You shouldn’t be surprised by Penn State’s recent child sex scandal (read about it here), its a symptom of three underlying problems that can be found in most American and European institutions. When I talk about institutions, several specific ones come to mind: Political Institutions, Academic Institutions, Corporate Institutions, and Religious Institutions.
These three underlying problems with American institutions are:
- American Institutions victimize the victims
- American Institutions are based on a culture of cover-up
- American Institutions are based on Eurocentric values
Victimize the Victim
According to American institutions;
- If you are unemployed, you are lazy (Speaking to a group of CEOs this weekend President Barack Obama said the U.S. has “been a little bit lazy” about performing in the global marketplace).
- If you are raped, you did something to ask for it (What were those boys doing over Sandusky’s house, anyway?).
- If you are wronged by the institution, then you should just get over it (Virginia Lawmaker Frank D. Hargrove said “Blacks should get over slavery” in opposition to a measure that would apologize on the state’s behalf to the descendants of slaves.
Take, for example, Academic institutions. Academic failure is blamed on the child, the parent, the teacher – everyone and everything but the idea that (gasp!) our academic institutions are ineffective at actually educating. The proof is in the putting:
- American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to students in 30 industrialized countries.
- America’s top math students rank 25th out of 30 countries when compared with
top students elsewhere in the world.
- By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries.
- Sixty eight percent of 8th graders can’t read at their grade level, and most will
never catch up. (Source: Broad Foundation)
But this failure is blamed on the students, the parents, and the teachers. Many have started to point out the fact that the institution of education is endemically flawed. Shouts out to Mr. Vilson for occupying the front lines of this fight!
Also consider the fact that police started the crack epidemic in the U.S., and then blamed the victims for their condition. Millions of Black men and women were incarcerated, thousands of Black families destroyed, and untold millions in Black wealth was eroded. The victims of police activity were blamed and victimized for their activities. Heres more:
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Nicaraguan Contras, run by the CIA, delivered tons of cut-rate cocaine to a young Los Angeles drug dealer named “Freeway” Rick Ross. Ross, who turned the cocaine into crack and supplied the Crips and Bloods street gangs, which saturated the market with crack and used the profits to arm themselves with automatic weapons. The Crips and Bloods developed chapters throughout the west. Ross later moved to Cincinnati and helped spread the crack epidemic across the country.
The problem here is that the real bad guy ( the Department of Education’s political maneuvering, the pastor who molests members of his congregation, the corrupt police department that imports guns and drugs into its district) is free to continue being bad. While the institution is busy questioning, doubting, and crucifying the victim, the real bad guy keeps abusing and molesting, justifying and blaming, and the institution keeps rotting away.
Fear of blaming preserves and perpetuates the systems of abuse and victimization.
This is the same thing that happened during the Bishop Eddie Long scandal, and its behavior like this that keeps victims in a perpetual state of victimhood.
A Cover-up Culture
As it stands today, Planned Parenthood’s mission statement is to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings which preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual. But we now know the real reason for the institution was to push a program of eugenics. In Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger wrote ; “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” Planned Parenthood is a prominent example of an organization covering for its real mission. You may also remember the Haiti missionaries who rushed to get to Haiti under the cover of doing humanitarian work, but whose real mission was human trafficking (Read: Kidnapping or Caring? Missionaries in Haiti Tried to Take Children to U.S. After Earthquake). We can also talk about
- AFRICOMM being a cover for the recolonization of Africa
- The United Nations being a cover for the subjugation of non-white nations
- The NAACP being a cover for white influence over Black thought and activity
- The Patriot Act serving as a political cover for America’s subjugation of its own people
But these topics I will save for later posts.
Most organizations operate under the cover of a great sounding mission statement, only to be exposed later on as a cover for much more sinister activities. Without a group of citizens who are capable of critical thinking, these organizations continue their behavior unchecked.
Values in Action
If you recall, the values of individualism, ownership, conflict and control, manipulation, and consumerism all form the basis of the Euro-centric values system. And since America was built on these values, it is only natural that its institutions possess these same values. In each and every case above, we see a lack of regard and empathy for ones fellow man, a sense of entitlement and justification for acts of violence, we see manipulation, and we see a drive to consume in one form or another. It is these values that have corrupted American institutions and that foster a culture of cover-ups, victimization, and a deterioration of original values.
When we as Black men and women set up organizations using the same framework as these white organizations – in the same spirit of immorality, victimization, and, and – then why would we be surprised when we fail? We need new and different solutions. Our values must be based on collectivism, cooperation, common heritage, natural law, and contribution while protecting ourselves and our organizations from the destructive values of individualism, ownership, conflict and control, manipulation, and consumerism.
Like people, institutions are not perfect. Mistakes will be made – hell, I have made some serious mistakes myself! But these mistakes expose a weakness,and this exposure gives us an opportunity to correct hose weaknesses and evolve from them.
Sandusky could have positively influenced thousands of lives through his institution. Instead, he chose to take and rape. The United Nations coul have saved the 800,000 Black souls that died in Rwanda. Instead, they turned their backs to save a handful of white lives. The money that fortune 500 companies raised last year could eradicate poverty in the world forever, and the money spent killing Libyans could have saved lives. But instead, that money was spent on bombs and BMWs.
Stop trying to “be like” the non-profits that you hear about. Stop trying to integrate yourselves and your organizations into the very values system that is destroying the world. Strive to attain strength and power, not to fulfill the lower aspects of the human condition (greed, hatred, etc) but to expand the consciousness and well-being of your people and the world.