“We will not be free until we reach down to the depths of our souls and sign with the pen and ink of assertive manhood our own emancipation.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Exploitation of victimhood is still a prevailing mentality in many Afro-American and –Caribbean communities. It was Louis Farrakhan, the leader of Nation of Islam, who set the tone in the world by offsetting “the ridiculous six million deaths from the Holocaust against the six thousand years of black slavery.” Farrakhan’s anti-semitic, anti-white and homophobic populist rhetoric inspired the masses, and especially those who felt unjustifiably, socially and economically excluded from the new wealth after WW II.
A press conference, on 18 April 1994, after a 90-minute tour of the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC., left no doubt about Farrakhan’s strong anti-semitic convictions and his eagerness to compete Black with Jewish victimhood.
“The black holocaust is a hundred times worse than any other holocaust in history… and worse, in any case, than that of the Jewish “bloodsuckers” who were put in place by Hitler.”
#BlackLivesMatter, the slogan in street riots in many US cities, last year, was another competition for a championship in martyrdom.
Black victimhood is a voluntary attitude many engage in, in a search for authenticity. After the BlackLivesMatter riots, theatrical martyrdom played out, for 24 hours a day on cable networks around the nation. Dehumanizing white people--- it always concerns a white police officer who shoots an innocent black youth committing a crime--- as monsters, as the evil forces of discrimination, is the game. Black victimhood is an exclusive black privilege--- black police officers shooting whites or blacks, does not count.
The glorification of victims is part of our culture and has been for thousands of years. Martyrology in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches often leads of sainthood. After all, a crucified Jesus was the ultimate victim and therefore glorified to the level of God. The divine status of Islamic Martyrology, sarcastically called Islamikaze, is one of the strongest motive powers for suicide bombers of Jihad.
Many Blacks insist to be blameless for the backwardness, for the educational and socioeconomic morass they are in; they rather acquire victimhood.
But victim mentality is an acquired trait, which often develops over extensive periods of time when a person allows himself to be submerged in a culture that believes in being the victim of wrongdoing by others, actually or perceived. Even when one is the real victim of unjustified misfortune that does not imply that one automatically develops a pervasive and universal victim mentality.
It is and remains a choice, a voluntary performance.
“We have not yet reached the Promised Land that Martin Luther King saw from the Mountaintop.”
When will Blacks no longer be victims and stop competing for victimhood?
By Jacob Gelt Dekker
Opinion columnist for Curaçao Chronicle