Mental Enslavement: The Battle Continues

Published on 3rd February 2009

"What I hate is ignorance, smallness of imagination, the eye that sees no farther than its own lashes. All things are possible …Who you are is limited only by who you think you are." - From the Ancient Egyptian Book of Coming Forth by Day


W. E. B. Du Bois, the great Pan African intellectual worker, activist and academic, said that the problem of the last century would have been the problem of the colour line. The greatest battle of the new century, and indeed of the entire new millennium, is the battle for the African mind.


This is the last great frontier in the struggle for decolonisation and the prospect of real freedom in the world. For the fundamental form of enslavement of Africans by Arabs and Europeans during the MAAFA: the holocaust of Africans, has not been physical enslavement, but mental enslavement.  The major portion of the African mind is today still securely imprisoned in the racist value systems of Arabia and Europe that glorify these despoilers of Africa and denigrate Africans and Africa.  So the MAAFA continues to this very day in the living consequences of the continuing mental enslavement of most Africans: the assassination important aspects of culture and identity, the loss of language and orientation, the cultural, spiritual, social, economic and political disempowerment, disablement and bondage of Africans everywhere in the world.  The MAAFA will continue until Africans free themselves from this, the greatest affliction of all times. 


The terrible living consequences of the MAAFA is a mass sickness of the mind that deforms the African presence everywhere in the world today.   It announces itself as the disconnection from history, breakdown in inter and intra generational dialogues and narratives, decenteredness, confusion, self hate and insecurity.  Africans inhabit the jails and mad houses of the west in numbers far out of proportion to their presence in the population.  A few years ago counseling for Acute Stress Disorder Syndrome was normally quickly - and correctly - given to Europeans kidnapped in the Middle East.  Yet there has never been a programme to deal with the massive psychic, psychological, economic and social stress endured and still endured by African people who have survived the MAAFA, which is many many times worse. Even white psychology now admits that stress is passed on and inhabited from generation to generation.


That is why one of the most important developments in today's world is the undertaking by increasing numbers of Africans, at the moment especially but not only in the Diaspora, to educate themselves about their past, which is the formative part of the world's history, and to repossess fully their own African identity.  Freeing the African mind is the most fundamental way of combating the effects of the MAAFA.  Some other people, including some Europeans, have joined this movement to overcome the lies and distortions put forward by enslavers as learning.   The objective is to repair the deeply damaged human products masqueraded as educated by these very forces of lies and distortion.  The predominant view of Africa and Africans as permanently crippled and historically backward has been dealt decisive blows by information and conclusions that are new to most.   It is now clear that the notion of backwardness associated with Africa, and the fact of cultural, economic and technological underdevelopment on the continent and among Africans as a generality, have both been created by some as part of their project to colonise Africa and Africans. 


But while some people have rehabilitated their views about Africa and indeed about the world, others have remained stuck in the worldview that ultimately supports the enslavement of Africans and the underdevelopment of Africans and their communities across the globe.   The clearest statement of this condition of mental enslavement, which is central to this continuing underdevelopment of both people and place, is the negative syndrome of values, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions held by many Africans to their own history, language, culture and so to themselves.  It is especially tragic that such beliefs, held by Africans themselves, are the inventions of the oppressors of Africans and have nothing to do with the truth about Africa and Africans, but everything to do with the ravages created by the enslavers, who then point to their handiwork as 'evidence' of the supposed innate inability of Africans.


One aspect of this racist view is that Africans never produced a written language, or a culture, or a religion, or anything worthwhile or at least comparable to the products of Arabs and Europeans.  The 'authorities' relied upon to try to substantiate such lies are often the very Arabs and Europeans who were actively involved in this project to enslave and dehumanise Africans.  The Dutchman William Bosman is a good example.  Bosman was an early European enslaver of Africans and, not co-incidentally, the first Dutchman to begin misrepresenting Africans as less than Europeans and less than human.  Bosman was therefore a clear and direct participant in the worst crime in human history as well as a person who therefore had a direct motive for the denial of the humanity of his victims, that is, of African humanity.  Bosman produced 'scholarship' purporting to show that Africans were underachievers or no achievers in history.  In producing such 'scholarship' Bosman was therefore attempting to protect his economic interests by seeking to 'justify' his crimes.  Many other European scholars were not as directly and clearly involved in large-scale terrorism and mass murder as Bosman.  Nevertheless they also sought to 'justify' and so protect the national project of their countries, which was the enslavement and exploitation of Africans and the denial of these crimes.  This began the European tradition of falsification and misrepresentation from which Africans still suffer.


It is therefore highly illogical to rely upon the word of white supremacist scholars of any colour, for there is no logic in relying upon the word of the worst kinds of criminals and their defenders when trying to arrive at an estimation of the history and character of the criminals' victims.  Reliance upon the word of Bosman and other white supremacist scholars, past or contemporary, is really the same and just as sensible as asking the most notorious mass murderers in history to provide character references for their victims.


All branches of knowledge have become infected with the white supremacist worldview: history, literature, science, geography, anthropology, etc. etc.   Much of this poison is reproduced in the popular press, the church, schools, other educational institutions, etc.  The danger can best be alleviated or extinguished by arming oneself with an awareness of the evasions, inconsistencies and outright lies that characterise this worldview, with the reasons for its invention and also by taking the precaution of consulting and interrogating a wide variety of sources on any topic being investigated.   Of principal and urgent importance is the necessity for Africans to consult works written from African centered perspectives .


Norman E. Cameron published The Evolution of The Negro in two volumes in 1928 and 1931, right in Georgetown by the Argosy Company Ltd. and connected Africans with the Ancient Egyptians, who were indeed Africans.  George G. M. James' Stolen Legacy (1954, reprinted many times) has become essential reading for anyone who wants to know the true basis of Greek achievement, which James shows to be the Africans in Kemet or Ancient Egypt, the first civilization in the world.


This was Egypt before its current demographic domination by Arabs, who moved there en masse in the seventh century of the current era, capturing Cairo in about 1650 AD. Walter Rodney's How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972, reprinted many times) and The Groundings With My Brothers (1969, also reprinted many times) are extremely influential works.Ivan Van Sertima has authored and edited no less than thirteen (13) books that overturn various aspects of white supremacist 'history' and was called by the US Congress to testify on these matters.   Jan Carew's most influential publication in this area is Fulcrums of Change (1988).  Clinton Crawford's Recasting Ancient Egypt In The African Context (1996) has also been instructive to many.


This writer has, with Ian Smart, edited Ah Come Back Home: Perspectives on The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival (2000) and provided a chapter which shows that as far as it known the Carnival was first celebrated by Africans in Ancient Egypt, from where it spread to other parts of Africa, to Europe and eventually to the Americas and to Europe again.   The most recent work in this area by a Guyanese was edited by Dr. Crawford and is entitled Ebonics and Language Education of African Ancestry Students (2001).  One chapter provided by this writer shows the genetic relationship among the Medew Netjer (Ancient Egyptian language, commonly called Hieroglyphs), modern African languages on the continent and the modern African language of the Diaspora called Ebonics and commonly known as Creolese, broken English.


 Any one of these works would provide much enlightenment on at least one topic in the vast area of African history and would hopefully permit one to question any 'facts' rather that accept them blindly.  Such a common sense disposition would set anyone on the road to a greater understanding of these matters upon which white supremacist 'scholarship' has sought to maintain a monopoly.


These works amount to a very minute fraction of the studies that overthrow white supremacist stereotypes that imprison the minds and restrict the vision of so many who are often unaware that their vision has been engineered, their perceptions, altered and their actions therefore predetermined.   There are myriad other works by numerous other writers, both African and non-African, who have taken up the battle against the mental affliction so obviously suffered as a result of ingesting this racist poison. 


Note: The term "Maafa" (from the book, "Let The Circle Be Unbroken", by Dr. Marimba Ani) is a kiswahili word for "disaster." Maafa refers to the enslavement of our people and to the sustained attempt to dehumanize us. be continued 


By Kimani Nehusi


First published in African Holocaust

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