Internalized oppression? Self-sabotage behaviors within Diaspora community
As Kenyans are we creating barriers for ourselves or Internalized oppression is to blame? “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
if you are a keen observer you probably have seen a lot of self-sabotage behaviors with some members of diaspora community and to an extent Kenyans in general.
Research shows: when a group of people have been oppressed, colonized or discriminated against, over a period of time, they often internalize the myths and misinformation that their oppressor communicated to them (about them) and about members of their community. This internalization is passed on from one generation to another unless one generation realizes the problem and decides to end the cycle.
What is internalized oppression? How is internalized oppression observed?
Internalized oppression is when members of the same cultural background that was oppressed in the past comes to use against themselves the methods of their oppressor (often unconsciously). It basically means that you start to believe and act out the negative things your colonizer and oppressor has said about you, did to you or to the members of your group directly or indirectly.
For example, if someone is always calling you stupid, and telling you’ll never amount to anything you begin to believe them and stop trying to succeed. You give up and actually become exactly what they said by sabotaging yourself or others unconsciously.
How do you do this?
You create barriers for yourself (off course unconsciously) and even when someone create bridges for you to cross over and achieve something for yourself you burn them and eventually you fail and blame other people.
This individual (community) is responding to a force that they can’t control. Not unless they realize what is happening and start the process of adopting a new way of thinking and decolonize their mind. This new way of thinking creates new empowering mindsets as opposed to operating from limited, poor mindsets and victim mentality inherited from experiences of oppression.
TIP: Unconscious minds: many of us sabotage our goals and dreams including plans to deal with the mess in our country by unconsciously choosing actions, thoughts, and allowing emotions that get us off course from our goals and dreams both individually and as a community.
Let’s examine ourselves and take charge of our future
As members of a country that was ravaged by our colonizers during the scrabble of Africa that fragmented our country and colonized our mind we have to learn how to overcome the discouragement, confusion, and divisions that are as a result of internalized oppression.
Our oppressor targeted our mind as a means to seize control in what has been termed as colonial alienation of the person- and as diasporas, taking charge of freeing ourselves as individuals mentally from limiting and poor mindsets we inherited from our past and setting it right- goes miles in healing our communities from the oppression and injustice they endured over time.
Let me share one current example of self-sabotage that some of us might be experiencing.
I will share a post from a fellow Kenyan here below before I explain my point.
“I have followed keenly what members of diasporas are writing and its evident the majority
are not for BBI. Kenyans in diaspora and back home are a step ahead in reading issues that
are tailored to oppress an ordinary Mwananchi. Am not a prophet but BBI will divide
Kenyans more than uniting them. If the govt was for the common man the constitution was
to be implemented before the birth of monster BBI.I wonder why some people want to be
covered and stay in leadership forever. It’s not going to go far before the citizens get fed up
and say enough is enough. BBI is throwing the country to bigger problems. I wish it could
When you see the horrible realization of the impact of BBI in our country if it’s implemented, would you expect anyone to create barriers to fellow Kenyans who are trying to do everything they can to stop it from being implemented?
We know that BBI is a recipe for violence during election period if not Sonner because its splitting our country into two camps. I’m sure if I ask you, that is far from what you want to happen in your country.
Not long ago I heard that some members of our diasporas were attempting to get the Kenya government to not acknowledge DNA 254 the diaspora group that has presented its views and declared a strong stand against BBI and many other issues important to us. I just couldn’t wrap my head around that.
Without knowing some of our people (those circulating and signing petitions against DNA) were
attempting to give this government more tools to do exactly what it wants and what its good at. This government want to continue ignoring Diaspora’s concerns that are widely known by everyone and some of us don’t seem to be bothered by that.
Remember: This is the same corrupt government that continues to borrow more money instead of recovering the stolen money to fund projects. This is the government some of our people are
sympathizing with-when they decide to create barriers to those willing to face our corrupt leaders’ head on.
I would join the rest of Diaspora and say, “We have so many of us in the diaspora full of ideas but we remain silent or just speak in our houses and end up resting in peace with our ideas and so: let those who have the guts to air their views fly high and do what they can to present their ideas and solutions that so many other diasporas have discussed and suggested at a time like this.”
DNA and other likeminded organizations happen to be an Idea whose time has come. We all must agree that someone somewhere must have seen a vision or probably a gap and decided to look for solutions instead of becoming a part of the problem like many of us.
We have great example of other communities from other nations who are doing the same and have benefited from such kind of unity starting with Minnesota and Seattle’s Somali community. Ethiopia’s community have their hotels while the Asians/Indians are commanding the health and tech industry not individually but as a community.
We all know that someone has to start these conversations with our leaders back home, the problem is that, most of us remain passive bystanders- and this is the reason our problems continue to increase because many of us are not stepping up to the plate and become active bystander.
Research indicates: Just as passive bystanders reinforce a sense that nothing is wrong in a situation, the active bystander can, in fact, get people to focus on a problem and motivate them to take action. Can you imagine the impact it will make to the relevant authorities in Kenya if we as the entire diaspora spoke in one voice…not taking away our small group’s efforts?
It’s now or never. Maybe many of us have done enough talking and we are now out of time. Join this group that feels we are out of time. Be part of something big and do something great with your life.
If you are unfamiliar with DNA diaspora group here is their website link:
About Joe K. Mungai, LMSW
As a life skill coach and a spiritual counselor Joe’s mission is to help others become conscious of their entrapment and empower them to find freedom and joy in life. He is passionate about helping people cope and grow through their experiences in life-changing circumstances.
Joe is the author of three books including BROKEN JUSTICE: WHEN LAWLESS GANGS CAPTURE THE STATE. The book is available both in US and in Kenya and it gives practical
suggestions to Kenyans on how to change the fate of their country. You can also get a copy of the book through cash app (319-325-3225) and one will be shipped to your address. The E-book is available on Amazon.
You can reach Joe by emailing him at: email@example.com
Here are the links of the books for your easy access.
BROKEN JUSTICE: WHEN LAWLESS GANGS CAPTURE THE STATE
WANT TO LIVE IN AMERICA? : YOUR PATHWAY TO LEGAL STATUS
LIFE AFTER LOSS: YOU CAN HEAL YOUR WOUNDED HEART
Internalized oppression? Self-sabotage behaviors within Diaspora community