Rap artist Kanye West caused quite a ruckus recently when he openly and unashamedly departed from the ideological plantation of the left. He threw off his chains and declared that he should be free to formulate his own thoughts and – God forbid – not live as a victim, upon which outrage immediately broke loose.
However, of all his statements, the one that traumatized fragile progressive souls the most was his idea that 400 years of slavery “sounds like a choice” on TMZ Live.
Leftists immediately interpreted his statement to mean that he denied the existence of slavery in America altogether, which only goes to show that they lack rudimentary knowledge of American history.
250 years of slavery
Blacks were brought to America as slaves 400 years ago and stayed in bondage for 250 years. Then this civil war thing happened, and slavery was abolished. Those in the know say that was a big deal.
Some people didn’t get the memo and have been touting the idea that slavery has continued until this day – for 400 years. This is the claim to which Kanye West rightfully reacted.
Yes, many black communities have issues today and life can surely improve. But slavery?
Captives and slaves have one thing in common: they are both imprisoned by force. Mentally, however, they differ greatly.
The captive is still free in his mind and regards his situation as an aberration and refuses to let it define his life. Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a perfect example of a captive. While imprisoned in the Gulag concentration camps in Soviet Russia, he spent his time thinking and memorizing the book he was authoring in his mind – The Gulag Archipelago. He did not allow the terms of his captivity dictate the way he used his mind.
When released from the Gulag, he had a choice to escape to the West but chose to remain in the Soviet Union to fight the system from within, even after his book was released.
The slave mentality
By contrast, a slave internalizes his imprisonment as part of his identity. He self-identifies as a perpetual victim, a person who is not in control of his destiny.
Kanye West is not the first to wake up from his slave slumber, but he is certainly the most famous. His awakening is rippling through black communities and particularly affecting young black men.
Jordan Peterson: take responsibility
One of the people West has been listening to is Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, author of Twelve Rules for Life. His message has especially resonated with men, and although not intended to be so, it is particularly well-suited for young black men who are still stuck in this victim mentality.
The argument goes something like this: it does not matter what laws are made in Washington. You as an individual have no power over that, but there is one speck of planet Earth that you have enormous power over: yourself. The greatest influence in your life is your own choices, and you can make an enormous difference in your life by making the right decisions. Start small: clean up your room and work your way from there.
This, of course, is equally true for women, but men are more prone to being useless if they lack a purpose in life, and therefore there are far more men who benefit from this message.
In fact, there is a way to tailor the message to men: for the sake of argument, suppose everything you hear about systemic racism and white privilege is true. What are you going to do about it? Whine and complain?
Real men prove that they can take it. They stand up straight and face the rain. Bad weather has never stopped a real man from working hard to take care of his family.
And who knows, maybe you discover that the only thing that has been holding you back is the mental cage with which you have identified?
Liberty Nation’s Scott Cosenza and Jeff Charles talk about mentality and race on this week’s podcast, The Uprising: