A "colonized mind" refers to a state of thinking and perception influenced by the experience of colonization, often resulting in a deep-seated acceptance of or internalization of the values, beliefs, and norms imposed by colonizers. It can manifest in various ways and affect an individual's identity, cultural outlook, and behavior.
Here are some characteristics and impacts associated with a colonized mind.
Cultural Disconnect: Colonized individuals may distance themselves from their own cultural heritage and traditions, often adopting the customs, language, and values of the colonizers in an attempt to assimilate or gain social acceptance.
Inferiority: People with colonized minds may internalize the notion that their culture, language, and identity are inferior to those of the colonizers. This can result in feelings of self-doubt, shame, and a diminished sense of self-worth.
Racism: Colonized minds may accept and perpetuate racist beliefs and stereotypes against their own culture or ethnic group, as well as against other colonized communities.
Economic and Social Disparities: Colonization often results in economic and social inequalities, and those with colonized minds may accept these disparities as the norm, making it challenging to challenge or change the status quo.
Lack of Agency: Colonized minds may result in a sense of powerlessness and a belief that meaningful change or progress is unattainable.
The colonized mind is dangerous in that it extends love and forgiveness and the benefit of the doubt to White people but refuses to do the same to Black people. Black people and our allies have to consciously be aware of our own unconscious colonized mind.
We have to ask ourselves hard questions.
Do I believe that living in proximity of Black people would make me better?
Do I believe that working or going to school in Black dominated spaces would bring more respect and value?
Do I feel nervous or afraid when I encounter Black men or Black women simply living their lives?
Do I believe that dating or marrying a Black person will bring me more respect and value - freedom?
The Enduring Myth of Black Criminality
Addressing and healing from the effects of a colonized mind can be a complex and deeply personal journey. It involves acknowledging the impact of colonization on one's identity and beliefs and actively working to decolonize one's mindset.
Education and Awareness: Start by educating yourself about the history of colonization, its impact on your community and culture, and the ongoing effects of colonization. Understand the tactics used by colonizers to control and subjugate indigenous cultures.
Challenge Stereotypes and Prejudices: Be aware of any internalized stereotypes or prejudices you may hold about your own culture or others. Challenge these biases and actively work to dismantle them. We owe this much to each other.