Concealed 'white' values - the veiled monarch
Posted By: Eja
Date: Sunday, 15 January 2006, at 8:45 a.m.
You say you be colonial man
You don be slave man before
Dem done release you now
But you never release yourself." -- Fela Anikulapo Kuti
It is good, when we make a statement regarding a point of view, that we examine where the seed of this way of thinking was first germinated. We should learn to differentiate between (1) what is indigenous to us as a species. (2) what was once ours but was mutated before being returned to us and (3) what is totally alien to us.
Within the Afrikan collective consciousness, the existence of concealed 'white' values has been (and continues to be) detrimental to the reformation of an autonomous consensus. Because there are some among us who will not rate an aspect of our livity until such an aspect is validated by the 'white' (or semi-'white'), vast areas of knowledge that could be utilised in the reconstruction of an unapologetically Afrikan world remain untapped.
There is no other reason for Afrikans in this day to still be looking SOLELY towards egypt, israel, arabia, or Ethiopia for the roots of their livity other than because some 'white' or semi-'white' once wrote favorably about those places. Yet, in terms of relevance to the times we are living in NOW, what happenned in Haiti when the Afrikans took on the so-called powers of the day on the battlefield and DEFEATED every single one is of more importance. Zumbi in Brazil, the Herero who told the fascist von trotha "better we die fighting..", Samori Toure and Jaja. These are names representing the events that have shaped our existence NOW. Yet, instead of Afrikans today looking towards those events and the actors in them as their patrons, they prefer to call on things that have at most a distant relevance to what is going on NOW.
To our ancestors, and to those who still follow the ways they laid down, a place was special not because of what was once there but because of what is there NOW. For me, sacred lands are the lands lived on by those to whom I am directly linked. The spiritual value of a place does not come from ruins and it is not decreed by some dodgy scripture. It is based on a living tradition that I can relate to so, I will not venerate a place because of what was built there by man.
By this reasoning, Ile-Ife is sacred to me because I recognise the PEOPLE of Ife as being the same as those from whom I am descended. I am not a descendant of arabs, egyptians or jews so, I leave arabia, cairo and jerusalem to those who can trace their ancestry to those people. I am also not descended from Oromo or Amhara, so, I leave Ethiopia to them. As Fela said, "Man must be man for him land". Afrikan unity does not mean we become one homogenous mass. Afrikan unity is more feasible when all cultural conglomerates from the ones who number in the hundreds to the ones numbered in the tens of millions have their own space in which they can be what they are. The greatest beauty in Africa is the variety of cultural expressions and what we ought to looking for are ways through which each strand of original beauty can be validated by as many of our people as possible. It is when this process becomes the norm, when we start seeing each other as the source of a different form of greatness that current practices (during which we brutalize or ignore each other) will cease.
For me, Ethiopia has no more meaning than Haiti, Tanzania, Angola or Jamaica. I value all equally as self-validated components of my homeland AfaraAka. Nor do I over-value Kemet. That land, presently occupied and re-named as egypt is now as foreign to me as greece is and until something occurs which removes the invaders from that land, my worshipful senses will not over-focus on them. To do so is to be distracted from the present. I look to ancient Kemet as I would look into an ancient manuscript. I accept that there are lessons from there that could be useful but, I do not venerate Kemet like some do just because it is acknowledged by 'whites' and semi-'whites' as 'the world's first civilization'. I place little value on this assertion because I know that the reason it was first promulgated was due to the nearness of Kemet to the so-called mediterannean and it's relationship with the first attempts at civilization by 'whites' and semi-'whites'.
I have never met a Kamau nor have I had the opportunity to sit and reason with one who has first-hand knowledge of indigenous Ethiopian (e.g. Oromo) culture/philosophy. In that, I am no different from the majority of those who place those lands above all else. This means that whatever knowledge I have got about these cultures have been second-hand, filtered through contextual frameworks that were first devised for the uses of 'whites' and the semi-'whites'. How can I fully trust these and how could I worship (in good faith) any thing that they have placed before me?
My ancestry is traceable along the entire length of Odo Oya (river niger) and that is where I look first and foremost for my lessons. I was born into the culture of Nago Yoruba but because I know with certainity that my ancestors walked the length of the river, I know that all the peoples that live by that river (from the source to it's delta) are my relatives. So, aside from the Yoruba, I can look to them as well for lessons. If there is any, from the ones who hold up israel, arabia, vatican or westminster, who are certain that the ideas being deseminated from those sources are the very same ideas that their pre-slavery, pre-colonialism ancestors lived by, then they are justified in their allegiance. If there are any, from those who hold up israel, arabia, Ethiopia or Kemet, who have unimpeachable proof that their ancestry is from those lands, then for sure, they are also justified in still looking to thier brothers and sisters in those lands for the restoration of their indigenous identity.
But, if the main reason (i.e. the foundation reason) why they persist in looking in those directions (instead of seeking out those to whom they are directly related) is because of what 'whites' and semi-'whites' wrote, then it would be better if they stopped masquerading as Afrikan 'liberators' and stand forth as what they are : colonised minds suffused/infested with 'white' values.
We are living in today and today, I doubt if more than 5% of Afrikans world-wide originated from the lands now called egypt or Ethiopia. I am talking about today, not 40,000 years ago. If we were to go back that far, then we might as well go back to the very beginning.
The Kamau stated that they CAME to the lands they later called Kemet. Going by what they said, we know that the first Kamau originated from the interior of Africa and it would be reasonable to speculate on what they were called before they became Kamau. I say this because as Afrikans, the Kamau would have had, like other Afrikans, alternate names/pronounciations of their name. If these other names could be found and if we could then find an existing Afrikan people whose names bear a close resemblance to any of the alternatives that the Kamau called themselves, then we may know from certain which Afrikan people living today are the closest relatives to the first ancestors of Kemet.
Going by what is known today, I have not heard of any indigenous Afrikan tradition that singles out Kemet as being a nation worthy of praise above all others. There is no African tradition I know of that specifically describes DEITIES as beings that originated from Kemet. On the other hand, the traditions of Kemet describe deities that came from the interior of Africa. So, who was the teacher and why have the students been elevated above those who taught them?
The praise-worthiness that we see today is based on the works of the Kamau themselves and from foreigners with whom they shared the knowledge that they had brought from the interior of AfaraAka. Knowledge they shared which was then twisted and turned against them, against the rest of Africa and against the Earth.
So, in truth, the Kamau have a lot to answer for. But these questions are not being asked because our regard for the Kamau has been filtered through 'white' or semi-'white' value systems. We do not question the wisdom behind the material uses to which the Kamau put their knowledge because we seem to need them preserved as the one thing we have to be proud of. Yet, we need to look at the entirity of their livity if we are to learn the appropriate lessons from their existence.
For as long as we Afrikans hold on our concealed (and sometimes heavily disguised) 'white' values, the 'white' will always have a way in to our affairs. A way in as teachers, (who best after all to teach 'white' values than a 'white'), as advisers (for same reasons as above), as 'partners', and finally, once again as leaders and without doubt, with the same eventual catastrophic results that we have experienced before (and still not recovered from). It is only after we discard 'white' values that divisive concepts like colorism and our other manifestations of self-hatred will be disintergrated.
To reconstuct an Afrikan world for this times, we must first reconstruct an autonomous Afrikan mind. A thing which must lack the flaws that left us open to conquest in the past. If our past arrangements were perfection, then they would still exist. They were not perfect but, we know that there was a time when they allowed our creativity fullest expression. We who are living now have seen fragments of those times. We still use many of the philosophical tools that were created in those times today. But, we cannot deny that there were things lacking.
And, of the things that were missing, the most crucial was the knowledge of how to deal with outsiders. We lacked a basic knowledge about the nature of the other species that we entered into relationships with. This is no longer so. Now that we know what they are, we can reconstruct our world using this knowledge and the best practices from OUR past. We will not refuse to learn what is GOOD from outside but, whatever comes into our world must come through conduits that are wholly of our own making and under our control.
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