The Facebook Front & The Crab in the Barrel Mentality: By Reginald K. Mathes, MPA

facebook front

Covetousness is defined as a strong desire to have that which belongs to another. It is considered to be a very grievous offense in scripture. The tenth commandment forbids coveting anything that belongs to a neighbor, including his house, his wife, his servants, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to him.  In addition, covetousness is defined as feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else.  Before moving to Baltimore, MD in 2011, I might have logged into Facebook maybe once a month.  However, out of loneliness, homesickness and covetousness, I fell victim to admiring my so-called friend’s lifestyles and even individuals that I’ve never met.

So, I asked myself “what are you doing?” However, after becoming addicted to Facebook, I realized I’m a covetor as well and it’s like crack cocaine or heroin.  It’s just as addictive as Newport cigarettes and potent marijuana.  In my opinion, covetousness goes hand and hand with the “Crab in the Barrel Mentality”.  From my understanding, the Crab in the Barrel Mentality, is sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, a phrase that describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs.

Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.  Maybe this is part of the reason there was 40 murders in the month of May in Baltimore, MD.  Maybe this is the reason there were 9 shootings this weekend in Baltimore, Maryland.  Or better yet, maybe this is the reason I heard “come back home” several times after leaving home to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.  Literally, attempting to pull me back south from the north to renter their bucket of crabs and a life covetousness.

Or better yet, maybe this is the reason my PhD candidate colleagues are so competitive instead of being collaborative.  Maybe this is the reason my so-called hometown friends said “you could have done that here”, speaking of my newly appointed position of “Substitute Teacher” within one of the most dangerous school systems in America.  As if they didn’t know, I escaped their bucket of crabs to pursue a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.

Or is it the curse of the Willie Lynch Syndrome? Maybe the rat race and competitiveness among African-Americans in the African-American community is due to the teachings of a British Slave owner named Willie Lynch.  We must understand, Willie planned on controlling slaves for 300 years, however; I contend that his teachings may still be controlling the African-American mind today.  He used fear, distrust, and envy for control purposes.  This is extremely interesting, I’ve heard recently that when a person is jealous or envious they are fearful.  Therefore, I assert that the “crabs in the bucket” I escaped in 2011 may have been fearful of my escape.  But why?

In addition, Willie used intelligence, status on plantations, attitudes of owners, location of where the slaves lived and the texture of a slave’s hair to control the minds of slaves.  However, the actual Willie Lynch letter indicates that distrust is stronger than trust and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.  Wow, this is so deep! He understood that envy was stronger than admiration.  Doesn’t that remind us of FACEBOOK?  Doesn’t admiration remind us of covetousness?

Willie was incredibly intelligent because originally in the letter he indicates that these teachings will refuel and self-generate slaves for 300 years.  However, later in his speech/letter he reveals that these teachings could refuel and self-generate slave mentalities for thousands of years.  Just scroll down your Facebook page, which I consider our new way of conceptualizing American society and the world.  I argue that Facebook perpetuates COVEOUSNESS, ENVY, ADMIRATION of thy neighbor’s possessions and lifestyles.  Of course, I can consider myself a victim as well.

In fact, the consistent light skin vs dark skin debate which is constantly discussed via FACEBOK was used as a tactic to control slaves.  I just heard a one hour debate two nights ago regarding this topic.  Therefore, I guess it’s confirmed that we are still cursed by the Willie Lynch Syndrome.  Also, he used female vs male and male vs female tactics to keep slaves under control.  Maybe this is part of the reason some Black men hate Black women.  Maybe this is the reason 80% of Black men prefer dating a lighter skinned women verses dating a darker skinned woman.  Is the reason some Black women hate Black men?


If the Willie Lynch letter was written before the “crab in the barrel mentality” was conceptualized, then we can assume that the crab in the barrel mentality trickles down from the teachings of Willie Lynch.  See, now I understand why one of the crabs in my native land stated “your student loan debt will be passed down to your children” I DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN.  Now I understand why my so-called best friend was so adamant about me seeing his family’s socio-economic status improve.  Hell, I’m starting to think it’s a sickness.  Hell, I’m starting to think it’s a disease.  Now I understand why the bucket of crabs I escaped are in a competitive HOME OWNERSHIP rat race. PATHETIC.  At first, I assumed it was because they grew up in a poverty stricken area and public housing.  However, now I can forgive and understand.  It’s not their faults.  It’s just what trickles down from White Supremacy, and I assume the teachings of Willie Lynch. 

Now I understand why I was threatened of being stabbed right before migrating north to pursue a Doctorate of philosophy in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University.  Now, I understand why I felt like a runaway slave following the hidden curriculum of the Underground Railroad when my vehicle navigated across the northern Virginia state line in 2011.  NOW I UNDERSTAND!


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