Unpacking the Black Man Mentality: A Critical Analysis of Blameshifting and Could-Haves

The Black Man Mentality is a complex web of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that shape the worldview of many individuals across the African continent. In this exploration, we delve into two significant aspects of this mentality: the culture of blameshifting and the tendency towards ‘could haves, should haves, and would haves.’


The Leadership Conundrum

The blame game is a pervasive element of the Black Man Mentality, notably seen in the relationship between the average Ghanaian and the country’s leadership. It’s a two-way street where leaders point fingers at the citizens, and vice versa. This constant cycle of blaming often masks the collective responsibility each party holds in nation-building. Leaders indulge in shifting blame towards citizens due to our poor maintenance culture, deficiency in proper education and literacy (don’t let the statistics fool you) and the sense of entitlement of their relatives derived from our nepotistic culture.

Individual Accountability

Despite societal challenges, the average Ghanaian sometimes neglects personal responsibility. Blaming those in power becomes an easy way to avoid accountability for our individual actions. This deflective culture inhibits progress and perpetuates a cycle of stagnation. There is an over-reliance on government, having transitioned from a socialist monarchy in our ancient past to a democratic republic in recent times. The average Ghanaian often experiences frustration and discontent with various aspects of governance, such as service delivery, infrastructure, and economic opportunities. When expectations are not met, there’s a tendency to blame those in power for perceived shortcomings.

Could Haves, Should Haves, Would Haves

Oversimplifying Challenges:

After assigning blame, there’s a tendency to oversimplify someone’s tasks at hand. After all, everything looks easy and simple when you are not the one doing it. This reduction of complexity often overlooks the intricate and multifaceted nature of real-world challenges. It often stems from a lack of understanding of the intricacies involved in governance, leading to misguided judgments. This mentality is often fueled by hindsight bias, a tendency to perceive events as having been predictable after they have already occurred. Individuals may believe that, with the benefit of hindsight, they could have made better choices without fully appreciating the uncertainties and unknowns that decision-makers face.

Sentiment-Driven Decision Making:

The Black Man Mentality sometimes leads to decision-making based on sentiments rather than research and context-specific considerations. Importing ideas without critical evaluation of their applicability to local challenges can hinder genuine progress. This mentality often stems from emotional responses rather than a rational understanding of the decision-making process. Individuals might react emotionally to a situation, thinking that a different course of action based on their personal preferences or experiences would yield better results.

When decision-makers are influenced by oversimplified judgements, it can result in the formulation and implementation of ineffective policies. This lack of comprehensive understanding hampers the ability to address root causes and implement sustainable solutions. Decision-makers may be reluctant to deviate from established practices, even when evidence suggests the need for innovation. Now you understand why we lack a culture of innovation.

The Vicious Cycle

Double Work and Subpar Results:

The Black Man Mentality’s inclination towards careless initial efforts, coupled with an assumption that ‘it’s nothing,’ often results in subpar outcomes. This mentality forces a revisit to fix inadequacies, leading to a cycle of double work with unsatisfactory results. The ‘it’s nothing’ attitude often involves downplaying the significance of the initial efforts. This attitude might lead to a lack of attention to detail, overlooking potential challenges, and neglecting the necessary resources and planning required for success.

Whether it’s a construction project, a policy implementation, or any other initiative, the lack of meticulousness can lead to inefficiencies and deficiencies. Recognizing the inadequacies in the initial efforts, there is often a need to revisit and fix the issues. This revisiting constitutes a cycle of double work, where additional time, resources, and effort are invested to rectify mistakes that could have been avoided with a more careful approach initially.

Worshipping the White Man:

Perhaps, the Black Man Mentality stems from eugenics, social Darwinism and scientific racism

A concerning aspect of the Black Man Mentality is the subconscious elevation of the white man as superior. This mindset perpetuates a lack of confidence in the abilities of fellow black individuals, hindering self-reliance and perpetuating a sense of inferiority. The historical context of colonization has left lasting imprints on the collective psyche of many African nations. During the colonial era, white Europeans were often portrayed as superior, leading to the internalization of these notions by the colonized populations.

It’s a cultural hegemony. The dominance of European cultures during colonial rule further reinforced the perception of white superiority. European languages, education systems, and societal structures were imposed, contributing to the subconscious belief in the superiority of the white man’s ways. In fact, it’s an internalized racism. As long as we think that we have a “black-man-with-a-black-mind mentality” (often seen as a bad thing), confirmation bias will always make sure that our internal mentality is externally enforced.


“Kwasi Broni” is not special. Our way of life and thinking is rather subpar to their system. At least, our problems make sense. Most of the problems of the Western world are absurd. Until we realize the problem stems first of all from a mentality level (some even quote the Bible to enforce the belief of the black man being under a “curse” and subpar to the white man), our problems will persist. Inferior mindsets create inferior culture and sustained problems.

Understanding and challenging the Black Man Mentality is crucial for progress. Breaking free from the culture of blameshifting and ‘could haves’ requires fostering a sense of accountability, embracing research-based decision-making, and acknowledging the value of local expertise. Only then can individuals contribute meaningfully to the development of their nations without being ensnared by the complexities of the Black Man Mentality.

It’s a 3-part series so there’s more to come. Kindly let me know what you think in the comments below.

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