Archive for October, 2012

In 2008 when Barack Obama became the first Black President of the United States, Black people the world over were filled with pride and new hope.  On the morning after his election victory, I like many others received this text message.

Rosa Parks sat,

so that Martin Luther King could walk,

so that Barack Obama could stand,

so that our children can fly.

When Obama became the first Black POTUS we believed that MLK’s vision had been realised.

If a Black man could become the most powerful man in the world we reasoned, then no ambition was off-limits to our children.  It wasn’t just ordinary Black folks getting excited.  Obama was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 2009 when he was only a few months into the job.  Sadly, four years later, many are disappointed that Obama didn’t become the hero they had hoped for.  Here’s a comment I lifted from a debate on Facebook.

“I was one of the millions of people around the world, cheering on a man named Barack Obama who wanted to become President. I truly believed that his heart was in the right place. I had some naively romantic stupid idea, that he would make a difference to the people he wanted to serve. I feel sorry for the millions of people that came out to vote for the man they thought would have their back. Barack Obama, you have No backbone! No guts!
And I for one do not salute you!!

The reason that so many feel let down, even betrayed by Obama, is that they foolishly thought he was the Messiah. They thought that he would lead them into the Promised Land.  But four years later they find themselves, not in the land of milk and honey, but instead deeper into the pit of hell.

OBAMA IN THE US

And it’s not just ordinary Black folks on Facebook that are slagging-off Obama.  The great and the good have also laid into him.

Professor Cornel West described him as “a Black mascot of wall Street oligarchs and a Black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”

Psychologist Drew Western said of him…”we have a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election.”

Film maker Spike Lee, who was an active supporter of Obama during the first campaign, had this to say. “Many people, Black and white, went for the okeydokey and believed that racism was eradicated from America the moment he got elected. Like it was presto-chango, abracadabra…Poof, and it’s gone.  And I think that was naïve.”

Even elder statesman of the civil rights movement Harry Belafonte has this biting critique of his premiership. “Dr King once said that politics without morality is tyranny. I don’t see Obama’s moral centre.  I can’t find his moral line.  I don’t understand his passion, outside of perpetuating the system and making sure that during his time at bat he didn’t default.”

In truth no matter what Obama achieved in his first term of Presidency, it would have been a disappointment to his supporters.  The weight of expectation on his shoulders was so large that there was no way he could have lived up to it.  Black people have a worrying tendency to look for a messiah.  It’s part of our tradition from Harriet Tubman to Marcus Garvey, to Martin Luther King, to Malcolm X, to Nelson Mandela, and now to Obama, Black people are always looking for someone to save them.  It all started with Moses when he led the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

Moses – the template for all subsequent Black Messiahs.

 “And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land, unto a land flowing with milk and honey;”               

 Exodus chapter 3 vs 7 – 9

But Obama is no Moses. He is unable to reach out his hand and part the Red Sea, or even halt America’s economic decline.  America is now more unequal than at any time since the Great Depression. The people most likely to have voted Democrat four years ago – the young, and Blacks and Latinos are among the groups that have feared worse under Obama.

At the time of his inauguration 7.1% of whites were unemployed compared with 12.7% of Blacks.  By September 2012 the white rate had increased slightly to 7.4%, whilst the Black rate had grown to 14.1%.

Black unemployment in the US has risen since Obama took power.

Generally Black unemployment in the US runs at about twice the national rate, and this relationship has persisted for the last 50 years or so, irrelevant of their level of education.  The Black labour force is much better educated today than it was in the 1960’s or 70s yet the relationship persists… even with a Black President.

When Obama came to office it was shortly after the banking crisis – the one where George Bush keenly observed that ‘this sucker could go down’.  When Bush bailed out the banks, it was consistent with the interests of his base.  When Obama took over, anger at the way that the banks had led the country into recession was at an all-time high.  It was the perfect opportunity to reform the banking sector, but Obama chose not to, he let them off the hook. Meanwhile homeownership among Blacks fell about twice as much as amongst whites during the housing crash, and minorities have lost their homes to foreclosure at higher rates than whites.  Even regarding his signature policy- the much-lauded ‘Obama-care’, 50 million Americans still don’t have health insurance – that’s 4 million more than when he took office.

But despite all these distressing statistics, the true state of Black America is probably even worse. In a new book entitled ‘Invisible Men’ sociology professor Becky Pettit from the University of Washington argues that we have a distorted view of how Black Americans are faring because many surveys conducted by government agencies exclude people in the prison population from their findings.  And around half of the 2.3 million people in US prisons are Black. Infact Pettit argues that the rate of incarceration of African Americans is so steep that if current trends continue eventually one in three of all Black male adults will spend some time in jail. Perhaps, whilst lying on their cell bunk, they can take comfort from the picture of the Black President pasted to their wall!

African-Americans make up half of America’s total prison population.

In truth, having a Black Commander in Chief does more harm than good to the prospects of the average African-American.  Because of him, whites can claim that we now live in a post-racial society where discrimination no longer exists, and affirmative action is no longer necessary. And the Black activists are muted in their criticism because they do not want to undermine the first Black POTUS and give more ammunition to his opponents.

Is this situation purely Obama’s fault?  Of course not.  Did he cause these problems?  No he didn’t?  Can he solve them?  No he can’t.  He can’t solve America’s problems any more than one man could have stopped the Titanic from sinking.  What kind of a fool would you be if you were on a sinking ship and you sat waiting patiently for the captain to come and save you?  No you should haul ass and get out of there.  Save yourself.

MANDELA IN S.A. AFRICA

Whilst it has become a popular pastime to bash Obama, one Black leader who is above reproach is Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela has achieved saint-like status.

Since May 10th 1994 when Mandela became the country’s first Black President, he has achieved Saint-like status around the world.  After being imprisoned by the Apartheid regime for 27 years, once released he bore no bitterness or animosity to his jailers, and led the country into a smooth transition to majority rule, avoiding the bloodbath of attrition that everybody feared. Poor black South Africans thought that their lives would automatically get better when Mandela took over as President.  For South Africa’s educated middle class Blacks, yes things did get better.  They could now get access to the professional jobs which they had historically been denied.  But for the majority of South Africa’s poor, things didn’t get better. Yes they are now free – free to be poor anywhere they want!!!

South Africa has a Black government, a growing Black middle class, democratic freedoms and a growing economy, but it is still the most unequal country in the world by most measures.  Since 1994 the number of South Africans living on less than a dollar a day has doubled, and as artist William Kentridge told The New Yorker magazine, “the main beneficiaries since the ending of apartheid are white South Africans.  No sacrifices have been required.  No one lost their beautiful house.” Whites may complain of reverse racism but they have never been more prosperous. South African whites and white owned corporations still own the vast majority of fertile land and mineral resources underneath it.  This opinion was supported by hard data in 2012, when the results of the 2011 census were released.  The census revealed that the income of white South African households is six times higher than that of Black ones. The statistics showed that while the income of black households had increased by nearly 170% in the last decade, they still earned the least. The average annual income of a white household is about 365,000 rand ($42,000; £26,000), followed by Indians at 251,000 rand, people of mixed race at 251,500 rand and Blacks at 60,600 rand.    President Jacob Zuma admitted that the census showed the Black majority is still at the bottom of the pile.  “These figures tell us that at the bottom of the rung is the Black majority who continue to be confronted by deep poverty, unemployment and inequality, despite the progress that we have made since 1994,” he said.

School kids in South Africa desperately need books.

In the 18 years after the ANC were swept to power, things have improved little for the majority of Black South Africans.  Too many Black children still have no access to primary school education.  For those that do the difference in the standards of education between Black children and white children is still huge.  White kids stand a 98% chance of getting through matric and a 60% chance of going to university.  Black kids are lucky if 50% of them even get to matric, then 12% to 15% may go onto university.  For those lucky 15%, research shows that it is still harder for Black graduates to get work than it is for their white counterparts. Over the last decade white unemployment hasn’t gone above 7%, whilst black African unemployment hasn’t gone below 25%.

Whites continue to dominate almost two decades after formal apartheid ended and Black people are still treated with the disdain that underpinned minority rule. The attitudes that made Apartheid possible have not disappeared and those who were powerful then still are – not in politics perhaps, but in the economy.

The Lomin Mine massacre shows that little has changed for poor Blacks in South Africa.

This was vividly illustrated this year by the Lomin mine massacre, when in scenes reminiscent of the Sharpeville massacre during the Apartheid era, police opened fire on striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine, killing 34.  Meanwhile the ruling elites enrich themselves.  President Zuma has a helipad, official residences in Cape Town, Pretoria, and Durban, several houses for security personnel, and an elaborate system of bunkers at his private residence.  I’m sure this is not what Black South Africans were expecting back in 1991 when they queued for hours in the hot sun to register their votes.

CONCLUSION

Yes I supported Obama back in 2008, just like I supported Serena Williams at Wimbledon, and Usain Bolt during the Olympics.  Whilst I take pride in all of their success, I don’t expect it to improve my life chances – that’s up to me. To be honest, I’d rather Obama lost the forthcoming elections.  He’s already done his job – like Usain Bolt and Serena Williams he beat the odds and made us proud. Now I’d rather they let one of the stale and pale right-wingers back in the job to oversee America’s inexorable decline, and stop blaming the Black guy.

“We as a people will get to the promised land.”

So Black people, take note.  No Messiah is going to save us.  Not Martin Luther King, not Malcolm X, not Nelson Mandela, not Barack Obama, not Moses, no not even Jesus Christ will save you – we must save ourselves.

ends

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In my previous posting Back To Africa Part 1 – Elmina Castle, Cultural Tourism and the Psychological Scars of Slavery, I related my harrowing visit to the slave fort on Ghana’s Cape coast, and the long-lasting damage that the Transatlantic Slave Trade visited on Blacks in the diaspora.  I also recalled how far removed from Africans born on the continent I felt on that day.

But that traumatic day has not put me off from returning to Africa.  It has merely modified my perspective.  What I hope readers gain from the previous posting, is that we Blacks in the diaspora cannot go back to Africa with some romantic notion of returning to the motherland to be reunited with our long lost brothers, like Rastafarians ‘returning’ to Ethopia.  We cannot regain what we lost 400 years ago.  What I am advocating is a return to Africa for economic not romantic motives.

Black soldiers from America and the Caribbean travelled to Europe to fight for the Allies in WWII.

We Blacks in the diaspora are spread all over the globe for economic reasons.  We were taken from Africa to work on plantations in the Caribbean and North America.  Many of us got our first taste of Europe when we dutiful fought for our masters in the Second World War, and were bitterly disappointed when after the war ended we returned home to America and the Caribbean to resume lives as second-class citizens. My own forefathers left the Caribbean in the 1950’s answering the call from the ‘mother country’ to help rebuild Britain after the war.  Caribbean immigrants helped to rebuild cities devastated by the Blitz, helped to staff the newly conceived National Health Service, and found jobs on public transport, and in the Post Office.  But that was a long time ago.

The pioneer Windrush generation came to ‘mother country’ to seek work.

Our parents and grandparents of the Windrush generation had accepted the menial jobs and daily humiliations of life in Britain with the hope of giving their children a better life.  They believed that if their children had the benefit of an English education they would enjoy the same life chances as the indigenous English.  Sadly it didn’t turn out that way.  Caribbean immigrants coming to Britain in the 50s and 60s were coming to a buoyant labour market, to take up jobs in an expanding economy that had recruited them for jobs for which there was no local competition.  But the recession of the early 1980s reduced our prospects to no better than those of whites, and the recession of the early 1990s reduced our rate to well below that of whites.  Despite what our parents and grandparents had hoped, prospects for the second and third generation are actually worse than they were for their pioneer immigrant generation.    In short the immigrant bubble has burst and this, once desperately needed foreign workforce, is now surplus to requirements.  We now have two generations of Black people born in Britain with the benefit of a English education, often to University level,  but still unable to find employment.  The unemployment rate for young Black males in the UK is now 55%, a figure which has almost doubled since 2008. This wasted generation now fill the British prisons and psychiatric hospitals, or run wild on the streets murdering other Black boys, or rioting and looting  because they feel they have no hope for advancement and no stake in the country of their birth.

Young Black men in Britain and America feel betrayed and abandoned and are lashing out in anger and frustration.

But it needn’t be this way.  Though the opportunities may have dried up in the UK, opportunities abound in Africa.  This lost generation could be directing their energies to building up the economies of the land of their forefathers, rather than turning their hurt, alienation and anger inwards or lashing out at everything around them.   In short, rather than sitting down wasting your life growing old and bitter in Britain, go West young man and grow rich in Africa.

In a previous blog entitled The Fall of the West and the Rise of the Rest, I contrasted the financial crisis in the Eurozone with the rise of African economies. In September of this year I went on a one week fact finding mission to Ghana to see for myself.  This was not my first time on the continent, but it was the first time I had gone looking for economic opportunities.  Below are the results of my reconnaissance mission.

First of all it is important for any potential returnees to realise that this is not the same scenario as when our Grandparents came to Britain in the 50s.  Don’t go to Africa looking for a job,  go looking for a business opportunity.

The other thing that all entrepreneurs must consider wherever they set up business is, ‘who are my customers?

To answer this I will breakdown modern Ghanian society.  As it was explained to me there are five different communities in Accra.

Africa’s growing middle class.

  1. the Ghanian elite (the political class, the super-rich, gold traders etc.)  who run the country.
  2. The ex-pat community (which consists of foreign business people, aid workers, NGOs, charity workers, people at the  IMF, World Bank etc) who really have no interest in the country and are here merely to do a job for a few years and then leave.
  3. The Ghanian professional class –the doctors, lawyers etc,
  4. the everyday working Ghanian people,
  5.  the returnees –  Black people from across diaspora who have chosen to settle here.

From my quick assessment, the client base of any returnee must be the elites, the ex-pats and the returnees.  These groups are most likely to have spent time in the West, and in this time they will have developed a taste for goods and services that we take for granted here, but are simply not available over there. Take for example Tracey.

Abena is of Ghanian parentage, but grew up in the US where she worked in finance. That’s what she’s been doing since she returned to Ghana, but like so many returnees, once settling here she has seen a gap in the market – Laundromats!  Very few people have washing machines in Ghana.  The poor wash their clothes by hand, and the rich pay the poor to wash their clothes by hand.  Young professionals have neither the time nor the inclination to wash all their dirty laundry by hand, but may not have staff to do it for them, but there are no laundrettes that they can go to.  Hence Abena plans to quit her job in finance later in the year and open the first in what she hopes will be a chain of laundrettes. A very simple idea that would have no hope of success in the UK or US, but apparently can be a major money-spinner in developing Ghana.

Laundrettes – an untapped market in Ghana.

What follows are more stories of some of the returnees I met whilst out there.

Giles is half Ghanian and used to work in finance and media in London, but couldn’t stand the weather, and the stress, and the 15 hour work days, so when holidaying here he looked for business opportunities, and eventually decided on Pest control.  Not at all glamorous, but apparently very lucrative.

Kofi is, Ghanian born, English educated, who was involved in the music business in the UK and the States for many years before returning to Ghana to help run his father’s now successful consultancy firm. With his music industry experience Kofi revealed to me another business opportunity.  Apparently there is no organised collection of music royalties in Africa – a job that is done in the UK by the PRS.  All those clubs, bars, and hotels playing western music are not paying for the privilege, as they would have to in the West.  Kofi is also actively trying to encourage more Black UK and American music stars to come to Ghana to perform, and if the money they would make from performing in one country is not enough, then why not do a continent wide tour – Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa etc. in order to keep the prices of the tickets down, get sponsorship from those Western companies who are trying to expand into Africa.

US rapper Ludacris recently perfromed in Ghana.

George was born in Ghana and lived there until he was 15.  As his father was an Ambassador in Libya he completed  his education in Malta. In the 90’s he ended up working in the hospitality industry in London for , managing upmarket joints like Smollenskys, China House, and finally Hakkasan – a high pressure job with long hours and big expectations from bosses and big monied investors who would not tolerate failure. But the pressure became intolerable and he decided to quit, sold all his suits, gave away his shoes and moved back to Ghana to set up a guest house.  He now wears t-shirts and sandals to work everyday, earns considerably less money than he did back then, but has a much better quality of life.

As you will have no doubt noticed all of the case studies I have related have family links in Ghana.  What about those who have no family links with the country?  If you are going to go to Africa why choose Ghana in preference to any other African country?   As it was explained to me, there are other thriving economies in Africa, such as South Africa and Nigeria, but they are racked with political instability and crime.  Just this year we’ve seen the terrorist attacks of Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Lomin Mine massacre in South Africa.  Meanwhile, after the death of the Ghanian president, power was handled over peacefully and without incident to his V.P. If you’re rich in South Africa or Nigeria, you can’t leave your house without bodyguards and your children must be driven to school for fear of kidnapping. Ghana by comparison is relatively crime free.  Here you are free to grown rich, and enjoy your money without fear of someone trying to take it or your life from you.

I also met Americans Richard and Cassandra who have set up an aqua-ponic farm.  Under specially constructed tents kept constantly watered by the over-flow from a fish-tank and fertilised with fish waste, they  grow cherry tomatoes. Apparently tomatoes are hard to get in Ghana, and this farm is set to make them millionaires.  It seems strange to think that one could become a millionaire from something that looks like little more than a high tech allotment plot, but this is Africa, it is still a developing continent with many opportunities still available.

A aquaponic farm – grow rich by growing vegetables in Africa.

A successful returnee I met on my last night, was Ghanian-born Kwaku.  Kwaku had been working as a Gold trader in Europe, when he then thought ‘why not set up shop in the country of his birth, where the resource he was trading in is mined from in the first place.  Apparently at first it was a struggle, but after seven hard years, he had built up a successful business and considerable fortune.  We talked for most of the evening on the pros and cons of living in Ghana. The inefficient police force, the inadequate health care system, the political corruption etc, but none of this put me off.  After all, this softly spoken, mild mannered Black man that I was sitting next to is a millionaire, who has made his fortune in Ghana.  To me, that fact speaks louder than any of his words.

Are you inspired yet?  Throw away that X-box controller, dash ‘way the TV remote, tell you’re slave driver boss that you’ve got somewhere he can  kiss, tell the Job Centre to stick their job Seekers Allowance!  Rise up my mighty people, awake from your coma – opportunity awaits in Africa!

Opportunity awaits in Africa!

In September of this year I went on a one week fact finding mission to Ghana.  The main purpose of my mission was to look for economic opportunities, but I also did a bit of cultural tourism whilst there.  For the first three days I was in love with Africa – we were on honeymoon.  On the fourth day we had our first big argument.  And whenever you have a big argument in the early stages of a relationship, you begin to question whether the relationship has a future.

Elmina castle – Africa’s oldest and largest slave fort.

Elimina Castle is the largest and most intact slave fort in existence. The group of 10 or 12 visitors who did the tour with me were all Black, and seemed to comprise of a couple of local Ghanians who had nipped over during their lunch break, a couple of African families on holiday from other nations, and a few Blacks from the diaspora like myself. The tour lasts for about an hour, and starts with a short look around a museum.  The museum takes a strange approach, with most of the information and exhibits focussing on the local chiefs and local history, with the slave trade being just a footnote. I couldn’t quite work out what the traditions of local chiefs had to do with this fort built by the Portugese. Presumably, it was these local chiefs who were exchanging guns, alcohol and tobacco for Africans. So it seemed strange to me that the museum would pay tribute to these men, but that was just the beginning of my psychological difficulties of the day.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade went on for 200 years.

Once the tour got going we were taken around the slave dungeons, shown the cell where white soldiers were put for a few hours as a punishment for raping female slaves, then shown the cell were rebellious slaves were thrown in to die.  We were shown the dungeon where female slaves were kept, shackled together, lying in their own faeces, urine and menstrual blood – the same dungeon where they had to eat.  We were shown the balcony where the commanding officer would stand and survey the female slaves before picking one out, to be washed, fed, and taken up to his quarters to be raped. Our tour guide told us how the fort was first controlled by the Dutch, then taken over by the British.  He told us how this trade in Africans went on for over 200 years, and yet as he rolled off these historical facts and figures, he didn’t seem to be sharing the emotional pain I was feeling.  Infact he didn’t even seem to be aware that some of the group were in pain.  He related the horrors of this Black holocaust with the same nonchalance as an English tour guide taking Japanese tourists around a stately home.  Was it because he worked here and had grown blasé about the horror he was describing, or was it because as a born and raised African, he didn’t share that psychological pain, as his ancestors did not actually  experience it?  The same lack of empathy was displayed by some of the other visitors born on the continent.  One local man actually took a call on his mobile during the tour, whilst the African women on the gate loudly joked and argued.  I wondered, would this same lack of solemnity/respect be shown at a German concentration camp like Auschwitz?  Would the tour guide take you through the gas chambers where Jews were exterminated, and then take you straight into the gift shop where you could purchase ‘Welcome to Auschwitz’ postcards?  But this is basically what happened to us after being shown the small hole through which enslaved Africans were shoved onto the waiting slave ships – the door of no-return.  After seeing this, I skipped the gift shop part and went outside to take a moment by myself.

At this point I had thought the that tour was over, but no, after a short break to allow visitors to buy books, and DVD’s on Kwame Nkrumah and the history of Ghana, the tour resumed to show us the kitchens where the food was cooked, and another opportunity to buy paintings and carvings. I was wondering ‘why would I want to see the kitchens when I have just seen the door of no return?’ but kept my thoughts to myself.  At the end of the tour there was a visitor’s book to leave comments, but at that point at felt unable to put my disgust into words.

But the horror did not stop once leaving the fort.  Outside, we were assailed once again by the hawkers trying to sell souvenir tat, or obtain sponsorship for their local football team.  These kids have probably never been inside Elmina, and they probably didn’t learn about slavery in school (if they could afford to go to school).  But surely the educated people in the Ministry of Tourism are aware.  Surely the staff who work at Elimina are aware?  But no, no consideration is given to the feelings of those who’s ancestors died in this Black Holocaust.

In all of my four trips to Africa,  I have never felt more distant, more further removed from native Africans.  The sad and shocking truth that I learnt in my time in Ghana, that was brought staggeringly home to me in Elmina castle, is that we Blacks in the diaspora, are no longer Africans.  It doesn’t matter how many books we read, or if we choose to trace our ancestors and change our names, or learn an African language, or wear traditional clothes, we are still NOT African.  That 400 year process that began with slavery, and continued with colonisation and the racial discrimination which is an integral part of living in the West, has changed us.  We think differently.  We are different.  For Africans, slavery was just one chapter in their long, long history, which even if removed, wouldn’t make that much difference.  Whilst we in the diaspora feel that slavery was the end of our history as proud Africans and beginning of our existence as servants: the beginning of a process in which we were taught to hate ourselves and worship our enslaver.  A process where our name, our language, our culture and religion were forcibly taken from us, and replaced with those of our oppressor.

And though slavery was abolished 200 years ago, it is a process which continues to affect how we think and behave to this day.  We are the products of slavery, the victims of a racist idealogy, we are a people without knowledge of our culture or our homeland.  Our history is one of oppression and servitude.  And then people wonder why we under achieve. We were created out of slavery and we are now defined by racism.  This is something that white people, and yes even Africans on the continent cannot understand.  They tell us we should get over it. But that’s easy for them to say.

No one dares to tell the Jews to get over the Holocaust, but their holocaust does not even come close to the one suffered by us.  Imagine if you will, that Hitler didn’t lose World War II, and the Nazi’s were allowed to continue with their wicked Final Solution to the ‘Jewish Problem’.  But instead of exterminating the Jews, they decided to keep them alive in those concentration camps and turn them into beast of burden. Imagine that the Germans didn’t lose in 1945 but continued their reign over Europe for another 200 years.

Victims of the Jewish Holocaust.

Jews in the concentration camps lived and died of old age, new generations born never knowing life on the outside.  The Nazi guards who rule over them don’t allow them to keep their Jewish names, or speak their own language, or follow their own religion, but instead take Germanic names, speak only German, and study only German scholars taught in concentration camp schools by Nazi school teachers.

In these concentration camp schools the young Jewish kids, are taught to hate themselves and revere the Aryan race.  All knowledge of Jewish history and Jewish achievement are blotted out, and German historical achievements are lauded.  The females are forcibly raped by their Nazi persecutors and their half German/half Jewish offspring are given preferential treatment taking positions of authority over their fully Jewish relatives once they come of age.

And this process goes on for generation after generation for two hundred years, until those concentration camp inmates are finally set free.  What a confused psychologically damaged set of people would step out of those gates.  Could they even call themselves Jewish anymore?  Would they want to?  Well this is the state of the descendants of African slaves.  This why we despise our African features, and bleach our skin, and straighten our hair, and struggle to maintain stable family units. And they tell us to get over it.  The wonder is not why do we underachieve, but how we didn’t all go completely mad?

Michael Jackson – a physical manifestation of Black self-hatred

So when we in the diaspora go back to Africa, we have in our hearts and minds that we are returning to the motherland to be reunited with our long lost brothers.  But they don’t see us like that.  They see us as cash cows, walking ATMs, more westerners ready to be hustled.  Because they know that we have some emotional attachment to the continent, they can use that as a tool to leverage more money out of us.  And whilst we go back to Africa trying to recapture what we have lost, Africans wish they could swop places with us and have what we have.

No, slavery changed us permanently, and we can never go back to being what we once were, but what we must do is not live in the past but keep moving forward. Check out my next posting to find out how……………