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By: Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher of African-American News & Issues & Author of column series We MUST Understand

There has been a system set in place since our African ancestors first came to these United States. From the very beginning, the system was one that created a great divide amongst our culture. The seed that was planted grew and materialized and has been enough to leave an entire race completely divided, until this very day. Many people do not believe the term, “divide and conquer”, but it is a fact that this method works. Anytime you create division within unity, it is easier to destroy the united.

For an example, it is harder for one person to attack and wipe out a big group of people when they are all gathered together. On the other hand, if you get a few people from within the group scattered or alone, you stand a better chance at gradually clearing the group out a few at a time.  My point is, it is harder to penetrate unity. However, this is an idea that does not seem to resonate clearly amongst members from our communities.

The system that I am referring to is the one that was designed to keep our people set at odds with each other; causing everybody to struggle and do their own thing versus working together and getting the thing done right! It is because African-American News & Issues is a publication that thrives off of addressing both current and historical realities affecting our communities; that I believe that it is essential to bring attention to this subject. But, I must start with our religious institutions, first. I often refer to our preachers and churches because before the Black community ever had schools, community centers or social outlets all we had was the church. That was the only place outside of home that there used to be some type of unity for our people.

We MUST Understand that our Black folks need to quit dividing and splitting churches. See what we do when we run into a problem with something we just walk away and start something else. But honestly, that’s the easy way out. It is more powerful to work with your own to accomplish a greater purpose, than to work alone and barely get anything accomplished at all. It’s time for us to quit dividing and start holding the people that cause the strife and animosity accountable. One wayward person should not account for the mass failing. Just hold that one person accountable and keep working towards the goal. This type of stuff is what is really wrong with our communities. It was bad enough that we went through integration and that helped further killed our communities. But what about what we are doing to ourselves?

I often think about the power that we gave to the Willie Lynch letter. To those who are not aware there was a speech, said to have been delivered by Willie Lynch on the bank of the James River in the colony of Virginia in 1712.  At the time, he was a British slave owner in West Indies. His methods of containing slaves spiked the interest of others and he was invited to the colony of Virginia in 1712 to teach his methods. An excerpt from that speech revealed the following.

I have a full proof method for controlling your Black slaves. I guarantee every one of you that, if installed correctly, it will control the slaves for at least 300-hundred-years.My method is simple. Any member of your family or your overseer can use it. I have outlined a number of differences among the slaves; and I take these differences and make them bigger. I use fear, distrust and envy for control purposes. These methods have worked on my modest plantation in the West Indies and it will work throughout the South. Take this simple little list of differences and think about them. On top of my list is age but it’s there only because it starts with an “a”. The second is color or shade. There is intelligence, size, sex, sizes of plantations, status on plantations, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine hair, course hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action, but before that, I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust and envy stronger than adulation, respect or admiration. The Black slaves after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self-refueling and self-generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS. Don’t forget, you must pitch the OLD BLACK MALE vs. the YOUNG BLACK MALE, and the YOUNG BLACK MALE against the OLD BLACK MALE. You must use the DARK SKIN SLAVES vs. the LIGHT SKIN SLAVES, and the LIGHT SKIN SLAVES vs. the DARK SKIN SLAVES. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE, and the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have White servants and overseers who distrust all Blacks. But it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us.

Concluding, I believe that this excerpt proves my point and I will leave it at that. Others have divided us as a race people enough already. We need to wake up and stop further dividing ourselves. Because, by staying alienated from each other we are only furthering our counterparts’ mission. Anybody can work alone, but it takes patience and virtue to work together towards one common goal!