Embracing America’s Promise is the Key to Escaping Mental Prison

It didn’t take much for hip hop star Kanye West to get the political left up in arms.

Celebrities simply aren’t supposed to praise conservative politicians or the ideas they espouse. Especially if that celebrity is black. It’s even more maddening when that celebrity is the zeitgeist and cannot be silenced.

Some have tried. Critics have suggested that the always erratic and eccentric West may now actually be mentally ill. Boycotts of his music are underway. What they are avoiding, however, is a real discussion about any deeper context that can be found in West’s comments.

That hasn’t been lost on Project 21 members such as Derrick Hollie and Co-Chairman Stacy Washington, who have both done high-profile interviews related to what was said and how people reacted.

Adding to the discussion is Project 21 member Richard Dimery, the grandson of a South Carolina sharecropper. Picking up on West’s comments in which he likened modern mental slavery to a prison, Richard warns that the current fixation on race and differences could have devastating consequences down the line for America:

When Kanye West said that black Americans who claim that the race has suffered under 400 years of slavery “sounds like a choice,” please understand that it’s all about people thinking rationally and thinking for themselves. That’s how you break the chains these days.

Before it was outlawed by the 13th Amendment over 150 years ago, physical slavery was enforced by whips and chains and dogs and laws. Today, there’s mental slavery – a devotion to the idea that we are permanent victims. In subscribing to that notion, we believe our freedom is something beyond our control. What we focus on – real or imaged – we draw to ourselves.

We are all now equal inheritors of the promise that is America. But it is available to us only if we step up and responsibly claim it. Those who wish to be our oppressors, and whom too many cower from, are now an insignificant minority who lack any law to justify their actions and agenda. Their power over us is mind control – which we allow to control us through their cunning and deceitful words alone. Their labels are “black” and “white,” which we willingly accept.

The current back-and-forth on issues of race is ineffective. If we don’t change the way we talk about race to get away from the notion that we are systematically oppressed, it will probably end in America being destroyed.

America will be stronger and more beautiful if we are Americans first and not disparate tribes of people.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.