Black Americans: Victims of Distorted Image?

Published on 2nd August 2010

"Just because truth has been omitted, does not mean that truth is not true. Just because reality has not been perceived, does not mean that it is not real.” Stan Moore.

Since 2007 I have been unrelentingly engaged in the dissemination of information asserting that the US government has been using perception management techniques, a media driven program that manipulates Black people to accept and see only the fraudulent worst in themselves. While most Black readers fully agreed with my articles, some, however, responded that my articles require authentication or verification by an expert to be quantified.

There are many quantifying examples supporting the contention that the U.S. government pursues secret agendas which employ mass manipulating perception management programs. Former CIA official Philip Giraldi in his article, “The Rogue Nation,” makes it clear that the U.S. government has a hegemonic agenda that it is pursuing without congressional or public awareness. The agenda’s big picture is not understood by the public or by most in Congress. Giraldi asserts that the agenda is illegal under both U.S. and international law, but that the illegality of the agenda does not serve as a barrier.

In the February issue of the American Behavioral Scientist, a scholarly journal, Professor Lance DeHaven-Smith writes that state crimes against democracy (SCAD) involve government officials, often in combination with private interests that engage in covert activities in order to implement an agenda. Examples include McCarthyism or the fabrication of evidence of communist infiltration, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution based on false claims of President Johnson and Pentagon chief McNamara that North Vietnam attacked a U.S. naval vessel. During the Cold War, the Pentagon sent undercover US journalists to Russia and Eastern Europe to write pro-American articles for local media outlets. More recently, the US government used perception management techniques to promote the belief that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the invasion of Iraq.

According to the article "The Man Who Sold The War" by James Bamford, a recent edition of Rolling Stone magazine, John Rendon and his Rendon Group, the leader in strategic field of perception management, was awarded 16 million contract from the Pentagon "to target Iraq and other adversaries with propaganda. The Rendon firm has been very influential in creating the conditions necessary to justify the war in Iraq. And it has had close ties with the US government ever since 1991, when the CIA hired the firm to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power."

Perception management includes all actions used to influence the attitudes and objective reasoning of foreign audiences and consists of Public Diplomacy, Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), Public Information, Deception and Covert Action. The Department of Defense describes "perception management" as a type of psychological operation intended to provoke the behavior you want out of a given individual or targeted group collectively. It is supposed to be directed at foreign audiences, and involves providing or discarding information to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning in a way that is favorable to the originator of the information. The main goal is to influence friends and enemies, provoking them to engage in the behavior that you want.

Perception management can be used as a propaganda strategy for controlling how people view political events. This practice was refined by US intelligence services as they tried to manipulate foreign populations, but it eventually made its way into domestic US politics as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Beginning in the 1950s, more than 800 news and public information organizations and individuals carried out assignments to manage the public's perception of the CIA, according to the New York Times. By the mid-80s, CIA Director William Casey had taken the practice to the next level: an organized, covert "public diplomacy" apparatus designed to sell a governmental objective. 

Sometimes it involved so-called "white propaganda", stories and op-eds secretly financed by the government. But they also went "black," pushing false story lines, such as how the Sandinistas were actually anti-Semitic drug dealers. That campaign included altered photos and blatant disinformation dispersed by public officials. During the ongoing Iraq war, the US military covertly paid Iraqi newspapers to print stories written by US soldiers; these stories were geared towards enhancing the appearance of the US mission in Iraq.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) sums it up: “Perception management through propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, and direct behavior of a population to achieve responses that furthers the desired intent of the Government.”

Perception Management programs uses propaganda as a form of communication to purposefully persuade and/or influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of a community, population, or specified target audiences for ideological, and/or political purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels. It combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations. Although perception management programs are specifically defined as being limited to foreign audiences, critics of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) charge that it also engages in domestic perception management.

Presently, Black people are being made to see themselves through lens secretly assigned to them by government sponsored perception management propaganda programs. The United States media’s distorted portrayal of Black America amplifies the negative to the point that it distorts reality. It is deployed through massive propaganda campaigns that devalue African Americans. The “Mainstreaming” of negative images of Black people within the United States has been an on-going phenomenon for the past 40 years.

It creates conditioned responses in a population for eventualities to unfold without opposition or resentment: Nightly newscasts reinforce seemingly pre-conditioned response of resentment and prejudicial images of Black people in the majority population, thereby creating a false impression of wanton Black criminality and violence.

This psychosocial program adversely manipulates and shapes the minds and collective perceptions of African Americans, breaks down their sense of racial unity and allegiance, molds the character of self-hatred, and engenders self-doubt, self-loathing, and division among their group hence weakening their ranks. It also conditions Black people to accept white dominance over their lives and fosters false justifications for America’s legal system’s mistreatment of African Americans wherein they are disproportionately incarcerated, given stiffer sentences, and unfairly treated.

The effects of this massive psychosocial program are also manifested in ideas, education, governmental policies, economic stratification, social segregation, housing markets, hiring and promotion practices, psychological issues, and minority access to a variety of social services and opportunity. It also affects attitudes that, when enacted through governmental policies, laws, and other legislation actions, serve to ensure that African Americans will not advance.[ A study published in the most recent issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry, ScienceDaily  (Aug. 23, 2009) —sociologists from four major research institutions supports the hypothesis that large populations can be manipulated in this way.]

This psychosocial program is at the core of the feeling of self hatred that many African Americans now experience as well as the feelings of superiority that many whites possess. History overwhelmingly demonstrates that the White race’s innate proclivity for racism, control, and dominance is much too deeply engrained for them to just merely give up their practices of implementing suppressive methods over its African American population. Unlike the extremely cruel and public racism used in the past, which Blacks were able to easily identify and thus unify to form counter strategies against, racism through psychological warfare is much harder to detect.

By Franklin Jones

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