We could work together to set a new agenda to restore the stolen pride and peace of Africa continent.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on April 11, 2014 at 3:35 AM||comments (2)|
Enslaved Africa woman who had to feed all of the white babies first and her child last.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on April 9, 2014 at 1:20 PM||comments (8)|
An African-American man in South Carolina has lineage tracing back 338,000 years, according to a new study. The unidentified man’s Y chromosomes — a hereditary factor determining male gender — has a history so old that it predates the age of the oldest known h**o sapiens fossils, according to the report published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
The man’s chromosome carries a rare mutation, which researchers matched to a similar chromosome in the Mbo, a population living in a tiny area of western Cameroon in sub-Saharan Africa. “Our analysis indicates this lineage diverged from previously known Y chromosomes about 338,000 ago, a time when anatomically modern humans had not yet evolved,” Michael Hammer, associate professor at the Univ. of Arizona’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a research scientist at the UA’s Arizona Research Labs, said via a press release. “This pushes back the time the last common Y chromosome ancestor lived by almost 70 percent.”
The DNA study began after the South Carolina man submitted a small tissue sample to theNational Geographic Genographic Project. Researchers were shocked after they noticed none of the genetic markers used to assign lineages to known Y chromosome groupings were found. The man’s DNA sample was sent to Family Tree DNA for sequencing. Fernando Mendez, a postdoctoral researcher in Hammer’s lab, led the effort to analyze the DNA sequence. It included more than 240,000 base pairs of the Y chromosome. Searches through a huge database led to the Mbo connection.
The scientists were then able to estimate the emergence of the chromosome mutation based on rates of change, creating a sort of “family tree” for the chromosome. The discovery doesn’t necessarily mean that all humans descended from an ancestor living in western Cameroon. “It is a misconception that the genealogy of a single genetic region reflects population divergence,” Hammer explained. “Instead, our results suggest that there are pockets of genetically isolated communities that together preserve a great deal of human diversity.”
Hammer added that still “It is likely that other divergent lineages will be found, whether in Africa or among African-Americans in the U.S. and that some of these may further increase the age of the Y chromosome tree. There has been a lot of hype with people trying to trace their Y chromosome to different tribes, but this individual from South Carolina can say he did it.” The study has even further implications. It strengthens the belief that there is no “mitochondrial Eve” or “Y chromosome Adam.” All of humankind, as a result, did not descend from exactly one pair of humans that lived at a certain point in human evolution.
2. Skeletons of pre-humans have been found in Africa that date back between 4 and 5 million years. The oldest known ancestral type of humanity is thought to have been the australopithecus ramidus, who lived at least 4.4 million years ago.
3. Africans were the first to organise fishing expeditions 90,000 years ago. At Katanda, a region in northeastern Zaïre (now Congo), was recovered a finely wrought series of harpoon points, all elaborately polished and barbed. Also uncovered was a tool, equally well crafted, believed to be a dagger. The discoveries suggested the existence of an early aquatic or fishing based culture.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on April 6, 2014 at 6:20 PM||comments (1)|
Mugabe revives Gaddafi's United States of Africa dream
Zimbabwean president claims a continental bloc united under one figurehead is needed to move Africa into global superleague
Robert Mugabe: 'We really have not become integrated as an African people into a real union.' Photograph: Aaron Ufumeli/EPA
The muscular display of power and pageantry at the inauguration in Washington may be watched by envious eyes around the world. Not least among those who yearn to build another USA – the United States of Africa – under a single president.
Such was the dream of Muammar Gaddafi, a quixotic project that appeared to have died with the Libyan dictator but has now been rekindled by the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe.
Speaking in Harare after meeting Benin's president, Thomas Boni Yayi, who is the outgoing African Union (AU) chairman, Mugabe argued that a figurehead is needed to move Africa beyond regional blocs and into the global superleague.
"Get them to get out of the regional shell and get into one continental shell," he was quoted as saying by the state-owned Herald newspaper.
"The continent of Africa: this is what we must become. And there, we must also have an African head. He was talking of the president of Africa. Yes, we need one. We are not yet there.
"This is what we must go and discuss, but we must also discuss the issues that divide us."
The AU holds its latest summit this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mugabe, 88, warned that Africans are not as united as was expected by the founders of the AU's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, half a century ago.
"We really have not become integrated as an African people into a real union," he said. "And this is the worry, which my brother has, and the worry I have; the worry perhaps others also have. That we are not yet at that stage which was foretold by our fathers when they created this organisation."
The founding fathers had a vision of a continent united politically, economically and culturally, he added. "We are not there yet. As we stand here people will look at us, as me anglophone, him francophone, you see. There is also lusophone, but we are Africans first and foremost. Africans, Africans. Look at our skin.
"That's our continent, we belong to one continent. We may, by virtue of history, have been divided by certain boundaries and especially by colonialism. But our founding fathers in 1963 showed us the way and we must take up that teaching that we got in 1963. That we are one and we must be united."
A United States of Africa spanning Cape Town and Cairo was proposed by Gaddafi in 1999 as a way of ending the continent's conflicts and defying the west, but it failed to secure enough support from his African counterparts. Some suspected that Gaddafi wanted the job for himself – a charge that Mugabe is hardly likely to dodge.
There is a case for challenging borders that were drawn up by European imperialists and which continue to inhibit travel and trade. But critics say the notion of uniting 54 countries with their thousands of languages and ethnicities is currently untenable. In fact some parts of Africa have been moving in the opposite direction and seeking local autonomy. Economies are moving at very different speeds.
Lindiwe Zulu, international relations adviser to South African president Jacob Zuma, said: "I don't foresee a single United States of Africa with a single president because we are so diverse politically and otherwise. It is very desirable in the long term but I don't see it any time soon. There is a lot more to be done. We are still agonising over sovereignty."
She added: "When you call for one president, you are calling for ministers to serve under them, one parliament and one legislative process. There are too many things that divide us on political, social and economic levels. We need to have a common agenda and approach to human rights and development before we can talk about one president. We need to deal with democracy on the continent and leaders who think beyond themselves."
Richard Dowden, director of the Royal African Society, said: "The idea that one government could rule the whole of Africa at this stage is silly and unworkable. They need to build from the bottom economically rather than imposing a notion of unity from the top down; it's absurd.
"It is a dream of totalitarian fantasists, not the people. Africa is becoming increasingly local. I'm in Kenya at the moment and the forthcoming election is all about ethnic arithmetic.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on April 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM||comments (0)|
THE BUSH FAMILY OLIGARCHY.Funding the Hitler Project
the rise of the third reich.In 1933, shortly after Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany, the German Parliament was set on fire by the Nazis and the Communists were blamed for this act of terrorism against the German people.
Following the Nazi-inspired arson, Hitler exploited the outrage of the German citizens to arrogate to himself dictatorial powers, which he promised would be used to rid Germany of Communists.
The next day, Chancellor Hitler demanded from the German cabinet an emergency decree which would enable him to deal decisively with the domestic crisis. President von Hindenburg signed the decree "for the Protection of the people and the State."
An account of this watershed event is found at The History Place:
The exact sequence of events will never be known, but Nazi storm troopers under the direction of Göring were also involved in torching the place.
They had befriended the arsonist [a Communist named Van der Lubbe] and may have known or even encouraged him to burn the Reichstag that night.
The storm troopers, led by SA leader Karl Ernst, used the underground tunnel that connected Göring's residence with the cellar in the Reichstag.
They entered the building, scattered gasoline and incendiaries, then hurried back through the tunnel.
The deep red glow of the burning Reichstag caught the eye of President Hindenburg and Vice-Chancellor Papen who were dining at a club facing the building. Papen put the elderly Hindenburg in his own car and took him to the scene.
Hitler was at Goebbels' apartment having dinner. They rushed to the scene where they met Göring who was already screaming false charges and making threats against the Communists.
At first glance, Hitler described the fire as a beacon from heaven.
"You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in German history... This fire is the beginning," Hitler told a news reporter at the scene.
After viewing the damage, an emergency meeting of government leaders was held. When told of the arrest of the Communist arsonist, Van der Lubbe, Hitler became deliberately enraged.
"The German people have been soft too long. Every Communist official must be shot. All Communist deputies must be hanged this very night. All friends of the Communists must be locked up. And that goes for the Social Democrats and the Reichsbanner as well!"
Hitler left the fire scene and went straight to the offices of his newspaper, the Völkischer Beobachter, to oversee its coverage of the fire. He stayed up all night with Goebbels putting together a paper full of tales of a Communist plot to violently seize power in Berlin.
At a cabinet meeting held later in the morning, February 28, Chancellor Hitler demanded an emergency decree to overcome the crisis. He met little resistance from his largely non-Nazi cabinet.
That evening, Hitler and Papen went to Hindenburg and the befuddled old man signed the decree "for the Protection of the people and the State."
The Emergency Decree stated: "Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed."
Immediately, there followed the first big Nazi roundup as truckloads of SA and SS roared through the streets bursting in on known Communist hangouts and barging into private homes.
Thousands of Communists as well as Social Democrats and liberals were taken away into 'protective custody' to SA barracks where they were beaten and tortured.
"I don't have to worry about justice; my mission is only to destroy and exterminate, nothing more!" - Hermann Göring, March 3, 1933.
Fifty one anti-Nazis were murdered. The Nazis suppressed all political activity, meetings and publications of non-Nazi parties. The very act of campaigning against the Nazis was in effect made illegal. http://www.iwilltryit.com/fourthrieich1.htm
George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator's action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
The debate over Prescott Bush's behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.
Remarkably, little of Bush's dealings with Germany has received public scrutiny, partly because of the secret status of the documentation involving him. But now the multibillion dollar legal action for damages by two Holocaust survivors against the Bush family, and the imminent publication of three books on the subject are threatening to make Prescott Bush's business history an uncomfortable issue for his grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.
While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen's US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.
Bush was also on the board of at least one of the companies that formed part of a multinational network of front companies to allow Thyssen to move assets around the world.
Thyssen owned the largest steel and coal company in Germany and grew rich from Hitler's efforts to re-arm between the two world wars. One of the pillars in Thyssen's international corporate web, UBC, worked exclusively for, and was owned by, a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands. More tantalising are Bush's links to the Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC), based in mineral rich Silesia on the German-Polish border. During the war, the company made use of Nazi slave labour from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. The ownership of CSSC changed hands several times in the 1930s, but documents from the US National Archive declassified last year link Bush to CSSC, although it is not clear if he and UBC were still involved in the company when Thyssen's American assets were seized in 1942.
Three sets of archives spell out Prescott Bush's involvement. All three are readily available, thanks to the efficient US archive system and a helpful and dedicated staff at both the Library of Congress in Washington and the National Archives at the University of Maryland.
The first set of files, the Harriman papers in the Library of Congress, show that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with Thyssen.
The second set of papers, which are in the National Archives, are contained in vesting order number 248 which records the seizure of the company assets. What these files show is that on October 20 1942 the alien property custodian seized the assets of the UBC, of which Prescott Bush was a director. Having gone through the books of the bank, further seizures were made against two affiliates, the Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation. By November, the Silesian-American Company, another of Prescott Bush's ventures, had also been seized.
The third set of documents, also at the National Archives, are contained in the files on IG Farben, who was prosecuted for war crimes.
A report issued by the Office of Alien Property Custodian in 1942 stated of the companies that "since 1939, these (steel and mining) properties have been in possession of and have been operated by the German government and have undoubtedly been of considerable assistance to that country's war effort".
Prescott Bush, a 6ft 4in charmer with a rich singing voice, was the founder of the Bush political dynasty and was once considered a potential presidential candidate himself. Like his son, George, and grandson, George W, he went to Yale where he was, again like his descendants, a member of the secretive and influential Skull and Bones student society. He was an artillery captain in the first world war and married Dorothy Walker, the daughter of George Herbert Walker, in 1921.
In 1924, his father-in-law, a well-known St Louis investment banker, helped set him up in business in New York with Averill Harriman, the wealthy son of railroad magnate E H Harriman in New York, who had gone into banking.
One of the first jobs Walker gave Bush was to manage UBC. Bush was a founding member of the bank and the incorporation documents, which list him as one of seven directors, show he owned one share in UBC worth $125.
The bank was set up by Harriman and Bush's father-in-law to provide a US bank for the Thyssens, Germany's most powerful industrial family.
August Thyssen, the founder of the dynasty had been a major contributor to Germany's first world war effort and in the 1920s, he and his sons Fritz and Heinrich established a network of overseas banks and companies so their assets and money could be whisked offshore if threatened again.
By the time Fritz Thyssen inherited the business empire in 1926, Germany's economic recovery was faltering. After hearing Adolf Hitler speak, Thyssen became mesmerised by the young firebrand. He joined the Nazi party in December 1931 and admits backing Hitler in his autobiography, I Paid Hitler, when the National Socialists were still a radical fringe party. He stepped in several times to bail out the struggling party: in 1928 Thyssen had bought the Barlow Palace on Briennerstrasse, in Munich, which Hitler converted into the Brown House, the headquarters of the Nazi party. The money came from another Thyssen overseas institution, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvarrt in Rotterdam.
By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the world's largest private investment bank, and UBC had bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler's build-up to war.
Between 1931 and 1933 UBC bought more than $8m worth of gold, of which $3m was shipped abroad. According to documents seen by the Guardian, after UBC was set up it transferred $2m to BBH accounts and between 1924 and 1940 the assets of UBC hovered around $3m, dropping to $1m only on a few occasions.
In 1941, Thyssen fled Germany after falling out with Hitler but he was captured in France and detained for the remainder of the war.
There was nothing illegal in doing business with the Thyssens throughout the 1930s and many of America's best-known business names invested heavily in the German economic recovery. However, everything changed after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Even then it could be argued that BBH was within its rights continuing business relations with the Thyssens until the end of 1941 as the US was still technically neutral until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The trouble started on July 30 1942 when the New York Herald-Tribune ran an article entitled "Hitler's Angel Has $3m in US Bank". UBC's huge gold purchases had raised suspicions that the bank was in fact a "secret nest egg" hidden in New York for Thyssen and other Nazi bigwigs. The Alien Property Commission (APC) launched an investigation.
There is no dispute over the fact that the US government seized a string of assets controlled by BBH - including UBC and SAC - in the autumn of 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy act. What is in dispute is if Harriman, Walker and Bush did more than own these companies on paper.
Erwin May, a treasury attache and officer for the department of investigation in the APC, was assigned to look into UBC's business. The first fact to emerge was that Roland Harriman, Prescott Bush and the other directors didn't actually own their shares in UBC but merely held them on behalf of Bank voor Handel. Strangely, no one seemed to know who owned the Rotterdam-based bank, including UBC's president.
May wrote in his report of August 16 1941: "Union Banking Corporation, incorporated August 4 1924, is wholly owned by the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My investigation has produced no evidence as to the ownership of the Dutch bank. Mr Cornelis [sic] Lievense, president of UBC, claims no knowledge as to the ownership of the Bank voor Handel but believes it possible that Baron Heinrich Thyssen, brother of Fritz Thyssen, may own a substantial interest."
May cleared the bank of holding a golden nest egg for the Nazi leaders but went on to describe a network of companies spreading out from UBC across Europe, America and Canada, and how money from voor Handel travelled to these companies through UBC.
By September May had traced the origins of the non-American board members and found that Dutchman HJ Kouwenhoven - who met with Harriman in 1924 to set up UBC - had several other jobs: in addition to being the managing director of voor Handel he was also the director of the August Thyssen bank in Berlin and a director of Fritz Thyssen's Union Steel Works, the holding company that controlled Thyssen's steel and coal mine empire in Germany.
Within a few weeks, Homer Jones, the chief of the APC investigation and research division sent a memo to the executive committee of APC recommending the US government vest UBC and its assets. Jones named the directors of the bank in the memo, including Prescott Bush's name, and wrote: "Said stock is held by the above named individuals, however, solely as nominees for the Bank voor Handel, Rotterdam, Holland, which is owned by one or more of the Thyssen family, nationals of Germany and Hungary. The 4,000 shares hereinbefore set out are therefore beneficially owned and help for the interests of enemy nationals, and are vestible by the APC," according to the memo from the National Archives seen by the Guardian.
Jones recommended that the assets be liquidated for the benefit of the government, but instead UBC was maintained intact and eventually returned to the American shareholders after the war. Some claim that Bush sold his share in UBC after the war for $1.5m - a huge amount of money at the time - but there is no documentary evidence to support this claim. No further action was ever taken nor was the investigation continued, despite the fact UBC was caught red-handed operating a American shell company for the Thyssen family eight months after America had entered the war and that this was the bank that had partly financed Hitler's rise to power.
The most tantalising part of the story remains shrouded in mystery: the connection, if any, between Prescott Bush, Thyssen, Consolidated Silesian Steel Company (CSSC) and Auschwitz.
Thyssen's partner in United Steel Works, which had coal mines and steel plants across the region, was Friedrich Flick, another steel magnate who also owned part of IG Farben, the powerful German chemical company.
Flick's plants in Poland made heavy use of slave labour from the concentration camps in Poland. According to a New York Times article published in March 18 1934 Flick owned two-thirds of CSSC while "American interests" held the rest.
The US National Archive documents show that BBH's involvement with CSSC was more than simply holding the shares in the mid-1930s. Bush's friend and fellow "bonesman" Knight Woolley, another partner at BBH, wrote to Averill Harriman in January 1933 warning of problems with CSSC after the Poles started their drive to nationalise the plant. "The Consolidated Silesian Steel Company situation has become increasingly complicated, and I have accordingly brought in Sullivan and Cromwell, in order to be sure that our interests are protected," wrote Knight. "After studying the situation Foster Dulles is insisting that their man in Berlin get into the picture and obtain the information which the directors here should have. You will recall that Foster is a director and he is particularly anxious to be certain that there is no liability attaching to the American directors."
But the ownership of the CSSC between 1939 when the Germans invaded Poland and 1942 when the US government vested UBC and SAC is not clear.
"SAC held coal mines and definitely owned CSSC between 1934 and 1935, but when SAC was vested there was no trace of CSSC. All concrete evidence of its ownership disappears after 1935 and there are only a few traces in 1938 and 1939," says Eva Schweitzer, the journalist and author whose book, America and the Holocaust, is published next month.
Silesia was quickly made part of the German Reich after the invasion, but while Polish factories were seized by the Nazis, those belonging to the still neutral Americans (and some other nationals) were treated more carefully as Hitler was still hoping to persuade the US to at least sit out the war as a neutral country. Schweitzer says American interests were dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The Nazis bought some out, but not others.
The two Holocaust survivors suing the US government and the Bush family for a total of $40bn in compensation claim both materially benefited from Auschwitz slave labour during the second world war.
Kurt Julius Goldstein, 87, and Peter Gingold, 85, began a class action in America in 2001, but the case was thrown out by Judge Rosemary Collier on the grounds that the government cannot be held liable under the principle of "state sovereignty".
Jan Lissmann, one of the lawyers for the survivors, said: "President Bush withdrew President Bill Clinton's signature from the treaty [that founded the court] not only to protect Americans, but also to protect himself and his family."
Lissmann argues that genocide-related cases are covered by international law, which does hold governments accountable for their actions. He claims the ruling was invalid as no hearing took place.
In their claims, Mr Goldstein and Mr Gingold, honorary chairman of the League of Anti-fascists, suggest the Americans were aware of what was happening at Auschwitz and should have bombed the camp.
The lawyers also filed a motion in The Hague asking for an opinion on whether state sovereignty is a valid reason for refusing to hear their case. A ruling is expected within a month.
The petition to The Hague states: "From April 1944 on, the American Air Force could have destroyed the camp with air raids, as well as the railway bridges and railway lines from Hungary to Auschwitz. The murder of about 400,000 Hungarian Holocaust victims could have been prevented."
The case is built around a January 22 1944 executive order signed by President Franklin Roosevelt calling on the government to take all measures to rescue the European Jews. The lawyers claim the order was ignored because of pressure brought by a group of big American companies, including BBH, where Prescott Bush was a director.
Lissmann said: "If we have a positive ruling from the court it will cause [president] Bush huge problems and make him personally liable to pay compensation."
The US government and the Bush family deny all the claims against them.
In addition to Eva Schweitzer's book, two other books are about to be published that raise the subject of Prescott Bush's business history. The author of the second book, to be published next year, John Loftus, is a former US attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals in the 70s. Now living in St Petersburg, Florida and earning his living as a security commentator for Fox News and ABC radio, Loftus is working on a novel which uses some of the material he has uncovered on Bush. Loftus stressed that what Prescott Bush was involved in was just what many other American and British businessmen were doing at the time.
"You can't blame Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you can blame Jack Kennedy for what his father did - bought Nazi stocks - but what is important is the cover-up, how it could have gone on so successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for us today?" he said.
"This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power, this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich's defence industry was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich were blunted," said Loftus, who is vice-chairman of the Holocaust Museum in St Petersburg.
"The Union Banking Corporation was a holding company for the Nazis, for Fritz Thyssen," said Loftus. "At various times, the Bush family has tried to spin it, saying they were owned by a Dutch bank and it wasn't until the Nazis took over Holland that they realised that now the Nazis controlled the apparent company and that is why the Bush supporters claim when the war was over they got their money back. Both the American treasury investigations and the intelligence investigations in Europe completely bely that, it's absolute horseshit. They always knew who the ultimate beneficiaries were."
"There is no one left alive who could be prosecuted but they did get away with it," said Loftus. "As a former federal prosecutor, I would make a case for Prescott Bush, his father-in-law (George Walker) and Averill Harriman [to be prosecuted] for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. They remained on the boards of these companies knowing that they were of financial benefit to the nation of Germany."
Loftus said Prescott Bush must have been aware of what was happening in Germany at the time. "My take on him was that he was a not terribly successful in-law who did what Herbert Walker told him to. Walker and Harriman were the two evil geniuses, they didn't care about the Nazis any more than they cared about their investments with the Bolsheviks."
What is also at issue is how much money Bush made from his involvement. His supporters suggest that he had one token share. Loftus disputes this, citing sources in "the banking and intelligence communities" and suggesting that the Bush family, through George Herbert Walker and Prescott, got $1.5m out of the involvement. There is, however, no paper trail to this sum.
The third person going into print on the subject is John Buchanan, 54, a Miami-based magazine journalist who started examining the files while working on a screenplay. Last year, Buchanan published his findings in the venerable but small-circulation New Hampshire Gazette under the headline "Documents in National Archives Prove George Bush's Grandfather Traded With the Nazis - Even After Pearl Harbor". He expands on this in his book to be published next month - Fixing America: Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media and the Religious Right.
In the article, Buchanan, who has worked mainly in the trade and music press with a spell as a muckraking reporter in Miami, claimed that "the essential facts have appeared on the internet and in relatively obscure books but were dismissed by the media and Bush family as undocumented diatribes".
Buchanan suffers from hypermania, a form of manic depression, and when he found himself rebuffed in his initial efforts to interest the media, he responded with a series of threats against the journalists and media outlets that had spurned him. The threats, contained in e-mails, suggested that he would expose the journalists as "traitors to the truth".
Unsurprisingly, he soon had difficulty getting his calls returned. Most seriously, he faced aggravated stalking charges in Miami, in connection with a man with whom he had fallen out over the best way to publicise his findings. The charges were dropped last month.
Buchanan said he regretted his behaviour had damaged his credibility but his main aim was to secure publicity for the story. Both Loftus and Schweitzer say Buchanan has come up with previously undisclosed documentation.
The Bush family have largely responded with no comment to any reference to Prescott Bush. Brown Brothers Harriman also declined to comment.
The Bush family recently approved a flattering biography of Prescott Bush entitled Duty, Honour, Country by Mickey Herskowitz. The publishers, Rutledge Hill Press, promised the book would "deal honestly with Prescott Bush's alleged business relationships with Nazi industrialists and other accusations".
In fact, the allegations are dealt with in less than two pages. The book refers to the Herald-Tribune story by saying that "a person of less established ethics would have panicked ... Bush and his partners at Brown Brothers Harriman informed the government regulators that the account, opened in the late 1930s, was 'an unpaid courtesy for a client' ... Prescott Bush acted quickly and openly on behalf of the firm, served well by a reputation that had never been compromised. He made available all records and all documents. Viewed six decades later in the era of serial corporate scandals and shattered careers, he received what can be viewed as the ultimate clean bill."
The Prescott Bush story has been condemned by both conservatives and some liberals as having nothing to do with the current president. It has also been suggested that Prescott Bush had little to do with Averill Harriman and that the two men opposed each other politically.
However, documents from the Harriman papers include a flattering wartime profile of Harriman in the New York Journal American and next to it in the files is a letter to the financial editor of that paper from Prescott Bush congratulating the paper for running the profile. He added that Harriman's "performance and his whole attitude has been a source of inspiration and pride to his partners and his friends".
The Anti-Defamation League in the US is supportive of Prescott Bush and the Bush family. In a statement last year they said that "rumours about the alleged Nazi 'ties' of the late Prescott Bush ... have circulated widely through the internet in recent years. These charges are untenable and politically motivated ... Prescott Bush was neither a Nazi nor a Nazi sympathiser."
However, one of the country's oldest Jewish publications, the Jewish Advocate, has aired the controversy in detail.
More than 60 years after Prescott Bush came briefly under scrutiny at the time of a faraway war, his grandson is facing a different kind of scrutiny but one underpinned by the same perception that, for some people, war can be a profitable business.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on April 3, 2014 at 12:20 PM||comments (0)|
NEW YORK -- The origin of AIDS is a mystery that twists through the forests of Africa and into the bowels of a supercomputer in New Mexico. It pits hypotheses, scientists and one persistent journalist against one another, rarely producing answers that satisfy all the detectives on its trail.
While it is well understood what happens to the human immunodeficiency virus -- the virus that causes AIDS -- once it is inside the human body, it remains unknown how HIV got into humans to become one of the world's worst plagues. Depending on whom you ask, the answer lies with monkey hunters in Africa or a polio vaccine given to people in the Congo in the 1950s.
The latter hypothesis is the subject of a documentary that premiered in the United States last week at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. The Origins of AIDS, directed by Peter Chappell and Catherine Peix, follows the evidence laid out by British journalist Edward Hooper in his 1999 book, The River. In it, Hooper proposed (based on nearly two decades of research) that one man's part in the race to create the polio vaccine launched the AIDS epidemic.
Hooper's conclusion, described by one biologist in the film as "medical science's worst-hated hypothesis" directly challenges the findings of other investigators who were interviewed for the documentary, but whose diverging opinions ended up on the cutting-room floor.
"The public doesn't hear my view, nor does it hear the view of anybody else who has doubts about this theory," said Beatrice Hahn, a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Hahn's work tracking chimpanzees in the forests of Africa has produced a conclusion that nearly everyone agrees upon: HIV originally came from chimpanzees.
But how and when the virus that infects chimpanzees -- simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV -- became HIV is where Hooper and his detractors diverge.
Several scientists, Hahn included, pinpoint bushmeat hunting, an African practice during which hunters can incur bites or cuts while hunting or preparing wild animals (including chimpanzees) for food.
"From all the things we know, it's pretty clear that it crossed the species barrier naturally," said Dr. Michael Worobey, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, who has worked with Hahn to track the simian beginnings of HIV.
Hooper's theory, which forms the plot line of the documentary, argues against the bushmeat hypothesis. If bushmeat hunting was a historical practice, Hooper wondered, why did the AIDS epidemic only take off in the latter half of the 20th century? He found his answer in one of science's most noble endeavors: polio eradication.
The film profiles Dr. Hilary Koprowski, an American scientist racing Dr. Albert Sabin and Dr. Jonas Salk to create the polio vaccine, primarily in the 1950s. Koprowski tested his oral vaccine in the Belgian Congo. By mapping locations where the vaccinations were given and early cases of AIDS emerged, Hooper showed a geographic correlation between the two. The first documented case of HIV is from a blood sample taken in the Congo in 1959.
"The location coincides dramatically," wrote Hooper on his website. "The earliest known cases of AIDS occurred in central Africa, in the same regions where Koprowski's polio vaccine was given to over a million people in 1957-1960."
So, how could a vaccine give a monkey virus to humans? In the documentary, grainy archival footage of white-coated lab scientists shows the polio virus being grown in a soup of chopped-up monkey organs before it is made into a vaccine.
Hooper charges that during Koprowski's vaccination campaign, kidneys from chimpanzees infected with SIV were used to grow the virus. The film cites a historical precedent: Another anti-polio campaign in the 1950s injected millions of people with vaccines containing the monkey virus SV40, though none became ill from the injections.
[Note - According to many researchers and scientists, SV40-contaminated Salk polio vaccines have led to the cancer deaths (kidney and brain) of tens of millions of Americans. The statement above: 'though none became ill from the injections' is total disinformation. Furthermore, the evidence that HIV was created by the US DoD bioweapons program and its various research contractors is compelling and well-documented. See the works of Dr. Lorraine Day, MD, Dr. Robert Strecker, MD, Dr. Alan Cantwell, MD, and Dr. Len Horowitz among others. All of these issues were covered in my own book, AIDS Exposed, published in 1990. - ed]
Koprowski and scientists who worked with him deny that chimp kidneys were used. Independent testing of leftover samples of the vaccine in the United States, where it was produced using organs from other types of monkeys, showed no traces of chimp DNA or SIV. However, the documentary crew found several local workers in the Congo who allege that chimpanzee kidneys were harvested and may have been used to produce more vaccine locally. Samples actually used in the Congo are no longer available for testing.
But even if Hooper proves this allegation conclusively, his detractors say he must still show that SIV transferred to humans at the right time, from the right monkeys, carrying the right virus.
Bette Korber, a staff scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, has "collaborated" with a supercomputer named Nirvana to chart the genetic history of HIV. Looking at the mutations the virus experienced from the mid-1980s to 1999, Korber created a molecular clock to determine the rate at which HIV changes.
Using that rate and calculating backward, she and Nirvana dated the last common ancestor of HIV, the virus from which all present variations descended, to 1931. If Korber is right, the virus must have jumped from monkeys to humans before that date and well before Koprowski was trying out his vaccine. Korber published her results in the journal Nature in 2000.
While Korber and her computer contributed a time line to the debate, Hahn has traipsed through the jungles of Africa picking up chimp feces and urine. Analyzing those samples for genetic traces of SIV, she has found that different subspecies of chimpanzees harbor different variants of SIV, and only one of those variants is the likely ancestor of HIV-1, the virus responsible for infecting more than 60 million people worldwide.
"In 1999 we published a paper in Nature that said that not all chimpanzee viruses are the likely source of HIV-1, only those found in West Central Africa are," said Hahn. Hahn's findings place the probable origin of the epidemic west of Koprowski's vaccination campaign.
More recently, Hahn and Worobey published findings from a trip last year to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the April 22, 2004, issue of Nature. The team went to the region where Koprowski's vaccine campaign was carried out and collected 97 fecal and urine samples. One contained genetic traces of SIV, but it was not the right kind. "It was on the wrong branch of the phylogenetic tree," said Worobey. "So instead of being a sister virus to HIV-1, it was a distant cousin."
Some investigators agree with Hooper.
"What Hooper got right was the timing," said Preston Marx, chairman of the microbiology and immunology division at the Tulane National Primate Research Center. "It looks like it mostly happened after World War II and into the early '60s." Since the bushmeat trade was in place well before that, Marx thinks human intervention must have created the rapid spread in the second half of the century.
Still, Marx doesn't believe that chimpanzee kidneys were used to make Koprowski's vaccine, and, even if they were, he is unsure that the virus, which normally requires blood-to-blood or blood-to-mucosal transmission, could be passed through organs used in a vaccine.
Hahn and Worobey are both disturbed that although filmmakers Peix and Chappell interviewed them extensively and accompanied them on research trips, the film only features scientists sympathetic to Hooper.
"We were not doing a scientific debate," said the film's producer, Christine LeGoff, who wanted to tell Hooper's story because she thinks his idea has not been given a fair shake. LeGoff said she hopes to show the documentary in July at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
And so the debate rages on, but, according to Hahn, not for long. "We're going to do a comprehensive survey of chimpanzees across sub-Saharan Africa. Five years from now this will all be moot." http://www.rense.com/general52/ire.htm
Deadly Viruses: Crossing from Monkeys to Humans. Chronicle Graphic by John Blanchard
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM||comments (1)|
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria suggests international conspiracy in arms flow to Boko Haram terrorist.
"When one looks at the characters carrying these sophisticated weapons in the turbulent areas, including the northern part of my country – like an AK-47 riffle that is approximately more than $1,000, compared to the total cost of the materials they put on, including the canvass, which is often not up to $50, the question to ask is: Where is the money used in buying these expensive guns by these very poor wretched boys that carry these weapons to kill, destabilize the society, and increase our problems, in terms of economic development, coming from? Are there some external forces that don’t want Africa to grow that are providing these weapons?” --President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has spoken of the likelihood of an international conspiracy aimed at fuelling insurgency in Africa to curb the continent’s growth, raising the possibility of extremist Boko Haram and other networks drawing their increasingly sophisticated weapons from “external forces”.
Mr. Jonathan spoke on Saturday in Abuja in an address to delegates to the joint annual meeting of the ministers of finance, planning, and economic development of the Economic Community of Africa, and those of the African Union.
The conference, which has as its theme: “Industrialization for Inclusive and Transformative Development Agenda”, is attended by African leaders as well as heads of international and regional development institutions and agencies.
Mr. Jonathan said it was worrisome that children who can hardly fend for themselves economically are the ones wielding sophisticated weapons used by the insurgents like Boko Haram to attack and destabilize the country.
“Whenever the issue of insecurity is mentioned, what readily comes to mind is: Where is the money used to buy these expensive guns coming from?” he asked.
“When one looks at the characters carrying these sophisticated weapons in the turbulent areas, including the northern part of my country – like an AK-47 riffle that is approximately more than $1,000, compared to the total cost of the materials they put on, including the canvass, which is often not up to $50, the question to ask is: Where is the money used in buying these expensive guns by these very poor wretched boys that carry these weapons to kill, destabilize the society, and increase our problems, in terms of economic development, coming from? Are there some external forces that don’t want Africa to grow that are providing these weapons?”
To evolve a strategy to combat the scourge of terrorism and promote economic development, President Jonathan urged African governments to come together to deepen their regional integration efforts and work towards a continental free trade area.
He also implored the continent’s leaders to find answers to the question why Africa’s economic growth has not translated into job creation in their various domains.
On why the problem has persisted, President Jonathan wondered if it has to do with Africa’s reluctance to shift her economic base away from primary commodities, lack of energy, corruption in government and the private sector, dearth of key infrastructure, problem of unstable governments or insecurity.
He called on the delegates to team up and exchange ideas, share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences, adding that they should work together to execute regional infrastructure projects towards the implementation of the continent’s plans for industrialization and trade integration.
The Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who also spoke at the conference, said the time is now for African countries to actualize the Common African Position, CAP, for the industrialization and development of the continent.
Ms. Sirleaf said the all-inclusive document, which was adopted at the 26th AU Head of Government meeting at Addis Ababa, has received a wide range of consultations by member-states.
The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, stated: “There can be no peace without development, no development without peace, and no peace or development without human rights and the rule of law.”
He said the nexus between peace and development was essential, while effective institutions and rule of law were paramount ingredients for both peace and development in every society.
The ambitious commitment to establish a continental free trade area by 2017, he noted, would give momentum to Africa’s industrial development efforts, pointing out, however, that this required caution in the mobilization of domestic resources towards it.
At the media briefing later, Mr. Eliasson acknowledged terrorism as a difficult problem to handle based on the experience in other parts of the world, including Latin America, where terrorism and organized crime work together.
He said efforts have to be made to control the flow of funds to the insurgent groups, drawing attention to the importance of the work of the High Level Panel, led by former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, to curb Illicit financial flows from Africa.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 30, 2014 at 8:55 AM||comments (0)|
The REAL Reason Flight 370 Disappeared
Video produced by http://www.westernjournalism.com Produced, written, and edited by Kris Zane. Narrated by Tom Hinchey
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 30, 2014 at 5:05 AM||comments (12)|
The dependency of African Women on Hair relaxers is truly worrisome especially as most women are not well informed about the chemicals present in these relaxers. Women relax their hair at least once every month and this ritual continues mostly for the rest of their lives. Being exposed to potentially harmful chemicals in small doses for a long period of time is whats absolutely scary. Hair companies do not print all the chemicals present in black hair products, if they did they’d probably go out of business.
I realize there isn’t a lot of advocacy on this issue which is also interesting as i would assume people would want to know more about what they put in their hair, and once they know its harmful, would want to spread the message across to others. I always hypothesized that the use of relaxers, in the long run would cause some sort of ailment. But like all scientific hypothesis, it has to be tested. Seeing I’m just a young Scientist with no fancy lab or high tech equipment to call my own, i decided to do what scientists do best which is to find some sort of evidence..but this time using good old Google. I’m happy to say i found a recent study on this.
A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has linked hair relaxers to uterine fibroids, as well as early puberty in young girls.
Scientists followed more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997 to 2009 and found that the two- to three-times higher rate of fibroids among black women may be linked to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers.
Women who got their first menstrual period before the age of 10 were also more likely to have uterine fibroids, and early menstruation may result from hair products black girls are using, according to a separate study published in the Annals of Epidemiology last summer.
Three hundred African American, African Caribbean, Hispanic, and White women in New York City were studied. The women’s first menstrual period varied anywhere from age 8 to age 19, but African Americans, who were more likely to use straightening and relaxers hair oils, also reached menarche earlier than other racial/ethnic groups.
While so far, there is only an association rather than a cause and effect relationship between relaxers, fibroid tumors, and puberty, many experts have been quick to point out that the hair care industry isn’t regulated by the FDA, meaning that there’s no definite way to fully know just how harmful standard Black hair care products really are.
Fibroids are tumors that grow in the uterus. They are benign, which means they are not cancerous, and are made up of muscle fibers. Fibroids can be as small as a pea and can grow as large as a melon. It is estimated that 20-50% of women have, or will have, fibroids at some time in their lives.
From lessons in Epidemiology, i learnt that A might be associated with B but not the cause of B. In this case the study found that there is only an association rather than a cause and effect relationship between relaxers and fibroid tumors. In lay terms this means relaxers are associated with fibroid tumours but relaxers are not the reason why people get fibroid according to this study
Escape to Belgium : Up Close with Isabella Broekhuizen
I really love to see my Beautiful Black sistas throwing down science and being empowering. I like to see that they understand some to many of the aspects of what we are facing as a whole as Black people. But I would like to ask you sista, When are you going to take off that wig, weave, and relaxer out your head to get a higher sense of clarity that only can happen when you love and accept yourself for who you TRULY are, A Black woman.
INDIE NIK : AN AFRIKAN VOICE SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA
P. S : As soon as they stop thinking that European women are prettier with that straight hair...
JASON : AN AFRIKAN VOICE SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA;
Escape to Belgium : Up Close with Isabella Broekhuizen
Scalp damage from chemical hair straightener burns (Image from African Health Magazine)
Results of the pioneer study which was published through the Oxford University Press and made available in the American Journal of Epidemiology (Januar
y 2012) involved the following of over 23,000 premenopausal women for incidents of uterine leiomyomata.
Amongst other criteria participants reported on was their age when first using hair straighteners, the type of formula applied and the frequency of burns they received. It is widely accepted that millions of African women who expose themselves to chemical straighteners may be absorbing potentially harmful chemicals like parabens and phthalates into their blood stream through scalp lesions and burns.
The study which proves correlation and asserts causality has faced strong opposition from those determined to continue the ‘relaxing’ process despite the negative effects of these chemicals which can also be absorbed through the skin.
This resistance which is believed to be symptomatic of sufferers of body dysmorphic syndromes is similar to the manner in which some users seek to normalise the practice of using carcinogenic skin whitening (bleaching) products to achieve an imagined but unsustainable cosmetic goal.
Tragically many younger women are initially opposed to using chemical hair products but often adjust this view after being introduced or culturally indoctrinated into the ‘relaxing’ process by their mothers and an older generation seeking to conform to a beauty aesthetic unnatural to themselves.
Child Abuse: Good Hair?
Toxic industrial compounds
Controversial ‘beauty’ aids designed to alter the natural features of their users often contain potentially harmful active ingredients like parabens and in particular phthalates, a toxic industrial compound widely used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl.
Yet whilst these chemicals can be absorbed into the skin, more damage is done with the use of chemicals hair straighteners due to the way they burn the scalp, exposing the body to their negative health effects.
Analysis of the data collected revealed that whilst the risk of fibroids was unrelated to the age at first use or the type of formula used, the systematic exposure to phthalates through scalp lesions significantly increased their risk of developing uterine leiomyomata. It also showed that those women who used the chemicals more than seven times during a year developed uterine fibroids more often.
Fibroids are tumors that grow in the uterus in women of childbearing age. Their growth is dependent on estrogen production. Research suggest they occur several (up to nine) times more often in African women than european women. Uterine fibroids are the single most common indication for hysterectomy. Up to half of women with fibroids have no symptoms until between the ages of 30 and 50 years
depending on their size, position and condition.
The Dependency of African Women On Hair Relaxers is Truly Worrisome
A History of Black Hair From the 1400s to Present
1444: Europeans trade on the west coast of Africa with people wearing elaborate hairstyles, including locks, plaits and twists.
1619: First slaves brought to Jamestown; African language, culture and grooming tradition begin to disappear.
1700s: Calling black hair “wool,” many whites dehumanize slaves. The more elaborate African hairstyles cannot be retained.
1800s: Without the combs and herbal treatments used in Africa, slaves rely on bacon grease, butter and kerosene as hair conditioners and cleaners. Lighter-skinned, straight-haired slaves command higher prices at auction than darker, more kinky-haired ones. Internalizing color consciousness, blacks promote the idea that blacks with dark skin and kinky hair are less attractive and worth less.
1865: Slavery ends, but whites look upon black women who style their hair like white women as well-adjusted. “Good” hair becomes a prerequisite for entering certain schools, churches, social groups and business networks.
1880: Metal hot combs, invented in 1845 by the French, are readily available in the United States. The comb is heated and used to press and temporarily straighten kinky hair.
1900s: Madame C.J. Walker develops a range of hair-care products for black hair. She popularizes the press-and-curl style. Some criticize her for encouraging black women to look white.
1910: Walker is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the first American female self-made millionaire.
1920s: Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist, urges followers to embrace their natural hair and reclaim an African aesthetic.
1954: George E. Johnson launches the Johnson Products Empire with Ultra Wave Hair Culture, a “permanent” hair straightener for men that can be applied at home. A women’s chemical straightener follows.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 27, 2014 at 5:05 AM||comments (0)|
“There Would Be No Europe / No United States as We Now Know It Today Without Slavery” That is a simple and basic truth.
But this was not some linear or self-contained process. In fact, capitalism in Europe “took off” with the development of the world market, and that in turn was fed and driven forward by the slave trade. Ships would sail from London and Liverpool, in England, filled with the goods sold by the capitalists. They would unload these goods for sale or trade in the coastal cities of Africa, and fill their holds with human beings who had been captured in raids in the African countryside.
They would then take this human cargo to the Americas and the Caribbean, to be sold as slaves. Then the ships would take the sugar, cotton, rice and other goods produced by the slaves in these colonies back to Europe, to be sold for use as raw materials or food. And so on, every day, year in, year out—for centuries. This slave trade and the slave economy that went with it—along with the extermination of the Native peoples of the Americas (the Indians) through deliberate slaughter, disease, and working them to death in silver mines—formed what Karl Marx called the “rosy dawn of the primitive accumulation of capital.”
The crime was enormous. Between 100 to120 million Africans were kidnapped, sold and sent to the Americas as slaves. Over 20 million more died in the voyage from Africa, and enormous numbers perished in Africa itself, through the slave-taking raids and wars, followed by forced marches in chains to the coastal African cities to feed this market. At least 800,000 more died in the port cities of Africa, locked down in prison (the barracoons) awaiting shipment. Once in the Americas, slaves were sent to “seasoning camps” to “break” them—where an estimated 1/3 of the Africans died in that first hellish year.
14Take a few seconds to think about the reality behind those numbers. THOSE WERE HUMAN BEINGS! Numbers alone cannot hope to capture the agony and suffering all this meant for over three centuries; the best these numbers can do is give a sense of the sheer scale and scope of the barbarity. But even today this is very little known, and what went into the foundation of American history is barely taught, if at all, in the schools, or recognized in the media and culture.
Those Africans who survived this hell were then forced to toil as slaves, doing the work to “tame” the Americas—to develop the agriculture that would form the basis for the new European colonies. A respected historian put it this way: “Much of the New World, then, came to resemble the death furnace of the ancient god Moloch—consuming African slaves so increasing numbers of Europeans (and later, white Americans) could consume sugar, coffee, rice, and tobacco.”15 Within Africa itself, the slave trade caused tremendous distortions in the development of Africa and gave rise to the major African slave-trading states in west Africa, as these states traded slaves to the Europeans for commodities that included guns.
Slavery existed in every part of the world and many societies before the transatlantic slave trade that began in the 1500s—but it had never before been carried out on this scale and with this nearly industrial-style inhumanity. That was the product not of uniquely evil men—but of men who became monsters by serving the demands of a monstrous new system whose only commandment was “Expand or Die.” This slave trade was so integral to the rise of capitalism that the sugar and tea produced by slaves not only turned huge profits, but also served as a very cheap way to feed empty calories and stimulants to severely exploited proletarians in Europe. And the labor organization of the sugar cane fields of Jamaica was adapted to the factory floors of London.16
To justify this, the capitalists and slave owners drew on the Bible—which yes, does in fact justify slavery, in both old testament and new—and then later on pseudo-scientific ideologies of racism that claimed that Africans and Native Americans (Indians) were a “lower species,” inherently inferior.
The fact that Africans had been kidnaped, tortured, enslaved, killed if they tried to educate themselves, forced to watch as their children or spouses were sold off to other parts of the country, and generally kept in an inferior position—this CRIME by the rulers was pointed to as “proof” that Blacks were inferior. Incredibly enough, these slaves were denounced as “lazy” by the parasitical slave masters whose great wealth the slaves created through their back-breaking labor! These lies served both to “justify” the horrors of slavery and formed a crucial element in the “social glue” that held society together. This pattern, and this lie and its social use, have continued in different forms up to today.
The fact that these supposedly “inherently inferior” people had played a crucial part in building up highly developed societies and cultures in both Africa and the Americas, long before Europeans came to dominate these places, was an “inconvenient truth” written out of the official histories and textbooks. And the fact that all human beings are all one species, with only relatively superficial differences in some characteristics, was also written out, with spurious racist pseudo-science substituted instead—lies that also come up in new forms today.
There was nothing inherent in Europeans that led to capitalism taking root there first—there were a number of areas in the world where capitalism might have taken off slightly earlier or slightly later if things had come together a little differently. But Europe is where capitalism did take off, and the dominance of the capitalist nations of Europe and then the U.S. (and Japan, which developed in a different set of circumstances) over the past five centuries is inconceivable without slavery.
AFRIKAN BLOOD FREEDOM vs NEGROPEAN AFROPEAN FREEDUMB"
This solid core will need to anchor and guide the whole revolutionary process, firmly drawing the links between every stage of struggle and the goal of all-the-way AFRIKAN BLOOD emancipation. Of course, this solid core is not a once-and-for-all, never-changing thing; it would be constantly developing and going through changes at each stage of the revolutionary process.
This core must begin to be forged today, through the process of hastening and preparing for a revolutionary situation, and then developed further—in a whole different context—in the situation where millions of people are rising up to seize power, and then further still and in a far greater way in the context of the new revolutionary society, in which it will be a guiding principle, and something actively encouraged, that everyone who yearns for emancipation should take up and concern themselves with the problems of the revolution and the radical transformation of society as a whole.
A crucial part of carrying out this transformation is grasping clearly the centrality of abolishing all forms of national oppression as a cornerstone of achieving a communist world; and also crucial in all this is that all those motivated by wanting to see an end, at long last, to the brutal and seemingly unending forms of oppression of AFRIKAN BLOOD people and other oppressed peoples, must increasingly grasp how this can only be achieved in the context of emancipating all of OUR humanity and moving OUR society to a whole new era . WE SPEAK FOR NO ONE EXCEPT OUR AFRIKAN BLOOD UNBORN ONES http://www.reunionblackfamily.com/apps/blog/show/18998243-when-we-speak-of-the-genocide-being-committed-against-afrikan-people-on-a-global-scale-this-is-the-work-of-the-system-of-white-supremacy-and-the-individual-whites-of-which-this-system-is-comprised
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 16, 2014 at 12:35 PM||comments (0)|
zoos were so popular in Germany that even German-Prussian statesman of
the late 19th century Bismarck attended one of them.
Human zoos (1500s- ), also known as ethnological exhibits, people shows (Völkerschau) or Negro villages, showed native peoples at zoos and fairs. They have been common in the West since the time of Columbus, but reached their height from the 1870s to the 1930s – back in the days of Joseph Conrad, Gauguin, minstrel shows and the birth of National Geographic.
They showed people from:
the Middle East,
the Americas and
They were especially common in
Tens of millions saw them.
Examples:1896: the Cincinnati Zoo showed Sioux Indians.
1899: “Savage South Africa” in Britain showed Zulus, complete with spears, shields and staged battles.
1904: the St Louis world’s fair showed a “parade of evolutionary progress” with Filipinos and American Indians ranked below whites and with Pygmies just above apes.
Ever since Columbus natives brought back by sailors were shown to the public, especially at fairs. Few ever made it back home and many did not last long in disease-ridden Europe. A well-known example is Sarah Baartman of South Africa, who was shown in a cage in Britain and part of an animal show in Paris.
“Native villages” were built so white people could see how they lived. Montaigne reported one in Rouen, France in 1533 of Tupinamba Indians from Brazil. Such villages became especially common at zoos and world fairs starting in the 1870s.
Human zoos were popular in Europe in the 19th and 20th century. They were also known as “Negro Villages” or “ethnological expositions” where humans were exhibited in their natural state.
Human zoos were so popular in Germany that even German-Prussian statesman of the late 19th century Bismarck attended one of them.
A Negro Village was the main attraction at the 1889 Parisian World’s Fair. About 28 million people visited it.
Such zoos could be found in New York, London, Warsaw, Barcelona, Hamburg and other cities around the world with up to 300,000 visitors attending each display.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM||comments (2)|
100 things that you did not know about Africa.
1. The human race is of African origin. The oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans (or homo sapiens) were excavated at sites in East Africa. Human remains were discovered at Omo in Ethiopia that were dated at 195,000 years old, the oldest known in the world.
2. Skeletons of pre-humans have been found in Africa that date back between 4 and 5 million years. The oldest known ancestral type of humanity is thought to have been the australopithecus ramidus, who lived at least 4.4 million years ago.
3. Africans were the first to organise fishing expeditions 90,000 years ago. At Katanda, a region in northeastern Zaïre (now Congo), was recovered a finely wrought series of harpoon points, all elaborately polished and barbed. Also uncovered was a tool, equally well crafted, believed to be a dagger. The discoveries suggested the existence of an early aquatic or fishing based culture.
4. Africans were the first to engage in mining 43,000 years ago. In 1964 a hematite mine was found in Swaziland at Bomvu Ridge in the Ngwenya mountain range. Ultimately 300,000 artefacts were recovered including thousands of stone-made mining tools. Adrian Boshier, one of the archaeologists on the site, dated the mine to a staggering 43,200 years old.
5. Africans pioneered basic arithmetic 25,000 years ago. The Ishango bone is a tool handle with notches carved into it found in the Ishango region of Zaïre (now called Congo) near Lake Edward. The bone tool was originally thought to have been over 8,000 years old, but a more sensitive recent dating has given dates of 25,000 years old. On the tool are 3 rows of notches. Row 1 shows three notches carved next to six, four carved next to eight, ten carved next to two fives and finally a seven. The 3 and 6, 4 and 8, and 10 and 5, represent the process of doubling. Row 2 shows eleven notches carved next to twenty-one notches, and nineteen notches carved next to nine notches. This represents 10 + 1, 20 + 1, 20 - 1 and 10 - 1. Finally, Row 3 shows eleven notches, thirteen notches, seventeen notches and nineteen notches. 11, 13, 17 and 19 are the prime numbers between 10 and 20.
6. Africans cultivated crops 12,000 years ago, the first known advances in agriculture. Professor Fred Wendorf discovered that people in Egypt’s Western Desert cultivated crops of barley, capers, chick-peas, dates, legumes, lentils and wheat. Their ancient tools were also recovered. There were grindstones, milling stones, cutting blades, hide scrapers, engraving burins, and mortars and pestles.
7. Africans mummified their dead 9,000 years ago. A mummified infant was found under the Uan Muhuggiag rock shelter in south western Libya. The infant was buried in the foetal position and was mummified using a very sophisticated technique that must have taken hundreds of years to evolve. The technique predates the earliest mummies known in Ancient Egypt by at least 1,000 years. Carbon dating is controversial but the mummy may date from 7438 (±220) BC.
8. Africans carved the world’s first colossal sculpture 7,000 or more years ago. The Great Sphinx of Giza was fashioned with the head of a man combined with the body of a lion. A key and important question raised by this monument was: How old is it? In October 1991 Professor Robert Schoch, a geologist from Boston University, demonstrated that the Sphinx was sculpted between 5000 BC and 7000 BC, dates that he considered conservative.
9. On the 1 March 1979, the New York Times carried an article on its front page also page sixteen that was entitled Nubian Monarchy called Oldest. In this article we were assured that: “Evidence of the oldest recognizable monarchy in human history, preceding the rise of the earliest Egyptian kings by several generations, has been discovered in artifacts from ancient Nubia” (i.e. the territory of the northern Sudan and the southern portion of modern Egypt.)
10. The ancient Egyptians had the same type of tropically adapted skeletal proportions as modern Black Africans. A 2003 paper appeared in American Journal of Physical Anthropology by Dr Sonia Zakrzewski entitled Variation in Ancient Egyptian Stature and Body Proportions where she states that: “The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the ‘super-Negroid’ body plan described by Robins (1983). The values for the brachial and crural indices show that the distal segments of each limb are longer relative to the proximal segments than in many ‘African’ populations.”
11. The ancient Egyptians had Afro combs. One writer tells us that the Egyptians “manufactured a very striking range of combs in ivory: the shape of these is distinctly African and is like the combs used even today by Africans and those of African descent.”
12. The Funerary Complex in the ancient Egyptian city of Saqqara is the oldest building that tourists regularly visit today. An outer wall, now mostly in ruins, surrounded the whole structure. Through the entrance are a series of columns, the first stone-built columns known to historians. The North House also has ornamental columns built into the walls that have papyrus-like capitals. Also inside the complex is the Ceremonial Court, made of limestone blocks that have been quarried and then shaped. In the centre of the complex is the Step Pyramid, the first of 90 Egyptian pyramids.
13. The first Great Pyramid of Giza, the most extraordinary building in history, was a staggering 481 feet tall - the equivalent of a 40-storey building. It was made of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing 100 tons.
14. The ancient Egyptian city of Kahun was the world’s first planned city. Rectangular and walled, the city was divided into two parts. One part housed the wealthier inhabitants – the scribes, officials and foremen. The other part housed the ordinary people. The streets of the western section in particular, were straight, laid out on a grid, and crossed each other at right angles. A stone gutter, over half a metre wide, ran down the centre of every street.
15. Egyptian mansions were discovered in Kahun - each boasting 70 rooms, divided into four sections or quarters. There was a master’s quarter, quarters for women and servants, quarters for offices and finally, quarters for granaries, each facing a central courtyard. The master’s quarters had an open court with a stone water tank for bathing. Surrounding this was a colonnade.
16 The Labyrinth in the Egyptian city of Hawara with its massive layout, multiple courtyards, chambers and halls, was the very largest building in antiquity. Boasting three thousand rooms, 1,500 of them were above ground and the other 1,500 were underground.
17. Toilets and sewerage systems existed in ancient Egypt. One of the pharaohs built a city now known as Amarna. An American urban planner noted that: “Great importance was attached to cleanliness in Amarna as in other Egyptian cities. Toilets and sewers were in use to dispose waste. Soap was made for washing the body. Perfumes and essences were popular against body odour. A solution of natron was used to keep insects from houses … Amarna may have been the first planned ‘garden city’.”
18. Sudan has more pyramids than any other country on earth - even more than Egypt. There are at least 223 pyramids in the Sudanese cities of Al Kurru, Nuri, Gebel Barkal and Meroë. They are generally 20 to 30 metres high and steep sided.
19. The Sudanese city of Meroë is rich in surviving monuments. Becoming the capital of the Kushite Empire between 590 BC until AD 350, there are 84 pyramids in this city alone, many built with their own miniature temple. In addition, there are ruins of a bath house sharing affinities with those of the Romans. Its central feature is a large pool approached by a flight of steps with waterspouts decorated with lion heads.
20. Bling culture has a long and interesting history. Gold was used to decorate ancient Sudanese temples. One writer reported that: “Recent excavations at Meroe and Mussawwarat es-Sufra revealed temples with walls and statues covered with gold leaf”.
21. In around 300 BC, the Sudanese invented a writing script that had twenty-three letters of which four were vowels and there was also a word divider. Hundreds of ancient texts have survived that were in this script. Some are on display in the British Museum.
22. In central Nigeria, West Africa’s oldest civilisation flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC. Discovered in 1928, the ancient culture was called the Nok Civilisation, named after the village in which the early artefacts were discovered. Two modern scholars, declare that “[a]fter calibration, the period of Nok art spans from 1000 BC until 300 BC”. The site itself is much older going back as early as 4580 or 4290 BC.
23. West Africans built in stone by 1100 BC. In the Tichitt-Walata region of Mauritania, archaeologists have found “large stone masonry villages” that date back to 1100 BC. The villages consisted of roughly circular compounds connected by “well-defined streets”.
24. By 250 BC, the foundations of West Africa’s oldest cities were established such as Old Djenné in Mali.
25. Kumbi Saleh, the capital of Ancient Ghana, flourished from 300 to 1240 AD. Located in modern day Mauritania, archaeological excavations have revealed houses, almost habitable today, for want of renovation and several storeys high. They had underground rooms, staircases and connecting halls. Some had nine rooms. One part of the city alone is estimated to have housed 30,000 people.
26. West Africa had walled towns and cities in the pre-colonial period. Winwood Reade, an English historian visited West Africa in the nineteenth century and commented that: “There are … thousands of large walled cities resembling those of Europe in the Middle Ages, or of ancient Greece.”
27. Lord Lugard, an English official, estimated in 1904 that there were 170 walled towns still in existence in the whole of just the Kano province of northern Nigeria.
28. Cheques are not quite as new an invention as we were led to believe. In the tenth century, an Arab geographer, Ibn Haukal, visited a fringe region of Ancient Ghana. Writing in 951 AD, he told of a cheque for 42,000 golden dinars written to a merchant in the city of Audoghast by his partner in Sidjilmessa.
29. Ibn Haukal, writing in 951 AD, informs us that the King of Ghana was “the richest king on the face of the earth” whose pre-eminence was due to the quantity of gold nuggets that had been amassed by the himself and by his predecessors.
30. The Nigerian city of Ile-Ife was paved in 1000 AD on the orders of a female ruler with decorations that originated in Ancient America. Naturally, no-one wants to explain how this took place approximately 500 years before the time of Christopher Columbus!
31. West Africa had bling culture in 1067 AD. One source mentions that when the Emperor of Ghana gives audience to his people: “he sits in a pavilion around which stand his horses caparisoned in cloth of gold: behind him stand ten pages holding shields and gold-mounted swords: and on his right hand are the sons of the princes of his empire, splendidly clad and with gold plaited into their hair … The gate of the chamber is guarded by dogs of an excellent breed … they wear collars of gold and silver.”
32. Glass windows existed at that time. The residence of the Ghanaian Emperor in 1116 AD was: “A well-built castle, thoroughly fortified, decorated inside with sculptures and pictures, and having glass windows.”
33. The Grand Mosque in the Malian city of Djenné, described as “the largest adobe [clay] building in the world”, was first raised in 1204 AD. It was built on a square plan where each side is 56 metres in length. It has three large towers on one side, each with projecting wooden buttresses.
34. One of the great achievements of the Yoruba was their urban culture. “By the year A.D. 1300,” says a modern scholar, “the Yoruba people built numerous walled cities surrounded by farms”. The cities were Owu, Oyo, Ijebu, Ijesa, Ketu, Popo, Egba, Sabe, Dassa, Egbado, Igbomina, the sixteen Ekiti principalities, Owo and Ondo.
35. Yoruba metal art of the mediaeval period was of world class. One scholar wrote that Yoruba art “would stand comparison with anything which Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, or Renaissance Europe had to offer.”
36. In the Malian city of Gao stands the Mausoleum of Askia the Great, a weird sixteenth century edifice that resembles a step pyramid.
37. Thousands of mediaeval tumuli have been found across West Africa. Nearly 7,000 were discovered in north-west Senegal alone spread over nearly 1,500 sites. They were probably built between 1000 and 1300 AD.
38. Excavations at the Malian city of Gao carried out by Cambridge University revealed glass windows. One of the finds was entitled: “Fragments of alabaster window surrounds and a piece of pink window glass, Gao 10th – 14th century.”
39. In 1999 the BBC produced a television series entitled Millennium. The programme devoted to the fourteenth century opens with the following disclosure: “In the fourteenth century, the century of the scythe, natural disasters threatened civilisations with extinction. The Black Death kills more people in Europe, Asia and North Africa than any catastrophe has before. Civilisations which avoid the plague thrive. In West Africa the Empire of Mali becomes the richest in the world.”
40. Malian sailors got to America in 1311 AD, 181 years before Columbus. An Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadl Al-Umari, published on this sometime around 1342. In the tenth chapter of his book, there is an account of two large maritime voyages ordered by the predecessor of Mansa Musa, a king who inherited the Malian throne in 1312. This mariner king is not named by Al-Umari, but modern writers identify him as Mansa Abubakari II.
41. On a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD, a Malian ruler, Mansa Musa, brought so much money with him that his visit resulted in the collapse of gold prices in Egypt and Arabia. It took twelve years for the economies of the region to normalise.
42. West African gold mining took place on a vast scale. One modern writer said that: “It is estimated that the total amount of gold mined in West Africa up to 1500 was 3,500 tons, worth more than $30 billion in today’s market.”
43. The old Malian capital of Niani had a 14th century building called the Hall of Audience. It was an surmounted by a dome, adorned with arabesques of striking colours. The windows of an upper floor were plated with wood and framed in silver; those of a lower floor were plated with wood, framed in gold.
44. Mali in the 14th century was highly urbanised. Sergio Domian, an Italian art and architecture scholar, wrote the following about this period: “Thus was laid the foundation of an urban civilisation. At the height of its power, Mali had at least 400 cities, and the interior of the Niger Delta was very densely populated”.
45. The Malian city of Timbuktu had a 14th century population of 115,000 - 5 times larger than mediaeval London. Mansa Musa, built the Djinguerebere Mosque in the fourteenth century. There was the University Mosque in which 25,000 students studied and the Oratory of Sidi Yayia. There were over 150 Koran schools in which 20,000 children were instructed. London, by contrast, had a total 14th century population of 20,000 people.
46. National Geographic recently described Timbuktu as the Paris of the mediaeval world, on account of its intellectual culture. According to Professor Henry Louis Gates, 25,000 university students studied there.
47. Many old West African families have private library collections that go back hundreds of years. The Mauritanian cities of Chinguetti and Oudane have a total of 3,450 hand written mediaeval books. There may be another 6,000 books still surviving in the other city of Walata. Some date back to the 8th century AD. There are 11,000 books in private collections in Niger. Finally, in Timbuktu, Mali, there are about 700,000 surviving books.
48. A collection of one thousand six hundred books was considered a small library for a West African scholar of the 16th century. Professor Ahmed Baba of Timbuktu is recorded as saying that he had the smallest library of any of his friends - he had only 1600 volumes.
49. Concerning these old manuscripts, Michael Palin, in his TV series Sahara, said the imam of Timbuktu “has a collection of scientific texts that clearly show the planets circling the sun. They date back hundreds of years … Its convincing evidence that the scholars of Timbuktu knew a lot more than their counterparts in Europe. In the fifteenth century in Timbuktu the mathematicians knew about the rotation of the planets, knew about the details of the eclipse, they knew things which we had to wait for 150 almost 200 years to know in Europe when Galileo and Copernicus came up with these same calculations and were given a very hard time for it.”
50. The Songhai Empire of 16th century West Africa had a government position called Minister for Etiquette and Protocol.
51. The mediaeval Nigerian city of Benin was built to “a scale comparable with the Great Wall of China”. There was a vast system of defensive walling totalling 10,000 miles in all. Even before the full extent of the city walling had become apparent the Guinness Book of Records carried an entry in the 1974 edition that described the city as: “The largest earthworks in the world carried out prior to the mechanical era.”
52. Benin art of the Middle Ages was of the highest quality. An official of the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde once stated that: “These works from Benin are equal to the very finest examples of European casting technique. Benvenuto Cellini could not have cast them better, nor could anyone else before or after him … Technically, these bronzes represent the very highest possible achievement.”
53. Winwood Reade described his visit to the Ashanti Royal Palace of Kumasi in 1874: “We went to the king’s palace, which consists of many courtyards, each surrounded with alcoves and verandahs, and having two gates or doors, so that each yard was a thoroughfare … But the part of the palace fronting the street was a stone house, Moorish in its style … with a flat roof and a parapet, and suites of apartments on the first floor. It was built by Fanti masons many years ago. The rooms upstairs remind me of Wardour Street. Each was a perfect Old Curiosity Shop. Books in many languages, Bohemian glass, clocks, silver plate, old furniture, Persian rugs, Kidderminster carpets, pictures and engravings, numberless chests and coffers. A sword bearing the inscriptionFrom Queen Victoria to the King of Ashantee. A copy of the Times, 17 October 1843. With these were many specimens of Moorish and Ashanti handicraft.”
54. In the mid-nineteenth century, William Clarke, an English visitor to Nigeria, remarked that: “As good an article of cloth can be woven by the Yoruba weavers as by any people … in durability, their cloths far excel the prints and home-spuns of Manchester.”
55. The recently discovered 9th century Nigerian city of Eredo was found to be surrounded by a wall that was 100 miles long and seventy feet high in places. The internal area was a staggering 400 square miles.
56. On the subject of cloth, Kongolese textiles were also distinguished. Various European writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries wrote of the delicate crafts of the peoples living in eastern Kongo and adjacent regions who manufactured damasks, sarcenets, satins, taffeta, cloth of tissue and velvet. Professor DeGraft-Johnson made the curious observation that: “Their brocades, both high and low, were far more valuable than the Italian.”
57. On Kongolese metallurgy of the Middle Ages, one modern scholar wrote that: “There is no doubting … the existence of an expert metallurgical art in the ancient Kongo … The Bakongo were aware of the toxicity of lead vapours. They devised preventative and curative methods, both pharmacological (massive doses of pawpaw and palm oil) and mechanical (exerting of pressure to free the digestive tract), for combating lead poisoning.”
58. In Nigeria, the royal palace in the city of Kano dates back to the fifteenth century. Begun by Muhammad Rumfa (ruled 1463-99) it has gradually evolved over generations into a very imposing complex. A colonial report of the city from 1902, described it as “a network of buildings covering an area of 33 acres and surrounded by a wall 20 to 30 feet high outside and 15 feet inside … in itself no mean citadel”.
59. A sixteenth century traveller visited the central African civilisation of Kanem-Borno and commented that the emperor’s cavalry had golden “stirrups, spurs, bits and buckles.” Even the ruler’s dogs had “chains of the finest gold”.
60. One of the government positions in mediaeval Kanem-Borno was Astronomer Royal.
61. Ngazargamu, the capital city of Kanem-Borno, became one of the largest cities in the seventeenth century world. By 1658 AD, the metropolis, according to an architectural scholar housed “about quarter of a million people”. It had 660 streets. Many were wide and unbending, reflective of town planning.
62. The Nigerian city of Surame flourished in the sixteenth century. Even in ruin it was an impressive sight, built on a horizontal vertical grid. A modern scholar describes it thus: “The walls of Surame are about 10 miles in circumference and include many large bastions or walled suburbs running out at right angles to the main wall. The large compound at Kanta is still visible in the centre, with ruins of many buildings, one of which is said to have been two-storied. The striking feature of the walls and whole ruins is the extensive use of stone and tsokuwa (laterite gravel) or very hard red building mud, evidently brought from a distance. There is a big mound of this near the north gate about 8 feet in height. The walls show regular courses of masonry to a height of 20 feet and more in several places. The best preserved portion is that known as sirati (the bridge) a little north of the eastern gate … The main city walls here appear to have provided a very strongly guarded entrance about 30 feet wide.”
63. The Nigerian city of Kano in 1851 produced an estimated 10 million pairs of sandals and 5 million hides each year for export.
64. In 1246 AD Dunama II of Kanem-Borno exchanged embassies with Al-Mustansir, the king of Tunis. He sent the North African court a costly present, which apparently included a giraffe. An old chronicle noted that the rare animal “created a sensation in Tunis”.
65. By the third century BC the city of Carthage on the coast of Tunisia was opulent and impressive. It had a population of 700,000 and may even have approached a million. Lining both sides of three streets were rows of tall houses six storeys high.
Abyssinian/Ethiopian warriors (they are from the 1890’s, but regardless, the military stayed relatively the same from the 1400’s onward).
66. The Ethiopian city of Axum has a series of 7 giant obelisks that date from perhaps 300 BC to 300 AD. They have details carved into them that represent windows and doorways of several storeys. The largest obelisk, now fallen, is in fact “the largest monolith ever made anywhere in the world”. It is 108 feet long, weighs a staggering 500 tons, and represents a thirteen-storey building.
67. Ethiopia minted its own coins over 1,500 years ago. One scholar wrote that: “Almost no other contemporary state anywhere in the world could issue in gold, a statement of sovereignty achieved only by Rome, Persia, and the Kushan kingdom in northern India at the time.”
68. The Ethiopian script of the 4th century AD influenced the writing script of Armenia. A Russian historian noted that: “Soon after its creation, the Ethiopic vocalised script began to influence the scripts of Armenia and Georgia. D. A. Olderogge suggested that Mesrop Mashtotz used the vocalised Ethiopic script when he invented the Armenian alphabet.”
69. “In the first half of the first millennium CE,” says a modern scholar, Ethiopia “was ranked as one of the world’s greatest empires”. A Persian cleric of the third century AD identified it as the third most important state in the world after Persia and Rome.
70. Ethiopia has 11 underground mediaeval churches built by being carved out of the ground. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries AD, Roha became the new capital of the Ethiopians. Conceived as a New Jerusalem by its founder, Emperor Lalibela (c.1150-1230), it contains 11 churches, all carved out of the rock of the mountains by hammer and chisel. All of the temples were carved to a depth of 11 metres or so below ground level. The largest is the House of the Redeemer, a staggering 33.7 metres long, 23.7 metres wide and 11.5 metres deep.
71. Lalibela is not the only place in Ethiopia to have such wonders. A cotemporary archaeologist reports research that was conducted in the region in the early 1970’s when: “startling numbers of churches built in caves or partially or completely cut from the living rock were revealed not only in Tigre and Lalibela but as far south as Addis Ababa. Soon at least 1,500 were known. At least as many more probably await revelation.”
72. In 1209 AD Emperor Lalibela of Ethiopia sent an embassy to Cairo bringing the sultan unusual gifts including an elephant, a hyena, a zebra, and a giraffe.
73. In Southern Africa, there are at least 600 stone built ruins in the regions of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. These ruins are called Mazimbabwe in Shona, the Bantu language of the builders, and means great revered house and “signifies court”.
74. The Great Zimbabwe was the largest of these ruins. It consists of 12 clusters of buildings, spread over 3 square miles. Its outer walls were made from 100,000 tons of granite bricks. In the fourteenth century, the city housed 18,000 people, comparable in size to that of London of the same period.
75. Bling culture existed in this region. At the time of our last visit, the Horniman Museum in London had exhibits of headrests with the caption: “Headrests have been used in Africa since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Remains of some headrests, once covered in gold foil, have been found in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and burial sites like Mapungubwe dating to the twelfth century after Christ.”
76. Dr Albert Churchward, author of Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, pointed out that writing was found in one of the stone built ruins: “Lt.-Col. E. L. de Cordes … who was in South Africa for three years, informed the writer that in one of the ‘Ruins’ there is a ‘stone-chamber,’ with a vast quantity of Papyri, covered with old Egyptian hieroglyphics. A Boer hunter discovered this, and a large quantity was used to light a fire with, and yet still a larger quantity remained there now.”
77. On bling culture, one seventeenth century visitor to southern African empire of Monomotapa, that ruled over this vast region, wrote that: “The people dress in various ways: at court of the Kings their grandees wear cloths of rich silk, damask, satin, gold and silk cloth; these are three widths of satin, each width four covados [2.64m], each sewn to the next, sometimes with gold lace in between, trimmed on two sides, like a carpet, with a gold and silk fringe, sewn in place with a two fingers’ wide ribbon, woven with gold roses on silk.”
78. Southern Africans mined gold on an epic scale. One modern writer tells us that: “The estimated amount of gold ore mined from the entire region by the ancients was staggering, exceeding 43 million tons. The ore yielded nearly 700 tons of pure gold which today would be valued at over $7.5 billion.”
79. Apparently the Monomotapan royal palace at Mount Fura had chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. An eighteenth century geography book provided the following data: “The inside consists of a great variety of sumptuous apartments, spacious and lofty halls, all adorned with a magnificent cotton tapestry, the manufacture of the country. The floors, cielings [sic], beams and rafters are all either gilt or plated with gold curiously wrought, as are also the chairs of state, tables, benches &c. The candle-sticks and branches are made of ivory inlaid with gold, and hang from the cieling by chains of the same metal, or of silver gilt.”
80. Monomotapa had a social welfare system. Antonio Bocarro, a Portuguese contemporary, informs us that the Emperor: “shows great charity to the blind and maimed, for these are called the king’s poor, and have land and revenues for their subsistence, and when they wish to pass through the kingdoms, wherever they come food and drinks are given to them at the public cost as long as they remain there, and when they leave that place to go to another they are provided with what is necessary for their journey, and a guide, and some one to carry their wallet to the next village. In every place where they come there is the same obligation.”
81. Many southern Africans have indigenous and pre-colonial words for ‘gun’.Scholars have generally been reluctant to investigate or explain this fact.
82. Evidence discovered in 1978 showed that East Africans were making steel for more than 1,500 years: “Assistant Professor of Anthropology Peter Schmidt and Professor of Engineering Donald H. Avery have found as long as 2,000 years ago Africans living on the western shores of Lake Victoria had produced carbon steel in preheated forced draft furnaces, a method that was technologically more sophisticated than any developed in Europe until the mid-nineteenth century.”
83. Ruins of a 300 BC astronomical observatory was found at Namoratunga in Kenya. Africans were mapping the movements of stars such as Triangulum, Aldebaran, Bellatrix, Central Orion, etcetera, as well as the moon, in order to create a lunar calendar of 354 days.
84. Autopsies and caesarean operations were routinely and effectively carried out by surgeons in pre-colonial Uganda. The surgeons routinely used antiseptics, anaesthetics and cautery iron. Commenting on a Ugandan caesarean operation that appeared in theEdinburgh Medical Journal in 1884, one author wrote: “The whole conduct of the operation … suggests a skilled long-practiced surgical team at work conducting a well-tried and familiar operation with smooth efficiency.”
85. Sudan in the mediaeval period had churches, cathedrals, monasteries and castles. Their ruins still exist today.
86. The mediaeval Nubian Kingdoms kept archives. From the site of Qasr Ibrim legal texts, documents and correspondence were discovered. An archaeologist informs us that: “On the site are preserved thousands of documents in Meroitic, Latin, Greek, Coptic, Old Nubian, Arabic and Turkish.”
87. Glass windows existed in mediaeval Sudan. Archaeologists found evidence of window glass at the Sudanese cities of Old Dongola and Hambukol.
88. Bling culture existed in the mediaeval Sudan. Archaeologists found an individual buried at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in the city of Old Dongola. He was clad in an extremely elaborate garb consisting of costly textiles of various fabrics including gold thread. At the city of Soba East, there were individuals buried in fine clothing, including items with golden thread.
89. Style and fashion existed in mediaeval Sudan. A dignitary at Jebel Adda in the late thirteenth century AD was interned with a long coat of red and yellow patterned damask folded over his body. Underneath, he wore plain cotton trousers of long and baggy cut. A pair of red leather slippers with turned up toes lay at the foot of the coffin. The body was wrapped in enormous pieces of gold brocaded striped silk.
90. Sudan in the ninth century AD had housing complexes with bath rooms and piped water. An archaeologist wrote that Old Dongola, the capital of Makuria, had: “a[n] … eighth to … ninth century housing complex. The houses discovered here differ in their hitherto unencountered spatial layout as well as their functional programme (water supply installation, bathroom with heating system) and interiors decorated with murals.”
91. In 619 AD, the Nubians sent a gift of a giraffe to the Persians.
92. The East Coast, from Somalia to Mozambique, has ruins of well over 50 towns and cities. They flourished from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries AD.
93. Chinese records of the fifteenth century AD note that Mogadishu had houses of “four or five storeys high”.
94. Gedi, near the coast of Kenya, is one of the East African ghost towns. Its ruins, dating from the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries, include the city walls, the palace, private houses, the Great Mosque, seven smaller mosques, and three pillar tombs.
95. The ruined mosque in the Kenyan city of Gedi had a water purifier made of limestone for recycling water.
6. The palace in the Kenyan city of Gedi contains evidence of piped water controlled by taps. In addition it had bathrooms and indoor toilets.
97. A visitor in 1331 AD considered the Tanzanian city of Kilwa to be of world class. He wrote that it was the “principal city on the coast the greater part of whose inhabitants are Zanj of very black complexion.” Later on he says that: “Kilwa is one of the most beautiful and well-constructed cities in the world. The whole of it is elegantly built.”
98. Bling culture existed in early Tanzania. A Portuguese chronicler of the sixteenth century wrote that: “[T]hey are finely clad in many rich garments of gold and silk and cotton, and the women as well; also with much gold and silver chains and bracelets, which they wear on their legs and arms, and many jewelled earrings in their ears”.
99. In 1961 a British archaeologist, found the ruins of Husuni Kubwa, the royal palace of the Tanzanian city of Kilwa. It had over a hundred rooms, including a reception hall, galleries, courtyards, terraces and an octagonal swimming pool.
100. In 1414 the Kenyan city of Malindi sent ambassadors to China carrying a gift that created a sensation at the Imperial Court. It was, of course, a giraffe.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 2, 2014 at 9:20 AM||comments (0)|
THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED KONGO (Central Africa) the Kongo and the Portuguese
Extending over a large portion of South-West Africa, borders covering the current country of Congo and his alter ego Zaire, Angola, a small part of Mozambique and Gabon is about more than 300 000 km2 of land controlled by a Christian ruler, the Mani Kongo (or MweneKongo).
From the seventh century, the Kongo Empire is already known in the Western world. But with the Quattrocento, it will take on an international dimension. Led by the Portuguese explorer Diego Cao met for the first time the ruler of Kongo in 1482 not without taking a few aristocrats or members of the royal family hostage for the return as proof of their discovery to the court of Portugal. Arrived in Lisbon, they are exhibited at the royal court and placed in convents or 8 years, they learn to read and speak Portuguese, math, theology.
For the Portuguese remained in Africa, Mani (Mwene) Kongo allows them to settle on the coasts, to open an embassy there and even who wanted to profess their Christian religion. Moreover Nkuwu Nzinga, Almighty Ruler of Kongo * succumb to the lure of itself Portuguese Catholicism and will be baptized May 3, 1491 under the name of John I. Former governor of the northern province of Nsundi and Nzaza Vumbi, he came to power in a coup d'état
The Queen, meanwhile, had to wait a month with his son Mpanzu A Nzinga respectively to be baptized together under the name Dona Eleanor the Queen and the name of Alphonse for the Crown Prince. Even the capital Mbali was renamed San Salvador in a flamboyant and drew a coat worthy of the best European monarchies for the sovereign. The arrival of March 29, 1491 Mpinda missionaries was organized in a big way by the Kongo monarchy. Mani (King) Soyo had deployed an audience of 3,000 traditional warriors honor to welcome the head of the Portuguese expedition, Dom Ruy De Sousa. Conversion April 3, 1491 under the name Manual Soyo had impressed Nzinga Nkuwu which had sent the Portuguese in the capital.
The history of Kongo was therefore on. The Nzinga ruler Jean did not want to do that agricultural trade with the Portuguese and did nothing to support any sales of slaves on its territory. Relations between the Portuguese and the Kongo monarchy tarnished very quickly. The missionaries were arrested and imprisoned, schools burned. The son of Mani Kongo, Mpanzu A Nzinga, who favors the royal council (the Kongo monarchy was elective but among members of the ruling dynasty) did not hide his desire to end the Portuguese. Amplified the crisis between the Portuguese and the royal court as and attempts slave traders to capture villages for the purposes of their trade of ebony. In 1499, the island of Sao Tome (hereditary fief given to the Governor Fernando De Mello 1486) became the scene and the scene of anti-Kongos conspiracies by some slave traders forcing the Portuguese crown to intervene and dismiss the governor's son .
John I was now less sensitive to religious discourse. How could she the bible prohibit polygamy, social institution spread throughout the kingdom and guarantor alliances with minor kingdoms. This issue deeply divided the court, but John died without setting the question
* The term significant Kongo word varies according to various sources. For some, it could mean "the panther ally" or is simply a throwing weapon called Kong Kong which is served the people of Angola future. It is noted that although the term has become generic Kng to designate the kingdom of the same name, only residents of the capital Mpemba is reserved in use (Esi-Kongo)
The Mani Kongo Alfonso I
Mpanzu ascended the throne in 1506 (or 07?) But he had a few hours to enjoy. Day celebrations of his accession to the throne, he was assassinated. Nzinga Mbemba said his brother Alfonso I immediately took power without consulting the council which suggests that a plot had been organized between the prince and the Portuguese. 51 years old, the new Mani Kongo was not unanimous. Kitima his brother, who was sickened by this crime renounced the Christian religion, took up arms. He besieged the capital, but was quickly defeated by the king Alfonso. Legend has it that the rebel brother was seized with a panic at the sight of the sky, the appearance of Saint Jacques ... And beyond the crest was designed that would be one of the royal family until 1860.
Anyway, the King "by the grace of God, King of Kongo, Loango, Kongo and Ka-Ngoyo, to of it and beyond Zaire Lord Ambundus .... "Alfonso I could sit back on the throne and be the first African king recognized by a European court. He undertook to Christianize his empire, a mere copy of the state of Portugal (and to the various existing taxes), opened a school which counted 400 students in exchange for more missionaries to his kingdom, he educated his son Henry to the court of Portugal, sent ambassadors to Rome in 1513. Henry was even appointed Bishop of Utica in 1517, he served as the office of Governor of Mpanza until his death in 1531 (or 1539). The slave trade could take off within the Empire vassals of Kongo king seeing a lucrative gradually turned away from him to join the Portuguese protectors (ethnicity Teke was finally submitted by Alfonso I of the leading troops armed with rifles, weapons then little known in Africa). The Portuguese used among prisoners Mani Kongo for their slave trade but did not disdain to use in villages to see the Empire among the nobility itself. When Alfonso I learned this, he hastened to write to his Portuguese counterpart specifically asked to stop these practices. The end of his life was marked by a series of conspiracies organized both by the Portuguese (1526 assassination attempt in 1539, Easter made a dead and two wounded ..) who accused him of losing interest in both Catholicism members of his own clan who wanted to get rid of. Conspiracy in which he died tragically
C) The Manikongo Peter I
. In 1543, his son Peter I succeeded in an atmosphere heavy and threatening civil war. Besides the royal court of Portugal not mention his death in the annals of history. For two years, Peter I had to struggle against his own court did not hide his desire to submit to the benefit of one of his son Diego (Nkumbi Mpudi) or Francis (Mzinga Mbemba) who also claimed the throne. Indeed, despite the introduced European modernism in the kingdom, notables and aristocrats wanted the customary principle continued to prevail over the hereditary succession established by Alphonse in Kongo. I saw the stone to escape it, beaten by the troops of his nephew Jacques took refuge in the main church of the city. His son Diego who was crowned respected the sanctity of the sanctuary of the church and left alone his father took refuge in the island of Sao Tome. A lull since Mani Kongo Peter I was finally assassinated the same year of his testimony as he tried to regain power, imploring the Holy See and Portugal for help in vain .. The son of Peter I, Francis told Mani Kongo turn but he had a short reign and his cousin Jacques, who in turn took the royal title. Diego I quickly put an end to the anarchy of sovereign.
The assassination of Pierre led a series of internal conflicts within the royal court, leaving the field to continue their Portuguese slave trade without any opposition. Diego meanwhile tolerate Christianity as long as it serves their interests. In 1546, he sent a Creole as Ambassador to Portugal with a mission to bring some church but two years later he denounced as conspirators plaguing these priests in the kingdom. It is true that many of them had writing to King John III of Portugal to the deposed king Kongo too independent in their eyes. Diego eventually expel all. The Franciscans who are present in the country in 1557 will struggle to write Kikongo in the Bible. Diego I died 4 November 1561 and as usual, the estate will be tough.
D) Civil war in Kongo.
Pretender to the throne was assassinated. Alfonso II placed by the Portuguese as Mani hereditary reigned only one year before being deposed by a popular uprising. Besides its original subsidiary is the object of all suspicion. Son of the sister of Diego, maybe even see the result of incest, it was not recognized by his contemporaries saw him as the puppet of the Portuguese. Riots broke out, many Portuguese were killed as the King. I. Bernard whose lineage is equally uncertain succeeded him and lead the Empire until 1566, when he died in an ethnic conflict with Tekes and Ba Yakas. His successor Henry II had also to face an uprising organized one after his accession to the throne by his son and cousin, Lua Nimi A Lukeni Mvemba. Henry II was assassinated in 1568 and Nimi was crowned under the name of Alvaro I, inaugurating the reign of a new branch of the royal family known as Kwilu.
Far from being a cure for the crisis of the kingdom, the reign of twenty years of Alvaro I (which said it was the little son of Alfonso I. by his sister who married her cousin Henry I) was a disaster for the Empire .. The new king was quick to seize the throne of his cousin with his army was quickly routed by the enemy. The Yakas (Jagas) are offered the luxury of seizing the capital (1569) and burn, its population massacred. Refuge in the mountains with his court, the king will soon begging for food. Slaves will be killed, dismembered in order to survive, children sold to the Portuguese who took advantage of the crisis to increase the slave trade. Even the nobles sold them.
Threatened by invasions Yakas, Mani Kongo sent an embassy to Sebastian I of Portugal to beg him for help. The Portuguese king sent an armed force of 600 men in Kongo restore the sovereign prerogatives after a year of fighting. Governor Francisco Gouveia Sottomaior him sign an agreement of vassalage before taking him to join the royalist troops in Luanda headquarters of the Portuguese and was outside the kingdom. A ruler suffering from dropsy. Alvaro wanted to give a reward to the ruler of his empire that Portugal refused but asked in return granting gold mines in the country. Mani Kongo ungrateful ultimately gave false information to the Portuguese who were lost en route. Curiously, it is a Portuguese priest who had advised the king to hide its natural resources to Western alter ego. Alvaro was then assassinate the governor and totally denied having signed any agreement vassalage. Joining his troops, he was soon enough in number to directly threaten its allies.
Alvaro I soon reestablished the alliance with the Portuguese who took the opportunity to restore the authority of the clergy in the country somewhat battered by wars of succession. Since they could appropriate the sovereignty of the Kongo, the Portuguese started up the colony of Luanda in southern kingdom. Mani Kongo then had to deal with the push Yakas who came to invade the country before princes dismiss some rebels who caused him a lot of trouble.
The evangelization of the country became difficult during the reign of Alvaro I.. Portugal was slow to send missionaries to the country cools the generosity of Mani Kongo. And finally Spain in the sixteenth century who came to annex Portugal answered his expectations despite some logistical difficulties. Alvaro began to modernize his country like the lifestyle of European force during this century. Counties, duchies and marquisates were created throughout the Empire. A cathedral was built in San Salvador.
In March 1587, Alvaro passed away in a country ravaged. His son of the same name succeeded him. Alvaro II Nkanga Nimi was quickly exposed to the ambitions of his brother and sister. Supporters of the two candidates clashed in the capital, undermining the borders of the Empire. He even had to recognize the independence of Miguel Count of Soyo in the kingdom. Alvaro II eventually assert themselves and to reward the nobles who had supported him, created the Order of Christ despite the complaints of plagiarism of Portugal to the Pope.
Pope .... Alvaro sends an ambassador to the Vatican to plead his cause, and a full recognition. The Ambassador-designate reached Rome January 3, 1608 after almost four years of traveling there and delivers his message: The king demanded the same privileges as other Christian kings of the world, asked the Bishop of Kongo remains within the limits of its authority . It is not Portuguese. Because if he was, he should align the positions of Kongo. Exhausted, he died 24 hours after his arrival. But history has recognized it as the first African ambassador to the Vatican.
E) The anarchy
The Mbemba (Duke) Antoine Da Silva decided it was time to end the reign of Alvaro II. In 1614 with his army, he threw in favor of Bernard II (son) and then a year later (August), he replaced by Alvaro III (brother of Bernard II). Antoine Da Silva was the true master of the kingdom until his death in 1620. Alvaro III was surrounded by his supporters to protect themselves from the expansionist governor of the Portuguese colony of Angola Luanda now called. In fact, since 1617, it sent mercenaries to operate raids on villages in defiance of Kongos agreements signed between the two monarchies. Tensions were increased to the death of Alvaro III May 4, 1622. The new ruler appointed by the electors of the kingdom (the heir Ambrose considered too young had been removed), the Mbemba (Duke) Pierre II dia Ya Nkanya MVikade Nsundi royal lineage, liked to hide all runaway slaves to Angola. The governor of Angola immediately invaded the southern kingdom in retaliation.
Portuguese armies swept into the kingdom. They meet the soldiers of Peter II Mbanda Kasi. The stinging defeat for the Portuguese Kongos face combined with other African tribes. Furious II Peter responds quickly by executing four governors who had refused to commit troops alongside those of Mani Kongo. Taking fear throughout Kongo armed himself while Peter Ii said more or less the entire war in Portugal. Their soldiers finally beaten Mbanda Kasi, Portuguese merchants settled in the kingdom who naturally supported this invasion will now denounce, fearing for their lives. Pierre II wrote letters of protest to the Pope and the King of Spain. Riots erupt in anti-Portuguese throughout the kingdom. Anxious to preserve his business, Peter II put an end to the riots. Hero for some, Pierre II became the "King of the Portuguese" to his opponents.
In Angola, the Portuguese had rebelled against their governor (Joao Correia de Sousa) with the help of the Jesuits and is a Bishop who will ensure the interim of the colony. Him, Pierre II wrote: "It has no nobility, no heart or so"
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 28, 2014 at 4:45 AM||comments (0)|
Zimbabwe: Questioning the Relevance of Western Education
THERE is something astounding about education in that the more you have of it, the more ignorant you become, and the less relevant you turn out to be to your community. It is really amazing how many learned ignoramuses abound in this world. Yes, you may pride yourself in being educated, but as long as what nourishes your ego is Western education, then you may be as irrelevant to yourself as you are to your community. You may question yourself today whether what has catapulted you to your current status is your level of education or ingenuity or lack of it. Can you really say your grandmother or great-grandmother is uneducated and thus lacks knowledge?
It is worrisome sometimes to know that a nation may invest vast resources in individuals who may not even be worth it in the end. A case of investing on redundancy, which is usually admired by those perceived to lack it. How much really does a Western educated person know?
This vexing situation is what Jean-Marie Medza, the protagonist in Mongo Beti's "Mission to Kala" (1957) finds himself enmeshed in.
Having failed the oral in his baccalaureate exams, Medza returns home with a bruised ego. "I was ploughed," he admits, but as one who is conceited by virtue of being at college at a time when only a sprinkle of Africans have such blessings, the protagonist boasts of his "evil genius" and calls himself "The Conqueror".
But, as he walks home, it dawns on him that the whole village has picked it from the wind that "he had been failed"; he is also aware of the ugly confrontation that awaits him in the form of his father.
Meanwhile, there is an urgent issue that has to be attended to, which affects the entire community; his cousin, Niam's wife has gone back to her people, in Kala, a village which is considered to be rather backward, about 50km from their own. Someone has to be sent on a mission to fetch her and the whole village, at the behest of the patriarch, old Bikokolo, settles on Jean-Marie Medza because of his knowledge of the Whiteman's ways through Western education.
Beti creates humour through the use of the first person singular narrative technique, as Medza is given a chance to expose himself when he is apprised of his cousin's predicament and the community's worry. "Have any of you the least idea what preparing for an examination and sitting it entails? Gentlemen, try and imagine something worse, far worse, than working in a plantation with a machete from dawn till dusk-?" he challenges them.
However, in the absence of his father who has gone on a visit, the protagonist, in spite of having his uncle and Amou, his aunt, in his corner, finds himself at the mercy of the elders. Using a potpourri of legend, national myth and confusing facts, old Bikokolo manages to cajole "the boy" who is only "a congenital simpleton" to agree to bring their lost pride back. The old patriarch coaxes him: "When the story is recited after my death, you will be its hero. You are that formidable man; you speak with the voice of the thunder . . . Shall I tell you what your thunder is?" He plugs it home, "Your certificates, your learning, your knowledge of white men's secrets".
Spurred on by his ego, despite his tender 19 years, Medza descends on Kala whereupon he realises that "the Bushmen" are not really idiots after all. They are even more sophisticated than he is, though in their own traditional way.
Medza's introduction to the youth of Kala, by his cousin, Zambo sets the wheel in motion. "You could search the whole district round for two, three, four, five, hundred miles, and I wager you wouldn't find a man, white or black, as learned and knowledgeable as he is", he boasts.
Though this is a deliberate exaggeration, it puts Medza in high esteem in the eyes of the villagers, as one of the youths, Duckfoot Johnny, in his drunken stupor tells him: "You're Godalmighty".
Set in colonial Cameroun, the book explores the tragedy of a continent whose hopes are intertwined with individual aspirations where Western education is accorded undue prominence. The educated elite, who should be the community's visionaries, are simply swallowed into the colonial system of oppression and capitalism. Because they are esteemed, they use societal myopia to impoverish their own people, yet at the same time are unable to offer any meaningful contribution to their communities. Education becomes not only a tool of oppression but an extension of imperialism.
The conceited, rude and arrogant Medza embodies this kind of redundancy in African communities as he is escorted around the village "like an American diplomat under the protection of his private eyes", on his daily excursions around Kala. All and sundry jostle for his attention and parties are thrown in his honour; presents in the form of livestock strewn at his feet - simply because of his perceived knowledge, knowledge that in no way improves the situation of the lot of the villagers.
Medza's foibles, at his own admission, are exposed through the intelligent questioning that he suffers at the hands of his audience. His first encounter with the reality of his lacks, comes when he is asked whether whites were "cleverer than (him) in class?" or "learn quicker".
When he flinches, to his surprise, one man comes to his defence when he says: "it's perfectly reasonable to suppose that white children learn faster than blacks. What are they being taught? Their ancestral wisdom, not ours, isn't that so? Now if it was our ancestral wisdom that was taught in this school, it would be normal to expect coloured children to learn faster than whites, wouldn't it?"
The seemingly ignorant villagers also tell him that "it's by no means certain that it was the whites who invented cars and aeroplanes, and all that".
The protagonist's failure to convincingly expound to his audience what they are taught at school and what it really is and how it would help him and his people, blows his bubble. His failure to give them a convincing definition of Geography in the vernacular and his use of examples drawn from New York, lays bare the folly of Western education. His realisation that "knowledge" should be put to test "by genuine circumstance not under the artificial conditions of an examination room" as he "had already discovered vast gaps in the frontiers of (his) tiny kingdom", exposes the fallacy of any educational system premised on inflexible set syllabi.
Going out of the norm, Medza uses the Russian experience with its communism, and it is this that elates his audience which yells: "These people are very much like us at the bottom. They've got a sense of solidarity."
Beti highlights the hypocritical inclinations inherent in the so-called educated elite through Endongolo, the young man who drills Medza on what nature of job he would partake after leaving college. The artist adeptly uses the stream of consciousness technique to examine the inadequacy of Western education systems as the hero asks himself: "Yes, indeed: what would I do when I (finish) my studies? And where (do) those studies lead". But he dreams of becoming a teacher, doctor, lawyer and the like.
The narrator's desperate situation is further compounded by one woman who could see through this thin veil and challenges him: "When you get the kind of job you've mentioned, will you make plenty of money? You will, won't you? That means you'll live like white men? Where do we come in to all this?" He is only saved from further assault when someone offers him American whisky which makes him escape from his inadequacies as he is able to give "explanatory remarks loaded with all manner of convincing details" after imbibing, which may suggest that like alcohol, Western education is just a temporary illusion.
The dynamics of culture also find prominence as the writer exposes the Kala culture, which, though untainted by Western influences, seem to be morally bankrupt. Though Western education may be irrelevant in some aspects, it seems to be necessary in moulding the individual as is evident in Medza's shift of character. He leaves Vimili a teetotaler and a virgin, and loses it all in Kala. Therefore, there is need for integration of cultures through interacting African and Western education systems.
Medza emerges from Kala with Niam's wife in tow, a more enlightened young man who is able to tell his oppressive father: "I am not going to college anymore - I am through with all this nonsense". His rebellious nature is suggestive of resistance to colonial rule through the creation of interfaces between Western and African values. When he eventually goes back to college, he passes his oral without even studying for it. Education really sometimes comes naturally.
In Jean-Marie Medza's own admission, he, "discovered many truths" in Kala, as the tragedy of Africa is its dependency on "a man left to his own devices in a world which does not belong to him - which, he neither understands nor has made".
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 27, 2014 at 1:50 PM||comments (0)|
Boko Haram gunmen suspected of three separate attacks in northeast Adamawa state, which killed at least 32 people.
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have killed at least 32 people in three separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, including at a theological college, a local government official and residents have said.
The co-ordinated attacks in Adamawa state late on Wednesday came just a day after armed fighters were blamed for killing 59 people, most of them children, as they slept at a boarding school in Yobe state.
Maina Ularamu, the chairman of the Madagali local government area in Adamawa, said "a large number of militants carried out three separate attacks on Shuwa and Kirchinga in my local government area and on Michika in neighbouring Michika (district)".
"The gunmen divided themselves into three groups and separately attacked the three locations," he told AFP news agency.
In Shuwa, several buildings were burnt, including a Christian theological college and a section of a secondary school.
A local resident, Kwaje Bitrus, said three bodies were recovered from the seminary and a total of 20 were killed in and around the village.
In Kirchinga, Samuel Garba said the gunmen were all dressed in military uniform - a tactic used by the armed fighters in previous, similar attacks.
"The gunmen... killed eight people in our village and burnt many houses," he added.
"Four people have so far been confirmed dead in Michika," said Abdul Kassim, who lives in the village.
The dead were a young boy and three security guards, he added.
The northeastern states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno have been under emergency rule since last May, when the military launched an offensive to stamp out the armed rebellion, which has killed thousands since 2009.
Hundreds of thousands displaced
The UN said on Thursday that nearly 300,000 people, more than half of them children, had fled their homes in the three states from May last year to this January because of the violence.
Residents in Michika described earlier how people fled to the nearby foothills when the attackers arrived in four-wheeled drive trucks and on motorcycles.
Michika resident Abdul Kassim said militants arrived at about 9.30pm (8.30pm GMT) on Wednesday, "armed with RPGs and explosives which they hurled indiscriminately at homes and public buildings".
The attack reportedly lasted for more than four hours. Various residents said four banks were razed, as well as hundreds of shops, a police station, government buildings and dozens of homes.
One witness said that about 90 percent of all businesses had been destroyed. The military and police declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
The top military commander in Adamawa state last week ordered the complete closure of the border with Cameroon to block the movements of fighters and weapons.
The ongoing military offensive has failed to crush the armed struggle and nearly 300 people have been killed in a range of attacks already this year.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Lawyer Releases Video Of Man Who Died Outside Of The Moore Warren Movie Theater While In Police Custody
MOORE, Oklahoma - Three Moore Police officers were put on administrative leave while detective investigate an in-custody death from overnight. The family of the man who died said police beat him badly and they recorded it with a cell phone camera.
Nair Rodriguez and her daughter Lunahi told News 9 they got into an argument at the Warren Theater around midnight. Nair said she slapped her daughter then stormed away. Her husband, Luis, chased after her. That was when the family said officers confronted Luis Rodriguez and asked to see his identification.
According to Lunahi and Nair, he tried to bypass the officers to stop his wife from driving off because she was so angry. They said officers took him down and it escalated.
Lunahi Rodriguez said that five officers beat her father to death right in front of her, in the parking lot of the movie theater.
"When they flipped him over you could see all the blood on his face, it was, he was disfigured, you couldn't recognize him."
By the time it was all over, Nair Rodriguez said that she knew her husband was dead.
"I saw him. His [motionless] body when people carry it to the stretcher," she explained. "I knew that he was dead."
Nair says her husband was only trying to defuse the fight she was having with her daughter. She said when police asked her about it she told them what happened.
"I told them I hit her and he was just trying to reach me. Why didn't they arrest me?"
Lunahi added, "My mom was taking a video and asking, ‘What are they doing this for? Why?' And they didn't give really an explanation."
Rodriguez told News 9 that police took her phone with the recording on it. Another family member provided News 9 with an audio recording she said was taken when that happened. The family hoped Luis would pull through, so they waited for news at the hospital.http://www.news9.com/story/24815189/lawyer-releases-video-of-mans-death-in-police-custody-in-moore
"Two hours passed. They finally called her up to say, 'Oh you could see him,' but it turned out it was a lie. They moved his body elsewhere," said Lunahi.The family told News 9 they would hire an attorney.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 24, 2014 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
On Homosexuality by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda Responding to H.E. Obama’s statement on Homosexuality
18th February 2014
I have seen the statement H.E President Obama of the USA made in reaction to my statement that I was going to sign the anti-homosexual Bill, which I made at Kyankwanzi. Before I react to H.E. Obama’s statement, let me, again, put on record my views on the issue of homo-sexuals (ebitiingwa, bisiyaga in some of our dialects). Right from the beginning of this debate, my views were as follows:
1. I agreed with the MPs and almost all Ugandans that promotion of homosexuality in Uganda must be criminalized or rather should continue to be criminalized because the British had already done that;
2. those who agreed to become homosexuals for mercenary reasons (prostitutes) should be harshly punished as should those who paid them to be homosexual prostitutes; and
3. exhibitionism of homosexual behavior must be punished because, in this part of the World, it is forbidden to publicly exhibit any sexual conduct (kissing, etc) even for heterosexuals; if I kissed my wife of 41 years in public, I would lose elections in Uganda.
The only point I disagreed on with some of the Members of Parliament (MPs) and other Ugandans was on the persons I thought were born homosexual. According to the casual observations, there are rare deviations in nature from the normal. You witness cases like albinos (nyamagoye), barren women or men (enguumba), epa (breastless women) etc.
I, therefore, thought that similarly there were people that were born with the disorientation of being attracted to the same sex. That is why I thought that that it was wrong to punish somebody on account of being born abnormal. That is why I refused to sign the Bill and, instead, referred it to our Party (the NRM) to debate it again.
In the meantime, I sought for scientific opinions on this matter. I am grateful to Ms. Kerry Kennedy of the USA who sent me opinions by scientists from the USA saying that there could be some indications that homosexuality could be congenital. In our conference, I put these opinions to our scientists from the Department of Genetics, the School of Medicine and the Ministry of Health.
Their unanimous conclusion was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic. It was learnt and could be unlearnt. I told them to put their signatures to that conclusion which they did. That is why I declared my intention to sign the Bill, which I will do.
I have now received their signed document, which says there is no single gene that has been traced to cause homosexuality. What I want them to clarify is whether a combination of genes can cause anybody to be homosexual. Then my task will be finished and I will sign the Bill.
After my statement to that effect which was quoted widely around the World, I got reactions from some friends from outside Africa. Statements like: “it is a matter of choice” or “whom they love” which President Obama repeated in his statement would be most furiously rejected by almost the entirety of our people.
It cannot be a matter of choice for a man to behave like a woman or vice-versa. The argument I had pushed was that there could be people who are born like that or “who they are”, according to President Obama’s statement. I, therefore, encourage the US government to help us by working with our Scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual. When that is proved, we can review this legislation.
I would be among those who will spearhead that effort. That is why I had refused to sign the Bill until my premise was knocked down by the position of our Scientists.
I would like to discourage the USA government from taking the line that passing this law will “complicate our valued relationship” with the USA as President Obama said. Countries and Societies should relate with each other on the basis of mutual respect and independence in decision making.
“Valued relationship” cannot be sustainably maintained by one Society being subservient to another society. There are a myriad acts the societies in the West do that we frown on or even detest. We, however, never comment on those acts or make them preconditions for working with the West.
Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody. We do not want anybody to impose their views on us. This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality. It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.
I thank everybody.
Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (Rtd)
P R E S I D E N T
18th February 2014.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 14, 2014 at 5:55 AM||comments (0)|
The Slave Trader - History's Most Ignoble Trade?
Trader: One who buys, sells or barters commodities or materials of value. The term "Trader" is innocent enough, and no doubt, there are many throughout history who have practiced this profession with honesty and honor. The problem occurs when the "commodity of value" becomes men, women and children. The Slave Traders, or those who traffic in slaves, will doubtless claim the position as History's Most Detestable profession.
A Slave Market in Atlanta Georgia in 1864
Slave traders were those who fitted ships, sailed to the Slavery Coast of Africa, and procured men, women, and children to bring back to be sold as enslaved laborers. This was an expensive endeavor, and the Slave Traders were often backed by the Rich and Powerful. In many cases, Slave Traders themselves were made rich by their work.
Under any conditions, this work would be detestable, but the outrage was multiplied by the complete inhumanity with which they pursued their chosen profession. The conditions on the slave ships were reprehensible, with people packed so closely they could not even lie down.
It is against this backdrop that we present the following story. It is an engraving and article from the March 8, 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly. The story describes one of the most notorious of the Slave Traders - Nathaniel Gordon. The story describes Mr. Gordon's capture, trial, and execution. Make note of the detailed description of the conditions on Mr. Gordon's ship, and the abject misery of his "passengers".
Of particular interest is Mr. Gordon's last few hours of life. He was unrepentant to the end. His last few hours were agonizing and miserable, as he prepared to face his ultimate judgment for a life of greed and brutality.
THE EXECUTION OF GORDON, THE SLAVE-TRADER.
Harper's Weekly, March 8, 1862
NOT the least important among the changes which are taking place in the current of national policy and public opinion is evidenced by the fact that on Friday, 21st February, in this city, NATHANIEL GORDON was hung for being engaged in the slave-trade. For forty years the slave-trade has been pronounced piracy by law, and to engage in it has been a capital offense. But the sympathy of the Government and its officials has been so often on the side of the criminal, and it seemed so absurd to hang a man for doing at sea that which, in half the Union, is done daily without censure on land, that no one has ever been punished under the Act. The Administration of Mr. Lincoln has turned over a new leaf in this respect. Henceforth the slave-trade will be abandoned to the British and their friends. The hanging of Gordon is an event in the history of our country.
He was probably the most successful and one of the worst of the individuals engaged in the trade. A native of Maine, he had engaged in the business many years since, and had always eluded justice. The particular voyage which proved fatal to him was undertaken in 1860. The following summary of the case we take from the Times:
It was in evidence (given by Lieutenant Henry D. Todd, U.S.N.) that the ship Erie was first discovered by the United States steamer Mohican, on the morning of the 8th day of August, 1860; that she was then about fifty miles outside of the River Congo, on the West Coast of Africa, standing to the northward, with all sail set; that she was flying the American flag, and that a gun from the Mohican brought her to.
It was shown by Lieutenant Todd that he went on board himself about noon, and took command of the prize. He found on board of the Erie, which our readers will remember was but 500 tons burden, eight hundred and ninety-seven (897) negroes, men, women, and children, ranging from the age of six months to forty years. They were half children, one-fourth men, and one-fourth women, and so crowded when on the main deck that one could scarcely put his foot down without stepping on them. The stench from the hold was fearful, and the filth and dirt upon their persons indescribably offensive.
EXECUTION OF GORDON THE SLAVE-TRADER, NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 21, 1862.
At first he of course knew nothing about them, and until Gordon showed him, he was unable to stow them or feed them—finally he learned how, but they were stowed so closely that during the entire voyage they appeared to be in great agony. The details are sickening, but as fair exponents of the result of this close stowing, we will but mention that running sores and cutaneous diseases of the most painful as well as contagious character infected the entire load. Decency was unthought of; privacy was simply impossible — nastiness and wretchedness reigned supreme. From such a state of affairs we are not surprised to learn that, during the passage of fifteen days, twenty-nine of the sufferers died, and were thrown overboard.
It was proved by one of the seamen that he, with others, shipped on the Erie, believing her to be bound upon a legitimate voyage, and that, when at sea they suspected, from the nature of the cargo, that all was not right, which suspicion they mentioned to the Captain (Gordon), who satisfied them by saying that he was on a lawful voyage, that they had shipped as sailors, and would do better to return to their duties than to talk to him. Subsequently they were told that they had shipped on a slaver, and that for every negro safely landed they should receive a dollar.
The negroes were taken on board the ship on the 7th day of August, 1860, and the entire operation of launching and unloading nearly nine hundred negroes, occupied but three quarters of an hour, or less time than a sensible man would require for his dinner. As the poor creatures came over the side Gordon would take them by the arm, and shove them here or there, as the case might be, and if by chance their persons were covered from entire exposure by a strip of rag, he would, with his knife, cut it off, fling it overboard, and send the wretch naked with his fellows.
Several of the crew testified, all agreeing that Gordon acted as Captain; that he engaged them; that he ordered them; that he promised them the $l per capita; that he superintended the bringing on board the negroes; and that he was, in fact, the master-spirit of the entire enterprise.
For this crime Gordon was arrested, tried, and, mainly through the energy of District-Attorney Smith, convicted, and sentenced to death. Immense exertions were made by his friends and the slave-trading interest to procure a pardon, or at least a commutation of his sentence, from President Lincoln, but without avail. He was sentenced to die on 21st. We abridge the following account of his last hours and execution [which we illustrate above] from the Herald and Times:
THE ATTEMPT TO COMMIT SUICIDE.
Nothing worthy of note occurred until about three o'clock A.M. on Friday morning, when the keepers were alarmed by the prisoner being suddenly seized with convulsions. At first it was supposed that he was trying to strangle himself; but on a close examination it was evident that he was suffering from the effects of poison. Dr. Simmons, the prison physician, was immediately sent for, and stimulants were freely administered for the purpose of producing a reaction. For the first half hour or so the efforts of the physician appeared to have but little effect. The patient became quite rigid under the influence of the poison, his pulse could scarcely be felt, and it was thought that after all the gallows would be cheated of its victim. Drs. James R. Wood and Hodgman, who were also in attendance upon the prisoner, labored hard to resuscitate the dying man, and finally, by means of the stomach-pump and the use of brandy, the patient was sufficiently recovered to be able to articulate. It was not until eight o'clock, however, that the physicians had any hope of saving Gordon's life. From that hour, however, the prisoner gradually recovered, although he was subject to fainting fits for hours afterward. When sensible he begged of the doctors to let him alone, preferring, he said, to die by his own hand rather than suffer the ignominy of a public execution.
It has not been satisfactorily ascertained how or in what manner the unfortunate man procured the poison with which he contemplated self-destruction. The symptoms were evidently those of strychnine, and the only way in which the keepers can account for the presence of the poison is its introduction in the cigars which Gordon had smoked so freely the night before. On Thursday the prisoner was compelled to undergo a rigid search, his clothing was changed entirely, and he was placed in a new cell, so that it would seem impossible almost for him to have procured the poison in any other way than that suggested by his keepers.
A few minutes after eleven o'clock, when it was apparent to Gordon that the execution would certainly take place, notwithstanding his attempt at suicide, he sent for Marshal Murray, and said he had something of a private nature to communicate. The Marshal repaired to the bedside of the culprit and asked if any thing could be done to alleviate his sufferings. Gordon raised himself slowly from his cot, and with much difficulty, said: "Cut a lock of hair from my head and give it to my wife." Then taking a ring from his finger, he requested that that also should be sent to his wife in remembrance of her husband. The request was cheerfully complied with, and the official, quite overcome with emotion, left the unhappy man to his fate.
At 12 o'clock, Marshal Murray notified Gordon, through Mr. Draper, that the hour had arrived. At this he expressed great surprise, and said he thought he had two hours more in which to live. The clergyman entered the cell and prayed with him, or rather for him. Deputy Marshal Borst aided him in dressing and gave him a large drink of clear whisky, when his arms were tied, the black cap was put carelessly on one side of his head, and he was carried on the deputy's shoulders to a chair in the corridor. The sight was simply shocking.
The man was not sober—that is, so powerful had been the effect of the poison that, in order to keep him alive till the necessary moment, they had been obliged to give him whisky enough to make an ordinary man drunk three times over. He sat lollingly in the chair, gazing listlessly around, while the Marshal, with unaffected emotion, read the former reprieve to him. That done, he was helped to his feet, and held there while the Marshal read to him. the death-warrant.
After this he looked around with a senseless smile, asked for some more whisky, which was kindly given him. The procession was then formed, Gordon stalking with a bravadoish air, upheld by the Marshals, toward the scaffold.
To a casual spectator it would appear that, exhausted by mental or physical suffering, Gordon was making a great effort to walk manfully to his fate. As it was, however, he had just sense enough left to endeavor to follow out the suggestion of the well-meaning deputy, who told him to die like a man, and to walk to the rope, so that no one could accuse him of fear. When he reached the scaffold, he said, "Well, a man can't die but once; I'm not afraid." The cap was drawn over the whitened, meaningless features, the noose-knot was carefully adjusted under his ear, and he stood, an unthinking, careless, besotted wretch waiting for he knew not what, when with a jerk he went high in air, and fell to the length of the rope, still senseless, still unfeeling, still regardless of pain or pleasure.
The body swayed hither and thither for a few moments, and all was quiet. No twitchings, no convulsions, no throes, no agonies. His legs opened once, but closed again, and he hung a lump of dishonored clay.
Slavery Was NOT A Sin Of The South; It Was The Sin Of A Nation.
Many have written and argued that Slavery was a Sin of the South. I would argue most strongly that Slavery was NOT a Sin of the South; It was the Sin of a Nation. Placing the Sin of Slavery onto the doorstep of the confederacy is easy, and even comforting, but unfortunately is not the complete picture. The simple picture of Slavery as a Southern Sin does not reflect the much broader participation, exploitation and profit in Slavery as an Enterprise.
Here, for your perusal and research, we present an original 1860 news account of a captured Slave Ship. The Slave Ship was owned by a New York Slave Trader, It was full of Native African Men, Women, and Children, and it was delivering the Cargo to be sold in the South.
My hope, and even my belief is, that few today could look at these images, and read the accompanying story without being appalled, repulsed, and even outraged.
Look at the picture of these people, created by God and in his image, packed onto this ship like cattle. Gaze at the image, and then spend several minutes reflecting on what it must have been like to be crammed onto a ship so tightly that you could not lie down, so tightly that you could hardly breathe. Think of the sounds of the dieing all around, the stench of the diseased and deprived hanging in the air, and the utter hopelessness of the situation.
After some time of quiet reflection, then read the story. There are three things to look for as you read the story; 1) Pay attention to the facts in the story describing the conditions on a Slave Ship, and then 2) consider the overall tone and demeanor of the news account, and note 3) that the newspaper was a Northern Newspaper published in New York City.
The facts of the conditions on the Slave Ship are quiet disturbing. It is an affront to all mankind that any man would be treated this way. However, the newspaper reports it in a light-hearted, almost whimsical fashion. The article describes the games of a small boy, it seams to imply that the level of death and disease as being “not as bad as usual”, perhaps even acceptable. It purports to be able to ascertain the intelligence, and presumably the worth of these people, by the shape of their head, and the width of their nose. When the people appear to be praying, or praising God, the author makes the assumption that the people could not be aware of God.
The writer, in describing this atrocity, lacks the indignation and passion that one would think would be associated with being an eye-witness to such a human catastrophe.
The plantation culture of the south helped to create Demand for slaves, rich northerners were more than happy to use their ships and wealth to Trade in Slaves for profit, and then the popular press, potentially influenced by the wealthy who were benefiting from the slave trade, appear to have been willing to simply look the other way.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 9, 2014 at 3:35 PM||comments (1)|
Do you remember The Askaris? Do you remember the Buffalo soldiers and all the other YES-SIR-NO-SIR NEGROES that have historically bowed down and served their white masters faithfully till the very end?
An askari was a local soldier serving in the armies of the European colonial powers in Africa, particularly in East Africa, Northeast Africa, and Central Africa. Not only was the word used in that sense in English, but also in French, German, Italian, Urdu and Portuguese. The designation is still in use today to describe police, gendarmerie and security guards.
During the period of the European colonial empires in Africa, locally recruited soldiers were employed by Italian, British, Portuguese, German and Belgian colonial armies. They played a crucial role in the conquest of the various colonial possessions, and subsequently served as garrison and internal security forces. During both World Wars askari units served outside their colonies of origin, in various parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The word askari is a loan word from Arabic عسكري (ʿaskarī meaning "soldier". The Arabic word is a derivation from عسكر (ʿaskar) meaning "army", which in turn is from Persian لشکر (laškar). Words for "(a regular) soldier" derived from these Arabic words are found in Amharic, Azeri, Somali, Swahili, Tajik, Turkish and Urdu.
Nazi Austin Mahone Germany Hiwi (volunteer)
During WWII, the Germans used the term "askaris" for Red Army, largely Russian, deserters who formed units fighting against the Red Army and in other action on the Eastern front. Soviet archives apply the term to Latvians, Lithuanians, and Ukrainians—who all fought against the Red Army, not Russians.
This term was also applied[who?] to the Western Ukrainian volunteer units like the Nightingale Battalion, Schuma battalions, and the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, which was used in many operations during WWII. Most of them were either Red Army deserters or anti-communist peasants recruited from Western Ukrainian rural areas under German occupation.
Soldiers of the King's African Rifles at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902
The Imperial British East Africa Company raised units of askaris from among the Swahili people, the Sudanese and Somalis. There was no official uniform, nor standardised weaponry. Many of the askaris campaigned in their native dress. Officers usually wore civilian clothes. From 1895 the British askaris were organised into a regular, disciplined, uniformed force called the East African Rifles, later part of the King's African Rifles. The designation of "askari" was retained for locally recruited troops in the King's African Rifles, smaller military units and police forces in the colonies until the end of British imperial rule in Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda during the period 1961-63.
The German Colonial Army (Schutztruppe) of the German Empire employed native troops with European officers and NCOs in its colonies. The main concentration of such locally recruited troops was in German East Africa (now Tanzania.) Formed in 1881 after the transfer of the Wissmanntruppe (raised in 1889 to suppress the Abushiri Revolt) to German imperial control.
The first askaris formed in German East Africa were raised by DAOG (Deutsche Ost-Afrika Gesellschaft - the German East Africa Company) in about 1888. Originally drawn from Sudanese mercenaries, the German askaris were subsequently recruited from the Wahehe and Angoni tribal groups. They were harshly disciplined but well paid (on a scale twice that of their British counterparts in the King's African Rifles), and highly trained by German cadres who were themselves subject to a rigorous selection process. Prior to 1914 the basic Schutztruppe unit in Southeast Africa was the feldkompanie comprising seven or eight German officers and NCOs with between 150 and 200 askaris (usually 160) - including two machine gun teams.
Such small independent commands were often supplemented by tribal irregulars or ruga-ruga.
They were successfully used in German East Africa where 11,000 askaris, porters and their European officers, commanded by Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, managed to resist numerically superior British, Portuguese and Belgian colonial forces until the end of World War I in 1918.
The Weimar Republic provided pension payments to the German askaris. Due to interruptions during the worldwide depression and World War II, the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) voted in 1964 to fund the back pay of the askaris still alive. The West German embassy at Dar es Salaam identified approximately 350 ex-askaris and set up a temporary cashiers office at Mwanza on Lake Victoria.
Original caption: "Askaris used during the operation."
Only a few claimants could produce the certificates given to them in 1918; others provided pieces of their old uniforms as proof of service. The banker who had brought the money came up with an idea: as each claimant stepped forward he was handed a broom and ordered in German to perform the manual of arms. Not one of them failed the test.
In Portuguese West Africa, and most other African colonies of the Portuguese Empire, local askaris were recruited. These were used to keep the peace in the nation-sized colonies. During the 20th century, all the indigenous troops were merged into a Portuguese colonial army. This military was segregated along lines of race, and until 1960 there were three classes of soldiers: commissioned soldiers (European whites), overseas soldiers (black African "civilizados") and native soldiers (Africans who lived in the Portuguese colonies). These categories were renamed to 1st, 2nd and 3rd class in 1960 - which effectively corresponded to the same classification
When Mussolini decided that Ethiopia should become Italian property, he found no difficulty in recruiting such despicable characters to attack their own people on behalf of their white masters. They were known back then as Askaris.
When Mussolini decided that Ethiopia should become Italian property, he found no difficulty in recruiting such despicable characters to attack their own people on behalf of their white masters. They were known back then as Askaris.
The Askaris or Black Eritrean soldiers, were members of the regular Italian Colonial infantry who provided the army’s spear-point during Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s. They largely belonged to the same race and had the same religions and customs as their Ethiopian brothers.
Regarded by Italian officers as MORE EXPENDABLE , more highly TRAINED, and more experienced in guerrilla-style warfare than their Italian counterparts, THEY BORE THE BRUNT OF EVERY ACTION, so much so that in many of the actions the white troops would seem to have been little more than spectators of the Askaris’ gallantry.
As a result, their casualty rates were far higher than those of white troops. (Editorial from The Black Man, London, July/August 1936 quoting A.J. Barker, The Civilizing Mission: The Italo-Ethiopian war 1935 – 1936 (London: cassell, 1968) pp. 141 – 142, 215.)
Two things to know about the modern-day Askari: In the slave-master’s books he has an unblemished impeccable record, for he has never been known to speak against or rebel against his white masters, and he can be counted on to rise to his master’s defense.
There are many Negroes like that today, and the slave-owners have absolute trust in them. That is why they are frequently promoted and used to interface with other Negroes on their master’s behalf.
Some of them can be found fervently articulating the slave-owner’s point of view, and making the case that there should be NO REPARATIONS. And the real low-life, good-for-nothing, scum-bag Negroes are the ones that are frequently enlisted to assassinate the character of those that make the case for reparations.
Never did the captives in the slave-ship think that out of their offspring would come such low scum-bag Negroes with an antipathy to the enslaved.
Never in their wildest dreams could the slaves in the cane fields imagine that after being robbed of four hundred years of time and labor, AND CONDEMNED TO FOREVER INHABIT THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, that some Negroes would step forward to argue against reparations.
What a predicament! While a small number of Africans are struggling for reparations, just as many TRAINED AND EDUCATED ones are consciously struggling to make sure it doesn’t happen.
To their kith and kin they say: “Forget about reparations, NEVER MIND THAT YOU ARE PRESENTLY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, wait in line, and someday you or one of yours may be promoted just like us.”
TODAY ASKARI Post 2003 Iraq War.
Widely deployed Ugandan private security guards are also designated as askari. Guards were to receive $1,000 monthly salary and an $80,000 bonus if shot, but many have complained that the money was not paid or unfair fees assessed.
The guards work for recruiting agencies such as Askar Security Services, which are hired by Beowulf International, a receiving company in Iraq, which subcontracts their services to EOD Technologies, an American company hired by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide security guards for Camp Victory in Baghdad. A Beowulf representative said that 400 of the workers "had impressed the US Army with their skill and experience", but complained that some of the workers lacked police or security experience and "didn't even know how to hold a gun". At least eleven other Ugandan recruiters include Dresak International and Connect Financial Services.
Askari Was A Local Soldier Serving In The Armies Of The European Colonial Racist powers in Africa And Global
NEVER TURN INTO AN ASKARI ..NEVER BETRAY YOUR AFRIKAN BLOOD ANCESTORS
"If we are not about change, we have sold out."
"What has oppressed you is not going to liberate you.
NOTHING IS WRONG WITH US IT IS WHITE SUPREMACY ONGOING NATURE OF RADICAL EVIL THAT HAS CREATED THESE CONDITIONS OF UNBEARABLE INJUSTICE ON PLANET EARTH .
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 5, 2014 at 9:55 AM||comments (1)|
Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations.
Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become “commonwealths,” and colonies become “territories” or “dominions” (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, “commonwealths” too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of “national defense,” “national security,” and maintaining “stability” in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.
Across the Entire Globe
By "imperialism" I mean the process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people.
The earliest victims of Western European imperialism were other Europeans. Some 800 years ago, Ireland became the first colony of what later became known as the British empire. A part of Ireland still remains under British occupation. Other early Caucasian victims included the Eastern Europeans. The people Charlemagne worked to death in his mines in the early part of the ninth century were Slavs. So frequent and prolonged was the enslavement of Eastern Europeans that "Slav" became synonymous with servitude. Indeed, the word "slave" derives from "Slav." Eastern Europe was an early source of capital accumulation, having become wholly dependent upon Western manufactures by the seventeenth century.
A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps.
The preponderant thrust of the European, North American, and Japanese imperial powers has been directed against Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By the nineteenth century, they saw the Third World as not only a source of raw materials and slaves but a market for manufactured goods. By the twentieth century, the industrial nations were exporting not only goods but capital, in the form of machinery, technology, investments, and loans. To say that we have entered the stage of capital export and investment is not to imply that the plunder of natural resources has ceased. If anything, the despoliation has accelerated.
Of the various notions about imperialism circulating today in the United States, the dominant view is that it does not exist. Imperialism is not recognized as a legitimate concept, certainly not in regard to the United States. One may speak of "Soviet imperialism" or "nineteenth-century British imperialism" but not of U.S. imperialism. A graduate student in political science at most universities in this country would not be granted the opportunity to research U.S. imperialism, on the grounds that such an undertaking would not be scholarly. While many people throughout the world charge the United States with being an imperialist power, in this country persons who talk of U.S. imperialism are usually judged to be mouthing ideological blather.
The Dynamic of Capital Expansion
Imperialism is older than capitalism. The Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Mongol empires all existed centuries before the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. Emperors and conquistadors were interested mostly in plunder and tribute, gold and glory. Capitalist imperialism differs from these earlier forms in the way it systematically accumulates capital through the organized exploitation of labor and the penetration of overseas markets. Capitalist imperialism invests in other countries, transforming and dominating their economies, cultures, and political life, integrating their financial and productive structures into an international system of capital accumulation.
A central imperative of capitalism is expansion. Investors will not put their money into business ventures unless they can extract more than they invest. Increased earnings come only with a growth in the enterprise. The capitalist ceaselessly searches for ways of making more money in order to make still more money. One must always invest to realize profits, gathering as much strength as possible in the face of competing forces and unpredictable markets.
Given its expansionist nature, capitalism has little inclination to stay home. Almost 150 years ago, Marx and Engels described a bourgeoisie that "chases over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere. . . . It creates a world after its own image." The expansionists destroy whole societies. Self-sufficient peoples are forcibly transformed into disfranchised wage workers. Indigenous communities and folk cultures are replaced by mass-market, mass-media, consumer societies. Cooperative lands are supplanted by agribusiness factory farms, villages by desolate shanty towns, autonomous regions by centralized autocracies.
Consider one of a thousand such instances. A few years ago the Los Angeles Times carried a special report on the rainforests of Borneo in the South Pacific. By their own testimony, the people there lived contented lives. They hunted, fished, and raised food in their jungle orchards and groves. But their entire way of life was ruthlessly wiped out by a few giant companies that destroyed the rainforest in order to harvest the hardwood for quick profits. Their lands were turned into ecological disaster areas and they themselves were transformed into disfranchised shantytown dwellers, forced to work for subsistence wages—when fortunate enough to find employment.
North American and European corporations have acquired control of more than three-fourths of the known mineral resources of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. But the pursuit of natural resources is not the only reason for capitalist overseas expansion. There is the additional need to cut production costs and maximize profits by investing in countries with cheaper labor markets. U.S. corporate foreign investment grew 84 percent from 1985 to 1990, the most dramatic increase being in cheap-labor countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Singapore.
Because of low wages, low taxes, nonexistent work benefits, weak labor unions, and nonexistent occupational and environmental protections, U.S. corporate profit rates in the Third World are 50 percent greater than in developed countries. Citibank, one of the largest U.S. firms, earns about 75 percent of its profits from overseas operations. While profit margins at home sometimes have had a sluggish growth, earnings abroad have continued to rise dramatically, fostering the development of what has become known as the multinational or transnational corporation. Today some four hundred transnational companies control about 80 percent of the capital assets of the global free market and are extending their grasp into the ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe.
Transnationals have developed a global production line. General Motors has factories that produce cars, trucks and a wide range of auto components in Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Nigeria, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and a dozen other countries. Such "multiple sourcing" enables GM to ride out strikes in one country by stepping up production in another, playing workers of various nations against each other in order to discourage wage and benefit demands and undermine labor union strategies.
Oba Ovonramwen's compound after it havd burnt by the British invaders.
After the white invaders had burnt down is palace, he was forced to exile by ship.
Not Necessary, Just Compelling
Some writers question whether imperialism is a necessary condition for capitalism, pointing out that most Western capital is invested in Western nations, not in the Third World. If corporations lost all their Third World investments, they argue, many of them could still survive on their European and North American markets. In response, one should note that capitalism might be able to survive without imperialism—but it shows no inclination to do so. It manifests no desire to discard its enormously profitable Third World enterprises. Imperialism may not be a necessary condition for investor survival but it seems to be an inherent tendency and a natural outgrowth of advanced capitalism. Imperial relations may not be the only way to pursue profits, but they are the most lucrative way.
Whether imperialism is necessary for capitalism is really not the question. Many things that are not absolutely necessary are still highly desirable, therefore strongly preferred and vigorously pursued. Overseas investors find the Third World's cheap labor, vital natural resources, and various other highly profitable conditions to be compellingly attractive. Superprofits may not be necessary for capitalism's survival but survival is not all that capitalists are interested in. Superprofits are strongly preferred to more modest earnings. That there may be no necessity between capitalism and imperialism does not mean there is no compelling linkage.
The same is true of other social dynamics. For instance, wealth does not necessarily have to lead to luxurious living. A higher portion of an owning class's riches could be used for investment rather personal consumption. The very wealthy could survive on more modest sums but that is not how most of them prefer to live. Throughout history, wealthy classes generally have shown a preference for getting the best of everything. After all, the whole purpose of getting rich off other people's labor is to live well, avoiding all forms of thankless toil and drudgery, enjoying superior opportunities for lavish life-styles, medical care, education, travel, recreation, security, leisure, and opportunities for power and prestige. While none of these things are really "necessary," they are fervently clung to by those who possess them—as witnessed by the violent measures endorsed by advantaged classes whenever they feel the threat of an equalizing or leveling democratic force.
Myths of Underdevelopment
The impoverished lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America are known to us as the "Third World," to distinguish them from the "First World" of industrialized Europe and North America and the now largely defunct "Second World" of communist states. Third World poverty, called "underdevelopment," is treated by most Western observers as an original historic condition. We are asked to believe that it always existed, that poor countries are poor because their lands have always been infertile or their people unproductive.
In fact, the lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have long produced great treasures of foods, minerals and other natural resources. That is why the Europeans went through all the trouble to steal and plunder them. One does not go to poor places for self-enrichment. The Third World is rich. Only its people are poor—and it is because of the pillage they have endured.
The process of expropriating the natural resources of the Third World began centuries ago and continues to this day. First, the colonizers extracted gold, silver, furs, silks, and spices, then flax, hemp, timber, molasses, sugar, rum, rubber, tobacco, calico, cocoa, coffee, cotton, copper, coal, palm oil, tin, iron, ivory, ebony, and later on, oil, zinc, manganese, mercury, platinum, cobalt, bauxite, aluminum, and uranium. Not to be overlooked is that most hellish of all expropriations: the abduction of millions of human beings into slave labor.
Through the centuries of colonization, many self-serving imperialist theories have been spun. I was taught in school that people in tropical lands are slothful and do not work as hard as we denizens of the temperate zone. In fact, the inhabitants of warm climates have performed remarkably productive feats, building magnificent civilizations well before Europe emerged from the Dark Ages. And today they often work long, hard hours for meager sums. Yet the early stereotype of the "lazy native" is still with us. In every capitalist society, the poor—both domestic and overseas—regularly are blamed for their own condition.
We hear that Third World peoples are culturally retarded in their attitudes, customs, and technical abilities. It is a convenient notion embraced by those who want to depict Western investments as a rescue operation designed to help backward peoples help themselves. This myth of "cultural backwardness" goes back to ancient times, when conquerors used it to justify enslaving indigenous peoples. It was used by European colonizers over the last five centuries for the same purpose.
What cultural supremacy could by claimed by the Europeans of yore? From the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries Europe was "ahead" in a variety of things, such as the number of hangings, murders, and other violent crimes; instances of venereal disease, smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, plagues, and other bodily afflictions; social inequality and poverty (both urban and rural); mistreatment of women and children; and frequency of famines, slavery, prostitution, piracy, religious massacres, and inquisitional torture. Those who claim the West has been the most advanced civilization should keep such "achievements" in mind.
More seriously, we might note that Europe enjoyed a telling advantage in navigation and armaments. Muskets and cannon, Gatling guns and gunboats, and today missiles, helicopter gunships, and fighter bombers have been the deciding factors when West meets East and North meets South. Superior firepower, not superior culture, has brought the Europeans and Euro-North Americans to positions of supremacy that today are still maintained by force, though not by force alone.
It was said that colonized peoples were biologically backward and less evolved than their colonizers. Their "savagery" and "lower" level of cultural evolution were emblematic of their inferior genetic evolution. But were they culturally inferior? In many parts of what is now considered the Third World, people developed impressive skills in architecture, horticulture, crafts, hunting, fishing, midwifery, medicine, and other such things. Their social customs were often far more gracious and humane and less autocratic and repressive than anything found in Europe at that time. Of course we must not romanticize these indigenous societies, some of which had a number of cruel and unusual practices of their own. But generally, their peoples enjoyed healthier, happier lives, with more leisure time, than did most of Europe's inhabitants.
Other theories enjoy wide currency. We hear that Third World poverty is due to overpopulation, too many people having too many children to feed. Actually, over the last several centuries, many Third World lands have been less densely populated than certain parts of Europe. India has fewer people per acre—but more poverty—than Holland, Wales, England, Japan, Italy, and a few other industrial countries. Furthermore, it is the industrialized nations of the First World, not the poor ones of the Third, that devour some 80 percent of the world's resources and pose the greatest threat to the planet's ecology.
This is not to deny that overpopulation is a real problem for the planet's ecosphere. Limiting population growth in all nations would help the global environment but it would not solve the problems of the poor—because overpopulation in itself is not the cause of poverty but one of its effects. The poor tend to have large families because children are a source of family labor and income and a support during old age.
Frances Moore Lappe and Rachel Schurman found that of seventy Third World countries, there were six—China, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Chile, Burma, and Cuba—and the state of Kerala in India that had managed to lower their birth rates by one third. They enjoyed neither dramatic industrial expansion nor high per capita incomes nor extensive family planning programs. The factors they had in common were public education and health care, a reduction of economic inequality, improvements in women's rights, food subsidies, and in some cases land reform. In other words, fertility rates were lowered not by capitalist investments and economic growth as such but by socio-economic betterment, even of a modest scale, accompanied by the emergence of women's rights.
Artificially Converted to Poverty
What is called "underdevelopment" is a set of social relations that has been forcefully imposed on countries. With the advent of the Western colonizers, the peoples of the Third World were actually set back in their development sometimes for centuries. British imperialism in India provides an instructive example. In 1810, India was exporting more textiles to England than England was exporting to India. By 1830, the trade flow was reversed. The British had put up prohibitive tariff barriers to shut out Indian finished goods and were dumping their commodities in India, a practice backed by British gunboats and military force. Within a matter of years, the great textile centers of Dacca and Madras were turned into ghost towns. The Indians were sent back to the land to raise the cotton used in British textile factories. In effect, India was reduced to being a cow milked by British financiers.
By 1850, India's debt had grown to 53 million pounds. From 1850 to 1900, its per capita income dropped by almost two-thirds. The value of the raw materials and commodities the Indians were obliged to send to Britain during most of the nineteenth century amounted yearly to more than the total income of the sixty million Indian agricultural and industrial workers. The massive poverty we associate with India was not that country's original historical condition. British imperialism did two things: first, it ended India's development, then it forcibly underdeveloped that country.
Similar bleeding processes occurred throughout the Third World. The enormous wealth extracted should remind us that there originally were few really poor nations. Countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Bolivia, Zaire, Mexico, Malaysia, and the Philippines were and sometimes still are rich in resources. Some lands have been so thoroughly plundered as to be desolate in all respects. However, most of the Third World is not "underdeveloped" but overexploited. Western colonization and investments have created a lower rather than a higher living standard.
Referring to what the English colonizers did to the Irish, Frederick Engels wrote in 1856: "How often have the Irish started out to achieve something, and every time they have been crushed politically and industrially. By consistent oppression they have been artificially converted into an utterly impoverished nation." So with most of the Third World. The Mayan Indians in Guatemala had a more nutritious and varied diet and better conditions of health in the early 16th century before the Europeans arrived than they have today. They had more craftspeople, architects, artisans, and horticulturists than today. What is called underdevelopment is not an original historical condition but a product of imperialism's superexploitation. Underdevelopment is itself a development.
Imperialism has created what I have termed "maldevelopment": modern office buildings and luxury hotels in the capital city instead of housing for the poor, cosmetic surgery clinics for the affluent instead of hospitals for workers, cash export crops for agribusiness instead of food for local markets, highways that go from the mines and latifundios to the refineries and ports instead of roads in the back country for those who might hope to see a doctor or a teacher.
Wealth is transferred from Third World peoples to the economic elites of Europe and North America (and more recently Japan) by direct plunder, by the expropriation of natural resources, the imposition of ruinous taxes and land rents, the payment of poverty wages, and the forced importation of finished goods at highly inflated prices. The colonized country is denied the freedom of trade and the opportunity to develop its own natural resources, markets, and industrial capacity. Self-sustenance and self-employment gives way to wage labor. From 1970 to 1980, the number of wage workers in the Third World grew from 72 million to 120 million, and the rate is accelerating.
Hundreds of millions of Third World peoples now live in destitution in remote villages and congested urban slums, suffering hunger, disease, and illiteracy, often because the land they once tilled is now controlled by agribusiness firms who use it for mining or for commercial export crops such as coffee, sugar, and beef, instead of growing beans, rice, and corn for home consumption. A study of twenty of the poorest countries, compiled from official statistics, found that the number of people living in what is called "absolute poverty" or rockbottom destitution, the poorest of the poor, is rising 70,000 a day and should reach 1.5 billion by the year 2000 (San Francisco Examiner, June 8, 1994).
Imperialism forces millions of children around the world to live nightmarish lives, their mental and physical health severely damaged by endless exploitation. A documentary film on the Discovery Channel (April 24, 1994) reported that in countries like Russia, Thailand, and the Philippines, large numbers of minors are sold into prostitution to help their desperate families survive. In countries like Mexico, India, Colombia, and Egypt, children are dragooned into health-shattering, dawn-to-dusk labor on farms and in factories and mines for pennies an hour, with no opportunity for play, schooling, or medical care.
In India, 55 million children are pressed into the work force. Tens of thousands labor in glass factories in temperatures as high as 100 degrees. In one plant, four-year-olds toil from 5 o'clock in the morning until the dead of night, inhaling fumes and contracting emphysema, tuberculosis, and other respiratory diseases. In the Philippines and Malaysia corporations have lobbied to drop age restrictions for labor recruitment. The pursuit of profit becomes a pursuit of evil.
When we say a country is "underdeveloped," we are implying that it is backward and retarded in some way, that its people have shown little capacity to achieve and evolve. The negative connotations of "underdeveloped" has caused the United Nations, the Wall Street Journal, and parties of various political persuasion to refer to Third World countries as "developing" nations, a term somewhat less insulting than "underdeveloped" but equally misleading. I prefer to use "Third World" because "developing" seems to be just a euphemistic way of saying "underdeveloped but belatedly starting to do something about it." It still implies that poverty was an original historic condition and not something imposed by the imperialists. It also falsely suggests that these countries are developing when actually their economic conditions are usually worsening.
The dominant theory of the last half century, enunciated repeatedly by writers like Barbara Ward and W. W. Rostow and afforded wide currency in the United States and other parts of the Western world, maintains that it is up to the rich nations of the North to help uplift the "backward" nations of the South, bringing them technology and teaching them proper work habits. This is an updated version of "the White man's burden," a favorite imperialist fantasy.
According to the development scenario, with the introduction of Western investments, the backward economic sectors of the poor nations will release their workers, who then will find more productive employment in the modern sector at higher wages. As capital accumulates, business will reinvest its profits, thus creating still more products, jobs, buying power, and markets. Eventually a more prosperous economy evolves.
This "development theory" or "modernization theory," as it is sometimes called, bears little relation to reality. What has emerged in the Third World is an intensely exploitive form of dependent capitalism. Economic conditions have worsened drastically with the growth of transnational corporate investment. The problem is not poor lands or unproductive populations but foreign exploitation and class inequality. Investors go into a country not to uplift it but to enrich themselves.
People in these countries do not need to be taught how to farm. They need the land and the implements to farm. They do not need to be taught how to fish. They need the boats and the nets and access to shore frontage, bays, and oceans. They need industrial plants to cease dumping toxic effusions into the waters. They do not need to be convinced that they should use hygienic standards. They do not need a Peace Corps Volunteer to tell them to boil their water, especially when they cannot afford fuel or have no access to firewood. They need the conditions that will allow them to have clean drinking water and clean clothes and homes. They do not need advice about balanced diets from North Americans. They usually know what foods best serve their nutritional requirements. They need to be given back their land and labor so that they might work for themselves and grow food for their own consumption.
The legacy of imperial domination is not only misery and strife, but an economic structure dominated by a network of international corporations which themselves are beholden to parent companies based in North America, Europe and Japan. If there is any harmonization or integration, it occurs among the global investor classes, not among the indigenous economies of these countries. Third World economies remain fragmented and unintegrated both between each other and within themselves, both in the flow of capital and goods and in technology and organization. In sum, what we have is a world economy that has little to do with the economic needs of the world's people.
Neoimperialism: Skimming the Cream
Sometimes imperial domination is explained as arising from an innate desire for domination and expansion, a "territorial imperative." In fact, territorial imperialism is no longer the prevailing mode. Compared to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the European powers carved up the world among themselves, today there is almost no colonial dominion left. Colonel Blimp is dead and buried, replaced by men in business suits. Rather than being directly colonized by the imperial power, the weaker countries have been granted the trappings of sovereignty—while Western finance capital retains control of the lion's share of their profitable resources. This relationship has gone under various names: "informal empire," "colonialism without colonies," "neocolonialism," and "neoimperialism."
U.S. political and business leaders were among the earliest practitioners of this new kind of empire, most notably in Cuba at the beginning of the twentieth century. Having forcibly wrested the island from Spain in the war of 1898, they eventually gave Cuba its formal independence. The Cubans now had their own government, constitution, flag, currency, and security force. But major foreign policy decisions remained in U.S. hands as did the island's wealth, including its sugar, tobacco, and tourist industries, and major imports and exports.
Historically U.S. capitalist interests have been less interested in acquiring more colonies than in acquiring more wealth, preferring to make off with the treasure of other nations without bothering to own and administer the nations themselves. Under neoimperialism, the flag stays home, while the dollar goes everywhere—frequently assisted by the sword.
After World War II, European powers like Britain and France adopted a strategy of neoimperialism. Left financially depleted by years of warfare, and facing intensified popular resistance from within the Third World itself, they reluctantly decided that indirect economic hegemony was less costly and politically more expedient than outright colonial rule. They discovered that the removal of a conspicuously intrusive colonial rule made it more difficult for nationalist elements within the previously colonized countries to mobilize anti-imperialist sentiments.
Though the newly established government might be far from completely independent, it usually enjoyed more legitimacy in the eyes of its populace than a colonial administration controlled by the imperial power. Furthermore, under neoimperialism the native government takes up the costs of administering the country while the imperialist interests are free to concentrate on accumulating capital—which is all they really want to do.
After years of colonialism, the Third World country finds it extremely difficult to extricate itself from the unequal relationship with its former colonizer and impossible to depart from the global capitalist sphere. Those countries that try to make a break are subjected to punishing economic and military treatment by one or another major power, nowadays usually the United States.
The leaders of the new nations may voice revolutionary slogans, yet they find themselves locked into the global capitalist orbit, cooperating perforce with the First World nations for investment, trade, and aid. So we witnessed the curious phenomenon of leaders of newly independent Third World nations denouncing imperialism as the source of their countries' ills, while dissidents in these countries denounced these same leaders as collaborators of imperialism.
In many instances a comprador class emerged or was installed as a first condition for independence. A comprador class is one that cooperates in turning its own country into a client state for foreign interests. A client state is one that is open to investments on terms that are decidedly favorable to the foreign investors. In a client state, corporate investors enjoy direct subsidies and land grants, access to raw materials and cheap labor, light or nonexistent taxes, few effective labor unions, no minimum wage or child labor or occupational safety laws, and no consumer or environmental protections to speak of. The protective laws that do exist go largely unenforced.
In all, the Third World is something of a capitalist paradise, offering life as it was in Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century, with a rate of profit vastly higher than what might be earned today in a country with strong economic regulations. The comprador class is well recompensed for its cooperation. Its leaders enjoy opportunities to line their pockets with the foreign aid sent by the U.S. government. Stability is assured with the establishment of security forces, armed and trained by the United States in the latest technologies of terror and repression. Still, neoimperialism carries risks. The achievement of de jure independence eventually fosters expectations of de facto independence. The forms of self rule incite a desire for the fruits of self rule. Sometimes a national leader emerges who is a patriot and reformer rather than a comprador collaborator. Therefore, the changeover from colonialism to neocolonialism is not without risks for the imperialists and represents a net gain for popular forces in the world.
After the white invaders had burnt down is palace, he was forced to exile by ship.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
AFRIKAN BLOOD FRANTZ FANON :
was an author from Martinique, essayist, psychiatrist, and revolutionary. He was perhaps the pre-eminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades.
What I call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense a revolutionary.”
“For the black man there is only one destiny. And it is white.”
UNDERSTANDING THE USE OF THE TERM NEGROPEAN OR AFROPEAN
However painful it may be for me to accept this conclusion, I am obliged to state it: for the black man there is only one destiny. And it is white.
SOME OF YOU HAVE NO IDEA ....
Collective guilt is borne by what is conventionally called the scapegoat. Now the scapegoat for white society--which is based on m ... yths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement--will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro.
I am black: I am the incarnation of a complete fusion with the world, an intuitive understanding of the earth, an abandonment of m ... y ego in the heart of the cosmos, and no white man, no matter how intelligent he may be, can ever understand the Congo.
“I made up my mind to laugh myself to tears, but laughter had become impossible.”
FRANTZ FANON .
WRITE UP ABOUT FRANTZ FANON (JULY 20 1925 - 6 DECEMBER 1961
by Jocelyn Coldrey
Alice Cherki, a trained psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who worked under Fanon at both Bilda and in Tunis, was also an active comrade in the Algerian wage for independence, gives personal insight into fragments of Fanons life as well as the contemporary relevance his work and way of thinking (Cherki, 2006 and Martin, 2004: 165). The book gives a representation of Fanon as a person, exposing his temperament in a textual portrait. Cherki does not write a meticulous biography of Fanon’s life but rather draws to light certain experiences and ways of the world which enable the Fanonian reader to historically contextualize not only what he was exposed to at the time of his writing but also his mode of being in reality. She claims that it is “important to reconstruct the journey if one is to rein in the profusion of attributes that have been imputed to Fanon” (2006: 1). In harnessing her personal interaction with Fanon, and what she found out from other people, she places particular importance on the parallels between the way Fanon viewed psychiatric patients and colonized subjects. Ultimately her portrayal of Fanon’s life remains true to his belief that “[o]ne must not relate one’s past but, but stand as a testimony to it” (2006: 1).
Fanon the Human Being:
In the preface Cherki writes that Fanon’s, persona has become “synonymous with decolonization and the Third Worldism” (2006: ix). My initial encounters with Fanon which have been very minimal, in comparison to the colossal amount of Fanonian literature available, have lead me to idealising him as an omnipotent literary hero who shared deep prophetical insight into the process of decolonization and the inequalities of the world. Needless to say, when embarking on this week’s reading I was curious to find out about Fanon the human being whom embodied the persona which lives on through interpretations of his writing. Cherki’s clear admiration for Fanon, made this a harder task than anticipated, as time after time it becomes increasingly evident that Fanon may have been human but an exceptional one who visibly had a “profound talent for life” and manage to do remarkable amounts on very little sleep (2006: 3 and 92). In a similar manner to my idealization of Fanon, Claudine Claudette compares Fanon to a classical hero, similar to Jesus or Aristotle. Nevertheless, Cherki is quick to disagree and asserts that he was “much too human , put too much effort into trying to identify with others, and most of all he could not bear being alone” (2006” 161).
Cherki makes it clear, more than once, that Fanon was not an open person, and seemed to only share what he found important. This could be the result of the fact that he had to grapple with the injunction of a public life, which could result in a casual conversation about his experiences having bigger political consequences than what they deserved (2006: 101). On the other hand, and perhaps more plausibly, Cherki claims that Fanon’s reluctance to talk about the past could be a result of the fact that he “lived in the immediacy of the moment, with an intensity that embodied everything he invoked” (2006: 1).
The manner in which Cherki affectionately talks about Fanon expressively personifies Fanon By saying things like, “I can only smile when I think how those two would have gotten on each other’s nerves” (2006: 149), or the fact that she never noticed that he was black because she was so absorbed “on the sparkle in his eyes, of a brown so clear as to seem transparent, on the expressiveness of his elegantly dressed person” (2006: 3).
Fanon’s exceptional faith in human kind made him more of an idealist than a realist, but the fact that he wrote about his own reality could suggest that notions of him being an idealist are in actuality his optimistic attitude towards a “prospect that is human” (Fanon, 1963: 205).
Fanon, intrinsic faith in humankind resulted in him having very high expectations of people, and was disappointed when they did not achieve what he expected them to. Cherki claims that Fanon “[i]dealized and demanding expectations for what a human should be”, which must have stemmed from the universal importance he placed on human dignity (2006: 117). It could be said that Fanon’s excellence was often received with dismissal because of his skin colour ignited in his desire to see the human excellence in everyone, especially those who were dismissed. He believed that the process to decolonisation would only be successful if it included ordinary people. Which could be why he held his patients and those who worked under him accountable to what they were capable of. Cherki claimed that he was “demanding and relenting with those students who were less gifted or lazy” (2006: 80). In a similar manner Fanon’s attitude towards his patients Fanon “could be very demanding, often impatient and at times, even intrusive in his interactions with the mentally ill. He did, after all, prize their dignity as men and women above all else wanted to hold them to it” (2006: 23).
The emphasis in which Fanon places on action in his writing, makes it very plausible that the manner in which he practiced psychiatry would embody his political agendas. In a letter in which he wrote home to his parents whilst fighting he stated that “whenever human dignity and freedom are at stake… I will fight it to the end” (2006: 10). Furthermore, he was a diligent believer in the fact that every aspect of life is politicised and every single being carries their politics in their bodies (2006: 135).
Psychological unconscious trauma of being oppressed:
Fanon was obsessed with the connection between human beings
and the bonds which could quash all difference (2006: 61).
The parallels between the way Fanon approached his psychiatric patients resonated “as a spring board for colonial theories” (2006:1). This was presumably always evident in Fanon’s way of being, but in Bilda-Joinville, known as HPB, it becomes very apparent that the way the which the chronically insane where institutionalized echoed the core of Algiers exclusionary. Fanon, claims he was shocked in the manner in which different racial groups did not integrate and it was not because judicial legislature but rather the practiced norm imbedded deep into the unconscious reality of the people (2006: 54). The severity of Algerian racism was intrinsically encrypted into the bodies of the people (2006: 54). Yet that shock seemed minimal compared to the manner in which the mentally ill where dehumanized and almost treated like prisoners in the manner they were restrained and secluded (2006: 62). Fanon’s ability to empathise and respond to any form of human suffering and the continuous paradoxes which he found in humanization seemingly aided him in understanding the complexities of a human being (2006: 23).
Fanon transformed HBP into a space where the mentally ill could recover through the process of negotiating and language (2006: 73). He transformed the building into a space which did not incorporate one dominate ideology or religion, making it possible for people from all walks of life to feel a sense of belonging. Though he believed that difference could be quashed, he did discover that treating patients according their cultural particularity was essential (2006: 69). Similarly he asserted the necessity for cultural revival if oppression where ever to be entirely eradicated (2006: 88 and 144).
The similarities between Fanon’s attitude to the mentally ill and his political work are endless. He saw oppressed people as oppressed people and paved their way to recognition and human dignity in a similar way. Consequently Fanon’s text will live on in all instances of social exclusion and inclusion.
The longevity of Fanon’s Text:
A work belongs to its readers, and each new generation of readers is free to interpret Fanon’s work as it sees fit (Cherki, 2006: x).
Critics on literature have long argued the longevity of literary work, in the manner in which text can become fully “intelligible in terms of its cultural politics, social location and politics” of that time (Clark, 396). This understanding enables a specific situation represented in the text to be universally recognised. Cheriki, on more than one instance, asserts that no one who reads Fanon remains indifferent (Cherki, 2006: 48). The manner in which Fanon “worked language and allowed it to work him”, succeeds in the provoking the reader in to some sort of emotion, no matter the circumstance. Fundamental to Fanons life and writing exist in in the fact that humans adapt to fit a social situation, the essentialising of humans and culture is repudiated because they will always transform in according to the particular epoch surrounding them.
Through his diligent militancy to an actional way of life, Fanon develops a language which “arises out of a body in motion” (2006: 184). This seems to echo the bodily experience in which Fanon appropriates in his writing, the ‘lived experience of oppression’. Yet the process of writing distances itself away from the body and “[p]erhaps the only way we to overcome a traumatic severance of the body and mind is to come back to mind through body” (Hartman, 1995: 541).
Fanon wrote The Wretched of the Earth with his comrades in mind, he seemed to guess that what he had to say would enable the political struggles of the colonized to successfully decolonize (Cherki, 2006: 94). However, his insistence on Sartre writing the forward to his last book, suggests that if he was not around to defend his ideas, at least someone, who he agreed with, would be able to supervise the manner in which his book was to be received (Hartman, 1995: 548). In some ways this suggests Fanon’s awareness of the limitations of language. The incorporation of Sartre as a living being into his texts suggests an attempt to avoid the distortion which exists between the reader, text and author. Hartman (2006: 548) understands this distortion to be an “epistemological bias- which not only favours a progressive view of our knowledge, but sees the complex structure of our coming-to know as the clearing away of subjectivity”.
The human experience in which Fanon writes about continues to speak to the contemporary world despite ever changing epistemologies. This is likely because of Fanon’s understanding that the human subject and experience “cannot be methodized or reduced to an affirmative structure” (Hartman, 1995: 547). Though it is textually represented, it will continue to speak to the reader, with the aim of changing the reader or provoking the reader into action. Cherki asserts that as long as Fanon’s texts prompts the reader to “reflect and proceed, to act and think” anyone can relate without understanding the substance of his work (Cherki, 2006: 203)
Fanon repeatedly uses metaphors which beautifully embody his views enabling him to describe reality in manner whereby the images provoked remain judgement free and text speaks for itself (Cheriki, 2006: 77). Through the use of his metaphors he is able to “exhibit languages power to represent such intangible [motions such as decolonization]… through concrete images” (Attridge, 2004: 33). This is clear through the quote from The Wretched of the Earth which Cheriki (2006: 176) quotes at length:
If the building of the bridge does not enrich the awareness of the those who work on it, then that bridge ought not to be built and citizens can on swimming across the river or going by boat. The boat should not be “parachuted down from above; it should not be imposed by a deus machine upon the social scene; on the contrary it should come from the muscles and brains of the citizens (TWOE, 160).
Fanon uses a metaphorical bridge and its construction in order to deploy the manner in which all people should be involved in the process of decolonization. Though there is no doubt that Fanon wished to promote action from his text I do not think they serve as a moral guidance, but rather depicts language’s power to evoke guilt, to crystallize ethical gaols, to convey the difficulty of choice” (Attridge, 2004: 22).
In his autobiographical paper “Africains Antillais”, Fanon grapples with the paradox of his existence, in the multiplicity of his identity by stating “I am and I am not there” (Cheriki, 2006: 77). To contextually interpret his statement to the permanence of his work, Fanon is here and not here every time we read and respond to his texts and way of thought.