By Afolabi Akinbola
‘Every man is a Jew looking for his Zion, every man is a black man in a white world of grief’. (Orlando Patterson in ‘’An Absence of Grief’’)
The Jews had gone down in history as one of the most persecuted race in the history of mankind. They owe this dubious distinction to their fertile literacy which has survived in their various writings and lamentations, the most notable of which was the Holy Bible-one of the greatest books of all times albeit with some copying from the so-called pagan writings that pre-dated anything in the Bible.
But their trials and tribulations through the ages pale in absolute insignificance to the horrors the black man endured through her sad history.
Despite the fact that it is an indisputable fact that the human race migrated out of Africa, the white-centric world of historians is in an unedifying re-writing of history. From the time of Herodotus, the so-called father of History, the black man had been an object of intrigue and ridicule to the rest of mankind.
Archaeological findings are placing before a bewildered white audience the sterling roles the black man played in various continents of the globe. The greatest surviving architectural monument in the history of human race ‘the great pyramid of Egypt’ is believed to have been engineered by a black man.
Through the Sahara burning desert, Africans were transported to North Africa and beyond to fill the harems of the sultans and worked to death on starvation diets long before the white man joined the ignoble race to enslave the black man Slavery had been an institution in ancient times no doubt. Even Athenian Greece practiced it.
Apart from prisoners of war which was endemic in those days, the Romans needed them in their mines and the well to do in their homes. At a point in time, the slave population was more than their enslavers in Rome and they were in perpetual fear of a slave uprising.
One such was the immortal Spartacus revolt which taxed Roman power. But all these were benign despite their degradations.
Centuries after the inevitable fall of Roman empire, the white man came into its own. Cotton and Sugar fueled the industrialization of Europe and America. The soil of America was fertile for cotton and the so-called native Indians were dying in droves faster than their near total extermination in the 16th century. Africa became America’s hunting ground. Before the first slaves were shipped to America, Europe also found the black man’s land a veritable hunting ground for slaves which were supplied by the unending wars on the continent. The first known ship to set sail with slaves was fittingly known as the JESUS OF LUBECK.
Thus was born the infamous middle passage from Africa to Europe and America and European possessions overseas notably Haiti and the Caribbean.
The tribute labor of the black man can never be underestimated for it laid the foundations of the so-called industrialized worlds. No crime in the history of mankind could equal this inequity perpetrated by the white race and actively supported by the Christian church. This is a synopsis of the 500-year travail of the black man which can never be equaled by Adolf Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Jewry in Europe- the Nazi ideology driven by a lunatic ideology and the economic quest for a living space known as lebensraum.
Needless to say, the pious Vatican turned a blind eye in much the same way as African leaders of yore naively and actively collaborated with their enslavers.
The abolition of the slave trade was due to economic reasons as well as the efforts of the Christian abolitionist in their midst. What we are witnessing in Donald Trump’s America is deeply rooted in history. Donald Trump is merely the spear head of a nation that had held its black population in thralldom and servitude for generations and generations. Africans were recruited into Abraham Lincoln’s army to defeat the cotton dependent south and end slavery.
In the south, even without the unwritten Jim Crow laws the Ku Klux Klan reigned supreme even to this day. Emmett Till was shot to death in the 50’s for looking at a white woman. Countless blacks were wasted by whites and institutionalized repressive police. When a jury is constituted after a particularly heinous crime against a black man the verdict is known before hand-acquittal.
Huey. P. Newton, Bobby Seale. Cleaver and Angela Davis could take the injustice no more- hence the formation of the Black Panthers in the 60s to fight fire with fire. But the odds were heavily against them. All were killed or given long imprisonment. The famous trial of George Jackson and his book ‘Soledad Brother’-dedicated to his slain junior brother Jonathan Jackson lingers in the memory.
George Jackson was killed in prison ‘resisting arrest’. The list is endless. So Floyd Patterson and his “I can’t breathe” death rattle got the world to the quick because of the internet and the hateful personality of Donald Trump who apart from his habitual lying was just echoing the deep-seated discrimination of a significant portion of the white populace. How many blacks have lost their lives since the infamous death of Patterson and how many black Americans are scrambling to escape to Africa to escape the institutionalized racism in their country? The bottom line is that you cannot hold a man down without staying down with him or her. Black lives matter not in self-styled God’s own country.
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