Child, Please How Mama’s Old School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked MyselfIn my lifetime, I’ve met plenty of black narcissists. Way too many to count. But a recent article written for Salon by Ylonda Gault Caviness,  author of the forthcoming release Child, Please: How Mama’s Old School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myselfstates that black parents can’t raise narcissists.

I’m going to need Caviness to reevaluate her thinking and google “Kanye West”.

From Salon:

According to a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences our nation is currently raising a generation of narcissistic kids—children who are receiving the message from their parents that they are “more entitled,” or “more special” than other kids. We black parents don’t have to worry about that. Black parents in America don’t raise narcissists. Never have. Probably never will.

Sadly, black folks have never had the luxury of over-valuing our children. Sure, we love our kids just as much as whites. And we fill them up with affection as best we can. But it would be downright reckless and dangerous for us to fill their heads with such utter nonsense. To set them up with expectations that the world is waiting to embrace them and all their awesomeness.  History has shown us that if we want to keep them alive, our kids must be taught, and taught early, that teachers, police and other authority figures may see them quite ordinary—at best.

What Caviness doesn’t realize is, is that narcissism happens when a child becomes an extension of a parent, and that has no color-lines. Black, White, Asian parents — all have the ability to have a special little snowflake child(ren). There are tons of black parents who ignore anything that isn’t perfection. Look at the tons of black musicians, actors, athletes out there. I’m quite sure some of them would be classified as narcissists.

As a person who’s dated a narcissist, I can definitely say, I blame his parents. And they’re also narcissists. Narcissism begets narcissism.

Clutchettes, do you think black parents can raise narcissists?  

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  • Kamala Jones

    My father is a narcissist. He’s Black. And, I know a Black woman narcissist too who went to high school with me. Black folks are people and are capable of doing the same as any other group of people.

  • GeekMommaRants

    We need each other, which is why we are as united as we are. Narcissism does not allow black Americans the support we may need. When hatred dies, but this will never happen. We should immigrate, this is the one experience black Americans have never experienced.

  • First, parenting is an important, sacrosanct responsibility. Children should be raised correctly and told honestly (via an age appropriate fashion) about the cruelties in the world. There are some black parents who have raised narcissists. Narcissism readily leads people to have unrealistic expectations, it can allow people to mistreat others, and it can cause some to have a false sense of “entitlement.” Egocentrism is common place in Western society. Confidence is antithetical to narcissism, because confidence deals with self-actualization and valuing human life in a positive way. Narcissism is inheritably negative and causes tensions within society.

    One of the lessons of our elders is that they want us to serve. To serve is to work in a cause bigger than ourselves and to realize that we are important, but we are not more important than others. To place life into perspective, to seek wisdom, and to focus on altruism are inescapable truths that refutes the evil of narcissism. During this time, we, as black people, should never be narcissists anyway. Many of our people face extreme poverty, discrimination, and other terrible situation. Fundamentally, we have to promote more selflessness and solidarity as a community. It is the narcissist attitude that has contributed to the recession, to various unjust wars, and other evils in our world. Children are precious. They need guidance, instruction, correction, and inspiration.

    Telling the children the truth can do wonders in benefiting their own lives (especially in the long term) and improving our neighbors in general.