Are these black men our brothers?

By Dr. James Davison


Sometimes when I pass black men of worsening social stature on the street there arises a feeling of connection

— An almost inexplicable affinity to these men.

Inexplicable, because I know intellectually that in many spheres there lies an unbridgeable chasm between me and these men. Nonetheless there still seems to exist a curious emotional connection to these stumblers. This pestering connection is strange indeed since most of my life I have worked assiduously not to be associated with such persons. They hold too steadfast to their life circumstances.

Generally I have been successful in avoiding interaction with such persons, but there still remains for me this vexing delusion that, save a few fortunate turns of fate, I could be hanging out with them. Whether their problems stem from drugs, crime, finances, undereducation or unemployment, this enduring delusional affinity still tugs at my psych. Damn its persistence!

 

I liken this strange emotional connection to delusion because it defies all manner of reason and observation

It is persistent and impervious to logic and rationality. Unmistakably it is delusion; the case against connection is strong enough to make it laughable. They are drug addicts; I don’t use drugs. They are homeless; I have a home. They hustle; I work. They are intractable louts; I am a sophisticated, urban professional. They exist; I live. Their prospects are bleak; mine are bright. I achieve; they have relented.

But still.

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Dr. James Davison, Jr. is an African-American licensed psychologist and university professor. He conducts a private practice in Seattle, Washington, and has appeared on several nationally-aired programs including The Phil Donahue Show, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and C-SPAN. Dr. Davison hails from Philadelphia, and is the author of several books - Prisoners Of Our Past and Sweet Release - related to individuality and personal freedom for African-Americans.