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Opinions of Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis

The Hearts of Darkness book decodes Western media’s racism [2]

Mr. Milton Allimadi, author of Hearts of Darkness Mr. Milton Allimadi, author of Hearts of Darkness

We received the following information about the signing for the Second Edition of Mr. Milton Allimadi’s investigative journalism book, “The Hearts of Darkness, How White Writers Created the Racist Image of Africa,” from him [Mr. Allimadi] sometime last week.

As a matter of fact, we did actually publish a review of the first edition of this book right here on Ghanaweb (June 30, 2016), titled 'The Hearts Of Darkness’ Decodes Western Media’s Racism,” as a feature/opinion piece.

Finally, Mr. Allimadi gave us the permission to share this important information, including an excerpt from the book (Chapter 10), with our general readers. And here is what he wants you to know!

“Greetings Sisters and Brothers. First things first.

“We now have a date and location for the first Book Reading and Signing for the Second Edition of "The Hearts of Darkness, How White Writers Created the Racist Image of Africa," due for publication August 15.

“The Book Signing is Saturday August 27, at "Nicholas Brooklyn" @ 570 Fulton Street from 4PM to 6PM.

“You can RSVP on the Facebook events page (https://www.facebook.com/events/hosting)

“Please save the date.

“Thanks to all those who've already ordered copies of the book. You can do so by visiting the GoFundMe page. (https://www.gofundme.com/2cj4hfvg)

“Today's excerpt "Kenya's 'Mau-Mau' Devils" is from Chapter X of the book.”

Best!

Thanks

Milton Allimadi

Here's the excerpt:

Even as the winds of political change began to blow across the African continent in the 1950s publications such as Time magazine and The New York Times remained hostile towards the independence movement in Kenya and Congo, a reflection of Western foreign policy to maintain the status quo.

In Kenya, in order to justify the economic inequity favoring White settlers and the decades-long land dispossession, both Time magazine under its co-founder and editor, Henry Robinson Luce, and The New York Times demonized the liberation fighters of the Kenya Land And Freedom Army. They were derisively referred to as "Mau Mau" by the British colonial authorities. The Kenyans were fighting to reclaim land stolen and given to White settlers from the Kikuyu and other ethnic groups after Kenya became part of the British East Africa Protectorate in 1895.

Time's publisher, Luce, was an avowed Christian fundamentalist. He wanted to continue in Kenya the crusade he had lost in China when Mao Xedong’'s Communist army crushed the forces of his idol Chiang Kai-Shek. In Kenya, as Luce saw it, the good guys were the British colonial officials and armed forces. The bad guys were the African "“terrorists"” who were being encouraged and misled by communist agitators and emboldened by “"witch doctors"” to attack Europeans. Time magazine published numerous articles depicting the freedom fighters as godless and irrational "savages" who had no objectives except mindless violence.

One such article was published on September 1, 1952, under the abusive headline "“Black & Red magic;"” the red implied that the insurgency was an unholy alliance between African witchcraft and communism. "“In recent years, the Black 97% of Kenya’'s population has banded together in a dozen fanatic, anti-white secret societies run by witch doctors and pledged to the slogan Africa for Africans,"” Time magazine claimed in the article, belittling the legitimate struggle to recover land while criminalizing the entire population of Africans who then numbered five million.

Another Time magazine article ridiculing the uprising was published on November 3, 1952, under the contemptuous headline "The Meow-Meows."” The article did mention land as an issue but then diminished its importance by emphasizing the alleged hatred of Whites by the Africans. "Part land hunger, part savage revolution against the domineering white man and the bewildering 20th century, the Mau Mau’s blind fury could, if left unchecked, turn the Crown Colony of Kenya into another Malaya," the article claimed.

The reference to Malaya was to what's now Malaysia, which was at the time a British colony in the middle of an insurrection. The article's objective was to influence public opinion in the West in favor of a British military invasion of Kenya.

The New York Times' own coverage of the rebellion also followed a narrative similar to Time magazine's. The Kenyan fighters were portrayed as demonic "terrorists" in the Times' articles. "“Over the equatorial landscape of Kenya, the British Crown Colony in East Africa, lies the frightening shadow of Mau Mau, a secret tribal society whose campaign of murder has forced the imposition of martial law,”" The New York Times reported on December 7, 1952. While the Times' article conceded that much was not known about the "“terrorist,"” it claimed, "“The first aim of the Mau Mau, with its voodoo apparatus of disemboweled animals for warnings and long machete-like knives for their killings, seems to drive the 36,000 whites out of Kenya.”"

"Jomo Kenyatta, who is held for trial as the suspected leader of the Mau Mau, received part of his education at the London School of Economics, married a white woman and thereafter visited Moscow," the article added.” As if Africans needed outsiders to inspire them to fight and reclaim land stolen from them and reserved for the White minority population, the Times' article questioned whether the insurgency was “a "spontaneous native uprising”" or instigated from outside, since the organization seemed to "“bear some resemblance to the cells of a communist organization.”"

The Times' article never explained why the reputed leader of an "anti-White" movement had married a White woman. Presumably the alleged influence of communism came from Kenyatta's one visit to Moscow. The coverage of the uprising occurred during a period when the Cold War rivalry between West and East was very intense and being played out in Africa with each camp seeking ideological converts. Ironically, when Kenyatta was released, and even after Kenya's independence, he maintained that he had never been part of the uprising let alone having been its leader.

The demonization of the liberation fighters as anti-White racists provided justification for the colonial governor Evelyn Baring's declaration of a state of emergency on October 20, 1952. The British unleashed scorched earth military operations. Thousands of Africans were killed and tens of thousands were detained in concentration camps on mere suspicion of being rebel sympathizers. The leading commanders of the rebellion were captured and executed after show trials, including the now iconic Dedan Kimathi, who was hanged on February 18, 1957. Years later, a former British colonial secretary, Oliver Lyttelton, published his reflections in "The Memoirs of Lord Chandos," (1962).

"“The kikuyu, a trading and intelligent but somewhat uncongenial people, came under the influence of Kenyatta, a demonic figure with extreme left wing views,”" Lyttelton wrote. "“The driving force of the Mau Mau movement was, nakedly, power, and the expulsion of the white man: its methods of gaining adherents were the methods of African witchcraft. The Mau Mau oath is the most bestial, filthy and nauseating incantation which perverted minds can ever have brewed. I am not unduly squeamish, but when I first read it I was so revolted that it got between me and my appetite.”"

In another passage, Lyttelton claimed he was constantly haunted by the "Mau Mau’'s" witchcraft while serving the Crown. "“I can recall no instance when I have felt the forces of evil to be so near and so strong. As I wrote memoranda or instructions,” he recalled, in his memoirs, “I would suddenly see a shadow fall across the page—the Horned shadow of the Devil himself.”"

WBAI-Pacifica Radio (Gary Byrd)

“Milton Allimadi unveils the racial stereotyping which gave birth to 'all the news that's fit to print…Milton Allimadi takes his scalpel…and unveils the racial stereotyping of African people by the mainstream media.”

About Mr. Milton Allimadi

Milton Allimadi attended the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia where he won the prestigious James Wechsler Memorial Prize award in international journalism. He has M.A. and Bachelor’s degrees in Economics from Syracuse University. He started his journalism career with internships at “The Journal of Commerce” and “The Wall Street Journal.” He was a freelance reporter for “The New York Times,” a reporter and deputy managing editor with The City Sun, before founding The Black Star News.

Milton Allimadi publishes and edits The Black Star News which he co-founded in 1997 with seed funding from Bill and Camille Cosby. He previously was deputy editor of “The City Sun” and prior to that a “Metro Desk” news stringer for “The New York Times.” He's a graduate of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia. Allimadi is a member of a weekly reporter’s roundtable on WLIB every Sunday at 9.30PM and has been a frequent guest commentator on “Errol Louis's Inside City Hall” show on NY1 News and on Voice of America's "Straight Talk Africa" with Shaka Ssali. He runs a free weekly journalism workshop for local residents in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, every Monday (Source “The Huffington Post”).

About Mr. Milton Allimadi’s Paper, “Black Star News.”

Founded in 1997 BSN (Black Star News) has scored several news scoops…including a major Wall Street scandal at Morgan Stanley; a corrupt lawyer who fleeced money from settlement awards he'd won for Holocaust survivors; and many more…that have won it media coverage including on CNN, “The Wall Street Journal,” “The Daily News,” “The New York Post,” “Newsweek,” “The New York Times” magazine, “New York Observer,” “The Village Voice,” and “Brill's Content magazine.” Please become a part of The Black Star News family today. Readers can reach Mr. Milton Allimadi (646)-261-7566 (or via Mallimadi@gmail.com)

Website (Black Star News): http://www.blackstarnews.com/info/about-us.html

Milton Allimadi, Publisher/CEO

The Black Star News

www.blackstarnews.com

P.O. Box 1472

New York, N.Y., 10274

(646) 261-7566