PART 2: POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION

By Carl Patton

Some scholars place the agents of socialization in two categories. The home is the initial institution that a person is introduced to. Thus, the home plays a major role in shaping one's world outlook from birth. Peer group pressure and contact with friends also have an effect on one's behavior and attitude. Families that teach their children that the oppressive conditions of Blacks are related to Black inability to compete adequately with Caucasians will definitely form inferiority complexes in the Black child. These messages of inferiority are then passed on to friends and one's particular peer group.

It is also of note that the drive to integrate also helped instill certain inferiority complexes. The move to fair and equal access in itself is positive. However the paradigm established by the Black intellectual community that assisted Thurgood Marshall in Brown V. Board of Education did a disservice to the Black community. The legalization of Black inferiority and Black inferiority as a means to secure a court decision confused the struggle for Human and Civil Rights.

The second category for the agents of socialization is found in the schools. Here we find the educational process toward socialization. Social clubs, places of work, mass media (T.V. radio, newspapers, etc.); all fall under this secondary category of agents of socialization. The mass media forms public opinion by constantly projecting the news in the interest of those that seek to exploit the mass population. Thus, society is conditioned to accept without question slanted and biased interpretations of the news.

Social clubs and places of work are often an extension of responses to certain stimuli from one's educational experience. Black people join Greek organizations because they have been conditioned in school to accept this as a positive move toward middle-class aspirations. Blacks pursue vocations in banking because their educational experience has put forth this area of work as a way to the mainstream of American life.

The role of the school in the socialization process is critical. In many instances the school has a negative effect on the Black educational experience. Institutions of higher learning, along with other socialization agents are responsible for insuring that a pattern of behavior dictated by the existing regime are accepted and legitimate. Hence there should be new responsibilities for Black colleges to the Black community.

From our experiences and analysis Black schools as well as Black leadership have serious flaws. Sadly Black schools sponsor Censorship and the assault on academic freedom is on-going to defeat independent thinking. Thus you have to accept a particular mind set (intellectual Uncle Tom) to obtain doctoral degrees in the social sciences from Black schools and their mainstream counterparts. However, it is difficult for a serious student interested in Truth to play an Uncle Tom game. Therefore those that cannot grasp the game (or don't find out until later in the game) are harassed, intimidated as the agents of Mis-Education commit acts of academic homicide.

Meanwhile, the Black political self grows out of the agents of political socialization. In some homes we find that parents have come to believe in the myths of inferiority as to Black Americans. For example parents that have been trained and brainwashed in some of our so-called best schools have an added advantage toward bourgeois thinking and elitistism. A child being taught this in the home often finds these myths reinforced in the schools. The negative self image that results from the socialization process of home and school stifles any positive political practice.

This negative self image is very prevalent in the fictional writings of people like Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison. All of these writers have noted the negative effect of the negative Black self image.

The Black awareness movement of the 60's also attempted to dis-spell the myths of Black negativism. The "Nigger ain't shit" syndrome etc. is the success of the socialization process and its tragic results that have maintained Blacks in a subordinate position in the American economy and political system. Blacks taking on the negative self- image complex have often as not also taken on the attitude of trying to be Black and White.

The ultimate result of White society to maintain Blacks in an exploitative position is that some Blacks strive to copy the White man as much as possible and instead of resistance to oppression we find that these Blacks help oppress themselves. For example Black people need to develop their own theories of Liberation. Even though there is much to be noted from the Socialists' analysis of world economy, Marx has not developed a Utopian philosophy. Thus, the hatred for Capitalism should not cloud one's vision to play the spite game. Capitalism whether Black or White is not all bad. Capitalism only becomes negative when it exploits other people.

Meanwhile the Marxists argue that Capitalism by its very nature exploits the workers. But what of the contradictions of Marxism? Marxism is negative also as it exploits other people with its limited and narrow view of the world. However, the biggest flaw in Marxian jargon is the denial of the Creator.

It is unattainable for Blacks to become White. It is also impossible for Blacks to be Marxists. Marx spoke for the European not the Black masses and the people of the Third World. If Blacks want to be Socialists they need to develop their own Socialist theories and adapt them to the Black experience. Therefore, Blacks that attempt to be White are on a path of perpetual self hatred and frustration. American society has by way of symbols and the agents of political socialization directed the political practice of Blacks down a reactionary road with no regard to the realities of the Black political experience. The most tragic result is that many Black intellectuals and leaders have assisted in their own oppression and the oppression of their people.

However, there is another institution in the Black community. The church is a very important element in the analysis of political socialization. Here the belief in God has been tainted by the belief in Money. Thus, the church has often been a place of socializing instead of Truth and God. The church is more critical than any other institution in our society. But with the failure of the people to follow God the church is in a crisis. Thus, humankind is in a crisis.

 

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