Feature Article of Monday, 7 June 2010
Columnist: The Royal Enoch
Some of our Ghanaian intellectuals have advised me to cease from writing essays concerning colonization. Colonization, according to them, occurred ages ago. Our country, they argue, needs to move on in order to heal itself. They might be right, though, in this respect. I am persuaded, however, that this country could only heal itself if we could properly address the lingering affect of colonization in its entirety. A couple of weeks ago, I was on Youtube listening to some music, when I clicked on a documentary out of curiosity. The documentary in question was about the perceptions, which both Africans and African-Americans had about each other. I didn't know, to the tell truth, the level of animosity and tension, which seemingly existed between these two. An African-American lady, who was interviewed in this documentary, said something which I would never forget. This particular lady held the view that Africans are inferior to African-Americans. According to her, Africans are primitive, uncivilized, violent, and ignorant. She even went to the extent of calling Africans (the stinkies) foul smelling. She was asked if she would ever accept a marriage proposal from an African man. Her reply was; "me, why would I marry a low breed for?" I was mistaken, though, when I thought that I had seen the last of her kind. Apparently, more of her kind were soon to appear as the documentary progressed.
The African-Americans, who were given the microphone, didn't hold back on their derogatory remarks about Africans. Also, what I didn't fall short to see was the level of shame, which some African-Americans seemingly had of themselves, in relation to their African heritage. The African immigrants, who participated in this documentary, were very candid in their descriptions of African-Americans. According to these Africans, African-Americans are still slaves. Most of them, in fact, used the word, "akata", in reference to African-Americans. By the way, the word, akata, means a cat that does not live at home. It's a word used by the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Under a normal circumstance, this innocuous word shouldn't be offensive. It has over time, however, come to have a derogatory connotations due to tensions between African immigrants and African-Americans. Further, most of the Africans, who were interviewed, held the view that African-Americans are lazy, miserable, and hopeless--to say the least. It was painfully obvious from this documentary that some African immigrants didn't hold African-Americans in high esteem at all. Truthfully, I have observed over years that the Africans, who were taken to the Americas and elsewhere, consider themselves to be far better than those Africans left on the African continent. Blacks from the Caribbean, for instance, think that they are superior to Africans. The ignorant ones amongst them think that every African on the African continent is infected with the Aids-virus, albeit untrue.
To properly understand the mentality of African-Americans and those Blacks in the Caribbean, we must first ask ourselves; how did they arrive at the conclusion that we Africans are inferior to them? Perhaps, we Africans must have done something to earn this false depiction--maybe not. You see, African-Americans and those Blacks in the Caribbean were taught by the racist White people that we Africans were nothing. The Christian slave-owners quoted certain chapters of the Bible to justify their claims and actions. The African continent was portrayed by these racist White Christians as a continent occupied by savages. They successfully applied these kind of lies to brainwash their slaves into believing that they (the slaves) would develop into full humans under their ownership. At that time, mind you, the popularly held belief amongst these Christian slave-masters was that Blacks were three-fifths of a human being. As a result, the slaves were treated like sub-humans from an inferior race. In time, the slave-trade ended--but the damage to the minds of these slaves was already done. Centuries of being groomed by these racist White Christians--had left the slaves in the Americas and elsewhere with no identity whatsoever. Sadly, in need of an identity, the slaves sub-consciously adopted the behavioral pattern and mentality of their former slave-masters. They too would look condescendingly on Africans--their own kind.
As sad as this may sound or seem, we Ghanaians have also been robbed of our identity. Centuries of being subjected to colonization have left us without an identity. The continent of Africa may be the home of the African. However, the aftermath of colonization has sent the African in search of a home. Better yet, colonization has made it impossible for the African to feel himself/herself at home--even in his/her home. In short, colonization has made it impossible for the African to feel comfortable in his/her skin. Undeniably, Blacks all over the world have been wronged by the same racist White Christian. This racist White Christian has stripped Black people of their identities, self-esteem, names, education systems, and cultures. Also, he has spiritually, mentally, and financially bankrupt the continent of Africa and its people. When this racist White Christian went to the Americas--he told the Indians that Jesus is coming and ended up stealing all their lands from them. Also, he went to Australia and South Africa and did the same. Time and time again, this racist White Christian has proven himself to be a thief, a liar, and a murderer. The question, therefore, remains; why are we Ghanaians still practicing Christianity--this racist White man's belief? It's all a lie, you see. A true Ghanaian, in my opinion, has no business practicing Christianity. It saddens our ancestors. So far, what has Christianity done for Ghana and its people? Absolutely nothing. If anything, Christianity has only stupefied the country and its people--that's all.