Sunday, 08 May 2016 08:10

Why Africans like to blame the white man for their issues

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The First Generation Of Western Educated Africans Denied Responsibility For Their Issues And Blamed The White Man Hence Was Unable To Govern Themselves Well

Ozodi Osuji

The first generation western educated Africans looked around and realized that they are, at least, five hundred years behind the white man and they could not understand how come they are so backward; they looked for explanation and found a scapegoat. They blamed their backwardness on the White man.

They talked about how slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism underdeveloped Africa. Western liberals who are prone to guilt feeling accepted the guilt Africans gave to them and blamed themselves for the backwardness of Africans.

Christianity made Western liberals feel guilt; Africans manipulate that liberals' guilt feeling; since western conservatives do not feel guilt Africans cannot manipulate them or manipulate Arabs who do not feel guilt for their antisocial behaviors.

Western conservatives laughed and said that they are responsible for the little progress Africans have made; they point out that before they came to Africa that Africans did not have writing or the wheel, prerequisites for civilization, and therefore were primitive and could not develop.

Africans did not blame Arabs for their backwardness, even though Arabs enslaved Africans for over one thousand years, because they realized that Arabs are Muslims and Muslims, unlike Christians do not feel guilty for their evil behavior.

Arabs would not accept the gift of guilt that Africans want to give everybody else but not to themselves. Africans roamed around capturing their people and marched them to the coast or across the Sahara desert and sold them to white men and Arabs; they do not feel guilt for that savage behavior.

Arabs say that their stupid God, Allah, permits them to enslave non-Muslims; they do not feel guilty even if they cut off innocent folks heads, especially if they do so for their primitive religion. They commit horrendous terrorists' acts and kill thousands of people and do not lose sleep from doing so; to these savages called Muslim terrorists life has no worth and value, all that matters to them is to kill on behalf of their non-existent god.


Jared Diamond, in his seminal book, Guns, Germs and Steel (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997) explained Africans backwardness more rationally than blaming white folks for it. He noted that civilization arose in areas of the world where horses were available to move men and material around and that was in the Mediterranean or temperate world but not in the tropics, such as Africa.

In other words, Africans are backwards not because they are dumb but because they had no access to horses and its enhanced mobility for folks in the non-industrial age.

Africans blame Westerners for their backwardness; in doing so they retain a sense of innocence and perfection whereas in actual fact they do not know how to govern themselves and have made a royal mess of their governing. In Nigeria, for example, the term politician is synonymous with thief.


Suppose that the first generation of African leaders did not blame the West for their issues what would have happened? They probably would have had a different problem. Given the wide gap between the West and Africa it would have been depressing for Africans to take responsibility for their backward status.  They probably would have felt that they are not good enough and unintelligent.  To avoid feeling depressed they had to project responsibility for their status to other people.

There is another alternative course of action, of course. That alternative is not to blame Westerners or Africans but to see things objectively, to realize that it is no one's fault tht Africa is backward.

Civilization has a lot to do with the environment.  As Jared Diamond pointed out many factors played a role in where early civilizations began.

The fact on the ground right now is that Africa is many hundred years behind the West; instead of wasting time seeking somebody to blame for it Africans must do something about their situation.  Africans must embark on developing their continent in a single minded manner.


With great effort there is no doubt that Africans will catch up with the rest of the world in less than two hundred years. It takes time to acquire the skills of leadership, management, finance, accounting and law necessary for ruling modern polities and make those skills part of the political culture of the land.

Ozodi Osuji

May 7, 2016

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176