There is a saying that: It is better to keep your mouth shut and let others think that you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
Reading Ato Dadzie's letter imploring the British prime minister to convey to the English monarch a request to send officials back to come and re-colonise Ghana sent my head reeling. The article which I read on myjoyonline.com raised quite a number of questions that it's difficult to even know where to begin: What type of education/mis-education did the author have? What type of books (if any) has he been reading? What type of research did he do that made him come to the conclusion that our salvation lies in giving our hard-earned freedom back to the albinos? What on earth would prompt a young Ghanaian to such an extent of self-hatred that he would prefer to be lorded over by some albinos from Europe than by his own kind, whatever their imperfections? And the timing, my God! The article was published (or was it republished?) as Ghana was celebrating her Independence Day!
Contrary to what its apologists would want us to believe, colonialism was not a noble, altruistic enterprise undertaken by benevolent Europeans to bring some earthens to god and to civilization. It was a war, a brutal war of aggression motivated solely by the economic imperatives of raping the resources of the colonies. Europe did not colonise us in order to help us. They took advantage of our weakness after the hundreds of years of depopulating us through slavery, to sunder our lands and parcel it out among themselves in what is clearly the greatest theft of all time.
It should grief us greatly when Europeans make some jejune arguments to excuse their brutal and totally unprovoked colonial assault on us. It is quite lamentable when one us decide (for whatever reasons) to join their chorus. As our elders say: It is one thing for someone to insult your mother, it's another thing entirely when you allowed yourself to be taught to insult her!
Colonisation and slavery are two subject that are just too serious to be trifle with, most especially by Africans. They are two grim episodes in our history that should induce in every African only the soberest of reflections. The genesis of our current travails is directly linked to those two carnages Europeans wrought on us – and as they say in Ghana, 'dey no be joking matter at all.' Just as the Jews would never allowed anyone to trivialize their Holocaust, we in Africa should never, never allow anyone (however rascal) to pour scorn on our own Holocausts. Whichever which way we choose to look at it, the Trans-Atlantic Slavery and the Colonisation are our own Holocausts. Trivializing or satirizing it is simply uncouth sacrilege. It is akin to poking fun at the millions of our ancestors who were brutally murdered by the albinos in order to build the wealth of Euro-America. What do we tell Yaa Asantewaa and the uncounted millions who died to put things right for us? As Bob Marley wailed in one of his songs: “Every time I hear the crack of a whip, my blood runs cold. I remember on the slave ship how they brutalized our very souls!”
Writers ought to be very circumspect. As we strive to inform, we should take particular care that we are very well informed on the subject on which we intend to write. There are copious materials available on colonization, and with the tools available to every writer nowadays, it is inexcusable for one to pass ill-informed, profaned opinions as high scholarship – especially on very serious subjects like slavery and colonialism. Albert Memmi and Frantz Fanon wrote excellent books on the psychology of self-hatred; my advice is that Ato Dazie gets and read some of them.
Of course its apologists would want us to believe that colonialism brought forth such goodies like education and modernity. We can draw their attention to the simple fact that in the 14th century when those who later claim to come to civilize us were perishing from famine and plagues, one of our emperors, Mansa Musa, was dazzling Arabia with gold! Check the history books and see for yourself – Wikipedia will also help. Those who argued that Europeans brought us education would also do well to remember that the University of Sankore was located in Africa and was not in any way inferior to the best universities of its time.
To those who say that colonialism brought modernity, we can argue, with the same twisted logic, that Nazism also brought modernity. The Nazis build good autobahns in the countries they colonized?
Sorry Ato, go back and read your history books. Contrary to what you apparently believe, Europeans did not leave their abode in Europe to go and spread any civilization. Au contraire! In the words of Professor John Henrik Clarke, Europeans put out the light of civilization wherever they went. The very act of unprovoked aggression is UNCIVIL, so how could the aggressors claimed to be on a CIVILISING mission?
It is true that Europe today holds the high grounds of science and technology, but this was not the case six to five hundred years ago. Europeans left their abode to seek succor in other lands. The hordes that left Europe were starved and disease-ridden. They needed food which was in short supply back home. And those who did not know it, the two things that aided Europeans, viz compass and gunpowder, were Chinese inventions.
As I wrote in a review of one of Professor Clarke's book: “According to Euro-centric mythorians (myth-creators masquerading as history scholars), some well-fed European adventurers sailed down the coast of West Africa in their pleasure boats, and chanced upon some naked savage Black people, hopping from tree to tree, and their Christian, civilized hearts sank, and they decided to help. Always the altruists, the Europeans set up camp and began the enterprise to bring the savages to God and also to civilization. Mission accomplished, the Europeans left the natives to manage their own affairs, and within fifty years look at the mess the noble savages have made of things! The slave trade, oh, the savages were doing it all the time? And colonialism, oh, that was necessary to teach the Africans the art and science of self-government!
It is these types of make-me-happy fabrications European scholarship continue to pass on as history, and sadly it is the same kind of sophomoric nonsense African governments continue to spend their money on - passing it on to African children as history! Mungo Park, The Landers, David Livingstone, Hawkins and rest we were taught were civilized discoverers and not pirates and thugs. That the stories of these thugs continue to fill our syllabuses is a serious indictment of African intellectuals and governments! (Alas, it's these type of HIStory with which Ato Dadzie has filled his head. And it is the same nonsense that he had the audacity to pen and disseminate?)
The very idea that Europeans were pioneers of civilization and that they brought civilization to Africa draws only laugh of derision and not anger from a properly educated African. Europe was the last habitat of Man to wake up from the Dark Ages! And the notion that the European scally-wags that went to destroy the old civilizations of Africa, Maya, Aztec and others brought with them anything civilized could only be the product of those who cannot or will not think. The historical truth is that the thieves and thugs that sailed from Europe to trade in African slaves left an impoverished Europe that has lost one-third of its population to famine, starvation and plagues. They left a society where bathing was considered evil and writing the work of Satan! “
While it is true that we in Africa could have done better given our god-given resources, I think that given the arrays of internal and external forces ranged against us, Africa, on the balance have not done too badly. I write this fully cognizant of the shortcomings we all see around us. But any honest appraisal of our fifty-two years of self-governance cannot but rate us higher than the century we spent under brutish British colonial rule. Whichever area we choose to consider, there is simply no basis for comparison the two eras.
And those who consistently throw Malaysia, Korea and Singapore into our faces should also consider the position of China and India vis a vis Europe today. A century or so ago, Britain was the number one country in the world, today it ranks very low. And what these African-bashers always conveniently forgotten is that while Japan was there to aid the Koreans and the Malaysians in their quest for industrialization; there was no one for us in Africa. European 'consultants' always collude with many of Africa's infirmed leaders to de-industrialised us. Post-Nkrumah's Ghana is a classic example.
I can only deduce from Ato Dadzie nonsensical piece that he has never being to or live in Britain. If he had been I'm sure his enthusiasm would been severely dampen! I do not know a single Ghanaian, or African, who has spent any length of time living in England who will advocate for the English to come and govern his country. The reason is simple: Britain is top there in the list of Europe's badly-governed nations. There are ghettoes in Britain that makes Aladjo look like well-groomed estate. The British infrastructures (roads, rails, schools, hospital and health care) are among the worst in Europe.
Most continental Europeans who visit the class-ridden Isle of Iniquities are shocked by the appalling poverty in the country that so bewitched Ato Dadzie. “More than 13 million people in the UK live in poverty – that's one in five of the population. Many people can't afford essential clothing, or to heat their homes. Children go to school hungry, or to bed without enough food. It's not just outrageous – it's unnecessary. With enough public pressure for change – and enough political will – our politicians can put this right.” http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/ukpoverty/index.html
“The Campaign to End Child Poverty says 5.5 million children are in families that are classed as "struggling" - 98% of children in some areas. The campaign classes households as being in poverty if they are living on under £10 per person per day.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7641734.stm
The social fabric of the country is fragmented - what with drunken girls vomiting all over the place. “The mayor of Europe's latest 'party' destination has called on the UK Government to do something about the drunken, rowdy young Britons invading his town.'They scream, they sing, they fall down, they take their clothes off, they cross-dress, they vomit,' said Konstantinos Lagoudakis, mayor of Malia in Crete. 'It is only the British people — not the Germans or the French.' The town has fallen prey to the curse of the package tour, like Ayia Napa in Cyprus, Faliraki in Greece and others before it. 'The government of Britain has to do something,' said Mr Lagoudakis. 'These people are giving a bad name to their country.'”
What about youths knifing themselves with abandon? “Four in five yobs caught with knives are still escaping prison sentences despite Gordon Brown's promise that they would face stiff punishments. The Prime Minister, in response to a spate of tragic knife killings, last year suggested the culture of handing out cautions to knife thugs would end. But Ministry of Justice figures released yesterday show cautions are still being handed out at the rate of 20 a day. Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve said: 'The tragic reality is that whilst fatal stabbings have increased by a third under this Government, just one in five convicted of carrying a knife goes to jail.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1161529/Four-carrying-knife-avoid-jail-despite-Browns-tough-crime-pledge.html
The British economy is in tatters with sky high inflation and stratospheric unemployment rate. And for the education of Ato Dazie: Britain is a country that is staggering under a debt of some £1.2 trillion. “These are 10 deeply frightening facts on British DEBT:
1. Britain's total personal debt now stands at a quite frankly unimaginable figure of £1.39 trillion (...how many zeros is that?).
2. Collectively we pay out £93 billion (slightly less zeros) a year in interest on loans, credit cards, overdrafts and mortgages.
3. The average household owes £56,234 including mortgages and is paying over £3,700 in interest each year. (If you take this down to an individual level, each adult owes more than £29,000).
4. Nearly a quarter of the population feel their current level of debt is unmanageable.
5. 10,000 people are predicted to go insolvent each month in 2008.
6. The average twenty-something has debts of more than £6,000 with an additional overdraft of £1,500.
7. Brits borrow on average twice as much as their European counterparts on unsecured debts.
8. For the 11.8 million households with a mortgage, their average outstanding mortage stands just shy of £100,000 at £99,690
9. Two-thirds of twenty-somethings aren't paying into a pension, with nearly 40% saying this is because they simply can't afford to
10. Britain's personal debt is increasing by £1 million every 4 minutes (… now surely that's frightened you).”
And this is a country that Ato Dadzie wants to come back to rule Ghana, God have mercy! I think this writer owe his readers an unreserved apology.
Readers may want to check out my: 'who is afraid of the re-colonisers' @ http://www.modernghana.com/news/205827/1/who-is-afraid-of-the-recolonisers.html
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