By Kojo Amonoo in PERCEPTION (Files)

 My 14-year old nephew informed me the other week that he found some of his school friends were “mentally -enslaved ” and needed “emancipation”..(LOL).He said his friends called each other names like “coconut” and “choc-ice”, if anyone did anything remotely “English”.At first I was shocked that called each other such names, and laughed about it .He then confessed that he didn’t think they understood what the term actually meant, as most things they did or said was always considered “mental-slavery “.

Then a few days ago, a member on here, revealed that her daughter and friends, do call each other “mental -slave”.I knew some members here, have on occasions, labelled each other as such,but it would appear it was also prevalent amongst our young ones too.

My nephew wanted to know what mental -slavery meant I answered ,starting with a rhetorical question “Does the fish know it lives in water?..and this was my attempt to explain to him……Imagine that we could communicate with beings who live in the sea. We go out into the oceans and seas and rivers, settle on the bottom and talk to the fishes around us about living in water. We ask them numerous questions, but the vast majority have no clue as to what we’re talking about. We try to tell them that they are in water, in liquid, but that there is a whole world outside this substance where we live and which is very dry and different. They don’t get it, don’t understand it, and think we’re crazy. Some even get scared about the concept of there being a different reality…………

Well, we leave the bottom area of the water body and start to rise to the surface, interviewing fish along the way. Most still don’t understand our questions but here and there we begin to meet a few sea creatures who are aware that there is something outside the liquid they live in. They had a traumatizing experience of being hauled out of the water for a time, against their will, and found themselves gasping and choking in the absence of water and with their last bit of dying strength they were able to escape their would-be captors and return to the deeps. Though they were aware of something other than their reality, because it came within an experience which was life-threatening and against their will, they emotionally cannot deal with the implications that it brings, and will not discuss with you very much or for very long………

Now, we are at the surface, our heads bobbing on top of our bodies in liquid embrace. Suddenly, the surface is broken by a dolphin in full flight. soaring through the air, re-entering the water, rising again and moonwalking its tail along the surface, just frolicking and having a blast. You approach the dolphin and this interview is quite different. Others come to listen in, other dolphins, whales, salmon, etc. They know exactly what you are talking about; they understand there is more than just the liquid world for they flit between the two all the time; some species who talk to you admit that they occasionally crawl onto land to just hang out there for a while. They answer your questions, you have a great interview and they go on their way……

The world of water is the world of white hegemony, the racist world we live in. Most of us, especially those of us born into a minority population within majority white countries, only know the water. Weights are attached to us to make sure we stay near bottom, such as non-African religions with anti-African symbols; non-African languages with anti-African concepts embedded into the words and phrases; the imposition of anti-African cultural concepts through media and many more other items which weigh us down…..

Some of us who have had the privilege of growing up in predominantly African populations have, by benefit of seeing Africans in various positions of power, been yanked out of the deeper aspects of white hegemony. These folks would balk and challenge the more crude and blatant forms of racism, but often have not rooted out the destructive Euro-cultural values which still rule our minds. Often there is great fear within this group; fear to do away with racism altogether as they see themselves as occupying that middle position, (weighted but not as heavily as the first group), occupying a relatively comfortable position, higher than the creatures at the ocean floor. Plus, they still have a hard time imagining a world so foreign to their day-to-day experience…

However, there are others of this group who appreciate the limitations that they’ve had imposed on them and they take to swimming closer to the surface and taking notes from the freedom snatchers …..This group, the freedom snatchers, are the creatures who pull out of the grasp of white hegemony as often as possible, to experience, as much as it is possible, a different world. Those moments out of oppression with like-minded community members nourishes their spirit to give them energy to continue the fight to destroy the most destructive and dangerous system, racism.

Those from this group who use their psychological freedom for the benefit of the community act as conductors for those who are ready to make the journey themselves. For those who cannot yet step out of the blinding whiteness of their reality, we are the endarkening shade that remains, beckoning to those whose eyes need soothing and healing and vision………We have not yet changed the water, we still live within it, but we are not of it. We are in various stages of recovery and we know it will be a life-long process…..But we KNOW that things have not always been this way, we were not always confined to water. There had been another reality before and we struggle to restore that world reality again.


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