WEB POSTED 08-01-2000

America’s state of denial about race

I’m continuing the excerpt from Mr. David Cole’s introduction to his book, titled “No Equal Justice” page 3, wherein he wrote:

“This book argues that while our criminal justice system is explicitly based on the premise and promise of equality before the law, the administration of criminal law—whether by the officer on the beat, the legislature, or the Supreme Court—is in fact predicated on the exploitation of inequality. My claim is not simply that we have ignored inequality’s effects within the criminal justice system, or that we have tried but failed to achieve equality there. Rather, I contend that our criminal justice system affirmatively depends on inequality. Absent race and class disparities, the privileged among us could not enjoy as much constitutional protection of our liberties as we do; and without those disparities, we could not afford the policy of mass incarceration that we have pursued over the past two decades.”

From the whole of his book, it is clear that by the phrase “the privileged among us” Mr. Cole is referring to white people, in general, and wealthy white people in particular, who have and still benefit from the innumerable injustices done to the poor, in general, and to Black people in particular—throughout America’s history.

Mr. Cole’s next paragraph begins with this sentence: “White Americans are not likely to want to believe this claim.”

Why did Mr. Cole say this? Could it be that America, or white people, as a whole, are in a state of denial, with respect to America’s greatest problem—the condition and position of millions of Black people? Could this point to the root of why the idea of reparations is repugnant to most white people? Could this also point to the root of why America finds it so hard to even apologize to Black people for the evils they did to Black people? Could it be that she has not really changed her hateful attitude towards Black people and that the civil rights victories she granted a few years ago were really a sham?

Or could it be—at its root—something so frightening to them, that concerns matters so sensitive, that are related to America’s view of her national security, that she has made it the most secrets of her secrets, and placed it at the top of that category they called “above top secret?”

Are Black people, as a whole, also in a state of denial about what matters most—without knowing it?

What does the word “denial,” in this context, mean? One edition of Webster’s Dictionary provides the following definitions for denial: “the act of denying; a saying ‘no’ (to a request, demand, etc.); a statement in opposition to another; contradiction, the denial of a rumor; the act of disowning; repudiation, the denial of one’s family, a refusal to believe or accept (a doctrine, etc.).”

Another edition of this same reference work defines denial as a “refusal to satisfy a request or desire; refusal to admit the truth or reality (as of a statement or charge); an assertion that an allegation is false; refusal to acknowledge a person or a thing.”

Under the heading of “Psychology,” this reference work states that “denial” is used to refer to “a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.”

Again, in another edition of this reference work, under the heading of “Psychiatry” this reference work states that the term, “anxiety,” is used to describe “an abnormal state, characterized by a feeling of being powerless and unable to cope with threatening events, typically [but not always] imaginary, and by physical tension, as shown by sweating, trembling, etc.”

It is “an unconscious thought process whereby one allays anxiety by refusing to acknowledge the existence of certain unpleasant aspects of external reality or of one’s thoughts, feelings, etc.: now often in the phrase ‘in denial.’ It’s an often unconscious mental process (as repression) that makes possible compromise solutions to personal problems.”

This process of allaying anxiety is infinitely inferior to the process laid out for us in the scriptures, which has been simplified for us all by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in his study guides.

Webster’s states that “allay” means to “put (fears, etc.) to rest; quiet; calm; to lessen, relieve, or alleviate (pain, grief, etc.). It means to subdue or reduce in intensity or severity; expect a breeze to allay the heat; to make quiet or calm; allay implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms … .”

“Anxiety,” in this context, is “a state of being uneasy, apprehensive, or worried about what may happen; concern about a possible future event.” It’s a “painful or apprehensive uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill.” It’s “fearful concern or interest.”

Again, it can be “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.”

Whereas “anxiety stresses anguished uncertainty or fear of misfortune or failure, worry, on the other hand suggests fretting over matters that may or may not be a real cause for anxiety.”

White Americans manifest denial when it comes to their history with and their unjust relationship to Black people, more than they do about anything else. No other matter concerns her more than what her ex-slaves are thinking about and feeling, and may do with respect to her.

Generally—and this is especially true of their ruling class—their thinking is not far removed from the way their ancestors thought and felt about us during, and not long after, our state of physical servitude for them.

This is very evident in their non-stop work against any Black leader who would arise to try to lead us—to any degree out from under their power.

America’s state of “denial” is illustrated in her reaction to the “reparations” issue; in her unwillingness to even apologize—not to think of atoning—to Black people for their evils against us. This casts a light on her reactions to Minister Farrakhan’s clearly stated and highly reasonable positions to the solutions of America’s problems.

America’s state of “denial” is one of the major factors in the quality of her thinking and emotional reaction to Minister Farrakhan, as she was to his teacher before him.

There was a poll recently published, by the New York Times, which clearly indicates the state of denial of both Black as well as white people in America with respect to the issue of “race.”

The report contains this: “The poll, which was conducted June 21-29, surveyed 1,107 people who said they were white and 934 who said that they were Black.” It was published June 11, 2000.

Consider this excerpt from it:

“Befitting the subject matter, the poll was rife with seeming contradictions. Most striking, perhaps, was a telescopic pattern in which people of both races depicted themselves as far more sanguine about race relations in their own communities, and far more sensitive in their own views, than they believed to be the case elsewhere. Susceptible perhaps to the pressures of political correctness, they seemed to strive to depict themselves and their neighbors as open-minded and accepting while projecting less enlightened views on the rest of the country. And the farther from home, the worse things seemed.

“For instance, 88 percent of whites and 82 percent of Blacks said race relations were generally good in their neighborhoods. Similarly, large majorities of whites and Blacks said race relations were generally good where they worked and at their children’s schools.

“But the numbers dropped when people were asked to characterize race relations in their communities, and they dropped more precipitously when they were asked about race relations in the country. Fifty-eight percent of whites and 51 percent of Blacks said race relations in the country were generally good, while 30 percent of whites and 40 percent of Blacks said they were generally bad.

“Similarly, nearly all respondents—93 percent of whites and 95 percent of Blacks—said they would vote for a qualified black presidential candidate if one was nominated by their political party. And yet, most of those surveyed—55 percent of whites and 62 percent of Blacks—agreed that the country was not ready to elect a Black president.

“In another example, 85 percent of whites said they did not care whether they lived in an area where most of their neighbors were white or where most were Black. But two-thirds of the whites said they thought most white people preferred to live in white areas. And perhaps most telling, 85 percent said they actually live in areas where they have no or few Black neighbors, the same percentage that said they had no preference.”

As we’ll see next issue, Allah willing, The Holy Qur’an describes this present state of denial with amazing accuracy. Properly understood both Holy Qur’an and Bible makes clear the roots of this “denial.”

That understanding is available through the clear explanations provided by Minister Louis Farrakhan.

 

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