Author Topic: ?Whiteness? and the Root of the Tension Between A and AA  (Read 2323 times)

festus

  • Posts: 39
?Whiteness? and the Root of the Tension Between A and AA
« on: October 27, 2006, 06:27:42 PM »
This is the proper version of the article, I asked some one to cut and paste sections of the article but I noticed a lot of mistakes, my apologies for that folks. Web crew please delete the one submitted yesterday to avoid confusion

Festus



?Whiteness? and the Root of the Tension Between Africans and African Americans

By

Festus Ikeotuonye

(This article is an excerpt from my forthcoming article ?Black Beef, White Mask?, please do not cite without the explicit permission of the author)

Black Beefs as White Artifact

The wider issues discussed in this piece are evident in the quite practical and informal experience ugobaby used to start the thread titled ?Is there Racism Among Black Folks, AA\'s and Africans? in gesso.net website. The thread began with ?something? a Nigerian observed in America,

?I noticed something here in the states, the white folks tend to be nicer to me than the African Americans. In my sons school I have a better rapport & conversations with his white teachers than the African Americans. I find it funny cuz I know I reach out to everyone equally, so it has nothing to do with me. I just thought I should point it out. And am I the only one or has anyone noticed how the white folks are more interested and even more informed about our motherland Africa than the African Americans?? (http://www.gsso.net/h/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=402).

We have to bear in mind that if it wasn?t for ?African Americans? like Martin Luther King this Nigerian brother?s son might have been attending ?coloured only? schools in the US. I really wonder how his rapport with whites would have panned out. I remember a joke by an ABN (America born Nigerian) about how things tend to go over the heads of typical Nigerians. According to him, a studious Thomas Sowell type Nigerian won a scholarship to the Ku Klux Klan University somewhere in the ?Republic of Texas?. This Nigerian was so thrilled that when he arrived in the campus he quickly began to identify with the familiar religious images he was fed in Nigeria. He saw the ?white garments?, the burning cross, European books he was told about by his teachers in Nigeria. One evening while taking a stroll around the campus and admiring the ?structures? he saw the grand wizard of the Klan walking towards him. When the Klans man saw the Nigerian he said ?nigger? to the Nigerian. The Nigerian smiled and corrected him with that bloated Nigerian self satisfaction, ?excuse me sir it is not nigger?it is Nigerian?; ?nigger, nigger area, nigger alien ?emmm? same thing to me? said the Klans man.

The Nigerian brother?s statement and even the ABN joke above is typical of the way we Nigerians take things at the surface and not bother to ask deeper questions? The Nigerian?s observation just accepted the tension (between AA and A) as a given without asking why. Meanwhile he or she is not asking others to discuss or analyze this problem rather he or she is seeking endorsement for a foregone conclusion ? ?am I the only one or has anyone noticed how the white folks are more interested and even more informed about our motherland Africa than the African Americans??

After 400 years of ?seasoning? which involved the banning of drumming, rituals, traditional religions and other African practices the African American only sees the white mask the African is wearing. So, is it fair to blame the African American for the lack of information about the ?motherland?? What about the ?maroons? among them who in many ways are more African than the one-foot-here-one-foot-there Nigerian? And of course the same ?white folks? who scrambled and partitioned Africa become more informed and ?interested? in Africa more than African Americans. And it is all down to the African American attitude to life?

By ?motherland? I am sure the Nigerian is referring to the colonial structures of governance (Christian South and Muslim North) divisions that make up what we see in Nigeria today. Why should an African American be interested in such run down colonial installations? Not when the ?new Negroes? who run these installations act like the colonial administrators towards the same ?natives? African Americans would rather identify with? Remember the ?natives? that are always called upon to ?dance? and ?entertain? the guests during one of those ?white elephant? occasion filled with ?dignitaries? in Nigeria. Meanwhile the current Nigerian president sits under a ?government reserved? shade to watch the ?traditional? dancing of his own banished people from a Western tourist perspective just like Fredrick Lugard his master. Let us not forget that those who rule Africa now are the same ?chamchas? that used to carry the ?white man? on their shoulders while holding an umbrella over his head. Is it then surprising that this tension or perhaps, gulf exists between Africans and our African American extended family? We are ?Nigerian? the same way African Americans are ?Americans? and ?Granny Nanny? is Jamaican. But the divisive nationalism apart, we all share a common cultural heritage that remain relatively absent in our colonial ?pure blooded Negroes with European cloths? identity models. Did Mary Kingsley not inform us in her ?Travels in West Africa? (1897) that

??you will find, notably in Lagos, excellent pure-blooded Negroes in European clothes, and with European culture. The best men among these are lawyers, doctors, and merchants.?

This European clothed and cultured colonial process aliened the ?pure blooded Negroes? from the African culture, history and memory that would have united him with his brothers and sisters in diaspora. But also this alienation is equally present in the African American who is also subjected to the same identity, culture and memory estrangement process. This rendered both ?Negroes? with no cultural and ontological process that does not refer to, or endorsed by Europe and Europeans.

I observed the same tension between Jamaicans and Nigerians in Britain and I asked a West Indian Rastafarian friend of mine why? Well, my Rastafarian friend gave me the answer, which to my mind remains true to this day; he said ?that?s the curse of the black folk in Babylon?. While of course using the colonial masters Judeo-Christian images he correctly related the black beef to the context that makes it possible ? ?Babylon?. If you substitute the word ?Babylon? with ?whiteness? then it becomes understandable why our friend above and many of us have better ?rapport & conversations with? white? than the African Americans? (or West Indians).

Bear in mind that the person that made this statement did not have to compare his rapport with the ?white folks? with that of the African Americans. He can criticize African Americans without comparing his rapport with them in relation to the ?whites?. Such identification with oppressor syndrome is the source of this tension as Malcolm X repeated said. It is funny that the Nigerian believes that it is possible to reach out to everyone equally, in a country where every one is not equal. And of course it has nothing to do with him or her because in any colonial situation it is always ?natives? and their ?evil? culture that is blamed. In the words of Frantz Fanon,

??while I was shouting that, in the paroxysm of my being and my fury, he was reminding me that my blackness was only a minor term. . . . Without a Negro past, without a Negro future, it was impossible for me to live my Negrohood. Not yet white, no longer wholly black, I was damned . . . I defined myself as an absolute intensity of beginning? (138).

For a while now I have been meaning to write something on this black beef issue because I was surprised at how wide spread this problem really is. It is not just a problem between African Americans and Africans. I see the same tension between Afro-Caribbean and Africans in Britain for example (Nigerians and Jamaicans in London have the same problem as I mentioned before); Surinamese and Africans in the Netherlands is another example, it goes on and on. The brilliant BBC movie ?Shoot the Messenger? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/shootthemessenger/) directed by Ngozi Onwurah starring David Oyelowo tried to address some of these issues by dramatizing them. But this otherwise sophisticated movie as it is the case with many issues concerning Africans disappointed me in many ways. The movie did not address the larger historical formation inside which the black identity politics and beefs (it portrayed so well) takes place. It is almost as if these black beefs take place in a vacuum or empty space devoid of any history, social or political forces. Or perhaps, that these histories, economic and political forces are side issues unconnected to the disembodied ahistorical black individuals operating in a void condition of their own choosing.  But as Fanon once said ?Negro experience is not a whole, for there is not merely one Negro, there are Negroes?.  For the simple fact that this same tension shows up in different places and spaces tells me quite clearly that something deeper is at work here. What I want to do with article therefore is to try and make sense of this issue by taking it seriously. This means that I want to try and dispel some myths associated with this problem and the serial confusion that results from the myths and misunderstands that inevitably makes the problem worse. To understand this problem we have to understand that a careless use of the word ?racism? cannot help us to understand this tension. Jews do not use the word ?holocaust? carelessly so, we should be careful in our use of the word ?racism?.

Having said this I want to thank ugobaby for bringing this issue up because like I said it is a very important issue. Most Nigerians in the US do not realize that their children in the future will all fall under that category of ?African American?. In fact one respondent to the thread mentioned that even Nigerians born in America become part of that tension between Africans and African Americans. This is not simply a case of them versus us but a problem that is common in and in-between Africans both at home and in diaspora. The Yoruba versus Hausa or Igbo etc beef that some people stupidly call ?tribalism? is a good example of this. So it is not just between Africans in diaspora and Africans at home.

In his book ?Black Skin White Masks? (1991) Frantz Fanon made the following observations.
??the desperate struggles of a Negro who is driven to discover the meaning of black identity.  White civilzation and European culture have forced an existential deviation on the Negro.  I shall demonstrate elsewhere that what is often called the black soul is a white man\'s artifact? (Page14).

 \"the white man is not only the Other but also the master, whether real or imaginary.\"

?For not only must the black man be black; he must be black in relation to the white man??

?If there is an inferiority complex, it is the outcome of a double process: primarily, economic; subsequently, the internalization or, better, the epidermalization -- of this inferiority (11)

 In a speech made at the Congress of Black African Writers in1959 Frantz Fanon tried to get to the root of the problem.

?Colonial domination, because it is total and tends to over-simplify, very soon manages to disrupt in spectacular fashion the cultural life of a conquered people. This cultural obliteration is made possible by the negation of national reality, by new legal relations introduced by the occupying power, by the banishment of the natives and their customs to outlying districts by colonial society, by expropriation, and by the systematic enslaving of men and women.

Three years ago at our first congress I showed that, in the colonial situation, dynamism is replaced fairly quickly by a substantification of the attitudes of the colonising power. The area of culture is then marked off by fences and signposts. These are in fact so many defence mechanisms of the most elementary type, comparable for more than one good reason to the simple instinct for preservation.

The interest of this period for us is that the oppressor does not manage to convince himself of the objective non-existence of the oppressed nation and its culture. Every effort is made to bring the colonised person to admit the inferiority of his culture which has been transformed into instinctive patterns of behaviour, to recognise the unreality of his \'nation\', and, in the last extreme, the confused and imperfect character of his own biological structure.? (http://www.marxists.org/subject/africa/fanon/national-culture.htm)

This lost access to our collective ?banished? culture both by the African and the African in diaspora is ultimately what is at the root of the problem. The attitudes developed in the outlying districts of colonial society (even under the administration of ?pure blooded Negroes with European culture?) are then labeled African ?culture? whether in the form of ?pimping?, ?Ebonics?, black entertainment culture or its ?get rich or die trying? in whiteness parallel. Africans then become the personification (with good reason) of the cultural and memory exile into which they have been forced. This exile is however not a happy place even for those it ?pays? well. KM Stokes (1996) reminds us that this exile is an illusion created by the ?closures? of the system of whiteness.

?Constrained and conditioned by the \"closures\" of \"system,\" we find ourselves \"inside\" a vast social-historical-economic construct we cannot escape, cannot get \"outside\" of. There are variations on this theme, as when the \"outside\" is not the interdicted place we long for in vain, but rather the exile into which our \"ideology\" has cast some excluded \"other?. (http://www.iuj.ac.jp/media/stokes/meta-a04.htm)
.
Bob Marley wrote a master piece entitled ?Pimpers paradise? - ?every need got an ego to feed? he sings. As Fanon argued, ?The black man has no ontological resistance in the eyes of the white man?. Ontological resistance is linked to history and memory. Without history and memory the black man becomes ontologically defenseless. He becomes a ?blank slate? that anything can be written on ? including the black beef or ?tribalism?. It becomes necessary then to identify the common histories, religious beliefs, indigenous practices that word ?Africa? supposedly encapsulates. The recovery of those multiple beliefs is the immediate task for all Africans because that is the only condition under which we can legitimately claim to make up our own mind about anything including Christianity and modernity.

However, we must resist the temptation to submit once again to colonial convenient conflation and divisions. Part of this crucial task of self recovery is also to make sure that we resist the tendency among many Afrocentrics to make Napoleonic and Gnostic Egyptology the civilizational equivalent of Ancient Greece in the teleology of whiteness. I am particularly opposed to this form of ?equality? within whiteness. Germaine Greer wrote in her book the Whole Woman that equality is a poor substitute for liberation and I completely agree with her on that point. As a person, I am not interested in the Egyptian ruling class or how they got their ?freak on?. The sort of ?Egyptology? Neil Postman used in the beginning of his book Technopolis I can relate to.

Before proceeding let us be clear on what exactly this system of ?whiteness? is. Harvard University scholar, Noel Ignatiev start a website called race traitor (he is actually ?white? and still got his job - get it here - http://www.racetraitor.org/) and this is his definition of ?whiteness?.

?The white race is a historically constructed social formation. It consists of all those who partake of the privileges of the white skin in this society. Its most wretched members share a status higher, in certain respects, than that of the most exalted persons excluded from it, in return for which they give their support to a system that degrades them. The key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race, which means no more and no less than abolishing the privileges of the white skin. Until that task is accomplished, even partial reform will prove elusive, because white influence permeates every issue, domestic and foreign, in US society. The existence of the white race depends on the willingness of those assigned to it to place their racial interests above class, gender, or any other interests they hold. The defection of enough of its members to make it unreliable as a predictor of behavior will lead to its collapse. RACE TRAITOR aims to serve as an intellectual center for those seeking to abolish the white race. It will encourage dissent from the conformity that maintains it and popularize examples of defection from its ranks, analyze the forces that hold it together and those that promise to tear it apart. Part of its task will be to promote debate among abolitionists. When possible, it will support practical measures, guided by the principle, Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity?

So we are clear on what ?whiteness? is. And again, we are clear on the fact that it is the expansion and dominance of this system of ?whiteness? that creates the ?double consciousness?, cultural and historical amnesia that serves as the foundation to the commitment to whiteness. This amnesia is of course the source of the tension between Africans and African Americans. Therefore the underlining problem is the loyalty to whiteness some of us show by denigrating our own culture, history, memory (those things not approved by whiteness) whether in the guise of Christianisation, civilization or modernisation. But the problem is not just on the African side because like the muzungus that rule Africa today, African American elites (especially the house Negroes) also have this problem. While we say ?akata? they say ?mfoomfoo?, both inspired by that same image of our common ancestors held by ?whites?. We see this clearly when some African Americans talk about their ancestors as if they were different from Africans proper. Some use the nonsensical phrase ?African American ancestors? which of course naturalizes the exile conditions of these stolen Africans. Many African Americans claim that slavery is an American issue which inevitably implies that these people were born inside those slave ships; they came from nowhere, spoke no languages and belonged nowhere. In other words, they were rootless ahistorical cosmopolitans that gave birth to the African American hybrids of today. Of course this is false and only serves to reinforce the ahistorical Negroes narratives of the colonial and slave masters.

This is especially relevant to the reparation issue where as usual this perennial division rear its ugly heads. This amnesia driven division is also connected to the ?African?s sold us? idea popular with African Americans, Afro Caribbeans and West Indians. Some Africans and even Afrocentrics reproduce this myth with the African slave trading chiefs narrative. But as usual no one is asking the important questions. Who were these so called ?chiefs?? Why would Africa, a continent of mostly subsistent farmers with large families require slaves? The whole point of polygamy and large families is precisely to diminish the possibility of depending on external source of labour. How can a communitarian environment which seeks no surplus or luxury accommodate slavery? What for? Where were this slaves bought, sold, held - that is, where are the structures of these indigenous slave trade prior to Europeans and Arabs coming into Africa? People routinely talk about the African ?chiefs? that accepted gin and mirrors to sell these slaves yet they forget that ?chief?, ?king? (like King Jaja of Opobo) are English titles. The igbo culture does not contain ?chief? or ?king?. We forget that even in conventional Eurocentric history books that these chiefs are known as ?warrant chiefs?. Who issued the ?warrant? that made the discourse of ?chief? conceivable? The only African American who bothered to investigate this myth (Alex Haley in Roots) found out his ancestors were kidnapped not sold by their family or kindred. Eric Wolf in his book ?Europe and the People without History? reminds us that what we are referring to when we evoke these images of the African ?natives? is an outgrowth of the expansion of the West or ?whiteness?. In a nutshell, Black beef (in all its incarnation) and the myths that underscore it is precisely what Wolf described, a hang over of domination, subjugation and subordination. To be blunt, black beef is a white man?s artifact as Fanon often argued.
 
Seeing Racism beyond the Blinding White Clouds

Since I have shown that this African American and African tension is not ?racism? or the equivalent of ?white supremacy?, what is it then? I have argued that this tension is a hang over of ?white supremacy?. I said earlier that specifically, it is the divide and rule technique through identification with whiteness that creates and nurtures this tension. In a world where superiority or inferiority is predicated on a dense approximation to whiteness, it is not surprising many will seek to climb over other Africans to get to the ?blinding light?.

As the ancient Egyptians know better than most this blinding whiteness is death in its worst form. What I mean by this is not death as ancient Africans understand it (i.e. death as transformation) but as Europeans see it (death as absolute ?silence?). It becomes easier then to understand why African Americans like Fanon said, use their historical ?closeness? to whiteness as a platform to assert their superiority over Africans at home. African ?been tos? and ?migrants? also do the same thing. Just because of the fact that they have been to ?white man?s country? and now possess white man?s rapport, credentials and papers, they begin to see themselves as superior to their brothers under siege in the bush. Malcolm X described this tendency very well with his ?massa we sick? analogy.

To cut a very long story short, the race for whiteness creates tensions and inferiority complexes which create more spirals of contradictions and tensions. So, this problem is only connected to race in the sense that those who ?seasoned? and ?scrambled and partitioned? the African intended to produce both the ?house obedient Negroes? (who mostly claim neutrality while complying at the same time) and the ?field ?hoodie? Negroes? (who rebel through the only means they knows how). But of course compliance takes many forms; however, there is no denying the type of compliance that is rewarded in the 7th heaven of whiteness. It is obvious both ?Negro? types use ?whiteness? as their basic frame of reference as people like Thomas Sowell (Black Rednecks and White Liberals, 2005) argue. Since one side of the supposed ?twoness? is silent the dominant ?Negro? types lean towards whiteness and its brutal histories and this creates the tension Ugo baby referred to.

In igbo land there is a saying that goes, ?if you cannot find someone to scratch you, you go to a tree? but this is not because of ?choice? and individual preferences so Sowell is only stating the obvious. As they say in Nigerian, ?na condition bend the crayfish? or perhaps in the words of the rap group the Dead Prez ?uncle Sam, made me the nigger I am?.

Ugobaby clearly hinted at this

?First of all, white folks do play with your head (of course not all of them). They may know and maybe, see the difference between AA\'s and we Africans but to them we are all the same - BLACK. The white man\'s #1 fear is of the black man but then they\'ve got to act all polite and nice so that u don\'t beat them up or gun them down, characteristics that are most common with \"akata\" and latino people; they also want to avoid issues with racism incase their arses be sued, especially when there\'s evidence.?

In conclusion then, if ?white folks? have been playing with the African ?head? (including Sowell?s) for 400 years through ?seasoning? and ?scramble and partition? we have to be careful how we formulate the problem because we are operating from within whiteness itself. Remember what racism is all about - to reduce its victims to people who see the world through the prism of whiteness, its divisions, conflicts and conflations. The important thing to remember is that these frictions and divisions are solely because ?whiteness? is an evangelical, inquisitional or perhaps, a ?jealous god?, not because the conflicts are inevitable in cultural exchange or transformation.

In his article ?The Invention of Africa and Intellectual Neocolonialism? Jedi Shemsu Jewheti a.k.a. Jacob H. Caruthers argues that the careless use of that word ?racism? gives the white folks an advantage

??because as a generic term it implies that there is white racism and black racism. But if racism is what Montesquieu, Hume, and company inserted into European philosophy, and if the brutal, hostile, and demeaning behaviors of Europeans toward African peoples are instances of racism, then only one case of racism has ever come into existence. There could possibly come a time when the leading African thinkers might invent a theory of white inferiority; there would come a time when the political and economic leaders of African nations could oppress all whites within their reach and base such actions on a doctrine of black supremacy. In the meantime, let us identify the real problem, white supremacy, and leave the ambiguous term racism out of the discourse. I should say at this point ?that there are probably some Europeans of good will. The problem is that these good Europeans have never had the power, or the \"will\" power, to overthrow their more mean spirited fellow Europeans. In any case, our fight is not against good Europeans but against the perpetrators and defenders of white supremacy, some of whom are Africans. In pursuit of our objective, however, we do not believe that the enemies are necessarily our friends. While the overthrow of white supremacy should be everybody\'s goal, the revival of African thought is a job for Africans-only; that is only Africans can do it. If Europeans do it, it would only mean that they defeated us again.?
(http://www.africawithin.com/carruthers/invention_of_africa.htm)

Warrior the lead singer of the Oriental Brothers Band of Eastern Nigeria made the same case when he said in a song that

??ele ihe wu esemo okwu, ele ihe wu agbamakwukwo, ele ihe wu onwu
Onye ugwu ha jiri bia, gwa ha onye muru ha
Ziha onye wu nna ha ?chei ariri ka ya?

??what is beef? What is marriage? What is death? Their enemies came and showed them who gave birth to them and showed them who their father is, what a terrible insult? (My translation)

Ozoemena Nwansugbe, a son of the soil, made the same case in his song ?uka na omenani?. The word Omenani usually translated as ?tradition? or ?culture? in English actually refers to one who does something for/on the earth (ani is ala) or universe. It is our violent alienation from ?omenani? that is at the core of this problem. So, how do we solve this problem while all wearing a white mask and mumbling ?massa we sick, we sick (which some people call rapport)? The answer lies in that common ?omenani? or common history, memory, culture through which we related to the cosmos. Omenani does not refer to whiteness through the prism of obedience or revolt because it is beyond whiteness. AA-A=A - simple mathematics! The recent effort by Ogun state government in Nigeria and the government of Barbados to actualize the ?trans-Atlantic agenda? is at the least commendable.

?The renewed effort to unite continental Africans and their kith and kin in diaspora received a boost last week as a two-man delegation from Barbados proferred  methods that could be used to forge unity among the black race across the Atlantic ocean reports?NIGERIANS, nay Africans in general  may be on the verge of re-enacting trans-Atlantic commercial and cultural links with their kith and kin in diaspora. However, unlike the infamous slave trade which was used to establish the past link between Africa on one hand and the Americas and the Carribeans on the other, over five hundred years ago, the new initiative is likely to result in economic investment and cross cultural exchanges between continental Africans and blacks in diaspora.? (http://odili.net/news/source/2006/aug/31/312.html)  

People like the Dead Prez are taking the lead by not only changing their names into authentic African names (instead of the hybrid Moheesha type) but by also asking ?I got into that boat African, how did I get out American?? To paraphrase Eric R. Wolf in his book ?Europe and the People without History? (1982), we need to rediscover this Africa without history we have been taught to despise and forget in a hurry. Even the same Christians who helped to destroy that history and culture are trying to preserve it today.  While the new American fast food type Pentecostal churches in Nigeria are still demonizing their own heritage and history, the Catholic Church has changed its attitude towards this suppressed Omenani and histories. In Nigeria the Pentecostal fast food Churches are causing ?spiritual obesity? while the older churches seems to have grown a little older and wiser. The website of the Whelan centre in Owerri (a Catholic Church centre) says it all

?our purpose is to undertake and publish research on the culture, religion and society of the Igbo and their neighbours of South East Nigeria and especially the impact of Christianity and Western Modernity on these peoples. This is designed to retrieve what can still be retrieved from a vibrant and changing African culture under enormous pressure from foreign cultures and just as seriously disadvantaged from its own lack of a literate base. As generations of culture bearers pass away virtually unrecorded, memories are fading away and History is losing some crucial witnesses. Our task is to halt this trend by undertaking a massive campaign of information retrieval, management and dissemination. Our aim ultimately is to enable this culture to enter into some serious dialogue with modernity on its own terms, and in the process to articulate its own self expression and make its own contribution towards a more balanced and enriched emerging world culture? (http://www.theo.kuleuven.ac.be/clt/net_wra.htm)

If we realize that the ?God? that inspired the Cuban revolt against the Spaniards is Yoruba; that the Voodoo weddings in New Orleans contain both igbo and Yoruba traditions just as it is the case in Haiti, Brazil, Surinam etc; then, we will realize that whiteness is what creates the tension in and between us. Whiteness and its ?methodological nationalism cake? is what divides the whole of that African creature Homo Sapian, not amadioha, Sango, isieke, nkulunkulu or nwaorie. This can be used as a background in understanding also the root cause of the ?black folk? and ?white folk? division. Are ?white folks? not also ?brain washed? by the same ITT (?international thief theif? according to Fela Kuti) process that they later enacted on the rest of the world?

Terry Jones and Alan Ereira (2006) wrote in their very amusing but enlightening book ?Barbarians? that

?We (Westerners) owe far more to the so called ?barbarians? than we do to the men in togas. And the fact that we still think of Celts, the Huns, the Vandals, the Goths, the Visigoths (the true ancestors of white folks) and so on as ?barbarians? means that we have fallen hook, line and sinker for Roman propaganda. We are still letting the Romans define our world and our view of history?Rome used its army to eliminate the cultures that surrounded it, and paid its soldiers with the wealth it took from them. It ?Romanized? these conquered societies and left as little record of them as possible. The truth is that much of what we understand to be ?Roman? civilization?   was plundered from the Barbarian world?.

This ?Roman propaganda? or ?imperium? which for aeons has silenced not only the truly civilized European ancestors (Celts, Britons, Goths etc) but also our own is the biggest fraud in human history. Walter Mignolo described it as ?occidentalism? or the Western affirmation of Greco Roman empire (my addition) culture. This (international thief thief) amnesia engendering empire culture which the Romans themselves called ?imperium? is the source of this global tension that shows up as ?black beef?, ?black on black? or even ?white on black? violence. For me, Fela Kuti summed it all up when he said that ?all Nigerians are criminals except those Nigerians who are Africans?. With reference to this piece I will say that ?everyone within ?whiteness? or its older Roman propaganda form of ?Occidentalism? is a criminal, except those who are Africans?. This Africaness is well illustrated in the concept of Ubuntu or perhaps Ubuntology.

Okwu a gwu la nu - gaskia!