Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why Africa Has Gone To Hell

White Zimbabweans used to tell a joke—what is the difference between a tourist and a racist? The answer—about a week.

Few seem to joke any more. Indeed, the last time anyone laughed out there was over the memorable headline “BANANA CHARGED WITH SODOMY” (relating to the Reverend Canaan Banana and his alleged proclivities). Zimbabwe was just the latest African state to squander its potential, to swap civil society for civil strife and pile high its corpses. Then the wrecking virus moves on and a fresh spasm of violence erupts elsewhere. Congo, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, even Kenya. Take your pick, for it is the essence of Africa, the recurring A-Z of horror. And as surely as Nelson Mandela took those steps from captivity to freedom, his own country will doubtless shuffle into chaos and ruin.

Mark my words. One day it will be the turn of South Africa to revert to type, its farms that lie wasted and its towns that are battle zones, its dreams and expectations that lie rotting on the veldt. That is the way of things. Africa rarely surprises, it simply continues to appal.

When interviewed on BBC Radio, the legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela spoke of the 350-year struggle for freedom by blacks in South Africa. The man might play his trumpet like a dream, but he talks arrant nonsense. What he has bought into is a false narrative that rewrites history and plays upon post-colonial liberal angst. The construct is as follows: white, inglorious and bad; black, noble and good; empire, bad; independence, good; the west, bad; the African, good. Forgotten in all this is that while Europeans were settling and spreading from the Cape, the psychopathic Shaka Zulu was employing his impi to crush everyone—including the Xhosa—in his path, and the Xhosa were themselves busy slaughtering Bushmen and Hottentots. Yet it is the whites who take the rap, for it was they who won the skirmishes along the Fish and Blood Rivers and who eventually gained the prize.

What suffers is the truth, and—of course—Africa. We are so cowed by the moist-eyed mantras of the left and the oath-laden platitudes of Bono and Geldof, we are forced to accept collective responsibility for the bloody mess that is now Africa. It paralyses us while excusing the black continent and its rulers.

Whenever I hear people agitate for the freezing of Third World debt, I want to shout aloud for the freezing of those myriad overseas bank accounts held by black African leaders (President Mobutu of Zaire alone is believed to have squirreled away well over $10 billion).

Whenever apartheid is held up as a blueprint for evil, I want to mention Bokassa snacking on human remains, Amin clogging a hydro-electric dam with floating corpses, the President of Equatorial Guinea crucifying victims along the roadway from his airport.

Whenever slavery is dredged up, I want to remind everyone the Arabs were there before us, the native Ashanti and others were no slouches at the game, and it remains extant in places like the Ivory Coast.

Whenever I hear the Aids pandemic somehow blamed on western indifference, I want to point to the African native practice of dry sex, the hobby-like prevalence of rape and the clumps of despotic black leaders who deny a link between the disease and HIV and who block the provision of antiretrovirals.

And whenever Africans bleat of imperialism and colonialism, I want to campaign for the demolition of every road, college, and hospital we ever built to let them start again. It is time they governed themselves. Yet few play the victim card quite so expertly as black Africans; few are quite so gullible as the white liberal-left.

“On the eve of this millennium, Nelson Mandela and friends lit candles mapping the shape of their continent and declared the Twenty-first Century would belong to Africa. A pity that for every one Mandela there are over a hundred Robert Mugabes.”

So Britain had an empire and Britain did slavery. Boo hoo. Deal with it. Move on. Slavery ended here over two hundred years ago. More recently, there were tens of millions of innocents enslaved or killed in Europe by the twin industrialised evils of Nazism and Stalinism. My own first cousins—twin brothers aged sixteen—died down a Soviet salt mine. I need no lecture on eggplants and neck-irons. Most of us are descendents of both oppressors and oppressed; most of us get over it. Mind you, I am tempted by thoughts of compensation from Scandinavia for the wickedness of its Viking raids and its slaving-hub on the Liffe. As for the 1066 invasion of England by William the Bastard…

The white man’s burden is guilt over Africa (the black man’s is sentimentality), and we are blind for it. We have tipped hundreds of billions of aid-dollars into Africa without first ensuring proper governance. We encourage NGOs and food-parcels and have built a culture of dependency. We shy away from making criticism, tiptoe around the crassness of the African Union and flinch at every anti-western jibe. The result is a free-for-all for every syphilitic black despot and his coterie of family functionaries.

Africa casts a long and toxic shadow across our consciousness. It is patronised and allowed to underperform, so too its distant black diaspora. A black London pupil is excluded from his school, not because he is lazy, stupid or disruptive, but because that school is apparently racist; a black youth is pulled over by the police, not because black males commit over eighty percent of street crime, but because the authorities are somehow corrupted by prejudice.

Thus the tale continues. Excuse is everywhere and a sense of responsibility nowhere. You will rarely find either a black national leader in Africa or a black community leader in the west prepared to put up his hands and say It is our problem, our fault. Those who look to Africa for their roots, role-models and inspiration are worshipping false gods. And like all false gods, the feet are of clay, the snouts long and designed for the trough, and the torture-cells generally well-equipped.

I once met the son of a Liberian government minister and asked if he had seen video-footage of his former president Samuel Doe being tortured to death. ‘Of course’, he replied with a smile. ‘Everyone has’. They cut off the ears of Doe and force-fed them to him. His successor, the warlord Charles Taylor, was elected in a landslide result using the campaign slogan He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him. Nice people. Liberia was founded and colonised by black Americans to demonstrate what slave stock could achieve. They certainly showed us. Forgive my heretical belief that had a black instead of a white tribe earlier come to dominate South Africa, its opponents would not have been banished to Robben island. They would have been butchered and buried there.

When asked about the problem of Africa, Harold Macmillan suggested building a high wall around the continent and every century or so removing a brick to check on progress. I suspect that over entire millennia, the view would prove bleak and unvarying.

On the eve of this millennium, Nelson Mandela and friends lit candles mapping the shape of their continent and declared the Twenty-first Century would belong to Africa. Whatever. Meantime, the vast natural resources have been frittered and agricultural production since independence has halved. A pity that for every one Mandela there are over a hundred Robert Mugabes.

Visiting a state in west Africa a few years ago, I wandered onto a beach and marvelled at the golden sands and at the sunlight catching on the Atlantic surf. It allowed me to forget for a moment the local news that day of soldiers seizing a schoolboy and pitching him head-first into an operating cement-machine. Almost forget. Then I spotted a group of villagers beating a stray dog to death for their sport. A metaphor of sorts for all that is wrong, another link in a word-association chain that goes something like Famine… Drought… Overpopulation… Deforestation… Conflict… Barbarism… Cruelty… Machetes… Child Soldiers… Massacres… Diamonds… Warlords…Tyranny… Corruption… Despair… Disease… Aids… Africa.

Africa remains the heart of darkness.

Africa is hell.

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  1. Jazzy
    Brilliant post.
    Well worth the read and definitely needs to be passed around.
    Would you mind me using it in future? With credits of cause.
    Keep up the good work

  2. By all means but please add in:

    Please share this article by using the link below. When you cut and paste an article, Taki's Magazine misses out on traffic, and our writers don't get paid for their work. Email to buy additional rights.

  3. Your insights are laughingly naive and betray a selective attention and selective conscience necessary for you to sleep at night and convince yourself of your and your kind's "superiority." The West, my poor naive one, does not ply the African continent with aid out of guilt; they do it because it is the richest source of all minerals needed to make everything from CDs to planes -- not to mention gems. Although, the "guilt" screen is powerfully self-serving because it makes their actions "seem" altruistic when they are anything but and deflects attention away from their true agenda. As a Westerner, I know and have no need to defend or misrepresent our leaders as you obviously feel the need to do about your ilk. You want to talk about Africa's leaders not taking responsibility; I completely agree with that. But let's not forget the lack of accountability from Western leaders such as both Bushes, Thatcher, Kennedy, in their quest for either oil, or to prop up states they thought could enrich them or to push their own agenda of "democracy" and capitalism...again to enrich their own nations. Or lack of accountability from those vile interlopers such as Kruger, De Klerk and Rhodes. In the end, no one that has assessed the condition of Africa today could HONESTLY conclude anything but that aid has been an absolute disaster for those nations. Many Africans were in a much better position before the IMF and World Bank with their corrupt, self-empowering structural adjustment programs and enslavement loans. If you would be as truly edified as you pretend to be, you would pick up a copy of Dambisa Moyo's "Dead Aid." Now to the atrocities you conveniently chose to highlight to further perpetrate the stereotype of the demonic and despotic African, I draw your attention to the horrors of Western Slavery; which any historian knows cannot in any way be compared to traditional slavery on the African continent. Need a little more edifying? Look up a man called William Lynch, or view photos of the atrocities your kind committed during Western slavery. And I won't bore you with the sheer evil your ilk did to all the native peoples of this earth in the Caribbean, Africa, South, Central and North America, Australia and Asia. In case you're completely ignorant (as your post suggests), many of the native peoples of these areas were simply wiped out. And, oh, Holocaust ring a bell? (It really did happen, you know?) But then again, your ilk seems to prefer tidy genocide and ethnic cleansing over good ol' fashioned cruelty so you probably have no issues with these realities. You want to compare evil and atrocities Jim Boy? I have no doubt that whites have all other races beat by several landslides. But good luck with your narrow little theories. Sweet dreams and oh yeah, "boo hoo" when you finally wake up and on your obvious grief at the end of apartheid. And if you hate Africa so much, stay the "hell" out!

  4. @ Kaye CunninghamJan 11, 2012 07:19 PM

    This is Jazzie’s website, so it’s Jazzie’s rules.
    That's it.
    She runs it her way or you leave.
    No views on Jews,
    no tomes of poems,
    no says on gays,
    whatever the webmaster wants,
    Her reputation for fairness or objectivity may be called into question but that's not the issue.
    It is her place and she runs it his way.
    Obey or go away.

  5. @Kaye CunninghamJan 11, 2012 07:19 PM

    Rather leave the never ending string of fabrications and lies from the so-called holocaust out.
    It’s a very profitable business and people are making millions promoting the most ridiculous and fantastic holocaust myths imaginable.
    So many of the hocus-pocus tales has been uncovers and the way that Khazar Jews benefit and even use sympathy and political capital based on these outrageous lies to justify Israel’s inhuman crimes against conquered peoples just adds to hocus-pocus.

    You, rather read-up on who was really behind South Africa’s downfall and you may just find the slimy Jew (the same Khazar lot) hiding away.

    Does the following names ring a bell?… Rusty Bernstein, Helen Crane, Denis Goldberg, Arthur Goldreich, Richard Goldstone, Ronnie Kasrils, Harry Oppenheimer, Harry Schwarz, Joe Slovo, Helen Suzman, Roy Welensky and least we forget Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela …

    All Jews so please don’t comment on an article and add the “holocaust” in passing if you want holocaust read up on the 66 000 000 million Christian Russians that were slaughtered by the Jews, and if your over 25 it happened in your lifetime

  6. @Kaye Cunningham Jan 11, 2012 07:19 PM

    I understand your situation and confusion – The cage has been rattled and your comfort zone is somewhat shaken.

    You have a bad case of “Cognitive Infiltration” … put some antiseptic on it, which is readily available – It’s actually one of those “home remedies”, you know … Like garlic! - It’s called - The TRUTH!

    More consultation might reveal another symptom – “Normalcy Bias”, but don’t feel isolated … Many, many suffer this symptom!

    And if YOU, Kaye Cunningham, deny THE FACT that a 100 Million Christians were slaughtered in the last Century ALONE … Well all I can say is … You! You! … You holocaust denier!