Does the “Crabs in a Bucket Syndrome” still exist?
As early as 1712 and possibly earlier, William (Willie) Lynch proposed strategies that pitted blacks against one another. Lynch outlined differences among slaves that even to this day blacks haven’t seemed to shake. The use of fear, distrust, and envy were methods that were implied on the plantation, and it appears that there still in effect today. Factors to include age, skin color, intelligence, size, gender, plantation status, and living conditions were all used to intentionally pit blacks against each other. Slave owners as well as people of today will still affirm that distrust is stronger than trust, and envy is stronger than adulation (worship), respect or admiration. In addition, allow me to add more of the mental games that were played: Pitching old blacks vs. young blacks and vice versa, plus light skin people verses dark skin people which deceived them to compete with each other for each and everything. Black unity has been broken for a while, and there are countless events in history to exemplify that. In 1800, Virginia slave Gabriel Prosser had planned an uprising (slave revolt) but his idea was foiled within his own camp by other slaves reporting it to the slave masters. Furthermore, in 1822 alleged ringleader Denmark Vesey also plotted a slave revolt. Vesey and his followers planned to kill slaveholders, liberate the slaves, and flee to Haiti but due to the loyalty that the slaves possessed towards the slave owners, Vesey’s scheme was also foiled by two of his own kind. There are a multitude of cases where blacks have sabotaged their race to satisfy their love of whiteness; they have betrayed black communities and showed no support because they feared not being loved by whites. Though this mentality was developed during slavery, I ask, does this mentality still exist? The mentality that “If I can’t have it, Neither can you” “If I can’t do it, Neither can you” “If I can’t be successful, Neither can you” “If I can’t achieve more, Neither can you”. And although the physical aspect of slavery has evaporated, the mental aspect is still alive and prevalent. It’s disturbing to see how black people marginalize each other’s success. Furthermore, beneath the surface, blacks must not realize that they’re continuing to set themselves back. Fact is Blacks still suffer mentally as a whole in the black community. Black America boasts some of the most successful figures in business, entertainment, sports and not to mention a President of the United States and yet they still can’t seem to enjoy their success without criticizing each other. The pride of blackness would flourish if they choose to acknowledge each other’s hard work and commitment to their craft. If this started, hopefully this type attitude could become contagious, instead of the mental state of plantation life. Slave ownership is over; you’re off the plantation, so you can’t blame “The Man” for holding you back any longer. Blacks must lift up, not tear down, unify and not divide. This is not to say Blacks cannot have critical opinions about their community, but their criticism has to be constructive, and Blacks cannot simply talk the talk without walking the walk. So by letting crabs climb out the bucket, maybe, just maybe it will give them the ability to reach back and get the left out, over looked, lost, and left behind.
Thanks for reading,
Educator Derrick (CEO) Caples