Emancipation Celebrations 2012:
On Blacks Being A Cursed Race (Part 2)
By N Oji Mzilikazi
July 26, 2012
(Originally published in the Montreal Community Contact Volume 22, Number 14)
Given the wars, famine and diseases that constantly plague the African continent, the failure of people of African descent to rebuild and build empires, including business conglomerates, the multiple manifestations of self-hate and internecine warfare; denying the existence of a curse on Blacks is a tall order.
In furtherance of belief in said curse, pointed out is that slavery was an evolutionary part of civilization; a common institution in the ancient world, and all previously enslaved people made tremendous gains upon their Emancipation save Blacks. Also, many other nations scarred by colonialism and or devastating wars are prospering save Africa.
What is never told is that the enslavement of Africans was worse than what was ever visited upon others, and given the natural riches of Africa; it was never in the interests of its colonizers to see growth, development, and the sort of governance to deny them control/access, and make them pay a fair price for its inexhaustible and diverse commodities.
In Geneva, July 2000, Jeffrey Sachs, US economist and Harvard professor stated that Africa’s great distance from the World’s trade centers and international ocean routes inhibited its abilities to incorporate technologies and attract significant direct foreign investment. Additionally 80% of the population lives away from the coasts; in highlands that favor agricultural production.
Ah! The depth of racism one has to contend with. When gold and slaves were needed, Africa’s distance was not insurmountable. Didn’t Europe’s partition of Africa to facilitate their rape of the continent establish European prosperity? But Africa is now not conducive to development.
Didn’t the Western World try to allocate a part of Uganda as the Jewish homeland? Had the Jews accepted, would the West and like of Sachs hold such a mindset towards Africa?
Forget the economic “Marshall Plan” that saved post-war Europe. Taiwan and South Korea were never economically raped like Africa, but American financial support allowed their quick economically and technologically growth.
Australia is on the other side of the world. Australia was a penal colony for Britain. Western investments made those children of criminals, murderers, prostitutes, and “bastards” turn a jailhouse into a nation.
Africa is the cradle of civilization. Africa is a continent of resources. She has too many things the world needs for America, Europe, China and others to want to see an industrial and financial business center on its shores. Stirring tribal conflicts, wars, supporting dictatorships, corruption, and letting diseases run rampant to facilitate her exploitation remain their goal.
In a January 2012 visit to Namibia, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi hailed Africa as a “golden ground” for foreign investment. In November 2007 Li Ruogu, the head of China’s Export-Import Bank, urged Chinese farmers to move to Africa. (BBC News, 29/11/07 China’s long march to Africa)
For the longest while, China has had its hands in African conflicts and wars. The new scramble for Africa has other Asian countries, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait securing million of hectares of farmland to grow food to feed their citizens back home.
As reported in the (British) UK Guardian, “Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland.” (US universities in Africa land grab 8/6/11) The deals would force thousands of people off their land.
While Christian ministries show starving African children to solicit funds, and resources rich places like Sudan, Angola, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia are in a state of “perpetual” conflict – unleashing unimaginable terror, brutality, and their accompanying disenfranchisement and poverty on millions, other nations and ethnicities are beneficiaries.
Collaboration with one’s exploiters/oppressors happens all the time. The rise of Nazi Germany saw Jews actively collaborating with the Nazis. Members of the Jewish Order police in the Ghettos went so far as to force fellow Jews onto the cattle trucks and trains destined for concentration/extermination camps.
The actions of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski or King Chaim, the Jewish leader of the Judenrat in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland are well documented.
Seventeen people, including a former director, ripped off $42 million from Holocaust Funds. (CBS New York, 9/11/10 Holocaust Survivor Funds Raided for $42m.) The fraud went on for nearly a decade. Adjustments had the funds at $57 million, and eventually 31 persons were charged. Torontonian Luba Kramrish was one of those charged.
Rabbi Menachem Youlus proclaimed himself the “Jewish Indiana Jones.” He created “a bogus charity built on fictional tales of rescuing Holocaust-era Torahs, selling forgeries and pocketing the dough.” (New York Daily News, 2/2/12, Rabbi Menachem Youlus admits to Torah scam and faces jail.)
Vultures, predators and those complicit in the exploitation of their own exist in every race, creed and religion. However, the complicity of Africans in their own demised is always exaggerated and framed as a curse.
Slavery existed from time immemorial. Slavery was also no respecter of person. Even the rich could be condemned to servitude. At the same time, slavery allowed manumission or the granting of freedom. Freedom could be given as a gift, for services rendered, acts of bravery and heroism, and upon the death of the slave owner. Slaves were also allowed to buy their freedom. (The birth of Islam saw slavery regulated by its scripture – the Koran, thus legitimized.)
Just as talent and ability – cream rises to the top, slavery allowed the talented to rise to positions of authority. The Bible tells of Joseph being sold to the Ishmaelites, who then sold him to an Egyptian, and Joseph graduating to be the Pharaoh’s man.
No such things were allowed under African enslavement as facilitated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and to which the Roman Catholic Church was its flag bearer. It was perpetual slavery in the service of capitalism. It was centered on dehumanization; the deliberate breakdown of identity, culture and mind, and extended itself as affirmation of white superiority.
For all that is said about the existence of slavery in Africa; Africans enslaving each other were for domestic consumption – the needs of their marketplace and not for export. In the face of Europe’s military might and the law of survival – wage war and sell others before you and yours are the ones sold; African kings, chiefs and tribes became complicit in the slave trade.
Europe operated under the principles of Roman Civil law. The law listed specific conditions for just enslavement. They were penalty for crime, capture in war, the sale of children by destitute parents, and the selling of oneself into slavery.
Africans had no need to sell themselves into slavery. Africa was in a better economical shape than Europe. Africa didn’t commit any crimes against Europe that warranted war between them. Therefore, the claim couldn’t be made that the enslaved were prisoners of war. Simply put, Europe couldn’t apply to Africans the legal rights that governed just enslavement.
Given that it is human nature to justify and defend the indefensible, what would one expect from the upholders of an economy that depended on slavery? As Part 1 (August 18, 2011) outlined, Talmudic (Jewish) scholars maliciously and deliberately positioned the Biblical Mark of Cain, and Noah’s curse of Ham as applicable to Blacks. Since Christianity came out of Judaism, Catholicism readily subscribed to those erroneous beliefs.
Roman Catholic scholastic philosophers long posited that the fall of Adam and Eve from Grace resulted in slavery – the “some men were by nature free while others were slaves” ideology. The Mark of Cain and Noah’s curse thus framed Africans as divinely sanctioned to be slaves -inherently slaves.
New Testament passages like 1 Corinthians 7: 21-22, Ephesians 6: 5-9, Colossians 3: 22, Colossians 4:1, 1 Timothy 6: 1-2, Titus 2: 9-10 and 1 Peter 2: 18-25, served as additional scriptural justification for African enslavement.
There were no Catholics in the anti-slavery movements of the West Indies, England, and America. The Church never came out and condemned the prostitution of its Holy Cross by the Ku Klux Klan, nor was it visible in the Black Civil Rights struggle in America. Their silence to Black suffering attest to its doctrinal complicity in regards to slavery.
It was only at the 2nd Vatican Council (1962-65) did the Catholic Church retreat from their “spiritual legitimacy” to African slavery.
Under Mosaic Law: Leviticus 25: 39-41, enslavement among people of the same faith was forbidden. (Christian/European nations adhered to the principle of non-enslavement in their wars. However, in European/Christian Islamic wars, Muslim prisoners-of-war were enslaved.)
Brothers of the faith sold into service were to be considered a hired servant and not a slave. Their servitude was not perpetual, but unto the year of the Jubilee, upon which both he and his children “shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers.” The Jubilee occurred every 50th year.
Exodus 20:10, Exodus 23:12 and Deuteronomy 5:14 inform that the “enslaved hired servant” retained their religious rights, and along with the ox and the ass had a day of rest.
Since enslaved Africans were forced to accept Christianity, its philosophy made them brothers-in-Christ with their masers, thus subjected to the aforementioned Biblical regulations. That was never the case. Defined as sub-human primates, their enslavement was perpetual. They had no day of rest, nor were they allowed to retain their religious rights. The trust of Christian teachings to them was that a good Christian meant being a good slave.
In regards to perpetual slavery: Leviticus 25: 45-46, states that the Israelites can buy the children of the strangers that live among them, and can leave them as an inheritance for their children. Given that the African was not a stranger living among the Hebrews/Christians, African enslavement unto perpetuity had no merit.
God fearing European Christians first tricked; kidnapped unsuspecting Africans and enslaved them. In paying local chiefs for their captives, they created an export market for slaves. The voracious export market fermented tribal wars for captives/prisoners of war.
Thus Slavery/Slave Trade literature make a point of advancing that the Africans they enslaved were already slaves or criminals or prisoners of war. In other words, they met the requirement for legal and just enslavement.
Also, their transportation and subsequent enslavement in the New World saved them from a worse fate in Africa, and give them/their progeny a better future/life. For that reason, racists make light of Black discontent, our fights against racism and complaints against the system, and readily voice we have it a million times better “here” than “there,” so we should be thankful.
For all the goodness that is God-consciousness and religious salvation, the conditioning that a good Christian meant being a good slave, along with biblical passages, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul,” and “It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven,” have been the real curse upon Blacks.
They engendered an accommodating mentality towards victimization, aversion to acquiring wealth, rabid consumerism, the living for today mentality, perceptions of suffering as a Christian virtue, poverty equated to spiritual salvation, and racial paralysis.
Poverty, illiteracy and being uneducated guarantee paralysis, the sustaining of dysfunction, as well as cheap and exploitable labour. Cheap labour is integral to profits. Money/wealth is essential in getting things done; doing for self, community, building institutions and pursuing economical and political power. As Ecclesiastes 10:19, explains “…money answereth all things.”
To repeat: Africa was never cursed nor the intellectually and culturally dark continent it has historically been portrayed to be. Its only curse, and that of people of African descent, is in our inability to recognise that there is no curse, and act accordingly. Up you mighty race you can!
Emancipation Day: August 1, 2012