NO TRUST, NO PEACE, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Black Anguish

Sounds expressed in speech as words from one person to another turn every kind of wheel in our society and lubricate the very ball bearings which make their rotational movement in time possible. But not just any words can do that, rather they are words which carry in them the power of trust.

They are written in contracts between citizens, communicated through body language like a hand shake or they are orally expressed as ‘I give you my word’. But no matter how trust is communicated, society as a whole turns on the power of trust between the people of that society and their local, state, and federal governments.

When there is no trust there can be no peace between citizens and their governments. There can be no peace because the absence of mutual trust between government and citizens make citizens look for justice in the streets. While correspondingly, states become increasingly disposed to execute police power arbitrarily against its citizens to control them. Both a desperate citizenry searching for justice in the streets and the execution of arbitrary state police power to repress citizens are a recipe for social disaster.

The Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision not to indict police officer Daren Wilson is just another example of what happens when extreme state and local government incompetence become mixed with the myth of white supremacy. When citizens begin to seek justice in the streets, the state does everything to execute power in such a way as to maintain and advance their property rights over human rights. That includes their justice system.

The Justice System is just another mechanism white supremacists use to suppress the truth by twisting facts, by deleting facts, by ignoring evidence, by falsifying reports, by stacking juries to crank out legally binding decisions in their favor and by demonizing victims of injustice. But what should we, as African Americans, know about trust?

The amount of trust in a group is directly proportional to the amount of cooperation in a group. The amount of cooperation in a group is directly proportional to the work quality of a group. The amount of work quality in a group is directly proportional to the success of a group. And a successful group is a group with a high quality of life.

Trust has a unique nature. It is positive in its definition but unlimited in its scope to empower us. Trust means a feeling or feelings characterized by a maximum of calm, joy, confidence, cooperation, and assurance. Conversely, there is a negative definition. It tells us what trust is not; what it is utterly incapable of being. Trust is the absence of anxiety, in the form of apprehension and distress; it is the absence of conflict or competition. It is the absence of forced accommodation. It is the absence of controversy in our relationships.

By its very nature, trust fosters cooperation and moves people in consensual unison. The higher the trust the higher the unity. For example, think of a male and female relationship. Trust for them is foundational to sexual intercourse because at no time is a woman more vulnerable than when she allows a man to literally enter into her body and inject a foreign organic substance into her body. Therefore, a rational woman will want assurances from the man that he is clean and committed to her before she allows him to enter into her body.   

Likewise, a man is vulnerable when he exposes himself to a woman. He must also be given assurances from the woman that she is clean and has not exposed herself to unclean men before he exposes his penis to her vaginal secretions.  When both a man and a woman are mutually assured of the integrity of the other then each is qualified to enter into a contract to build a functional relationship. Such intimacy is possible because of trust. The power of that trust becomes a seed planted which has the potential to grow into a family.

The most dangerous enemy to trust is a lie.  If any person in relation to another tells a lie or if everyone in a group lies to each other then in proportion to their lying there is anxiety and thus a dysfunctional relation will grow between them.  We can now make a generalization.

Lying is the cause of dysfunction in our interpersonal lives. For that reason we cannot or do not trust one another. We cannot trust because we have lost confidence in those who live among us.

There is a psychology to our lack of trust. One reason that we ‘do not’ trust one another is because we are products of media propaganda. This propaganda when successful may result in our internalizing negative self images regarding our own physical characteristics into our subconscious mind. Those negative images then act as triggers which cause distress at our own ‘being who we are’. That puts us on continual defense.

No one wants to live in a family with their guard up; we want to live with our guard down. We want to live in peace with those we have learned to love. If a person must live in a family with his or her guard up then that family is dysfunctional and everyone in it will become more or less sick over time. But it does not end there at the door way of the family home.

Our communities are disproportionately unstable. This is due to the number of dysfunctional families in our communities. It is no wonder that today we as a people fail at forming functional families. Men don’t trust women and women don’t trust men. Mothers and fathers don’t trust children and children don’t trust mothers and fathers. Dysfunction will always follow in the absence of trust.

Only trust gives birth to family bonds of affection. And what holds a family together is the cooperation born by trusting one another.  What raises a family up to a high quality of life is trust.  And what enables each new generation of young people to trust is being born into families with the active capacity to trust in an actively trusting community of people.

Normally, we distrust that which threatens our well being. The distrust we feel when we are threatened is scientifically measurable as HIGH ANXIETY. When that happens we move away from the source of anxiety.

This is easily observable in all animals. A flock of birds will rest together in a tree. If they sense the presence of a cat then within seconds they scatter out of the tree away from the cat and into the air. This reduces their anxiety associated with death.

Human beings are no different. We too move away from what we perceive to be a threat to our family and individual well being. The problem for us, however, is that the normal anxiety aroused by an actual predator has been turned inward so that unlike the birds we are driven by anxiety to fly away from each other and even to feel uncomfortable in our own skin.

It is no wonder that we fail at forming business relationships, fail in school, and fail at discovering a non white supremacist knowledge of the nature of creation.

We fail at forming businesses because we fail to invest in forming trusting relations and thus cannot increase the cooperation to reduce the anxiety about working with one another. 

And so great is our anxiety in relation to our physiology that we will not even spend our money in businesses owned by our brothers and sisters. We fear raising them up higher than our own economic status. That fear becomes even more irrational when we envy and covet what our brothers and sisters have worked hard to earn for themselves.

We fail at forming our own schools because we have not become generally motivated to pursue a mastery of the sciences and modern technology. Instead, we pursue mythology in our backward gaze on long passed dead cultures and civilizations.

We must strive to overcome our failure at forming a clear and insightful knowledge of creation. An insight born out of our own minds as inspired by God and which is not dependent upon white supremacist mythology, nor dependent upon any other mythology nor white supremacist interpretations of creation. We must succeed at fostering that true vision of God; the God of Good, of Truth, of Oneness, and of Beauty.

Can we restore trust in our communities or at least restore enough trust to boost ourselves out of cultural stagnation? I think we can, but it will require hard work over many days, months, and years. Do we have the time we need to restore trust? I don’t know the answer to that question; but I do know this: we had better start trying right away.   

Trust spins our social world around and around. It generates the forces which keep our feet planted firmly on the ground of social life. It cements our relations of affection not only in the short term but in the long term. And, it protects us from social predators so that we can move in unison to avoid harm to one or to all.  Living in trust, we can build strong and lasting communities. Otherwise, if there is no trust among us here in the United States, then there will be no peace among us here in the United States.