Some of my fellow blacks have argued against my proposal by pointing out blacks who have had some tremendous achievements or who have always practiced these positive habits practiced by other successful groups.

But I am not arguing, like a racist white supremacist, that there are no blacks who are great, intellectually or economically. The very fact that some blacks have practiced good cultural habits and succeeded well in their intellectual or business ventures is proof that such cultures are not the genetic property of certain ethnic groups. A black man can be disciplined even when he lives amidst a culture of general indiscipline, in short.

But this does not change the fact that the culture of his group is still backward. It means that a child who grows up in that community is more likely to grow up undisciplined than disciplined due to the general influence of those around him: his (absentee) father, his (jailed) uncles, the neighbor who boasts about gang rape, drugs, etc. Whether we like it or not, groups of people do have certain cultural habits that they promote, certain things that they value or disvalue. Some are fortunate enough to have parents who abandoned such a culture, sometimes by physically moving to an area where the reach of such influence is largely dissipated. But sometimes their children can still be influenced through the omnipresent reach of the media, unless they take some very deliberate steps to train them in another culture they observe from other people.

I remember a line in one of Tupac’s songs: “I come from a family tree of killers, thugs and drug dealers…” the legendary artist boasted. Using a talent that is definitely superior among blacks (music), many black artists have expressed a very negative culture from their communities that does not lead to true achievement. Economic measures might exclude such drug dealers and thieves from the brackets of the poor because of what they stole or because of a bestselling song they made about it, but in actual fact they are still poor because that’s not a sustainable way to live as a human being. Real success has to come from cultivating real virtues that will enable you to succeed anywhere and at any time, like the ability to always improve your education, for example. And an ability to always work hard, no matter what job it is or whether or not someone is watching over you. And of course the ability to always keep time, and so on.

One of the best brain surgeons in the world is a black doctor named Ben Carson. When my country (Zambia) had a very complicated case of Siamese twins born with joint heads who needed to be separated, they had to fly in the best surgeons in the world to do this. The operation was led by the famous Ben Carson.

But Dr. Carson’s life story only underscores my point about culture. He was going to a predominantly white school but he was the worst student in his class. He was coming from a community that did not value such discipline as the one demanded by school. His neighbors were only boasting about gang membership (at worst), or basketball skills (at best). And he came from a typical young single mother headed home in his community.

And then his mother just suddenly decided that she had had enough of this culture and resolved to save her children from their inevitable tragic future. She forced Ben Carson and his brother to start spending many hours a day just reading, even though she didn’t have any education herself. She didn’t care if they were accused of “acting white.” Learning from (or copying) more successful communities or nations does not mean you are trying to become them, it means you are trying to have what they have. If you want the results they have, you also need the same cause: the habits they culturally value.

From having the lowest IQ, Ben Carson soon became the best student in this predominantly white school and went on to become one of the best brain surgeons in the world (contrary to what some experts say, any normal person can raise his own IQ very significantly). He was also the youngest to hold his prestigious position at John Hopkins hospital.

His life confirms my theory that those who make the biggest cultural leap tend to become superior in ability due to that extra effort they have to make, especially when this even requires going against the trends in your own community. But the best is for the community itself to change its culture, as other groups have done in the past, by abandoning this strange postmodern concept of having pride for nothing.


3 thoughts on “How Black Pride produces Black Poverty – part 3

  1. Well written; one thought though:
    Why is it that success is never success unless authenticated through the white media? Why is it easy for a white man to dictate how a black man should live? Most renowned religious practices came from the white man, which he (himself) rarely practice.

    Any trick from black is evil; any trick from a white man is Technology or just genius.

    A black man’s culture has been seen to be behind because white culture forces him to imitate a white man: Have ACCA from UK, have MCSE from USA; be accredited with … the white man’s school and only then can you be labeled a proper intellectual.

    Intelligence is nothing more than the ability of something or someone to be able to adapt to any given environment – in a shortest possible time.

    Let a white man, for a minute or two, follow the black man’s independent way of living; see if he’ll adapt.

    Culture is still very important … only there is no fare ground of comparison; no chance has been given to black culture!

  2. Read up to here so far and what I think is that we have a few options to choose from, possibly.

    a. Take the White systems, controls, culture and traditions hook line and sinker. We completely superimpose it on ours.

    Not feasible or practical.

    b. Take the systems and controls but keep our culture and tradition.

    We would end up with Nigeria, in my view, if we followed this path. Sub-standard everything and people reverting to old, retrogressive customs instead of progressive ones. This would lead to the choas of a Tornado.

    c. Take our culture and traditions, distill them for the purpose of development and scratch all the all that keep us in the pre dark ages and fast forward into the twenty first century in a generation.

    This would give us Japanese type development.

    Just thinking,

    Raymond Mwanza

  3. How great it would be if Black celebrities could exert more often a positive influence rather than such sad example of the rapper guy. Making self/other-destructive behavior seem not “cool” but despicable, something to be ashamed, and, specially violent crime, inexcusable by circumstance. I’m afraid it’s too easy to fall in the trap of making pro-social and productive behavior seem “square”, or whatever is the current slang for “not-cool”.

    And then sadly there’s the whole depressing situation with Bill Cosby, whatever are the reality of the facts (I really haven’t follow the “news” on this, I’m not even taking a stance, perhaps the accusations are true beyond the shadow of a doubt), which can probably be used by idiots trying to be funny in attempts to condemn by “association”, suggesting that people (specially Blacks) with a discourse critical of self-destructive aspects of Black culture (or American Black culture more specifically) may also be doing deplorable things in their private lives. Unfortunately such ridiculous “logic” in an attempt of being funny probably can do quite some damage in the acceptance of the discourse, not to mention to the reputation and even mental well-being of the “kind of” accused.

    I wonder who may be the ones closer to being successful at that, even if in a more indirect way. Perhaps Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a good example of a good influence in a less directly critical way, being “the new Carl Sagan”, in a way. Radically different, not only by being more directly critical of pathological culture, perhaps Chris Rock is a good example.

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