Religion & Culture | Sexual violence and genetic survival: America's long war to destroy the black male (Pt 1)
Has America waged a systematic war to annihilate the black male? Far-fetched, one might think, but history is witness to the genocide of peoples.
What's left of the 500 Indian Nations that once thrived on what is now called the United States of America? The survival of a nation at the expense of another is not uncommon.
Clearly defined legal, political, economic, and religious structures have, for centuries, worked over time to exploit and exterminate the genetic threat posed by the black male. Over time, this system has become universally accepted through deception, and has seeped into the 'collective unconscious' through language, images, symbols, and argumentations.
While the black male, in particular, you ask? The virile black male represents continuance of the gene, the family and posterity. From the start of slavery 400 years ago, to this day, there has been open and at times subtle, surreptitious ploys to devalue the male figure to the point of irrelevance even to the black woman.
In her seminal work, Isis Papers, Keys to Colors, psychiatrist Frances Cress Welsing stated, "We do not realise that the massive deaths of black males constitute the genocide of black people (as it takes black males to make black babies and ensure future black generations)."
Dr Welsing's groundbreaking thesis is centred on the genetic obsession of white supremacy and the wildly destructive actions it has unleashed on subconscious and conscious levels. A short journey through history will validate this narrative.
The harrowing sexual overtones of plantation culture (bordering on neurosis and paranoia) are no coincidence. The ultimate goal being the destruction of the black male imago.
In psychological terms, the female slave was raped and openly sexually abused to reaffirm the powerlessness of her male counterpart. In this pathological dynamic, the oppressor was also projecting his own fears of the black male.
Male slaves were also brazenly sexually humiliated, an aspect of slavery that was purged from black thought, collectively repressed, for obvious reasons. This sexual abuse was called 'Buck Breaking', a calculative method to destroy the will, self-respect and sexual independence of the black male.
In Sex Farms During Slavery and the Effimization of Black Men this conditioning is explained. "In order for this plan to take effect, the buck male child watched, front row centre, so he too can witness his father's sexual demise and humiliation. Buck Breaking was the slave master's very effective tool to keep all young black slaves from ever being defiant and taking revenge ... Buck Breaking was so successful that it was made into a 'Sex Farm' where slave masters could travel from plantation to plantation feeding their sadistic homosexual needs." (Racist report.org)
In Keri Leigh Merritt's Men Without Pants - Masculinity and The Enslaved, we get an equally damning picture of the overriding sexually obsession that defined slavery.
"Countless owners commented time and again in diaries and letters about the supposedly highly sexualised nature of young black men and the emasculation of the enslaved must have allowed slave holders some type of psychosexual superiority complex. By feminising African-American males, slave's owners likely assured themselves that they were the most masculine man on the plantation, which could be demonstrated, of course, by the rape and sexual abuse of enslaved women and girls."
Most revealing is that boys' pants were traded for long shirts, their attire indistinguishable from that of the girls even in winter. "Winter time they give children new cotton and wool mixed shirts what came down to their ankles ... Still, regardless of whether or not enslaved boys received winter pants, they realised that there was no gendered difference in the clothes ... Gals and boys was dressed in the same way when they was little chaps." (https://www.aaihs.org/men-without-pants-masculinity-and-the-enslaved/)
Notably, the sexual torment of the black male continued after the abolition of slavery. Lynching unearthed a virulent sexual pathology that infected white supremacy. The Jim Crow era (1877-1954) saw the lynching of thousands of black men, many of whom were wrongly accused of cavorting with white women. This sordid practice was cheered and witnessed by entire families, including children. That the male genitalia was castrated after hanging speaks to the genocidal intent of the action.
In my paper, Slavery and the Castration Complex - Healing Centuries-Old Wounds with QiSynthesis (The Vienna Psychoanalyst, August, 2018), I argued that slavery's unhealthy sexual culture contributed to a host of problems in black communities, including violence, uncompromising (almost violent) rejection of homosexuality and sexual overcompensation.
I wrote, "From the wanton rape of the slave woman to the castrations of males, patriarchy was fixated on the phallus as a means of domination and oppression. In forging an identity from a charred ego the slave and his male descendants overcompensated by repressing and denying his anima (his feminine side). The result is an over-investment on the phallus (masculinity) with violent repercussions."
A. Cooley adds to argument in Legacy of Lynching: The effects on Contemporary Black Masculinity In Relationship Violence. He writes, "The trauma of physical mutilation proves slight in comparison to the psychological angst inflicted on black men."
He argues that this trauma has created despondency and tainted the concept of manhood that has led to violence in homes and the wider community.
This historical pattern of sexually assaulting the black male and, by extension, the black gene pool emerged in a 40-year medical experiment (1932-1972) on hundreds of black men in Tuskegee, Alabama. Infamously called the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.
In Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment - a tragedy of race and medicine, author James H. Jones examines the medical crime perpetrated by the United States government on its black male citizens.
Albert Julkes, whose father was one of the subjects of this experiment, stated, "It was one of the worst atrocities ever heaped on people by the government. You don't treat dogs that way."
Apart from sexual abuse and torture, the black male has been historically targeted by the law, a pattern that is evident today.
The Black Codes (1865-1866), which included vagrancy laws, criminalised loitering and poverty. "The code provided that vagrants could be arrested and imprisoned with hard labour. But the county sheriff could 'hire out' black vagrants to a white employer to work off their punishment."
The convict lease system targeted black males with devastating consequences; many dying from hard labour before serving out their time.
(The courts customarily waived such punishment for white vagrants, allowing them to take an oath of poverty instead).
By the 1980s, the toxic mix of poverty, hopelessness and drugs dealt a death blow to the black male. The overwhelming and sudden influx of crack cocaine in black neighbourhoods decimated a generation of men, crippling what was left of the black family. The incessant flow of this lethal drug raised many questions and conjured images of the opium houses in China that brought a society to its knees. Was the US government behind the crack epidemic?
The answer is disturbing. Many investigations, including 'The CIA, Contras, Gangs and Crack' that appeared in the Institute for Policy Studies, confirm government complicity. (https://ips-dc.org/the_cia_contras_gangs_and_crack/).
By the end of the 20th century, the assault on the black male was so thorough that the black woman was forced to single-handedly chart her own course.
Next week: Pt 2 - Feminism, racial identity and the black family
- Dr Glenville Ashby is a member of the International Society of Applied Psychoanalysis and the author of the award-winning audiobook, Aman Cara: Your Soul Friend and Bridge to Enlightenment and Creativity. Feedback: email@example.com or follow him on Twitter@glenvilleashby