Why Black lives don’t matter to white Americans
The pursuit and killing of black people like game animals and dogs infected with rabies in the United States of America and the western world generally have again ignited the very old debate as regards what premium should be placed on the lives of black people all over the world. The slogan this time around is “black lives matter”. And before this, we have had “all men are born equal”; “slavery is sin against God abolish it” and a plethora of other very attractive and catchy phrases, that have made little or no difference in the fortunes of the black race.
The germane question now is: why has the black man sunk into the lowest depth of the human species or why is it that the black man’s life doesn’t matter before other races?
The black scholar; Walter Rodney; in his seminal work, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” has traced the downfall of the black race to hundred years of slavery that saw the most intelligent; vibrant and articulate black people shipped out of Africa as slaves and taken to strange worlds to develop societies he had no affinity with howsoever and would not provide him with any significant benefits in the long run.
Basil Davison appears to be of the opinion that it is the refusal of the black race to stick to his own culture and his slavish adoption of other races values; ethos; philosophy and mores without questions; scrutiny and critical appraisal that have become the undoing of the black man. Areoye Oyebola on his own lamented and rued that wherever he had travelled to and found the black man, he was always the underdog; the hewers of wood and the drawers of water.
There is no doubt that there is a lot of truism in the findings and conclusions of all these great thinkers. It is self-evident that wherever you find the black man on the planet, he would most likely be the one seen still subsisting at the prehistoric and animal levels. And perhaps there is nothing that better captures the primitive and vulnerable status of the black man than his inability to manage his own wastes and produce his own means of sustenance just as ordinary animals have proved incapable of so doing.
But do all the findings of the great thinkers mentioned herein explain the origin of the woes of the black man? The answer is no. But before addressing what other issues may have contributed to the woes of the black man, there is probably an important question that required to be asked and answered and this is: have leaders of the African continent paid any attention to the apprehensions of their thinkers and made some efforts to mitigate and decisively take Africans out of the endangered species list?
To be fair; yes, a few African leaders (since the African continent began attaining flag independence in the 1960s) have showed concerns and came up with what they considered to be solutions to the survival of their people. Among them is Julius Nyerere of Tanzania who canvassed for African Socialism or Ujamah; Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and Nelson Mandela of South Africa who espoused exemplary leadership and ethical values; Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria saw education as the gate way; while Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana argued and campaigned for a United Africa under socialist banners.
Generally, African politicians and state men who should pay attention to the cries of their philosophers and thinkers do not appear bothered and have in fact become impervious to the alarms being raised by their best brains. To most leaders, the voices of the thinkers are cries about wolves when there is none or a sort of howling in the wilderness which deserves no attention.
Could it be that the black race is less endowed in terms of mental capacity than his Caucasian or white skinned counterparts? Not necessarily for the fact that we see a lot of black people, presently, excelling in science and technology all over the world. The answer to this could be complacency and lack of vision on the part of blacks. It could also be that while the Caucasian race found themselves in an hostile environment and the leadership had the vision and created the enabling environment for their thinkers to come up with solutions for community survival, the black race on the other hand, was fortunate or is it unfortunate, to have found himself inhabiting an environment easier to live in and survive without as much exertion as the white man.
The black man who lived mostly in temperate regions never had the cause to do much and was not required to find solutions to existential problems of living in very hostile environments as was the lot of the Caucasian race. His land was arable and succulent edibles easily grew without much of his intervention. He could commute from one wild to the other with little or no hindrance or fear for predators and devourers. In fact; his could be described as a Garden of Eden or a paradise on earth when compared to what the white skin or the Caucasian race had to contend with to survive in freezing and very inclement weathers.
The Caucasian race could hardly commute from one point to the other without props; aids and gadgets in the environment he found himself. And for food, he had to induce the land to have any meaningful yield and to produce what was required for survival. The black people could be described as the real children of Jesus Christ; who was said to have sacrificed everything, for humanity to be able to live a blissful life of little or no exertions. In short the forebears of the present Africans lived a life devoid of ambition and wallowed in outright indolence; in fact and indeed, if these strong words would not be considered rude or impolite.
When the leadership of the Caucasian race refused to be contented with the environments in which they found themselves and would do just anything and everything possible to surmount obstacles; impediments; hindrances and challenges, the black leaders (Obas; Obis; Emirs, etc) sat back; just as contemporary ones have done; as they were very satisfied with the conditions in which their race lived. They would wear voluminous robes; amass wives and sit in courts like clay footed gods they really were, while presiding over the miserable conditions in which their subjects lived. They even sold their able bodied people into slavery and watched as the slaves were used to develop the Caucasian countries.
The trajectory of the history of black people has been most unedifying. Serfdom; even though not peculiar to him, of the most virulent form has been his lot. He had been used to test both the positive and negative efficacies of vaccines. He was the mule and beasts of burden in the plantations in America and the Caribbean. When machines came and his raw energy was no longer required, colonialism was forced on him. He was made to provide raw materials for the Caucasian industries and fight in wars and against people he never had any issues with. Immediately colonialism became less profitable and unsustainable, neocolonialism was invented designed for him. From colonialism, he has now been transited to neoliberal dependency.
These series of tragedies were made possible and could easily be visited on blacks simply because the race had been complacent; totally lacking in ambition; majorly short sighted and mostly bereft of vision. The black man’s capacity for horizontal and vertical thinking; most tragically, even in this 21st century, is yet to be ignited and it has to be ignited if his life is to ever matter. These are the basic reasons why black lives don’t matter anywhere in the world; including his continent. If ever; when and where black lives will matter, the race would require addressing the fundamental existential issues enunciated herein.