Sunday, June 7, 2020

“Black Ego” – Our Worst Enemy By Far.

August 2, 2018 by  
Filed under Health, News, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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( So you say you listen, if someone gives you advice in the “right way“? Really? And what way might that be? Or does your ego kick in when your own people try to share knowledge, educate you with their expertise and lift you up? As a former detective, training instructor, consultant and highly skilled and well-versed professional, I know enough to know what I don’t know. I know enough to know when I need to teach, when I need to share knowledge to lift others up, when I need to walk away from ignorant people with big egos, closed minds and few results. I am also wise enough to know when I need to be quiet, listen and learn – which is why I have gained as much knowledge as I have in the first place. We can be confident and full of self-esteem without detrimental ego. So what about you?

I have found over the last several decades that African Americans tend to listen less to each other than we should as a people. Yet we listen more to “white” people than we do our own. In effect “the white man’s ice is colder than ours“. Too many of our people want to get into a knowledge contest with African American people who have the expertise they don’t. Ego arises quickly and “black” people get offended. One case that happens repeatedly is when our people are asked to be accountable to what they said they would do. Accountability in the African American community has become a dirty word. And let me say these are not just my experiences, but also the experiences and accurate perceptions by a great many people of other ethnic groups who deal with “black” people on a regular basis.


Ego, attitude and getting offended is hurting the African American community. Why? Because too many people would rather stay in darkness and the ignorance of lack of knowledge instead of admitting what they do not know. I have witnessed more incidents than I can count where African Americans have lost out because they would not listen to those who had the expertise they did not. I have seen businesses close when they did not have to. I have seen people lose their homes when the home could have been saved. I have seen people lose everything they have, get fired, beaten by police, divorced, end up in jail or even worse when much of that was avoidable. All largely because of ego, attitude and getting offended instead of listening and learning. That’s just dumb.

Too many “black” people fail to overstand the value and purpose of accountability. The fact is that we are all connected and what one of us does will directly or indirectly affect our people as a whole – like it or not. The fact is that iron sharpens iron, but for that to happen, there must be sparks. And sadly our people neither like sparks nor being challenged to become greater than they are – no matter how you say it. The fact is that holding ourselves to a high standard is a good thing. The fact is that accountability helps us do better, grow stronger and rise higher. If our people as a whole could overstand that, we would be a lot better offer.


I do not accept that African Americans are less intelligent than any other ethnic group. But I do see that far too many of our people are less focused, less diligent, more lazy and less accountable than any other ethnic group in this country. All of our people? No. Most of our people? Probably not. But far too many. We get mad when the Mexicans and Asians  come here with nothing and pass right by us. Yet we spend our money with them every week instead of owning even a grocery store, gas station or hair store in our own communities. Wake up. We all can learn from each other if we put the egos in check.

We get upset when the state wants to take over the public schools (in Atlanta) yet time after time we ignore the repeated failures of the Board of Education, cheating scandals, low attendance rates, low graduation rates and high dropout rates.  Our people want to blame the police (sometimes they are guilty), blame the government, blame Donald Trump, blame the food stamp program, blame the bank for closing “on time” like they do every day (even though we are 2 minutes late). We want to blame the teachers when our children do not learn even though our parents are not checking homework because they are “too busy“. Anything else but looking in the mirror and being accountable to our “race“. Ego. Are you offended? If you are offended, maybe you will get offended enough to wake up.


The “black” ego is our worst enemy by far. It results in everything from divorce to domestic violence to death to the loss of so much unnecessarily. The wisest of our people know when to be quiet, listen and learn. They know how to respond after they think through things instead of just reacting ignorantly without thinking. Only a fool would rather stay in a dark whole of ignorance because its comfortable and familiar. And watch what happens when this article posts. A lot of negative comments by the very type people I speak of or very few readers because people fear the mirror. We have to do better people. We can do better. And the lack of real identity is feeding egos that are based in ego alone – not in intellect, the ability to get results nor exceptionalism .

If you think some of us think too much of ourselves, maybe it’s because you don’t think enough of yourself. And know that those of us who have made an accurate assessment can back up our self- perception, self image or self-esteem with results. If you think some of us are arrogant, maybe it’s because your self-esteem is too low. It’s not a competition so if someone knows more than you, learn from them and benefit from their knowledge, wisdom, experience and expertise.

So what are the solutions? There are many. If you have expertise, share it. If you do not, listen to those who do. Look in the mirror. Learn to put ego in check, at least until you can make the results match. Take advice in the form of constructive criticism. Recognize the value of accountability and that we are all connected. Spread the word, share the message. Be the iron that does not resist sharpening. Come out of the dark and close down the cave. Do not let ego make you a slave to denial and ignorance.

Staff Writer; Trevo Craw


8 Responses to ““Black Ego” – Our Worst Enemy By Far.”
  1. skipb says:

    A few years ago, I took interest in the Detroit Public School System and the struggle that city has had involving many complex, serious issues. Since I don’t live in Detroit one of the ways to find out what is going on and to keep current is to view public meetings, mainly the school board but I’ve also watched many Detroit city council meetings. I was shocked. The meetings, especially the school board at the time (2012-2013) were just utter chaos. Elected officials yelling at one another, calling each other names, using power to force their stance on issues upon others, not letting people speak and on and on. It seemed to be a bunch of people all fighting for their own, as you say, “ego.” Lots of “how dare you” and “i’m in charge therefore you must…” kind of stuff. I’d never seen anything like it – and it went on at every meeting! I thought, “My God, the city, the schools are in a state of such intense struggle, have endured so much difficulty, how in the world can these people, the elected leaders in charge, be so dysfunctional and chaotic in the carrying out of their duties?” I soon lost interest and some positive headway had been made so stopped paying attention after awhile. Then. Flint. Flint has been through shear hell. I found myself interested again the same way i was with the school board. Interested in learning about how a city copes and moves forward and rooting for them! And wouldn’t you know it, the same exact thing. Total chaos, dysfunction and mayhem at the top level, displayed in public meeetings for all the world to see. Now, an honsest conversation about this must acknowlege that to an onlooker like me, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that a common denominator going on is that the majority of those in these positions, carrying out the chaos are black. So, that’s how I was drawn to you article. I found it very interesting indeed. I agree with you as well. There seems to be this preoccupation, this priority placed on “ego” which goes above all else – above fixing problems, above doing whatever it takes to get the job done, above the needs of their community. Ego, being right, being heard, being “respected,” active demonstrations of power and control are each individual’s #1 concern. And the white folks do it too, everyone takes it on and the end result is a big, fat, dysfunctional mess that does nothing but worsen the tragedy already playing out in the city. It’s so sad, really. So unnecessary. If I lived there and had to witness all that, I’d feel so angry and hopeless. Thanks for the space to dialogue. I’d love to hear from you, Mr. Craw with any further thoughts you might have. Peace. Skip.

  2. The Compensatory Narcissist Police says:

    @Trevo Craw

    What you call/see as “super-confidence” is merely a facade. They are compensatory narcissists. Contrary to popular belief, narcissists do not in fact have high self esteem, but rather they possess low self-esteem. To compensate for this, and to hide this fact, they “act” extremely confident. But, again, it is all just a facade; a ruse. And this is where the ego comes into play and wreaks havoc in the black community. It is indeed how I discovered this article.

    So you have lots of low self-esteem individuals walking around, playing this aggressive ego game – trying to prove how they are tougher or better than the next guy. But if and when the facade is exposed, (his “imagined” superiority is challenged.) you get narcissistic rage, and the narcissist lashes out with extreme aggression.

    I’m guilty of constantly referencing The Boondocks clip of “A Nigga Moment” due to it’s uncanny accuracy at demonstrating this concept. Easily found on YouTube, it shows how two black males are walking, and they bump into each other. This simple clumsy act causes them to feel disrespected so much that an argument ensues. The argument swells into a fight which soon turns into gunfire. It’s maddeningly ridiculous how something so simple can become so important, but that’s ego for you!

  3. Trevo Craw says:


  4. Trevo Craw says:


    First of all people can disagree with opinions but I state proven verifiable facts. Secondly it is not about me. Third of all, my knowledge base comes from experts and expert training I have as a veteran counselor who has counseled thousands of men, women, couples and families. We were and are to follow God, not the local pastors and that is part of the problem.

    You and I did not go through slavery either so saying our ancestors did is not excuse for us today. You make some good points but some that are incomplete. Send your contact number to and I will be happy to speak with you personally and address each thing you mention

  5. BJ says:

    Regarding your comments, I wanted to bring the point that if someone disagrees with you, how would you react. I have read some of your articles in the past. I don’t remember if I ever replied to any. I hardly reply to articles if I agree or not to try to avoid arguments with people I don’t know and who do not know me besides what we write to each other about the article. Some of your articles are good and I agree, and some I do not completely agree with.

    What do I do to help our people? I try to be a good example at work and at home with my family and church. No, I am not quite as vocal as you. But everyone does not have to be vocal to help one other.

    Perhaps you are right that we can work with each other at times – Civil Rights would be a big example. Perhaps electing Obama twice is another big example.

    We do tend to follow our local pastors. However, the churches did not seem to help keep the neighborhoods from getting worst.

    I recently read Coretta Scott King’s book called Coretta. A couple of things I remember she said that people only wanted to interact with her husband – news media, government, etc. However, she thought it would have been best if no one had all the attention because if something happens to him or her, the movement dies – which is what happened. Instead, she thinks it should be run like a business – having goals. Further she explains, the CEO of the company has a committee and the CEO is elected and can come and go but the business doesn’t always have to die if the CEO leaves.

    That is what I think we should do too. Have goals and if a leader leaves, other leaders can take over.

    Should we be like some countries in Africa where the person stays for life. What good is that? I am sure the next batch of leaders want a chance without having to overthrow the leader who gets too comfortable in power.

    The NBA was able to survive and thrive without MJ by allowing other stars to emerge.

    Churches have a leader and committee or elders to help guide the pastor.

    Family, the man is the head but he can seek input from his wife and even his kids at times.

    One thing you mention in the article about Hispanics and Asians getting it together. Well, they did not go through slavery and Jim Crow for one. The other thing is they are more acceptable to the mainstream than we are. Another thing is, if you know where you are from, you can look ahead. We don’t always know where we are from so some of us seems to get stuck in a mental slavery.

    Overall, that is not an excuse to not try at all. I beleive a person should not make too many excuses. That doesn’t mean I don’t know about the slavery, Jim Crow, and now covert racism that we experience.

    I do think it has been easier for us to achieve individually than to try to achieve collectively. There will be pushback from the powers that be when we try to achieve together. Hopefully soon, God will show us the best way to achieve as a people together but we have to be wise and humble too.

  6. Trevo Craw says:

    Every other ethnic group on this planet recognizes super-confidence in African Americans except insecure black people who feel they have to put the super confident in our place. Only such insecure black people see this super confidence as a bad thing because it forces them to see who or what they are not but could be or could have been.

    BJ so what are you doing to help others and become part of the solution?

  7. Trevo Craw says:

    BJ nice try at a covert insult. I certainly do not know everything and nowhere did i say i did. Do you? But what i do know is what our people need to hear and how to help the THOUSANDS of people as I have over decades of building up people – young and old- throughout the AA community.

    I know as much as I do because I sat and learned from people of all ages who had wisdom and who knew their stuff. People with proven track records of impact, not talk, insults or animosity for intelligent people and correction.

    Leadership does not always come from collective ideas. What you describe is only one type of leadership and not the most effective. The democratic approach is not practiced in a family home nor the military nor a successful corporation nor a church. God’s kingdom, for example, is not based on collective input. It is based on hierarchy of sound leadership.

    Speak for yourself. I won’t say all of our people lack the ability to work with each other. African Americans usually can, black people sometimes and niggers often not. But there are exceptions of character and behavior in every category I just mentioned. And if we accept your premise about the inability for us to work together, people will never try so I don’t buy that.

    People can do what they want to do or have to do, depending on the urgency. So urgency, optimism, realism and the mirror is what our people need.

  8. BJ says:

    Black ego can also be that one person thinks he/she has all the answers. Then it becomes hard for that person to accept criticism of his/her idea or to choose the best ideas from the collective community and work towards executing those ideas together. Instead, if there is criticism or if his/her idea is not chosen as one of the best, he/she may “take their ball and go home”. Rather, we should stick it out. If the ideas do not work out get new ones. If ideas need modifying, do so until we reach our goals. Just like we learned to stick with our ideas individually. We have to learn to stick with our ideas collectively.

    A case in-point, Lavar Ball created a Junior Basketball League. If you like him or not, the NCAA has been using and abusing our talents without proper compensation for a long long time. But supposed Black athletes with money started a Junior Basketball League themselves. It does not seem like we know how to work with each other. Lavar Ball is also utilizing Black male talent in his businesses, so that is good. Though he is not perfect. Maybe one day others can work together to do what he is trying to do but in other areas of the Black community.

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