The murder of George Floyd by police in America and subsequent global protests have brought into sharp focus, the “heroes” that built the modern world globally. The life and work of these men of “honor” such as: Edward Colston, Cecil Rhodes, Winston Churchill and Christopher Columbus, have come under the spotlight and there have been ambivalence in the public reaction of tearing down and/or defacing these statues. These statues represent different things to different persons and as Ziggy Marley reminded us in “Still the Storm Comes”, “Their heroes are my enemies and one man’s profit is another man’s loss”.
Edward Colston was born in Bristol, England and was a member of the Royal African Company (RAC), which sailed from Liverpool and Bristol to the West African coast. The RAC embarked on 624 voyages between 1660 and 1752, including 173 to Jamaica. During these trips, tens of thousands of our ancestors perished. Cecil Rhodes, solitary goal was to “install British imperialism from Cape Town to Cairo”, by any means necessary. Hitler would have been horrified at Rhodes brutality to our ancestors. Sir Winston Churchill was described by Indian politician, Dr. Shashi Tharoor as belonging in the category as some of “the worst genocidal dictators of the 20th century” because of his complicity in the Bengal Famine in 1943, when up to 4 million Bengalis were starved to death. Christopher Columbus’s unsurpassed notoriety makes him the world’s most brutal terrorist/criminal. Based on the misdeeds of these men it is obvious that globalization, promoted to the cultural and economic detriment of small countries by first world countries would have caused a global re-assessment of heroes and enemies.
The erection and care of statues of these “great“ men over 500 years, indicate that there is great cultural value in celebrating the people who made a nation great, even if those men were genocidical murderers to other nations and people. Underrated American songstress Tracy Chapman had long predicted this period and on the title track of her album, “New Beginning”, arguably the most intellectually stimulating album by any female artiste, states that “we need to make new symbols, make new signs, make a new language, with these we’ll define the world”.
So what should these new signs and symbols represent from an African perspective? These signs and symbols should represent not only hope for future generations of African children, but also provide inspiration to the youngsters. The tearing down of these oppressive statues is in keeping with this New Beginning. Removing the physical statues of these evil men, while it is a good first start, will do little to emancipate our minds from mental slavery. However, what today is the African’s greatest barrier to emancipating his mind from mental slavery? Answer – The belief that an invisible being will save him from the horrors of being the permanent fixture at the floor of the economic and educational ladder. The mental and physical image of the invisible God, White Jesus and Mysterious Duppy, is mutually exclusive to the African being mentally emancipated. Both cannot and will not occur jointly. The images must go or we will continue to be mentally subservient to illusionary images and/or the persons/nations that gave them to us.
African people are deeply spiritual, make no doubt about it, but the religion handed to us have taken us away from this spirituality and that’s the reason religion was one of the main tools used to conquer Africa. Chancellor William’s seminal masterpiece“ The Destruction of Black Civilization”, details the brutality meted out to our ancestors in converting them to Christianity and the supreme triumph of the white world over blacks that resulted – triumph that stands supreme up to this day and one that needs to be reversed without delay.
The mental and physical demolition of the Gods/Saviors assigned to us will open the door for African to return to their spiritual roots. Dr. Osei Kufuor in the book “The Black Bible of Science“points us to this return in a most scientific, holistic and realistic manner. He does an exceptional job in tracing African spiritual knowledge to the production of melanin in the Pineal Gland (3rd Eye) and the resultant spiritual reaction when exposed to the sun’s rays. He also ruthlessly exposes the lies, myths and contradictions of Christianity and its God/Savior. Africans brainwashed with biblical fear about heaven and hell, can also find reassuring solace from Tracy Chapman’s, “Heaven here on earth”, where she warns us against looking to the stars, distant planets and the ever after for the answers. African people must never forget that “each of us holds inside the map to the labyrinth” and as such any external search will be futile and hopeless.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is attributed to Hero/Terrorist Sir Winston Churchill, even though no one is sure when and where he made that speech. African people must NOT waste this good crisis to rid ourselves of the religious baggage beaten into our ancestors and ignorantly passed on to us, and eventually future generations. The physical removal should be swift and immediate, while the mental elimination will come over time. As Tracy Chapman declared, “we can break the cycle, we can break the chain, and we can start all over – in the New Beginning. Yes we can!