VICTIM–Now here’s a word that usually describes unwanted and/or undesired consequences of an act, or the words and workings of someone else, or some circumstance. We hear of victimization in many, many different ways. One of the most common modes is the bilking of old folks out of their money by scammers. Another is the beating and robbery of old people. Again, we hear that a family or community was the victim of a natural disaster such as a flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami and the likes.
We are well aware that children, especially, are extremely vulnerable to becoming psychological victims of bullying, or faulty guidance by ill-prepared parents and teachers. In addition, incest, which leaves permanent psychic scars, seems to still be a rather common cause of victimization in some areas . In that same vein, damage done to children’s psyches by pedophile clergy is being reported at a rather staggering rate.
All of the aforementioned are terrible, indeed. However, on a scale of one to ten, each of them pales in the shadow of the victimization of entire nations by tyrannical governments. Here in the United States, black Africans were severely victimized by unscrupulous slave traders—I use the word unscrupulous advisedly because I cannot imagine a single, level headed, and psychologically stable, human being accepting such behavior as good and desirable. However that culture has obviously been condoned as the norm throughout recorded history. Ancient history, as well as the Bible is loaded with slave events and customs. The captors seemed always to ‘be entitled’ to enslave their captives.
Neither was that entitlement an isolated occurrence—it had the universal backing and support of religion. Recently, I had the privileged of reading the proclamations of most Protestant church conclaves during the pre-abolition days—without exception each agreed that they had biblical backing for condoning slavery— without exception, each did. In retrospect, it was all about power, control and, most importantly, money. The Catholic Church, which has condoned slavery throughout its history, has remained mostly silent about slavery during my eighty seven years. In fact Catholic religious orders were famous for owning slaves. I might interject that one Papal edict did point out that it was immoral to enslave another Christion, but OK to enslave all others—what a cop-out and cover-up. So, its easy to understand the mind-set of both slave traders an slave owners.
Seemingly, on nearly a daily basis, we hear stories of war-torn nation’s mass killings and/ or enslavement of their countries’ residents. Some of those activities have been proclaimed as genocide. Without doubt, we could say with absolute certainty that the entire earth has been unbelievably victimized by the release of the Covid-19 virus—a monstrous plague. Who would do such a thing and for what reason? It seems rather obvious that, if done by a ‘nation controlled entity’, it would have been done to weaken its rivals—what a shame, if done accidentally—‘those who play with fire will get burned’.
So, what does all of that have to do with ‘victim, victims, and victimization’?—I say, everything.
Consider the plight of slave families here in the USA when, finally, they were freed—they owned nothing, probably not even the ragged clothes on their backs. What were they going to do?—they had no money, no food, no water, no transportation, and no shelter—they has nothing. If I remember history well, it was for that very reason, that many requested staying on with their masters—my understanding is that many did. Be that as it may, all black people were ordered to be segregated from others. That situation remained in place for essentially one hundred years. I submit to you that the psychological effect that segregation had on black people was and is devastating—can you imagine an unassuming child, suddenly realizing that it is inferior to others by virtue of its skin color—I can’t, but I do.
Blacks, at best, were considered “lower class’—they lived on the ‘other side of the tracks’. Hence they were forced into low class neighborhoods—in larger cities, ghettoes were born. History shows that there have been many, many great black citizens who have risen above and out of their psychological prison, and became upright, forthright equal citizens—they were able to shed the shackles of victimization—a daunting task, to say the least. That process has been slow, indeed—it might be likened to the task of a single diesel engine attempting to pull twenty five loaded coal cars up Sherman Hill—creeping at a snail’s pace.
The net effect of all that financial and psychological poverty, mainly in the ghettoes, is the innate feeling of victimization, which, I believe was justified in its inception. However it is being perpetuated by unscrupulous preachers and politicians for purposes of their own personal gain. Dr. Martin Luther King pleaded peacefully for the end of segregation. He was killed for that. However, his call was grudgingly heeded, and overt segregation ended—psychological segregation persists for a very specific reason.
Along with the feeling of victimization has come political brainwashing with the idea of entitlement. Politicians, both black and white, alike, realizing black’s plight, have repeatedly, for at least fifty years, made promises of entitlement just to garner votes—they have gotten the votes, and the plight of the ghettoes has worsened by the day. Family structure has collapsed—drug use and crime has exploded—indiscriminate cold-bloodied murder has skyrocketed.
When I was in medical school in St Louis, Mo., in 1957, my family and I lived in a government housing project, called the Darst apartments—it was located directly across the street from the City Hospital where I spent most of my Junior and Senior year’s clinical education time, as well where I served a rotating internship after graduating medical school in 1958. The apartment was very handy, cheap and ‘all white’. A similar facility, called the Igo-Pruit complex, had been constructed a few years earlier for poor blacks. To, my dismay, there was a reported killing in those apartments daily. I can’t recall the exact time-frame, but I believe that it was about four years later that the city tore down the Igo-Pruit complex because of the crime.
However, before their demolition, as a senior med student with no income, I worked for a small Life Insurance Company doing physicals exams on people in their homes—I was paid $10 per exam. Most of the people I examined lived in the Igo-Pruit complex. I considered myself to be both brave and stupid, but also desperate for income. As each door I knocked on opened, I was consistently confronted by someone holding a whiskey bottle, a baseball bat or a gun pointing at me. In addition each greeter consistently showed a look of unbelievable shock and surprise as he viewed me—what on earth could a stupid ‘white boy’ be doing here? After explaining the purpose of my visit, I was always graciously invited to enter and complete my business. I’ll guarantee you that, had I not been desperate to feed and clothe my wife and two children, I wouldn’t have been there. I did at least two hundred such exams, and I always wondered why/how such poor people would/could be buying life insurance. I think I know now—they feared for their own lives and the financial security of their families.
Fast forward to today. We have innumerable black athletes, who have suddenly become multi, multi, millionaires, repeatedly giving us and our nation ‘the finger, and the ultimate show of cynicism, by taking the knee at the playing of our national anthem. Mind you, not one of us have ever owned a slave, but many of us have worn the uniform of that nation, under whose flag we served to protect them, and make it possible for them to become millionaires. The constitution over which that flag presides guarantees each of us the same entitlement—the right to try.
No doubt, that ‘trying’ has been much more difficult for those victimized by ghetto-life than for those raised in the suburbs—I personally was raised on a small dirt farm in a three room shack with no electricity. That fact, alone, makes their achievement much more laudable. Most honest people greatly admire their accomplishments, however, their feats are sullied by ‘taking the knee’. I submit to you that any one of them, who had ever worn the uniform of that flag, would feel honored to stand and show reverence for our flag and their country. I may be wrong, but I believe that they are free to go to Africa to live—I’m not aware of any mass exodus.
So, what is my point? It’s this: yes, black people were victims of slavery—yes, blacks were victims of segregation— yes blacks have been/are victims of psychological brainwashing with feelings of inferiority perpetuated by preachers and politicians alike—and yes, those brainwashers are the scallywags responsible for the perpetuation of those feelings of victimization.
In our current state of affairs, very few black children are allowed to develop without indoctrination into those ideas and feelings—and why? In my opinion, it is for the political and financial gain of the indoctrinators—preachers and politicians. They are the ones profiting from the victimization of their constituents—power, control, money.
Solution? Preachers must promote a concept of stable marriage, or at least a stable relationship, so that children may grow and develop with stable attitudes, which can only come from both male and female influences. Politicians must stop making promises of entitlements which they cannot deliver. They must, however, introduce bills of incentivization. That would include properly trained social workers who would instruct and encourage parents and children alike in the value of education—they would learn that it is only through education that they can rise from the ghetto-squalor, and become a self-sufficient, upright, respectable and respected citizen—then, and only then can they have a true sense of self respect, as well as respect for others—then, and only then, can they command the respect of others. Politicians must pass legislation aimed at making all education levels, not only possible, but desirable. Those legislators must resist the temptation to ‘give each black person a fish every day’. They must, however, assist in the ‘procurement of a fishing pole for each of them, combined with teaching each of them the skill of using it’. Then , and only then, will they become self-sufficient, proud citizens. Then, and only then, will they have self-respect, and , simultaneously, respect for others—then, and only then, will they ‘command’ the respect of people of all colors.
The BLMs and the ‘kneelers’ are demanding respect—they will never get it—respect never comes by ‘demand’—it only comes by forthrightness—one who shows due respect will certainly command it, no matter what the color. Just look at some of the famous black athletes of the past. They were graceful in their greatness—-Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Don Newcombe, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willy Mays, just to name a few. They were giving no one the finger. They were not kneeling at the playing of out national anthem—they were grateful and thankful for their success. They never felt like victims, and, guess what—they were respected—they commanded respect—they never demanded it—consequently, and more importantly, they were loved. How desperately we need their attitude today.
While I did not directly address the plight of victimization in my two books, Wilderness Cry and Peace in Spirituality, I do address the plight of one victim, Jesus. I show how Jesus teachings have been twisted by knaves to, not only kill him, but more importantly, promote their own status and stature through politics and religion, all for power, money, and control.
Victimization of one human by another seems, almost always, in some way or another, to be about the same things— power, control, and ultimately, money.. Anyone who conscientiously reads my books and accepts their basic philosophy, could never victimize anyone—God couldn’t.