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The Link Between Stockholm Syndrome and Black Leadership: A Tribute to the Honorable Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey

The Stockholm Syndrome has been defined by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 5th Edition as “A psychological syndrome in which a person being held captive begins to identify with and grow sympathetic to his or her captor, while simultaneously becoming unsympathetic towards the police or other authorities that try to come to their rescue.”

Our first national hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Garvey, sacrificed himself trying to uplift and improve the conditions for the Black race, those at home and those abroad, but I may have to concede that the vast majority of the Black race has accepted the fact that the race is indeed inferior and have given up the fight for liberation.

It appears that this attitude comes from the attitude of the Black leaders both in Africa and the Diaspora for the most part; Black leadership seems to be caught up in the throes of a mental condition that has been called the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’.

The term ‘leadership’ refers mainly to those in politics, the public and private sectors, and those in academia. It seems fair to say that if most African and Diasporic leaders are suffering from this psychological syndrome, then it could imply that their followers are also not well mentally.

Copious research informs that the Jews and the Arabs have worked against the Black race for hundreds of years and are responsible for the Black race being in its deep, dark and untenable position even up to this, the 21st century. However, truth is truth regardless of where it may originate.

In an excerpt from an interview with a Jewish leader that was shared by Osaze Osemwegie on social media, an interviewer asked a Jewish leader why he thought Blacks lagged so far behind the other races economically.  The Jewish leader replied that the only aspect of life Black people understand is how to consume — or simply stated how to ‘shop till you drop’ and that almost none of the shops are owned by Black people.

The Jewish leader went on to say that Black people don’t understand the importance of building wealth.  These two statements are lies based on the achievements of this great Black man, Marcus Mosiah Garvey. His achievements are too numerous to list, but information is available for those who seek it.

So what makes it appear that current Black leadership in Africa and the Diaspora is caught up in this mental condition? One of the sources cited is a book written by Joseph Carver that has a most interesting title ‘Love and the Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser.’

Although said to be rare, basically it is when people are placed in a situation where all their values, beliefs and morals change in some way. So small acts of kindness that the captors or oppressors show to their victims, hostages, slaves or others held in bondage, prompts a “primitive gratitude for the gift” and as a result of this gratitude, the hostage, slave or captive experiences a powerful, primitive positive feeling towards their captor, owner, oppressor and even employer. These persons feel “privileged” to be chosen to receive the acts of kindness and enter into a state of denial and refuse to accept that this is the person who caused them to be in the state of capture or bondage in the first place.

Natacha Kampusch, who was kidnapped at age 10 and held in captivity for 10 years, said in a 2010 interview with The Guardian newspaper, that she rejects the label ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, explaining that it doesn’t take into account the rational choices people make in particular situations. Her words were, “I find it very natural that you would adapt yourself to identify with your kidnapper, especially if you spend a great deal of time with that person. It’s about empathy and communication.” She went on to say that “Looking for normality within the framework of a crime is not a syndrome.  It’s a survival strategy.”

In projecting her statements on to the Black race it seems that she has a very big point, in that the majority of the Black race, during the time of chattel-slavery to our present and still awful condition for millions, was never in close contact with their captors or oppressors and so never developed any love or sympathy for their oppressors.  However, the few Blacks ‘chosen’ to be among them must have felt as Kampusch did, and these became known as the ‘house-slaves’ — currently called ‘tokens’.

This probably can explain why our current Black tokens in leadership positions in politics, public, the private sector, academia — and we can add entertainers and sports personalities — are so scared to identify with anyone such as Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, or organizations like the Pan African Movement; the African Union; Marcus Garvey’s organization, the UNIA; and the New Black Panther Movement, among other groups. And they also seem to be doubly scared of the Nation of Islam.

According to the revelations contained in the so-called Stockholm Syndrome, the chosen Black leaders and tokens appear to be experiencing the ‘primitive gratitude for the gift’ of the good life and so will be eternally grateful for their positions, jobs, opportunities to excel academically and economically and therefore do not want anyone or anything to upset their “apple cart.” They are now in a class above all other Blacks and will defend this status, even if it means they have to betray their race and become spies and secret agents for their captors and benefactors.

In the book ‘The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey’, compiled by his second wife, Amy Jacques Garvey, our national hero said that the traitors of the other races are generally confined to the mediocre or irresponsible individual.  Unfortunately, the traitors among the Black race are generally found among the Black men highest placed in education and society and who call themselves ‘leaders.’ He went on to teach the entire race by saying that not until we settle down as 400 million people and let the men who have placed themselves in the lead, realize that we are disgusted and dissatisfied and that we shall have a leadership of our own and stick by it, and when we get that leadership, we will be able to lift ourselves from this mire of degradation to the heights of prosperity, human liberty and human appreciation.


Valerie Dixon is the Lady President of the founding Chapter of the UNIA-ACL, Kingston/Manchester, Jamaica. She can be reached at: [email protected]

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