Thursday, March 31, 2011

Obama represents the Destruction of The B.R.A.B.A.N. Mentality

This is for people who need an education as to why the Obama presidency, whether you approve of him or not, has changed African America for the better.

Over at Jack and Jill Politics, I get into numerous heated clashes with certain posters who claim to be strong critics of President Obama. One poster in particular, who goes by the moniker dthomas_85, not only doesn't like President Obama, he doesn't like the fact that 90% of African Americans support him. He calls it an "irrational devotion to the president". When I asked him to clarify this, his response was:

"....Black people's desperate need to "belong" to, and have more power in the White Power Stucture in America; a black man gaining the White House fufills these collective needs in way we have never seen before....."

The thing that seems to escape dthomas is that Black people aren't getting "emotionally attached" to an individual (see O.J. Simpson as an example), but rather a high concept. A big picture.

Sherri Shepard of The View says it best here:

However, the idea that dthomas, even after 27 months since November 4th, 2008, still lacks any clue as to why a majority of African Americans support President not important at this time.

What is important is the mentality behind his above statement. It's a mentality I've seen my whole life of 38 years. It's a mentality that permeates the Black community, in particularly our young men and women, that guises itself as independent thought. In reality, however, it's nothing more than a branch off of what I call the BRABAN Mentality.



The most famous BRABAN moment is MalcolmX talking about when his grade school teacher told him to " realistic about being a nigger, and give up trying to be a lawyer and get a job doing something with your hands. Like a garbage man, because that's a respectable job for a nigger". This of course led to Malcolm being a train porter, a criminal, a pimp, and eventually a convicted felon. It was in prison where he was introduced to his second BRABAN talk and became a disciple of Elijah Muhammad. Only after his pilgrimage to Mecca did he discover that every "truth" he ever believed or was told was from the prism of someone else's ideology. He learned that the world was not as black and white as he was led to believe.

There are 40 million African Americans in the US, and you can be damn sure the 99.99% of them have received or will receive the BRABAN talk. It will either come from your parents, your peers, or your mentors, and it tends to come in different varieties:

"Black people don't do this, you need to do this"

"Why you sound like a white boy/girl"

"You're not good enough to do this"

"You're not smart enough to do that"

"Boy/Girl, you're dreaming. You need to get you a REAL job"

Basically, if it's not sports or music, you not being realistic.

In modern day Black society, the BRABAN mentality mutates itself into the guise of "Black Pride" and "Black Empowerment". In reality, it's telling you how a black man/woman should think and act, and to reject and persecute anything and anyone that is even a remote deviation of the ideal image.

Which brings me back to dthomas' comment above:

"....Black people's desperate need to "belong" to, and have more power in the White Power Stucture in America; a black man gaining the White House fufills these collective needs in way we have never seen before....."

It reminds me of the episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air entitled "Blood is Thicker than Mud". Will and Carlton are trying to pledge a black fraternity. However one of the "head brothers" takes an instant disliking to Carlton because he didn't fit the image of what he though a black man should be. But rather than just tell Carlton he didn't want him in the fraternity, the "head brother" decides it would be funny to make Carlton go through some extra hazing with no intentions on letting him join the fraternity. In other words, he felt he needed to "punish" Carlton for being who he was.

It should be noted at this point that one of dthomas' mentors of Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report, who admittedly has hated Obama since his introduction on the world stage in 2004. Ford "listened" to Obama keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention and concluded that Obama did not like black people. Never mind that Obama has a Black wife and Black children. In Glen's eyes, Obama is the antithesis of what a black man should be, so therefore he should be "punished".

Glen Ford is a textbook example of when the BRABAN Mentality mixes with envy and personal regret. It forms the infamous "Crabs in a Bucket" aka Bucket Crab Mentality that the Black community is often described with.

This clip from The Boondocks is a uniquely accurate description of the Bucket Crab Mentality:

Bottom line, the BRABAN Mentality is all about limitations. It has been these limitations, the stifling of dreaming big, that has been a lead blanket on the Black community for over a century. Obama becoming President of the United States, to the vast majority of African American, represent the destruction of those limitations. That yes, it's okay to pursue the American dream, because we are, whether some people admit it or not, just as American as any white person.

To go back to that Fresh Prince episode, Carlton ends up educating the head brother that "black is not something I'm trying to be, it's what I am." The head brother ends up looking like a douche, and the other brothers vow to kick him out of the fraternity.

The episode ends with Uncle Phil, after finding out what happened saying the following line:

"....When are we going to stop doing this to ourselves?"

When indeed.