If you’re not right with yourself emotionally and mentally, you’re completely useless in the way of doing anything constructive to challenge the unjust system of racism. That’s the long and short of it.
For all of our lives, through various forms of propaganda, black people and the rest of society have been taught that we’re not fully human and that we’re never the victims of anything, regardless of how severely we get mistreated. In turn, we internalize these notions and act them out. Also, we subconsciously expect other black people to embody those notions.
We tell ourselves and each other that we always have to remain a “strong black man” or a “strong black woman.”
We have no empathy or sympathy for one other when one us is harmed or when we’re struggling with an issue in our personal lives. If we’re suffering or even killed, we immediately begin searching for ways to justify that black person deserving it, and/or we try to make it their own fault.
If a black person is struggling with a personal issue, like with financial troubles or with something like depression, society says that we just need to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps or that things will just better with time and that we just need to keep hope alive.
Black people are NEVER allowed to be victims, and, unfortunately, we don’t allow each other to be victims of anything nor do we allow ourselves to be. We’ve been indoctrinated to believe we’re not fully human, which means, we don’t allow ourselves to experience the full range of human emotions nor do we give ourselves time for thought processing.
White people don’t treat one another nor themselves that way. They always allow each other and themselves to be victims, and they take pride in stress management activities like yoga, walking their dog, and meditation.
We place little emphasis on cherishing and maintaining our mental health, and, as I started the article off with, you will be completely useless in altering the society for the better if you’re depressed, anxious, emotionally drained, or stressed out. And, that precisely is what those who have architected the system of white supremacy want. They want black people to be in a constant state of disarray.
As a black person here in America living under the system of white supremacy, you’ve been placed in an extremely stressful and uncomfortable position in the society. The deck, in every area of human activity, has been ultimately stacked against you. That is why it is extremely important you take steps to preserve and protect your mental health.
For that reason, the practice of stress management is more vital towards maintaining your health than it is to anyone else living in this society.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding all drugs (which constantly get pushed on us at every avenue), drinking plenty of filtered water, exercising daily, setting aside time to read educational books, meditating at the end of each day, and watching as little television as possible for the purpose of promoting positive mental health and to focus your line of thinking IS, in and of itself, a form of challenging the system of racism.
My brothers and sisters, your mental health is to be guarded and protected with a vengeance. Your mind is a powerful tool and that tool must be serviced and maintained regularly; it’s not a depthless well of production for you to endlessly draw from.
You are a full human being, and you are not going to be strong all the time. And, you dam sure shouldn’t have to be.
Sometimes you need to rest and rejuvenate.
Sometimes you will feel sad or angry, and you will need time to yourself to process those emotions.
There are going to be times where you WILL HAVE TO ASK FOR HELP. Asking for help, in some cases, is a sign of strength, not of weakness.
There will be times where someone black is asking you for help, and you should see them as if it were any other non-black person asking for help. That unwillingness to help each other, a behavioral practice that has been deeply etched in our psyches, is something we must make a wholesale effort, daily, to unlearn. We must deepen and expand our empathy and sympathy for one another, and we must realize, the black person asking for help is the best chance you have of abolishing this unjust system you live under.
Encouraging each other to practice mental maintenance and making it a point to make sure other black people are in a clear state of mind serves as a powerful action in combating white supremacy.