“Jack was nimble, Jack was quick/
Got a question for Jack, ask him…
40 Acres and mule Jack
Where is it? Why you try to fool the Black?”
—Public Enemy Who Stole the Soul?
In a previous set of pieces I looked at social movements in light of models of shamanic initiation and trauma healing. Specifically I examined Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) as well as the #metoo movement through those lenses. In the latter piece I summarized the work of Anngwyn St. Just, a social traumatologist. St. Just argues that trauma is a fractal—namely repeating patterns across time and space which, if left unhealed, will replicate themselves through multiple generations. Families hold intergenerational trauma, neighborhoods/cities/locales can as well, and even nations and racial or ethnic groups can.
St. Just studied with Bert Hellinger, the main developer of the work of family & systems constellations, which details the precise ways through which these traumatic pattern replicate themselves across generations. Trauma, in other words, is a high strange or subtle phenomenon, particularly and most especially collective trauma. Therefore, in order to resolve such issues we need understanding of trauma and practices from the psychic and subtle realms (call those shamanic for lack of a more precise term).
In this piece I’m going to work with those same ideas to explore the recent strong push for reparations, particularly among prominent African American voices (and from there to some white American progressive/liberal voices). How do we make sense of reparations in light of trauma, weird naturalism, social initiations?
In other words, what is the esoteric physics of reparations?
In social traumatology there is a core distinction made between guilt (or blame) and responsibility. An individual (or group) may often be innocent for the trauma they have undergone and yet at the same time are responsible for their choices around how they choose to deal with that trauma.
This point is a a very crucial one and cuts across the grain of both the typical politically conservative and progressive camps and their respective echo chambers. Against the traditional political and cultural right, trauma work affirms the responsibility of later generations to deal with the implications of the “sins of their fathers (and mothers), unto the 7th generation.” They are in fact responsible for something they didn’t personally do but are nevertheless the beneficiaries of in the present moment.
Contra the contemporary PC left, however, trauma work says that each person is responsible for the impacts of trauma, even if they are innocent in the initial wounding itself.
Without transforming trauma in oneself, a person is much more likely to go from being previously a victim to becoming an abuser of someone else (see this interview with St. Just on precisely this notion). A classic example of that tendency would be a child of alcoholic parents who grows up to be an abusive, alcoholic parent. Or an individual who was sexually molested as a child who later becomes a molester in their adolescence or adult years. Or a group that is at one point persecuted by another group, only to have the power dynamic switch, and immediately upon taking power exacts violent revenge on the previously dominant group (see The Hutus, The Tutsi, and the Rwandan genocide).
St. Just calls this the difference between victimization and victim mentality—the former being the brute fact of being traumatized, the latter being an identity built around victimhood becoming a justification for not healing oneself and likely traumatizing others. (I covered this concept in greater depth when looking at the misunderstanding and weaponization around the term white privilege in many contemporary left wing activist groups and how it can actually worsen situations rather than heal them).
From a trauma angle, one acknowledges the deep pain and legitimate suffering due to trauma (contra the right) while at the same emphasizing fundamental resourcefulness, creativity, generativity, and the overcoming of traumatization in oneself (contra the SJW/PC left).
Finally St. Just says that, at a soul level, there is a very strange way that victim and victimizer are in love with each other. This subtle-soul level does not override the manifest layer of reality (this isn’t a spiritual bypass) but it nevertheless is a very enigmatic and difficult truth. This strange love between victim and victimizer applies at individual levels, within families, as well as within collective groupings. There’s no claim here, by the way, that this level of analysis is the final end-all-be-all when it comes to issues of systemic racism…far from it. Nor is it victim blaming as its interest is in actually preventing further traumatization either upon or by one who was originally victimized.
It’s simply to note that this level of analysis is typically absent in a secular world and yet is very much at the heart of the healing and transformation of traumatic injustice. It’s not by itself sufficient but it is a very necessary contributing element.
So how would reparations fit into this model?
In the US context, the historical precedent is that of the public apology and reparations given to members of the Japanese-American community over the cruel and unjust internment of their ancestors during the Second World War by the Roosevelt administration. That’s the same Roosevelt administration by the way that made an alliance with southern white segregationists that brought on the great postwar “liberal” and “progressive” society—an alliance that expressly kept African Americans from receiving many of the benefits from the policies that created the burgeoning American middle (and almost entirely white) class.
Now comparing the example of internment of Japanese-Americans to the African American experience of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, plus the ongoing issues of the drug war and the prison industrial complex is not a perfect one to one correspondence I would argue.
The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a more isolated incident. A brutal and totally horrific one no doubt, but a specific instance. It also transpired well into the later history of the United States, which is to say it’s not core to the identity and development of the United States in the way that slavery is (and was). So the apology and reparations to Japanese-Americans was able to be done fairly quietly—how many Americans know the story of the internment of its own citizens, much less that a public apology was made and actual reparations were paid by the US federal government?
The internment lasted less than a decade—again I’m in no way denying the absolute brutality and truly horrifying nature of this social trauma. Simply as a comparison, slavery lasted in the United States for hundreds of years. The economic power of the United States is profoundly—far more than traditionally recognized—due to centuries of “free labor” and exploitation.
While slavery (officially) ended with The Union victory in the Civil War, the ongoing depths of exploitation and systemic racism against black Americans continued, simply in a different form. The actual underlying trauma was not dealt with it, so just as St. Just predicts, like a fractal it kept replicating through generations.
Debt peonage and sharecropping became (barely) legalized forms of continued slavery and from there to Jim Crow segregation. As the brilliant documentary 13th showed, the contemporary prison industrial complex and militarized police in the US began as a way to control American blacks after the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.*
This area is one where our explorations of social trauma intersect with the hidden hand of the parapolitical/deep state/conspiracy world (as I covered elsewhere on the site). The drug war of course being both the “cover story” for the development of the militarization of the police & the prison industrial complex but also core to the funding of black ops/social engineering.
To prove the point, one of Richard Nixon’s key aides publicly admitted recently what conspiracy theorists have long argued—that the drug war was a psyop used to justify militarization of the police and breaking up of primarily black neighborhoods in the US. Gary Webb’s research around the intersection between Iran-Contra and the drug war showed how deep that rabbit hole went. The intentional flooding of drugs into primarily African American neighborhoods was core to the crack epidemic of the 1980s. The crack epidemic became a model that was later used for the introduction of crystal meth into rural white America and now the opioids (via Big Pharma) into more middle class neighborhoods.
In point of fact, the original template for all this social engineering via drugs was of course the CIA’s deployment of LSD into the popular culture through the hippies as described in Ezekiel73’s piece on MK-Ultra (see also Dave McGowan’s groundbreaking research on the CIA involvement in the creation of 1960s counterculture in his book Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon.)
We may begin to see now why a public apology for treatment of African Americans and a concomitant reparations movement is so controversial because it is core to the very foundations of the US deep state itself. Any hypothetical Truth and Reconciliation (and Reparations) movement could get out of hand and reveal much deeper occulted secrets about the very horrifying foundations of the United States as a nation itself.
While I’m listing the historical sins of the United States against its black citizens, I should also note the brutal nature of the Anti-Poverty and Great Society programs of LBJ. As noted earlier President Franklin Roosevelt achieved much of the liberal welfare state out of a bargain with the (white) devil of segregationists, thereby leaving African Americans out of the process.
LBJ sought to remedy this dynamic with his Great Society initiatives and extension of the welfare state. His policies however were built out of a paternalistic model whereby whites saw themselves having a noblesse oblige towards their black fellow citizens, whom they saw as “children” to be pitied. In other words, white liberals then (as still today) exploit a victimization narrative in order to use African Americans for them to gain and hold power, all the while keeping large segments of the black population in the US in a 2nd or 3rd class citizen status.
For example, welfare payments to black Americans depended on breaking up the 2 parent family—if a father was working and barely making enough to be over the poverty line one did not qualify for assistance. This policy lead to terrifying police state tactics of cops & civil servants showing up asking children if their dads lived with them, with fathers running out back doors and windows as officials arrived, etc.
Think long and hard about that story in relationship to the recent push to defund the police and replace them with social workers. Think how easily social workers could be front line replacements for surveillance and technocracy while a defunded police leaves a security vacuum filled by corporate-controlled privatized military contractor-style militias. This is definitely not the place for me to defend police unions because they are most certainly in for serious critique but I would note, as part of a longer term controlled dialectic/deep state operation, it’s diabolically genius to get the left to push to break up unions if what you want ultimately is corporate control. (And then of course use the right wing to break up social service, education, and corporate unions).
But for now the main point is that the welfare policy was intentionally created to break up the power of the intact black family—a policy with roots going back to the time of slavery itself with black families broken up and sold separately, white slave masters using women slaves as sexual property, separating men and women slaves into field vs house slaves, and even forced breeding programs.
This eugenicist nature of slaveholder policy leads directly to a very uncomfortable connection within contemporary US society—the dominance of African Americans in sports. Back in the 1980s Jimmy “The Greek” Synder lost his sports analyst gig for saying that black people in the United States were bred to be physically superior. There was such an uproar of controversy he was fired. This episode was maybe the first “cancel culture” event way before its time.
Officially Jimmy the Greek was fired for a racist comment and being un-PC but it might well be argued he was really fired because he let the actual (systemic racist) cat out of the bag. Whether he realized it or not (and whatever his personal views on black Americans were which isn’t relevant here), he dared to point to the actual historical reality of enslaved black people in America being used as sex slaves for eugenicist breeding purposes and how that was deeply and inexorably tied to modern sports. In so doing—again probably without realizing it—he was in a very strange but also perceptive (even if unconscious) way, pointing out the deep ties between modern sports as a kind of continuation, under another guise, of enslavement.
Well consider the fact that the NCAA makes literally billions of dollars off of black bodies who are then not compensated financially. The NCAA makes money off of their bodies, names, brands, and so on. It starts to look a little suspicious doesn’t it? Jimmy the Greek was a (US) football commentator. Given all the evidence that has come forward that the NFL took part in a full-on conspiracy to hide the evidence of traumatic brain injury and related suicides among players (again mostly black players) and it begins to look more and more like a kind of slavery.
Brutal physical traumatization? Check. Financial exploitation based off of said physical labor? Check. Heavy racial implications with players being mostly black, owners (and fans) being heavily white? Check.
Remember slaves fought in the gladiatorial games for the public’s amusement to keep them distracted from the fact that they were all controlled by the ultra-elite (“deep state”) Roman emperors and warrior class.
To come back to our historical timeline, LBJ of course was the one who massively escalated the war in Vietnam, largely on the backs of poor and working classes, many of whom were black. Throughout the 60s and 70s of course there was COINTELPRO which penetrated groups like The Black Panthers, as well as The Civil Rights leadership and perpetrated illegal surveillance, which we now see broadly in American society. As with so many others things, what is first experimented upon African Americans by the deep state becomes the “learning model” for extending to the wider US populace.
By the 1990s Democrats had become in essence moderate Republicans (“3rd Way”/Centrist Democrats), with massive investments in the prison-industrial complex (e.g. Hillary Clinton and her “superpredator” talk), as well as a new “tough on crime” emphasis, e.g. The (Joseph) Biden Crime Bill. The Biden Crime Bill (signed by President Bill Clinton) created the public-private fascist-capitalism hybrid “market” that is the for-profit prison industrial complex. (I’ve written about the monstrous hybrid of fascism and capitalism in previous pieces here and here.)
So on the side of the conservatives with Nixon & Reagan we have the drug war and on the liberal (supposedly progressive) side we have paternalism and victimization. Both sides coming from opposite ends to the same goal of technocratic rule and oppression of the people.
Which brings us back once again to the question of reparations and social trauma as a fractal. That (very) brief historical tour of the US deep state’s tyrannical oppression of African Americans shows a consistent underlying meta-pattern (fractal) throughout: the (ab)use of black bodies as experimental research “data”, whose “results” are then applied to the wider populace (including in gruesome literal experiments with Tusekegee).
An important resource along these lines is The Moe Factz podcast with Adam Curry. The whole back catalogue of the podcast is worth your time but in particular this episode on reparations is directly relevant to this piece. In that episode, Moe takes an initially very counter-intuitive position but one that is very intriguing given our early discussion about trauma. Moe argues that he is for reparations and in response to the reparations then the narrative of victimhood would have to be dropped. In other words, what he’s saying is that a legitimate reparations process would actually clean the historical slate karmically speaking. Such a reparations movement couldn’t be a co-opted as the Great Society programs were whereby there’s a payout but the payout is controlled or “nanny stated”. It would have to be truly free (and freeing).
African Americans are of course innocent of the brutal reality of slavery, segregation, debt peonage, the drug war, the prison industrial complex, and the full litany of horrors. That guilt lies with the US elites. Hence the need for a public apology and substantive reparations.
But if reparations were to actually take place it would, as Moe correctly points out, balance the ledger. Again in trauma studies, “balancing the ledger” does not mean making the past trauma okay. Nothing will make the grotesqueries of slavery, lynching, and segregation ever okay or good.
The experience in trauma work is that individuals can neutralize the ongoing emotional and energetic charge (“discharge”) around a trauma so that it doesn’t continue to negatively affect them. Otherwise traumas are open wounds. Traumas have a kind of “vortex” or “event horizon” around them that will “suck in” similar type experiences that are meant to ultimately allow for healing but in reality too often simply mean further traumatization.
Trauma is an open cyclical loop—like the Buddha said, karma is a wheel going around and around until the wheel is broken. Collective trauma, like the kind we’re discussing here, is an open loop caught in the spin cycle. In these cases there is such collective momentum that even if certain aspects change here or there, the basic fundamental dynamic of white-black US relations have not changed in hundreds of years. It requires something much deeper than voting in a different political party to change that historical momentum/karma.
Reparations is one such action that could actually begin to break the karmic momentum. Both sides however are changed in such a dynamic. This is why St. Just speaks of a victimizer-victim dance/dyad. Both sides have work to do to free themselves otherwise they will forever be karmically entangled to each other and continue to replicate their traumatic histories. Again this is not the same as saying the one genuinely victimized “asked for it” or “deserved it” or is to blame for it. Only to say that they both sides are now entwined to each other and therefore it is only jointly they will be able to free themselves from their common tie. (This is why I argued, strange as it may sound, that the #metoo movement and the Men’s Rights Movements need each other.)
In other words, what I’m describing here is what is possible to help neutralize or discharge the traumatic energy in the collective field of US white-black relations. Such actions would not automatically lead to regulation in individuals with historic ancestral ties to slavery—either as descendants of slaveholders or those enslaved—but it would go an extremely long way.
As Moe also clearly states, and is often not emphasized in liberal circles that promote reparations, this would on the flip side (again) balance the ledgers. It would, in other words, break the victim narrative. Assuming of course the reparations are fulsome and not a backdoor way to further embed the deep state and technocratically control people under the guise of “enlightened progressive” policy, as I hypothesize is trying to take place with the push for a universal basic income.
Without the balancing, then the victimhood narrative will tend to perpetuate. And as Moe brilliantly argues throughout his podcast, that victimhood will then be parasitically fed off of by liberals—mostly white but also some black Americans—who form a kind of co-dependent social relationship requiring there to always be some “needy” “down on their luck” set of people to be pitied. They will then form bureaucracies officially meant to help such poor souls but in reality to keep them perpetually in a state of neediness and therefore in need of rescuers. On the conservative side they will tend to critique that dependency model but then also blame people for their lot in life (“poverty consciousness”). Once more, it’s a rigged game of a controlled dialectic with two seemingly oppositional movements (liberal vs. conservative) both occulting the third real position of truth (in this case reparations).
When Neal Brennan gave his epic toast to his writing partner and friend Dave Chappelle, it caused a stir because he (amazingly) referred to Hugh Hefner as a low-key Jeffrey Epstein but “with a grotto.” Lost in the focus on that comment was the more telling comment of Brennan's that The Chappelle show was a documentary portraying Dave Chappelle’s attempts to deal with the the surreal nature of being black in the United States.
As I described in this piece trauma is a surreal phenomenon—it is both real and unreal simultaneously (Charles Fort called that intermediatism). The Chappelle Show was absolutely a documentary (one of the most insightful ever in my view) on the surreal nature of that collective American trauma. Oh and by the way Chappelle Show did a skit on reparations, a decade a plus ahead of time.
In energetic work there is something known as the healing contract. The healing contract works by one person being the healer/rescuer and the other person person being the victim/healee. The healer however (strangely) never wants to actually fully heal the healee because if they did, they would no longer be the healer/rescuer. They gain their identity from being a rescuer and healer.
What breaks the entanglement and the dissolves the contract is the healee refusing any longer to be healed and to take up for themselves their own responsibility and empowerment for their own well being. The Liberal establishment in the US is that healer/rescuer towards its black constituents and party members. One major political party is openly racist (Republicans) and the other is officially on the side of African Americans but actually is perpetuating a subtler (and therefore in certain respects more insidious) form of entanglement. Or dare I say enslavement?
Slavery in fact began in the Western Hemisphere not against West Africans but against the indigenous tribes of the Americas (later named by Europeans as such of course). Any reparations process relative to African Americans would by its very nature immediately require a parallel process to deal with the realities of colonization, genocide against the indigenous peoples, their enslavement, internment, massacres, residential school abuse, and so on. Due to the brutality of the colonialist enterprise as well as the unfathomable culling of the population (potentially 90% dead within a few generations), then the Transatlantic Slave Trade really becomes fully operationalized.
Also included in such an investigation would be how the US military globally was built out of the “counterinsurgency” against the native indigenous population, methods which have come full circle all the way back from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan into US civilian police and therefore back into the issue around deaths by American black men at the hands of police. That however would require its own piece.
* Conspiracy theorists has also identified an existing elite African American group who have their own alliance with the US deep state (mostly white). These individuals are gatekeepers who are meant to keep the US black population participating in the mainstream voting and civic controlled dialectic game, in exchange for their own protected status within society. This is known as The Boule Society and it has its own networks of fraternities, foundations, and social clubs modeled on those of the US deep state, e.g. Skull and Bones from Yale. These networks often transpire through HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities). For more on this trend check out the work of Moe Factz, following from the research of Steve Cokely.