Are There Reasons Why Africans Were Enslaved?
Many Africans ask why their people, of all people, were enslaved. They begin with the premise that there must be a reason for this dreadful thing that happened to them to happen. But are there reasons why things happen to us or is our lives merely the product of accidents, chance and randomness?
The below is an interesting discussion I had with an Igbo man, a Dr. Olumba on this subject.
Olumba says that there are no accidents in our lives; as he sees it, there is always a reason why things happen to us. All we have to do is try to find out what that reason is and we know why what happened to us happened to us.
Regarding slavery, Olumba said that God allowed it for a reason. In his view, God is perfect freedom and gave his children freedom and knows in advance what they would do with their freedom. Regardless of why we, the children of God, did what we did God gives our actions different purposes. Our effort to enslave other people may be motivated by our desire to seem superior to them but God uses our action to teach the enslaved humility and use them to teach humility to the world.
Africans, he said, were allowed by God to be enslaved by white men and Arabs so as to use Africans to teach the world a new civilization, one based on humility and love.
We know as a historical fact that there were African slaves in the Roman Empire (Romans also enslaved white folks as slaves); that was, at least, two thousand years ago.
We know that ascendant Islam and its Arabs had African slaves. Islam came into being in 610 AD when Mohammad heard what he claimed was the voice of the angel Gabriel asking him to form a new religion. Therefore, we know that there have been African slaves in the Arab world since the seventh century.
We know that Europeans used African slaves to develop the Americas; European enslavement of Africans began in the 1500s and ended in the nineteenth century.
Thus, we can say that for two thousand years African people were, in one form or another, enslaved or colonized by other people.
This means that Africans have been humiliated, degraded, insulted, discriminated and generally treated as if they are not human beings, as if they are worse than animals; both Arabs and white slave masters treated their horses better than they treated Africans!
Olumba said that God allowed this humiliation of some of his children by others for a reason. What is that reason, I asked him?
He said that by allowing Africans to be enslaved God, in effect, allowed them to be shown what happens when some people enslave others. Enslavement is humiliation; if you are enslaved you are humiliated, shamed and degraded; you feel psychological pain.
Slaves are told that they are nothing. Thus, over a period of time, slaves reach a point where they literally no longer feel like human beings; they accept their status as worthless beings. They no longer see any value and worth in their lives. They see themselves as their slave masters see them, as nothing.
Olumba said that this was accomplished in black America where, as he sees it, black Americans no longer see themselves as human beings but as niggers (they even call each other nigger). The black American’s humanity was stripped off by his white slave master; he is told that he is less than the mules and horses that his white slave masters used in working their farms. The black American is dehumanized and accepted that reality, Olumba said.
As a result of accepting his dehumanized status, black Americans now treat their fellow black folks as if they are not important. For example, a black youth can kill another black youth for his leather jacket or shoes. That is correct, a black boy can walk up to another black boy, put a bullet into his head and kill him and take his jacket or shoes and walk off; he would feel like he did nothing important; to him, killing his brother is no more important than killing a mosquito. That is to say that black folks have lost regard for each other; slavery made them so, Olumba said.
In Africa the people have no regard for each other. The politicians and bureaucrats literally exist to cart their people’s wealth into their pockets; they do not have any kind of interest in helping the people they rule. They could care less if the people are unemployed or starved to death.
The African big man does not have respect for his people and would literally steal money that could have been devoted to their welfare and does not give a damn about it.
As long as the African big man imagines that he is a powerful man and that other Africans see him as such he is satisfied; he is not motivated to help his people.
The African is only interested in being seen as a very important person. He is title crazy; he lives to be called by the title of his profession, such as engineer Njoku, architect Obi. Dr. Osuji, Professor, Chikere and so on; in no other part of the world are people’s names prefaced with their occupational titles to make them seem very important persons.
The African’s entire life is devoted to the pursuit of social and existential significance; as it were, he feels like he is nobody, like he is feces, shit and wants to seem important in his eyes and in the eyes of his fellow Africans. Besides the pursuit of social and existential importance the African could care less about the fate of his people.
Olumba said that slavery, racism and colonization made the African feel lack of worth hence devote most of his energy to seeking infantile worth. As he sees it, the African feels like shit and pursues titles and social importance in the false belief that those would make him seem worthwhile. Instead of working hard to develop his people and deriving worth from so doing, the African thinks, like a child, that merely masquerading around as a very important man makes him actually a very important person.
As we all know, to the rest of the world Africans are seen as primitive; they are seen as unintelligent and as incapable of governing themselves; this is not withstanding Africans self- delusion of importance.
Who wants to be like Africans? Nobody; non-Africans do not want to be like Africans; indeed, not even Africans want to be like Africans! Africans want to be white like. See, African women devote enormous time and energy to straightening their hair or covering them up so that nobody sees their kinky hair (which they think is awful).
Many African women bleach their skin to look white so that they pretend to be white like; white is considered good and black bad.
Olumba and I agreed in our perception of the Africans as a people lacking in self-acceptance, as a people with low self-esteem; both of us see Africans as having low self-confidence, a people with tremendous self-hatred.
Where we differ is why the African is the caricature of a human being he currently is. Olumba said that God allowed the African to be marginalized, enslaved and colonized and that there is a reason for this situation. The goal is for Africans to know the nature of humiliation so that they would not seek to humiliate other people.
He said that God prepared Africans for a role in civilization; he said that God is going to use Africans for the next stage in human civilization. Africans, he said, would lead human civilization that is devoted to love and respect for all humanity.
From their humiliation Africans learned, Olumba said, that people should not be humiliated and that therefore they would not have a civilization where they do what Arabs and white men currently do, humiliate some children of God, namely Africans.
I reminded Olumba that what he is saying sounds like he is using God to console his self; this is like the consolation of religion or as Boethius called it, the consolation of philosophy.
Moreover, I told him that contemporary black folks, be they in Africa or in the Americas, are not exactly the people he says that they would become; they certainly do not seem to have learned from their history for they are literally still acting like garbage.
What is a contemporary African but a self-centered person who does not give a damn for his peoples suffering? What is a contemporary black American but a man who would kill his fellow black person for a pair of shoes?
Just go to South Chicago or Watts, Los Angeles or North East and South East Washington DC or Harlem, New York and you see black folks treating other black folks like shit, literally.
So, I asked when Olumba’s black folks are going to start doing the good things he said that they would do.
Olumba said that at the present black folks are dead and need resurrection. Like Jesus, they have been crucified by their fellow human beings and like him need to resurrect from death.
Africans have to resurrect from their present death and live a different life, live as Christ. Christ is the son of God who identifies with all children of God and knows that God is love and that his sons are love and he loves all his brothers.
Black folk were crucified by Arab and white folk; they need to resurrect from death and live Christ like existence.
I asked Olumba when black folks are going to be resurrected from their crucifixion and death. Olumba said that the dead cannot resurrect by themselves; the dead, he said, need God to resurrect them.
Jesus, he said, believed that he and God are one; Jesus trusted in God the father to resurrect him, God the son (who manifested in human form).
Olumba said that black folks do not yet know that they are the sons of God hence do not trust in God to resurrect them.
In explicating the nature of our death, I believe, Olumba got it wrong. As I see it, to be dead is to identify with the false self, the ego separated self; resurrection from death is remembrance that our true self is the son of God, is Christ.
Crucifixion is not done by other people to one but by one to one; one crucified one’s self by separating from one’s real self, the son of God and identifying with a replacement self, a false, substitute self, the ego separated self.
To live on earth hence be an ego housed in body, as I see it, is to crucify one’s self. All people on earth are by virtue of living as separated selves in bodies crucified and need resurrection, salvation, redemption and deliverance.
To be saved, I told Olumba is to recognize that one’s real self is not a separated self and body; to be saved is to return to the awareness that one is spirit.
Olumba agreed with me and emphasized that to be saved is to align ones will with the Will of God. Our real will is the will of God but we denied that will and juxtaposed a different will, the will of the ego self and now live as the ego.
Having agreed with me, Olumba still stressed that black folks were crucified by non-black folks whereas I tend to see all human beings as crucified by their identification with the ego false selves.
As I see it, when one gives up one’s identification with the ego false self and return to the awareness of one’s true self, the son of God, one is resurrected from death.
In this light, Africans are dead because they identified with the ego separated self-housed in body and behave as such. They resurrect from death when they remember that they are parts of unified spirit self and live as such.
Unified spirit, aka God, is love; to live from God means to love all people and devote one’s life to serving public good instead of stealing from the people. When Africans let go of their identification with the false self, the ego they are resurrected from death; when Africans serve public interest they live as Christ, loving selves.
At present, Africans are totally identified with their false selves, egos and for all intents and purposes are sub-human beings; I mean this literally, for they have not yet awakened to their status as the children of God.
The children of God are loving people; loving people do what is good for society not just for their ego selves. No one can say that extant Africans serve public good. What is a Nigerian but a thief who does not care for other Nigerians welfare!
I asked Olumba when black folks are going to know that they are the sons of God and trust in God to resurrect them. He said that left alone that Africans and African Americans cannot recognize that they are in God and God is in them; he said that it takes a God realized man to awaken them.
In his view, people are not saved by committees but by one person. He told me the example of the role of Nnamdi Azikiwe in empowering Igbos. Azikiwe studied in the United States and returned to Africa in the 1930s. He went about challenging the British colonial masters. Igbos seeing him stand up to the arrogant white man felt proud; Igbos, Olumba said, developed self-confidence by seeing Zik talk to the white man as his equal.
Additionally, Igbos learned from the example of Zik to pursue western education so that they, too, could talk to the white man as boldly as the Western educated Zik did.
By the same token, it is one African who is going to help Africans to resurrect from death; but first such African must have resurrected from death.
I asked Olumba who that God realized African is. He said that he, Olumba is that God realized man. He said that he knows that he is in God and God is in him, that he has visited God on a number of occasions and that God told him what his function is: to awaken Africans from their present dead status.
He, Olumba, the man said, is to lead Africans in the Americas and in Africa to wake up from their current dead status; he is to lead them in performing their function as the leaders of the new world civilization.
He said that the new civilization is the second coming of Christ to the world, and that he is to lead that second coming of Christ for he is now the Christ since he has accepted his Christhood and other people have not.