Comments: An American Brainwashing?
Greetings to you. Thank you for your comments and remarks about this very sensitive subject. (The word *Black*). Quite a few of you did participate in this "comment" session. I must admit that I was a little surprised to see so many of our world wide readers so interested in this subject. I know that we have a "respectable" readership in the United States, (including Puerto Rico and Hawaii) but we also have a sizeable professional, and scientifically inclined audience overseas. See: (*Tartt's Scientific Approach*) www.henriwtartt.com. Some of the countries joining in on our conversations sometimes include Germany, Great Britain, France, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and India. All of these claim to have similar problems dealing with discrimination based on religion and/or skin color. These problems occur daily and at all of their societal levels. Even the professional level has it's moments though they are less obvious and are well thought out and disguised. It seems that the lighter or whiter the complexion, the easier the daily tasks, employment, and over all quality of life relationships become. I've had some foreign readers ask me "Who does this white man think he is God?" At times it may seem that way (smile). But in this case it's not always the "White Man" that's the culprit. In India for example a "color caste" system still exists where many of the lighter Indian population consider themselves "better" and more attractive than the darker population. As I'm sure you know, some of the indigenous Indian people can be as dark as any dark African. The fact that segments of the Indian people are considered in some circles to be Caucasian further confounds and can exacerbate what appears to be a universal problem. And this light against dark problem seems to be universal. It is also especially prevalent in Puerto Rico and Brazil. It seems that inherited circumstances that can be viewed as attributes (i.e. light or pseudo white skin) will always be capitalized upon. Not to understand or try and limit this natural expression and tendency is not being realistic. But please remember, this writer is dedicated to truth, and not the "bashing or trashing" of any group. And that includes our white readers, who are genuinely respected members of our family here.
In summary: In this country (U.S.) the term "Black People" has pretty much been accepted and viewed as unavoidable. However, most readers do understand the point(s) made in the article. (*An American Brainwashing?*) But because of slavery, in which African American people suffered such a traumatic forced adjustment into a very "strange" and new way of life, it is not surprising that to this day, many of the descendants of these slaves have some difficulty "stepping out" and openly criticizing or disagreeing with the descendants of the people who once enslaved them. Segments still fear some form of reprisal or punishment for disobedience and non conformism. And they are extremely protective of the status and positions that they have achieved. And rightly so. No doubt, many would experience some difficulties related to their employment and position if they were to attempt to "rock the boat" (about a myriad of subjects) at this late date. Still, for the record at least, it was important to get this point of view out in the open again. Looking at the crime levels in our urban communities, I can't help but wonder how much (if any) this "Black Label" has encouraged feelings of low self esteem in our children and young people, making them more sensitive, aggressive, and hostile towards authoritarian law and order. For the record, I want all to know that when I receive your letters , emails and other communications, I do not "keep" or "file" them. I simply record your comments and opinions for future articles without recording your name, position, or email address. After this, all correspondence is destroyed. Your identity and/or position could never be discovered or compromised by your participation here.
I believe that we have comparable numbers of professionally employed readers, from Medical Doctors, PhD's, General Scientists, and the Public at Large to those of similar respected sources of specialized information. In part because (I believe) while we still talk about scientific subjects like titrations and germs, we attempt to show how these subjects (and others) affect the lives of real people. The articles listed on our website are not just arbitrarily written opinions, but most opinions have a scientifically backed and verified hypothesis. These articles are not just written and then posted, hoping that people will "trip" over their coffee cups as they "surf the web" and then stumble upon them. No, these articles have already been anonymously read by the finest, sharpest, racially diversified minds in the world. They have been seen by some of the most respected college and university professors on this planet. These professionals are not asked to grade, sanction, or give opinions about an article unless they so choose. After this process is completed then and only then do these writings appear on our website or in the hands of the general public. This has been my practice for many years. But enough on that for now. Briefly, let's get back to our subject which is: "Acceptance or rejection of the word Black as it pertains to the African American people. (As written in the article *An American Brainwashing?*)
According to my research, there are numerous African Americans, especially older individuals (60% >55) who still harbor some unfavorable opinions about being referred to as "Black People". And for most of these, it has little to do with skin color. However, most of today's adult minorities (85% 30-54) said that they have no problem with being called a "Black" person. The majority of younger people (94% 18-29) that I questioned were not even aware that there ever was a problem with the term. Predictably, Whites and Asians had little to say on the issue, and those that did comment were in favor of whatever choices African Americans were comfortable with. Interestingly, many "Whites" do not identify with the term "White" and cheerfully point to their skin and say "that's not White!". Well, no one has "Black" skin either. I believe that the general acceptance of this is due to the fact that the term (Black) is used so frequently on a daily basis by the news media, the police department, in the movies, many educational facilities and by the people themselves that it has now become a "legitimate" term. Right or wrong, continued *repetition* of a word or an idea was a method used in world war 2, (Tokyo Rose) and the Viet Cong (Viet Nam) to convince our African American soldiers that they were fighting for a country that did not respect them. It's called *Brainwashing* Don't agree? The human race is often still broken up into false caricature like images. e.g. "The Black, White, Red, and Yellow Man". I submit to you that in reality, no such "colored" people have *ever* existed on this earth! In many ways not yet fully understood, the human brain see's what it's been "programmed" by repetition to see. Whether it's true or false doesn't seem to matter. After all, there's nothing quite like good ole' "Santa Claus", and the "Easter Bunny" Right?. After a child has reached a certain age, don't we have to de-program them from believing in such silly falsehoods? But with this issue, such is not the case. Why?
In my opinion, what we have here is an attempt to continue a very subtle form of "apartheid", where the races are seen as more "starkly" different than they actually are. This helps to enforce some psychological self-policing, anti-integration action among the groups themselves. So once more, the African American people have come up on the "short end of the stick". By continually, inadvertently reminding the world by the use of this term that they are the farthest and most different people from the "ruling" or most successful class (Whites) in the world. And that my friend, is a condition *loaded* with other adverse ramifications. That's my view. Again, thank you very much for your time and comments. Stay well.
All The Best,
- Henri W. Tartt
Henri W. Tartt
Supervising Chemist &
Chief of Microbiology
City of Cleveland, Ohio (Retired)