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BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism

Donuel 25 Feb 18 - 12:13 PM
Senoufou 25 Feb 18 - 12:25 PM
Iains 25 Feb 18 - 12:47 PM
robomatic 25 Feb 18 - 01:05 PM
Iains 25 Feb 18 - 01:08 PM
bobad 25 Feb 18 - 01:37 PM
David Carter (UK) 25 Feb 18 - 01:42 PM
bobad 25 Feb 18 - 01:44 PM
wysiwyg 25 Feb 18 - 08:28 PM
Mrrzy 25 Feb 18 - 10:25 PM
BobL 26 Feb 18 - 02:45 AM
Senoufou 26 Feb 18 - 02:48 AM
David Carter (UK) 26 Feb 18 - 03:43 AM
David Carter (UK) 26 Feb 18 - 03:53 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Feb 18 - 04:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Feb 18 - 04:20 AM
Senoufou 26 Feb 18 - 04:32 AM
Donuel 26 Feb 18 - 06:11 AM
Mr Red 26 Feb 18 - 06:44 AM
Mrrzy 26 Feb 18 - 07:47 AM
Senoufou 26 Feb 18 - 08:13 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Feb 18 - 08:32 AM
Senoufou 26 Feb 18 - 08:50 AM
bobad 26 Feb 18 - 09:02 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Feb 18 - 09:18 AM
Senoufou 26 Feb 18 - 09:30 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Feb 18 - 10:45 AM
wysiwyg 26 Feb 18 - 01:08 PM
wysiwyg 26 Feb 18 - 01:18 PM
keberoxu 26 Feb 18 - 02:06 PM
Iains 26 Feb 18 - 03:17 PM
robomatic 26 Feb 18 - 08:25 PM
Thompson 27 Feb 18 - 04:47 AM
Senoufou 27 Feb 18 - 05:33 AM
Iains 27 Feb 18 - 05:45 AM
Hrothgar 27 Feb 18 - 06:51 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 18 - 07:02 AM
Senoufou 27 Feb 18 - 07:24 AM
Iains 27 Feb 18 - 07:51 AM
Mrrzy 27 Feb 18 - 08:33 AM
Senoufou 27 Feb 18 - 08:57 AM
Rob Naylor 27 Feb 18 - 09:21 AM
Senoufou 27 Feb 18 - 09:55 AM
robomatic 27 Feb 18 - 11:23 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Feb 18 - 12:00 PM
Iains 27 Feb 18 - 12:39 PM
Roz 27 Feb 18 - 04:45 PM
robomatic 27 Feb 18 - 08:45 PM
Thompson 28 Feb 18 - 08:41 AM
wysiwyg 28 Feb 18 - 10:00 AM
bobad 28 Feb 18 - 10:18 AM
Mrrzy 28 Feb 18 - 11:01 AM
Iains 28 Feb 18 - 12:29 PM
wysiwyg 28 Feb 18 - 01:57 PM
bobad 28 Feb 18 - 02:46 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 28 Feb 18 - 02:53 PM
Iains 28 Feb 18 - 03:32 PM
wysiwyg 28 Feb 18 - 04:07 PM
bobad 28 Feb 18 - 04:16 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 28 Feb 18 - 04:22 PM
Iains 28 Feb 18 - 06:46 PM
robomatic 28 Feb 18 - 06:49 PM
Mrrzy 01 Mar 18 - 08:10 AM
wysiwyg 02 Mar 18 - 01:41 PM
Thompson 05 Mar 18 - 07:21 AM
Mrrzy 05 Mar 18 - 09:12 AM
robomatic 05 Mar 18 - 12:46 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 05 Mar 18 - 05:04 PM
robomatic 05 Mar 18 - 08:23 PM
bobad 05 Mar 18 - 08:28 PM
robomatic 05 Mar 18 - 08:34 PM
bobad 05 Mar 18 - 09:27 PM
wysiwyg 05 Mar 18 - 09:30 PM
robomatic 05 Mar 18 - 11:38 PM
robomatic 05 Mar 18 - 11:43 PM
Mrrzy 06 Mar 18 - 07:41 AM
Big Al Whittle 06 Mar 18 - 04:44 PM
robomatic 06 Mar 18 - 06:24 PM
Mrrzy 07 Mar 18 - 09:39 AM
Kenny B (inactive) 07 Mar 18 - 09:44 AM
wysiwyg 07 Mar 18 - 01:26 PM
robomatic 07 Mar 18 - 01:50 PM
Mrrzy 07 Mar 18 - 09:55 PM
wysiwyg 08 Mar 18 - 10:52 AM
bobad 08 Mar 18 - 11:18 AM
robomatic 08 Mar 18 - 12:08 PM
Senoufou 08 Mar 18 - 01:44 PM
robomatic 08 Mar 18 - 02:05 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Mar 18 - 03:02 PM
Senoufou 08 Mar 18 - 03:30 PM
Jackaroodave 08 Mar 18 - 04:53 PM
Senoufou 08 Mar 18 - 05:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Mar 18 - 07:15 PM
bobad 08 Mar 18 - 07:28 PM
Stanron 08 Mar 18 - 07:37 PM
Mrrzy 09 Mar 18 - 09:06 AM
bobad 09 Mar 18 - 09:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Mar 18 - 12:08 PM
Mrrzy 09 Mar 18 - 12:46 PM
Jackaroodave 09 Mar 18 - 02:35 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Mar 18 - 02:58 PM
Senoufou 09 Mar 18 - 03:33 PM
bobad 09 Mar 18 - 03:53 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Mar 18 - 04:51 PM
Senoufou 09 Mar 18 - 05:15 PM
Mrrzy 09 Mar 18 - 11:31 PM
robomatic 09 Mar 18 - 11:52 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Mar 18 - 02:33 AM
Mrrzy 10 Mar 18 - 09:03 AM
Jackaroodave 10 Mar 18 - 11:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Mar 18 - 12:22 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Mar 18 - 12:23 PM
robomatic 10 Mar 18 - 01:47 PM
Mrrzy 10 Mar 18 - 04:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Mar 18 - 06:08 AM
Bonzo3legs 11 Mar 18 - 07:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 11 Mar 18 - 08:17 AM
robomatic 11 Mar 18 - 02:47 PM
Bonzo3legs 12 Mar 18 - 07:08 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Mar 18 - 07:23 AM
Bonzo3legs 12 Mar 18 - 08:09 AM
Bonzo3legs 12 Mar 18 - 12:57 PM
robomatic 12 Mar 18 - 02:30 PM
Mrrzy 12 Mar 18 - 11:08 PM
Steve Shaw 13 Mar 18 - 06:02 AM
Mrrzy 13 Mar 18 - 08:09 AM
robomatic 13 Mar 18 - 10:14 PM

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Subject: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 12:13 PM

That's what the movie Black Panther is about, say the critics giving the movie high acclaim. 4.5 Stars $500 million box office.
I never knew there was an alternative non racist super hero.
I guess I better go see it.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 12:25 PM

Well, it's set in 'Wakanda', a mythical 'African' country.
There are 54 countries in the real Africa, and I wonder which ones they feel 'suffered' colonialism?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 12:47 PM

At least we are in a post colonial age, and the Africans have their countries back. What about the Native Americans?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 01:05 PM

REUNITE GONDWANALAND!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 01:08 PM

I doubt there is a whole lot of it outcropping these days. It would be more trouble than it is worth.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 01:37 PM

At least we are in a post colonial age, and the Africans have their countries back.

Except for North Africa of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 01:42 PM

Whats that supposed to mean bobad? Which North African countries are still colonies? Or are you just complaining that those countries now follow a different religion to the ones they had before, in which case this is true of everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 01:44 PM

The indigenous people of North Africa were the Amazigh people before they were colonized by the Arabs.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 08:28 PM

Much of Africa's wealth is still not held/ controlled by Africans.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Feb 18 - 10:25 PM

Reunite Gondwanaland... good one!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: BobL
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 02:45 AM

Ethiopia and Liberia escaped the mixed blessing of European colonization. They don't seem to be much the better for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 02:48 AM

The scourge of many independent African countries is corruption.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 03:43 AM

And, as we read recently bobad, the indigenous people of the UK were probably dark skinned and builders of stone circles before they were colonized by the Beaker people. Countries in North Africa have been free of colonization by people from the Middle East since the end of the Ottoman Empire. And the Ottomans were not Arabs. The Berbers assumed the religion of the invading people, much as the British did with that of successive waves of Christian invaders.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 03:53 AM

And, bobad, according to Wikipedia the Muslim forces which invaded the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century were mainly Berbers. Known in English culture as Moors.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 04:20 AM

"The scourge of many independent African countries is corruption."
Goes a little further back than that Sen - the Colonial powers fought tooth and nail to ascertain that the newly-independent contries were placed in a "safe pair of hands" - for safe read "compliant to their former masters"
"Problem " leaders were (often violently) opposed and even murdered if they embarked on disapproved of policies - Patrice Lumumba being a case in point - Kwame Nkruma was deposed by British and other backed forces while h was out of the country
Britain's interference in Ireland is still present
I would highly recommend the life changing 'King Leopold's Ghost', which describes the slaughter of up to 10 million Belgian Congolese in pursuit of rubber, by the Belgian King - a horror story of African Colonialism at its very worst
I got a buzz when I learned that it was a humble Scouser shipping clerk who brought that particular monster to his knees
I agree entirely about the corruption of national leaders, but it's far too easy to take those leaders out of context and forget why who put them there and kept them in power
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 04:20 AM

i suppose we were lucky in who colonised us. they built roads and cathedrals etc.

we'd still be building useless bits of crap like stonehenge if we hadn't been colonised.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 04:32 AM

I agree Jim that the recent history of colonial Africa is woeful. But I rather meant that to this day there are elected Heads of State who are incorrigibly corrupt. It's a repeated pattern of election, corruption, rebellion, deposition, newly-elected 'reformer', corruption again and so on. And while this toxic cycle is repeated, the population suffers in dire poverty, disruption of already fragile services and even civil war. (eg Gbagbo in Ivory Coast)
Although the colonials helped themselves to resources, at least the countries may have been better organised and run. They kept the lid on things (in their own interests of course) and they built modern infrastructures such as transport, sanitation, water supply, communications, hospitals and schools etc. I know this is so in the case of the French in Ivory Coast.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 06:11 AM

Big Al your comment reminds of life of Brian.
"What did the Romans ever do for us"


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mr Red
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 06:44 AM

The probability is that their would have been local fiefdoms and kingdoms, much like now. And maybe one or two locales would have evolved an egalitarian democracy, but the odds are against that. Human nature would prevail! The West didn't invent greed!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 07:47 AM

Taking care of your family = corruption in European eyes, not in the eyes of people actually taking care of their families.

Isn't Liberia the only "country" in the whole continent that wasn't colonized?

Remember the national boundaries were drawn by Europeans to cross existing ethnic boundaries so the people of a nation would never unite against their colonizers as they belonged to different what were called tribes at the time. Togo is narrow, but it's half Ewe and half Twi. Calling them all Ivorians did not make everyone in the Ivory Coast the same peoples.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 08:13 AM

But 'taking care of your family' at the expense of a country's economy is corruption in anyone's book. One can't be dipping into the communal pot to obtain an excellent lifestyle for one's nearest and dearest. Especially when the nation depending on this pot is largely deprived and poverty-stricken. You're right though Mrrzy, any Ivorian in power's family would expect him to distribute wealth liberally among them!

There are many tribes in Ivory Coast (and indeed in most African countries). Gbagbo exploited this fact by trying to divide off the northern part of the country (which he claimed was actually within the territory of Mali!) since the peoples up there did not support him. My husband, a Senoufo, was worried his ancestral village in the north would be cut off from the rest of Ivory Coast in a sort of No-Man's-Land. While the French were in charge, these things were well managed and at least the country was stable.

Ouattara (new President) has done very little in the way of getting everyday life sorted out for the ordinary folk. The streets are shoulder-high in uncollected rubbish, public transport is appalling and healthcare virtually non-existent. A dead body can lie in the street for days, rotting and bloated, before the fire brigade (!) carts the corpse away. The French would never have tolerated such situations.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 08:32 AM

"But I rather meant that to this day there are elected Heads of State who are incorrigibly corrupt. "
Politicians run in dynasties Sen
Once that dynasty is challenged the West steps in and makes sure the newbies jump back into line
Britain has as much of a track-record in interference in African politics as does the U.S. in Latin America and Asia.
Both have found that the "safest pair of hands" are those who are the most corrupt and therefore manipulable.
Some of the most corrupt African leaders have invariably been those supported by the West
The most vicious and corrupt African administration in my lifetime was the Apartheid South African regime - fully and actively supported by Britain until it eventually fell under the weight of its own excesses
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 08:50 AM

I'm rather ignorant about South Africa, as I'm familiar only with parts of West Africa. Actually, it seems that other flourishing economies are now getting in on the act. The Chinese and Lebanese are making great strides in investment there, which does mean employment and development, but I have no doubt their own interests will come first, and back-handers offered to the corrupt politicians.

I knew a Senegalese family whose main breadwinner worked for the Lebanese in a biscuit factory in Dakar. The conditions were awful and no health protection was even considered. The poor man's lungs were ruined by chlorine; he'd been told to go right inside the huge mixing machines and clean them with bleach. His skin had huge white patches, and he coughed incessantly. He was being poisoned to death for profit to earn a few frCFA a week. Foreign investors exploit pitilessly it would seem.

I also had a very enlightening conversation with two ghastly white South Africans who told me they regretted that they could no longer employ 'Blecks' (that's how they pronounced it!) for about five pounds a week to work on their farm. I said nothing but just listened. One learns a lot that way...


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 09:02 AM

Countries in North Africa have been free of colonization by people from the Middle East since the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Tell that to the Amazigh of Morocco who, unlike the dark skinned indigenous people of the UK, are still around and still suffering oppression by their colonizers.

North Africa’s Amazigh or ‘Berber’ people say their matriarchal traditions and native language are under threat from Arab elites and burgeoning Islamism.

In Morocco, home to the largest population descended from the region’s original inhabitants, activists blame the dominant contemporary Arabic culture as well as imported religious extremism and ideologies aligned with Islamic State. “Women’s groups always speak of ‘the Arab woman’ but we are not Arab women — we have an Amazigh culture, language and identity which has nothing to do with the Arab woman from the Middle East,” Amina Zioual, President of The Voice of the Amazigh Woman told Women in the World.North Africa’s Amazigh or ‘Berber’ people say their matriarchal traditions and native language are under threat from Arab elites and burgeoning Islamism.


https://womenintheworld.com/2016/03/24/matriarchal-traditions-in-north-africa-under-threat-from-islamists-and-arab-elites/


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 09:18 AM

'Blecks'
A bit off topic, but when I had my first hip replacement operation some years ago I was told on the morning of the operation that I wan't getting the knock-out treatment, but an epidural - which filled me with a degree of horror (a longer story)
I was visited by the anesthetist who was a South African white who began ranting about "The Blecks"
I was about to launch into an argument, but thought the better of it when I realised that it probably wasn't a good idea to fall out with your anesthetist on the morning of a major operation]
Bobad
The Bedouins of Israel fare no better under the administration there
An argument for elsewhere, no doubt
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 09:30 AM

Hahaha Jim! It may have ended in euthanasia, not anaesthesia!

I really have to bite my tongue when confronted by racist rants, but I've learned to 'shut up and listen' because you get a jolly good idea of how these people's mindsets work.

I was chatting to another white South African in Tesco car park (he worked with the Click-and-Collect team) I mentioned that, by his accent, he was South African, and he started off on how the country has changed with The Blecks in charge, blah blah. I had to try not to dissolve in giggles when my extremely 'bleck' husband rocked up, having got us a trolley. I introduced him, "This is my husband," and the chap scuttled away as fast as his racist legs would carry him. I bet he told his wife later he'd had an 'Oh no! moment' that morning!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 10:45 AM

I have to say that one of y great mentors as a young man was a white South African who had fled the Apartheid regime and settled in Liverpool where he ran abookshop
Another great influence was the father of a singing friend, Basil Davidson, and expert on African politics and a truly great man
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 01:08 PM

Liberia was colonized at one point a bit like the US "colonized" "its" West-- when US freed slaves settled there, thereally were indigenous people of color already there who were not 100% thrilled.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 01:18 PM

Pardon autocorrect typo above: //there already were//

"...The Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered, especially those in communities of the more isolated "bush", They knew nothing of their cultures, languages or animist religion. Encounters with tribal Africans in the bush often developed as violent confrontations. The colonial settlements were raided by the Kru and Grebo from their inland chiefdoms.

Because of feeling set apart and superior by their culture and education to the indigenous peoples, the Americo-Liberians developed as a small elite that held on to political power. It excluded the indigenous tribesmen from birthright citizenship in their own lands until 1904, in a repetition of the United States' treatment of Native Americans. 

Because of ethnocentrism and the cultural gap, the Americo-Liberians envisioned creating a western-style state to which the tribesmen should assimilate. They promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples.. ..."

Sound familiar!?!

One could say that the US colonized Liberia because of policy encouraging the "go back to Africa" manner of dealing with those "uppity" free Black Americans it suddenly had to contend with.

(If you look for info about colonization from the history written by the colonizers, the whole truth is not in that side of the record!)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 02:06 PM

Colonialism or no colonialism,
I fear that the powerful nations of the day
would still have found Africa
a profitable source for the slave trade.
It's sickening to think of,
but there were prosperous nations that needed the manpower
(and woman power, and maybe even childpower?)
and even without engaging in a colonial relationship,
those powers would have traded in human flesh
to meet their labor force requirements.

We forget how very recent abolition is in history.
Slavery has been a fact of human civilization for many thousands of years.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 03:17 PM

colonialism is just a restricted context for exploitation, if merely considering the negatives. Exploitation has existed since man got up and walked. The early factories of the industrial revolution were not a worker's paradise. They did not replace cottage industry to give the workers better conditions, quite the reverse.child exploitation

" If Africa had not suffered Colonialism" This phrase rather suggests a situation that once existed"
Put Neo on the front of colonialism and has anything really changed.
More a case of the multinationals raping and pillaging with the tacit acceptance of the old colonial masters, aided by American hegemony


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 26 Feb 18 - 08:25 PM

No solutions here, but variations:
I second the importance of remembering the incredible depredations of King Leopold on the Congo. The book by Hochschild can be found online. It wasn't a true case of colonization, not that this justifies a thing. King Leopold treated the Belgian Congo as his private domain, which he depoiled with no trace of conscience. The story of this despicable treatment of millions of human beings was a cause celebre of its day, the unmasking of it through close attention to rail shipments reads like a detective novel, reminiscent of the "dog who did not bark".

Another book, less historical, but no less memorable, is "Shaka Zulu" by E.A. Ritter. The version that I read took a sympathetic look at Shaka and the Zulus but it told of massive bloodshed by Shaka and his generals who set out to form their own empires at the expense of their neighbors. Genocide is definitely indicated.

Then there are non-European colonizers/ destroyers, such as Genghiz Khan; The Huns, various intra-Chinese warlords, the Tartars, and the Rus who fought the Tartars.

I don't think the Celts and their Druidic elements would have much positive to say about the Romans and Christians who wiped them out in large numbers. I don't think the Babylonians would have much nice to say about the Assyrians (or have I got that the wrong way round?) Nor the Carthaginians the Romans, the Byzantines the Turks, or anyone in the Near East or North Africa the Ottomans (see what I did there?) And try and find a Zoroastran in Iran, now. They're there, but they take some finding. I don't think they shrank voluntarily.

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul not Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks!


Does that make what went on in Africa okay? No but Africa's a HYUGE place with a lot of players, and it's not a surprise that a lot of folks got in their business. After all, we all came from there at one time or another, and went to Europe and got in the Neanderthals' business.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Thompson
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 04:47 AM

There was a brilliant book about the colonisation of Africa, came out a few years ago, The Scramble for Africa.

Colonisation is never good: look at the 1580s and onward in Ireland: English and Scottish 'undertakers' came in, having bought or been granted the property of Irish families, and asset-stripped the land - first the trees, sold and exported to Britain en masse, then any other resources. They stood to their arms for the following centuries; for the occupiers hatred was their survival tactic, for the occupied, corruption became the only way to survive. Not good for a country.

I read an interesting figure a couple of years back: in India, the wealthiest cities (at the time), loaded with gold and pearls and perfumes and spices and silks, were where the East India Company set up, and where the British maintained their centres of power. These are now the poorest cities in India.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 05:33 AM

What always made me furious was the attitude that the poor, ignorant, primitive peoples needed our help to become civilised/Christianised. There was a frightful hymn I remember as a child that went:

"Over the sea there are little brown children'
Fathers and mothers and babies dear."

It continued in the vein that the message should be swiftly conveyed to them that 'God is near'. So patronising and condescending.

I suppose no colonisers will undertake the activity unless there are excellent pickings for them. In Africa for example (India too) there is/was a wealth of oil, timber cash crops, minerals etc etc combined with extremely cheap labour. Very tempting for greedy exploiters.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 05:45 AM

Not forgetting land of course. Australia, US, Canada..............

A small example of misdeeds below.
http://blog.nativepartnership.org/treaties-made-treaties-broken/


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Hrothgar
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 06:51 AM

Cynical bastard alert.

If the African people suffered so badly under their brutal colonial masters, why are so many of them now trying to get into the home countries of those brutal colonial masters?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 07:02 AM

"Cynical bastard alert."
Cynical indeed
Try - because of the unstable and impoverished conditions left behind by the retreating Imperial powers
The world is still up to its armpits in the blood from post coonial confilcts, and will continue to be for a few generations to come if present policies are pursued
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 07:24 AM

Hrothgar, I wonder if you have visited an African country? It's rather a shock the first time, especially if it's a very poor one, or a very poor region. Even after many, many visits, I'm still horrified and saddened by the things I see. The people there see 'The West' or 'Europe' portrayed on TV or in newspapers and long to escape their poverty, even semi-starvation. My husband was one of them.
I wouldn't blame anyone in those circumstances for risking all (even their lives in some cases) to get out of it and seek a better existence.
I still maintain that nowadays elected African politicians exacerbate the poverty by grabbing with both hands most of the financial gains to be had in their position, and do nothing to ameliorate the suffering. They just don't seem to care. To me, they're no better than the old colonials in their greed and indifference.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 07:51 AM

"Trickle-down economics, also referred to as trickle-down theory, is an economic theory that advocates reducing taxes on businesses and the wealthy in society as a means to stimulate business investment in the short term and benefit society at large in the long term. It is a form of laissez-faire capitalism in general and more specifically supply-side economics. Whereas general supply-side theory favors lowering taxes overall, trickle-down theory more specifically targets taxes on the upper end of the economic spectrum"

Go to Africa and see firsthand how well this stunning economic theory operates in the real world.

I suppose Rhodesia was much better off once those nasty colonials went home and the megalomaniac Mugabe took over.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 08:33 AM

The point I was making about corruption/family is also what happened with native Americans in a lot of places, I understand. Almost any really poor people have as an ethos that things are shared rather than owned. You give me a salary that seems OK or even small to a coloniZER, I the coloniZED will see it as unbounded riches that I could not possibly just keep to myself. It would be a crime not to share, in my book, and it would be a crime *to* share in theirs.

Not corruption by my standards, no matter how many times you explain to me that my cousins don't get any because they are not employees.

And cousin is broadly defined, too.

Hi ELiza!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 08:57 AM

Hello there Mrrzy! :)

I do understand what you mean about families wanting their 'cut'. My husband has an enormous family (more than sixty people in the courtyard alone, in little shanty shacks) as they're Muslims and the men have two, three or even four wives apiece, with all the resulting children. Whenever he goes home (the last time was last Spring for his father's funeral) he's positively besieged by family members begging for handouts.
When he visits his ancestral village up in the north, it's even worse.
The entire village tags along wherever he goes, expecting gifts. One old man asked for a 'European tractor'! They honestly think he's won the Lottery, and has millions to dispense.
It's pitiful, but can get very annoying. He's a school cleaner not a multi-millionaire.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 09:21 AM

Senoufou: I'm rather ignorant about South Africa, as I'm familiar only with parts of West Africa. Actually, it seems that other flourishing economies are now getting in on the act. The Chinese and Lebanese are making great strides in investment there, which does mean employment and development, but I have no doubt their own interests will come first, and back-handers offered to the corrupt politicians.

The Chinese in particular are virtually annexing parts of Africa. I've seen it at first hand in Angola and Sudan, but it's happening elsewhere too.

They go in with offers of loans for development projects. The projects are managed by the Chinese, who often bring in their own nationals to do even some of the most basic work, employing far fewer locals than they could. At a price of course, as the loans are used to repay the costs of the imported labour.

The collateral for the loans is the country's natural resources....typically oil land gas in the areas where I work, but also including gold, precious stones and other minerals. And the backhanders are enormous.

You could say they've taken over some of the worst aspects of the Western colonial era. Most Sudanese and Angolans I've spoken to loathe them as "they're more racist than most Westerners ever were".


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 09:55 AM

They have indeed 'taken over some of the worst aspects of the Western colonial era' Rob, I've seen their depredations in Senegal. And they have scant respect or care for the indigenous people. But the African politicians are culpable too. After all, they could negotiate far better deals if they were more honourable and less corrupt.

Poor poor Africa, it seems it's regarded merely as a large sweet shop just waiting for greedy folk to bust in the door and help themselves to all the toffees. (Or have the door unlocked already by dishonest, bent security guards!)


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 11:23 AM

It is way too simplistic to say that colonization is always bad. Viz that Monty Python sketch about the Romans.
India was united by the actions of the English.
I'll never forget a talk by a Hawaiian of Polynesian extraction at the Bishop Museum who was no fan of the Christian colonizers who mandated that Hawaiians give up the sexually expressive sides of their cultures, but said on balance it was worth it because they brought the written word (maybe she meant written Word).

I do not feel that justifies anything, but pretty much every culture that COULD colonize, DID colonize, from earliest times. One possible exception might be the Chinese, who we know had a strong, vital, technical and literate culture thousands of years ago, and did not extend it beyond their continental territory.

But they appear to be making up for it, now.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 12:00 PM

"It is way too simplistic to say that colonization is always bad. Viz that Monty Python sketch about the Romans."
It is not simplistic to say that no country should have control of another's people, culture or economy
That is intrinsically wrong and has long been proven so
It implies that one group of humans is naturally superior to the other
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 12:39 PM

"It implies that one group of humans is naturally superior to the other"
Nope. Just smarter and better technology!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Roz
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 04:45 PM

I feel that one important aspect of colonialism that this thread has not yet addressed is the consensual aspect of it. In my mind, and I'm no anthropologist, the difference between 'exploration' and 'colonialism' is the fact that colonizers stay where they're not wanted and plunder resources.

Iains, I would also say rather than smarter or better at technology, maybe it is more correct to say they were more willing to be cruel.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 27 Feb 18 - 08:45 PM

Jim Carroll:
You state your case with your customary brevity and more clarity than usual. I say that colonization is not always defined as you state. Sometimes colonization occurs on untenanted land. As to the cases where cultures conflict, I don't think that it is possible to be objective. The histories we have that approve of the colonizers were, of course, written by the colonizers.

Churchill's comment sort of applies here: "The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult."

We live in an era where the colonized (who have survived) have their own voice, and surprise, surprise, much criticism ensues.
But other colonizers left no survivors at all.

I'm going ahead and repeating myself. Sometimes the colonized have begrudging admiration for the colonizers. I am no fan of missionaries, but the Polynesians got the written word and ran with it. I have heard Indians credit the British Empire for the legal system, the infrastructure, the common language, that has given them an incredibly powerful and largely democratic country which has the power to go its own way and the ability to colonize its one-time colonizer.
The Romans might have been the ones who gave the English the idea of empire by incorporating them into theirs.
The English clearly defined much of the world that is able to stand on its own: Canada, The United States, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand. In so doing they transcended culture, race, and religion, and passed along the elements of a global society that has enabled this very thread to be formed over vast distances and read by people with vastly different backgrounds.
On the other hand, and it is an important-as-hell other hand which you will not listen to except maybe now that I've predicted you won't listen, it might make some people feel superior for a small amount of time. One side might feel superior because of technical / military accomplishments, the other might feel superior due to literary pretensions and the sheen of victimhood, but ALL are prey to unintended consequences. Chaos always gets a wedge in!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 08:41 AM

Wait till someone comes in to take your home and exploit your land without your consent; when that happens, you can look down your nose and make moral judgments.

Wait till the Arctic melts and the people of the Northern Hemisphere are flooding south and pleading for refuge; then you can look down your nose and patronise them for wanting to go to these other countries.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 10:00 AM

Keberoxou, re "...Slavery has been a fact of human civilization for many thousands of years...."

Not CHATTEL slavery. Not BRED slaves. Not slavery with no path to freedom as part of the institution. Chattel slavery has a distinct and more recent history of its own.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 10:18 AM

“One of the most persistent myths about the slave trade is also one of the most pernicious: that Africans’ role was wholly that of hapless pawns. Except for the trade’s last few decades—and arguably not even then—Africans themselves controlled the supply of African slaves, selling them to Europeans in the numbers they chose at prices they negotiated as equals. To be sure, Europeans tried to play off slavers against each other to get lower prices. But Africans played off European buyers against each other, too, captain against captain, nation against nation. If Africans were not forced by Europeans to sell other Africans, why did they do it? In some sense, the question is an example of “presentism”—the projection of contemporary beliefs onto the past. Few Europeans or Africans at this time viewed slavery as an institution that needed to be explained, still less as an evil to be decried. Slavery was part of the furniture of everyday life; in both Europe and Africa, depriving others of their liberty wasn’t morally problematic, though it was bad to enslave the wrong person. Christians, for example, were generally not supposed to enslave fellow Christians, though breaking this rule was sometimes permitted. Africans sold other Africans into slavery more often than Europeans less because of their different attitudes toward liberty than because of their different economic systems. Broadly speaking, says to Thornton, the Boston University historian, “slaves were the only form of private, revenue-producing property recognized in African law.” In western and central Europe, the most important form of property was land, and the aristocracy consisted mainly of large landowners who could buy or sell property with little legal restriction. In western and central Africa, by contrast, land was effectively owned by the government—sometimes personally by the king, sometimes by a kinship or religious group, most often by the state itself, with the sovereign exercising authority in the manner of a chief executive officer. No matter which arrangement held true in a given polity, though, the land could not be readily sold or taxed. What could be sold and taxed was labor. Kings and emperors who wanted to enrich themselves thus didn’t think in terms of occupying land but of controlling people. Napoleon sent his army to seize Egypt. An African Napoleon would have sent his army to seize Egyptians.”

—Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created (2011)


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 11:01 AM

Smarter, no. Better tech, yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 12:29 PM

Technology developed as a result of brains and a society willing to both fund and develop scientific advances. There was no industrial revolution in any part of Africa. Iron smelting was very limited and had no expansion in precolonial times. The entire structure of the indigenous cultures did not lend its self an equivalent progression. Life developed along very different lines compared to Europe and especially the UK.
It was far more than the close proximity of natural resources that kicked off development at coalbrookdale and concurrently lead to harnessing steam and developing machinery and factories. The other part of the story was the "emergence of a pro-science, commercially rich, high-wage society guaranteed by a benign, non-authoritarian government which allowed liberty and free-trade" A third factor was the earlier formation of the Royal Society, the very first ‘learned society’ meeting on 28 November 1660 followed a lecture at Gresham College by Christopher Wren. Joined by other leading polymaths including Robert Boyle and John Wilkins, the group soon received royal approval, and from 1663 it would be known as 'The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge'. A fourth factor was the development and growth of banks.
Other European societies jumped on the bandwagon and the race was on.
Perhaps it was a unique set of circumstances in England that gave the means to harness nature and go on to carve out an empire.
Whatever it was, indigenous societies elsewhere were outclassed, outgunned and out out-maneuvered and the pillaging started.

The modern equivalents are multinationals!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 01:57 PM

Bobad, Africans' willingness to sell their near and distant relatives came via first European poisoning the culture with many inducements, which eventually included guns for slaves. The colonizers also strategically fomented intertribal warfare so that they could procure enslaved human beings. Chattel slavery in particular did not begin with Africans.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 02:46 PM

African states played a key role in the slave trade. Slavery was already a common practice among Sub Saharan Africans long before the involvement of the Arabs, Berbers and Europeans. There were three types: those who were slaves through conquest, those who were slaves due to unpaid debts, or those whose parents gave them as slaves to tribal chiefs. Chieftains would barter their slaves to Arab, Berber, Ottoman or European buyers for rum, spices, cloth or other goods

-Tunde Obadina. "Slave trade: a root of contemporary African Crisis". Africa Business Information Services. Retrieved 19 September 2010.

Selling captives or prisoners was common practice among Africans, Turks, Berbers and Arabs during that era. However, as the Atlantic slave trade increased its demand, local systems which primarily serviced indentured servitude expanded and started to supply the European slave traders, changing social dynamics. It also ultimately undermined local economies and political stability as villages' vital labour forces were shipped overseas as slave raids and civil wars became commonplace. Crimes which were previously punishable by some other means became punishable by enslavement.

-Graeber, David. 2012. Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House.

As fashionable as it is to blame the "West" for all of societies evils, both past and present, history tells us that many of those evils existed long before Europeans made contact with them. Indeed many Native American tribes also practiced slavery long before the arrival of Europeans. The myth of the pristine paradise tainted by the arrival of Europeans is simply that, a myth.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 02:53 PM

Slaves Built the pyramids , rowed Galleys for Phonecians, Greeks, Romans, Iberian & Arab seafarers etc . Northern Europeans were "Johnny come lately" in the slave labour market. Even the Swedes had slaves in their 6th to 11th century and again in their 16th century Empire and they are rightly embarrassed about that.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 03:32 PM

Was St Patrick not reputed to be a slave? Kidnapped by Irish slavers around 426AD. Something else to blame the Irish for.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 04:07 PM

Bobad. CHATTEL Slavery. Inform yourself further about that.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 04:16 PM

Whether slavery existed within sub-Saharan African societies before the arrival of Europeans is a hotly contested point between Afrocentric and Eurocentric academics. What is certain is that Africans were subjected to several forms of slavery over the centuries, including CHATTEL slavery under both the Muslims with the trans-Saharan slave trade, and Europeans through the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

There are reports that CHATTEL slavery still exists in Islamic North Africa, in such countries as Mauritania and Sudan (despite both countries being participants in the 1956 UN slavery convention).


https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-slavery-in-africa-44542


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 04:22 PM

Iains they were reptutedly in the employ of a man called Julius McAlpine who was building a Roman road, It wasn't their fault , a big boy with an Anglo Saxon accent told them to do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Iains
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 06:46 PM

Probably right and Murphy had the muck shifting contract.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 28 Feb 18 - 06:49 PM

Heads up on one thing: It's being said that Egypt's pyramids were NOT built by slaves, but by members of Giza local IIIVX under a low-ball contract that didn't allow for adequate long-term inspections and there was a scandal on the specialty scaffolding required!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Mar 18 - 08:10 AM

Those were the granary ones, right?

*Everybody* had slavery. It used to be normal.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 02 Mar 18 - 01:41 PM

Bobad, thank you for the link to more Eurocentric thinking. I will remain open to those ideas as I come across them in my work, but I was not impressed with the scholarship citations (or frequent lack thereof), as I explored around that site. I prefer the Afrocentric perspective, and especially recommend the film "500 Years Later."


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Thompson
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 07:21 AM

Yes, there was lots of slavery. There was lots of rape too. Doesn't moderate my attitude to either.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 09:12 AM

No, deplorable, but my point was just that it wasn't invented by Europeans when they saw Africans. I live in the southern US, statues and all, there is a lot of blaming of all whites for all slavery here.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 12:46 PM

I think we all start out pretty ignorant and tribal. Then we learn to, as Douglas Adams put it, "bang the rocks together." Where we go beyond this may not be so straightforward. But with fire, agriculture, wheels, we go further and longer. And some of us call it 'civilization'. Some tribes appear to get ahead of the others, and credit themselves as superior because of it. A book called "Guns, Germs and Steel" attempted to put it in perspective.

I think it is wrong to persecute people for things they cannot help. You shouldn't kill them and enslave them just because you can. But it is also human nature to exploit the weakness of other humans.

You shouldn't blame people for all your current problems because of things their parents may have done to your parents. The past is not fully knowable, and what little we know of it indicates everyone has base human drives and everyone is liable to blame the other guy.

Europe was colonized and invaded and hard done by. And the religious wars continued the utter viciousness of the worst of human nature to play out well into historical times.
America was colonized and invaded.
Asia was colonized and invaded. I'd say China has a good case to be really ticked off at the British because they were pretty civilized by anyone's standards for a long period of time before being subjected to the twin activities of the Missionary and the opium trade. But does that justify China's current bellicosity and anti-environmental activities in Africa, and the South China Seas? I'd say it doesn't justify it but it maybe explains it.

Africa had a long time of human habitation before being colonized, had its own wars and genocides and territorial occupations. Then was colonized in parts but has seen plenty of inter-tribal violence, both before and after European involvements, which was caused by pure old human culpability.

Some of the things that stand out are King Leopold's outright destruction and thievery and Rwanda's Hutu-on-Tutsi genocides, and the current outrages in South Sudan. But Europe had PLENTY of those types of outrages over centuries.

Face it. We've had a planet-full of BAD PARENTING. Everyone's got an attitude.

We should be thankful that in the present world there is an overall decline in world violence.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 05:04 PM

Well put Robomatic
Id be interested to see who else on here takes the effort to agree .... I wont hold my breath


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 08:23 PM

Opinions may differ, but as usual, I'm right. I know I'm right because I'm always right and I just said I'm right (Leaving out the sad fact that my ancient brain totally confused Ogden Nash with e.e. cummings to my great humiliation in a poetry conversation today).


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 08:28 PM

I read somewhere that E.E.Cummings didn't use lower case when writing his name.......just saying.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 08:34 PM

There's a poem of his I read in high school containing the lines:

" jesus said it- he didn't believe it"
confucius said it- he didn't believe it
I said it, you said it, we all said it, but he didn't believe it, no sirree-
It took a piece of the fifth avenue el in the top of his head to make him believe it"

I have searched the internet for the entire whole poem with not success, but I'm confident in my memory such as it is. It may be under copyright so actually unavailable unless you lock into the original publication. But I reckon I ran into it in an anthology and maybe a textbook. Still haven't found it.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 09:27 PM

E.E. Cummings Told Him

A poem on the price of war.

plato told

him:he couldn’t
believe it(jesus

told him;he
wouldn’t believe
it)lao

tsze
certainly told
him,and general
(yes

mam)
sherman;
and even
(believe it
or

not)you
told him:i told
him;we told him
(he didn’t believe it,no

sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth

avenue
el;in the top of his head:to tell

him


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 09:30 PM

Robo, the problem with your reassuringly rosy picture is that while many groups are enjoying a cultural shift away from violence, violence perpetrated against some groups amounts to genocide in slow motion. This is because the violence is disproportionate to those groups' population numbers.

So when people comfort themselves that, overall, human society is getting 'more civilized', it's easy to remain in denial about the violence directly causing the disappearing populations. And fail to change our own unintentional complicity with the violence involved.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 11:38 PM

bobad:

THANKS! Where? Did? You? Find? It?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Mar 18 - 11:43 PM

Wizzi:

Your point well taken and I don't personally take it as a rosy reality: I am willing to believe that fewer deaths and less violence overall is indeed the world case right now, but I fear the increased willingness to discuss using nukes and even more so the use of toxins and genetically keyed poisons which are now within our grasp, and the use of, yes I'm going to say it, "killer robots" where the key extra ingredient is "autonomous".

In other words, the bastard grandchildren of King Leopold are only waiting in the wings.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Mar 18 - 07:41 AM

The Better Angels of our Nature is a good book, but I live in Charlottesville...


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Mar 18 - 04:44 PM

its a bit of a weitd thought - but what if we'd never been invaded. the romans, the vikings,   the saxons, the normans......

i wonder what we would have been like......

I reckon we'd still be arsing around in woad, Every day would be like Birmingham City versus Everton. Blue everywhere. Suit the tories I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 06 Mar 18 - 06:24 PM

As physicist Fritz Houtermans told his co-workers, when defending his heritage:

"While your ancestors were still in the trees, mine were already forging checks!"


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Mar 18 - 09:39 AM

Ooh I have to steal that one.

What if the moors had never invaded Europe?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 07 Mar 18 - 09:44 AM

moors ..... would the be nobody called peat?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Mar 18 - 01:26 PM

So are any of us posting on this thread or reading it.... Africans or recent (not Lucy) African-heritage.... and if not, innit a little.... um. .. strange that we european-heritage folks think we can opine accurately?

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 07 Mar 18 - 01:50 PM

Well, aren't we ALL of African heritage?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 Mar 18 - 09:55 PM

Indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 10:52 AM

Robo, do you IDENTIFY as African heritage such as African American, Afro Cuban, African, etc? Are people targeted as people of color reading or posting in this thread, that's what I was asking when I referenced Lucy.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 11:18 AM

We are all of one race in spite of attempts to divide on the basis of artifact of pigmentation or political borders.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 12:08 PM

wysiwyg:
Gotcha: Your well-put query (Lucy and all)went right over my knobby head. Thank you for explicating and not just assuming I was trying to be irritating (I wasn't). I sorta assumed by virtue of your posts YOU had some African connection. For the record, one can be white and African if one is born in Africa or descended from Afrikaaners or other European derived residents. Or African-American but not 'black' as an example President Barack Obama was a descendant of an African but not of African-American slaves.

Mudcat in the past had at least one frequent poster who identified as African-American and would frequently address race-based issues. No one to my knowledge has so self-identified recently.

I don't find it unusual for people to opine about races/ religions/ conditions not their own, because people are curious. Does that mean people post stuff that might be ignorant or inaccurate? Surely. But by being in the open they are subject to correction. In general I try not to get 'judgy' about posts because I want to know what people really think and not get them trying to camoflage themselves too much. More often than not people have chosen a way to express themselves that pushed my buttons more than the thing they were expressing.

And there is truth in the notion that we're all from Africa. I think a bit more awareness of this is a good thing, encouraging cross sensitivities

We ALL come from tribes at some point.

And again for the record, I do not identify as African other than as I stated above.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 01:44 PM

My numerous sisters-in-law (all Senoufo) are the most beautiful women I have ever met. They are elegant, slim, very dark-skinned and have that glorious thick afro hair. But they spend a lot of time trying to look like white people. It breaks my heart. They use a smelly product on their skin to whiten it (actually, it looks yellow) which causes skin problems. They use preparations to straighten their hair, which make it go thin and fall out. They're ashamed to be slim because white people are plump.
All this came about presumably because the French colonisers were seen as 'superior' and white people as 'more attractive'.

I once confided to Ramatou that I'd give anything to have been born an African, as I love their grace, elegance and colour. She stared at me as if I was completely barking mad.

(By the way, some Mudcatters may remember that she recently contracted TB, but I'm pleased to say her treatment is working well, and in about four months she should be completely cured)


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 02:05 PM

I agree. I mentioned elsewhere on a Mudcat thread about hearing that Somalis use skin products to lighten their skin, some have mercury in them. Mygodwhy. It's as cockeyed as Orientals getting their epicanthal lids removed.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 03:02 PM

"It's as cockeyed as Orientals getting their epicanthal lids removed."
Or Europeans sticking bits of metal through their ears, bnose nipples, genitals - not to mention boring thousands of holes though their skin and pouring indelible ink into it or removing foreskins shortly after birth -
Chacun gout (if that's not too "foreign" for some people)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 03:30 PM

But the difference Jim is that the Africans are making these changes to themselves in order to emulate 'superior' white Westerners. Those other practices (tattoos, piercings etc) are a form of body art for one's own pleasure.
I suppose one could question why I like to get a bit of a tan when the sun comes out. But I'm not trying to copy any particular racial characteristic, I just look more healthy than when I'm pale and pasty, and the extra vitamin D is good for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 04:53 PM

So glad to hear about Ramatou's recovery, Eliza. Good news seems scarce these days.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 05:01 PM

Thank you Jackaroodave.
One thing about the colonials is that they established hospitals and clinics. The TB centre in Abidjan is large and very effective in diagnosing and treating the disease. The trouble is, it was originally set up to treat any French who became ill, and one has to pay in order to use its services. We pay for Ramatou's treatment, but if we weren't around, the illness would just progress until she died. (as have several of my husband's old schoolmates)
It would seem that the whites were principally interested in keeping the locals free from infectious diseases they themselves didn't want to catch!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 07:15 PM

its a bit pointless - Africa WAS bleeding well colonised. who knows what would have happened.

What would have happened if Abraham Lincoln was born a kangaroo in Australia.....

its all bollocks, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 07:28 PM

Exactement!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Stanron
Date: 08 Mar 18 - 07:37 PM

The British Isles were colonised, by the Beaker people, by the Romans, By the Angles and Saxons and then by the Normans. Give it another 1000 years and let's see who Africa colonises.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 09:06 AM

Africans already colonized Europe, they (well, some of them) had all of Iberia and half of what would become France at the least.
Middle Easterners colonized Africa (North and East) long before the Europeans got to West and Southern Africa.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 09:52 AM

Yes but they weren't white and European so that doesn't play into the Western white guilt narrative.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 12:08 PM

i hereby absolve you from all guilt or responsibility or any inference that you played a part in the slave trade, the Irish potato famine, the extinction of the buffalo, and slaughter of the innocents.

Under a statute of limitations bobad you can walk away from the court of public opinion a free man; your name unblemished....your reputation vindicated, before you lie the sunlit uplands....

fair enough...?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 12:46 PM

Sigh. If only.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 02:35 PM

Rather than "White Guilt," I've found "White Privilege" a concept useful to inform oneself about and to meditate on. It's actual, present, measurable, and has troubling consequences for all of us. Dealing with it needn't involve finger pointing or breast-beating; ignoring it can impede our empathy for our neighbors and our awareness of ourselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 02:58 PM

both very simplistic reductio ad absurdums.

we have some very poor people of all colours in my country , England.

some very rich people - all very determined to pay very little tax, and acknowledging no responsibility for the privileges they enjoy or the necessity to keep this a stable society.

India has more millionaires than any other country - so presumably they have the same problem in spades.

Cue for the usual chorus of right wing claptrappers to say - rich people pay more tax than us. no they don't. they pay more income tax. but most taxation is raised indirectly - and this inevitably falls on the poor.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 03:33 PM

I understand that you feel concern for the poor people in UK Al, but unless one has been to some 'Third World' countries and seen the extremes of poverty, disease, suffering and literal starvation (children and adults) one can't appreciate the difference. 'Poor' here is not the same as 'poor' over there.

I agree with Jackaroodave that 'White Privilege' is a good watchword. I am constantly aware of how fortunate I am, and try in an admittedly limited way to help as much as I can. But I don't personally feel responsible for colonisation, exploitation or enslavement that took place without my involvement or complicity.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: bobad
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 03:53 PM

I thank you for your absolution Father Al, my burden has been lifted.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 04:51 PM

Senoflou you wouldn't want the white privileges that exist in some corners of our land for a dog.

You're right. I haven't seen lots of third world places. The only place in Africa I've seen is Tunisia. Spent a week there once. Saw the townships of people living in cardboard boxes. saw the mausoleum with the solid gold roof for the head honcho.

You know if you've ever done a job like teaching in the inner ring of one of our great cities, and watched the tory party conference, you'd realise our problems and the solution to them aren't so different from those of third world countries.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Senoufou
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 05:15 PM

In the early seventies, I taught in an extremely poor area of Glasgow called Bluevale, the wrong side of Duke Street. The pupils were malnourished, badly housed (some in condemned properties infested with rats and cockroaches) and had impetigo, scabies, head lice and so on. Their parent/s were often drunk or violent. They were showered once a week by a lady who brought clean towels and examined their skin. They were sent to Mugdock Residential School for six weeks' respite.
Their poverty was indeed heartbreaking (I truly loved those bairns) BUT I can assure anyone who hasn't been there that the things I've seen in Senegal, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Ghana and so on were MUCH WORSE.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 11:31 PM

I am only white by most standards. Not white enough for the alt-right, but white enough to be supposed to have guilt according to many americans of partial african descent some of whose ancestors were slaves. Now, 3 out of 4 of my grandparents were foreign and so were not even descended from white American slave owners, and the 4th was Quaker so even though *some* of his white European-descended ancestors were in this country during slave times, they were either moving away from slave states or working the underground railroad. I have no guilt at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 09 Mar 18 - 11:52 PM

I have felt 'white privilege' only if I were to put it in words in the context of work environment and place in which it occurred I would've called it 'Christian privilege'. In my own description at the time I described it as: "He tried to white-boy me." I didn't act on it because I am resistent to bringing things to law or HR. While it is for the most part visible as a kind of veneer, an attitude sensed, or a comment one is not sure one heard accurately, or a quote of something someone else heard. In one case a Mormon co-worker (a stand-up guy I would fight for) made the comment vis-a-vis my immigrant background that it was 'nice to have me here'. He meant well, but to my ears it sounded condescending.

A version of this visible to all is the so-called 'War on Christmas'. I don't really have a problem with being wished "Merry Christmas" by those who know no better, but there are those who definitely do know better.

This occurs even in multi-ethnic environments. Just ask Bernie Sanders. And I've been told of nasty anti-Semitic remarks passed by black co-workers in the presence of someone they knew was Jewish.

So I have no difficulty in believing in 'White Privilege' but I liked what comedian Louis C.K. did with it in one of his monologues.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 02:33 AM

okay. let's say we were privileged. and its because we're white. and because we lived in a country were the rich guys invested in the slave trade.

what in your opinion are the corollaries arising from that?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 09:03 AM

We are privileged for being born American. What luck.

Corollary, we feel entitled to what we have since we were born to it, rather than seeing it as the privilege it actually is.

Those of us who lived in the Third World, sub-saharan west Africa in my case, see the luxuries. Standard americans see normalcy.

I used to teach my kids we were rich when we were on food stamps - We still had a washer and dryer in the house. I mean, really, that was not poverty.

Another corrolary is that when people don't have as much as others here in richdom USA, they (the poorer) think they are actually poor.

I had an Ivorian friend look around and say, Only in America are the poor FAT.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Jackaroodave
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 11:05 AM

Mrrzy:"Corollary, we feel entitled to what we have since we were born to it, rather than seeing it as the privilege it actually is."

Yes! Or we don't even see it at all.

Research, experience, and introspection have convinced me that we tend to look to circumstances to help explain our shortcomings but to attribute our successes to our abilities.

(Friends, please interpret "we" and "our" as non-inclusive if that's appropriate.)


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 12:22 PM

its not actually a sense of entitlement. its more to with the fact that my parents physically starved as children in the 1920's and 30's. THey fought a war. made a contract with a post war government, and paid huge taxes on tiny wages all their lives, which resulted in lifetimes of poverty - poverty of hope, poverty of ambition for their children.

I've seen tory and labour governments tear up the agreements they made, dishonour the promises made - steal as much as they could of the pittances they had managed to save.

I just wonder where and when the reward comes for the basic decency of the English people.

They didn't fish their seas to extinction like the Spanish. They didn't award themselves the right to own sub machine guns. THey reformed and liberalised the legal system and purged gory executions and legitimised previously illegal sexual practices. They financed with the aforessaid taxes a NHS and social security service, which is pillaged and exploited, and the only regrets of the party who created seems to be that we don't throw it open to the whole world.

perhaps our mistake was not to be as rapacious, reactionary and greedy as the top layer of our society.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 12:23 PM

after all if we're going to confession - let's have something to confess!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 01:47 PM

That reminds me of a Pickles cartoon. Pickles and her husband are in church and the speech bubble, obviously from the minister giving the homily, is asking: "And what do we have to do before we obtain forgiveness for our sins?"
Next panel: Another speech bubble from way back in the congregation: "SIN!"

My thoughts in approval of white privilege will come later should this thread survive and not be closed by a nervous nelly mod.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Mar 18 - 04:39 PM

Yeah, Mom knew starvation, as did our Ivorian friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 06:08 AM

of course poor people in third world countries will be worse off than poor people in relatively prosperous countries.

And in a way - you can blame the 'devil take the hindmost' discipline that economics seems to impose on us.

I say seems, because its very short sighted. Just as the southern states in the antebellum America saw slavery as being the basis of their economy, when it was in fact slavery that was keeping them poor - thus it is with the third world. We will all be better off if Africa becomes full of wage earning consumers buying the goods we produce.

however what hope do they truly have. the engine of change must come from within.
And if we cannot help our own poor - despite having ruthless secular logic applied by teams of government think tanks - what chance do countries with all manner of outlandish beliefs - both social and spiritual.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 07:18 AM

Subjunctively speaking, if Africa had not been colonised, I would not have had to do an essay on "the scramble for Africa" for which I got A+ at school!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 08:17 AM

its an ill wind...


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 11 Mar 18 - 02:47 PM

I've just been listening to "A World Lit Only by Fire" by William Manchester. It's the story of Europe in the Middle Ages and it's progressive march of various peoples, kicked out of one domain and settling another, typically obliterating the population it comes upon. What little civilization is left is pretty shabby, and the legal system knows neither justice nor mercy.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 07:08 AM

A highly educated neighbour from Siera Leone considers that had Africa not been colonised up to 50% of the population would have been killed/tortured etc during inter tribal wars!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 07:23 AM

Tell us where he was educated. They could urgently do with a visit from Ofsted.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 08:09 AM

Ha ha!!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 12:57 PM

One of the top schools in Africa I believe, where they teach common sense and not lefty gibberish!


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 02:30 PM

University of Wakonda?


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Mar 18 - 11:08 PM

I do wonder what would be different about humanity if we had stayed on our various continents long enough to speciate... not just not colonize Africa.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 06:02 AM

You may be assuming there that Homo sapiens had multiple origins on different continents. You can only "speciate" if you're there in the first place. That means you either arose in several places independently or you migrated there.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 08:09 AM

We were in different places long enough to evolve the different skin colors and fat distributions etc - though we all came from Africa. The different what-we-perceive-as-race-today did evolve separately after migrating to where what had been africans evolved into the "races" - is what I meant.


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Subject: RE: BS: If Africa had not suffered Colonialism
From: robomatic
Date: 13 Mar 18 - 10:14 PM

I think James Blish made a noble effort with "The Seedling Stars"

If the OT is anything to go by, mankind was not made to settle down. We were kicked out of the Garden of Eden for a reason.


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