Universal Black Constant #1Posted: March 8, 2006
I kind of wondered into this post topic by accident while writing about Eric Jerome Dickey’s new ‘Storm’ comic book. One of the things I found interesting about it was the fact that he showed the animosity that sometimes tends to exist between Africans and black Americans. At the same time I’ve been thinking about a post on the genius of the boondocks character ‘Uncle Ruckus’. What they both have in common is what I tend to refer to Universal Black Constant #1. Namely black people don’t like black people
The most damaging legacy of slavery and colonization is , in my opinion, the widespread inferiority complex it left across all of those affected. The truth is that most black people, regardless of where they are born, have to deal with the message that the very fact of their birth makes them less than everyone else, but especially white people, from the day they learn how to communicate. Maybe a little after if they are lucky.
Africans and West Indians have the advantage of only being stuck with each other, which means that we are required to acknowledge each other’s competence to a degree that isn’t necessary here. Its still there though. Just about every African I know can tell you stories of Ruckus style comments made by other Africans. Most notably a wish for a return to colonial rule because the Europeans ran the continent better.
Now consider the fact that human beings have a natural tendency to place themselves in a hierarchy and consider what happens to those who know from day 1 that they are assigned the bottom rung. A struggle to stratify the bottom rung begins with everyone trying to be on small of that little space so at least they are better than someone. Hence all of the above reasons are amplified by the need to put down the other group in order to feel a little better about yourself and your group. Not the smartest solution known to man, but definitely understandable. And that right there is a vast majority of the reason different groups of black people stay at each other’s throats.
The genius of Uncle Ruckus, in my opinion, is the fact that he brings light to the thoughts that lie buried in the minds of a lot of people, black and non black, tend to carry around with them and avoid talking about. I think there’s a lot to be gained by actively admitting to and confronting the mindset instead of pretending it doesn’t exist.