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Isaiah Washington and the Broken Negro

Freedom is natural and fundamental. It is our birthright. Human beings and even animals have an innate desire to be free. Oppression and bondage are unnatural states of being. If a man is mentally free, he will do everything in his power to fight and resist oppression and captivity. If a hunter attempts to capture a lion, the lion will attack or flee. The same is true for a wild horse or any other wild animal. If captured, the mentally free man will constantly attempt to escape.

To deal with such a man, the captor or oppressor must either break that man or kill that man. To break such a man, as Dr. Amos Wilson has stated, the oppressor conditions the captive through a reward and punishment system. Submissive and obedient behavior is rewarded. Defiance is severely punished. Eventually, the oppressed man succumbs. He gradually begins to embrace and accept his condition of oppression. He adapts to his new hostile environment and becomes subservient. The situation is similar to how a ferocious and powerful lion is tamed and trained to be an obedient, amusing and entertaining circus animal. Another example is a wild horse being broken and transformed into a beast of burden, a vehicle to transport men.

Sadly, this is what happens to people like actor Isaiah Washington. They are broken Negroes. His frightening and humiliating encounters with the police have forced him to adapt. Apparently, he felt compelled to adapt in order to protect his family and himself.

isaiah-washinhgtonRather than driving around in an expensive Mercedes Benz, he drives around in Prius to avoid being racially profiled and stopped for driving while black. Instead of standing up to racial profiling, he has submitted to it. In fact, he encouraged comedian Chris Rock to adapt to it as well. The broken Negro thinks that if he is a good boy maybe Mr. Charlie will leave him alone.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Driving a less expensive car will not save you. The police will still stop, harass and beat you. They will stop and harass you whether you are driving a fancy BMW or rundown jalopy. They will brutalize you regardless if your an honor student at UVA or a brother in hood selling loose cigarettes. You can say, “I go to UVA! I go to UVA!” hundred times.  The police do not give a damn.  It does not matter whether you are wearing saggy jeans or a suit. You can still end of being the next police brutality victim, the next Twitter hash tag. It does not matter whether you are a prominent Harvard professor trying to enter your home or if you an African immigrant returning home from a meal. The police will still harass you or even kill you. In their eyes, you’re just another nigger.

In America, black people are born suspects. Driving while black, walking while black, shopping while black, and hell, even breathing while black are crimes. We cannot afford to adapt. We must resist. We must fight. We should never surrender our human dignity to placate racists.

[Originally posted at New Possibilities]

 
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