Cotton & Cane Spun into Gold

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Slaves in the cotton field (image: Pearson Education Inc.)

A Review Of Carl Patrick Burrowes’ Between The Kola Forest & The Salty Sea Part V

By Keith Neville Asumuyaya Best

WHERE WE LEFT OFF

We concluded Part IV of Burrowes’ BETWEEN THE KOLA FOREST & THE SALTY SEA, after the ‘flagship’ of a recently launched earth-shaking, shipping operation — between Africa, Europe and the Americas — berthed, (came in, tied up) at its home-port. The vessel then registered its successful, maiden voyage — laden (over-loaded, weighed down) with its new-found, (pristine, spanking-new) shipment of Gold: African, Black Gold, that the Europeans had ferried back across the base of the infamous, “trade triangle.” NOW READ ON:

On their turf (home territory, neighborhood), at the end of the return journey back across the Atlantic, to Europe, it was time to kick back a little.  What a horrifying trip — on all counts — they recalled! But could they imagine what it really had been like — for those spirited away forever for a life of sorrow and misery?  The crew, naturally, had a different perception (awareness, view) of things; a different perspective: They had struck gold and life was about to take off in a new direction. A whole new world had been awaiting the ebony-cast gold — and for now, it was here to stay.

The vessel’s cargo earlier had been herded aboard, and quietly documented as possessions or chattel. Earlier, the crew must have welcomed and secretly, thank their pagan gods that, the helpless conditions of their chattel, had kept relatively manageable, the herding of the live cargo into the ship’s hold. Just as well, the crew’s ruse might pan out okay, as well, for the unloading: it would go unnoticed — until much later — when it was too late — though, at the same time — it obviously would be too early for any unexpected surprise from outsiders!

CAPTIVITY

“So?” The crew quizzed one another: “are these sea-sick, filthy, hungry, thirsty, depressed and, all-in-all, sorry-looking ‘critters,’ (domestic animals) we (stole, made off with) from the Motherland, actually, men, women and children? No different from captured beasts of burden, they seem. But, wasn’t that what they were destined for — a lifetime of captivity, hard-labor and misery at the loom, spinning into gold the cotton, tobacco and cane that await them in the fields,” the kidnappers consoled each other? “Hadn’t they been created just for that purpose,” the captors now rationalized (tried to reason, (explain or make right) to themselves?  Exactly what the Arabs and other early slavers had been preaching — to Muslims and European Christians all along: that Africans were inferior to us — and would be better of serving us! Forever!

But every single one of these “creatures,” as the Europeans would have them eternally remain…was a living soul! And what would have been the point in passing the word around? And, passing it on to whom? NOW, READ ON:

“EUROCENTRISM” — THE BACKGROUND

Just what had these Europeans been eating, that provided them the chutzpah (shameless impudence, gall) that allows them to take off with this pomposity of theirs?

This uncompromising focus on European values to the exclusion of non-European cultures — is often offensive, belittling, and insulting; though it did not necessarily begin with Europe. Scholars are still talking about the same bigotry — and earlier enslavement traditions that typified (was commonly practiced by) “the Arabs and a few other tribes in their disdain and even hatred towards, for example, Africa, and things African. Burrowes spent some time with this, in his book.

European’s practiced, ‘superior’ swagger, (false self-importance, pretentiousness) seems to have been formulated (planned, created) as part of a long-term modus operandi (formula, recipe) to deny, discredit, denigrate everything that continues to authenticate (established as true) the realities that set other people apart from them — something that seemed to make others better, than the Europeans, that they seem unable to abide. Therefore, they must convert that disparity to their advantage. It is suggestive of something base — some inadequacy that is difficult to lay hands on. But it is there!

Such a short-coming often demands an exaggeration of ‘self’ — to compensate for a deficiency, (shortage, insufficiency) real or imagined, that has been defined as: Euro-centrism: centering on Europe or European values, especially to the exclusion of non-European cultures; often derogatory.

PREJUDICE

That might help explain why in the European mind, the Creator had always been seen as “in their corner,” never mind what his own plans and designs might be — as long as they were able to push themselves into the driver’s seat, riding the weakness, prejudice and hatred that the Arabs Muslims began, following their earlier contact with Africans through trade.  That early prejudice provided a much-needed assist to European Christians, turning their flicker into a flame, to fan and spread abroad, the misinformation, envy and hatred about everything African that tends to consumed them. Could this venom have  helped edge on Euro-centrism’s flame, its passion for its storied exploits, everywhere, in the past?

“In the European mind, the Creator had always been in their corner the interlopers rationalized, never mind what his own plans and designs might have been — as long as they were in the driver’s seat, riding the weakness, prejudice and hatred that the Arabs Muslims began, following their earlier contact with Africans through trade.  Their early prejudice provided that much-needed  assist European Christians had awaited to turn their flicker into a flame, to fan and spread abroad, the misinformation, envy and hatred about everything African that consumed them.

Such venom helped give rise to Euro-centrism that would drive the European’s exploits, everywhere.  Finally directed at Africa, it transitioned (changed, switched) into a veritable crusade, designed to first change history and the world, by turning the Continent upside down in every imaginable way: dislodging (dislocating, sending off) and expunging (obliterating, deleting, erasing) Africa’s soul and psyche.

Nothing is left to chance: It was calculated (designed, intended) by those well-known for wreaking havoc abroad, in quest of their ill-gotten gain — spending centuries at this, everywhere the weak and innocent could be found .

CHAUVINISM

In the 1830s, (another time and place, it would be Nicholas Chauvin, a veteran of the First Republic and Empire, who would take this “militant devotion to the glorification of one’s country,” to a new level.’ In time, that obsession (mania, passion) would blossom into “the prejudiced belief in the superiority of one’s own group,” that had every imaginable socio-economic, cultural, and political and religious group, up in arms against the “chauvinists” of this world and their “fanatical patriotism.”

The Europeans insistence on this curious sense of self-importance started developing long ago. Today, it seems converted, (turned into) what some call a raison d’etre: (a reason for being, essence). That is what seems to have been at work in their professed but flawed underestimation of Africa and Africans and the designs they believe they have put in place.

PREDATOR

In a wider social context, the word that springs to mind and helps to explain how far the Europeans intend to go on this mission of theirs, is predator: “a feeding relationship in which one species — class or type — of animal, the predator (if we limit ourselves to the ecological or biological setting, meaning: nature, or the environment, apart from humans, that captures, kills and eats another (the prey).”

Now, let’s place the clash in a social context, in which the conflict develops into a “predatory war,” that involves people, rather than animals. Here, it is the community that becomes the ’feeding-ground’, from which its member are captured, killed,  and by the shipload, the strong and healthy — whatever of value they possess on the ground or beneath the soil — are shipped away or siphoned off to the predator’s arena (stadium or feeding ground) — for his own gain.

ROOTS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Europeans always have had an answer — for everything: “What, but good, could result from their efforts?” they asked, long before, their forebears declared that they had ‘been there, done that.’ Yes, they did mouth those undying words: “Veni, vedi, vici:” (we) came, saw, conquered!” “The earliest epic that threw men of all backgrounds together, bound by “blood, kinship, revenge, loyalty, migration, etc.,” captured in the English epic poem: “Beowulf,” dates back to 500 A. D., that heralds the framework establishing most of Western Europe’s larger political and social groupings.  This early formation of the predators’ battalions would launch and keep the cadence (tempo, beat) of history’s inexorable march of ‘’progress,” down through the ages.” The poem indeed provides a bridge between the timeless, and unrequited, (unfulfilled, unsatisfied) hunger that has  driven and continues to compel the world’s present-day economic system, ever since its lowly, ancient beginnings — on the ravaged backs of kidnapped, poor and defenseless men, women and children, the world over.

HUMAN SOCIETY

Today, in the still relevant words of Karl Marx, he recalls the passion that the mechanical materialism would summon “hell and high water to discourage — and destroy — any and all “new passions and (essences) that spring up and open new avenues to a truly human society — something, he said, “Europeans have totally failed to understand!”

“Finally directed at Africa, it transitioned (changed, switched) into a veritable crusade, designed to first change history and the world, by turning the Continent upside down in every imaginable way: dislodging (dislocating, sending off) and expunging (obliterating, deleting, erasing) Africa’s soul and psyche with it. They had left nothing to chance: It was calculated (designed, intended) by those well-known for wreaking havoc abroad, in quest of ill-gotten gain — spending centuries at this, everywhere the weak and innocent could be found .

The predator’s plan of today is simply to destroy the people: themselves, their lands, their resources, their history, and their future. There is nothing accidental about this. It is calculated, deliberate and intended to be implemented.  After all these years, res ipsa loquitur: (the thing speaks for itself; or, the thing itself, speak)! “The rest, of course, is history.”

THE CONCLUSION, NEXT.

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