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African Barbarism

January 20, 2006

Anyone who expresses shock at African brutality – Rwanda, child soldiers, cutting off hands, rape as a political weapon – and wonders about the heart of darkness that apparently exists in the continent – should remember where Africans learned this behaviour.

It’s hardly appropriate to moralise from a Europe made rich on the exploitation of Africa on the failings of the continent. A genuine sense of contrition and a desire to try to correct a historical injustice are what is needed.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Fran permalink
    January 21, 2006 3:14 am

    There is more on this theme in yesterday’s Guardian Comment. Jonathan Steele adds fuel to Monbiot’s expose in his article “The textbook whitewash of our brutish empire is a lie” with evidence of colonial atrocities in Sri Lanka and Afganistan.

  2. Alan permalink
    February 1, 2006 10:02 pm

    Sure, the ‘West’ has better propaganda. But it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater to imply that Europeans ‘brought sin’ to Africa. African’s are human too. Quite inherently capable of raping, murdering, and dominating their fellows as the most flaxen-haired saxon. Let’s not get carried away. Yes. Africa’s fucked because of colonialism. Did Europeans fuck Africans because they carried the Evil gene? Not a chance. They did it cos they were humans who are peckish, see an unnattended pie, and make off with it – just like the Africans who, through an accident of history, were on the receiving end.

    In Europe, most people haven’t got beyond: “our empire civilised the barbarians” Yes that’s preposterous. But the opposite: “Europeans are the carriers of human evil” is just as infantile. Why does there have to have been a sinless time for humanity?

  3. anji permalink
    February 17, 2006 6:03 pm

    You are so on target. I just read a piece on this very topic in the March issue of Ode, “How Africa Developed the West”. Refreshing to see that collectively we are waking up to past mistakes. Let’s hope we learn from these ‘hidden’ mistakes as they are revealed.

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