'Holocaust envy' or a better deal for Africa?

Author:Figueiredo, Antonio de
Position:Comment: Africa and Reparations
 
FREE EXCERPT

Despite the ornamental multi-racialism one sees mostly on Western TV these days, including the current black predominance in sporting events, the fact is that, by and large, black people still suffer from 'negative discrimination'. Their claims for justice can even offensively be put to "envy".

The old African saying, "Until the lions have their own historians, the stories of hunting will always be the glorification of the hunters", is still true, but needs some updating.

For one thing, there have been modern books on Africa by black authors, for example, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney, as well as by an increasing number of international historians, that have done much to correct the old biases concerning slavery, the factors behind the long struggle for abolition in Europe and the Americas, and the new forms of colonial exploitation in Africa itself.

In his book, King Leopold's Ghost, on the Belgian king's rule in colonial Congo, Adam Hochschild estimates that 10 million Congolese died in the course of European exploitation of ivory, rubber and other resources more in demand at the time. This estimate, added to those of the Euro-American and Arab slave trade, places Africans at the top of the list of peoples who have suffered the most in history.

For another, the hunting for raw materials and oil has now moved to other areas, notably the Middle East, and Africa has become "marginal" to the Western-dominated media which, despite claims of free and independent action, seem to follow the agenda that best reflects the prevailing political and strategic interests of their respective countries.

Despite the ornamental multiracialism one sees mostly on Western TV these days, including the current black predominance in sporting events, the fact is that, by and large, black people still suffer from "negative discrimination".

Their claims for justice can even offensively be put to "envy". I found a cruel example of this, in a list of advance publicity quotes on the back cover of a book entirely dedicated to refuting the claims by black Muslims in the US, that the Jews had a prominent role in American slavery.

Such claims which, personally, I believe to be exaggerated and controversial, arise in the context of African-American frustrations concerning not only the fact that the Jews are the most successful immigrant community in the US, but also the fact that American aid to Israel could be better spent in uplifting the much bigger...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL