Monday, February 13, 2006

Decolonize Your Mind

Decolonize Your Mind

We accepted the mission schools which were established to enlighten us, without questioning the unforeseen costs of our so-called education. These mission schools plundered our children’s self-esteem by teaching them that, as Africans they were inherently ‘bad people.’ Our children grew up not wanting to be citizens of Africa. Instead, their education fostered the colonial ideal that they would be better off becoming citizens of the colonizing nations. I speak of the price Africans have paid for their education and ‘enlightenment’ from personal experience. I was born ‘Chukwurah’ but my missionary schoolteachers insisted I drop my “heathen” name. The prefix ‘Chukwu’ in my name is the Igbo word for “God.” Yet, somehow, the missionaries insisted that ‘Chukwurah’ was a name befitting a godless pagan. The Catholic Church renamed me ‘Philip’, and Saint Philip became my patron and protector, replacing God, after whom I was named. I have to argue that something more than a name has been lost. Something central to my heritage has been stripped away. This denial of our past is the very antithesis of a good education. Our names represent not only our heritage, but connect us to our parents and past. As parents, the names we choose for our children reflect our dreams for their future and our perceptions of the treasures they represent to us. My indoctrination went far deeper than just a name. The missionary school tried to teach me that saints make better role models than scientists. I was taught to write in a new language. As a result, I became literate in English but remain illiterate in Igbo – my native tongue. I learned Latin – a dead language I would never use in the modern world – because it was the official language of the Catholic Church, which owned the schools I attended. Today, there are more French speakers in Africa than there are in France. There are more English speakers in Nigeria than there are in the United Kingdom. There are more Portuguese speakers in Mozambique than there are in Portugal. The Organization of African Unity never approved an African language as one of its official languages. We won the battle of decolonizing our continent, but we lost the war on decolonizing our minds.”- Philip Emeagwali scientist and inventor of the super computer precursor to the Internet

Today Africans throughout the world still suffer from the egregious effects of massive brainwashing and culturally induced menticide. In 2006 in East and West Africa African women are bleaching their skins in a vain effort to lighten their skin tone so they look like Europeans. All around the world African women are straightening their hair trying to look like their oppressor. In Asia and the Pacific indigenous women are having cosmetic surgery performed on their eyes to look more European! We speak the languages of our enemies, we think linearly just like they do and we have been trained to despise and reject anything African unless it has been validated by whites. Several years ago while on a cruise to the Caribbean I spoke with a Sistah at the Black Holocaust Museum on the island of Curacao who informed me most of the African looking people on that island related to Holland as their “motherland” instead of Africa. She said those who left Curacao seeking a better life, went to the Netherlands rather than the continent of Africa or another Caribbean island! Last week during a session with the mentoring program my fraternity conducts I asked some of the high school boys their impressions of Black History Month, what if anything they knew about Africa or African-American history. Their responses were pathetic and these are extremely bright highly motivated young brothers who plan to further their education beyond the secondary level. Most could talk about Coretta Scott King or Mother Rosa Parks both who recently made their transition but for the most part except for one or two their fund of knowledge about black history was extremely limited and shallow. Many of them attend private schools, magnet and charter schools and the top academic public schools, which makes their situation all the more disheartening. If these young brothers know little or nothing about African and African-American history and culture what are the students who attend the poorer inner city schools getting?
They say ignorance is bliss, I don’t buy that. I believe the truth will make you free, enlightenment is empowerment, intuition is our free source of wisdom and link to omneity. There is no excuse for being ignorant other than not wanting to know. Desire for knowledge and wisdom will be rewarded commensurate to our efforts to seek them! We have been the targets and victims of a deliberate and planned program of menticide, the wanton destruction of our minds. As painful as it may be to acknowledge this reality, we must! Just as it was psychologically uncomfortable to see our people in New Orleans abandoned, neglected and abused during Hurricane Katrina we must conclude the US government’s priorities were not to save their lives. No amount of spin, sham and obfuscation will alter the fact the US government deliberately set the stage for the disaster through lack of funding for the maintenance and improvement of the levees and purposely exacerbated the catastrophe by their abysmal response and misguided priorities. We cannot just sit back and blame white folks. Ithey were jsut doing what they always do. It is not their responsibility to educate or empower us, especially now that we know for certain their programs of genocide and menticide are in full effect! We must begin to decolonize our minds. We must think Race First and be willing to be criticized and ostracized for being true to ourselves and our people. It is time we stopped pretending not to know what we know. It is irresponsible to stick our heads in the proverbial sand and expose our behinds to abuse and attack. Our enemies are ruthless and they will think nothing of unleashing the vilest forms of abuse, death and destruction upon us. Our history here is proof positive of that. If we have any doubts look at what they did to the original inhabitants of this hemisphere. Look at what they have done everywhere they’ve set their feet on planet earth. Look at all the killing, maiming and exploitation they are doing in Iraq, Haiti and Afghanistan under the pretext of bringing “freedom and democracy”.
We must deprogram and decolonize our minds. We must step out of the Matrix and squarely and honestly face reality. We have been brainwashed to believe whites are the best and brightest. Not so! We have been conditioned to think they are the most beautiful when in fact their lack of melanin is a hereditary and genetic curse. Their skin wrinkles and ages faster than ours and only the airbrushing and trick photography they use makes them look good in their media. We have been programmed by the media to think Europeans are heroes, invincible and omnipotent when in recent years rice farming peasants defending their countries from brutal imperialists ran them out of Southeast Asia, uncompromising Africans ran them out of Somalia, a coalition of Africans and Cubans defeated them and ran them out of Angola, freedom loving Columbians are giving them fits and Arabs and Shia are bedeviling them in Iraq as we speak. We know just how cowardly whites are. Even the so called good ones are afraid to stand up to the fascists who are moving to establish a police state that will eventually oppress them! What Africans need is the courage and volition to forge our own freedom. To be free first begins in the mind. We have to define what freedom means. No sane person would define freedom as taking on the same psychopathic personality, values and worldview as our oppressors! No sane person would say, “let’s be like them because they exemplify the best in humanity” with their deceit, bloodlust, rapine and willingness to destroy the ecosystem and planet with no thought to the short range or long term consequences! Deprogram your mind, decolonize your mind and come out of the culturally induced stupor. Your/our future and the salvation of the whole planet depend upon it!

-30-

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