“The Black Slaves, after receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and generating for HUNDREDS of years, maybe THOUSANDS”.
I will never forget that line.
When I first read the Willie Lynch papers some years ago, it was the line that made me tear up. Anger, disgust, rage… those were a few of the more pleasant emotions that immediately arose. This couldn’t be real. Nobody could be this evil. Slavery is over with, WE ARE NOT SLAVES. I immediately went on a search to disprove it’s authenticity.
I found a forum that gave me a short lived sense of relief, followed almost immediately by a sense of utter terror. In the forum, plenty of facts were presented to justify the argument that it was false, the main one being that it was not written in 18th Century dialect (The letter claims it was written in 1712). This was the cause of my relief. The cause of my terror was found in the comments section.
The comments were compiled of people on both sides of the argument hurling insults, names and other obscenities towards members of the opposing side. It became quite obvious that in the midst of trying to prove points, many of these people overlooked the main strategy listed in the letters. The strategy that makes the whole process possible: Division.
Lynch instructs his fellow slave owners to pit slaves against one another using their “age, color, intelligence, size, sex, sizes of plantations, status on plantations, attitude of owners, whether they live on a valley or hill, East, West, North or South, have fine or course hair, or is tall or short”.
Basically, any and everything that could be used to make Black people oppose one another should be manipulated to keep us fighting ourselves. Is it foul? Yes. Is it true? Who Knows? Does it accurately describe African Americans today? Absolutely. The forum and it’s comments were only examples of division based upon intelligence. The other categories are found in all other aspects of our culture.
We, as Black Americans live in a time where the current generation and the older generation feel so far removed from another that there is little opportunity to learn from each other. The older generation fails to realize that the current generation has simply inherited their setbacks and failures, as well as problems specifically of their own. The younger generation lacks respect towards the older generation for the progress and groundwork that they laid down. This leads to a stagnation of progress on all peoples accounts. Instead of learning from mistakes of the past, we continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly, while trying to find answers to new problems that make themselves apparent on what seems to be a daily basis.
Complexity is an issue that has cursed those of African descent from the time we touched American soil. Today, however, it is turned into a jest. Social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr feature “Light Skin N*ggas Be Like…” posts where they automatically associate being light skinned with being soft, sensitive, or effeminate. These posts generate thousands of reposts/blogs/tweets, and we are made to laugh at our own self hatred and unraveling. I had an African colleague in college. He told me that he was unaware of dark skinned or light skinned until he reached the states. In his country, Black people were identified as Black, regardless of shade.
Oh, but the rabbit hole gets deeper.
Inner cities have started becoming more and more territorial. You could blame it on gang culture, which I’m sure has some influence, but it’s not all about colors. I see graffiti on an almost daily basis reading “F*ck (insert name of housing project here)”. Rivalries are formed based solely upon what part of town one is from, and as time passes, these rivalries end up being accepted as a part of culture. Nobody is really sure as to the reasons why they began, and nobody really cares. Besides the obvious tension and unnecessary bloodshed, another vital fact is being ignored. Housing projects are not owned by their residents, rather by the Government. Could that not be held in parallel to plantations of the slave trade? Let us move along.
The most damaging and saddest of all the Willie Lynch instructions is the division amongst Black men and women. This tension is what causes a rift in the family dynamic. It is what the letter focuses on the most, as it passes the chains from one generation to another, thus making good on the promise of “self refueling and generating” slaves.
This is done through role reversal of the genders, and the promotion of that role reversal to the next generation, which Lynch cites as the constant focus of his papers. He goes into great detail when explaining the process.
“By her being left alone, unprotected, with the MALE IMAGE DESTROYED , the ordeal caused her to move from her psychologically dependent state to a frozen, independent state. In this frozen, psychological state of independence, she will raise her MALE and female offspring in reversed roles. For FEAR of the young male’s life, she will psychologically train him to be MENTALLY WEAK and DEPENDENT , but PHYSICALLY STRONG . Because she has become psychologically independent, she will train her FEMALE offsprings to be psychologically independent. What have you got? You’ve got the nigger WOMAN OUT FRONT AND THE nigger MAN BEHIND AND SCARED . This is a perfect situation of sound sleep and economics.”
Sound familiar? We are living in a culture where our music, television, and other media outlets promote independence of one gender from another. Black men and women are constantly bashing each other, both claiming that the other is incapable of playing their role. The effeminate is presented as masculine and vice versa. I wonder if anybody knows the source of all this confusion.
Whether or not the Lynch papers are historically accurate is no concern to me. What concerns me is that they are accurate. It makes no difference if they were written as a guideline or a synopsis of the problems that plague Black America today. I challenge people on both sides of the debate to invest their energies into the greater, which is providing some sort of resolution. The Lynch papers guarantee that these methods will be effective for at least 300 years. With slavery ending in 1865, these effects would continue until 2165, and that’s looking at it optimistically. Majoring in the minor will cause us to lose the one thing we can never get back, the thing we have already wasted enough of… time.
Read The Willie Lynch Letter here