Recently we had black history month and among the fanfare and platitudes laid at the feet of the many black titans we have also had those voices saying slavery and colonisation were good things in the long run for black people.
Putting aside how ridiculous it sounds when first hearing it, it is also factually incorrect. For while it is true that slavery brought the black man out of the ‘dark continent’ during slavery, and brought European industry during colonisation to the colonies but to leave it there is to only look at the surface.
Slavery was genocide, it was the holocaust before the holocaust. It ripped families apart destroyed civilizations and cultures all while depleting Africa of it’s youth, leaving , underpopulated well into the nineteenth century.
Slavery in the Americas was an abomination where one man could fill another with gunpowder and set him alight or bury a man up to his neck, baste him with honey and let the ants have there way with him while facing no ramifications. It was in short barbaric and inexcusable and simply can’t be swept under the rug because the effects are still felt today.
Equally colonisation was a monstrous action undertaken by the great powers. The wanton dividing of areas with scant regard for people and tribes, the deliberate placing of minorities to rule majorities thus fostering hatred and the enforcement of rules through sheer thuggery are all legacies of colonialism that still haunt many a nation in Africa and the Caribbean.
But then again with the logic of the persons who say ‘get over it’ or ‘it was a good thing’, I say, yes and the Jews should get over the holocaust and the Amerindians should get over the genocide, because really, it was so long ago and the Jews got Israel while Amerindians got reserves.
But just as how that argument holds no water and can easily be refuted, so can the argument about slavery and colonisation.
All the aforementioned were atrocities, all were barbaric acts that to this day leave an imprint on us. Slavery ended in 1838, Norman Manley was born in 1893, Michael in the 1920’s, in realistic terms that is a sixty and ninety years or a parent and grandparent.
So let us not take these things lightly, genocide is bad and whatever the ends, they are not always justified by the means. Colonisation and slavery were horrible means to the end of ‘enlightening’ people, just look up west African smelting historically for the proof, they can’t be justified and should be called out for what they are, garbage.