Nature or Nurture: Change Still Possible

Go Lean Commentary

What is wrong … with America? Why are they so dysfunctional with … Guns, School ShootingsPolice-on-Black shootings?

Question: Is the American problem Nature … or it Nurture?

Answer: It’s American Psychology!

Psychology is not so new a science … it goes way back in history – i.e. Plato, Aristotle,  John Locke (1690), René Descartes (1637), etc..

One of the oldest arguments in the history of psychology is the Nature vs Nurture debate. Each of these sides have good points that it’s really hard to decide whether a person’s development is predisposed in his DNA, or a majority of it is influenced by this life experiences and his environment. –

Which factor – Nature or Nurture – attributes to the development of Caribbean society?

VIDEO – Nature vs. Nurture – Psy 101 –

Published on Jul 10, 2015 – Does our personality and behavior come about from our upbringing and environment or do we have genetic predispositions that influence us to act a certain way? Let’s discuss how psychologists tackle the issue!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – asserts that there are standard traits for Caribbean society and people – community ethos – that are so entrenched that they could be considered as embedded in the DNA. The Go Lean book defines community ethos as:

… the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period. – Page 20

But alas, “community ethos” can be changed.

The Go Lean book prescribes how to recognize the ethos and most importantly: how to change ethos.

The Caribbean’s “community ethos” did not start in the Caribbean; alas, they started in Europe. So a study of the European ethos during the time of the discovery of the New World must be considered; we must learn from those lessons – we are directly affected.

In a previous Go Lean commentary, it was developed that the historicity of American and Caribbean society – make  that the whole New World – was premised on the European philosophy of White Supremacy; that it was acceptable for those peoples to exploit the native people of the New World – or the transplanted slaves – as long as they infused Christianity into these conquered people.

Such a fallacy!

So the Nature of the Caribbean refers to the normal assumption – community ethos – that inhabitants are Less Than and not equipped to foster a workable society. Alas, this Nature can be changed!

One way of changing that default Nature, is by Nurturing the needed values that the regional community needs to thrive as functioning societies. This destination is not automatic; it must be forged … with strenuous effort – heavy-lifting. This must be the new societal priority.

Underlying to Caribbean history is the Nature (DNA) of the New World colonizers; they brought Crony-Capitalism and White Supremacy – in this order – to their new lands of influence. This natural assumption that Europeans had the right to rule and exploit the land and dominate native people was an obvious attribute for hundreds of years (half a millennium).

Take for example this evidence in the history of discovery:

  • The New World was discovered in 1492, slavery started in 1600’s. What happened in 1500’s? Search for Gold. This is proof-positive that European Crony-Capitalism superseded all other community values in the New World colonization quest.
  • French Revolution brought equality and egalitarianism to the French world, but shortly thereafter, “they” wanted to re-install slavery in the French Caribbean, even in rebellious Haiti.

Where personal Nature is failing, the recompense must come from the process in Nurturing. (Consider the example of Crony-Capitalism; change can be forged by attacking the pocketbook through boycotts, embargo and blockades).

This commentary commences a 4-part series on Nature or Nurture for “community ethos”. This entry is 1 of 4 in this series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean in consideration of root causes of some societal defects – specific examples in the US and UK – and how to overcome them. There is much that can be learned from history, good, bad and ugly. The other commentaries in the series are cataloged as follows:

  1. Nature or Nurture: Black Marchers see gun violence differently
  2. Nature or Nurture: Cop-on-Black Shootings – Embedded in America’s DNA; Whites Yawn>
  3. Nature or Nurture: UK City of Bristol still paying off Slavery Debt
  4. Nature or Nurture: Nurturing comes from women; “they” impacted the Abolition of Slavery

All of these commentaries relate to “why” the New World has the societal defects that are so prominent – and so illogical – and  “how” the stewards for a new Caribbean can assuage these defects and the resultant failing dispositions among Caribbean society. Though the traits may be consistent in the hemisphere, our efforts to reform and transform is limited to the Caribbean.

The subject of gun violence in America is truly one of those subjects, where a logical society seems to ignore logic. (America is the richest, most powerful society in the history of civilizations). It is outright stupidity! A previous blog-commentary related that stupidity persists when “someone is profiting”. (In a free society, special interest groups – who often have an economic motive – can conduct promotional campaigns to control public opinion).

So in America, it is a fact that different population groups have different experiences and values for guns. See this reality as portrayed in this news article, about Black protesters seeing gun violence differently than their White counterparts:

Title: Black Marchers See Gun Violence Differently
By: Alexa Spencer

WASHINGTON — Adia Granger knows gun violence intimately.  The 16-year-old lives in Baltimore, the city with the highest murder rate of any major city in America.

Of the 343 people killed in Baltimore last year, 295 died by gunfire, more than New York City or Los Angeles, cities with more than 10 times Baltimore’s population.  Gun-related deaths accounted for 88 percent of the city’s homicides.

Many of the victims were young.  Markel Scott, 19, shot six times. Steven Jackson, 18, shot in the head. Shaquan Raymone Trusty, 16, shot multiple times in the upper body. Tyrese Davis, 15, and  Jeffrey Quick, 15, shot in same neighborhood within blocks of one another.

Adia’s own cousin was shot while walking home from work.  Like her cousin, most all of them victims were black.

Their deaths were the reason she and a group of classmates from Western High School were among the more than 800,000 who rallied in the nation’s capital to demand more action to deal with gun violence.

“I came here to represent Baltimore,” Adia said.

Adia was among several bus loads of students sent to the march by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. For them, gun violence is not new. It is a longstanding issue.

Adia, a high school junior, joined the national movement for gun control sparked by the Parkland shooting by marching out of her school in March,   Like many other protestors,  she said she wanted the federal government should do more to address the issue.

“It’s unacceptable what is going on,” Adia said, “and Congress has not done anything about it.,”

Adia was among many black citizens that were present to protest not only against mass shootings, but also police brutality and gun violence that plagues neighborhoods of color.

Frederick Shelton, 43, stood aside the packed streets, holding a sign that read: If the opposite of pro is con…what is the opposite of progress?”

The message of his sign, Shelton said is “We’re not moving forward.”

“It’s just a matter of time before any of us get shot, because our federal government is not doing anything,” he said. “We’re all just sitting around waiting for the next mass shooting. It could be you. It could be me. And that’s a horrible way to live.”

Shelton teaches English as a second language to immigrant students in Washington.   He said his students are uniquely affected by gun laws and said he participated in the march to make their lives better. He suggested the federal government reserve guns for military personnel only.

“I believe that there is no place for guns in our society,” he said. “Guns are for the military.”

Tameka Garner-Barry, 38-year-old mother of three, brought her sons, 2, 5, and 11, to the march to “reclaim” their schools and their community. Her children, though young, have recognized the problem and wanted to be at the march to speak out.

“These are issues and concerns that they’ve had, so it’s only right that they come out and voice their opinions and let their voices be heard,” Garner-Barry said.

Standing at his mother’s hip, 5-year-old Bryson chipped in his feelings.

“I feel like people have to stop the violence,” he said, “because people are getting hurt.”

Garner-Barry said she wanted to see the removal of guns from the streets and heightened security in school.

“I want Congress to know that we do control the vote, and that we take these issues seriously,” she said, “and I want the NRA to be dismissed altogether,”

Nia Smith, 21, a graduating senior film production major at Howard University from Chicago, was also at the march.

Chicago had the highest number of murders two years in a row.    In 2016, 771 were killed.  The number declined to 650 murdered in 2017, still higher than the number of murders in Los Angeles and New York City combined.

“Gun violence has always been a part of my life,” Smith said. “I have had family members that I’ve lost to gun violence.”

Though the march addressed gun violence, including some speakers who tlked abut gun violence against African-American men and women, she said she felt as though certain forms of gun violence, such as police brutality, were overlooked by protesters because of class and race.

“They fail to see that gun violence is gun violence, period…the police and the perpetrators of the classroom shootings,” Smith said.

To fully combat the issue, there must be support across racial lines, she said.

“I don’t think they should be separated,” she said. “I think white people should march the way they marched today for the Black Lives Matter movement. They all died the same way. They all died by a bullet.”

Source: Howard University News Service; posted March 26, 2018; retrieved April 7, 2018 from:

A previous blog-commentary related how the 2nd Amendment originated during slavery so as to provide additional rights to the slave-owning populations to regulate (police) their slave majorities on plantations.

Despite the historic developments, the requirements for the Black American population appears to be different than for the White population; (this writer attended one of the “March For Our Lives” events on March 24, 2018). This is the manifestation of the Nature psychology.

While this is an American drama, there is much that the Caribbean can glean, in terms of lessons learned. The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. The book presents 370 pages of instructions for how to reform and transform our Caribbean member-states. It stresses the key community ethos that needs to be adopted, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies necessary to shepherd a better society.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides directions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. Considering the failings in the US, the Go Lean roadmap calls for remediation and mitigation for gun control, despite the race issues. We want to elevate our society beyond the initial racial Nature in Caribbean history.

Change can be forged, by Nurturing a better community ethos. We have a long track record of advocates and activists working to change the default orthodoxy. They protest, campaign, speak out for a cause, lobby, cajole, take to the streets and march; they engage the voting process and support – or oppose – candidates in line, or out of line, with their cause. This is referred to as forging change from the Bottom-Up. They may even use Civil Disobedience tactics.

Have you been to jail for justice?

This is an important question and statement for forging change in society. See how this has been portrayed in this song-VIDEO recapping many of the causes during the hey-day of the Counter-Culture: Civil Rights, Women’s rights, Anti-War protests, etc.. The lyrics are included in the Appendix below.

VIDEO – Peter, Paul and Mary – Have You Been To Jail For Justice –

Kwan CS
Published on Sep 26, 2016 – Peter, Paul and Mary – Have You Been To Jail For Justice

For many of the Caribbean’s bad Nature, the Go Lean roadmap seeks to Nurture change with good messaging to the heart of the youth; this is one proven method for forging change among the next generation. Beyond that, meeting the needs of the population is important for optimizing the societal engines in a community. This is easier said than done, but this quest is the purpose of the CU/Go Lean roadmap; this roadmap has these 3 prime directives for optimizing our societal engines:

The Caribbean does not have the same population demographic as the neighboring American states. We can more easily distance ourselves from the racial dysfunction in American society. We have majority Black populations among 29 of the 30 member-states.  We only need to deliver best practices going forward; after formal reconciliation from our dysfunctional past.

Despite our differences, the Caribbean does need to reform and transform our society. We have many societal defects of our own. That cited song stressed this ethos:

The more you study history
The less you can deny it
A rotten law stays on the books
’til folks with guts defy it!

Yes, we can … exert the energy, display the guts and internal fortitude to change our society, to reform and transform. This is how we can make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Lyrics: Peter, Paul and Mary – Have You Been To Jail For Justice 

(Written by Anne Feeney)

Was it Cesar Chavez or Rosa Parks that day?
Some say Dr. King or Ghandi
Set them on their way
No matter who your mentors are
It’s pretty plain to see
That if you’ve been to jail for justice
You’re in good company

Have you been to jail for justice?
I want to shake your hand
‘Cause sitting in and laying down
Are ways to take a stand
Have you sung a song for freedom
Or marched that picket line?
Have you been to jail for justice?
Then you’re a friend of mine

You law abiding citizens
Come listen to this song
Laws are made by people
And people can be wrong
Once unions were against the law
But slavery was fine
Women were denied the vote
While children worked the mine
The more you study history
The less you can deny it
A rotten law stays on the books
’til folks with guts defy it!

Have you been to jail for justice?
I want to shake your hand
‘Cause sitting in and laying down
Are ways to take a stand
Have you sung a song for freedom
Or marched that picket line?
Have you been to jail for justice?
Then you’re a friend of mine

Well the law is supposed to serve us
And so are the police
When the system fails
It’s up to us to speak our piece
We must be ever vigilant
For justice to prevail
So get courage from your convictions
Let ’em haul you off to jail!

Have you been to jail for justice?
I want to shake your hand
‘Cause sitting in and laying down
Are ways to take a stand
Have you sung a song for freedom
Or marched that picket line?
Have you been to jail for justice?
Then you’re a friend of mine
Have you been to jail for justice
Have you been to jail for justice
Have you been to jail for justice
Then you’re a friend of mine

Source: Retrieved April 8, 2018 from:

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