I UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE CRIMINALS IN OUR WORLD
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
Lately, at Facebook, I have been exchanging words with an African American guy called Marvin Bryant. His perspective can be summarized thus: white folks are no good, they did terrible things to black folks; black folks are always good and can do no wrong; in so far that black folks do wrong it is the fault of their social situation; the white man placed black folks in untenable social situations, such as inner city ghettos, makes sure that they have no jobs and money and make them hate themselves and they therefore do whatever wrong they do because it is the fault of the white man. Even when black folks kill their fellow black folks, as they do in the ghettos, it is not the fault of the black murderers but the fault of white folks who set up the situation that dispose black folks do what they do.
If you try to provide an alternative point of view the man resorts to name calling; he has called me all sorts of put down names, including Uncle Tom, mentally colonized African and some unprintable names. If the person providing an alternative point of view is white he resorts to absolute uncourteous behaviors: he told one white female to go join her "cave dwelling people living in the caves of the Caucasus where they have anal sex with each other". He called her a Neanderthal and unprintable names.
I ask me: what would make an adult man, he looks, at least, thirty five years old, to say the uncivil things he says?
A properly brought up child is told to respect other people. It is nice if you loved all people but if you cannot love them you ought to, at least, respect them.
If you disrespect people you invite them to, in return, disrespect you. For example, by verbally abusing folks, Marvin invites folks to verbally abuse him. There are many things that white folks could say about him and black folk's that amount to put downs.
For example, Marvin's tendency to verbally abuse people gives folks the impression that he is emotionally underdeveloped and is childish; childishness is actually one of the stereotypes white racists had of black folks; they used to call black men boys because they believed that they are like children and Marvin keeps reinforcing that negative stereotype of black folks by acting like a child.
Listen, every adult you meet has the capability to harm or kill you if he so chooses. If you want to live it is in your best interest to respect every adult you encounter for that way you enable him to get along with you instead of harm or kill you. That is to say that respecting people keeps you alive and disrespecting people is a sure way to hasten your death.
As we speak, over 2 million Americans are in jails and prisons. A disproportionate number of those inmates are black folks. There is high level of criminal activity in black neighborhoods.
To the best of my knowledge, most white folks are wary going to black neighborhoods because they fear that they would be mugged or even killed.
And it is not only whites who have such negative view of blacks. Orientals have more negative view of blacks and black neighborhoods; Orientals see black folks as mostly criminals and generally avoid them. The point is that white folks could say that black folks are mostly criminals.
And there is the vexing issue of intelligence (whatever that is). We all know that black folks average IQ is fifteen points less than those of white folks (and Orientals IQ are fifteen points higher than white folks).
IQ scores are reflected on performance on standardized tests such as SAT; on the SAT Orientals score highest, followed by white folks and black folks last.
In effect, white folks could call black folks unintelligent and use IQ scores, scores on standardized tests and general performance on examinations to show that black folks are dummies (how many black students can get into the top twenty five American universities without some kind of affirmative action program?).
The point is that before you call people put down names you must ask if there are put down names that they can call you. As they say, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones; or, as Jesus Christ said, before you talk about the grain of sand in other people's eyes first remove the bolder in your eyes blocking your perception.
THE HUMAN CONDITION REQUIRES ALL OF US TO HAVE COMPASSION FOR EACH OTHER
If you are a rational person and see another human being what comes to your mind is the awareness that his and your life is vulnerable. Human beings live vulnerable lives; all sorts of environmental factors, such as earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, bacteria, virus, fungi do snuff out their lives; people suffer and die. Therefore, you have a fellow feeling to help the other person live as well as are possible despite our precarious existence.
If you remove compassion for other people from your mind you can easily justify harming them. What folks like Marvin do is remove compassion for some of their fellow human beings from their minds and having done so they then justify doing bad things to them (such as calling them put down names, or worse, harming them).
In such persons minds they think that they can depreciate only members of other races but the fact is that what you do to members of other groups you do to members of your own group; black folks who do not respect white folks do not respect black folks and find it easy to kill black folks! Those who have negative perception of other people easily rationalize harming them.
The sociological perspective on phenomena attributes all our problems to other people; sociology tells us about what other people did to make us who we are, bad; it makes us feel like we are innocent victims harmed by other people. Sociology enables us to blame and feel angry at those it tells us harmed us.
Those with this mind set easily become criminals (blaming other persons for his issues is part of what is called criminal thinking pattern; the criminal sees all his problems as caused by other people, blames them and does not take responsibility for his behaviors).
It is only those who have sympathy for their fellow human beings, regardless of their race, that are not likely to harm them.
African Americans study too much sociology hence become angry at those they believe screwed them. Yes, other people did screw them; who would deny that white folks did screw black folks; who would deny slavery and racism. One is certainly not minimizing or denying the evil done to African Americans by white folks.
As I pointed out elsewhere, white Americans must pay some kind of reparation to black Americans, not necessarily in cash but in such things as free education at all levels, publicly paid health insurance etc.
It should also be noted that most of the wisdom traditions of mankind ask us to forgive those who wronged us in the past and work to make sure that they do not repeat it in the present. We must forgive past transgressions while making sure that in the present all are treated fairly.
We must forgive what white folks did to black folks in the past and in the present work for a society that treats all people as equal and the same.
It is in such forgiveness and correction of our mistakes that we know peace; unforgiving minds are unhappy minds, minds in turmoil and conflict, minds that need addiction to alcohol, drugs, over eating, and sex to make them feel comfortable, for a while, before they self-destruct.
Those facts notwithstanding, not every white person you see screwed you, so for you to treat all white folks as a category, that is, see them as those who screwed you, are wrong. If you take that prejudiced perspective towards white folks it can be reversed and they take a categorical perspective towards black folks, such as see black folks as criminals and lazy bums.
We must treat people as individuals, not as members of groups; in the words of Martin Luther King, we must judge a person by the content of his character not by the color of his skin.
There was a time I used to have the illusion that with pure reason I could change people; however, I learned that you can stand on your head and go red on your face stating the truth and some people simply cannot learn and cannot change their antisocial ways. It appears that some people are destined to be rude for as long as they live in body and on earth. In that light, I would be extremely naïve to expect changes in the behaviors of the uncivilized among us. Such is life, cest la vie.
Still let me leave this gem for folks to ponder: the concept of non-locality of entangled particles says that if two or more particles are entangled and latter separated and placed at the opposite ends of the universe when one of the particles is touched and reacts the others instantly react regardless of the distance of space and time separating them. Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen first observed this phenomenon in 1935 and called it spooky action at a distance. In 1964 John Bell provided mathematics for it. In 1982 Alan Aspect proved it experimentally. This suggests that since our bodies are composed of particles of atoms/matter (electrons, protons, neutrons) the other particles at all over the universe interact with our bodies non-locally, instantaneously; this quantum physics suggests that we are all one, that separation is an illusion; therefore, people ought to treat each other as if they are one: with love and respect; there is no reason to make it a habit to always insult folks from so-called other races, for there are no other races; at any rate, insulting other people is insulting one's self if we are all one; as we do to other persons we have instantaneously done to us.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji
February 16, 2017