Legend’s VIEW

  America pushes slave mentality

Gabriela Juarez / Mesa Legend
Gabriela Juarez / Mesa Legend

We think that the elites, super rich, or whatever you shall call them, may have successfully been able to glamorize a slave-prison culture here in the West. Physical bondage is of course no longer a part of American society (not including our very over populated prisons) but as legendary singer Nina Simone put it, “Slavery has never been abolished from America’s way of thinking.” Whenever entertainers and athletes are referred to as slaves, it’s usually followed by huge backlash from people who’ll dismiss it as absurd and respond with a “how can you consider someone who makes all that money a slave?” Those who ask this should be reminded of how it’s one of the main reasons we celebrate the celebrity and try so hard to imitate them.  It is they who are forever reminding us that in order to be as great and admirable as they have become- it takes “hard” work.

Now, work is a very important necessity in life and a key function to growth and true happiness.
But somewhere down the line our culture’s become possessed with the idea that in order to be successful and happy, one must work his or her self “hard”; in slave like proportions. Mostly all of your favorite rappers preach about the 24/7 hustle and how you shouldn’t rest until death. Houston rapper Mike Jones who used to campaign “90 percent grind, 10 percent sleep.” Actress Judy Garland could hardly ever find time to rest after walking that yellow brick road as Dorothy in the American classic “Wizard of Oz.”Her life, as told through several biographic documentaries, show a woman driven near insane by money hungry movie companies who demanded her voice and dance on stage after stage basically all her life.

Our sports heroes abuse their bodies daily too. In 10-30 year careers in order to keep us entertained and collect big checks. Outrage met New York Times columnist William Rhodes when his book $40 million dollar slave used the slave plantation as a metaphor for college and professional athlete’s-particular black ones. Last season, as a response to player concerns, the NBA agreed to reduce the number of back to back, 4 game in 5 night schedules. Which might explain the league’s high imjury rates. Our other model for this busy madness is social media. But on there it’s much easier because one only has to ‘look’ like they’re super busy.“The supreme business,” said one spiritual leader, “is to see that the soul is healthy and controlled by [self-consciousness} and that it makes the best uses of the body to advance its high purposes and to fulfill its glorious possibilities.” I would add to that “supreme business” our relationships.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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