Willie Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies. Research suggest that he was invited to the colony of Virginia in 1712 to inform slave owners new methods to control their slaves. Additionally, research suggest that term “lynch or lynching” was derived from his last name. He claimed to have seen a slave hanging from a tree as his boat sailed to Jamestown, Virginia. In his letter, he presumes that lynching was causing uprisings, loss of valuable stock (slaves), runaway slaves, and even a lack of profit from crops being left unattended. Also, in his letter he contended that he outlined a number of differences among the slaves and made them bigger. His primary weapons to gain control of the slaves was fear, envy and distrust.
The differences that he used included: age, skin tone, size, intelligence level, size of plantations, status on plantations, and hair quality. There are a few more differences he used to control slaves, however, I have chose not to list them. He assured his audience that distrust was the most powerful weapon he used to control his slaves. In fact, he assured his audience of slave owners that distrust even outweighed envy. Willie Lynch felt that the use of envy was more powerful than adulation, admiration and respect. He stated “ Don’t forget you must pitch the old black Male vs. the young black Male, and the young black Male against the old black male”. Additionally, in his speech he stated that “ You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. He even indicated that You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin-slaves. Essentially, his ultimate plan was to turn the slaves against one another to gain control of the slaves.
Today it seems that African – Americans are still cursed by the teachings of Willie Lynch. In my humblest opinion, I presume that social media illuminates validity in my claim on a daily basis. If I am not mistaken, African- Americans are the only race of people using social media to bicker, humiliate, criticize and tear one another down. However, I may be wrong. Am I saying that African-Americans only use social media to tear each other down? No, of course not. African – Americans use social media for all the reasons any other race of people utilize the incredible technological advancement of “social media”. However, it’s heart breaking to see scholars such as Dr. Boyce Watkins and other African – American celebrities such as Stephen A. Smith, end up in verbal battles and arguments that sometimes lead to shouting matches where profanity and name calling is being used. It’s truly embarrassing.
This is why I contend that African-Americans are still cursed under the spell of the slave owner Willie Lynch. For the last two weeks, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Kwame Brown and ESPN’s host Stephen A. Smith have been at each other’s throats about each other’s Black identity, Blackness, athletic ability, and even personal disagreements about one’s outside of their profession and entertainment platforms. I contend that African-Americans should be using social media to build unity, business’s and uplift of the Black community. Am I saying that African-Americans do not use social media for unity and uplift? No, of course not, however, it is essential that our youth does not see our leaders of our community tear each other down. Social media is filled with enough violence among African-Americans and celebrities tearing one another down. The last thing we need is for our scholars who have graduated from PWI’s, with PHD’s to join the nonsense. Are we still Willie Lynched?