of our history in this country, none is bigger than the fact that we have neither capital nor sense of self that could assist us with overcoming this deficit.
I bring up our past to honor our ancestors and the sacrifices that they made to advance the self-determination of our people.
I bring it up to keep reminding Black people that our socio-economic conditions have been manufactured.
I also bring up our past because I am a big proponent of the concept of reparations and I will never stop bringing up this issue until our community has been repaired by the psychological and mental scars that remain with our community.
Reparations are about making right on wrongs. It is the act of making atonement, amends, and indemnity for a wrong committed against another. I’ve already stated that the wrong inflicted against Blacks in America is the worst in modern history, so why is there not even a conversation about it?
The term implies an active repairing of the damage or injury inflicted on the wrong party.
The right to reparations has long been recognized in International Law.
There a few that can be referenced, none more than reparations paid to the Jewish victims of the Nazi persecution of the 1930s and 40’s.
Since the Second World War, Germany paid more than $60 Billion in reparations to Nazi victims and the state of Israel.
In December 1999, Germany announced a $5 billion deal reached between Germany, Israel, and the United States to pay victims of the Holocaust.
What’s interesting is that almost 65 German companies joined the fund because they benefited or were privileged from the plight of the Jews during this period.
Life wasn’t fair for so many Jews who lost their lives and had their live disrupted during this period. The act of Reparations was an attempt to fix this tragedy.