While visiting my daughter at her university I stopped at a local restaurant for a meal. Anyone who knows me knows I am always reading. My waiter, a polite young brother, inquired about the book I was reading. He said “I like knowledge. I completely stopped watching TV. The TV tells people what to think. I only watch basketball because I’m a basketball player. Where can I get that book?”
After giving him a short talk about the power of knowledge, I closed the book and gave it to him. He looked at me, surprised, and said, “Are you sure, sir?” I said, “you gon’ read it, right?” He said, “YEAH!” When he shared with his co-worker (another young sister) what had happened, she grabbed the book, started reading it and wouldn’t give it back to him. I left the restaurant feeling a book short, but a soldier gained.
It is having encounters like these that inspire me to continue, with strength, the work I do. It’s indicative of how hungry, for guidance, the next generation is, despite how the news media portrays them. Black America has been force-fed a narrative about Black youth that we have swallowed, digested and refuse to “toiletize” (I just made up that word).
Why should we feel surprised that the young Black waiter was obsessed with my book when there are millions of young people just as thirsty for wisdom as he was?
It’s because we have become slaves, serfs and subjects to a PROPAGANDA MACHINE that tells us what to think 24/7. What’s worse is that we have developed a love affair with the very propaganda machine that teaches us to hate ourselves. It’s one thing to be oppressed. It’s another level when you love it and can’t get enough of it.
What is “propaganda?”
It is a systematic propagation of ideas designed to persuade its intended audience to think and behave in a certain manner. The messages being spread often times are outright lies. The term first appeared in 1622 when Pope Gregory established “Congratio de Propaganda Fide”, a group committed to convincing large numbers of people to believe a given set of ideas. Propaganda has been used for centuries as the pretext for world wars. Jesus himself was a victim of propaganda. The ideology of White Supremacy is completely dependent upon the platforms, techniques and cultural acceptance of propagandist doctrine. Propaganda is the oxygen that keeps racism/White Supremacy alive. When you can no longer fool the masses, you can no longer rule the masses. This is why ignorance is our greatest enemy. As long our heads are buried in their programming, we are like “sheeple” being led to the destruction of our community, our youth, our families and the Black nation.
Most of the television shows that we popularize (Empire, Scandal, Atlanta Housewives, etc.) are simply platforms used to pump messages into the mind and spirit of its viewers. If the messages are self-destructive to the aims of our community we shouldn’t watch these programs. They say if we stop supporting “Empire,” the networks would cancel the show. The claim is that Black America is so in love with propaganda that we won’t support positive content when it is presented to us. However, I came up during the era of conscious rap music. I remember when Public Enemy was just as popular as Rick Ross, and Rakim was just as iconic as Drake. I remember when the Cosby Show was more popular and profitable than all of today’s ratchetness combined. Believe it or not, Black America does have a history of supporting positive media.
Well, what happened? There was a concerted effort to change the appetite of Black America from “positivity to propaganda.” We like what we like because we were told to like it by somebody who hates us. Let’s face it.
If you spend enough time in a foreign country with a foreign culture you will notice your appetite may change. You may not like Chinese noodles, but if you spend enough time in China and this is all you have access to, you begin to develop a taste for it. Gangsta rap was used to kill our appetite for conscious rap. “Bump and Grind” music was used to kill our appetites for Maze and Stevie Wonder. But, just as, our natural appetites were manipulated from positive content to self-destructive propaganda, is it possible for us to reverse the process? Is it possible for Black America to wean itself off of darkness and head toward the light? The answer is YES!
Cherokee legend says there are two wolves within the human being; one is evil and the other is good. The one who wins is the one you feed the most. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches that the Black man and woman are righteous by nature. We are unrighteous by circumstance. We are wired to gravitate toward truth and justice. It is in our DNA. The only way to FREE our minds is to FEED our minds the proper food and reject the nonproductive information being force fed to our subconscious minds. The mindset of our community that wins will ultimately be the one that we feed the most.
There are 7 established Propaganda Techniques:
- BANDWAGON – Convincing the masses to support an idea because everyone else has
- LOADED WORDS – Using words that have strong emotions
- TESTIMONIAL – Using important or famous persons to endorse a product or idea
- NAME CALLING – Using words that evoke fear (like terrorist or thug) when describing your target
- GLITTERING GENERALITIES – Employ vague, sweeping statements (often slogans or simple catchphrases) using language associated with values and beliefs deeply held by the audience without providing supporting proof
- TRANSFER – Transfer good feelings, looks or ideas to the masses no matter how injurious the product is
- REPETITION – The language, key words or catch phrases supporting the idea are repeated over and over again until they penetrate the subconscious mind of targeted audience
Just as these techniques have been used to facilitate the spread of false ideas and concepts, we can use these same techniques, along with new strategies, to facilitate our rise as a people.
More to come.