In a recent interview with Parlé Magazine, author and lawyer Muhammad Ibn Bashir, Esq. provided his thoughts on what he believed Blacks in America were not living up to their full potential. Bashir is the perfect person to answer these questions since he is a defense attorney, who deals with minorities on a daily basis, many of whom could have chosen better paths. His answer proved to be very truthful and worth serious thought. Here is what lawyer Muhammad Ibn Bashir, Esq. had to say.
We have brought into the idea of what it is to be second class. We literally almost accepted it. I’ll give you an example, a person is constantly telling you that you’re brilliant, you might be an idiot, but in the back of your mind you begin to believe that you’re brilliant. A person is constantly telling you that you’re inferior, the perception that goes into your mind is that you’re inferior, that you’re less than, that you don’t deserve it.
Let’s take America, America has always told Black people that they are inferior, like you are less than. The original constitution says that you are three-fifths of a human being. You move from the original Constitution in 1776 to Dred Scott in 1850, that said that a Black man has no right that a white man is bound to respect. You move up to the 1900s, 1950’s The Civil Rights movement, again that doesn’t come about except that you have people saying that Black people are inferior, they don’t deserve to ride the front of the bus, they deserve to be on the back of the bus, they deserve to be the last hired, they deserve to be the less, the people who don’t get the GI bill, the dominant culture has that privilege of being able to say, ‘we have a history of successes’. But you, you have no history of successes, you are being trained and taught that you are less than. At some point you begin to rebel against that, you begin to come up with a Civil Rights Movement, you begin to come up with a Black Panther movement, you come up with a Malcolm X, you come up with a Martin Luther King, you begin to rebel against that so they open up the doors just long enough for you to become comfortable before they close the door again.
That’s what you now have with your criminal justice system, the doors being closed, the implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment. They passed the Thirteenth Amendment back in 1865, but its being implemented now. You can be brought back into slavery if you have a criminal offense. What that says is you still are inferior, you still are less than. We as a community have brought into it and we have brought into it for 400 years. Its a regurgitation of the same mind set so when you act on that mind set we think what the white community has or the majority community has is success and we can’t attain it. Where do you think that leaves us now? It leaves us at believing that we are inferior, whether its subtle or its actual. So if they have better schools and we have worse schools then what are we? If they have better employment opportunities and we have worse employment opportunities than what are we? If they have Presidents of the United States and we have no Presidents of the United States than what are we? If they have all White Senators and we have no Black Senators than what are we?
Constantly we as a people, the mind set is that we are inferior. And that’s where you find kids who believe that its okay to be less than and to settle for less. So therefore we allow anyone to come into our community and do whatever they want. So that can be the Chinese Restaurant or the drug dealer. They all have the same mind set. ‘This community has no value so I’m going to just crap on this community and benefit my own. So if I’m a drug dealer, or a rapper, or a musician, or an athlete all I want to do is get out that community, I’ll use it cause the best ball is played at the Rucker so I’ma play at the Rucker and get my name up but once I get to the NBA I’ma move to Shaker Heights somewhere where there’s positive Black people or good white folks who appreciate me. I can buy a one-million, two-million dollar home and live there comfortably. But we don’t have the mind set that says I have the talent and the ability and the education to bring up my own community with people just like me who have the talent and the ability and the education to get out or make it better. Cause you don’t have to get out, you can live in the hood and raise the hood. Imagine if you had Nas and Ron Artest and somebody else all went back to their neighborhood in Queens and go back and spend all their money on building. Now I don’t know how much you make in a particular year that you can spend, but you have to think its some that can raise up some of the neighborhoods that I see. I know they got a couple in New Jersey that could use some help. But you know what I’ll get? I’ll get guys, without saying any names, I’ll get guys who spend ten million on the gym at their university. They spent one year at the university and they donating ten million to the university but they grew up playing ball in Baltimore, Maryland or Newark, New Jersey and you wonder where’s the ten million that went into building Newark, New Jersey or went to build up Baltimore, Maryland. And you wonder why? Cause they grew up with the same mind set that the master has, that this community has no value and the people in it have no value. And so therefore if the stars who grew up there feel there’s no value then what do you think the people think that have less education, less opportunity, what do you think they think about themselves.
You can’t necessarily blame them, yes they have to fight on their own, but you can’t blame them. Everybody is teaching it and every body is believing it. So why would I believe any less? Why all of a sudden I’ma believe any more of myself? Where is that education coming from? That I’m supposed to believe more in myself? Cause it ain’t out there on the mainstream. Ain’t nobody giving that information to us to say hey, you can be better.
You CAN be better.
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