THE TRAP: The Horseshoe Casino & the Continuation of Black Genocide By: Reginald K. Mathes, MPA

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The white supremacy attack upon the Black male causes a collapse of Black family life and a distortion in the role of the Black female.  This, in turn, causes a distortion and collapse of the support system for Black infants, children and youth, thereby beginning the process of inferiorization” ~ Welsing   

Last week, I decided to travel to Baltimore City’s newest 24 hour entertainment extravaganza.  The Horseshoe Casino.  I decided to experience the Horseshoe Casino during a beautiful sunset in the early morning around 3:00 AM.  As I navigated to one of the tallest parking decks that provides the most extravagant view of Baltimore City, I was confronted with the city of the misunderstood.  Or should I refer to the individuals that reside in this city as the “City of Survivors”?  Or if I labeled my people, as the City of the Lost, would I be stoned and castrated? Just my random thoughts.

The African-Americans who are suffering from institutional racism, residential segregation, oppression and essentially white supremacy.  Which I will soon start referring to as the PHANTOM.  See, I’m suffering from the same pain; therefore, I feel like I can express myself in any shape, form or fashion.  Do you get it? Furthermore, as my car accelerated up the tallest free parking deck in the city, I had a decision to make.  “Do I get out of my car”?  Do I go home and sit my ass down, as my mother has always suggested? Or do I go inside and let the bright lights, women, chandeliers and money trick me into thinking I made it?  Of course, I decided to enter a casino that was established and built in walking distance of a population that is in severe need.  Basically, an underserved community of African-Americans.

I ask myself, how do they establish a casino in a city that is in need of mentoring programs, and never-ending MLK speeches?  Never ending Farrakhan and Malcom X speeches.   A city that is in severe need of hope.  A city of mothers who are in significant need of Dr. Umar Johnson’s speeches.  Why would they put a casino that serves 24 hour alcohol in the middle of an undeserved community?  I guess it correlates with Dr. Francis Cress Welsing’s (1991) theories regarding the white collective.  Basically, annihilation of the Black race.  I refer to it as the extermination of the Black collective.  I predict that the establishment of this entertainment arena will assist with the perpetuation Black genocide, increased HIV rates, Black on Black crime and ultimately Black misery.  There is a chapter titled “Why White Americans are Healthier” in Knowles & Prewitt’s book titled Institutional Racism in America (1969).

Knowles & Prewitt (1969) contend that in order to answer this question we must distinguish between improving health, on the one hand, and decreasing disparity between Black and White health on the other.  I argue that establishing a casino in walking distance of the murder of Freddie Gray and underserved communities will continue to prolong health disparities in Baltimore City’s African-American underserved communities.  However, I have to admit that I anticipated gambling about twenty dollars on the slot machines, however; after entering the HorseShoe Casino, I started thinking with my higher learning.  I started remembering how terrified I was when my car accelerating up one of the tallest parking decks in the City of Baltimore as the sun was rising.

Ironically, I’ve been complaining about paying for parking for 4 years.  Guess what? Parking at this casino is free.  I can hear the white collective saying “make the parking free and serve the alcohol 24 hours”.  See, that’s THE TRAP” and we all are falling for it including myself.  I didn’t understand how deadly of a TRAP the Horseshoe Casino was until the next day.  As I traveled to a fine dining restaurant that specializes in Maryland’s signature crabs, a friend of mine said “it’s a terrible thing what they did there with that casino”.  Then it hit me.  Then it actually terrified me.  At that moment, I instantly understood why I was terrified to get out of my vehicle and engage myself into the bright lights that Kanye West sings about in one of his award winning songs.

It was at that moment, when I understood why Welsing (1991) states “as Black people, we also can adopt the definition that under the conditions of White supremacy, Black manhood does not mean macho or money, but instead it means warrior or soldier against White supremacy, embracing everything that the words warrior or solider imply” (p.192).  It was at that moment that I remembered walking through the most beautiful casino on earth, and noticing the anger, frustration and misery that resided on young Black men’s faces.  The images on these faces depicted pain, anger and violence which essentially led to my prediction of another blood bath in Baltimore City.  This was an experience that has led to a new goal, and vision of establishing a nonprofit to assist Baltimore City with saving young African-American men and boys lives.

The Facebook Front & The Crab in the Barrel Mentality: By Reginald K. Mathes, MPA

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Covetousness is defined as a strong desire to have that which belongs to another. It is considered to be a very grievous offense in scripture. The tenth commandment forbids coveting anything that belongs to a neighbor, including his house, his wife, his servants, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to him.  In addition, covetousness is defined as feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else.  Before moving to Baltimore, MD in 2011, I might have logged into Facebook maybe once a month.  However, out of loneliness, homesickness and covetousness, I fell victim to admiring my so-called friend’s lifestyles and even individuals that I’ve never met.

So, I asked myself “what are you doing?” However, after becoming addicted to Facebook, I realized I’m a covetor as well and it’s like crack cocaine or heroin.  It’s just as addictive as Newport cigarettes and potent marijuana.  In my opinion, covetousness goes hand and hand with the “Crab in the Barrel Mentality”.  From my understanding, the Crab in the Barrel Mentality, is sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, a phrase that describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs.

Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.  Maybe this is part of the reason there was 40 murders in the month of May in Baltimore, MD.  Maybe this is the reason there were 9 shootings this weekend in Baltimore, Maryland.  Or better yet, maybe this is the reason I heard “come back home” several times after leaving home to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.  Literally, attempting to pull me back south from the north to renter their bucket of crabs and a life covetousness.

Or better yet, maybe this is the reason my PhD candidate colleagues are so competitive instead of being collaborative.  Maybe this is the reason my so-called hometown friends said “you could have done that here”, speaking of my newly appointed position of “Substitute Teacher” within one of the most dangerous school systems in America.  As if they didn’t know, I escaped their bucket of crabs to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.

Or is it the curse of the Willie Lynch Syndrome? Maybe the rat race and competitiveness among African-Americans in the African-American community is due to the teachings of a British Slave owner named Willie Lynch.  We must understand, Willie planned on controlling slaves for 300 years, however; I contend that his teachings may still be controlling the African-American mind today.  He used fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.  This is extremely interesting, I’ve heard recently that when a person is jealous or envious they are fearful.  Therefore, I assert that the “crabs in the bucket” I escaped in 2011 may have been fearful of my escape.  But why?

In addition, Willie used intelligence, status on plantations, attitudes of owners, location of where the slaves lived and the texture of a slave’s hair to control the minds of slaves.  However, the actual Willie Lynch letter indicates that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.  Wow, this is so deep! He understood that envy was stronger than admiration.  Doesn’t that remind us of FACEBOOK?  Doesn’t admiration remind us of covetousness?

Willie was incredibly intelligent because originally in the letter he indicates that these teachings will refuel and self-generate slaves for 300 years.  However, later in his speech/letter he reveals that these teachings could refuel and self-generate slave mentalities for thousands of years.  Just scroll down your Facebook page, which I consider our new way of conceptualizing American society and the world.  I argue that Facebook perpetuates COVEOUSNESS, ENVY, ADMIRATION of thy neighbor’s possessions and lifestyles.  Of course, I can consider myself a victim as well.

In fact, the consistent light skin vs dark skin debate which is constantly discussed via FACEBOK was used as a tactic to control slaves.  I just heard a one hour debate two nights ago regarding this topic.  Therefore, I guess it’s confirmed that we are still cursed by the Willie Lynch Syndrome.  Also, he used female vs male and male vs female tactics to keep slaves under control.  Maybe this is part of the reason some Black men hate Black women.  Maybe this is the reason 80% of Black men prefer dating a lighter skinned women verses dating a darker skinned woman.  Is the reason some Black women hate Black men?

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If the Willie Lynch letter was written before the “crab in the barrel mentality” was conceptualized, then we can assume that the crab in the barrel mentality trickles down from the teachings of Willie Lynch.  See, now I understand why one of the crabs in my native land stated “your student loan debt will be passed down to your children” I DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN.  Now I understand why my so-called best friend was so adamant about me seeing his family’s socio-economic status improve.  Hell, I’m starting to think it’s a sickness.  Hell, I’m starting to think it’s a disease.  Now I understand why the bucket of crabs I escaped are in a competitive HOME OWNERSHIP rat race. PATHETIC.  At first, I assumed it was because they grew up in a poverty stricken area and public housing.  However, now I can forgive and understand.  It’s not their faults.  It’s just what trickles down from White Supremacy, and I assume the teachings of Willie Lynch. 

Now I understand why I was threatened of being stabbed right before migrating north to pursue a Doctorate of philosophy in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University.  Now, I understand why I felt like a runaway slave following the hidden curriculum of the Underground Railroad when my vehicle navigated across the northern Virginia state line in 2011.  NOW I UNDERSTAND!