Mainstream media over the years has had a nasty little habit of messing with our minds. Through vision media, mainly, there have been plenty of past and present examples of how black men in particular are depicted on film and on television programs. The mainstream Hollywood agenda has developed sophisticated psychological programming within their media, and their goal has been to condition black males to accept pain as a way of life.
Levar Burton is one of the most well-known and liked educators of our time, but he has been used, probably unknowingly, as a tool for white supremacy’s media programming. During his time as an engineer on Star Trek the Next Generation, Mr. Burton continuously acted in scenes that made the character that he was portraying endure painful and torturous events. One Star Trek enthusiast commented on the constant mistreatment with his YouTube article, “Why Geordi La Forge Actually Deserved Better”. (Shives, 2019).
In Mr. Shives’ video he points out that Mr. Burton’s character, Geordi La Forge was constantly put in situations where he was kidnapped and tortured during various episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation. Mr. Shives also points out that since the science fiction program placed all of the characters in a futuristic, technologically and medically advanced society then why does Levar Burton’s character have a vision defect? Shives tries to explain that the writers of the Star Trek the Next Generation show probably didn’t like writing for Mr. Burton’s character, but it was clear to me that the media powers that be we’re indoctrinating and programming viewers to overlook a twisted ideology. The writers of the show pretty much wanted the people of today to be programmed to think that even in the future with all societies advancements that black men would still have to endure painful realities.
Even in Mr. Burton’s most well-known role as Kunta Kinte in the historic mini-series Roots Mr. Burton portrayed the role of a slave. The objective of the mini-series was to educate the American public about the atrocities of the slavery era. This was one of Mr. Burton’s first acting roles and it set up his career as an actor that routinely played characters that were being mistreated, and even beaten. In the Roots mini-series Mr. Burton was forced to comply with the slave master’s demand that he accept his new slave name Toby. “Whats your Name “Kunta Kinte” (May, 2014), was Mr. Burton’s verbal reaction after taking his first set of whippings on the Roots mini-series. After nearly being whipped to death Levar Burton’s character Kunta capitulated with the demands to accept his new name. With other cast members looking on throughout the scene the injustice and pain of the events that the actors witnessed presented the audience with the horrific experience of slavery. During the scene the actors and actresses standing by and watching on looked as if they had visions of the future. They seemed to have a look that suggested they knew what was to come and be considered as normal circumstances for the black man.
Mr. Burton isn’t the only actor that has been used in Hollywood’s conditioning of Black America through film. Mr. Melvin Van Peebles, actor, director, and producer brings up many facts and points about how Hollywood has been conditioning America to accept black men that are suffering in reality and to ignore the portrayal of abuse on film. “The biggest obstacle to the Black revolution in America is our conditioned susceptibility to the white man’s program. In short, the fact is that the white man has colonized our minds. We’ve been violated, confused and drained by this colonization and from this brutal, calculated genocide, the most effective and vicious racism has grown, and it is with this starting point in mind and the intention to reverse the process that I went into cinema in the first f***ing place.” (Reelblack, 2019) Mr. Van Peebles made this statement in his 1998 documentary Classified X.
Let’s be more conscious of the events that we embrace and engrain into our everyday lives. The psychology behind what Hollywood shows us also allows the pacification process to take hold off camera making real life very hostile toward black men. “Police Shoot Unarmed Black Man with Hands Up [CAUGHT ON TAPE]” (ABC News, 2016) Fear all around is the the game that white supremacy always engages us with. Fear is no longer an adversary to our black men, because we have already overcome every fear tactic and forced reality that is placed upon us. We know the solution before the problem.
It has become clear that the appeasers of white supremacy no matter what race they are will always minimize what are supposed to seem as random acts of injustice. The evidence is all around us every day, but when fear is combated with singular forces of concentrated energy. We understand how to ensure our own victories. And fear no longer dominates the conversation in the Black Man’s quest toward empowering his economies.
- Shives, S. (2019, June 19). Why Geordi La Forge Actually Deserved Better. Retrieved from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1v4dHsvPOzw&t=454s
- May, J. (2014, April 28). Whats your Name “Kunta Kinte”. Retrieved from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FMPFQo5V-lA
- Reelblack. (2019, October 14). Classified X. Retrieved from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HI7T68PUT
- ABC News. (2016, July 21). Police Shoot Unarmed Black Man With Hands Up [CAUGHT ON TAPE]. Retrieved from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eqBAOX6Qegk