Sunday, November 08, 2009

"Precious", The Movie: Modern Day Instantiation Of The "Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome"

(Hat tip to the "Booker Rising" blog)

The new movie "Precious" details the life Clareece "Precious" Jones. She is a the product of an abusive home as rendered by a narcissistic mother.

In her mother's quest to show her young daughter what a "real woman" needs to do to make it in this world she grinds down all of Precious' self-confidence and self-worth in the process.

The purpose of this post is not to do a review of the movie. There are far more qualified people than me to evaluate the cinematic worth of this project. Instead my goal is to document and then reverse engineer the process of how the great amount of dysfunction that we see in certain people today gets embedded in them. The classical argument of "nature versus nurture" is staring us straight in the face.

"Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome"

The label of "Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome" enjoys usage among certain people to describe the source of some of the dysfunction that is seen in certain populations of Black people. As the argument goes - the experiences of 400 years of slavery and oppression of Black in in the Americas has rendered a certain definable psychosis upon us. As a response and a coping mechanism we "act out" in violent and/or dysfunctional ways because "White Supremacy" has acted out in a violent and dysfunctional way against Black people because of our skin color. One not need to have been enslaved in chattel slavery in order to receive the prescription slip from the doctor who hands this out freely. In fact he has a warehouse full of preprinted slips in order to keep up with the demand.

My argument to the contrary is that the power struggle that is depicted on the screen in the movie "Precious" is an example of the most prevalent means by which this dysfunction is communicated between the generations.

Some argue that the movie proves their own point. The fact that the mother character has abused her daughter "Precious" is only because her parents before hath done the same to her. All of this serial dysfunction having originated from Slavery time. Of course few have documented the mental condition and power relationships that took place in pre-colonial Africa. In the "Magical Africa" tale that is popular - all was pristine and we "all were Kings". There was no dysfunction to think of.

The truth of the matter is that this reverence for "Africa from long ago" and the choice to place the blame for today upon American Slavery is done for one important reason. The goal of those who are purveyors of this theory do so because they seek to escape modern day accountability. They are appeased with the knowledge of "I Know Who Did This To Us And They Will Pay For It!!!!!! We Must Remain Eternally Vigilant Against Them Lest The Re-enslave Again Tomorrow!!! We Must Remain UNIFIED"..........."YOU drop YOUR Foolish Thoughts And Come Under My Tent And Adopt My Views.....IF You Are Really Black.".

I have documented this scheme on several occasions. The person who was walking down the street as an upstanding citizen, minding his own business and yet was ASSAULTED by an aggressor is allowed to maintain his moral high ground. There was nothing, after all, that he did to deserve such an attack. The damnation and scrutiny must be focused upon the assailant.

If our victim needs an extended period of time to heal from his injuries. If his time of convalescence is not understood by his long time oppressors - it is only because they know not how "The Cage Bird Sings". The victim has earned the right to claim his "soft tissue injury" even if it does not show up on any x-ray or MRI device. This pain is his own to claim.

From the interests of the Black community this scheme is ultimately not in our own best interests. Instead of us developing frameworks for our development as he practice "Human Resource Management" it instead is a prescription to explain away the dysfunctional results of the day.

Management is a "directed" set of activities done to achieve "directed outcomes" with regard to some mission statement or interests. Schemes like the "Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome" are passive in nature. They seek to redirect responsibility and make the demand for external attendance. From this no balanced people will ever be produced. Only "cared for" people.

The Brain Of "Precious" And The Brain Of The Slave

We are all conscious beings. God has given us the most powerful brain of any species that he has created. In fact we were made in his own form.

Our brains are totally dependent upon the 5 senses that the body that it is housed within provide as connection to the outside world. All that we learn comes through our senses and the inferences that our brain calculates with the intelligence contained within. The people we interact with form an imprint upon our world view.

If we were to make an analysis of the sensory signals provided to "Precious" and then compare them with those received by a "Slave Girl" from 300 years ago - their respective brains would note a similar set of stimuli. There was a need to "subjugate" both of these brains into submission. The tools used were:

  • Violent Actions Used To Establish Supremacy
  • Threats Of Violence That Draw Upon Past Physical Violence To Maintain Compliance
  • Abusive Words To Remove Individual Thoughts
  • Sensory Deprivation At The Emotional Level - To Strip Away The Default Self-Worth That All Humans Have By Default
All of these abuses were done with the purposes of "enslaving" the person to a desired mental order as prescribed by the superior power.

Frequently when one mentions the violence that takes place in Africa today (ie: the movie "The Last King Of Scotland" which highlighted Idi Amin's violent romp through Uganda) such behavior is also attributed to "Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome". Where as the White colonialist has inserted a sense of self-hatred and oppressive spirit upon the masses of Black people. Now that "the Blacks" are in power they have taken hold of the notion that was imparted upon them by the White oppressor - "Black people can only be lead by brutal oppression rather than via their innate human intelligence".

As hard as I tried, upon watching the film "The Last King Of Scotland" I could not see the wires that dangled from the sky as the sign that the White man was controlling the Black Africans with guns that were massacring their own countrymen.


The truth of the way to address and correct this systematic dysfunction is clear. Such dysfunction is an example of non-management. The fact that certain dysfunctions learned in the past has been able to jump the synapse between generations is not evidence of the POWER of such thoughts. It is only evidence of the failure of the present cultural and social order to suppress such dysfunction via hands on management.

There is no question that management is more difficult than projecting blame and obfuscation tactics.

In this case we cannot reference "ease" as a qualifying attribute. Instead ENDURANCE and COMPREHENSIVENESS must be the prime considerations. If indeed we have the intention of reaching the "repaired state" as a people it will come from overt action WITHIN, not constant grading of the external playing field with the hopes of one day making it completely level. Some of our choices to disassemble certain cultural norms for nothing more than libertine justifications have the impact of backing off the management plan rather than firmly addressing them.

If you still want to make use of the term "Post-Traumatic Slavery Syndrome" to define the condition that some of us have PRESENTLY - I have no recourse to take against you. The key consideration, however, is not what we are presently infected with and "WHO did this to us?". Instead the superior notion is "Where Do We Go From Here" and how is this notion going to be propagated throughout the society, insuring that all who are interested in eating the fruit that results do their daily repetitive tasks to get there.

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