FAILURE TO OWN
Fewer complaints, less whining, a little more dogged work and manly striving would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills. W. E. B. Du Bois.
When our children start to talk they will soon ask you who made this TV? Who made the phone? Who made the car? Who made the plane? Who made the grass cutter? Who made the speakers? Who invented electricity? Who made the gate motor? Who made the welding machine? Who invented the DVD? Who invented Scuba diving or the A/C machine? They can do this for 99.99999% of the things in your house and in our word. Now you might be Muslim, Rasta, Afrocentric, gay, coconut, sellout, Afropean, socialist, non-affiliated, JHW, the answer cannot change. It makes no difference whether the truth hurts or not–the answer remains the same.
Why doesn’t it exist? I am thinking about all kinds of things and I am wondering why don’t they exist? The AHS is great but if we can do that among a few of us, on our off days what would happen if we had an office with a dedicated research unit with funds ? Not really that hard but it does not exist. Ok, so we did not get that done but surely someone else has. NOPE. Does not exist. What about a Pan-African university that is on the level of Oxford. Surely we as a people have enough money to create that–Does not exist. What about a Pan-African chainstore like Massmart in SA? Does not exist. What about a Pan-African car that is exported like Kia and TaTa to all corners of the Globe? Does not exist. What about an African bank like HSBC– Does not exist. What about a Shipping company like Maersk? What about a production company like LIONSGATE?
You see we are discussing reality. The world as it is–not the world as we would like it to be, or the world of 3000 years ago. Sure, long ago in Ancient Egypt we invented concrete, the foundation of the Abrahmic religions1)Black God: The Afroasiatic Roots of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Religions 1st Edition by Julian Baldick, and all kinds of things including linen and an early form of air conditioning. But right now in this modern world we did not invent the computer and we do not make cars and spaceships seen in fictional Wakanda.2)Not only are we not able to build the spaceships in the film, we cannot even make a film like this on our own. But every other nation could.
And the few things we do invent ultimately seem to always serve someone other than us. We might have come up with KFC and Nandos type chicken but we do not own KFC or Nandos. Things are so bad I do not think we even own one Nandos franchise in Africa. We love music, yet we own no distribution companies, we do not own Neumann Cubase, Mackie, we do not own Sony, we rarely own the business end of the things which vampire off of our talent. And the irony of all of this is that we have so many smart and talented people out there, so why do we not use all of this–and the vast physical and intellectual resources to rebuild our greatness as opposed to continuing making others even greater. What we need to discuss is how to change that.
In 1941 the Jews lost, and they lost bad. In 1967 they fought four Arab countries and won. What winning meant was that they had their own country for Jews, stolen or not, it was theirs and never ever again did they want to be in the situation of victims in someone else’s land. 3)You either understand why this statement is being made, or you do not
The person who won the 1969 Olympic medal for the 100m is called the winner. Not many care about the challenges faced by the person who came 4th. In the fight between Ali vs Foreman, Ali was the winner Foreman, for all his training and potential, strength and raw punching power, was called the loser for all of history. Makes no difference it under cooler weather or less taunts from Ali if Big George would have won–he did not–and that is all history records. Now we all know Europeans are the most aggressive species on Earth, they been killing their way to the top for the last 1000 years. They might not have invented the concept of Total War, but they sure did master it. So we have to factor in what they did to get no 1. But everyone conquers: Egypt conquered, Ethiopia did it, and certainly Askia did it, Rameses did it.
China conquered, Israel conquered, the Arabs conquered and were conquered by the Ottomans (we see a pattern so let us move on). You cannot use conquest as a blanket excuse to mitigate against why one group is more successful historically than another group since from Rome to the Zulu Nation conquest and subjugation are part and parcel of life on Earth. Even the Bayaka in the jungles of Congo conquer each other and in turn were conquered by the Bantu who in turn were conquered by the Europeans.
From within this development paradigm, which is not an ethical paradigm: 4)We could discuss this in moral terms and say what the Europeans have done in the last 500 years is really terrible, this would be true but from the POV of our development and competitiveness in this world it would offer nothing in terms of understanding our task right now.Conquest is conquest but if you only have the technological capacity to conquer a small area away from your home vs another person being able to sail the Atlantic the concept of desire to conquest is the same ideology. Only that in one case you are limited by your own development status. Had Europeans had Space ships like in Predator, they would have gone into space and conquered ET– what stopped them was tech limits.
Some will try and counter and say but Europeans were the worse, sure but it is only one factor? It does not exclusively explain European advantage and now with the rise of Asia it even more proves that conquest or simply enslaving people does not explain European dominance. Because without slavery, without land conquest, Asia has been cleaning up the floor in the tech industry. We cannot escape this conclusion and what it means for our own metanarrative.
What many so-called Pro-Africans do is spit at European accomplishments to cover African failures, and let me stop you there. You see, we need a new outlook. It makes no difference how Europeans got dominant to anyone but intellectuals writing academic books. In this world, as most adults know, you win or you lose. We do not live in an ethical world, no one promised us justice so stop looking at the world from the vantage point of “they came and stole it from us” – who gives a ****? You either produce the things you need to live in this world or you do not. Do not cover your failures by cursing others accomplishments (or trying to claim them as pseudo-historians do) as it changes nothing in reality. All the hatred of European civilization is not going to change one single thing. It will not even cause Beethoven’s 9th to be any less genius or for the steel used in skyscrapers to melt.
How Edison invented the light bulb is a distant third to the invention of the light. Maybe he stole it. Not even 0.001% of the 7.6 billion people using the light bulb give a ****. Today we use it and they own it–that is all you really need to know. Ford and friends created the car–and we drive it. The Wright brothers invented powered flight and we ride in their planes to get back to Africa.
Talking about how they stole from us, true or false, is therapy to make ourselves feel better about being the losers. Saying they took our greatness only makes thinking people ask then how great was our greatness if we could not go and be great again. It is not like they came to Africa and found us flying spacecraft. It was them with the superior technology, not us– so deal with it. And failure to deal with it means stagnation. As opposed to going and getting a degree in engineering we go on YouTube and create a rant about all the things they stole from us. And this is why, when you check their skill set, is it limited to writing semi-romantic academic books, doing talking tours, organizing vacations to Egypt and getting tenureship in White run universities? This is why in 40 years they have never produced what Garvey and NOI did under harsher conditions.
THEY CAN YET WE CAN’T
What others have done, others can do — Garvey
Never lie to ourselves to cover our failure. As Cabral said “Claim no easy victories– tell no lies“. And most of our people are not mentally orientated to truth consciousness. Once upon a time we all were comfortable looking at the White man’s empire and we spat at it and said “they only got that by conquest and greed”. So, nothing to be jealous of. What we were really saying is that we do not have what they have, but they only have it because they are so **** wicked. Well, we all know much of white genius is generated out of exploitation. But that is not the only way: you cannot seriously study European history and think that is how they got into space or invented the wheel or the light bulb. It explains some, but not all.
So now the Chinese are in Africa running circles around us, and they did not do so using the bible or the gun. Again we have new excuses for why they can do and we cannot. Oh, but the Chinese gov supports them to invade Africa. Well, so does our African governments. Is it their fault their own gov supports them? It is amazing how we are comfortable stating someone’s advantage over us as if it makes the game unfair. If we are boxing and I have a 11 foot reach and you have a 3 foot reach– then just come in close or grow longer arms. But the truth is — they are organized–we are not. They are clear about identity–we are not. They work hard like you do not believe with body and brain– we do not, we work hard for people who do not look like us. They work with long sight –we are myopic as sin. They plan to suffer now so their great grandchildren can win, we do not like stress. They invest in themselves— we do not. They support each other– we hate to support each other. They do not need the latest BMW to show-off, we do! What is your excuse now that it happened to us a 3rd time? Arabs, Europeans and now Asians.
WE STOP WE
There is so much potential for development in Africa and the Diaspora like you do not believe. There are vast untapped resources and opportunities for the brave. Now this is not the opening of our TED speech, based on feeling good and empty optimism driven by hippy rhetoric, it comes from being in industry and studying development with other specialists. But everything that Africans can achieve is stymied not by the world bank or the forces of neo-liberal globalization but by the choices African people make globally not to put value in supporting what supports them. Take a look at your last credit card bill and see how much is spent on anything African owned that is good for our future. For most the total is zero. So, notice the people on your statement are the the powerful Nike, Chinese, American Eagle, Levi, Marvel. They told us to tell you thanks. So then, tell me where is the market for African products? Reality dictates that we are our biggest problem when it comes time to grow.
skill = Writing poorly read academic books, tours of Egypt, obtaining tenureship and public speaking
Not only is it ironically not Pro-Black, it is anti-African. It is accepting the bigotry of low expectations. So punctuality, a good thing, is now White. A true traitor is the person or system which stunts African growth, that serves as an obstacle to change where change means more power to African culture and agency. So if this article is written to get Africans back into a position of techno dominance then that is really Pro-African. What is not Pro-African is telling people we are doing fine and do not need to be techno dominant. Or by sitting on the laurels of the distant past. For those unclear about all of this, the video by Amos Wilson serves as prerequisite info.
“Pan-Africanism only tells us how to organize but it cannot tell us how to run a country “–Chen Chimutengwende
Beware of hard, empty rhetoric. Hard rhetoric did not build any nation–engineers and scientist did that, nor will it rebuild us Africans today. We are at the bottom, and talking about how great our ancestors were 2000 years ago with no work will not ever make us great again. We not living 2000 years ago–we are living now. And last time I checked it was a lot of us holding a lot of us back. And the reason why some groups claim greatness is that they do not walk around saying they were great in the time of Alexander, they keep doing greatness. So sure we invented this and that, but tomorrow you need to get in your Japanese car and drive to the white business that gave you a job or the white university that is giving you your degree. 5)And if the University is in Africa 90% of the things you are learning come from White scholars and engineers
Every continent produces something final (cars, phones, speakers) except Africa–and you only got rhetoric–empty pride to mask shallow ego. Right now as I am typing (and this is the truth) if you want to create a bank–you need the White man’s system. If you want to run a factory you need their (Asian and White) machines. If that makes you so uncomfortable then go out there and create your own! Hard rhetoric, esp without work is reserved for non-workers who think talk is greater than work. All they are doing is talking us to death.
The Japanese did not invent any of this tech we use, yet them and Asia in general today are the dominant producers of this tech. And this is because Asians do not sit down and whine all day about “our ancestors built civilization”, or “White people stole our gunpowder 2000 years ago” – move on please. They say what worked for them and proved their genius by taking all that European invented tech and beating them at their own game. It was the European who invented the motorcycle, yet who is winning all those motorcycle races? The best of Italy has to go and ride a Japanese machine. The best pianist of Germany has to play on a Asian owned machine.
USE TO BE GREAT
True talent repeats itself. And the only thing we need to do is go back into reality and do good work again. Clearly we have enough examples to follow. And then the burden of doing is no longer externalized to the European or the Chinese, but on us. We are the ones responsible for our own world. Unless we are suggesting they are gods with special powers. Because this is what it sounds like when we say they are holding us back. But unlike the days when our ancestors were enslaved to produce white wealth there is no gun or whip holding us back today from supporting the business and industries we do have or from studying hard and taking what we need to survive and thrive. Our continent is rich and talent great so it is on us and us alone.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Black God: The Afroasiatic Roots of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Religions 1st Edition by Julian Baldick|
|2.||↑||Not only are we not able to build the spaceships in the film, we cannot even make a film like this on our own. But every other nation could.|
|3.||↑||You either understand why this statement is being made, or you do not|
|4.||↑||We could discuss this in moral terms and say what the Europeans have done in the last 500 years is really terrible, this would be true but from the POV of our development and competitiveness in this world it would offer nothing in terms of understanding our task right now.|
|5.||↑||And if the University is in Africa 90% of the things you are learning come from White scholars and engineers|