Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More on reparations and all that jazz

To the extent that our admission of culpability should re-engineer our collective and individual moral compasses, compasses that allow us to begin to appreciate the being of the other in the African world, I think this essay should be read aloud. Here it goes:
"Skip Gates recently re-ignited an old controversy by stating that Africans are also culpable in the shame that was the transatlantic slave trade because they were active participants who relied on the trade for revenue. I agree with Professor Gates. To the extent that African states sold off Africans, they are just as culpable as the Western states that bought Africans as slaves. That they are too destitute to pay should not absolve them from culpability and responsibility."
Some call this guy a sell-out. Some call him insensitive. I call him a gadfly, one that is interested in us loving ourselves and one another. E.g. I go to the Niger Delta, I see gas flares that have been roaring since years, roaring day and night in the midst of Ogoni or Ijaw or Urhobo villages; I see these people's rivers forever condemned by months and months of oil spill. What do I feel? What kinds of questions do I ask myself especially if I belong to Nigeria's middle, upper middle or ruling classes who live hundreds of miles from the Niger Delta? What?
Read this and judge.

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