The phrase is more like a product brought through years of conditioning. Coined by Booker T Washington, it describes an inner-racial struggle between African Americans and themselves. Have you ever seen crabs sold in the market? Inside a topless barrel, the crabs climb on each other for positioning. It’s every crab for himself. Just when one gets close to escaping, another crab pulls him down… so there is no need for a cover to the barrel. This is not how it should be, but it is reality.
In short, the sin of racism started this unfortunate mindset that now plagues black folks. Self-hate was bred and as a result, ones measure of lowliness became multiplied when another was successful. Put simply: being at the bottom is bad, but what’s worse is when there are some that make it out while you stay below. Many would say, this happens everywhere and not just with black people, and I would agree with them. Mankind in general seems to be bent on our own destruction for the benefit of one.
Side Note: The Gospel plan is the destruction on one for the benefit of many
Some examples include sibling rivalry, cooperate latter posturing, and even political popularity through mud slinging on opposing candidates. However, what’s unique about the African American plight is the systemic endorsement of legalized slavery and the subsequent ongoing inequalities that are still taking place.
When I look at the Arizona rap scene, I see some of these same, “crab in a barrel” characteristics. In a place where few make it out of to succeed, many Sucka MCs tend to hate on whoever has movement. There’s another any that Booker T’s metaphor can be ex; it’s the idea of making it out and not forgetting where or what you came from. There are few images more powerful then Lebron’s homecoming, or the plethora of athletes to “give back” to their cities of origin for example. I see God’s image on people when there is a natural inclination to go back and help. Was that not the Father’s will in the garden when Jesus obeyed and drank that cup? Below, this idea of assumed obligation was depicted in the Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
At the end of the matter, is there an obligation to “go back” or “give back”? It almost seems like the answer must be YES! Maybe it’s God’s image whispering in our ear to “throw a rope down” and when we do, we just reflect something he was willing to do for us. I could be wrong, but what I know for sure is that it is a terrible thing when instead of using your position to uplift another; you opt to tear them down. When your struggle is so bad that hope is measured by the degree of separation in-between you and whoever can be worse off than you. What I hate more than any Sell-out is when I myself am tempted to pull down another for my own advancement… but I too believe the gospel, and this is a mystery.
Check out my Single, Booker T