Op/Ed by Wallace Mabry –
As if we have not heard enough from the sociologists and psychologists, we have still another rendition of their truths to deal with. This one kind of sort of spreads the assumption around, and includes not only Black people but Hispanic and Asian people as well. We “minorities” have now been discovered to be suffering from an Imposter Syndrome. And here I was thinking the Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome was evidence enough of cause and effect and the general motivation, of Black people, to achieve at the highest level.
What is this new phenomenon? When was it discovered, 1978? The researchers are doubtless experts in their fields who have garnered the elements of the phenomenon from an in depth study of a population, hopefully, and please tell me, greater than those college students who are up against an educational system that is primed primarily to mold their thinking and their perceptions of themselves vis-à-vis the sociocultural standards of the dominate culture of America.
Sunday’s, April 30, 2017, Democrat and Chronicle article, TRENDING, asks, presumably of us minorities, if we ever feel like a fraud when it comes to the things we have achieved. Based on the researchers’ field of study, we will assume here that they are talking specifically to and about those minorities who have achieved and who continue to achieve in the academic and the professional world of work.
Reflecting on the article brings to mind the personality and individual differences at play combined with a person’s concerns with his performance. How do you begin to explain your intelligence and your creativity to someone who appears to marvel at the fact you have both, and in many cases, to a degree greater than most; and, why would you feel you have an obligation to present an explanation for them?
Many, if not most of us, are in the habit of comparison. We compare our performances in different venues with those of our peers, and we judge the quality of our works with the qualities of those we respect in the field as well as with our predecessors and our contemporaries. We seek some validation of our ascendancy in the academic world of our particular scholarships, and of our performances in the professional world of our endeavors.
On the other hand, if one is filled with self-doubt, lacks self-confidence, and feels his socioeconomic status is below that of his peer group, student body, he may feel inclined to lower his achievement motivation and performance in competitive and non-competitive situations.
Studies such as these by sociologists and psychologists give the impression of a subtle but obvious movement to, once again, put forward some scientific rationale for Black, Hispanic, and Asian people to spend their time mulling over while the rest of the world, the white one, passes them by.
Information is a seller’s market. Evaluate it, buy and inculcate it into the mainframe of your thoughts at your own risk.