Blacks Display Stockholm Syndrome

While reading the posting back and forth of A Regular Brotha and Brotherpeacemaker, I noticed that there were a few things that A Regular Brotha said that made me think about why we as a black people would have this type of attitude towards our own. A lot of how he and others in the black community think makes me wonder why anyone would want to malign themselves and begin to take the negative view of some in the white race. And as I thought about it, it can all be summed up by the Stockholm syndrome. “The captives begin to identify with their captors. At least at first this is a defensive mechanism, based on the (often unconscious) idea that the captor will not hurt the captive if he is cooperative and even positively supportive. The captive seeks to win the favor of the captor in an almost childlike way.” This is according to

Our ancestors had no choice but to use this defense mechanism just to survive in that hostile environment. And of course this was passed down from generation to generation in order to ensure that their descendants would survive as well. You can look back and see the almost childlike behavior our ancestors had to use with white people. These behaviors can be seen in the downcast eyes, shuffling feet as if kicking the dirt, conducting themselves in a manner as a child who has done something to anger their parent. And now instead of giving the overkill body language version you just have those who will at any cost show allegiance to those in control by helping to subjugate those who are being controlled. Seeing the victimizer as the victim of those they are victimizing.

People like Cosby, McWhorter, Thomas, Connerly and A Regular Brotha don’t go shuffling their feet in front of white folks (at least I hope) but they are quick to point to the victim as the source of the problem. I am sure this arouses the ire of those who feel that blacks are constantly displaying a victim mentality. But if someone is victimizing you what other mentality would you display? When you have a systematic form of racism that is entrenched into the very heart of everything this country we live stands for you have to wonder how anyone could come to any other conclusion. You have people who feel that white people are victims when it comes to affirmative action, predatory lending, Mississippi river flooding, black crime, the floundering economy, now hurricane Fay and so many other things that it makes you wonder why no one tells them to break out of this victim mentality. Yet, the victim mentality is something branded on blacks like cattle in the fields and we accept this as truth.

So it is no wonder that we have so many black people that would be so quick to point the finger of blame at blacks as to why we have so many flaws as if we became flawed while living in a big black vacuum with no outside influence. We all know that nothing happens in a vacuum and that there must be outside forces which have helped to shape us into the dysfunctional group we are today. But according to those who either can’t see through or haven’t been deprogrammed from their Stockholm syndrome believe that no racism, no unequal treatment could possibly be the root to our problems.

A Regular Brotha said “We no longer as a people have any sense of family or purpose. Of course no one can say that it is ONLY the white mans fault that black people turn to crime. But if you are by design kept from pursuing the American dream and subsequently locked into a perpetual loop of ghetto life, lack of legal employment or at least a cycle of underemployment due to racism, a large amount will then turn to crime. Everyone with half a brain knows that chronically unemployed people will in fact eventually turn to crime if nothing is done to intervene. This is not indicative of the black community it is indicative of the human condition under capitalism. Ghettos have been a part of every major society and are not some sort of construct of the black community.

According to a geography definition, a ghetto part of a city, not necessarily a slum area, occupied by a minority group. The term was first used for the enforced concentration of Jews into specific residential areas in European cities from the Middle Ages, but has now spread to include other ethnic groups in unofficial ghettos, especially black minorities in the USA. Lifestyles within the ghetto differ distinctly from those of the ‘host’ population and the prejudices of the host confine the sub-group to particular locations through such practices as redlining. Although ghettos are characterized by social disadvantage, most ghettos display a spread of socio-economic groups and the better-off may move to the affluence of the ‘gilded ghetto’.

People will undoubtedly fight the fact that I am connecting the black condition to that of the Stockholm syndrome as more proof of some sort of victim mentality. But, if people who were held captive for a couple of months to a couple of years can be assessed as being victims of this syndrome then what about people who were held captive for generations. And could this syndrome NOT be passed down to the victims children and so on and so forth? Or again because we are talking about black people we can not assign anything which might show the magnitude of suffering we have gone through. People get angry when you say blacks suffer from post traumatic stress, black stress, and post traumatic slave syndrome, Stockholm syndrome or any other form of injury culminating from slavery to Jim Crow all the way down to the continued systemic racism of today.

But we will quickly label a black person as lazy, criminal, ghetto, baby mama, baby daddy, ghetto fabulous or any of the other epithets that make those in control feel superior. We will also give labels to any group we actually have empathy or the least bit of compassion for such as soldiers who suffer from post traumatic stress to explain their lack of ability to conform to social norms. Or the same for women who were raped or abused children all of whom have problems working within the social norms have a nice little label that explains everything. Not for the black community we ARE the problems. When in fact it is the entire American system is skewed in such a way that blacks have very little choice but to be a problem. And when we no longer care what happens to the black community since they ARE the problem we even have a label for that; we call it compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress disorder.



Filed under African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black People, Minorities, Racism, Social Issues

19 responses to “Blacks Display Stockholm Syndrome

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  2. skunkcousins

    Black Sentinel,
    Very much like what u got going on here.
    Skunk Cousins Jr

  3. Skunkcousins,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Stop by anytime.

    Thanks again.

  4. Sentinel,

    Brilliantly said..Seriously.

    This is one of the topics that is excruciatingly difficult to discuss with the same folks who suffer from this syndrome because one of the symptoms of said syndrome is aggressive denial of infection.

    It’s unfortunate that the sufferers of this syndrome draw the most empowerment from the failure and degradation of their own. It is completely understandable how one develops this syndrome in this society…these people, however are not seeking understanding, just more ways to separate themselves from their peers in the eyes of the establishment. As far as they are concerned the only thing that needs to be understood about them is that they are better than the other blacks the world sees.

    Peace. Keep up the good work

  5. Tyrone,

    Very true. It is such a destructive syndrome. People refuse to acknowledge its presence then deny its destructive powers. And deprogramming isn’t really an option. It seems one has to do it for themselves.

    Thanks for the reply.

  6. The Engineer

    Well said, Tyrone and The Black Sentinel; very well said.

    I believe every Minority Group has to deal with this kind of Stockholm Syndrome.

    Here is a link to a recent The Black Sentinel article commentary in which I had an exchange with a person who calls himself (herself?) “James”:

    My commentary was harsh, but I wanted to emphasize the point regarding Selling Out and the White Pass.

    I believe that anyone afflicted with this kind of Stockholm Syndrome is a Sell Out who desperately wants to have and/or keep that White Pass.

    Thank you for listening.

  7. My commentary was harsh, but I wanted to emphasize the point regarding Selling Out and the White Pass.

    Your commentary was actually surprisingly harsh, Engineer, considering I agreed with you completely about Selling Out and the White Pass.

    I only objected to your statements about Asian-American women. You said that virtually all such women have a “white pass,” because they are sell-outs, and will “do anything” to keep their “white pass.”

    You also called Asian-American women “mean” and “whorish,” among other remarks.

    I find these comments astonishing, especially from someone who clearly recognizes the power of systemic racism to shape the lives and the psychology of its victims.

  8. The Engineer

    I only objected to your statements about Asian-American women. You said that virtually all such women have a “white pass,” because they are sell-outs, and will “do anything” to keep their “white pass.”

    You also called Asian-American women “mean” and “whorish,” among other remarks.
    — quotation of the male/female who identifies himself/herself as “James”

    Yes. So, what is your point?

    Across two The Black Sentinel articles, you have avoided discussing Asian females’ complicity in Caucasian Racism against Minorities.

    Instead, you wallow in banalities:
    (Again, I strongly support your effort to educate Mike Lovell, who was unaware that race is a socially-constructed concept in which people can be shifted around to alter power dynamics.)
    “… power of systemic racism to shape the lives and the psychology of its victims.”

    Pardon me, but that and the rest of your pathetic commentaries are just the same garbage rhetoric that Caucasians use to backpedal over their racism when they are caught demonstrating such racism.

    Nice try, “James,” but no brass ring. I still stand by my words.

    In my opinion, there is nothing more to discuss. The vast majority of Asian females have chosen to join up with the Majority. Like in any other kind of street gang, new members must prove themselves. They must participate in some kind of initiation rite. Usually that entails committing some kind of heinous act against their own or against another Minority group.

    In that way, I believe the vast majority of Asian females are afflicted with the The Black Sentinel definition of the Stockholm Syndrome.

    To the other readership of The Black Sentinel:

    Please take a close look at these faces. Notice how very similar they are. Be careful of a similar agenda! (WARNING: the second and third weblinks contain VERY RACIST material. My apologies in advance. The first weblink may contain racist material depending upon one’s viewpoint.)

    The Washington Post weblink is “D.C. Tries Cash as a Motivator” by V. Dion Haynes and Michael Birnbaum, dated August 22, 2008. Here are a few excerpts:
    Parents had mixed reactions to the program. Some said it was an understandable solution to an intractable problem. Others said students should not receive money to go to class. “I just totally disagree with this,” said Dionne Davis, whose daughter attends seventh grade at Hardy Middle School. “I think the incentive should come from within, just to want to do well, rather than doing it for a dollar.” Her daughter was not so sure.

    “I think it’s a good idea,” said Samantha, 11. “I think middle schoolers should have rewards for getting good grades and stuff on their tests. . . . I would save it for college and maybe give some to charity.”

    Some school activists expressed shock and anger at the incentive.

    “That’s pretty pitiful,” said Mary Levy, director of the Public Education Reform Project for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. “It makes me sad to see we’ve sunk so low that we have to pay kids to show up.”

    One can just hear the Caucasian Racists now, and it is shrewd that they got an Asian female to do it.

    I see a very sinister setup in the making. In the Washington Post article, there is no mention of how the money is to be administrated. In whose name shall those accounts be established? Who shall do the accounting? Who shall be blamed if that money is embezzled?

    Beware of that Stockholm Syndrome.

    Excellent article, The Black Sentinel.

    Thank you for listening.

  9. quotation of the male/female who identifies himself/herself as “James”

    I wasn’t going to say anything about this, until you took issue with my name a second time.

    I’m using my real name, and my name links directly to my blog, with plenty of information about me.

    Whereas you’re using an alias (“The Engineer”), and don’t link to more about yourself.

    That’s fine, but clearly I’m not hiding anything. Including whether I’m male or female (not that it should matter).

    Yes. So, what is your point?

    That it’s racist, and sexist, to stereotype all women of a particular race in this country as sell-outs, sycophants to the white race, and whores.

    you have avoided discussing Asian females’ complicity in Caucasian Racism against Minorities.

    Actually, I have discussed this issue.

    You just don’t like my analysis. Which is that Asian-American women vary widely in their responses to the racism and sexism of our society, and that they aren’t all race traitors or sexual playthings.

    your pathetic commentaries are just the same garbage rhetoric that Caucasians use to backpedal over their racism when they are caught demonstrating such racism.

    Please enlighten me. What racism have I demonstrated … other than arguing that Asian-American women are not uniformly slaves to the white race, but rather are the victims of racism as much as anyone else?

    Yes, some Asian-Americans sell out to earn a “white pass.” As do some blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans.

    Many others struggle hard against racism, balancing the dilemmas of living in a white-dominated society against the importance of standing up to that racism.

    It amazes me that you can stereotype all Asian-Americans in such an ugly way, and that no one else here speaks and suggests that you’re wrong.

    And I’m sure any of us could pick out three news stories about conservatives of any particular race or ethnicity who are engaged in behavior you consider to be “selling out.” That tells us nothing about most people of that race or ethnicity.

  10. The Engineer

    “It amazes me that you can stereotype ALL Asian-Americans in such an ugly way, and that no one else here speaks and suggests that you’re wrong.”
    — quotation (and faux paux) of the male/female identifying himself/herself as “James”;
    capitalized emphasis is mine.

    VIRTUALLY all Asian females (and a few Asian males too).

    “…about conservatives…”
    — quotation of the male/female identifying himself/herself as “James”

    So, now they are conservative?

    That really takes the cake. I suppose we are to equate conservatism with racism.

    To The Black Sentinel and the other readership of The Black Sentinel:

    I still stand by my words, and I will say again:
    If you find yourselves in a bank, government office (including a school), or a commercial business, and an Asian female worker offers to help you, I suggest to decline politely and ask for assistance from someone else. This recommendation is made in the interest of your own protection, but ultimately, all of you must judge for yourselves, on a per case basis.

    I trust in the wisdom of The Black Sentinel and its readership to judge for themselves about what I have written.

    Now for some numbers. Within a lifetime, how likely is The Black Sentinel and its readership will encounter an exception to warning regarding virtually all Asian females?

    One — yes.
    Two — maybe.
    Three — possible, but not likely.

    The above is based upon my own experiences. I hope your experiences are more pleasant and favorable.

    The magazine, Asian Week, has removed the article for reasons unknown. In my opinion, it should have made the article available along with a very deep hearted apology to the African American community. It also should have made a greater attempt to make amends. WARNING: Kenneth Eng is very offensive to African Americans. I do not recommend reading it.
    Google: [“why I hate blacks” kenneth eng]

    What is of greater interest is why Kenneth Eng’s article was even published in the first place. We may never know the reason. The Editor & Publisher, Mr. Wong, has since been demoted or relocated to a different position. Mr. Wong has refused to identify the actual editor who allowed Kenneth Eng’s article to be published.

    If one were to visit the Asian Week website, one can see a listing of some of the staff. It is interesting to see that the majority of people with the word, “editor,” in their title just happen to be Asian females. Perhaps, it is just a coincidence.

    The most common justification for articles such as Kenneth Eng’s is Freedom of Speech.

    But, it would seem, the editor who allowed the publication of Kenneth Eng’s article learned nothing from the following cartoon debacle:

    Yes, I suppose that some members of all Minority Groups exhibit the Stockholm Syndrome as defined by The Black Sentinel, but there is one group whose female membership is too much afflicted.

    To The Black Sentinel and the readership of The Black Sentinel,

    Thank you for listening.

  11. Natasha

    I could not agree more! THANK YOU so much for publishing this. The “blame the victim-survivor” game needs to stop.

  12. Walter Scott Hudson

    Perhaps it goes without saying, and I am not sophisticated enough to discern it. But I fail to see the point in this analysis outside of a high-brow variety of name calling. Does diagnosing blacks like Cosby as victims of Stockholm syndrome disqualify their arguments? If that is the intent, is it not a fallacious ad hominem attack?

    I am not aware of anyone who seriously submits there is no racism, or that racism has no affect on those holding the short end of the stick. What folks like Cosby say, from what I know, is blacks retain responsibility for their lives. This is an empowering sentiment which frees those who embrace it from the burden imposed by excuse. We each have our crosses to bare. Complaining about how heavy yours is doesn’t get it where it needs to go.

    I do not think veterans with PTSD or abused children get a pass. Their behavior may be understood better in the context of their trauma. But it is not excused. We do not allow veterans or abused children preferential treatment under the law as reward for their hardship. So, I guess I fail to see the relevance of evoking them as examples. Maybe it would help if I knew what they were meant to exemplify?

    I just skimmed the piece a second time to see if I could figure out the thesis. I think what it comes down to is an attempt to discredit an opposing viewpoint by discrediting the person serving it up – again, ad hominem. This is further justified by Tyrone’s comment which evokes denial as a symptom of the disorder. So, if your opposition agrees with you, they prove your point. If they disagree with you, they prove your point. It’s a contrivance enabling one to be right without further argument, to say nothing of evidence. It’s brilliant really.

  13. Walter,

    Where in my post did I say that because black people suffer from Stockholm Syndrome they should get a pass? I guess nowhere since I never made that assertion. I am saying that a group of people who were subjected and continue to be subjected to conditions which cause distortion in their thinking need to have some sort of therapy. And exactly what therapy did any of the slaves receive after their torturous kidnapping and confinement? I guess again that would be none.

    And would any one of us NOT say that children subjected to abuse who received no treatment for their issues continues the cycle by instilling the same damaged mentality in their children? And so if we then know that damaged people are instilling damaged views in their children, how can we say that they don’t need help, they just need to shut the hell up and fix themselves? Wouldn’t that be the stupidest thing you’ve heard, if let’s say, one of us was to say that about an adult who is nothing more than a damaged child who never received help?

    The problem with you thinking is that you and Bill Cosby seem to think that by acknowledging that we are a damaged people through years of damaged thinking being instilled in us from our ancestors that somehow that is looking for a pass. Or that by acknowledging exactly who and what caused that damage, is trying to blame someone other than the true culprit. Unfortunately for the both of you, no one can heal until they acknowledge that there IS damage and admitting to themselves and to the perpetrator that they were damaged.

    So if we believe that this is OK for damaged individuals or groups such as the Jews, then why not for the black masses who are obviously having problems getting it together? Why can’t black people ever be given the care that they need? Why is it that somehow the only one to blame for black people not having proper mentality, even though we know that damaged thinking has been handed down generation to generation, they are the source of their problems? Let’s stop blaming the victim and start trying to heal the damage and teach people a correct way to deal with life through education.

    And you really need to get a grip on reality. There isn’t one place in any of my comments where people are talking about denial of any sort. You can deny that people have this disorder or not, that is your business. But, just because you deny it doesn’t make it any less evident to me. And by your comment, it sounds pretty obvious that you didn’t bother to do any research on the actual disorder. And just for your information there really isn’t any thesis in my writing since I am NOT trying to prove one thing or another to you or anyone else. I am simply giving my thoughts on what I perceive is going on with my community. So if you are looking to be convinced by someone then you came to the wrong place. If you are looking for a conversation as to what the problems are for the black community and you have your own viewpoint or one similar then you came to the right place.

    So, instead of reading my writing for some silly attempt at contriving up that little summation of what you “think” I am saying or doing with my writing. Next time instead of looking for some feigned bull crap that you think I should be saying, why don’t you just read the post and reply with your “own” position. It isn’t hard to be that Johnny Come Lately with a bunch of phony critiques than it is to actually put your thoughts out there for the crowds who can’t even come up with half a position that just might show someone a different point of view and have a logical discussion about that.

    So, next time, if there is a next time, use your time to explain your position instead of making petty critiques that serves no purpose.

  14. Walter Scott Hudson

    It’s tough to get a grip on the “reality” you present. As you admit, you have no central thesis. You’re merely espousing a sentiment which the reader is tasked with applying to life.

    I am adequately familiar with Stockholm syndrome to discuss it intelligently. I can infer no purpose in your claim other than an excuse for behavior. I am more than willing to entertain another purpose, if you provide one. But my inference seems justified by your assertion black people need “help” to get over the generational trauma of being black. What form is this help to take? Who is to provide it? What is its lack preventing black people from doing?

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  16. Ouogahdo D'Dotopu

    Peace be upon you this day.
    I just came across your article and though is it a few years old it is well written. I am sure you are familiar with Dr. Leary’s work on the Post-traumatic slave syndrome. Your introduction of the Stockholm syndrome seems to fit with her argument conversely about blacks who fee we in the Diaspora should just “get over it.”
    Nice piece you have written.

  17. Miss Kitty

    Hello Black Sentinel,

    I’m glad that I found your blog. The posts seem intriguing and relevant. I can’t wait to read more.

    In regard to Cosby, I feel inclined to disagree. I’m currently reading his book, “Come on People…”, and I have yet to find anything that justifies the backlash against him or the accusations fluttering about.

    I think to understand Cosby, one has to understand the generation from which he emerged. I’m a researcher on African elders and history and Cosby emerged from arguably the last generation to understand self-reliance and self-sufficiency.

    In Cosby’s generation, we still had Black people opening accounts at Black-owned banks. We had our own business districts, our own vacation communities, our own banks and insurance companies…we understood the importance of having our own and instilling those values – coupled with determination and discipline – in our children.

    Our present generations have become markedly…lazier and more complacent than his generation. The difference is striking, to say the least.

    White media, in my opinion, demonizes Cosby because what he’s saying has truth, power, and strengthens us. This is how history repeats itself time and time again in the US.

    An elder attempts to rally his people in an attempt to empower them and open their eyes…and he (or she) is looked upon as a madman, an embarrassment, a freak of some sort that we should all turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to.

    Of course, I refuse. I’m old enough to already know how the game is played (not saying you folk aren’t here…I’m just assuming most of the folk here on social media are younger).

    I bought his book because I wanted to know what all of the hubbub was about and whether or not it was justified. And what he’s saying in his book is we, as people of African-American heritage (he speaks to us specifically in the book and in interviews) are backsliding and losing core values that empowered and strengthened us in the past.

    There is truth in that statement and he needs to say it again and again until today’s generation get a clue.

    Our ancestors overcame incredible odds and barbarism of the worst kind…and they emerged not broken, deeply rooted in their values, with a deep understanding of the importance of self-sufficiency as a people (our own universities, banks, insurance companies, grocery stores, shoemakers, properties, and business districts). Somehow, in this age of “integration” and globalism, this has diminished.

    We now rely on our oppressor for goods, services, and the like when we should be relying on ourselves as our ancestors did. We’ve become complacent as a people. This has nothing to do with “blaming the victim”.

    Cosby is an elder and he’s speaking as an elder. I feel that the media is mostly responsible for the disdain young people have for Cosby’s message. Regardless of who is to blame, it’s a downright SHAME.

  18. no say no say

    this is bullshit. blacks do each other in sometimes for no reason at all. i can be minding my own business and some assholes who don’t even know me laugh at me and poke fun at me because i’m and “oreo”.

  19. no say no say,

    People aren’t laughing at you because you are an oreo, they are laughing at you because you are stupid plain and simple. You say, blacks do each other in sometimes for no reason at all. Well answer this, do whites do other whites in for no reason at all, do Asians do Asians in for no reason at all, how about Hispanics, do they do other Hispanics in for no reason at all? Of course they do because all races commit the majority of their crimes on others of their own race.

    You really need to go and get an education as your stupidity would be shocking if I didn’t see comments like yours everyday. It tells me that the collective intelligence quotient is dropping sharply.

    And no, I won’t thank you for your comment, you can just get out.

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