Why is the obvious so hard for us to see? Simple: the lenses through which we are looking at the world are dirty and need to be cleansed. The images we see are distorted, including the ones we see in the mirror. It then becomes challenging to judge the distance from or to an object(ive). It becomes a challenge to see in darkness. We may sometimes even see things that are not really there. The effort we put forth to see puts a strain on our eyes, so we close them in order to feel some relief. But while we are relaxing with our eyes closed, the world around us keeps moving and takes us wherever it wants to go. We then open our eyes only to find that it’s now even harder to see. Our lenses are dirtier than before we closed our eyes. It then becomes difficult to go from one place to the other without the aid of someone else, whom we are now forced to depend on to guide us in the direction we want to go. We feel forced to put our lives in the hands of others.
This analogy represents the negative and positive aspect of human development and survival for all of us born into the colonial system. Amazingly even the phrase “colonial system” does not registar in our minds as something hurtful the we should run from, although people of color have been subjected to it’s wrath for the last 2,000 years. Instead, in our minds, it registers as something to embrace. And we blindly make a sincere effort to do so. This behavior is often difficult to fathom. But once our eyes have been opened to the reality, the reasons become more obvious.
A critical assessment of the mind will show how serious the issue really is. It serves as a distraction when we assess our environment without first dealing with our minds and its assessment abilities. We should all be able to see the sick world in which we live. This ability takes little to no effort to develop. But sadly, just as we often neglect to pay attention to the symptoms our body sends/alerts us regarding our own health, we also often ignore the symptoms that our environment presents to us. Maybe it’s because we feel that we are not personally being affected by the environmental symptoms. Maybe it’s because we fell disconnected from our surroundings. Maybe it’s because we fell we can’t handles the reality as it presents itself. Or maybe it’s because we feel we can’t handle the reality as it presents itself. Or maybe, it’s because we are only “felling” instead of “thinking”!
Our ancestors, before colonization, functioned in a totally opposite manner. This is why the colonial world continues to study our culture today. Many want to know how our ancestors were able to achieve such a high quality of life. How they were able to domesticate plants and animals. How they were able to construct magnificent structures and symbols of their culture without the use of the machines that we have now become dependent on. The ways of our ancestors remain an enigma to this modren world. I remember Master Naba telling me, “Every word that we see that has the suffix ‘ology’ in it was born from some method of studying and trying to understand black people”. Because it was Merita (precolonial Africa) that introduced all of the disciplines we are aware of or study today, it would make sense for the usurper to know what makes his victims tick and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
It didn’t take them long to figure out that our abilities, ones that they were so impressed and insulted by, relied on our using our intelligence in the ways of our ancestors. So for the invader, it became clear that our ability to apply our intelligence and find solutions in any situations we were faced with needed to be replaced with something else if their conquests were to be successful. And because we showed that death was not an event to fear, they literally stopped aiming for the head…instead they figuratively targeted the heart. Because if you can control the emotional reactions of another individual–or even his entire society—the level of that individual’s intelligence will be useless against the agenda you are striving to achieve.
I think there are enough examples of the effectiveness of this tactic. We can observe them all around us, mainly from within the religious institutions that people of color have sacrificed their entire lives to be a part of. For example, knowing that these institutions we founded on slavery and the murder of millions of our ancestors does not sway our “faith” in the education our captors forced upon us. Even knowing that our quality of life had only gotten worse with every new generation has still failed to give us a different perspective. These facts are undeniably and unequivocally noticeable by anyone who can see, but if our lenses are dirty, we will constantly fail to see the obvious, regardless of how close we are to it.
The act itself of cleaning our lenses in order to strengthen our sight must be learned just like everything else. Why not learn it from your own ancestors? History has shown what they were capable of accomplishing, regarding everything we think we are striving for now.
It’s time to rebuild our brains.
Rebuilding the brain is the first step in rebuilding a civilization. Instead of asking “How do you feel” about something, start asking “What do you think” about this or that. This will at least start the growth process on some small level until your investigation of life leads you back to the education that has always belonged to you, the on that has never failed those who learned it, the one that you will only find on the ancestral path.