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DE-HUMANISING BLACKNESS
It is a major premise in this work that Black people represent the ultimate blackness. In other words of everything black, living and non-living things, tangible and intangible the black person is supreme. Consequently he deserves, respect, honour and dignity. The degree to which they are accorded these attributes are discernable from the way they are seen, conceptualised and or treated as a group by other species of homosapiens. This can be measured by rethinking some important times in the history of man in general. More importantly we should consider times that black people represented objects and subjects for engagement, treatment and mobilisation. Consequently the times of slavery, industrial revolution, colonialism and neo-colonialism comes to mind. However it is not my intention to start a full narrative of events of these times in human history. The impacts and processes in these periods especially as they affected black people, are well documented. The fact that a man is captured, shackled, sardined and moved across Land, River, Sea and ocean to a foreign land and treated as instrument of production is enough summary to use to measure whether honour, dignity and respect were accorded the black man at these periods.

Slavery and colonialism dehumanised black people and made them subservient. It striped them of their honour, respect, identity, and dignity. Slavery was fundamentally barbaric, domineering, inhuman and racist. It was meant not only to deprive, alienate, steal, expropriate and decapitate, but also to dehumanise, disrespect, demobilise and destabilise. The intended consequences of slavery and colonialism were worse than the atrocities of World War II, yet no Blackman or country has received any form of reparation from the perpetrators. Anti-Slavery campaigns, Time, and some modicum of human conscience have helped to ameliorate the consequences of past show of hatred for Blackman by perpetrators of slavery. Some progress is clearly identifiable in objective terms. However a lot still need to be done regarding the subjective aspect. It is clear that the subjective foundation/roots of slavery and/or dehumanisation of Blackman is stronger than any objective or somewhat physical element. Why are most popular books and dictionaries still filled with concepts and phrases that derogate the black person? – Remember, the ultimate blackness. They include black day, black horse, black night, black humour, blacker, black mail, black and blue, blackball, blackleg, black sheep, blacklist, blacken, blackout, black widow, blackguard, black market, black eye etc. In fact even the CHAMBERS mini-Dictionary describes BLACK as dark and colourless. The issue here is that using black as prefix or phrase for describing evil, bad luck, misfortune, disaster, horror, incompetence, etc constitutes a strong show of insensitivity, denigration and contempt for the ultimate blackness- the black person. These forms of description of evil or misfortune serve to a large extent to perpetuate the underprivileged status of the black person. This is old racism and it is wrong.

Moreover, the stories, books and history being regurgitated in western schools are also core psychological and/or subjective sources of perpetuation of subjugation of black person. The black history alive in every secondary school is directly or indirectly related to slavery. These are taught not only by using text, but also shown on videos and DVDs. The impact of such powerful tools on the consciousness of both black and non-black pupils/students is very intense. The ways these teachings are orchestrated tend to sarcastically remind some black youngsters where they came from, lets they think everyone has forgotten. For the non-black pupils/students it is like ouch! Is this where and how they were! These children grow with these assimilations hence losing confidence and showing contempt respectively. In other words they grow with it and act on it. Why should the negative aspect of black history and the ones that eternalise them as underdogs be the highlights in schools. Why not the great achievements of black people? Why not emphasise today that a Black guy with recent African origin is currently the President of United states. Why not how Blacks helped Europe conquer their own evil – Hitler? Why is the only Black character in one of the most popular literature books in secondary schools (Of Mice and Men), a crippled man having a short gun always hidden under his pillow? This is a book read by millions of students every year. What impression or message does this give of black people and what are the other students’ later attitudes to black people in life? Is this not sustaining racism? The recent superficial initiative of Band Aid 20, aimed at helping the Black people in Sudan is at face value laudable. But what are actually their problems or rather the root causes of their problems. Their problems are rooted in colonialism where two or more unwilling ethnic groups were brought together to form artificial countries (Berlin Conference of 1884). Moreover, the two religions Christianity and Islam were also foreign and constitute a source of conflict on Africa.

Furthermore if development is a process where people exploit the resources in their environment producing goods and services for the satisfaction of their needs, then Black Africans need to conquer their environment to develop. But how does man conquer his environment? History points to technology. However for you to have technology you must be scientifically conscious. Consequently a group’s level of scientific consciousness matters a lot. But the paradox is that Black African nations have been strongly advised and taught the principle of comparative advantage by the northern powers. The idea is that they should concentrate in producing agricultural goods and buy imported technologically processed goods. The truth is that Black Africans can never increase their level of scientific consciousness with this form of doctrine. If they have to accept the doctrine where then lay their fate in development. Western nations terribly dislike the import substitution strategies developed by relatively progressive Black African leaders aimed at helping them processes their own products. It is evident that technology transfer is a farce, period. It is a highly deceptive thought. Though it is very naïve for anyone to think that technology will ever be transferred. It has never been; it has always been stolen. Nations steal technologies from others. America stole it from Britain. China is stealing it from everywhere today.

Furthermore things are made worse for Africans because western nations serve as safe havens for stolen African resources. These resources are stolen by corrupt Black African leaders who constitute the safe hands to whom the westerners handed over power. The resources are deposited in major Banks in the west. Switzerland, in the heart of Europe is well known for her open embrace for stolen African resources. It was recently reported that about 2 trillion Dollars of foreign resources are deposited in Geneva. It also includes the major Banks in central Europe. If a country like Switzerland were not to be in the North, it would have been bombed out of existence for constituting a known source of economic destabilisation, destruction and insecurity. The attraction she gives to rogue African leaders is enough reason. The country is a major attraction for stolen African resources. In other words stolen African resources propel life and prosperity in the North. A single account of stolen African resources will make the proceeds of Band Aid a kids adventure. Western leaders know this, we know it, and the world knows it. They will not act through their Parliaments and Union because it is benefiting them- propelling their economies. Their economic booms are Black Africa’s starvations, famine, hunger, instability, conflict, brain drain, and poverty. If Afghanistan and Iraq deserve the treatment they are receiving from Western nations today, for constituting terrorist bases, why should Switzerland be treated less seriously, for being a major attraction for stolen resources?

The state of mind of some western middle class people regarding Black people was typically exposed and exemplified in the recent failed coup in the leadership of oil rich Equatorial Guinea. A gang of some western middle class could not hold anymore watching a small African nation prosper with oil revenue. The condition of their mind tells them it is not to be allowed even in this modern time. They are so convinced these Blacks do not deserve the windfall even in this modern time. Consequently a large chunk of the revenue should be diverted into their pockets through a stooge they intended to plant through a coup de tat. What a recreation of the true intentions of slavery and colonialism.

Furthermore even the procedure of Advanced Fee Fraud, which some young Africans apply to defraud some greedy westerners, was a working formula, which some western middle class used to steal African resources with the collaboration of corrupt African leaders. The pain of these acts ultimately rests with the poor masses in Africa. These are lest I forget forms of dehumanising blackness. It took many forms and it is taking a lot of forms today.

Western governments have been dilly-dallying whether to forgive debts owed by poor African nations. It is a well-known fact that a large chunk of the money being owed, were actually spent inside the Western countries concerned purchasing goods and services at highly inflated prices. In addition a substantial dose of the debts were incurred because some corrupt Black African leaders supposedly borrowed the monies, stole them, and re-deposited them into their private Western Bank accounts. In other words black Africans are repaying money that never reached Africa nor affected their lives positively in any way.
How do we “bury the hatchet” completely, in these current states of things?

Austin Aneke

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