By Fred M’membe
Today I have been reflecting and meditating deeply on our enslavement, colonisation, exploitation, humiliation and degradation as Africans. I have been thinking about our heroes – those selfless, genuinely good people who were willing to risk their own lives to save us.
Many guilty consciences have been created by our enslavement – the slave trade. Europeans know that they carried on the slave trade, and we Africans are aware that the slave trade would have been impossible if certain Africans did not cooperate with slave ships. To ease their guilty consciences, Europeans try to throw the major responsibility for the slave trade on to us Africans. One major author on the slave trade (appropriately titled Sins of Our Fathers) explained how many white people urged him to state that the trade was the responsibility of African chiefs, and that Europeans merely turned up to buy captives – as though without European demand there would have been captives sitting on the beach by the millions!
These issues can be correctly approached only after understanding that Europe became the centre of a world-wide system and that it was European capitalism which set slavery and the Atlantic slave trade in motion.
And today our under development is not blamed on our continued modern enslavement, neo colonialisation, exploitation, humiliation and degradation but on our corrupt and inept leaders as if they are not the ones who sponsor these corrupt and inept puppets so that they can easily continue, albeit in a new way, to enslave, neo colonise, exploit, humiliate and degrade us. Yes, we Africans are aware that without the cooperation of African puppets, lackeys of imperialism our continued enslavement, neo colonisation, exploitation and degradation would be impossible.
When will they take or accept responsibility for their sins? They will never. We have to struggle to restore our freedom, progress and human dignity. There’s no doubt that if we struggle we will win.