By Abel Merawi
March 22, 2021 (Ezega.com) -- The history of colonization and slavery is discussed in a systematic disguise as it continues to free colonizers from their guilt. Consequently, former colonizers continue to pompously appear as champions of democracy while the formerly colonized nations are labeled backward. Before explaining the aftermath of this historical denial or literal ‘white lie’, I will use the allegory the great writer James Baldwin made to present colonization and slavery.
Imagine if your friend had killed his own mother and hid her corpse in his closet. You go to his house and discover the matricide and your friend also knows that you have discovered his crime. Despite the heinous acts, you both decided to deny it because you want to remain friends. But slowly, there appears a hollowness in your friendship as you each retreat in silence, dreading the prospect of simple conversations leading to the hidden crime. The only hope of salvaging your friendship lies in admitting the truth and your friend’s confession and readiness to pay for his crime. Let us now translate the allegory into current realities.
The story of James Baldwin speaks the history of colonization and slavery. The mother is Africa and other subjugated nations. The murderer is the colonizer and slaver. And you are the colonized and enslaved. The closet that hides matricide is the fictitious history that defends colonization as a mission for civilization. The avarice and callousness of Europe have resulted in not just the colonization of Africa, Asia, and South America, but also the genocide of aboriginals of North America, Australia, and many others across the globe.
Africa, the mother of civilization, failed victim to the barbaric conquerors and remains a continent that suffers colonization’s aftermath. The colonizers who committed unparalleled crimes were never held fully accountable. Instead, they enjoyed their spoils and reigned supreme in the world. The children of Africa, who are scattered all over the world, have failed to speak the truth and seek justice. Yet, who can blame the colonized for such failure, when even justice can only be sought from an unjust world where criminals reside as judges?
The self-proclaimed world arbiters continue to guard the gates of history, which will dethrone them if opened wide. These are the ‘developed’ nations that prospered from the stolen resource and enslaved labor of ‘developing’ nations. The concealment of history is an arduous task made possible by their ‘naming’ power. As the African proverb goes, “until the lion learns to speak, the tells of hunting will always favor the hunter.”
The colonizer labels the colonized and the enslaved ‘barbaric’ and ‘uncivilized’, while their own exploitation and barbaric crimes are labeled missions of civilization. Out of necessity, they created the ‘negro’, ‘yellow’, and ‘brown’ people. It was the only way to make the utterly diversified European people ‘white’ and unified in crime. The US and Western nations used their ‘naming’ power to exploit the world just as the school bully labels the smart kids ‘geeks’ or ‘nerds’ to feel superior through coercion. The legacy of white supremacy was never eradicated as it has returned like a plague in the mask of democracy.
The colonial doctrine of racism and white supremacy has been the cause of two World Wars. But instead of bringing a doctrinal change, it only made tactical changes. The myopic philosophical attitude of Thomas Hobbes and others who deny history to all except Europe, the fictional Teutonic Theory of white supremacy, the pseudoscientific theories of racial difference, and the false Western missionary attempt to civilize the rest of the world, ended in gruesome colonization. Then, followed Word War I among colonizers, which gave the winner a right to subjugate the former colonies of the defeated. This only led to World War II, which still gave the victor a mandate to rule the colonies with the mission to educate and civilize them.
How unjust is history when the brute colonizers are granted the right to civilize the already oppressed by branding them uncivilized? I wonder whether the real brute and uncivilized is the one in bondage or the one who puts on the chains. Verily, it is barbaric to commit continental genocides, to ship precious humans into slavery, to rape their women, lynch the men, and systematically make them poor. As this hasn’t been enough, the very same countries are not on a mission to dominate the world, or as they like us to believe, to democratize the world.
In the 21st century, former world-class brutes and world colonizers have made another strategic shift and labeled themselves liberal democrats. Sadly, liberalism only tolerates the ‘white’ nations while illiberally terrorizing the majority of the world. The so-called western protectors of democracy have dismantled historical nations by calling their foreign invasion protection of democratic rights. Just look at Libya to recognize the truth behind my statement.
You will see how Westerners left this historical nation in the endless civil war by claiming to defend freedom of speech and human rights. Is current Libya a place of humanity or rather a hub of humanitarian crisis? We can observe this tyranny of democracy in the puppeteer role of France in Mali when they directly intervened and fought against the Tuareg people of Sahara, who have historically refused French colonial attempts. The US and Westerners continually extended their hands to play this democracy card to conquer the Middle East, erase its rich culture, and control the oil. If this is what the vanguards of democracy aim for the rest of the world, I don’t want them to intervene in any affairs of my country.
Abel Merawi is Addis Ababa-based contributor for Ezega.com. He can be reached through this form.
Other articles by Abel Merawi:
Adwa – Triumph of Unassailable Humanity
Democracy and Democratic Institutions
Democracy and Democratic People
Paideia or Deep Education
Educational Purpose: Good Citizenry Vs Rational Autonomy
Crowd Leaders as National Enemies of Ethiopia
Ethiopia Under the Threat of Crowd Mentality
Conformist Realism in Ethnic Federalism
Alternatives to National Identity
Ethiopia in Conflict - Part II: A National Stand for Unity
Ethiopia in Conflict - Part I: EPRDF and the Creation of Ethnic Division
Forms of Human Violence (Part II)
Forms of Human Violence (Part I)
The ‘Having’ Mentality
Free but in Chain, Part IV: Personal Bondage
Free but in Chain. Part III: Economic Bondage
Free but in Chain. Part II: Social Bondage
Free but in Chain. Part I: Bondage of Worldview
Unemployment and Economic Growth in Ethiopia
The Underestimated Human Ignorance
Is America the Land of Freedom? (Part II)
Is America the Land of Freedom? (Part I)
Capitalism Becoming an Impediment to Morality
Ketman: Living in Disguise to Gain Acceptance
The System and the 'Criminal'
Trust as an Economic Force
Do You Trust the Government?
Our Online World
Fame Mistaken for Expertise
The Heavy Burden of Healthcare Workers
A Time to Reflect
The Plague by Albert Camus: Fiction Becomes Reality!
History of Pandemics in Ethiopia
Human Struggle Against Pandemics: Historical Perspective
You Can Make a Difference
Rule of Law for a Free Society
The Origins of Law
Determinants of Market Value: Part II
Determinants of Market Value: Part I
Your life Matters Too
Manifestations of Artistic Expression
Achievements vs Natural Accidents
The Grip of Sacrifice
Injustice is Never Justifiable
Education Demands of the Future
Job Security, Life and the Unpredictable Future
The Shift From Racism to Culturism
Sacrificing Meaning for Power?
Culture and Market Forces
Seeking Cosmic Justice
National Myths: Makers and Destroyers of Nations
Are We Truly Free?
Maturity: The Prerequisite to Freedom and Democracy
Loyalty to Truth, Not to Group
The Value of Work
The Flaws with Ethiopian Political System
Intellectuals and the People
Where Are Our Pathfinders?
The Allegory of the Cave and Its Lessons to Leaders
The Truth Behind Humanity
The Seven Virtues
The Seven Deadly Sins
What is the right thing to do?
Building National Identity
Adey Abeba and the Spirit of Change
Living the Truth as a Human Being
Hubris - The Tragedy of Not Learning from Others
The Era of Group Mentality: Us vs Them
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