Educate Ourselves

Submitted by RA in the West

As Barbados is about to embark on the latest nine day wonder namely the shooting death of the young policemen and the cries from all and sundry for tougher laws, hangings, getting back to god etc.  we are trapped in the circular conversation which will bring no solutions and just the usual bluster from pundits (political and otherwise).

There is only one solution (quite a simple one) for the myriad ills that plague this society however their must be great intestinal fortitude by the political directorate if we are to be successful. We are a people who have been taught to hate ourselves, the outcome of the miseducation that continually churns out societally dysfunctional persons for nation building but functional for this system to maintain and refine itself. The solution of which we speak is EDUCATION. We have gone far and wide adding various ‘reforms’ to the educational system but to no avail as we are doomed to failure continually forcing Eurocentric and now Asiatic systems, beliefs and models on African people. We have truly lost our minds – as a collective and as individuals -please ponder on that. We haven’t tried it because those who have some modicum of control over our children’s education must show more courage and actually believe that the end result will be a well-rounded citizen. This journey will have to begin at nursery school extending to tertiary education and lifelong learning – I do not mean the celebration of ‘black history month’, African Day and other nonsensical tokenism given by those who only confuse us. We must chart our journey now. The Europeans make 100 year plans we however struggle to make a 5 year one but this is to be expected as this is what the system produces and replicates. 

As an example, one of my children having entered third form in secondary school presented his history book ‘The People Who Came’ to me and shook his head – skimming through I was shocked, this was a book first published in 1970 and replete with mis-information. A total Eurocentric view, Europe reigned supreme, Africa and other nonwhite peoples of the world are characterized as backward. Africans enter the picture as slaves in the ‘new world’. If we continually programme our children with self-hate, what do we expect to happen. What would happen if you teach children the truth of their existence that they were the first persons to walk this earth, the ones who created the sciences, writing systems, who built the first cities whose manta everywhere we went was ‘man know thyself’ – a testament to the life dedicated to learning.

Please have the vision to go forth and recapture our glory

Religiosity and Failed African States

Submitted by Dr. Bamidele Adeoye

The greatest tragedy of all African states is the introduction of foreign gods and languages, cemented by tribes, decimated by education without interrogation or intelligence.

Welcome to Africa, the new Africans, our world, our opportunities.

Before the advent of foreign intrusion into Africa, African societies have their concept of Supreme Being or High God, which is generally held to be the creator of the world (Lord of the universe) and the source of all powers operating it. African Gods are usually associated with particular cultures and tribes with an elaborate system of worship, ethics, morals, and levels of discipline which imposed dos and don’ts on the activities of humanity concerning nature.

Africans worshipped our Gods in harmony with our neighbours. There were no levels of superiority or rivalry between our Gods. Africans respected each other’s Gods despite their tribes, cultural spaces, and intellectual differences. Africa was a borderless state, yet a big family of people with no defined boundaries and many Gods.

In the past, Africans were capable of learning to attribute meanings to her surroundings and situations, drawn from her religious resources (our original Gods). Africa’s spirituality forms the fundamental pillars of all aspects of African societies.

The spirit of Godliness is within us, and we are the temple of God. Hence, no one can give Africa their Gods, because the essence of God is in all of us ⎯ humans. And, according to a Ghana proverb, no one teaches the child to know God, and the consciousness of God is deemed inherent in the child from birth. Thus, Africa did not need foreign religions or gods to be spiritual or Godly. Africa was the quintessence of Godliness and the glory of all Gods manifested in Africa.

However, the arrival of foreign incursion changed everything, and it disrupted our Gods, cultures, languages, and cultural spaces. Although there is no right or wrong culture, every culture has its logic of philosophy guiding it. Africans operated in other dimensions of realities that have parallelism to our cosmologies and mythologies that continued to dictate behaviors in our societies.

African culture is not an accident or trivial, it is not decorative, or the songs they sing as the west contended but culture is about the body of moral and ethical values place on each human being lies in each of us.

Thus, cultural diversity is not an academic pursuit, it is the fundamental indications of the ways things are meant to be. Hence, our culture guided us in harmony with our neighbours concerning our religions and languages with man-for-nature or eco-centric acclimatization mentality.

Africans were later cursed, brainwashed and indoctrinated with foreign religions to believe that they were people of inferior Gods and languages. And the only gods and languages Africans should value and respect were theirs. Thus, Africans guiltily resented her Gods and languages along with their meaningful names; it became shameful and tormented. Africa’s identities were compressed, polluted, and converted, and it became fashionable to acquire the colonial master’s attitudes and ways of life, particularly their gods.

And anytime someone says your God is ugly and you release your God and join their god, there is no hope for your freedom until you once more believe in your own concept of the God — Dr. John Henrik Clarke.

On behold to the Africans that they signed their death warrant to foreign inferior gods at the detriment of our superior Gods. African Gods were devalued, relegated to the bottom while they introduced their gods in their image, and elevated their gods above ours, what a tragedy of faith.

You may westernize me, but my God, do not Christianize me — Jerry Rawlings, former president of Ghana.

Foreign religions were used to dominate, manipulate, and oppress Africans. They were the subtle key elements in masking class and race superiority. This foreign religion manipulation was vividly evident in the use of the Slave Bible to push a message of servitude to enslaved Africans.

British colonists created the Slave Bible, a truncated version of the bible, by removing portions, and in some cases, entire books out from it for the fear that it would encourage insurgence among enslaved Africans. On average, a typical standard Bible edition (Roman Catholic-66 books, Protestant-77 books & Eastern Orthodox-78 books), contains roughly 72.3 books while the Slave Bible contains only 14 books, an approximately 81% reduction. The Slave Bible was published in London in 1807 and used by British missionaries to convert and manipulate enslaved Africans about Christianity while inculcating obedience and safeguarding the slavery institutions throughout their colonies.

The Slave Bible is the openly recorded history of abuse and manipulation of religion in the modern era. It provides insight into how the Slave Bible performed a vital role in race relations (racism), discrimination, and economic gains.
Unfortunately, Africans are so embedded in these foreign religions that they failed to understand their discriminatory, chauvinistic, and detrimental nature. Thus, Africans refused to develop, refine, make our Gods palatable, and sell it to the world like other religions.

Today in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, they are doomed to the forces of foreign gods; Christians against Muslims, fighting over religious hypothesis, an abstraction of ideas. Currently, in Nigeria, ninety-nine percent worship foreign gods, only one percent worship their original Gods. Nigeria is not the only country in Africa susceptible or prone to this religious calamity and malady.

Africans are prisoners of sorrows and lamentations. They have relegated what they should do to God when God is an exaggerated worship of the cultural self. God is as the wind, which touches everything. Africans failed to conquer, master, and nurture their natural environments. Instead, they solely rely on divine intervention in their survival.

The Bible and the Quran is a collection of religiously authoritative texts or books, a documentary hypothesis. A hypothesis is an assumption or concession for an unexplained occurrence that does not fit into current accepted scientific theory. In other words, the hypothesis implies insufficient evidence to provide more than a tentative explanation.

Religion has no place in any business equation. In Africa today, research and development along with common sense have been relegated to divine intervention. Africans must understand that religion is about morality and ethics, while science is about the natural order of things or nature.

Hence, religion and science are mutually exclusive. Likewise, wishes and hopes are not business strategies, while denial is not a life strategy. Religions can hardly fit into the generalized theoretical categories employed by social scientists, a contestable character of religions.

Africans are slaves to their colonial masters who govern them, and the religions they gave them, manages their conscience. Hence, Africans will continue to be under the control of their colonial master’s bondage.

The danger to the development of Africa is in the hands of the so-called educated Africans, education without interrogation. They are the architects of Africa’s failures due to their religious zealousness. Even though we are defined by courage and redeemed by character rather than religion, Africans tend to be more religious than the foreigners that introduced these doctrines to them. They have no common sense approach to religion and development.

Africa is the only continent where we do not value and worship our Gods. Research and studies indicated that the mother tongue (thinking language) is the best instructional language, an enabler that facilitates better learning, understanding, and transfer of knowledge. Africa is the single continent where we use foreign languages as lingua franca, both in our institutions of learning and business.

Yet, Africans cherished the inviolability of language, because the most fundamental aspect of human identity is their language and name, a foundational part of the conscious self. Hence, Africans considered our names with meanings as a powerful concept of self-identity, and self-esteem which should be honoured.

The energies and creativities Africans infused to foster foreign religions, and languages, if channelled to develop African Gods and languages, it will catapult Africa to the pinnacle of developments. And, Africans will be respected around the world. This creative tenaciousness will also lead to further developments within the continent, particularly in Nigeria.

According to Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Benin, and Togo proverb, until the lion tells the story of the hunt, the tales always glorify the hunter.

Until Africans develop and make their Gods palatable, think, and teach in their mother tongues, speak in one voice, break the border barriers both mentally and physically, Africans will never have peace or harmony, not anytime soon.

In Africa, what is logical is not practical, while what is practical is not right. Whichever is right, is not ethical, and ethical things are not desired. And the desire is not logical. Africans like innovative things, without been innovating, and things that require efforts without putting in any efforts. Unfortunately, Africans have become feeble-minded and lazy thinkers. That is the state of Africans and Africa affairs.

Why are African leaders consumed with power, prestige, pomposity, popularity, and property?

Africans have the “enclosure of the mind” syndrome, in other words, inferiority complex. Africa always embraces detrimental foreign solutions to Africa’s problems, instead of the solutions for Africa by the Africans and for the Africans.

Africa must ostracize the ghost of low self-esteem from their consciousness, return to their original Gods, use their languages for learning, and lingua franca. Until when that sanitization takes place, Africa is going nowhere anytime soon in their developments.

Leadership is the center of the effective utilization of resources. The true essence of leadership is personal conquest, discovery, and self-esteem. And the first duty of any leader is to create more effective leaders, and a true leader is successful when their successor succeeds.

Are African leaders creating more effective leaders?

Leadership is about serving, sacrificing, and seeking the best for their people. African leaders or people in leadership positions should show selfless leadership by example. If not, the world will once again leave Africa behind in the process of development. Hence, Africa needs selfless leaders, soldiers of truth, and promise keepers.

How many African leaders are about the service of their people, or are African politicians truthful about their governance intent?

While the sleeping giant of Africa is busy sleeping, other countries are busy working on developing their economies. Instead, they are religiously praying for the foreign gods to rescue them from greediness, selfishness, and ignorance. A country where the primary mission of their politicians is to amass wealth and undeviatingly abuse their position of power with impunity, and where greed runs in the veins of its citizens, instead of rectifying their situation, they are busy praying for salvation.

As an alternative to building factories and businesses, Nigerians are busy building churches and mosques, instead of paying taxes, they are religiously paying tithes. Their pastors are getting fatter while the congregation is getting leaner by religious manipulation and deceit.

A religion where your salvation is directly proportional to the number and amounts of your tithes, along with other contributions. A religion where salvation is on sale. What a religion!

Rather than take a diligent, constructive, creative, practical, and empirical approach to rectify their appalling situations, Nigerians rely on the efficacy of prayers, fasting, and are religiously waiting for their foreign gods to change their horrendous circumstances while languishing in sorrows.

The devastating influence of foreign religions on the African’s psyche in individual conscience and social life reveals that 85% of Nigerians trust religious leaders, and a similar percentage are willing to allocate them more power. Yet these religious leaders are greedy, selfish, materialistic, ignorant, and manipulating as the politicians.

The greediness of Africans would not allow them to consider the next person, yet they expect God’s blessings. Africa has greedy, selfish, and ignorant people, which elucidates greedy, selfish, materialistic, and ignorant leaders. Where the rich, are deluded by their precipitous audacity of impunity, and oblivious to the misery of the masses.

Are Africans not the leaders they want their leaders to be?

Yet, they keep praying for change. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome, that is not the law of nature, and there is no divine intervention that will change that outcome.

Africa turns to foreign religions and gods for salvation, while religious salvation is more important to Africa than research and development. Africa’s salvation is in the hands of Africans, and will only come from the African Gods. No foreign religions or gods will deliver any salvation to Africa.

While Africa is still trying to recuperate from its past colonial misery, sadly, there is a new wave of re-colonialization in the making, called China, in the form of elephant projects that are doomed to fail.

Very soon, Africans will start seeking Chinese gods and goddesses to worship even though 90% of Chinese classified themselves as non-religious. It will be surprising if this is not already happening. Africans will once again neglect their original Gods for other foreign gods and goddesses from the far east.

The world is changing, Africa must change her thinking if she excepts any change in her state of affairs. Africa will never return to its past glory until there is a total transformation of her mindset.

Africa, one continent, many worlds, prisoners to foreign religions and languages, while neglecting their Gods with a refusal to develop their languages or Gods. Africans have adopted Willie Lynch’s making the slave mentality, and are perpetuating it very well.

In the essence of the religious argument that religion is the opium of the poor, typifies the current state of Africa affairs, and Africa must remove that mentality from her consciousness.

Africans must believe and have the dignity that they are capable of being great because they are Great. Africans must change their mindsets because that is where most of the problem lies. Unfortunately, the truth is as hard as adamant and tender as a blossom. African religiosity and divinities should be homegrown ⎯ Africa, no foreign religion will save Africa, but African Gods.

Africans are intoxicated, constipated, and religiously obsessed with foreign religions that Africans have ignored the social issues that changed the dynamics of Africa’s affairs. Likewise, Africa runs on borrowed foreign religions and gods; hence Africa must be re-introduced back to its original Gods for repentance, purification, and forgiveness.

While Africa is religiously praying to foreign gods and waiting for salvation, their colonial masters are once again busy with their think tanks on how to re-colonize Africa again.

Africa will not change until Africa finds African solutions to Africa’s challenges, through African Gods, languages, and ingenuities. The time is right for the change, and Africa must seize this opportunity to make the necessary changes. However, changes must take place in the minds and hearts of Africa to affect the change.

What has Africa contributed in the past sixty years to profoundly change the world in medicine, technology, or science, rather than raw materials without added value?

Africa is a blessed continent and should use her diversity as intellectual diversity. However, once the engine of development starts, there is no limit to the power it can generate. If only all the natural resources are still available for development and for Africa to eliminate the spiritualism for foreign salvation from her consciousness.

If Africa wants to command her dignity on the world stage, Africa must regain its Africanity through the deep-rooted practices of the cultural self, integrity, and dignity, which was lost through the colonial encounters. Hence, it is time for her to start acting accordingly, and the time is now.

And according to Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba (PLO), We must refuse to be known as the Continent that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity; let us seize this opportunity and make our mark as a people in this 21st Century.

Africa must wake up to the new realities of our world and protect her opportunities. And for the change to occur, Africa must have a knowing, curious, and informed mind of the new realities of her surroundings. Africa must understand other’s ways of thinking and learn to deal with them as equal stakeholders, not as beggars, but as equals.

Then, we will see the beauty in the gloom, and when glee replaces wailing in Africa, the motherland of humanity. Consequently, Africa will eventually take her rightful leadership position on the world stage.

We are gods in the body of God, truth and love our destinies. Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness — Awakening Osiris; The Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Finally, the key test for Africa is whether or not she is self-correcting. And for Africa to be self-correcting, Africa must first be open and truthful about herself. The voice of truth is easily known, and credibility is earned through action, polished by words and knowledge.

In conclusion, is Africa open and truthful about herself?

Lack of ‘Exposure’ Creates Vacuum for Some Barbadians in the Black History Debate

Submitted as a comment by Lyall to the Open Letter to Prime Minster Mottley and Minister King

Captain Hutt taught me History at HC. I was therefore someone who learnt that history from the viewpoint of the English teacher class, by rote. For many years I had no need to check the truth or otherwise of what I had been taught, as History played a miniscule part in my life until the Sir George William’s / Concordia University fire in Montreal and the activities that led up to it. I later on visited Ghana where I saw first hand the places and trails where my African ancestors were caught and enslaved and then shipped under unspeakable conditions along the Middle Passage to Barbados. I also spent some time in Hull, England, another hub of the Slave trade, where racism was palpable even just 20 years ago.

These experiences forced me to progressively reevaluate Black History and, after an initial cognitive dissonance, accept that chattel slavery and its fruit and most of its manifestations is responsible for much of what is wrong in many aspects of life and governance of present day Barbados.

I think that my experiences also allow me to understand the standpoint of many of my acquaintances, friends and colleagues, of my age, who have had the benefit of seeing both sides of white/black relationships in Metropolitan countries. I see the postings of several BU posters who appear to be resident in Canada, the US and perhaps England, which show that exposure to life in metropolitan countries, forces an understanding of the black side of history that is largely missing from those who lack such experience and have remained in Barbados and who must depend on local sources to inform their views. Lack of such exposure in the Bajan who has largely stayed on this rock tends to lead to such persons staying with what what they have been taught by rote several years ago.

There is another type of BU commenter. The commenter who always espouses the decadent views of the Bajan white class, whether they themselves are black or white. Some of these BU commenters are totally predictable in the stances they take. Some even totally mimic Trump or Rush Limbaugh. You know who I mean.