Some folks say the purported manifesto by slave-maker Willie Lynch is a myth, while others beg to differ. Truth is however, whether fact or fiction concerning authorship, the document exists and as it turns out was quite prophetic concerning perpetual learned behavior among blacks in America. Over the past few years, I have written many articles about learned behavior in the black community with a focus on the ‘Ape Story’. The ‘Ape Story’ chronicles the trained behavior of caged apes and their singular and later group response after being punished for exercising their (Apes) natural behavior. In other words, for doing what apes do. Although the manifesto outlines six cardinal principles on how to make a slave the male slave, female slave and her offspring and how these principles continue to affect where we (blacks) are in present day America will receive attention in this article as it relates to the then and to the now.
The Willie Lynch manifesto posits that in order to ‘make a slave’ that not unlike horses or the apes in the ‘Ape Story’ the Negro slave must first be broken of their (Negroes) natural instincts or their ‘wild state’. In other words, broken from doing what Negroes do. For the purpose of context, during slavery Americans viewed the horse as an important economic tool. As a result, the theft of a horse could mean death by hanging for the convicted thief. Subsequently, the horse and the Negro slave in the eyes of the slaveholder were of equal import to the slaveholder’s financial success, thus economically tied together, (figuratively).
Now, just what was this so-called wild state? Well, according to the manifesto, the Negro’s first natural inclination in this ‘wild state’ would be to seek his or her freedom. This instinct, according to the manifesto, made the Negro dangerous even while captured. A consequence of this danger, Lynch’s warning was the potential of slaveholders being murdered in their sleep (open-carry come to mind) and thus, Lynch cautioned slaveholders about employing Negroes in or around the ‘big house’.
However, where was I? Oh yeah, this ‘natural nigger state’ as Lynch so eloquently puts it, could only be erased through the use of physical violence accompanied by psychological trauma. The objective here was to break the will to resist. Meaning, eliminating the will to seek freedom and avoid working a complete and total reversal of the mental state must take place. Doing so required, as previously mentioned, the male slave, female slave, and the female slave’s offspring. Here is where things go from the figurative to the literal. Recall earlier the statement regarding how the horse and the slave were figuratively tied together from an economic standpoint. Well, in order for this mental reversal to achieve the desired affect the horse and the Negro slave had to become tied together, literally.
After beating the male slave nearly to death in front of the female slave and her offspring, the slaveholder would tie each limb of the male to four different horses, which then proceeded to tear the male apart. This is done not only to affect the behavior of other male slaves but even more so, to affect the behavior of the female as it relates to the rearing of her offspring. This indoctrination lends an entirely different perspective to the scripture, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Nevertheless, this is exactly what the slaveholders needed to have happen - the complete and utter cooperation of the female. Think about the genius of that strategy. Not only did the slaveholders succeed in putting the fear of God in most of the male slaves, the slaveholders also succeeded in having the offspring of the female slaves raised subservient to, submissive to, and totally dependent on the slaveholders from generation to generation. Self-generated and self-refueled.
That was then…
This is now.
Fast-forward present day America, and what we find are methods that although different in application tactically achieve the same results. Think about it for a minute folks. What segment of the black population does the mainstream American economy (white folks) target more, black men or black women and why? In addition, what segment of the black population does the criminal justice system target more, black men or black women and why? Furthermore, what family unit does the American social service system target more for dismantling, black families or white families, and why? However, the more important question is what segment of the black population is most affected by these tactics and why?
For the answers to these questions plus more on The Willie Lynch Manifesto, and how the making of a slave continues in perpetuity, come back next week.
Written by: Jay Arrington
Maryland Daily Examiner