If I am a white man how would I relate to black folk?

Building on how I, an African, relate to my fellow Africans and black persons in general, I point out that it is understandable for white folks to see Africans and black folks as culturally behind them and hence avoid their company. The paper says that the most rational thing to do is work to get black folks on par with white folks rather than discriminate against them. It says that we all need to be taught scientific culture so that we operate from a common scientific frame of reference hence get along with one another. IF I AM A WHITE MAN HOW WOULD I RELATE TO BLACK FOLKS? Ozodi OsujiI am a black man, an African. Like other black folks I am subjected to racism by white folks. This prompts me to ask this question: suppose that I am a white man how would I treat Africans and black folks in general? In this paper I will try to answer that question as honestly as I can. I do not deceive myself; I am a pretty honest man and will approach this question without sentimentality and self-deception.Before I answer this question it helps to know how I relate to my fellow black folks. I relate to black folks from a distance. I do not have intimate relationships with black Americans and Africans. I do not feel like I am one of them. I know that I am supposed to be one of them but I do not feel so. I feel like a stranger in the black world and thus relate to black folks as one relates to aliens. I have tried to have intimate relationships with black folks but I could not succeed.Why am I unable to get along with black folk? It is because to me they seem very primitive!

This is the God honest truth: Africans and black folks in general seem primitive.Whenever I come close to them I have nothing really in common with them. Their tastes and mine do not comingle and to save all of us headache I moved on.I move to circles where I have things in common with folks. That circle generally consists of well-educated folks. I do not believe that I can relate to any one without a doctorate degree and is up to date in the physical and social sciences; I simply do not know what to say to anyone that I cannot discuss with what is going on in the intellectual world.I do not know how I came to be who I am, for I was not born into the rich classes. My parents were working class. However, they came from the best of the best in their African society. They came from the priestly class, the Umuamadioha clan, the priests of the Igbo god, Amadioha. Among their people they are the Opara, the first family. My ancestors were the dominant figures in their traditional African society.My parents’ prominent status in their traditional society probably played a role in my individual psychology. However, in the here and now world the fact is that they are working folk and all things considered I should have acquired working folk’s psychology, which I do not have; my psychology is like what we would find in persons from aristocratic background.My father worked; my mother worked. Every day both of them left their home around 6AM and did not get back home before 6PM. The children were essentially taken care of by nannies. I had a nanny who took care of me until I began school at age six.I went through elementary schooling (at what then was called Apapa European quarters) rather uneventfully. I was a shy, studious boy who mostly kept to himself; I usually had one or two friends.

My personality profile says that I am avoidant in personality structure. (See DSM- IV-TR). I visited with my one or two friends and they visited with me and that was just about it as far as my social life was concerned during my elementary schooling.At age twelve I went off to secondary (boarding) school. My secondary school experience was not that much different from my elementary school experience. The only difference was that I became aware that I did not like any other boy to do better than I did at our examinations.I was never first in our classes of about thirty kids (I attribute this situation to the fact that I was not good at mathematics and made poor graders in it and that dragged down my overall grades); I was mostly second and below it in my classes.I resented the boy who made first and wished that I was the best boy.

Beyond this streak of competitiveness and envy of whoever was my better I really do not recall any other eventful thing in my secondary school experience. Ah, there is something else that stands out in my memory of my secondary school experience. Many of the other boys in our boarding school did not like going to chapel (church services) but I did. I did not because I listened to what seemed to me rubbish that the reverend father was talking about God, I had rejected God at age 14 and became agnostic, but because I loved to hear our choir sings choral songs. Our choir probably was as good as Cambridge University boys choir…I have listened to them and know what I am talking about; our boys were the best in the entire world!I knew that I was going to go to university after secondary school (my father expected that). Thus, during my last year in secondary school I applied and was accepted by several American universities. Without waiting for my examination’s results to come out I was already in the USA attending university classes (when the result came out, GCE Advance Level etc.

I had As and one B).At the university, I did not deviate from my usual pattern: I diligently went to classes, returned to my dormitory room, laid on my dorm bed and read until I fell asleep. Sometimes, I went to the library and read until the library closed at 11PM. Sometimes, I went to the Student Union building, read there until it closed and then went to my dormitory room and read until I went to sleep. I did not have much social life. I had one or two friends and that was pretty much it.In three years I had my bachelor’s degree. In the following years I had three masters’ degrees and thereafter obtained the doctorate degree.I began teaching at a university and soon felt disinterested in teaching and left to work in the field. I worked my way to being the executive director of a mental health agency and thereafter left and returned to teaching at a university, with the intention of spending most of my time writing.This is pretty much my whole life. Oh, in graduate school, at age twenty four, I married a white female student and we had three children and eventually divorced. I now live alone, doing what I love to do: read whatever interests me, and write.The salient point to this brief biography is that objectively I should feel like a member of the working class and like a member of black and African folks.

But that is not the case. I do not feel belonging to Africans. I occasionally talk to an African, usually briefly. Generally, I do not feel like I have much to talk to Africans about.I am not conversational; I am discursive. In any talk my mind could range from Aristotle to Plato, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Hume, Berkeley, Locke, Hobbes, Pascal, Rousseau, Voltaire, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Bergeson, James, Kraepline, Freud, Adler, Jung, Horney, Skinner, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Kepler, Huygens, Tyco Brahe, Boyle, Dalton, Thomas Young, Faraday, Lavoisier, Laplace, James Clark Maxwell , Boltzmann, J.J. Thompson. Max Plank, Marie and Pierre Curie, Einstein, Rutherford, Bohr, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Pauli, Broglie, Dirac, Friedman, Lemaitre, Hubble, Liese Meitner, Strassman, Otto Hahn, Hoyle, Gamow, Wheeler, Flaming, Crick, Watson, Pauline, Gell-Mann, Alan Aspect, Hugh Everett, John Bell, Alan Guth and many other philosophers and scientists. If you are not familiar with what those folks did and can factor them into your conversation I simply do not find your conversation appealing and quickly move away from you.My taste in music is not only Western but cultured Western. I love classical music, and have been in love with it since I first heard it, perhaps, at age eight (I had visited a white kid’s home, at Ikoyi, Lagos (Nigeria) and heard that music playing in the house and simply loved it.

I have since then not paid much attention to other kinds of music. When I was a teenager I briefly listen to soul and rhyme but that was just a passing phase. Give me classical music, especially the German variety (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Handel etc.) of it and I am in whatever heaven there is (my idea of heaven is a place where Baroque and choral music is playing).So, how is it that an African is an aficionado of German music and Chinese food? I do not know; I leave it to others to figure that one out; I stopped trying to understand many things about me long ago; I simply accepted who I know myself to be and leave it at that.I do not have to understand many things; long ago I learned that just because you understand something does not mean that you can change it. If you love to wear suits, as I do, understanding why you do so is not going to change it and make you wear African clothes, which I do not wear (what is called African clothes is largely derived from discarded ancient Arab attire; I am not in love with anything Arab at all).As noted, usually I have a couple friends who are up to date with what is going on in the sciences and therefore can talk to me on an ongoing basis. These folks happen to be white folks. Thus, I ended up with white friends, mostly.

I did not make a conscious effort to be around white folks; it happens that my interests bring me in contact with white folks, and not with Africans.In trying to relate to Africans I feel like I am trying to relate to folks from a different planet, like they are alien to me. Why is this so?I think that it is because Africans live in a culture that is totally different from the culture I admire, scientific culture. I believe that Africans live in a culture that is, at least, 2500 years behind Western culture. How did I reach this time frame?I reached it by rooting the modern West to what took place in the 400s BC in Greece. Democritus, Plato and other Greeks began to speculate about their world in the 400s BC and it is from those speculations and observations that the modern West began.I believe that Europe has been ahead of Africa since Greece. I believe that Africans are 2500 years behind Europeans (they are also behind Asians in material culture).I do not believe that this has anything to do with genetics. Africans are like other people, some of them are very bright; some are above average and the many are average and some below average and or mentally retarded.Intelligence is distributed similarly in all groups regardless of race.

It just happened that whereas Africans are like other people, as a group they are way behind other people in material development. This makes them not ideal partners for relationships with for those from cultures where the average person benefits from the contributions of few enlightened minds (philosophers, psychologists, scientist, even religionists such as Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ and Ramakrishna…I love reading the last three not because I am shopping for God but because of their penetrating understanding of human psychology).The average white man is as uninformed as the average African but because he tangentially participates in the scientific culture of the West he appears more civilized than the average African.I believe that what needs to be done is to go to Africa and build schools everywhere so that all Africans go to elementary, secondary and the one third of the (human) population that are able to go to universities to do so. Africans must be encouraged to study the sciences; they need to become participants in the scientific world. Africans must be given scientific culture; their current non- scientific cultures must be replaced with scientific culture.Extrapolating from how I relate to Africans and black folks in general, if I am a white person how would I relate to black folk? I would relate to them exactly as I now do, from a distance!

I would relate to them as folks who are operating with a different cultural frame of reference and, as such, have nothing in common with me. I would tolerate them but I would not discriminate against them. I would help to build schools in Africa and in the black communities of America and train them up to university levels so that their intellectual reference group is on par with the rest of the world. Those who operate with the same cultural framework tend to get along than those with different schemas of what is real in their minds.I would not engage in racism and discrimination against black folk. Racism is predicated on the false premise that there are differences between people, that some races are smarter than others.There are no biological differences between members of the various races. What is true is that the white race is ahead of the black race by 2500 years. On the individual level there are no differences between white and black folk.

I would acknowledge the developmental difference between the races and give black folks opportunity to become educated in the sciences so as to bring them to snuff with white folks.I do not want the white race to degenerate to primitive levels so I would do what enables those who are still primitive, black folks to come to white folk’s level.Human beings belong to the same animal species. They are therefore sexually attracted to each other. White folks want to have sex with black folks and black folks want to have sex with white folks. This is a biological phenomenon; it is just the way it is. However, because black folks are 2500 years behind white folks in their material culture, offspring’s of interracial marriages, if left to be raised by their black parents alone may degenerate to the level of black folks.For example, when white enslavers parked their ships along the coast of West Africa to buy slaves they were also busy having sex with local African women. Many of those African women became pregnant and produced mixed white-black children. Those children were abandoned by their white fathers and were raised by their African mothers. They were socialized to African cultures. Culturally, they are the same as other Africans. That is to say that they are now 2500 years behind white folks in culture.How did I come to know this to be the case? As a child I knew that my grandfather and grandmother were mixed black and white (they discouraged members of the family from marrying jet black folk). That was obvious to anyone with eyes to see: they were very fair in complexion and had Caucasian features (when I was in elementary school folks called me omopupa, white boy; I got darker as I got older). However, culturally they were like other Africans around them.In the Americas white slave masters had sex with African female slaves.

The white men in those relationships did not acknowledge the resulting children. The children were raised by their African mothers and socialized to the African culture that the black slaves had with them.In time the African culture of black American slaves was permeated by some European culture and the result is the creole culture of black Americans (their culture is now neither African nor European but a mix of both).The children of white-black sexual activities are now part of the black American culture, a culture I estimate to be at least 1000 years behind European culture.In other words, the children degenerated from European culture to a lower level of culture. And who caused this to happen? White folks; I blame the white men who had sex with black women and abandoned their offspring and left them to be socialized by African women.If white men had participated in raising their racially mixed children clearly black Americans would today be on par white Americans.If we want all Americans to live at the same cultural level, we have to make efforts to give black folks scientific education.In the meantime the cultural divide between the two races is such that it makes relationship between them practically impossible.If you discriminate against folks you make them angry. Angry persons do attack those who made them angry.If the white world keeps discriminating against the black world there is no doubt that there would be a race war. In such wars those with more numerous people generally win.

The various Germanic tribes (called barbarians by their Italian masters) who were worked as slaves in the Roman Empire were more numerous in number than Italians and eventually warred with Italians and defeated them.There are more black folks in the world. Therefore, in a racial war, black folks would win that war. When they win since their culture is behind white culture then the West would go into another dark ages until black folks acquire scientific culture so as to be able to run a scientific civilization.This is what happened when primitive Germans defeated civilized Romans and did not have the culture to run a civilized society so Europe went into a dark age until Greek culture gradually reappeared and got modern Europe going.We must not allow another dark age to occur by allowing primitive Africans to take over Europe and America and then go back to a more primitive stage of cultural development until they acquire science and technology and then bring the West back up to where she is today.We can prevent that from happening by deliberately giving black folks in Europe, America and Africa scientific education so that they begin to participate in the modern scientific world.

DISCUSSION

Many black nationalists could easily point out that I am making the assumption that white culture is better than black culture. They have written that black and African culture is superior to white culture.If you ask those black nationalists why they believe that black culture are better than white culture invariably their answer goes something like this: white folks discriminate against black folks; in the past they enslaved black folks and currently engage in neocolonial relationships with Africans. All these are true.Bobby Wright, a black psychologist said that white folks have sociopathic (anti-social) personalities. He conjectured that this is because they lived in caves during the past ice age and all that cold made them cold in personality (if so are Eskimos who also lived in the cold emotionally cold?). His ideas seem interesting until you ask about Africans.Are Africans better than white folks? Africans sold their people to Arabs and Europeans and do not feel guilty from that apparent crime (since what constitutes crime is a social construct, did Africans define selling their people as not a criminal act hence do not feel like they did wrong by selling their people?); at the moment Africa’s so-called leaders specialize in stealing from their people and seem not to care about doing anything to help the masses of their people.

Does that not make them anti-social personalities also? In North America who are the predominant folks in jails and prisons? Does that not make the black folks also anti-social personalities?Could it then be that the mass of humanity does not feel guilty and remorseful for their anti-social acts and as such are the same?Some Gnostics point out that this world began as an attempt to live the opposite of love hence people do not love (see Helen Schuman, A course in miracles). My personal experience is that the average person lives a self-centered existence and does not give a hoot about other people’s interests although he mouths pro-social statements to seem like a nice person.As I see it, both white and black folks are in need of a new culture, one that stresses love for all people. I do not assume that already black folks are better than white folks. Scientific culture can show us that love for all people is the highest human behavior and then help us teach all people to love each other.Black Nationalism aside, I must articulate and propound only what makes sense to me; what makes sense to me is not black culture, African culture, white culture, Asian culture but scientific culture.

I accept the scientific method as my methodological approach to phenomena. At present we have applied the scientific method most fully to physical phenomena. I think that we can use it to study what is rational and scientific in human society and come up with a scientific culture that applies to all human beings regardless of where they may live on earth.I am searching for universalistic scientific principles that all people can live with; I am not interested in particularistic cultural ideas that apply only to certain areas of the world.I stand on science and will not give an inch to the feelings of nationalists from any human group. The battle line is drawn; I believe that I am correct in my stance; those who disagree with me are at war with me. Let us then have that war. I do not run away from the truth I see with my own five senses just so I please folks with sentimental attachment to what they call their peoples cultures. I do not give a damn about any group’s culture if it does not square with science.

CONCLUSION

Building on how I, an African, relate to my fellow Africans and black persons in general, I point out that it is understandable for white folks to see Africans and black folks as culturally behind them and hence avoid their company. The paper says that the most rational thing to do is work to get black folks to par with white folks rather than discriminate against them. It says that we all need to be taught scientific culture so that we operate from a common scientific frame of reference hence get along with one another.

Ozodi OsujiJuly 25, 2012 ozodiosuji@gmail.com

 

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