In my ongoing effort to “eliminate ignorance to empower the people,“I devote this blog post to identifying ideological/psychological lies widely promoted among Black people. Please understand that many of these ideas covertly present themselves while others have an overt nature. This list is by no means exhaustive; feel free to post comments and add lies you’ve identified to the list.
1: America is a democracy deriving its power from the consent of the masses via voting.
2: White supremacy and/or racism ended due to the Civil Rights Movement, more rich people of color, increased education and opportunity for people of color, and the election of a Black president. America is now “post-racial.”
3: Simply working harder, acquiring formal education, being proud of your history/culture, and being in touch with your inner-self, will rid the world of its vices.
4-8: Black people can never work together, be on time, see a project through to completion, love themselves, or change their condition.
9: You are not truly an agent of change unless you embrace every group of people and participate in all fights against oppression. Working just for Blacks, Latinos, women, or prisoners is short-sighted, selfish, and self-defeating.
10: Slavery/oppression is our fault. Victims of enslavement deserve their fate because they are sinful, weak, or lacking in self-pride.
11: God or the Cosmos will intervene to protect and advance subjugated people without those people organizing and working on their own behalf.
12: The right to vote somehow trumps our rights to free speech, assembly, free press, and the right to protest. It’s okay if you do not utilize any of those rights – you can be forgiven for that, but you MUST vote!
13: Embracing your culture/history, and fighting to advance and protect your “people” makes you a reverse-racist and hater of humanity.
14: There are no such things as conspiracies.
15: We can evaluate one’s value, politics, or authenticity via his or her clothing, diet, slang, hairstyle, handshake, formal education, name, language, race, gender, or income.
16: The political structure responds to moral or ethical demands rather than personal and corporate interests.
17: Some human beings have a level of knowledge or ability making them innately superior to others. Therefore, they have perfect judgment, deserve our unconditional obedience, are above criticism, and always have our best interests at heart.
18: Europe is the cradle of world civilization, spirituality and culture (Please excuse my laughter).
19: African people (or any other indigenous people for that matter) contributed nothing of value to the world, except through the influence of whites or cooperation with whites.
20: Everyone that agrees with you is your friend and everyone that challenges you is your enemy.
Agyei Tyehimba is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Mr. Tyehimba is a professional consultant and public speaker providing political advice and direction for Black college student organizations, community activist groups, and nonprofit organizations. If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.