The Psycho-cultural Case for Reparations for Descendents of Enslaved Africans in the United States

From The Southern University at New Orleans Race, Gender & Class 2011

By Daudi Ajani ya Azibo, Independent Scholar. Dr. Daudi Ajani ya Azibo has taught Africana Studies and psychology at postsecondary institutions across the United States since 1987. Now a private consultant in St. Louis, he can be reached at

Psychological warfare can be defined as "operations carried out during war that aim to achieve victory through mental changes in the enemy" (Martin-Baro, 1994:138). In what is tantamount to an extended or never ending psychological warfare, American psychiatry and psychology have significantly contributed to maintaining and establishing White supremacy domination over the nonwhite American populations (Azibo, 1993; Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 1995; Guthrie, 1999; Thomas and Sillen, 1972). To whatever extent these professions have contributed to this race-based domination, it would seem straightforward that mental health workers overall are indictable as unethical to the same degree.

When issues of United States national interest are center stage mental health professionals show a penchant for winnowing what is ethical as for example abetting interrogations at Guantanamo Bay (e.g., Democracy Now, 2006) and attacking African-U.S. activists with psychological tactics (Obadele, 2003; Rhodes, 2008; United States Senate, 1976). Sometimes there is no debate at all. With the exception of Azibo (1989:191-194) there was scarcely any hue and cry from the mental health professions about the brainwashing and psychological warfare perpetrated on the citizens of Grenada.

It still may elude mental health workers exactly why their professional activities as impacting people of African descent can be branded unethical because the ethical codes "make no mention of longer-term or more subtle negative implications of psychologists' actions and decisions" (Brown, 1997, 52). By elucidating 40 perpetrations of a psycho-cultural nature visited on U.S.- African descent people, I aim to make the unethicalness of it all self-evident and thereby establish the warrantableness of reparations for psycho-cultural damages. The idea that the mental health profession prides itself on a fundamental compassion in the face of all human suffering rings hollow when viewed with complete cognizance of psychology's and psychiatry's peccadilloes and perpetrations visited on U.S.-African descent people.


According to historical records (Diop, 1978; Williams, 1976; Wobogo, 1976) from the outset there has been and continues to be (Chinweizu, 1975; Jones, 1992) a wrongfulness, a heinousness, and an absolute and unmitigated monstrous barbarism that, frankly, belies a vampirism in Caucasian civilizations' relationships with African descent people (ADP). Whenever and wherever the two have met, the culture of the Caucasian has clashed with the culture of the African (Fagan, 1998) resulting in the destruction of one African civilization after the other (Williams, 1976) and for the 518th (and still counting) year since Columbus (Chomsky, 1993) the implementation of a Caucasian-centered colonizer's model of civilization (Blaut, 1993). This summary, then, "describes the parasitical nature of white freedom" (Morrison, 1992:57) which relies on the powerlessness of ADP (Wilson, 1998). 

The reader should be disabused immediately of any conceptualization of this continuing state of affairs as typical of human nature, normal, a reflection of the natural order of things, the progressive fulfillment of destiny, or the acme of human phylesis. Rather, this White supremacy domination embodies what in another context has been called a "radical evil" which refers to evil that exceeds "deliberate acts resulting in harm to innocent others [and] are universally reprehensible and morally corrupt and destructive to life" (Oliner & Gunn, 2006:108). Caucasians' exploitation and resulting decimation of ADP has fundamental features that are uniquely Caucasian in base cultural impetus (Ani, 1994), especially the reasoning process (Baruti, 2006). Three prominent features regarding relating to ADP are mass based racism (Wobogo, 1976), a "psychic makeup [characterized by] ... a definite defensive reflex" (Diop, 1987:242) a la psychoanalytic theory to include reaction formation, hostility, repression and other defensive behaviors (Welsing, 1991), and the manifestation of psychopathic behaviors (Wright, 1985). The quintessential example that embodies all three features is the fact that  slavery was morally wrong, as [David] Walker demonstrated by every Judeo-Christian standard ... and as virtually all [Caucasian] Americans had once believed [nevertheless they could fathom] no final alternative to getting rid of it .... whites [sic] of all classes .... escape[d] from the dilemma [by] remov[ing] slavocracy's moral stigma. (Wiltse, 1965:ixx)

The historicity of Caucasians' behavior in their relationship with ADP is all in accord with the aforementioned psycho-cultural features. The United States is a quintessential case in point. Founded explicitly as a White nationstate (Obadele, 1998) for benefit of Caucasian elites (Fresia, 1988), presently White Nationalism (Walters, 2003) continues to prevail. The United States' economic wealth was founded on the enslavement of ADP who, in the process, were slaughtered by the millions (Chinweizu, 1975; Madhubuti, 1978; Rodney, 1974). It is reasonable that "the possession of white racist identities and a systemic complacency in the atrocities committed to preserve white domination makes whites responsible both as participants and sideliners of racial domination" (Curry, 2007:6). Racist thinking continues to be handed down across generations in Caucasian American families (Dennis, 1993). Post-racist America as alleged and touted seems propagandistic and doctrinal (Clark, 1971) and part and parcel of what Chomsky (1989) identified as thought control in democratic societies. Sentiment of this sort is questionable and its reification ought to be avoided since often "the picture of the world that's presented to the public has only the remotest relation to reality" (Chomsky, 1991:11). It would seem contradictable by recent government activities that are anti-U.S.-ADP (Churchill and Vander Wall, 1988; U.S. Senate, 1976; Walters, 2005) and by designed inequality (Fisher et al., 1996). This societal sentiment appears more a theoretical possibility to be achieved (Zinn, 1994, 1995) than an actual fact. Witness Hurricane Katrina. Thus, the U.S. society's post-racial sentiment rings as hollow as the proclamation of the mental health profession's compassion visà- vis African-U.S. people. It would seem then that the society and its mental health professions may have been harmful to the African-U.S. psyche (Azibo, 1993).



Also slaughtered by the millions was ADP's identification as African (Jennings, 2003). As an intentional result also slaughtered was the consciousness of the natural order dictate of personality to prioritize the defense, development, and maintenance of African life and culture (Azibo, 1996; Azibo & Robinson, 2004; Azibo, Johnson, & Robinson, 2007). This consciousness is what is meant by psychological Africanity. This consciousness is the most rudimentary formulation of racial identity that is possible (Azibo, 2006a). Every conceptualization of racial identity, then, applied to ADP must be congruous with this rudimentary conceptualization to be valid.

Slaughtered is the operative word as the praxis of destroying psychological Africanity results in a forced deAfricanization. As American civilization forcibly deAfricanized the Africans it had enslaved (via the slavocracy) as well as their descendents (via socialization institutions), the resulting psycho-cultural void was and is filled by an "American Africanism" (Morrison, 1992:38) which is the construction in the Caucasian psyche of ADP pejoratively envisioned. This construction of ADP actually depicted them as deviant within the entire spectrum of civilized humanity. Therefore, American Africanism is a dehumanization of U.S.-ADP that can be seen to underlie discrimination today as well as yesterday at the inception of race-based slavery in America. Thus, this anti-ADP dehumanize ÷ discriminate relationship is longstanding American policy.

It is this forcing, indeed shaping in the psychological sense, into the mold parameterized by American Africanism which forged ADP into the commodity whose identity could only range from "Nigger to Negro" (Jennings, 2003:251). While the term nigger is obviously pejorative, less obvious is the term Negro which is pejorative juxtaposed to the terms Black and African. It evolved this way in the post-1960s racial consciousness context in which the appellation negro (capitalized or not) came to mean having a mentality that acquiesces and adheres to Caucasian social and cultural dictates and definitions. This evolution has led to an accuracy in that Negro applied to designate ADP is more a derivative of the Greek necro/nekros and implies the murder of African consciousness/psychological Africanity by Caucasian civilizations taking root in the era of conquest and derives much less from the Portuguese and Spanish negro meaning the color black. 

As a rule, the nigger-to-negro psychological orientation which results from forced deAfricanization is overwhelmingly anti-ADP and anti-Africancentered culture (Ani, 1994; Azibo, 2001). It is an act of dehumanizing that is so debasing as to underlay identification as "contraband" (Masur, 2007:1050). It is this sort of cultural oppression that produces ADP who themselves are anti- ADP. Denouement in racial identity development like this would seem to be an abnormal psychology phenomenon (Azibo et al., 2007; Azibo & Robinson, 2004) that indicates extreme psycho-cultural decimation (e.g., Atwell & Azibo, 1992; Azibo, 1989, 1990a; Harrell, 1999; Sutherland, 1989, 1997). 


Because of this psychological decimation, the African personality (Azibo, 1990a; Khoapa, 1980; Osei, 1981) in U.S.-ADP is daunted with an imposed stupefaction. The psychological functioning of ADP, then, is hardly authentic and overwhelmingly non-ideal (Sutherland, 1989, 1997). Displacing the African personality by imposition by Caucasian civilizations employing tactics of sheer terrorism (e.g., Chestnut, 2008; Ginzburg, 2006; Patterson, 1971; Williams-Myers, 1995), rape (e.g., McNeil, 2008; Warren, 2007) and kindred dehumanizing tactics (Morrow, 2003), vulgar imagery (Azibo, 2010; Hilliard, 1988) including that produced by ADP (e.g., James, 2006; Reynolds, 2009; Scott, 2003), sophisticated seduction strategies (Schiele, 2002) some of which use popular media and are quite splanchnic (Knaus, 2005; Vargas, 2004), and deeducation meaning technically inferior and factually incorrect education provided to the masses of U.S.-ADP, miseducation provided to the African-U.S. educated elite which refers to indoctrination into the concepts and methods that actually undergird domination by Western civilization, and diseducation defined as the negative fallout resulting from dysfunctional education systems (ben- Jochannan, 1973; Carruthers, 1992, 1999, chap. 15; Clark, 1971; Kamau, 1996), especially the "anti-learning psychology [spawned] within its victims" (Baruti, 2006, 271), is literally a slave mentality (Olomenji, 1996; Wilson, 1999:93-98).

Slave mentality is defined as a consciousness in which U.S.-ADP's thought and practice is parameterized and circumscribed to that of their enslaved ancestors. Jennings' (2003) smart usage of the "nigger-to-negro" terminology aptly captures the forced delimitation of U.S.-ADP's consciousness of themselves as ADP. Slave mentality is not psychological minutiae as Alexis de Tocqueville's insightful, eyewitness remark about United States slavery implies:

The only means by which the ancients maintained their slavery were fetters and death; [contradistinctively] the Americans of the South of the Union have discovered more intellectual securities for the duration of their power. They have employed their despotism and their violence against the human mind. (cited in Roberson, 1995:136)

As Edward Wilmot Blyden stated "the slavery of the mind is far more destructive than that of the body" (cited in Carruthers, 1999:253). Similarly, Frederick Douglas (1855/1966:216-217) stated that slavery's "physical cruelties ... are as a few grains of sand on the sea shore ... compared with the stupendous wrongs which it inflicts upon the mental." Harriet Tubman reflected that "she could have freed thousands more if they only knew they were slaves" (cited in Baruti, 2005:115). Apparently, the shackles of slavery and centuries of racial oppression still restrict the mental freedom of U.S. African descent people as it did their ancestors.

Bobby Wright perspicaciously summed up the effect of this (en)forced slave mentality on African-U.S. people: in general, we have been made or shaped in the operant sense of the term to be anti-intellectual, atheoretical, and completely ahistorical (cited in Carruthers, 1985).This effect of slave mentality was known to the powerful White men of education who at the Mohonk Conferences in 1890 and 1891 constructed for ADP's education "a mental slave system to better control [them]" (Carruthers, 1999:256). Since, so to speak, people proceed as they perceive, then as Caucasian Americans controlled the diameter of U.S.-ADP's education they effectively controlled the circumference of their behavior by implanting slave mentality in them through postenslavement education. This perpetration rivals any in the history of humankind for sheer monstrous evil. One is hard put to deny that "Euro-American racists, who wish to control the commodity that was once chattel slaves without chains and whips, understand the critical function of mind control as well as rewards and punishments" (Ukombozi, 1996:144).

DeTocqueville's description of enslaved Africans' mentality is still accurate today:

he "makes a thousand fruitless efforts to insinuate himself among men who repulse him; he conforms to the taste of his oppressors, adopts their opinions, and hopes by imitating them to form a part of their community. Having been told from infancy that his race is naturally inferior to that of the whites, he assents to the proposition, and is ashamed of his own nature .... and, if it were in his power, he would willingly rid himself of everything that makes him what he is." (cited in Blyden, 1862/1966:113)

It is easy to see that forcing slave mentality on U.S.-ADP has come with longstanding and intergenerational negative consequences for them (e.g., Abdullah, 1998; Azibo, 2007; Leary, 2005; Olomenji, 1996; Wilson, 1990). Foremost is that it militates against them developing psychological Africanity through socialization. The forced delimitation, after all, was enforced with the radical evil referred to earlier. Fathoming the immensity and thoroughness of the havoc wrought in U.S.-ADP's psychological functioning by enforcing slave mentality (e.g., Atwell & Azibo, 1992; Azibo, 1989; Harrel, 1999; Wilson, 1993) can boggle the mind. It has visited an infinite in scope and selfperpetuating destruction on all ADP victimized by the holocaust of enslavement in the New World across centuries and therefore generations. Insights into the processes, contents, and outcomes of enforced slave mentality can be found in Walker (1829/1965), Douglas (1966), Jennings (2003), and Morrow (2003).



Destruction on this gigantic scale is unparalleled in the history of non- ADP. It demands a proper name and Maafa (Ani, 2004) seems apt. The processes and effects of the Maafa continue today post-enslavement of U.S.- ADP as the "Maafa creates its own 'order' [in the life of ADP] ... paradoxically an order based on [the enforced] disorder[ing of ADP's lives]" (Ani, 2004, p. 152). The Maafa is painfully genocidal. Contemporary life chance statistical indicators (e.g., Gabbidon & Peterson, 2006; Kleeman, 2007; Laurencin, Christensen, & Taylor, 2008; Mays, Cochran, & Barnes, 2007; McCord & Freeman, 1990; Myers & King, 1980) reveal the dismantling of African-U.S. civilization. Since older indicators show the same dismantling (Coppock, 1975), the discomposing has doubtlessly been occurring from generation to generation. Practically every life chance statistical comparison between Caucasian Americans and U.S.-ADP shows great gaps with the latter group in the worse condition today as well as in the past. Although there is a tendency for victim blaming, "the consistence, persistence, and occasional augmentation of gaps such as these would seem to indicate that there may be something more amiss than a lack of individual effort on the part of African American citizens" (Jones, 2002:45).

The Maafa is the cause of race-gap statistical indicators like these which also seem to belie the ability of U.S.-ADP to think and behave in their own interests as a result (Ani, 2004). Since pluralism requires the distinct groups in a society to pursue their special interests (Myers, 1981), then pluralism is precluded for U.S.-ADP by virtue of their entire civilization having undergone a forced diversification in psychological Africanity caused by the Maafa. That is, the forced production of nigger-to-negro identities in ADP prevents pluralism by making it impossible for U.S.-ADP to agree on their special interests. This is a diabolically wicked perpetration which renders ignisfatuous the touted American lodestar of pluralism.

Without pluralism and the psychological Africanity that demands it, only neoslavery and painful genocide loom for U.S.-ADP socio-politically (Marable, 1982; Olomenji, 1996; Vargas, 2005). Paralleling this dismal sociopolitical outlook is U.S.-ADP's psychology in which an abysmal mental disorder called psychological misorientation is prevalent. It is defined as an African-descent person 'proceeding with a cognitive definitional system that is non-Black ... genetic Blackness minus psychological Blackness [minus psychological Africanity].' It results from [the forced] 'acquisition of a pseudoEurocentric [or pseudoArabcentric or pseudoAsiancentric or otherwise alien/nonAfrican-centered] selfconsciousness by African [descent people].' (Azibo, 1989, 2006a:11)

Psychological misorientation is a predisposing condition for another 18 mental disorders found in the Azibo Nosology that are culture-specific to U.S.-ADP (Anderson & Stewart, 2007; Atwell & Azibo, 1992; Azibo, 1989; Belgrave & Allison, 2006; Harrell, 1999). Where individual consciousness is concerned, psychological misorientation is the professional nomenclature referring to the orienting of U.S.-ADP via the Maafa with identities circumscribed from niggerto- negro a la Jennings (2003) which engender psycho-cultural functioning limited to the interests, images, and dictates of Caucasian civilization. 

This mis-orientation to reality is an incorrect orientation as it is the psychological gearing within the individual of the stupefaction imposed on U.S.- ADP's sense of psychological Africanity. Psychological misorientation militates against behavior that is affirming of ADP. The orienting produced under a state of psychological misorientation prevents ADP from orienteering as an African group with distinct interests in and necessities for its collective survival. Thus, psychological misorientation qualifies as mental illness incarnate (Azibo, 1996). The reason why U.S.-ADP "who belong together insist on remaining apart" is psychological misorientation. In contrast, orienteering in the direction of ADP's collective survival by U.S.-ADP would be a correct orientation to African-U.S. reality because perforce it prioritizes the defense, development, and maintenance of ADP's life and culture, presumably a natural order dictate for personality (Azibo, 1996).

The matter of ADP's orientation to reality is so serious (Azibo, 1999) as to be the single most critical issue in African-U.S. mental health (Azibo, 1990b; Nobles, 1976). Facing the fact that Western civilization by deliberately undermining ADP's consciousness of themselves as ADP has without lenity inflicted an inferiorization on U.S.-ADP (Welsing, 1991:ii-iv, chaps. 20-21) and according to Frantz Fanon "imposed upon blacks a deep psychic shame and sense of inferiority" (Hansen, 1996:6) inevitably generates gloom. ADP's consciousness has been so permeated that there is "a crisis of conscience in every African [descent person] exposed to the [deAfricanizing] Western civilizing and christianizing" (Okanlawon, 1972:41). Many ADP are so affected as to appear lugubrious more than their enslaved and Jim Crow era forbears.

It is better that ADP face this daunting reality of American conquering which is solidifying their incapacity to ascertain, actualize, and transmit their Africaness than to fall prey to psychic maneuverings brought on through defensive behavior. Responding to this psycho-cultural decimation with defense mechanisms is part of the problem for U.S.-ADP because to deny, to rationalize, to repress, and so forth is to succumb. In this context, defense mechanisms produce adjustment to the status quo of Caucasian domination (Wilson, 2000) as they produce a nepenthe in U.S.-ADP. This nepenthe hinders overmastering of the Western domination status quo. In a sample of ADP in college, psychological defense mechanism scores were significantly higher than Caucasians' and associated with psychiatric distress as predicted by nepenthe theory (Azibo, 2007; Azibo, Jackson, & Slater, 2004). The psycho-cultural damage to U.S.-ADP caused by American civilization has additional specific consequences.



First is the reality of outright disease, death and dying-slaughter-upon the conquering by the Caucasians (Chinweizu, 1975; Williams, 1976). Much life, in addition, continues to be claimed by the virtual relinquishment of the will to live as reflected in self-destructive behavior, especially for depression and own-life taking (Wright, 1981).

Also prominent are failures in education as addressed earlier, especially special education. In many locales with diverse populations African-U.S. students comprise significantly high proportions of special education students. Special education is a "lucrative psychiatric program [from which] .... only a relative handful actually complete a standard high school curriculum" (Citizens Commission, 1995:12). This looks like control of the conquered through deliberate activities of psychiatric and psychological professionals in school systems especially in light of NIMH's recommendation "that the school curriculum should be designed to 'bend the student to the realities of society' and to 'promote mental health as a means of altering culture' [of the conquered]" (Citizen's Commission, p. 12).

Before special education there was missionary-based education which was special in its own way teaching that in all things "West is best", "obey your masters" and the like (ben-Jochannon, 1978; Walker, 1829/1965). One purpose of missionary-based education was to create African-U.S. elites who would operate against African-U.S. interests. Kamau (1996) pointed out that General Armstrong founded using his father's Hawaiian missionary model of education Hampton Institute where he provided Booker T. Washington with his start. The missionary model was spread throughout African-U.S. society as, for example, Washington went on to what is now Tuskegee University. In turn, he sent his protégé Charles P. Adams to lead what is now Grambling State University. The missionary influence in the education of U.S.-ADP is deeper still. For instance, LeMoyne (now LeMoyne-Owens), Tougaloo, Fisk, Huston-Tillotson, and Taladega are historically Black colleges and universities established right after the civil war by the American Missionary Association which sent many missionaries to Hawaii also. Prior to the civil war, American missionaries and their sponsoring societies were heavily involved in ensuring the docility of the enslaved Africans (see Frazier, 1974; Walker, 1829/1965). So, the overweening missionaries and their model of education for victims of Caucasian conquering were visited upon U.S.-ADP at opportune times for controlling them. This was followed up with the Mohonk Conferences and the United States visiting its special education on U.S.-ADPs to their detriment. Regarding special education and the psychological testing that goes along with it, it seems in sum that "research data do not support the argument that children are better off as a consequence of ... special education placement .... [these] arrangements have yet to prove themselves to be worthwhile" (Hilliard, 1990:188). In hindsight, the steeping of African-U.S. elites in Western education continues and is horrific, not honorific, lamentable, not laudable and remains a continuing problem (ben-Jochannon, 1973; Caruthers, 1992, 1999; Kamau, 1996) on par with de- and dis-education.


Tamura (2002) revealed the inferiorizing associated with the disparagement of language use indigenous to U.S.-ADP (ebonics). This contemporary problem is rooted in the slavocracy where the missionary-led deAfricanization practice of disparaging, as prelude to eliminating, indigenous African-U.S. cultural behaviors has been observed first-hand (see Frazier, 1974; Walker, 1965, chap. 3). That dark skin predjudice was made common among U.S.-ADP (Glenn, 2008; Herring, Keith, & Horton, 2003) is a logical consequence of American perpetrated deAfricanization.


Incomplete ancestral memory is prevalent among and especially crippling of U.S.-ADP (Hilliard, 1988). Clearly, where individual amnesia is concerned the person is diminished even if capable of functioning in society. The collective amnesia of a whole population raises the diminishment to an unknown power and places them in very real danger of groups that would dominate and manipulate them. Some contemporary African-U.S. people may be defensively running away from memory of their African heritage (in the sense of defense mechanisms) and are motivated to forget.


The lack of use of African names among African-U.S. people is another psycho-cultural consequence of inferiorizing via deAfricanization beginning in the slavocracy and continuing today. Over and above fear of reprisal for not conforming during chattel enslavement, self doubt and abnegation of personal and racial natures made it easy to first supplement African names with [Caucasian] Christian names and then to discard and denigrate African names altogether, the current practice. The reader might ponder the mental hellishness of the war within the psyche inherent in such an identity state and its maintenance for U.S.-ADP.


Perhaps the most serious outcome of misidentification reflected in lack of historical memory or distortion of it and not employing proper ancestral names is relinquishing African-centered religion for religion that taught Africans to submit to Caucasian domination. African-U.S. people continue utterly befooled via Christianization. The martyr Reverend David Walker made it plain that there is no "greater mockery of religion than the way in which it is conducted by the Americans" (Walker, 1829/1965:43). Yet, by the end of the Nadir (the era between the betrayal of Reconstruction and the emergence of Booker T. Washington) "Black America[n] .... activists were now petitioning and appealing to the alleged Christian conscience of our oppressors" (Clarke, 1994:29). Apparently, the conversion had been successful. The great Reverend David Walker apparently had been forgotten. Thus, Malcolm X's criticism rings true that Christianity was used as a tool in consolidating African-U.S. enslavement.


It is the brazen, unforgivable corruption of the example of Jesus of Nazareth to be in support of White supremacy domination (Barashango, 1982) that Marcus Garvey and David Walker identify as paramount in effecting control over and making trucklers of U.S.-ADP through religion. The nethermost status as accursed by God imputed to U.S.-ADP in Christian religion (ben-Jochannan, 1978, 1985) disadvantages and dehumanizes them. An objective appraisal of American Christianity belies an unctuous theologizing by Caucasian Americans that psychologically damages U.S.-ADP. Johnson's (1968) point that ADP need reversion (to African-centered religion) rather than conversion to Arab-centered or prevailing Christian ones is deserving of attention.


For U.S.-ADP, it was inevitable that most would in time see themselves through the eyes of American religion as inferior. The old canard about nonWhites accepting the Bible/Christianity at the behest of conquerors who in turn end up with their land and exercising power over them is proved out again. The overarching concept regarding religion is that U.S.-ADP have had theological misorientation disorder inflicted on them. Incalculable detriment has resulted from making U.S.-ADP have "belief in, allegiance to, or practice of a theology, religion-related ideology or any aspects thereof that are incongruous with (a) [African-centeredness] ... (b) African history, and (c) traditional African cosmology" (Azibo, 1989:196). The control of a population's destiny afforded by forcing their conversion to a religion that is alien to them and, in essence, dehumanizes them (deAfricanize in this instances) is immense. Theological misorientation establishes conquerors as the victim group's intermediary with the Divine (however conceived) and militates against their reversion (as against conversion) to indigenous culture-centered religion which, it should be needless to say, exists for U.S.-ADP (e.g., Barashango, 1982; ben- Jochannan, 1974, 1978; Johnson, 1968; Osei, 1981).


As a result of theological misorientation, U.S.-ADP and Africans worldwide have been reduced and had their humanity diminished with the ultimate humiliation of "Chasing Gods not Our Own". There is salt in this wound as the admired, influential panjandrums of African-U.S. society were frequently duped into abjuring the theologies of their ancestors (see ben- Jochannan, 1978). Plain old conversion does not require abjuration, but alas the phenomenon being dealt with here is theological misorientation and not mere conversion. Inflicting theological misorientation is emboldened by the "arrogance in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam ... that is downright offensive [as it plainly postulates].... if you do not belong to them [then] you are hopeless and there is no salvation for you" (Clarke, 1994:176). In light of theological misorientation, the quodlibet must be asked of Caucasian civilizations Where is the bottom? as they decimate entire peoples using religion, apparently without compunction. That this practice is scandalous, appalling, revulsive, and entirely Western must be stated.


The land swindles perpetrated on the Freedmen and their descendents in the South (Winbush, 2003) have had devastating psychological consequences. One is that they have contributed to U.S.-ADP being more vulnerable to pressures for out-marrying, being land-disconnected, educated for serving Caucasian interests, renamed, and theologically off base. For Caucasians outmarriage was a tactic to secure land and privilege from and gain influence over U.S.-ADP. As such, setting in place conditions that promote out-marriage is a perpetration, one which has a successful history against ADP (Williams, 1976), and should go down in infamy.


Proliferation of U.S.-ADP who self-identify as bi- and multi-racial and out-marry clearly serves to dilute African "blood quantum" (biogenetic substance) in the African-U.S. population and divides them over racial matters. The concern that African "blood quantum" will continue to lessen in part- African-U.S. people (so-called mixed race/biracial) too receives credence in U.S.-ADP's experience of attacks on their genetic blackness (Jones, 1997; Spencer, 2004). If mental health reigned, genetic blackness would be prized, not purged, by those who have it especially in the procreant function (Azibo, 2002; Crawford, 2002). It is easily seen that it is a mental health imperative for ADP to "recognize the absolute priority ancient Afrikans gave to Black and blackness .... [such] that black or dark-blue skin was a divine attribute" (Baruti, 2005, 168). Daniels (2003) is profoundly correct where he states "our racial interest is our first priority .... we need Africans in America who are clearly 'of the race and for the race'-first and foremost". Frankly, the onslaught on genetic blackness and through that psychological Africanity is pervasive throughout the Americas (Jordan, 2004; Vargas, 2004; Wade, 1993; Whitten & Torres, 1992; Wright, 1990). This attack has almost been completed with frightening success in Central and South America where the elites of those societies have undertaken a most Manichean approach to controlling ADP: "branqueamento (whitening) ... as a solution to the 'African problem'" (Baran, 2007:387). This very same attack is accelerating in the United States and the rest of the world (Glenn, 2008; Hall, 1995). It relies on the mulatto hypotheses which postulate that the more White genetic ancestry in an African-descent individual the more fit s/he is in an evolutionary sense (Azibo, 1993) and "indeed reveals the assumption that blacks can and should aim for the erasure of their blackness in favor of increasing degrees of whiteness" (Vargas, 2004:448). Skin lightening as occurs under Western domination appears to be a product of psychological misorientation (Azibo, in press). The pressure to whiten or lighten is so real in the social environments African-U.S. people must negotiate that lighter skin shows a relationship with health indicators whereas darker skin does not (Sweet, et al., 2007).


The base motivation for out-marrying of the sort under discussion is not love of the spouse. Rather, it is fueled more by an idiosyncratic combination of a hagiographic paean to the spouse's Whiteness and all the superiority and status that that connotes under Caucasian domination and an own-race or own-group disparagement. This is discernable in formal analyses of such spousals (e.g., Azibo, 2002; Crawford, 2002) and is revealed in peacocky behavior vis-a-vis the Caucasian spouse. Own-group disparaging is not to be downplayed as it can fuel rage-based reactions as well as uncontrolled anti-White sentiment can. The "Black rage" conniptions are often turned inward on one's group. In a court case a child attributed her wretched circumstances to her race. Her attorney deftly replied


But I submit that not any child would blame herself for these conditions. Not any child would associate her environment with 'the way black people live'.... The fatalism, nihilism, loss of self-esteem and individual ambition ... is Black rage turned inward and ... [the] damage it does to its victims lasts a lifetime. (cited in Harris, 1997:272, original emphases)


Someone has to pay for creating and maintaining the conditions that produce this phenomenon of rage turned inward and the resulting damages. On this note, Smith (2004) provides a fundamental point to be taken that for all victims of White supremacy/colonization that "no amount of reparations will be successful if we do not address the oppressive behaviors we have internalized .... [as a result of] the connections between [American] state violence and interpersonal violence. It is through [the former] ... that violence in our communities was introduced" (p. 99) and is deliberately maintained in the African-U.S. case (Wilson, 1990), a self-evident fact of the immediate post-enslavement period (Johnson, 1934).


Treating rage, inbound or outbound, starts with diagnosis. According to the Azibo Nosology, when an African-U.S. person commits "unpremeditated violent acts, directed at in-group or out-group members and property, which have as their root cause forces of racism and oppression" the diagnosis is "oppression violence reactions" (Azibo, 1989:194). The therapist misses much when African-centered culture-focused diagnosis is not entertained (Atwell & Azibo, 1992; Denard, 1998). Oppression violence reaction as a diagnostic category derives from Fanon's (1963:249-311) "reactionary psychoses" diagnoses and shares some similarity with "urban survival syndrome".



Fathoming the psycho-cultural damages can itself be depressing. A positive note is found in researchers' contemporary studies of the functionality of psychological Africanity (racial identity) (Azibo, 2006a; Azibo & Robinson, 2004; Jones, 1998). Studies of recapturing indigenous cultural forms known as Sankofa movements are also being pursued by social scientists (Ani, 2004; Belgrave et al., 2004; Harvey & Coleman, 1997; Hilliard, 1988; Warfield- Coppock, 1992). Importantly, these developments are frequently based in indigenous epistemologies which center in the irrefragable African worldview (Azibo, 1999, 2001; Carruthers, 1999). While these developments point to a viable path to solving the psycho-cultural problems under discussion, psychological misorientation still holds sway in most African-U.S. psyches.


The forced conversion to Caucasian orientation does not produce assimilation, acculturation, diversity, or bi- and multi-culturalism. These are inaccurate, inadequate, obscuring terms for describing the result of the Caucasianizing that has occurred in the forced, violence laden conversions of U.S.-ADP. Note bene that the deAfricanization was imposed and enforced by the slaver-colonialists. And, it is similarly maintained in the present by their descendents as heirs to the prevailing global system of White supremacy, including the American version (Curry, 2007). Western civilization has practiced domination since its primordial contacts with ADP (Diop, 1978, 1991; Williams, 1976; Wobogo, 1976). With this Caucasionizing as etiology, individual consciousness of the victims is conceptually incarcerated. The ideation of African-U.S. victims is figuratively and perhaps literally (i.e., cognitively) locked up with only Western-centered or Caucasian approved thinking reinforced and indigenous-centered thinking punished. And, since people proceed as they perceive, U.S.-ADP think with Caucasian mindsets and behave in accord with Caucasian dictates and interests. This includes behaving in manners that reflect the American Africanism which it shall be recalled is limited to "nigger-to-negro" (Jennings, 2003), slave mentality functioning and precludes behaving in manners that reflect the African personality construct or psychological Africanity. Therefore, reality is approached through a psychological misorientation (Azibo, 1989, 2006b)-not assimilation, diversity, multi-culturalism, or acculturation-which is the best nomenclature that describes or captures the psycho-cultural reality forced into the victim group members' individual consciousness. (It is recommended that scholars displace terms like assimilation, acculturation, bi- and multi-cultural, and diversity with psychological misorientation when referring to Caucasianization of U.S.-ADP.)


Psychological misorientation should be taken seriously as ADP are not animals to be trained up in a Caucasian mold. However, since it has no precedence in any of the Western-based DSM nosologies, which have a history of serving social control interests (Abdullah, 2003; Kirk & Kutchins, 2008) or the International Classification of Diseases nosology, psychological misorientation behavior goes undiagnosed and untreated (Atwell & Azibo, 1992) and promoted. This is a spectacular denial of U.S.-ADP's reality and a monumental blunder by mental health professionals since the illnesses and dysfunctional orientations (Azibo, 1989, 2006b) that are everywhere apparent in U.S.-ADP's behavior (e.g., Abdullah, 1998; Azibo, in press; Azibo & Dixon, 1998; Cornwell, 1997; Denard, 1998; Dixon & Azibo, 1998; Imarogbe, 2003) are predisposed by psychological misorientation.


Apparently, psychologically misoriented African-U.S. people suffer a delusion consisting of "the hope of white rationality, Christian faith, and the social promises of American democracy" (Curry, 2007:14). When an alien Caucasian power conquers a nonwhite racial group and enforces the victim's own-group disparaging and alien-group extolling, the self-consciousness of the victim is oriented to reality in a way that defends, develops, and maintains the alien power. The delusion is a sign of the fait accompli of the mental domination and penetration.


The majority of African-U.S. leaders were/are not dumb. However, they continue to be thoroughly befooled and consistently stupefied by the Americans and other Caucasians. Stultified African-U.S. local and national leaders are legion (e.g., Council on Black Internal Affairs, 2002; Madhubuti, 1978:129-131). Indeed, at least one historical source for producing leaders of U.S.-ADP, the fraternal organizations, has metamorphosed to emphasize frivolity rather than responsibility for community (Jones, 2002). There is a crisis of leadership among U.S.-ADP (Wilson, 1998, chap. 31) that is undermining the historic vision for group power as articulated by Adam Clayton Powell (1966).


The deliberate decimation of indigenous/authentic psycho-cultural orientation in U.S.-ADP by Caucasian American civilization plays a major role in positioning U.S.-ADP in extremis. And, it qualifies as one of the all-time greatest infamies. Overall, today there is biological, psychological, social, economic, and educational decline of African-U.S. people who, despite successes, remain wretched overall as a consequence of the colonizing scheme, enslavement, ignorance, and religion (Walker, 1829/1965). If one accepts the realness as against the faddishness or fancifulness of Africanity in U.S.-ADP, then how else can the deAfricanization accomplished via psychological misorientation be construed other than as a perpetration that will go down in infamy? 


Mentacide is the psycho-cultural technique that is used in making African-U.S. leaders ineffectual and in retarding and inferiorizing their respective constituents. Defined as "the systematic, deliberate destruction of an individual's or group's collective mind with the aim of group termination" (Olomenji, 1996:73), mentacide entails both a process and an effect (Azibo, 1989:185-187). As a process, mentacide controls the behavior of the victim population through mind control carried out by the institutions which project images, values, beliefs, and opinions. Illusions such as "West is best" and "White is right" are created and implanted into U.S.-ADP's minds. Once the victim population internalizes the illusion, barring an intervention, it is too late for them as they will proceed toward, often participating in their own genocide.


Rhetorical ethic is a cultural weapon that shields mentacidal illusions. It is frequently used by Caucasian civilizations in conquering. Rhetorical ethic was explained as


culturally structured European hypocrisy .... It is a statement framed in terms of acceptable moral behavior towards others that is meant for rhetorical purposes only. Its purpose is to disarm intended victims .... It is meant for export only .... Its essence is its deceptive effect in the service of European power. (Ani, 1994:xxv-xxvi)


Rhetorical ethic employed in the mentacide process is Machiavellian at its purest. It is entirely consistent with Eurocentric reasoning as discussed by Baruti (2006). The reader can imagine or consult the narratives of enslaved Africans or newspaper reports of African-U.S. lynching victims who appealed to the conscience of Caucasians for justice and lenity in vain. There must be a reckoning, an avenging has been called for (Wright cited in Carruthers, 1985), for the life's discomfiture and humiliations of past and present generations of U.S.-ADP who have fallen prey to American rhetorical ethic.


As an effect, mentacide is two-pronged. First, it can discompose the overall personality and capacities of its victims. Regarding U.S.-ADP, it has been observed that "the effects of mentacide begin to overwhelm the victim, causing survival fatigue ... the victim begins to slowly die inside. As the victim loses the self, depression and fear set in, causing illness, death, etc.... a slow, tortuous death" (Olomenji, 1996:74). The relinquishment of the will to live was mentioned earlier. When the process of mentacide produces distortion and disorganization of the general self or personality (aspects of self-functioning that do not involve race or ethnicity) it is diagnosed as "peripheral mentacide" (Azibo, 1989:186). The second prong is mentacide's effect on the group identity aspect of the self or personality. "Alienating mentacide" (Azibo, 1989:186) is diagnosed when the mentacide process produces a psyche devoid of groupaffirming cognitions and associated group-affirming motivational orientations. Hence, the individual is alienated from his or her race or group. This type of alienation is a most serious psychological affliction (Azibo, 2006a) that is not to be conflated with anomie.


When conditions like mentacide go undiagnosed, treatment suffers (Atwell & Azibo, 1992). Treatment for this condition is a must (Azibo, 1990b) as mentacidal ADP have been described not unfairly as a kind of living dead. Even when quite alive in the active-inactive sense, the victim of mentacide is psycho-culturally necrosed having been daunted and stupefied by the trappings and flimflams of American civilization. Dysfunctional defensive behavior as theorized by Azibo (2007; Azibo, Jackson, & Slater, 2004) is also implicated in the necrosis. Baruti (2005:7) poignantly observed that mentacidal individuals typically "choose to ignore [denial] or dismiss [rationalization] the significance of the past on the present" and thereby commit "treason against one's ancestors" (italics added). Mentacide simply is intolerable.


However, the rub for the typical mental health worker is that alienation from indigenous psycho-cultural dispositions and forms as found in mentacidal U.S.-ADP represents good adjustment from the perspective of Western psychology. Truth be known, servicing Caucasian domination is deeply rooted in Western psychology (e.g., Abdullah, 2003; Azibo, 1993; Bulhan, 1993; Citizen's Commission, 1995; Guthrie, 1999; Kamin, 1993; Obadele, 2003; Thomas & Sillen, 1972) which has much farther to go to be in service of illumination and elevation for all humanity (e.g., Democracy Now, 2006).


It would seem inhumane, criminal, and reprehensible to deliberately orient a people in a manner that alienates them from their indigenous identity and group heritage and that disorganizes their personalities using all the knowledge and techniques that Western psychology has to offer for victimization purposes. Most assuredly, it would seem unethical. According to Dent (1995) "racial relations in the United States are precariously brittle; thus, it is critical that the professional psychological community change its laissez faire stance, assert its moral leadership ... and exercise its influence on public policy". It follows that the professional mental health and behavior organizations may be called on for reparations for their culpability in the psychological warfare conducted against U.S.-ADP that inflicting mentacide represents. Likewise, Missionary societies and their derivatives should be approached. The argument that mentacide is the psychological antecedent to genocide (Olomenji, 1996) appears valid as U.S.-ADP people are in extremis. This point is hammered because it is open to all that Caucasian Americans have specified the environment in which U.S.-ADP live. Wright (1981, 1985, chap. 2) perspicaciously pointed out that whosoever specifies the environment is ultimately responsible for all ensuing behavior that takes place there. Caucasian Americans are therefore responsible for causing many, maybe most, of the dysfunctional and debilitating psycho-cultural orientations and behaviors manifested in U.S.-ADP.


Of all the myriad Maafa-borne psycho-cultural muggings and mystifications that U.S.-ADP are besot with, perhaps there is none meaner than the corroding of spiritual-moral sensibility. The great historian Chancellor Williams explained that a higher civilization is not possible without the spiritualmoral foundation in the people. Characterizing this foundation is


an impulse toward morality ... an urge and desire for that which is excellent, good and right in oneself, first of all, and then in human relations .... [resulting in] progressive improvement and movement in the development of the best in oneself [ever widening] ... the gap between man and beast, and clearly distinguishes man from beast .... [the spiritual-moral] progressively develops one's concern beyond self to others .... It is the emotional sense of a divine agency and relationship in human affairs and the drive ... to identify and understand the nature of that agency. (Williams, 1993:86)


The conquerors' civilization has quashed this profound human impulse in U.S.- ADP with a legendary grand-scale debasing. It is this debasement that is the parent of any kernel of truth that might underlie any stereotype about U.S.-ADP. In addition, when a group is debased it is easier to dehumanize them. With dehumanization of the conquered come antisocial acts committed by the rank and file of the conquerors who in regard to their behavior usually express justificatory entitlement or indifference or project blame onto the victims. U.S.- ADP continue to suffer the terror and stress of rank and file antisocial acts of this sort as well as the threat of them (e.g., Morris, 1993; Williams-Myers, 1995).



The inferiorizing of ADP (Welsing, 1991:ii, iii, chaps. 20-21) resulting from enforced Caucasianizing, psycho-cultrally speaking, can begin to be reversed with restoration of indigenous African-centered psycho-cultural orientation. This restoration should not be feared as it would be a prelude to pluralism as it is boasted in the American character (Myers, 1981). Befittingly, American Caucasians through their national, state, and municipal governments, businesses, and culpable professional societies should bear the cost of this restoration through reparations down payments. Paying reparations for horrific destruction of entire peoples would seem expiatory rather than rending for most civilized human groups. It would seem ethical and a step in the direction of choosing civilization over barbarism (Diop, 1991). Perhaps it is timely that the West adjust its current agendas to include compensation programs for victims of national atrocities given the rearranging of world affairs currently taking place. It would seem acceptable as well that individual Caucasians make voluntary payments once mechanisms are set up. Paying reparations to U.S.-ADP can withstand the dismissive charge of reverse racism "in light of the obvious fact that 'reverse racism' would be a just solution to 'forward racism' which permitted Whites to gain almost irreversible advantages over Blacks" (Wilson, 1998:458).


The only progressive answer to the question over reparations down payments would seem to be Reparations Yes! (Lumumba, Obadele, & Taifa, 1989) across many domains including economic development, education, political prisoners, prisoners in general, and reparations payments to individuals (personal reparations). Survey results of grass roots ADP (N'COBRA, 1997) and African-U.S. college students (Azibo, 2008) show overall support for these down payments. The reparations issue today is a continuation of justice movements from the civil and human rights eras. Yes was the only progressive answer to the questions of that era as well. Yet, in the spirit of American regressive recalcitrance, today the main gain of that era, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is being dismantled and disenfranchisement of U.S.-ADP is in full effect (Walters, 2005). It would seem obvious that reparations nay saying with any rationale is simply not progressive. And, since people want their money in recompense for the Maafa (Azibo, 2008; Kamau, 2002) personal reparations are advocated with the understanding that monetary payments to individuals when remonstratively declined should be placed into one of the other domains or dispersed across them.


Psycho-cultural restoration seems important enough to be a distinct domain for reparations down payments alongside the aforementioned ones because as individuals negotiate their reality they rely on their minds. A group's psycho-cultural restoration presupposes possession of indigenous-centered cognition by its members. Thus, the wry retort to the United Negro College Fund slogan "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," always given in the public lectures of historian Yosef ben-Jochannan, "Yes, if you got one" is on point. Due to the psycho-cultural decimation discussed throughout, the Africancentered minds (cognitive definitional systems) are buried. Consequently, the freedom and literacy of U.S.-ADP are also buried if we employ fundamental definitions: to wit, freedom is the ability to conceptualize the world in ways contiguous with one's groups' history and literacy is the application of this freedom as one negotiates reality (Harris, 1992). Having buried cognitive definitional systems bodes poorly for ADP attaining a liberated identity freed from "nigger-to-negro" encapsulation because according to liberation psychologist Ignacio Martin-Baro "the recuperation of the people's historic memory [is] a fundamental factor in the development of a new social identity .... the historic character of reality [is] a necessary perspective for liberation" (Montero, 200:523). African-centered analyses concur (Azibo, 1999; Diop, 1991; Hilliard, 1988) and African-centered education is a likely key to historically based reality perception.


The point to be taken is that the psycho-cultural perpetrations against U.S.-ADP have rendered them un-free and not literate today in 2011. It has rendered them, to use Trask's (2004:9) term, "a terminated people"! U.S.-ADP are as a result characterized by "Negativity" which in Latin American liberation psychology "is understood as the diminishing beliefs and conceptions accepting suffering, weakness, and under-evaluations as pertaining to the nature of the individuals suffering them, instead of to social and cultural conditions imposed on them" (Montero, 2007:526-527). Huzza for those favoring White supremacy domination. For the peoplehood-less victims and penitent descendents of the victimizers, reparations can move matters in the direction of justice.


It seems inescapable that reparations will be required to restore freedom and literacy, to repair and overmaster psycho-cultural destruction and resulting negativity, to facilitate the reversion to indigenous-centered pathways which can be used as springboards to achieve rebirth of African-U.S. civilization (Azibo, 1999; Williams, 1993; Wilson, 1998) and to recover destroyed peoplehood. It is a fact that the United States government has already acknowledged its responsibility in repairing African-U.S. people through General William Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15 and Congress's approval of it via the March 3, 1865 original Freedman's Bureau bill (Shabazz, 1994). So, in costing reparations due U.S.-ADP the repairs for psycho-cultural damages must be included in the formula. N'COBRA has entertained the idea that psychocultural repairs be made a prerequisite for (not in lieu of) receipt of personal reparations (H. K. Khalifah, personal communication, June 22, 2007). This is my position with the restriction that only mental health workers who can demonstrate African-centered cultural competence provide the assessment (Azibo, 1990b). Table 1 lists the 40 psycho-cultural perpetrations discussed throughout, which probably are not exhaustive.



I entreat the reader to be supportive of reparations down payments and to participate in organized efforts to force the United States to pay. Doubt that efforts would be successful might be mitigated by the fact that a genetically Black President of the United States was doubted too. Plus, the reparations zeitgeist is here (e.g., Texeira, 2006) and nescience of psycho-cultural afflictions cannot be claimed. It would seem self-evident that the psycho-cultural afflictions are real and not maudlin psychobabble, that very few U.S.-ADP have undergone treatment or therapy to overcome the psychological ravages inflicted, that the perpetrators are the Americans, and America through public policy and law must develop and implement a reparations strategy that goes beyond mere apologies and checks to individuals.


Also, the reader would be in the good company of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who supported reparations. In contrast to Barack Obama who opposes reparations, Wise (2002:3) pointed out that in 1963's Why we can't wait Dr. King argued for "compensatory treatment" above and beyond basic equal rights because "if a man [sic] enters the starting line of a race three hundred years after another man, the first would have to perform some incredible feat in order to catch up". In 1967's Where do we go from here: Chaos or community? Dr. King argued "A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him [sic], to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis". In Dr. King's words, this would require "billions of dollars of direct aid to [B]lack America" and "All of America's wealth could not adequately compensate its Negroes for his [sic] centuries of exploitation and humiliation" (Wise, 2002:3).


Some disagree about payments for past national injustices. However, Van Dyke (2003:8) points out "the duty to address violations of fundamental human rights continues as long as the consequences of those violations continue to scar a community". And, the redoubtable, perspicacious Amos Wilson (1998) goes deeper:


While prior forms of White domination and exploitation of Blacks may have ceased and desisted, the economic injustices and inequalities they imposed continue unabated. The legal prohibition of further injustices does not necessarily mean that the injurious effects of past injustices no longer persist .... Justice requires not only the ceasing and desisting of injustice but also requires either punishment or reparation for injuries and damages inflicted for prior wrongdoing.... If restitution is not made and reparations not instituted to compensate for prior injustices, those injustices are in effect rewarded. And the benefits such rewards conferred on the perpetrators of injustice will continue to 'draw interest', to be reinvested, and to be passed on to their children, who will use their inherited advantages to continue to exploit the children of the victims of the injustices of their ancestors. Consequently, injustice and inequality will be maintained across the generations. (p. 459-460)


This account is overdue and simply must be settled in part with reparations.


*This work is dedicated to my wife, Muthy Fatama, for her varied assistance in this project and for being an intrepid reparations supporter and to my Aunt Alice (Biscoe) who brooked no racial insult from Caucasians.





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