“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter” – Martin Luther King Jnr.
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Some days ago, I watched on youtube a scene where some white men in South Africa attempted ‘stuffing’ a young man into a coffin. The reason given for such intimidation was that “he stole”. The consternation and backlash was memorable – yes of course, you could perceive the stench of fire and blood as our elite keyboard warriors and social-media veterans ran amok unto the ‘battle field’ raising banners of “racist” of different sizes, brands and colours.
As though the above was a precursor to our collective ‘motivations’ as blacks, not too long afterwards, another video surfaced of a ‘not-up-to’ 10-year old boy scorched and murdered by reason of the flames. Evidently, there were several consternations raised but unfortunately, some mutiny. Why? Some online ‘warriors’ wanted to reason out “what if he actually deserved to die?”. And some others, with empathy in their strides, surmised, “why are these people wicked? Why carry out such gory murder?”, while others mused, “Oh, what a wicked world”. After 30+ hours, the dust settled, everyone got over the incident, and in many cases, raising the gory tale only makes you a bearer of stale gist – The Black Man in the Coffin.
I choose clarity of mind over confusion. I choose truth over ‘men-pleasing’. I strongly believe that the first step towards any form of healing is ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Well, you could choose to argue with the trees in the forest, but when you are lost, you just have to say, man, I’m lost.
This satire has the singular purpose of providing healing to whomever will look inwards, including me!
1. The black man were under trees unclad and unshod listening to tales by moonlight. Until some missionaries came to add a little ray to the light. Sadly, when some of these beneficiaries of the missionaries’ indulgences become ‘scholars’, they grow up to write excerpts such as “...Education was a tool to take over our lands“.
2. Leaders of the black man came into an unholy alliance with the white slave traders. Trading their fellows for mirrors, shiny stones and probably some sweets. Well these jolly good fellows grew also to become scholars and you know part of what they wrote? “…The history of Africa is the history of the black man in Africa“.
3. Leaders of the black man will steal money, stock it up in offshore accounts to the detriment of their people back home and for some reason, will not see reason in being called ‘corrupt’. “Oh“, they say, “these whites want to colonize us again!“.
4. Contemporary black ‘Scholars’, some of whom I tussled with in school claim emphatically, that in truth, “some of these overseas-and-oceans countries were once home to the foggiest of savagery”.
They go further in most cases to say, “in fact, Africa was home to the greatest civilization on planet earth”. I am truly impressed as they go on cascading ramblings! Believe me when I tell you, most of the people who make these acclaims are certified historians – with collars and dark shades. Intelligent stoics, they were.
Well I say, with the intent to learn, “If they were savages, how did they colonize our ‘civilizations’?”. They look at me, make some theoretical postulations and scamper off.
5. Yeah, yeah, we were not the only colonized continent. Indeed, even the Americas were colonized. But just like others, we believe in our freedom. Non-violently in some cases and pseudo-violently in others – that, we achieved. We need to take control of our own resources. “What is ownership without control?”, our (the whole of Africa) Founding Fathers inter-mused.
6. “Oh well”, they say, “This may be the will of God”, “for when all the whites reach the limits of their innovations, in technology and (other fields), we will take over the earth”. What glorious comfort.
Permit me to say, the black man has the uncanny ability of passing the buck – passing blames, never before rivaled by any mortal, living or dead.
We cuss ourselves, demean ourselves, glory in our ‘achievements’ (at the expense of others), and surprisingly, become angry when we are meted in equal measure.
An interview I watched about our celebrated Feminist, Chimamanda Adichie, lends credence to my satire.
She was talking, in that scene, about ‘racism’. I almost ‘died’ when she told the white journalist, paraphrased, “you are in no position to define racism, seeing you are a white man”. The dude, was obviously taken aback with this form of obvious consternation.
He replied with a chuckle, (paraphrased), “you are going against your own principle by saying that”. What did he mean? If racism was about ‘shutting’ up a perceived race, he was supposed to give his own view freely without fear of being ‘wantonly’ queried. I was massively ‘impressed’. She just showcased our trademark to the world, I may need to report this to a copyright enforcement agency.
Malcom X spectacularly said, “education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”. When a tool isn’t producing the right results, it is either the wrong tool is being used OR the right tool is being used wrongly. [Tweet “When a tool isn’t producing the right results, it is either the wrong tool is being used OR the right tool is being used wrongly.”]
Education is a tool – the right one for a fact. Why is it that among other races, the black man has all the abilities in the world to either not use it or use it wrongly.
Let me cut in here to add a caveat to the pro-black movement by adding, I am not saying the black race doesn’t have potential. Oh, you could mention all the Professors, Scholars, and what-have-you in your dictionary of defense. That’s not my point. Indeed, what is potential? Do you buy a car and wake up every morning to stare at it because it has the potential of moving. [Tweet “Indeed, what is potential? Do you buy a car and wake up every morning to stare at it because it has the potential of moving.”]Please.
Back to the topic. What are we not doing right? I beg to say that we can’t claim to be the most wronged race on the earth. I don’t believe as an instance, that we have been more wronged than the Jews – as an instance. So what’s the problem?
The problem is a lack of acknowledgment (You could read about some of that here).
Even among black movement facilitators – the Malcom X’s, the Martin Luther King Jnrs., among others all wiggle back to their caves when the subject of acknowledgment comes to fore. Can’t no one say, “look forget faith, we have failed”. “We have no direction”. When there is no attempt to acknowledge our ‘curse’, there can be no justification in finding a permanent solution. [Tweet “When there is no attempt to acknowledge our ‘curse’, there can be no justification in finding a permanent solution.”]
We must escape from the failure of our Fathers. Trying too hard to be local champions. We must have a wider view about things, not straitened by cultures, ideologies, idiocies and what-not that have characterized the upbringing of the African child. An upbringing that silences questions, and mutes real passions in a yearning child. A culture that makes one settle for mediocrity and blame the witches and wizards in your village for your own unfortunate indulgences.
How do we lay a clear direction?
Many times, for long term decisions, it is not about the goal, but the direction. Even if we ARRIVE at a wrong location, there is a possibility of being reprieved in the shortest possible gasp of self-realization.[Tweet “Even if we ARRIVE at a wrong location, there is a possibility of being reprieved in the shortest possible gasp of self-realization.”]
- Don’t be afraid to cut of from unwholesome relationships – not romantic ones now, I mean “your hommies”. ‘Hommies-ism’ leads to derailing especially when not put in check. You become ruled by the opinions of your equals. Break free from that. You will find out later that your replies to them in the long run will be culled from Martin Luther’s quote: “At the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends”.
- Abolish the doctrine of “God I want to succeed without stress”. This has become the pentecostal shortcut for laziness and self-indulgence. A Jewish Proverb says, “I ask not for a lesser load, I ask for broader shoulders”. Learn from it.
- Know for a fact that the message of utility is the doctrine of instant satiation. [Tweet “Know for a fact that the message of utility is the doctrine of instant satiation.”]In other words, every thing, such as so-called enjoyments should be totally done with. We are in an extremely consuming-inclined clime. The younger generation needs to take the courageous step of increasing productivity by reducing utility.
I cannot possibly exhaust these nuggets, these three will do for now. Let us collectively remove the black man from this coffin.
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