Gaslighting in the Black Community: A Self-Inflicted Cycle of Harm


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In recent years, the term “gaslighting” has gained significant traction in public discourse, particularly regarding issues impacting marginalized communities. Gaslighting, a form of psychological manipulation, involves denying or distorting reality to undermine an individual’s perceptions and beliefs, often causing them to question their sanity. While the concept is usually applied to interpersonal relationships, it is equally relevant when examining systemic oppression and the dynamics within marginalized groups.

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For the Black community, the question arises: Are we being gaslit by others, or are we inadvertently gaslighting ourselves?

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One cannot deny the existence of anti-Blackness and the harmful rhetoric perpetuated by some individuals in positions of influence. The recent firing of a prominent media figure for espousing racist viewpoints highlights the insidious nature of this issue. However, while these external voices contribute to the problem, there is also an internal struggle within the Black community that must be addressed.

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Black People Y’’all playing yourselves

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Consider, for instance, the public outcry against Mark Lamont Hill, who was fired from CNN for his controversial remarks about Palestine. Hill’s situation exemplifies how the Black community can inadvertently engage in self-sabotage by turning against its own members without fully considering the nuances of the situation. This pattern of behavior raises questions about whether Black people are, in fact, playing themselves and allowing divisive rhetoric to dictate their reactions.

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Brenda shared,

“Back people always give out freely a rescue plan an yor slaves that escaped the black community to go be with other people groups are always coming back to us to bandage them up and take them back. We’re playing ourselves says,” Brenda.

Lamont shared,.

,”Black people are more often than not giving other groups and those blacks who left the black community to get a check from the other side of the side we take them back but rather we should leave them there. black people a rescue plan. Moreover, when individuals who have faced backlash for their actions or statements later seek financial support from the very community they have harmed, it further perpetuates a cycle of self-inflicted gaslighting. The ensuing confusion and mistrust within the Black community can be damaging, hindering progress and weakening collective efforts to combat systemic racism.”

To break free from this cycle, it is crucial for the Black community to reflect on its responses to divisive issues and work towards fostering open dialogue and understanding. Only by recognizing our own role in perpetuating harmful narratives can we begin to challenge the external forces seeking to undermine our progress and unity.

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