Black parents, black governments and political leaders, black education departments, schools and colleges, black media such as radio, television and newspapers, should invest heavily in the mission of uncompromisingly and persistently renewing the minds of black people with a special emphasis on children and youth, says Andrew Wutawunashe in his book Dear Africa – The Call of The African Dream that The Patriot is serialising.
THE right way to address any white person was ‘Master’, even in the case of black old men addressing little white boys.
In the early days of colonialism, black people would even be required to carry white persons who happened to be passing through, on manual carriages on their shoulders.
Even in church, seating was segregated.
Then came the education system with content specially designed for the subjugation of the black person.
It was called ‘Native Education’.
I can’t forget how as a child growing up in a country under British rule we would start each school day with a song we were trained to sing with British zeal: “God save our gracious Queen!
“Long live our noble Queen, God save the Queen.
“Send her victorious, happy and glorious, long to reign over us!
“God save the Queen.”
This was not a prayer for the black African Queen of Sheba, but for the white Queen of England.
Then came the classroom where from History to Geography and most parts of the curriculum, we were taught that all good and clever things come from white people and that black people were inferior beings who had the privilege of being discovered by white people.
You were so trained that you understood and agreed that the wars of white people in which they dispossessed your ancestors were heroic wars on the part of the white people who defeated the savage black Africans.
Then came a training that elevated all things white in your mind — white food, white dress, white habits and culture, and despised all things black.
In higher education, black people were as far as possible barred from opportunities to become doctors, scientists, lawyers, economists, engineers or technical people, and most degrees for black people were in such things as languages and religious studies.
The media was also used very effectively to put down black people and to elevate whiteness.
Any countries which happened to have fallen under the rule of black people were stereotyped as being destroyed by the incompetence of the black people.
Apartheid and its Group Areas Act crowned it all with its uncompromising segregation against black people.
All these tactics were very effective in conditioning the mind of the black person into a chronic state of inferiority complex and inordinate admiration of all things white.
This to the point where the black person sees no value in another black person because he looks like himself, yet bears a great sense of value and even empathy for white people.
Steve Biko was right.
The design of the white predator was amazingly shrewd.
He took time to mould the mind of the black person to be his tool long after even events like political liberation would have taken place.
Today because of this mental damage white people don’t have to harm black people.
Black people don’t value anything that looks like themselves so they slaughter one
another in acts of political victimisation and violence, abuse, needless wars, afro-phobia and crime—while the predators look on in glee at the efficient working of the mind that has truly become the most efficient tool in the hand of the oppressor.
In this problem lie even the roots of bad governance and political misdirection on the part of some leaders of the black people.
Ancient wisdom teaches us that people suffer when a slave becomes a king.
A black ruler who abuses his people does so because he has no sense of their value, because they look like himself, and he, through the mental damage of slavery and colonialism, does not value himself.
All over the world, day by day, all you have to do to witness the effects of this chronic inferiority complex which continues to work through the black man for his oppressor and against himself is, ‘be black’.
Be black at the border post of an African country and stand in the queue with a white person.
The white person will be served with a smile and outstanding gestures of affirmation.
When you the black person stand before the immigration officer, he or she becomes annoyed by your sheer appearance and in many cases takes you through a round of humiliating processes equalled in their unpleasantness only by experiences at border posts of some Western countries.
Be black in a department store whose floor service people are black and watch them give preferred service to a white customer who came in after you.
Be black at a traffic police check point manned by black officers and watch them sail the white motorist in front of you through with smiles while waiting to read you the riot act.
Be black in a restaurant staffed by black waiters and watch them display open preference to the white clients at the next table — the list is endless.
I only list the above examples for their simplicity.
The tragedy is that black people display the same knack for victimising their own colour in critical areas such as awarding good contracts.
In such an area that has far reaching effects on the economies of black people the conventional wisdom continues to be, ‘white is better’.
When Steve Biko asserted that the most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed, he clearly defined the arena in which all leaders and people who desire to restore black people to their rightful and competitive place among other peoples should fight the battle — the arena of the mind.
Black parents, black governments and political leaders, black education departments, schools and colleges, black media such as radio, television and newspapers, should invest heavily and overwhelmingly in the mission of uncompromisingly and persistently renewing the minds of black people with a special emphasis on children and youth.
This renewal must begin with clearly showing the black person the kind of damage which was historically perpetrated on his mind by people of other colours.
l To be continued