Indisciplined Egomaniacs — How Black Communities Unknowingly Perpetuate Counter-Progressive Sub-cultures
This is the elephant in the room. It is a fact that black people have been stuck at the bottom of the economic ladder due to structural issues of discrimination that have persisted for a long time, from the days of slavery to colonialism, to neo-colonialism, and to the modern-day settings. Black families have been prohibited from accumulating wealth over time by systems purposefully designed to do so.
Take slavery, for example, it ensured that black families did not accumulate wealth and pass it down as an inheritance for 400 years, thus blacks are generally trailing by 400 years. Colonial administrations in parts of Africa ensured that black families stopped accumulating wealth by imposing heavy taxes on cattle, huts, and any form of capital accumulation. These are examples of structural and systemic issues that have led to the poverty of blacks and the sub-cultures associated with poverty.
Take crime as an example, it is rife in black communities. But crime can be high in any poor community. Crime rates being high in black communities is not due to the fact that the people are black but due to the fact that the people are poor.
We cannot re-write the past, but we have to be forward-looking in order to face the future. There are sub-cultures that are prevalent in black communities worldwide that actively militate against the progress of black people. These are counter-progressive sub-cultures. They exist for various reasons.
A culture of breeding and celebrating Indisciplined Egomaniacs is counter-progressive. The subculture is preserved with the best of intentions. Unknowingly, perpetuating this culture fights against progress. Hence, as a race, we unknowingly perpetuate cultures that inhibit our own progress.
This is the elephant in the room because of denialism. If a white person talks about it, it is called racism. How dare you ignore the structural issues and focus on this one? If a black person talks about it, it is called self-hate. How dare you ignore the main issues and finger-point victims for the state they are in? How dare you take the side of the oppressor?
Whilst every culture is rife with Indisciplined Egomaniacs, black culture in the modern-day era has a proportionally large and outsized number of Indisciplined Egomaniacs. Being an Indisciplined Egomaniac is a trait that any observer (black or white) would associate with black people. This trope and characterization then feeds into the general view of black people and perpetuates racism.
The biggest perpetrator of this image is contemporary music cultures prevalent in black communities. Hip-hop, rap, afro-beats, rhumba, kwaito, house, dancehall, and other genres create and perpetuate the idea of an Indisciplined Egomaniac being the most ideal person. This feeds into the minds of the young (especially teenagers) who idolize these egomaniacs.
Whilst the same can be said about rock, for example, there are nuances that differentiate these. Rock is resented by the larger white community and at some point in time, Indsicplined Egomaniacs “rock” tend to fall back into society and drop the indiscipline part only leaving the egomaniac character. With black music and its sub-cultures, the teenager tends to grow into an adult who perpetually holds onto both the Indiscipline as the idealized way of life and being an Egomaniac. The mental condition of being an Indisciplined Egomaniac is reinforced by poverty and lack of opportunities such that the teenager does not wean himself from teenagerhood. he or she simply grows into an adult teenager, a taller child with limited ability to adapt to the new reality of adult life. The culture ensures that teenage behavior ends in the late 30s, instead of terminating 20 years earlier.
Rappers are predominantly indisciplined egomaniacs. Gangster rap epitomizes this.
But how do we correct this? We firstly have to see things as they are. Currently, we got it all in reverse.
Being an Egomaniac is regarded as Self-Confidence.
Being Indisciplined is regarded as Being the boss and living your life to the fullest.
How did the Indisciplined Egomaniac become the Ideal Person?
It comes from the past when black people were slaves and colonial subjects. The rebellion was treasured and being rebellious was a value to be admired. Non-conformance, fighting against the laws, and general disobedience was both admired and necessary.
Blacks were subjugated. Indiscipline represented putting up a fight against the system. It was necessary to be a buffalo soldier, a warrior fighting against the system. Kunta Kinte’s unruly behavior was necessary given the repressive conditions they were living in unlike dancehall star Popcaan’s unruly mantra’s in 2022 when slavery has long been abolished.
Being subjugated was brutal. It was soul-crushing. In order to survive, the subjugated had to gather some self-confidence to patch up the will to survive. The psychological make-up of the person had to come up with coping mechanisms. The ego had to be artificially inflated to reach the survival point. These coping mechanisms were key to the very survival of the subjugated.
The rebel, the outlaw, the unruly became the ideal person, and rightfully so. When the material conditions of subjugation were eased (end of slavery and end of colonization) the mentality did not go away. Blacks are trapped in that sort of mentality. In the mind, the identity of a fighter is ever-present. It is a type of mental slavery that needs to be overcome. The black ghetto is effectively a type of plantation or colonial territory where in addition to the systemic poverty, the mentality of the people who dwell in the ghetto keeps them chained.
Settings have been adjusted
Slavery ended, colonization ended, civil rights were won, and many legislative battles have been won to counter systematic racism.
The system now requires people with the right mentality to succeed. To succeed, a black person has to have the right discipline in order to fit into modern society. What is needed now is the exact opposite of traits that have been historically valued among blacks.
The young black person has to be disciplined. In the broader area of life, such as studying to become a data scientist or running a small Spazza shop, discipline is needed. The discipline to go through studies. The discipline to open the shop early and the financial discipline not to spend all the profits partying with friends.
The egomaniac cannot do well in both corporate environments and entrepreneurship. An egomaniac might do well in individual sports and in music, but these are winner-take -all areas where only a few people become successful. In real life, most activities happen in teams. An egomaniac fails to integrate well with teams, cannot take instructions from a supervisor, and generally underperforms.
Yes, there are millions of black people who are doing very well. Yes, it is not politically right to broad-brush an entire set of people. The reality, however, that many do not want to accept, is that black communities are suffering from a chronic lack of discipline and the prevalence of egomaniacs at every level. Stereotyping is bad but it has to be differentiated from summarizing the dominant characteristics of a group. It is not stereotyping to say people in China drink green tea. Of course, not all people in China drink green tea. However, a significant number of people in China drink green tea which makes it statistically correct to say the Chinese drink green tea.
There seem to be a double standard and hypocrisy when it comes to summarization and generalizations. Generalizations are okay when used in describing how blacks are disadvantaged but totally not okay when used to describe how blacks ought to do better as a race. Black people are mistreated by the police in the USA. This is generally accepted to be true. Not every black person is mistreated by the police. Now when you say black people have a sub-culture of valuing and celebrating Indisciplined Egomaniacs, the race card is raised, and the argument is debased by claiming that not all black people value and celebrate Indisciplined Egomaniacs. Yet there is overwhelming evidence of black communities valuing and celebrating Indisciplined Egomaniacs.
The chronic lack of discipline was necessary but is no longer necessary. It should not be celebrated. The mentality now has to change and move towards discipline in all areas of life. Of course, it is hard to be disciplined when you are poor. But it all starts with the mentality. Black people, including those who are self-governing, can rightfully blame the past, but that is not going to solve current problems.
The Outcome of Indisciplined Egomaniacs
- Poor Leadership
- Non-participation in the economy
- A mindset that is inconsistent with the modern world
Black communities suffer from poor leadership. This is universally applicable to any area where black people stay, from the USA to the Caribbean to the UK to the motherland of Africa.
In sub-Saharan countries, the political and public leaders (government employees, pastors, traditional leaders) are Indisciplined Egomaniac. This can be viewed as a lack of leadership. But the leadership is drawn from a pool of candidates that is infested with Indisciplined Egomaniacs.
Governments of black nations are notorious for fiscal indiscipline, corruption, and self-serving leaders. This is viewed as a crisis of governance but it’s equally a crisis of a society that values and celebrates indisciplined egomaniacs. You can change the entire government and replace it with a new government, and that new government behaves exactly like the previous one. It is not just those who govern that are wrong. It is society itself that is wrong in terms of the sub-cultures it values and promotes.
It is common for people who have accomplished certain things in life to be egomaniacs. For black people, however, you have egomaniacs who have not accomplished anything tangible in life. An egomaniac who has already accomplished in life can survive and even thrive being an egomaniac. An egomaniac who has not yet accomplished anything effectively barricades himself from success by virtue of being an egomaniac. Broadly speaking, this leads to outcomes where blacks do not participate in the broader economy, even when the legal and capital barriers have tumbled down.
What should be done?
Black communities should seek to edit the subculture.
If you can successfully edit the sub-culture, you can successfully edit what it values and promotes, and the leadership emerges and eventually broad societal outcomes.
The work begins with black intellectuals, academics, and blacks in positions of influence. They have to successfully de-campaign the epidemic of Indisciplined Egomaniacs. A sustained and prolonged campaign to re-shape the mentality might eventually change the mentality.
How do we change the mentality of the Black American to make him or her want to be a law enforcement officer? Instead of de-funding the police, how about we fund the police and fund black Americans to be able to become law enforcement officers?
It is not fashionable to become a cop in a black community because cops are the enemies, as they have always been. How do we make it fashionable for a black American teenager to become a police officer or a court assistant as opposed to being a rapper or a drug dealer? The work starts by changing the culture.
Of course, the bigger problems are structural, but we cannot entirely ignore the toxic subculture of celebrating indisciplined egomaniacs. Racism is a monster for sure, but we as black people, on a forward-looking basis, have to emancipate ourselves from the mental slavery that inhibits our progression. It is a fight that is equally important as fighting against racism.
If you doubt that there are issues to within black communities that have to be solved within black communities and not by the system, I have one more example to give. Let us say, in the twinkle of an eye, all white people (the oppressors of black people) have vanished away. We all wake up one day with no white people on earth. Do problems that affect black communities suddenly disappear?
Food for thought.