Definitions Better Than Webster’s: Justice

“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. The essence of justice is the redistribution of gains earned through the perpetration of injustice. 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 as will their deleterious social, economic and political outcomes.” – From, “Blueprint For Black Power” By: Amos Wilson

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Definitions Better Than Webster’s: Drapetomania

According to Wikipedia, “Drapetomania was a supposed mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused black slaves to flee captivity. Today, drapetomania is considered an example of pseudoscience, and part of the edifice of scientific racism. The term derives from the Greek δραπετης (drapetes, ‘a runaway [slave]’) + μανια (mania, ‘madness, frenzy’).

Cartwright described the disorder- which, he said, was ‘unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers’- in a paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana that was widely reprinted. He stated that the malady was a consequence of masters who ‘made themselves too familiar with [slaves], treating them as equals.’

In Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race, Cartwright writes that the Bible calls for the slave to be submissive to his master, and by doing so, the slave will have no desire to run away. In addition to identifying drapetomania, Cartwright prescribed a remedy to cure the malady. His feeling was that with ‘proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away can be almost entirely prevented.’ In the case of slaves ‘sulky and dissatisfied without cause’- a warning sign of imminent flight- Cartwright prescribed ‘whipping the devil out of them’ as a ‘preventative measure.'”

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Definitions Better Than Webster’s: A False Problem

“A ‘false’ problem is one that, on the surface, appears to be valid, but upon closer scrutiny is only a symptom of the true problem…When the underlying dynamic is exposed, analyzed and understood, it is possible to remedy the symptom (false problem). Only then can short-term and long-term tactics be developed. When the underlying cause is discovered, addressed and neutralized, the false problem begins to wither away.” -From, “The Isis Papers” By: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

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Prejudice vs Racism

“All people have prejudices; this may be considered to be one of humankind’s great failings. However, for a group to be legitimately classified as racist, it must possess the power to impose its prejudices on members of other ethnic groups. Power transforms a ‘pre-judged belief’ into an ideology that is popularized, legitimized, and finally, incorporated into the legislative, judicial, religious, and social system designed to control the powerless.” -From, “Survival Strategies For Africans In America” By: Anthony Browder

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Definitions Better Than Webster’s: Psychological Warfare & Political Warfare

“The following definition is provided by a former Director of Psychological Operations in the Office of the Secretary of Defense:

‘Psychological operations may be defined broadly as the planned use of communications to influence human attitudes and behavior…conducted to create in target groups behavior, emotions, and attitudes that support the attainment of national objectives.’

Psychological operations are merely one part of a larger strategy, known as ‘political warfare.’ This was defined as follows by the head of the U.S. National Defense University:

‘Warfare is often defined as the employment of military means to advance political ends…Another, more subtle, means- political warfare- uses images, ideas, speeches, slogans, propaganda, economic pressures, even advertising techniques to influence the political will of an adversary…’

Still broader is the description of political warfare used by the former National Security Council communications specialist which appears in a text published by the National Defense University Press:

‘Political warfare is a general category of activities encompassing political action, coercive diplomacy, and covert political warfare…Political action means a range of activities including certain kinds of multilateral diplomacy, support for foreign political parties or forces, and support for or work with international associations of various kinds. Covert political warfare [includes] operations against enemy alliances, influence operations, and black [clandestine] propaganda…[A] psychological-political component is inherent in every use of the diplomatic, economic, and military instruments of national power…A nation’s economic and military strength of necessity creates political weight that can be exploited in a variety of ways to advance the national interest.’

As the military experts note, economic pressures, diplomacy, and the military threat are all part of a larger strategy of control over hostile, neutral, sometimes even friendly nations around the world.” -From, “The Entertainment As Propaganda Report By: The Information Project for Africa [via, “Warrior Song” By: Djehuti Wa Kamau

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Definitions Better Than Webster’s: Courage

“Courage is not, of course, the absence of fear in the face of danger. The absence of fear under such circumstances would be symptomatic of a mental disorder of one variety or another.

Courage, rather, has to do with how one manages fear in the face of danger. Courage, further, is that sensitive, raw human condition of character that implies, among other things, a capacity for empathy.” -From, “Quitting America” By: Randall Robinson

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Definitions Better Than Webster’s: History

“History is what creates a shared identity in a people. It is based on that shared identity that they act collectively. To take away a people’s history, to degrade their history is to degrade their sense of shared identity, is to remove the basis upon which they must behave collectively and reach their goals collectively. That’s why the history is rewritten and why people get alarmed about it…

History is about locating one’s self in time and space. History is a grid, a set of coordinates that permit the individual to locate himself in reference to other points in the world. History is a mathematical concept, ladies and gentlemen, it is a geometrical concept; it locates and positions one relative to other things.” -“The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness” By: Amos N. Wilson

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Definitions Better Than Webster’s: POWER

“Power is defined, in physics, as any form of energy or force available for work or applied to produce motion or pressure. Used in terms of social dynamics, the term power has essentially the same meaning, namely, the force required to bring about- or to prevent- social, political, or economic changes. It is relevant to an understanding of the problems of disadvantaged minority groups and their confinement within ghettos that one of the meanings of the term power emphasizes the possession of control or command or authority over others and directly relates to the problem of status. The form of power that is most significant in the understanding of social change is that combination of energies required to determine and to translate goals into a desired social reality.

The effective, constructive use of power is indicated not merely by expressing a desire for change, but by the demonstration of the ability to achieve it. There is an important and often overlooked distinction between pseudopower, which is restricted to a verbal or posturing level of reality- by word or by acting ‘as if’- and actual power, demonstrated in social action and social change, the significant social power. Social action may be used as a form of diversion of power under the conditions where the significant political and economic forces permit certain action as a mere escape valve and as a displacement of energy. It is possible for the forces aligned for the perpetuation of the status quo to permit the power of those who desire social change to be dissipated into mere appearances of social action- catharsis- without observable and meaningful progress. This can be a most effective technique of control, exploiting as it does the democratic ritual of freedom of protest. In the final analysis, however, the key criterion- the significant basis of actual power- must be a demonstrated change in a desired direction.” -From, “Dark Ghetto: Dilemmas of Social Power” By: Kenneth B. Clark

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