Slave Mentality vs. Entitlement Mentality: The Downfall of the Black American Community


Kuuleme T. Stephens

Slave Mentality vs. Entitlement Mentality

The Downfall of the Black American Community

I often hear people make the claim that Blacks (African Americans) were better off when they were slaves. I myself have been known to say such things when people piss me off and respond out of ignorance to a posting or article. My reason for making such an argument is if Black Americans are not going to stop living in the past and blaming other for their problems, we will never move forward as a people. To maintain a belief that you are owed something and entitled to things when you are doing nothing to help yourself is absurd. To stay ignorant as a lifestyle choice and have others (the government) take care of you and tell you what to do is exactly what the slaves did, and some continued to do even after they were freed. Now, none of us today are slaves. Chattel slavery was begun in America by the first Europeans. Importation of new slaves was outlawed in 1808, and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1865 declared the slaves in the Confederacy were free (a bit of a stretch because at the time he was not president of the states in which he outlawed slavery). However, person such as my Great Grandmother whose father and grandfather were slaves have a Slavery Mentality because they were raised by slaves and their opinions and beliefs were passed down as such. Today our Black American community suffers from a different “syndrome” and that is called the Entitlement Mentality, which to me has many attributes of the Slavery Mentality, but adds ignorance, laziness, and arrogance to the picture and is much more dangerous.

First, what is a Slave Mentality? Moreover, what is an Entitlement Mentality?

A slave mentality is when a person (definition is not bound by race):

Is one of feeling inferior or of feeling lost without hope, a feeling that we do not have the power to significantly alter our own circumstances. Another sad symptom of having a slave mentality is believing that White people are superior, have all the answers, and are empowered by GOD.


A person conditioned to quietly, and without objection, accept harmful circumstances for themselves as the natural order of things. They’re also conditioned to accept their master’s view and beliefs, about themselves, and strive to get others, within their group, to accept the master’s view.

An Entitlement Mentality is (also not bound by race):

     A state of mind in which the prevailing mentality of a society is that of entitlement to receive from the government or state what is apparently due to them or owed. This mentality may be held by gainfully employed workers who really do deserve more money/higher salaries etc or the unemployed who feel that it is the state’s responsibility to put bread in their bellies or beer in their empty mugs. In essence, this social disease is born/spawned from an unwillingness to accept personal responsibility for yourself as an individual in all aspects of your life.

In today’s society, we as Black Americans have so many more opportunities open to us. We are able to get an education, we are able to get good jobs, and we are able to live freely doing what we want to do in life if you’re willing to do what needs to be done to get there. To say there is racism today isn’t really a topic that I myself like to focus on because I’ve only felt it from my fellow Black Americans. I have never been called a nigger from a white person yet I have been called an Uncle Tom because of my political views, my way of speaking (because I don’t speak Ebonics and went to College), and a Race Trader because I am married to a Caucasian man and have a Mulatto child. Now I ask you, who are the racists?????

The deterioration of the Black American family is staggering. If you ask a young Black American what they want to be when they grow up, most will say they want to be a rapper/singer, football player, basketball player, or baseball player, etc and that is if they can tell you what they would like to be at all. No one tells them that only 0.03% make it to pro basketball, 0.08% make it pro football, and 0.45 make it pro baseball. We have a 40% dropout rate, for every 100,000 Black men in the U.S., 4,777 are in prison or jail, for every 100,000 Black American women, there are 743 in jail or prison, and 72% of Black American women, and teens are unwed mothers.

These problems are not the “white man’s” fault; this is our problem as a Black community. The more we teach our children that they are not good enough (because they are black), that they have the odds stacked against them (because they are black), that no one likes them (because they are black), that every problem can be solved by crying racism (because they are black), and that everyone owes them something (because they are black), the further down we go in this world as a community and as a people. Common sense can’t be taught, but family values, a love for God, getting an education, abstinence, and a zero tolerance for drugs can. This type of education begins in the home and nowhere else. It’s not up to the teachers, the church, or even the government’s responsibility to make sure our children are able to be functioning members of society, they are there to help reinforce the things that you should be teaching in the home.

The Black community needs better role models in order for a reconstruction of our community to take place. Our children look up to rappers, porn stars, actors, ball players, and even drug dealers and gangsters. They are bombarded with filth and demoralizing images everyday on TV and radio. They are taught that it is ok for them to disrespect their elders, have sex at 13, drop out of school, and have a drug habit (marijuana and prescription drugs included), that females are whores, and that it is cool to be in a gang and go to prison. Our Black community is killing its own by selling drugs such as crack, cocaine, acid, ecstasy, heroine, mushrooms, crystal meth, prescription medications (Vicodin, Percocet, Codeine, etc…), and marijuana.

The Black community needs to step up to the plate here. Quit being lazy and expecting everything to be handed to you. Quit throwing up race as a reason for you not getting what you want. Chances are you weren’t qualified for the position, have no education, or just plain didn’t apply yourself as you should have. People only use race to keep everyone divided and full of hate. Even our own supposed self-professed “Black leaders” are guilty of this (Al Sharpton Jesse Jackson etc…). Start educating you children, stop passing down ignorance and hate for self and others.

People are always talking about the “n” word and how demeaning it is, yet Black Americans use it as a term of endearment when it comes to hanging with their friends. Especially when we say it’s racist for white folks to use it but we as Blacks can. This is a setback all in itself. The word itself means ignorant, and any one from any race can be considered ignorant. Somewhat ironic that Black Americans call each other ignorant as an expression of friendship. How can we as a race expect to be treated any better if we ourselves are calling ourselves ignorant every other second??????

Point being, nobody is responsible for the downfall of the Black American community and family except our selves. The Slavery Mentality has been long gone and the Entitlement Mentality is harming us as Black Americans. Quit blaming others for your own mess and clean up you own homes. This problem is on our doorstep, not anyone else’s. If you don’t want to be called a nigger, and yes I said it, then quit calling yourselves that (whether it be with an “A” or an “ER”). Get off your ignorant ass’s and do something to change you situation. Create a better Black community for our children and give them better role models to look up too. Don’t define everything by race either, that only adds to the hate of one’s self and others. Encourage them to stay in school, be drug free, and abstinent. Help them to become functioning members of society.

Or do you still think you are entitled to something…………….

                                                                                                      Kuuleme T. Stephens


6 thoughts on “Slave Mentality vs. Entitlement Mentality: The Downfall of the Black American Community

  1. I can’t believe you believe the words you written. Many of your statements found like facts but in fact should be explain that their your opinions. You been educated don’t give you the right to rite such craziness!! I would love to know were you did your research.

  2. Loved your article and I am in agreement of your views. Too many parents both black and white are not raising their children to respect themselves .as well as others. That is a key ingredient in a childs upbringing to be successful in life. Children grow up now adays with the mentality that someone should do everything for them. Self respect will take you farther than anything else in life. I also find it strange that young black men would call each other ignorant. It is such a derogatory term and very disrespectful. Why would you call a friend by the N word? I am all for helping someone in need but continuing to depend on someone else to take care of you will lead no where. We all are responsible for helping the children to grow up being proud , loving and successful adults who will contribute to society but especially to their family and their well being. Cant wait to read your next article. God Bless.

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