Xenophobia: Who taught you to hate yourself?
We don’t steal, we don’t gamble, we don’t lie and we don’t cheat.
You can’t get into a whiskey bottle without getting past a government seal. You can’t buy a deck of cards without getting past a government seal. Here the white man makes the whiskey then puts you in jail for getting drunk. He sells you the cards and the dice and puts you in jail when he catches you using them.
The most disrespected woman in America is a black woman. The most un-protected person in America is a black woman. The most neglected person in America is a black woman. And as Muslims, the honorable Elijah Muhammed teaches us to respect, our women, and to protect our women. And the only time a Muslim gets real violent is when someone goes to molest his woman. We will kill you, for our women I’m making it plain yes, we will kill you for our women. We believe that if the white man, will do whatever is necessary, to see that his woman gets respect and protection, then you and I will never be recognized as men. Until we stand up like men and pays the same penalty over the head of anyone, who puts his filthy hands out, to put it in the direction of our women… ‘This book is about the problems of the black race. I have tried to find reasons why the black man’s membership of the human family has never been on the basis of genuine equality and the reasons why (sic) the black race is backward. I have examined the black man’s past, his stupidities, and unexplored challenges. I have raised many hard questions, which challenge the very nature of the black society, its long-standing values, beliefs, and institutions.
My observations and conclusions have relevance to all black peoples who lived in Africa in the period before the slave trade and colonialism, the black peoples of the new nations of Africa and those who are still under foreign domination as well as the blacks in the United States, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe. In short, this book is about black peoples throughout the world.
The concept of a black personality is becoming increasingly popular. Culturally, the concept is believed to be the deep-seated desire of the black race to reach out for its past and the peculiar contributions, which our race had made and may make to world culture and civilisation. Politically, the concept of black personality connotes the assertion of equality of black peoples with other races. And the political aspect of the black concept has become increasingly important with the attainment of independence by many African countries.
But I believe that concepts like black personality or Negritude will remain empty slogans unless it helps black peoples to embark on a candid self-examination of the past, their present, and their future. It is the belief that those black peoples are today leaving the substance for the shadow that prompted me to write this book.
And in this study, I have come up with the sad discovery that the much-vaunted black man’s contributions to civilisation are comparatively negligible. Africa, in particular, and the black world, in general, have contributed very little to the modern world and the enrichment to civilisation. For if the truth is known, we are just backward.
This view is based on the assumption that the different races of the world came into existence at the same time. Of general significance is the possibility that our contributions to civilisation may continue to be insignificant hundreds of years from now unless we critically and honestly find out reasons why (sic) in all the crises of man’s story, our race has always been the underdog.
We must admit the fact of our backwardness. We must ignore the liberal white scholars who exaggerate our past contributions to civilisation. After all, our black ancestors were as civilised as some liberal scholars would want us to believe, we must be able to find unmistakable evidence of their concrete achievements in Africa. For instance, the English, the Chinese, the Egyptians, or the Japanese, can point to their ancestors’ great achievements in terms of buildings, works of art and inventions.
Some writers have attributed our relative backwardness to the black man’s mental inferiority in comparison with Caucasians and other races. These are to my mind, extreme views. These are theories, which regard the black race as sub-human and genetically inferior to other races. But after an elaborate examination of the intelligence test studies, I have come to the conclusion that there is no genetical intellectual superiority of the white man over the black man as such. The range of mental groups is the same among all races and throughout the world. There is abundant evidence of black men who have clearly excelled in the white men in various aspects of human endeavours. Even the, I have come to the inescapable conclusion that factors like the black man’s colonial past, the crippling effect of the slave trade to him, nature’s kindness to him, his isolation, climatic conditions and neo-colonialism in the new black states of Africa, the Caribbean and South America have, to varying degrees, conditioned our intellect, our life outlook and our identity. These factors have adversely affected our creativity and originality.
For instance, the social effects of colonialism have degraded and dehumanised black peoples. The great historical wrong done to blacks through the slave trade and colonialism constitutes an important explanation for our backwardness. But the strange thing about our race is that other races have, in the past, been similarly enslaved and colonised. But these other races broke the shackles of slavery and domination, reached great heights and in many cases excelled their oppressors in contribution to civilisation.
But the black man has, for too long, looking for scapegoats for his many problems. He has, therefore, become his own worst enemy. It means our salvation as a race depends on our ability to honestly and candidly examine our limitations and weaknesses. We must find out why we have, for centuries remained poor imitators of the Caucasian race. The present great pride in our cultural heritage is significant only if it helps us to reshape towards new goals and purposes.
Pride in our past is meaningful only if it becomes a source of strength for great achievements in science and technology by some of the free black nations of the world. Pride in our past is meaningful if it enables, at least, a black nation to make an original breakthrough to modernity. Nkrumah’s Ghana, Guinea, Tanzania, Guyana, and Nigeria since July 1975 coup, had sought or have been seeking original solutions to their problems of development. They have thinking and progressive leaders, but these are so few in relation to many black states that are helpless and have no sense of direction.
Civilisation is a heritage of mankind. It is not a native of any region. It is not an exclusive contribution of any race. May race have contributed to civilisation through contacts. But unless the black race makes its own significant contributions to civilisation, our race will continue to be pitied or at best merely tolerated like all beggars. We will continue to be the world’s underdog. To make it, the black man needs a hurricane of change known as revolution. He needs a complete mental revolution. But it appears to me that a great majority of the back middle class are not ready for this. Here lies the black man’s dilemma.
As Kano Begins Free and Compulsory Education
Something not so prominent but quite significant happened in Kano last week and the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, a law professor, witnessed and praised the initiative. It was the launch of free and compulsory basic and secondary education in Kano State, amidst widespread and devastating effects of the Boko Haram insurgency in the northern region. I was there for a two-day summit on the free-and compulsory education policy that will somewhat be the fundamental objective and directive principle of a state policy of the second term of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s second term in office. I was there as a reporter and editor, I took copious notes a saw vanity upon vanity, no thanks to our perception in the southern parts of the country that the scholars and university teachers in the north, most of whom I listened to (from ABU and BUK) are inferior. I dare to say they are not. I will give details even about the Governor who was educated in ABU for his first degree, BUK, for his Master’s degree and UI for his Ph.D.
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