Reflections On: "The Social/Racial Contract"
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace
Presented by Omni-University
Before what Dr. John Henrik Clarke identified as "cultural disruption"- most notably the "Maafa"1-the root of African culture was family - not the individual. In contrast, "The individualistic European "enlightenment" is a "dog- eat -dog" perception, which is based on Thomas Hobbes' notion that, "the state of nature is a state of war, It is a war of all against all"*.
We must not allow these ideas - which are imposed on us from "the cradle to the grave" to continue to infiltrate our consciousness. We must recognize that what now exists is a political rather than a "social" contract,i.e., "...a system that continues to pacify us into believing in a "dream" that is- not just deferred- but non- existent."** Thus, rather than address real concerns, we content ourselves with symbolic "victories" such as the 1954 Supreme Court Decision, Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka, which still leaves the 1857 Dredd Scott Decision intact.
"The contract that Europeans have constructed is designed to keep them in power over those that they consider their lessers."1 The question for us--not only as African descendants but, first and foremost as human beings, is whether or not we need to continue to struggle for inclusion --as equal partners-- in the existing "Social contract". The kind of "social contract" ( if it should even be called that) needed by people of African descent requires going back to the collective consciousness that views the family as ONE- not made up of many individual ones- but just One. 2
"You and I must make a pact We must bring salvation back Where there is Love, I'll be there..." "I'll Be There" The Jackson 5
This week's Blog, "The Social/Racial Contract" Parts 1 & 2, were written by Omni-U Faculty member, Dr. Josef Ben Levi. He is featured along with other faculty members in "A Gathering of Griots-Part 1" on "Omni-U Presents: The H3O/Art of Life" television show. We invite you to watch the episode below.
1. "Maafa" Is a Kiswahili term which is applied to the atrocities visited upon people of African descent during and after the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade/Middle Passage. *, ** Dr. Joseph Ben Levi, " The Social/ Racial Contract", Parts 1&2 2. ibid, Ben Levi 3. op. cit., Ben Levi Dr. John Henrik Clarke