Do Black Americans Have ‘Battered-Race Syndrome’?

National Co-Convener

NATIONALIST Black Leadership Coalition (NBLC)

July 20, 2008

“Battered-Woman Syndrome”(BWS) is a phenomenon involving the continual abuse of women by a husband or so-called “lover,” usually a male. The overarching characteristic of this phenomenon is the woman’s willingness, and oftentimes determination to stay in the relationship in spite of sometimes brutal beatings at the hands of her mate. Indeed, such women routinely claim the beatings are proof-positive that the abusing mate loves them deeply, and blame themselves for behavior that makes them deserve the abuse. While this behavior is obnoxious enough insofar as it’s obvious effects on the woman who is being victimized, it is equally reprehensible and even more devastating in its effects on any children in the household where the offensive behavior is taking place. Male children can view abuse as the most appropriate way to treat a woman; and female children can – and often do, become conditioned to accept abuse as “normal” behavior between a man and woman in a relationship. The seeds are thus planted for the pattern to repeat itself in future generations. Battered women are often the most ardent defenders of the person who beats them, and sometimes the defenses or explanations can be quite creative and inventive.

Battered-woman syndrome is also an indelible feature of the business of prostitution in America. “Pimps” are boastful of the ways and means they use to “keep their bitches in line.” Reportedly, the use of wire hangers as a tool for whipping and sometimes torture is commonplace. Females who become prostitutes are conditioned to accept an inferior status for themselves vis-à-vis their pimp, who they are often obliged to refer to as their “Daddy.” Apparently, “daddies” have the right, and even responsibility for whipping the wards in their charge. Prostitutes regard being punished by their pimps as acceptable if not necessary in their “profession.” This often results from the fact that prostitutes are part of a pimp’s “stable” of females, within which competition for favored status can be keen, and even vicious. They can curry favor with the pimp by reporting on their stablemates’ alleged misbehavior, thus causing them to be punished. Prostitutes too will see themselves as deserving of being punished for breaking the “rules of the game,” and find no fault with pimps for enforcing such “rules.”.

The key feature in BWS, whether among “square” women or prostitutes, is the women’s sense and acceptance of their own innate inferiority, guilt for wrongdoing, and resulting deservingness of whatever punishment their ‘superior’ being sees fit to impose on them.

The attitude and behavior of what appears to be the vast majority of Black Americans in the wake of Barack Obama’s quest for the Presidency of the United States prompts me to wonder if they might not be suffering from a racial version of BWS, what I refer to as “Battered-Race Syndrome,” or BRS.

Black people in America have been battered and otherwise abused for the entire time we have been in this country; surely that has had an effect on our collective psyche similar to what a woman would suffer from after extended periods of physical and mental abuse at the hand of a brutal mate. What has been the effect of this conditioning on the mental state of Black people in America, and how does it play itself out in our lives?

Black people have been conditioned to believe they are inferior, especially to white people. As a result, they accept as a given that white folks have a right to treat us as they see fit. They see our only option as to petition white people for less harsh treatment. Any Black person who is bold enough to challenge this power of white folks is seen as a “troublemaker,” one whose actions are likely to bring the wrath of white folks down on black folks. “Don’t do anything to upset the white folks” they admonish; “stay in prayer and Jesus will intercede on our behalf with his father God. And if that doesn’t work in the here-and-now, we will receive our reward in heaven, a land of milk and honey, where streets are paved with gold.”

To add insult to injury, each successive generation of black youth are witnesses to this insidious state of affairs, and forced to accept it as normal, or challenge it by yielding to lifestyles that can be labeled “criminal.” Participating in such unlawful activities give the white powers-that-be an excuse to practice brutality on black youth, which docile black adults are unable or unwilling to protect them from. A pattern is emerging where black adults increasingly resent black youth for inciting the ire of white folks; and black youth are increasingly contemptuous of black adults for their apparent impotence to protect them from the common oppressor.

As abusive as white folks have been and continue to be toward black folks, the latter still want to remain in America under the yoke of whites. As long as a few blacks are allowed to rise above the condition of the vast majority, they are seen as proof that “things are getting better.” Professional athletes and entertainers are the most numerous of such luminaries; followed by politicians, and our professional class.

The meteoric rise of Barack Obama to political prominence has brought the contention between elements within the Black community into full view for the entire nation and world to see. The vast majority of the black electorate see Obama as the greatest thing since fried chicken, but there is an element of unbroken and uncowed Blacks who are unimpressed, even skeptical. What started out as a source of pride for many of us, is beginning to take on the features of a pending disaster. As a condition of securing the support he needs from the white electorate in order to win either his party’s nomination or the Presidency itself, Mr. Obama is being obliged to “throw black people under the bus!” Worst of all, it is black people themselves who are most vociferous in insisting on his right to do so in order to win. This senseless act of self-sacrifice on the part of so many Black people is a joy to behold to white people in general, and the politically astute in particular. Overt racists don’t know what to make of it! To them it’s just too good to be taken at face value.

Along the way, the black electorate has given its approval to Barack’s repudiation of Minister Louis Farrakhan, Tavis Smiley, and Jeremiah Wright. Most recently Rev. Jesse Jackson earned the enmity of the “Obamamania” crowd among blacks by commenting unfavorably on what he perceived as the candidate’s increasing penchant for “talking down to Black people.” Rev. Jackson was verbally excoriated by Obamaites for his act of blasphemy, notwithstanding the Reverend’s nearly fifty (50) years of front-line service on behalf of the Black community. Rev. Jeremiah can boast thirty-plus years of unstinted service to the Black community in Chicago through outreach programs operated by his church. Tavis Smiley worked tirelessly for ten years establishing his “State Of Black America” annual gatherings as the premier black event in the nation. He culminated that process by publishing his “Covenant With Black America,” a document intended to serve as a litmus test for aspirants to the highest political offices in the country to respond to in order to qualify for the Black electorate’s support in a given election. This was a first, and noteworthy achievement, not only for Tavis and those who helped him put it together, but the black community as a whole.

In contrast to the four men referenced above, Barack Obama has made no significant contribution to the uplift and advancement of Black people in America at all, and few of us were even familiar with him until his surprising win in the Iowa Caucuses! Yet the vast majority of us are willing to throw four proven warriors for freedom, justice, and equality “under the bus” for one man’s political aspirations, a man whose very success will mean their collective dispatch to the junkyard of partisan electoral politics in America! What incentive will there be for any among our youth to aspire to follow in the footsteps of Minister Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, Tavis Smiley and their ilk, in view of this blatant display of disloyalty to those who have rendered service to our Race?

Defenders of Obamamania contend that his individual success will give numerous black youth confidence that they too can aspire to the highest office in the land; but what is to be gained for the Black collective if our youth become convinced that the surest way to success in America is to curry favor with white folks; and the surest way to curry favor with white folks is to demonstrate willingness to cast Black folks aside like last week’s garbage!

If that’s not “Battered Race Syndrome,” I don’t know what is!!!

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  1. I am happy to know that black people in the North are organizing in this manner. Great article. This Movement gives me some much needed hope, because I live in the South and very few are waking up.
    That is my valid e-mail address.

  2. Great article and well articulated, blacks in this country continue to be pimp slapped by Obama but yet they love him. “Love thy oppressor!”

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