White supremacy is a global political system which protects, promotes and imposes European culture and values, for the domination and survival of the white race as Welsing has demonstrated. This must be a fundamental premise on which one’s critical analysis of the oppression and domination of African must be based.
From the very emergence of White supremacy, the white race was clear about one thing, and this is White Power. In this small piece on White supremacy, I plan to provide “general readers” (Africans) with a brief outline of the advent of White supremacy in the southern part of our African continent. Those who are well grounded in African history (Afrocentric history which is a must for every African) know that White supremacy emerged much earlier in West Africa. In South Africa the common date is 1652.
By the time the Dutch arrived in 1652 the enslavement of Africans by the Arabs who practised for a very long time before the Europeans had already destroyed Africa, and were joined by the Portuguese around 1441 when they took Africans to Lisbon as Du Bois had demonstrated. The Africans revolted against White supremacy as early as 1653, when the Dutch encroached on their ancestral lands. By the Africans I mean both the Khoi-san and the Bantu.As Clarke argued, an important part of revolution is the rejection of a classification system imposed on Africans by White supremacy.
Fredrickson provides good information on the enslavement of Africans and their revolt in his book called White Supremacy. Thus, 1652 marks the beginning of the loss of sovereignty and land dispossession at the hands of White supremacists. The justification for this process which we have to call the Holocaust or Maafa, was that Africans are “lesser breeds” in need of civilization by a white man. The irony of this justification is that this very white man lacks “civilization”.
As Clarke argued, civilization is the “art of being civil”, the ability to co-exist with other people with relative harmony and respect. The white man did the very opposite of civilization, he claimed he is bringing to African whom he regarded as not human.
The white man committed genocide (e.g. the Herero people, by the Germans), rape (some Khoi-san women) theft and robbery (land and cattle of the Africans).I agree with Clarke that the White man only brought his “way of life” and not civilization as such and as he would have us believe. As Sayce argued “the white man likes to make other people believe that he is the leader of the world, but the white people arrived only recently on the stage of world history and civilization”.
When it comes to world history and civilization the white man is what Clarke designates as “Johnny-come-lately” (mafikizolo).Afrocentric historians such as Ivan van Sertima, Cheik Anta Diop and Molefi Asante have demonstrated that Africa is the cradle of both humanity and civilization.
Clarke has argued that half of world history had already passed before Africans who were already highly civilised knew that there was a white man. Africans must know about the highly advanced civilization of ancient Egypt which after Diop and Obenga we now know with certainty that it was built by Africans and not some fictional “Hamitic/white race”.
They must know about the brilliant civilization of Ethiopia, the advance in science through the Ethiopians as demonstrated by Count Volney and Houston. The advanced civilization in West Africa where university life was normal (university of Sankore in Timbuctoo and scholars who wrote many books such as Ahmed Baba).They must know about Ghana, Mali and Songhai which flourished around the time when the white man was immersed in barbarism.
This piece will not cover the glorious achievements of Africans without the trusteeship and supervision by a white man, brilliant achievements in mathematics, art, literature, spirituality etc. The white man’s “way of life” which was imposed on African made one thing very clear, the white man seeks Power by any means necessary. Cultural Imperialism is an aspect of White supremacy which has to be given serious attention and understood very well.
The attempt of Cultural Imperialism is to wipe out the culture of Africans and to turn them into empty vessels waiting to receive White supremacist culture and value system. This is what Amos Wilson calls the “falsification of African Consciousness”. Thus, what the white man called civilization was nothing but a declaration of warfare on African culture and value system .As Ani Marimba has argued, culture is and “immune system”, when you destroy it, you take away the capacity of people to defend themselves. And this is why Africans are indulging in self-destructive and racial suicidal forms of behaviour.
There is a serious need to read the works of Cabral such as Unity and Struggle and Return to the Source, to understand the importance of culture and liberation. The importance of African culture in resisting the White supremacist culture of aggressive individualistic materialism cannot be overemphasised. Around the 1800s, missionaries were used by White supremacists to “collect’ information about African culture and to used it against Africans, through the intentional and opportunistic distortion of African cultural practices and value system.
This is the manner in which the infamous Machiavellian method of divide and conquer was used then and is still used now. As Clarke has argued colonisation was not just about the physical space but it was also a colonisation of information of the space itself. Africans fought this colonisation by the white man. There is vast amount of literature on the African revolt against White supremacy. Africans were not mere objects which were acted upon by White supremacists.
But they were warriors who fought bravely to defend their human dignity and material interests such as land and wealth. The history of South Africa since 1652 is about African revolt against White supremacy. We have a “collection” of warrior of whom we need to be highly proud and imitate. Anton Lembede emphasised the need to embrace the legacy of these African warriors.
It is important to understand that these brave African warriors were not savages who resisted the white man’s civilization as White supremacist would have us believe, they were defending themselves against European warfare against their biological survival which is still going on even today.
It is also important to know that our African history does not begin in 1652 with the arrival of the white man. We had empires, kingdoms and brilliant states which preceded the arrival of the white man by many centuries.Prominant examples are Mapungubwe and Monamotapa.
By the time the white man arrived in 1652 Africans had centres of advanced civilization which traded with outside world. Africans practiced mining and introduced iron age culture thousands of years before the white man. Asante in the History of Africa refers to African mining in Swaziland around 30,000 years ago, there was no white man at this juncture in African history.
As Clarke argued colonisation took away African self-confidence. Africans have been bombarded with images of a white man for a very long time, to an extent that they are mentally dependent on these White supremacists. As Biko argued the Africans have to restore their “manhood (I am aware of the lack of gender-sensitivity).In the face of this cultural warfare declared by the White supremacists, Africans in the 1800s launched a spiritual revolt in the form of the Ethiopian movement.
This Ethiopian movement was to a great extent influenced by other Africans in the American Diaspora such as Richard Allen and Absalom Jones. They rejected White supremacy in churches. Some Africans are still embracing White supremacy in churches.
The worship of a white, blond and blue-eyed Jesus is a serious joke which has to be dealt with as soon as possible if African are to end their mental enslavement inaugurated by white missionaries and their black friends. Historically speaking, Jesus was never white, blond and blue-eyed until the 1500s when Pope Julius instructed Michelangelo to paint Jesus white as Ben-Jochannan and Van Sertima have argued.
This is a sensitive issue which must be tackled with tact. But the truth must be told and not sugar-coated to ease the minds of Africans who are victims of religious White supremacy and psychological enslavement. As Clarke has argued when you worship an image of a God who does not look like you, you become a spiritual prisoner of the people who impose this image on you.
We now know through the brilliant research of Ben-Jochannan and John G Jackson that the African spiritual elements which went into the making of Judaism and Christianity existed in Africa thousands of years before the birth of Christ. The Africans in ancient Egypt had developed concepts such as the virgin birth, trinity, death and resurrection thousands of years before Christ. As Clarke has argued, Africans have to stop imitating their imitators.
We don’t have to rely on Freud in the book Moses and Monotheism to know that Moses was an Egyptian and introduced the concept of monotheism to the people we now call the Jews (there was no such a thing in the ancient world).Moses got this concept of monotheism from a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty in Egypt called Akhenaton.
Another dominant aspect of White supremacy is economic Power. Here it is important to emphasise the fact that, the white man changes his tactics and not his heart. Any passionate and dedicated student of World history (not only European which pretends to be one) knows that from the 1400s, the white man pursued Power, and is still is today. Around the 1800s, gold and diamond were “discovered” in South Africa. This aspect of White supremacy must be studied thoroughly.
This “discovery” led to the so-called Anglo-Boer war as if Africans were not involved, after being deceived by both factions of White supremacy that they will get their ancestral lands after the war. The Africans failed then and now to understand that for the white man, it is about Power, domination and control.
During the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging, Africans who failed to understand the White man, were “betrayed” when both factions of White supremacist consolidated their efforts for economic Power, domination and control over Africans. Africans did not “get” their ancestral lands, but were to be used as cheap labour in the continuing process of “primitive accumulation” as Marx called it. Again, for the white man it was about Power then, and it still is today.
The white man accumulated immense wealth on the blood and death of Africans who are the “natural beneficiaries” of this wealth. When around the 1900s,the Africans who form the pillar of the South African economic system revolted against the Apartheid regime, which is nothing new but a reconfiguration and intensification of colonial conquest which began in 1652,White supremacy, had to “adjust’ itself. This adjustment took the form of the extension of “universal rights” to Africans in order to integrate the South African economic into the international neo-liberal free-market system to further the exploitation and domination of Africans by White supremacy, which “won’ the Cold war. But this is not the End of History, for Capitalism has been in crisis for a while now. Samir Amin and David Harvey have demonstrated this fact.
In conclusion, we cannot talk about “Post-apartheid” when the white man still holds economic power in the form of farmlands where African farm workers are exploited and killed and the Minerals and Energies Complex. The white man still has cultural power in the form of the European educational system which mis-educates Africans as Woodson had demonstrated. This Eurocentric educational system promotes the worship of whiteness and the pursuit of white recognition among Africans, which is why important to read Biko over and over again.
As Clarke argued, powerful people never educate powerless people to take power away from them. And that the so-called of Africans within this Eurocentric educational system is a contradiction is terms. My last point in this regard is that the biological survival of Africans is in question, what with Arab imperialism in North Africa, Euro-American imperialism and Asian imperialism.
As Clarke argued, Africa is under siege. Chinweizu must be read by many Africans. Chinweizu’s advice about the need to read Biko and Garvey should be heeded, I will also include Chancellor Williams and Amos Wilson in this regard. Africa needs both industrial and military Power to survive, the sooner the better. Again, it’s about Power, everything else is madness at this juncture in African history.
By Masilo Lepuru