Thursday, 22 December 2016 00:58

Why were Arabs and Europeans able to enslave Africans?

Written by 

Chinasor Onianwah:

When I first read your write ups at Facebook two things struck me: I saw you as bright and also as an angry person. I wondered why you are full of rage, for, clearly, without your underlying anger you would produce good writing (you have the writers and artists flair for using the right turns of speech, phrases and sentences...I am not a writer; I am a social scientist and public manager who uses words to articulate my thoughts; I do not have the ability to use fancy words to say what I want to say).

Now I get it; I understand why you are angry. You live in the Washington DC area and attended Howard University, a black university where you were probably filled with Afrocentric material (such as Molefi Ashanti's writings) and thus made angry at the white man because of what you see him do to black people: enslave them, and discriminate against them.

You look forward to payback time. You want the oppressor to fail so that the oppressed, black folks may rise. This is perfectly a rational approach found in oppressed persons. I understand.

However, there are two sides to every question. White Portuguese encountered Africans in the mid-1400s (when they explored the coast of West Africa).

In 1492 the Spanish discovered the Caribbean and in 1500 the Portuguese discovered Brazil; thereafter, the transatlantic slavery began.

For four hundred years (1500-1900) Africans were sold by their own people who then sold them to the Europeans at the coast who sold them in the Americas and were used as slaves to develop the Americas.

For example, Aro Igbos bought and or captured Igbos (through their mercenary army, Abam, Abriba, Ngwa people etc.) and sold them to the Efik who sold them to the Portuguese at Calaba or sold them to the Ijaw who sold them to the Portuguese at Bonny.

The question now is what were Africans doing for all time in history before 1500 AD when they began selling their people into slavery. What is the pre-slavery history of Africans? What were Africans contributing to history before Europeans came to black Africa?

Where are the structures, stone buildings, built by black Africans before 1500 (please don't tell us about the Egyptians and their Pyramids because they are still alive in today's Egypt and do not look Negroid black, they look Semitic, brown and their language, at any rate, is Semitic, not Niger Congo or Bantu).

What did Africans do before the white man came to their world? You have to answer this question before you blame it all on Europeans.

For what it is worth, from about 900 AD Africans were selling their people to Arabs (remember your West African History, such as the Mansa Musa (Musa is Arabic for Moses) stuff where the man took over 1000 slaves on his pilgrimage to Mecca.

Point: Africans were selling their people to Arabs for at least 500 years before they began selling them to Europeans. Africans did not stop selling their people to Arabs until about 1900. Please see Thomas Parkingham, The Scramble for Africa.

Before selling their people to Arabs, Africans were selling their people to the Roman Empire which collapsed around 450 AD. Africans sold their people to the Romans who used them as gladiators to fight to death for their Roman entertainment.

I just want you to answer one simple question: what were Africans doing before 1500 AD when whites came to their world; point to their accomplishments in politics, science and technology.

Did black Africans develop the wheel, the foundation for technological civilization? Did Africans develop writing, the foundation for written history and civilization? Oh, I know all about Insibidi jazz.

By answering the questions I posed for you, you help us accept the thesis that the white man underdeveloped Africans, as your famous Alumni of Howard U, Walter Rodney argued in his book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

Look, I am not making apology for White oppression of Africans. I am not supporting white's folks. I do not support Arabs, either.

If you want to know where I stand it is clear and unequivocal anti-Islam. I want Islam to be eradicated from the face of the earth.

Islam is a violent religion; I tolerate Christianity but am not a Christian; I know that there is God; my ancestors were the "onye Isi Amadioha" and I am the current "onyi Isi Amadioha; my religion is spirituality, not the bastardized religion that the Semitic race of Arabs and Jews peddle; I am sure that you have been exposed to my writings on spirituality? If not please consult my many books on the subject.

As for Westerners, I embrace their scientific method and see my culture as scientific culture, not because it originated in Europe but because it is the only rational approach to living.

Now, tell me why you are angry at the white man if he did not originate Africans backwardness but merely took advantage of it.

As noted above, I see you as an artist, with the artist's temperament of emotionality and quickness to anger, as prone to paranoid irrational suspicions. I see you as in the mode of Chinua Achebe; in fact, I believe that you could produce his kind of literature.

As you may have read elsewhere, however, I dismissed Chinua Achebe as chicken brained because he did not transcend blaming whites for black folk's problems. By the way, I have reviewed all his books so I have read all of them and have clear understanding of his works.

You remind me of Achebe: a good writer who does not go beyond the obvious; the obvious of white oppression of blacks; you do not seem to ask what in the first place made it possible for whites to oppress blacks, black's backwardness.

Until Africans are no longer backward the other races will keep exploiting them; as we speak the Chinse are exploiting them.

Nigerians, for crying out loud, cannot even govern themselves well; all they know how to do is be corrupt and then blame the consequent backwardness on the white man (they don't even blame Arabs who enslaved Africans much longer than white folks did...indeed Arabs still enslave Africans in Sudan and Mauritania).

There you have it; my position; the ball is now in your court to tell us why Africans and black people all over the world are backward; please don't just give us the old canard that it is because of white exploitation, for one must be exploitable to be exploited; why were Africans so weak that other people exploited them and still do so today?

PS: I took my time to write the above because I believe that you are naturally smart; if I had judged you average I would not have taken the trouble to say what I just said.

Ozodiobi Osuji

December 21, 2016

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(907) 310-8176

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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