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Ishola Taiwo
Mar 22, 2008, 07:19 PM
I would like to debate the subject of an Africa centred perspective.

It is my opinion that the most logical position from which a person of African ethnicity can view the larger world is one which is based firmly on the perspective that is currently described as Afrocentric.

I will seek to convince, in the course of this debate, that to be Afrocentric should overide all other ideologies/religions that have their power-centres outside the continent of Africa.

I institute this debate in the hope that in its course, we may obtain (for the record) on this site, the plain facts and reasoning behind which some have based their negative outlook towards the concept in the title. It is my intention to show the illogicality of such reasoning (especially when coming from ones who claim to be Africans).

Tola Odejayi
Mar 22, 2008, 07:23 PM
Hello Eja,

I'd like to debate this with you.

Shall we agree to a six-submissions-or-less debate, as per the rules on the Crucible?

If anyone wishes to moderate, that's fine; but I think we understand each other enough not to get into the gutter and need a moderator's intervention. :)

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 22, 2008, 07:55 PM
Honour SLB,

Thank you for accepting. I rub my hands in anticipation. Six submissions or less it is. Expect my first submission within the next few hours.

Best Regards
Eja

nero africanus
Mar 22, 2008, 07:57 PM
yes

it has happened

no sleep today..................................

Big-K
Mar 22, 2008, 07:58 PM
Hey guys, I apply to moderate

DeepThought
Mar 22, 2008, 08:00 PM
Though I don't think a moderator is necessary to temper languages as I know the two prospective debaters to be decorous, I think you will need a moderator to summarize your arguments and I'm glad Big K has volunteered


Interestingly enough, I never used to consider myself Afrocentric. I grew up seeing things mainly from a very Eurocentric perspective.

All my life , I had been consciously and unconsciously instilled with the view that European way was better. Now I know better

Lets see how this debate play out!!!!!!

Big-K
Mar 22, 2008, 08:21 PM
OK, assuming you guys accept my moderatorship of this debate, here's how I prefer that we go;

1. EJA will make his first submission,
1a. Readers will be given a time period to clarify any points (clarification, not counter the arguments) and suggest any additional points if they want to align with his views
1b. Then EJA will be given the opportunity to finetune his submissions based on #2 above.

2. /2a/2b Then, SLB will present his counter argument. Similarly to 1a and 1b, readers can suggest or buttress and SLB can finetune his argument.

When we have this scenario repeat itself 6 times, we will hopefully have a very rich 6-point debate.

Auspicious
Mar 22, 2008, 08:52 PM
Ha!

I wouldn't mind be a part of this.

Auspicious.

DeepThought
Mar 22, 2008, 08:58 PM
Ah, fearless Auspi is here.

Now there will be trouble for sure! Not to worry, when it gets too hot, we'll post something on Obama

Auspicious
Mar 22, 2008, 09:10 PM
Fearless ke?

I am a "Chicken" o..!:lol:

Auspicious.

emj
Mar 22, 2008, 09:15 PM
Hmmm.......interesting.....let's get it on...roll tape abegy:eek::p

wonderer
Mar 22, 2008, 09:33 PM
This is an interesting subject

...waiting in anticipation :)

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 22, 2008, 11:18 PM
POSTULATE - In the context of this debate, used as "a hypothesis advanced as a premise in a train of reasoning."

1.00 :The first part of this presentation will be a list of postulates. Indulgence is required as I will be approaching the main subject indirectly.

1.01: Every sentient being has a perspective. A perspective, in the context of this reasoning, is described as the coordinates within a mind from which the nature of awareness is determined as its owner relates objectively and subjectively to phenomena that occur in its immediate environment (and in the larger world around it).

1.02: Not all sentient beings are aware of the true scale of the world outside of their immediate environment. For some, this limited awareness is due to the restrictions of physical being (e.g. most mammals cannot reside permanently under water) but, for others, this limited awareness is due to voluntary or, imposed ignorance.

1.03: Where the outside world has no noticeable effects on a being, then to be of limited awareness need not necessarily be detrimental. However, when the outside world is conspicuous by its relentless demands and noticeable effects, then to be fully aware of the nature of all external entities and of the grand intentions behind their interventions is a primary necessity. As is the way of thinking that guides the inception and implementation of ones tailored responses.

2.010: I assert that for all the various peoples of the Earth, the true religion that guides the aims of the societies they create is based around/on ethnicity.

2.011: I assert that the concept of religion was created for the reason of giving humanity a perspective from which sense can be made of the surrounding Universe and, that the reason this specialised form of awareness was required was so that long-term purpose could/can be determined.

2.012: I therefore identify as a religion anything that attempts to place the everyday existence of man within a framework of that which outspans human lifetimes and normal experience.

2.02: I assert that identity is the main component of religion. That we define the highest deity by what we assume to be the highest ideals that we can aspire to as a people and, that we identify the Earthly incarnation of this deity with ourselves (and our physical form).

2.030: I assert that all humans are hard-wired to be religious.

2.031: That even those of us who identify ourselves as atheists are simply adherents of a new label that has been appended to the mind-set/concept that was first described as "religious".

2.032: That all we have done, in our atheist incarnations, is remove the image of a Supreme Being from our conception of religion.

2.033: That in its place, we have put what we currently describe as "scientific facts"; the majority of which were/are derived from theories (i.e. ways of thought that are also largely dependant on 'faith' - "a belief in things not seen").

2.04: I also identify allegedly 'godless' ideologies like communism to be nothing more than offshoots of the religious instinct. In other words, I identify all ideology to be a form of religion.

2.05: Now, since even those who would claim to have no religion will hardly deny having an ideology, and if it is accepted that paragraphs [1.01 and the set of 2.01x] are two halves of a whole, then we can see how in all matters of relating to the universe at large, perspective and the awareness it breeds are everything.

3.010: To be Afrocentric means that a person is one who seeks to relate with the world at large on the basis of how this world at large impacts on him/her self as an African being.

3.011: I propose that the alternatives to the Afrocentric view can be divided into two species. These are, the ideal and the real.

3.012: The ideal view is the humanity-centred view and, when we are governed by this way of perceiving, we are compelled to act in ways that affirm our knowledge that all humans are the same and should be given the same opportunities in all realms of human existence/organisation.

3.013: It is difficult to see any reason why this view should not immediately prevail however, we need not be told that at this moment in human time, the ideal view prevails no where on Earth. What we have as a reality is the existence of perspectives that are basically fed by the impulse to establish, on as wide a global scale as possible, a dispensation that is most favourable to the members of whatever ethnicity one belongs to.

4.010: I assert that the human species can be divided into two. Those that have been subsumed within the instinctive agenda of other ethnicities and those who are actively engaged in subsuming others within the instinctive agenda of their ethnicity.

4.011: Africans are currently placed within the first category and, this is because, unlike those from the second category, Africans consistently fail to act collectively while in pursuit of the instinctive agenda of all living things (i.e. to survive and to thrive).

4.012: I propose that the primary reason things are like this is because unlike others, during this particular epoch of human history, Africans have not articulated an indigenous common purpose (bound up as religion/ideology) or a basic universal philosophy that selfishly places the creations of their own mind (past and present) at the centre of the Universe.

5.01: I come now to the reason I have persistently used the word "religion" as I sought to make my points. The human instincts that are nourished by the concept described as "religion" is a tool. Since I have equated religion with ideology and, since I now further place within the orbit of this equation the concept of principles, I can also say that the human instincts that are nourished by the concepts described as ideology (i.e. formalised ideals) or principles, are also tools.

5.02: I repeat, in a more succinct manner: Human instincts are tools.

5.03: The present is a child of the past and the parent of the future. All are inextricably linked. The Arabs derived an Arabocentric perspective and sold it as the basis of a religion to whoever was willing to buy. The Europeans, more cleverly, derived various Eurocentric perspectives and sold them as religion or ideology to all who would buy. Right now, as we are witness the conflict between these two tools of dominance, we can also see on the sidelines (for now) how other societies, notably the Hindu and the Chinese are guarding their borders with views that can best be described as Indocentric and Sinocentric. While we may not be certain that either society will become like the second category described in [4.010] above, we can be certain that they are now in little danger of falling within the first category.

5.04: I conclude by saying until we Africans subscribe to a way of thinking that selfishly places the creations of our own minds (past and present) at the centre of the Universe, then we as a collective stand no chance of departing from the ranks of ones who may best be described as floundering prey.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 22, 2008, 11:19 PM
If SLB is willing, the proposals put forward by Big-K can be adopted in full.

Tola Odejayi
Mar 22, 2008, 11:23 PM
Hello Eja,

Big K's proposals work for me. I will wait for a few hours for any requests for clarifications, etc. to come from the audience before I submit my response to your first post.

I'd also like to suggest that at the end of the debate, there should be a vote amongst the audience to see the margin by which I have defeated you erm, I mean who has won the debate. :)

Shoko

bubbles
Mar 22, 2008, 11:28 PM
this should be interesting.

i like what i've read so far.

Auspicious
Mar 23, 2008, 12:14 AM
I don't know what the rules here in the Crucible are like, but my views are this simple:

THE African cheats himself badly as an individual if he restricts himself to viewing things strictly from an African point of view - usually described in the term Afrocentric. This does NOT apply simply to the African, it also applies to the European, Asian, South Asian etc.

In an Era where the World is becoming a Global Village, where barriers of various hue are slowly giving away to usher in a new Era that affirms the belief that there is strenght in numbers or, that variety is the spice of life, one cannot afford to limit himself to seeing things through the narrow prism of ones heritage.

The White Supremacist takes his beliefs from the same doctrine that sees things strictly from this supremascist mindset. As far as he's concerned, every other view is inferior to his supreme view. And from there, his belief that every other gene type or culture or outlook is inferior to his is established and sealed.

Some will say, "Good for Him. At least he's proud of his heritage - much unlike the African who disparages his without second thoughts while embracing another man's culture". What these folks don't realize is that the dude who seals himself into such coccoon has willfully sealed himself in permanent ignorance of the outside world.

The relatively young man called Barack Obama, who is currently the front-runner of the Democratic Party in the American presidential race today has his greatest assets in the diversity he personifies. Unlike his fellow contestants or the leaders who preceeded him, he sees the world through a wide range of perspectives.

And that puts him in an attractive position in the eyes of many who yearn for the day when America will learn to approach and deal with the rest of the world without the usual gong-ho attitude of forcing her culture and civilization down the throat of other nations with the kind of reckless abandon that alienates America.

In the same manner, the African who chooses to see issues and the world strictly through his Lens of Afrocentrism is likely to alienate himself badly - especially at a time when she's already badly alienated by circumstance of history. It is in the African's interest to try not only to see things through his Afrocentrism, but also through others lens so he can survive in a competitive world.

I am Auspicious...and I love Jack Daniel and Coke.

Big-K
Mar 23, 2008, 12:41 AM
Auspicious,

Are you aligning your views with Eja's or seeking clarification? Right now, all responses should be seeking to build Eja's position. Once Eja's position is clear to all, SLB will then reply

katampe
Mar 23, 2008, 12:44 AM
I am reading Eja 's submission and I am having a migraine.

In the interest of fair play and to knock of the air of profound insight that he seeks to create with his so called postulations. I will condense his treatise to readable, clear and concise language, so everyone can fully understand the implication of his argument.

Also, so we won't be hoodwinked by this man. And my action should help expand the community of commentators, instead of the pretentious few , the discourse community of crucible loyalists like the Neros and the Deep Thoughts. I see you smelling this fake people already. :D

I dey come. una dey wait ?

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 23, 2008, 01:00 AM
I am reading Eja 's submission and I am having a migraine. In the interest of fair play and to knock of the air of profound insight that he seeks to create with his so called postulations. I will be condensing his treatise to a readable and a clear, and precise language format, so that everyone can fully understand what he has put before us. And so we won't be hoodwinked by this man and it would enable us have an enlarged community instead of a pretentious discourse community of crucible loyalists like the Neros and the Deep thoughts. I see you smelling this fake people already. :D

I dey come. una dey wait ?

I laugh at this irredeemable Kegite (lef de ogogoro alone Oga! lef am alone!) and his attempt at an early derailment. I must be doing something right if I can cause the palmy-addled foe to crawl out of their circle of inebriation so early in the day....:wink:.

Senator Katampe, please do not presume to be "condensing" my "treatise".

I smell fraud.

State what you disagree with in full (i.e. within the context it is presented in) and then state the opinions on which your disagreement is based.

Do not tell me what I mean and then argue with your own condensed milk. Dat one na fake debate.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 23, 2008, 01:04 AM
Hello Eja,

Big K's proposals work for me. I will wait for a few hours for any requests for clarifications, etc. to come from the audience before I submit my response to your first post.

I'd also like to suggest that at the end of the debate, there should be a vote amongst the audience to see the margin by which I have defeated you erm, I mean who has won the debate. :)

Shoko

In responding to the boastful boastiness in the bolded bit above, I say :lol: :lol: :lol: and :twisted:.

wonderer
Mar 23, 2008, 02:08 AM
Hello Eja

First I am a bit confused about your postulate , do you plan to debate are all the points mentioned, or are you assuming all the points to be self-evident and generally agreed upon and then you will build your argument based on this assumption ?

Also I would like to know what is your definition of "African"/"African being" ?

busanga
Mar 23, 2008, 02:30 AM
I am reading with peculiar interest..I am neither here nor there. Convince me folks. I am the panel of judges :D

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 23, 2008, 03:58 AM
Hello Eja

First I am a bit confused about your postulate , do you plan to debate are all the points mentioned, or are you assuming all the points to be self-evident and generally agreed upon and then you will build your argument based on this assumption?


Hello Wonderer

All the points I presented are subject to debate. I numbered them to enable ease of reference.



Also I would like to know what is your definition of "African"/"African being" ?


Genotype and Phenotype

Definition
All living things are the outward physical manifestation of internally coded, inheritable, information.

There are two parts to this definition ...

Phenotype
This is the "outward, physical manifestation" of the organism. These are the physical parts, the sum of the atoms, molecules, macromolecules, cells, structures, metabolism, energy utilization, tissues, organs, reflexes and behaviours; anything that is part of the observable structure, function or behaviour of a living organism.

Genotype
This is the "internally coded, inheritable information" carried by all living organisms. This stored information is used as a "blueprint" or set of instructions for building and maintaining a living creature. These instructions are found within almost all cells (the "internal" part), they are written in a coded language (the genetic code), they are copied at the time of cell division or reproduction and are passed from one generation to the next ("inheritable").

These instructions are intimately involved with all aspects of the life of a cell or an organism. They control everything from the formation of protein macromolecules, to the regulation of metabolism and synthesis.
Source (http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/bc/ahp/BioInfo/GP/Definition.html)



My use of the words "Africans" and "African being" in the course of this debate will be based on the definition given by the first part of the above (i.e. Phenotype). I choose to do this because in real life, when people interact, they base identification on this first part.

There is no genotype derived ethnicity.

To prove my point, I would like you to answer these questions: Would the child of a Boer (i.e. a Dutch descended South African) born in the USA and therefore a citizen of the USA, be referred to as an African American or, as something else? Would a person born in the USA from two Arab Tunisians be referred to as an African American or, as something else?

While you build your reply, consider the fact that Barack Obama, son of a Kenyan and a 'white' Kansas woman, is described as an African American.

DeepThought
Mar 23, 2008, 06:12 AM
According to the rules of the Crucible, I think we are supposed to stand aside and let the two main actors trash things out while we contribute from a parallel thread. I guess this will be created latter and our side discussions moved there?.

@ Auspicious. While considering your points, I'll take this thing in a slightly different direction.



THE African cheats himself badly as an individual if he restricts himself to viewing things strictly from an African point of view - usually described in the term Afrocentric. This does NOT apply simply to the African, it also applies to the European, Asian, South Asian etc.

An Afrocentric perspective as I understand it doesn't mean as you put it just
viewing things strictly from an African point of view
Rather, it means honestly intepreting things predominantly from a point of view which advances the cause of the African collective . That raises the interesting question of racism which we'll deal with in due course on a debate such as this.
"
Strictly from an African point of view implies the limitation of ONLY from an African point of view and confers on the viewer the inability to see things from any other point of view.



In an Era where the World is becoming a Global Village, where barriers of various hue are slowly giving away to usher in a new Era that affirms the belief that there is strenght in numbers or, that variety is the spice of life, one cannot afford to limit himself to seeing things through the narrow prism of ones heritage.

1. First of all the world is not becoming a Global village, rather it may be becoming a Global plantation. So long as inequalities exist this preceeding will be true because true patnership is only possible among equals.

2. While some barriers are comming down, new ones are going up and we are lucky if we recognize the new ones. Often we won't even see the new ones going up.

3. Seeing things through the prism of one's heritage is precisely one of the things that ensures the survival of that heritage, assuming one still has a surviving heritage to see things through.




The White Supremacist takes his beliefs from the same doctrine that sees things strictly from this supremascist mindset. As far as he's concerned, every other view is inferior to his supreme view. And from there, his belief that every other gene type or culture or outlook is inferior to his is established and sealed.

You confuse Afrocentrism with Black supremacy.

This is understandable because we have come to identify ; with lots of justification; White supremacy with Eurocentrism

But the reason why people like me may condemn Eurocentrism is because the day to day Eurocentrism which should be a harmless and natural part of the normal human experience of the European has become violent. This is simply because the European way of life extended itself beyond what should have been its natural space and began to take by force what wasn't its to take, because it thought it wanted/needed those thing in order to thrive.

Now, I have to admit that extreme Afrocentrism may easily become black supremacy and while I think it is possible to be Afrocentric without being violent as Eurocentrism has been, a black supremacist will be violent and could become as bad as the white supremacist.
It is confusing to seperate the Black supremacist from the Afrocentric. The problem is that while one can be Afrocentric and Supremist, it is possible to be Afrocentric without being a supremist.


Some will say, "Good for Him. At least he's proud of his heritage - much unlike the African who disparages his without second thoughts while embracing another man's culture". What these folks don't realize is that the dude who seals himself into such coccoon has willfully sealed himself in permanent ignorance of the outside world.

That is the supremacist, not the Afrocentric


The relatively young man called Barack Obama, who is currently the front-runner of the Democratic Party in the American presidential race today has his greatest assets in the diversity he personifies. Unlike his fellow contestants or the leaders who preceeded him, he sees the world through a wide range of perspectives.

So can the Afrocentric And honestly, I think Obama is an Afrocentric American and not really an African American, though I think that statement will be offensive to some. It shouldn't be, its just my opinion; and tags like Afrocentric, African American, American, White America are not really as important as simply being a good man, something I think Obama is.

It is possible for a Black person to be Eurocentric , in fact it is very common and in rare instances, it is possible for a White person to be Afrocentric.


And that puts him in an attractive position in the eyes of many who yearn for the day when America will learn to approach and deal with the rest of the world without the usual gong-ho attitude of forcing her culture and civilization down the throat of other nations with the kind of reckless abandon that alienates America.

True


In the same manner, the African who chooses to see issues and the world strictly through his Lens of Afrocentrism is likely to alienate himself badly - especially at a time when she's already badly alienated by circumstance of history. It is in the African's interest to try not only to see things through his Afrocentrism, but also through others lens so he can survive in a competitive world.

Again, you confuse the Afrocentric with the Black supremacist advocate


I am Auspicious...and I love Jack Daniel and Coke.

I would have loved to say I am DT the Afrocentric and I love Palmie and Kunu but that would be a lie. I love soda and pop more than I love Palmie and I've never tasted Kunu in my entire life. So you see, the Afrocentric is assimilative of more cultrues and worldviews than you think. Only that he or she has made a choice to actively seek points of views and actions that advance the collective cause of the African or better still, those who identify themselves as Black.

Obviously with such a wide definition of Afrocentrism, there will be wide disagreement within that community as to what it means to be Afrocentric and there will be problems about determining the best actions that advance the cause of the collective. There are strong , moderate and weak Afrocentrism and then there is even extreme Afrocentrism which borders on supremacy. I don't see anything wrong with moderation in one's Afrocentrism.

I should conclude that it is possible to be Afrocentric and be a bad or good person as it is possible to be with Eurocentrism too. Even though we have mostly come to associate these two isms with the negative only


Would the child of a Boer (i.e. a Dutch descended South African) born in the USA and therefore a citizen of the USA, be referred to as an African American or, as something else?

To make this even more interesting:
Would the child of a Boer (i.e. a Dutch descended South African) born in South African and who might have migrated to America and acquired citizenship, be referred to as an African American ?

Would a person born in the USA from any two North African parents be referred to as an African American ?

Big-K
Mar 23, 2008, 08:43 AM
Eja,

Would it be helpful to first state the premise of your argument before going into the numbered supportive statements? Or should we take the main premise to be your first post on this thread which states that

"the most logical position from which a person of African ethnicity can view the larger world is one which is based firmly on the perspective that is currently described as Afrocentric.

I will seek to convince, in the course of this debate, that to be Afrocentric should overide all other ideologies/religions that have their power-centres outside the continent of Africa."
Then I think you need to tie your postulates better to this basic premise.

In your points about religion, are you talking of a worldview that's based on ethnicity, or a belief-system, or actual active religion? My understanding is that religion goes beyond belief system but acting on that belief in an organized form/fashion.

With that, please feel free to re-present your arguments, which I'll re-post on a fresh thread.

Tola Odejayi
Mar 23, 2008, 09:39 AM
Hello Eja.

In order to respond to your points above, I will need to aggregate/summarise the points are directly relevant to your main proposition, i.e. that the most logical position from which a person of African ethnicity can view the larger world is one which is based firmly on the perspective that is currently described as Afrocentric. and that this perspective should overide all other ideologies/religions that have their power-centres outside the continent of Africa.

What you seem to be saying is that one way or the other, we adopt a 'religious' ideology in our doings, whether or not we incorporate the idea of a Supreme Being in this ideology or not. You say that this ideology helps us to make sense of the world, and it guides us in our responses towards the external stimuli and agents that we encounter in our lives. This ideology is also characterised by the acceptance of a large number of ideas as truth. (I will be using the term 'ideology' throughout this debate to refer to religions and cultural values that are adopted in this way.)

While I agree with this in part, I must make the point that we do not usually use one single ideology in processing information and directing our thoughts, words and actions. A Yoruba Muslim, for example may see the world through a Yoruba prism one day, and a Muslim prism the next.

Now in point 2.010, you say:


I assert that for all the various peoples of the Earth, the true religion that guides the aims of the societies they create is based around/on ethnicity.

You seem to be implying here that what really drives people to do what they do is an ideology based on ethnicity. I disagree with this. While early religious ideologies may have arisen within particular ethnicities, there are today many religious ideologies which have been adopted by many different ethnicities. This is so much the case that in many cases, these multi-ethnic religious ideologies have as much importance (if not more) than the values of the ethnic group, especially because there is a fusion between the values of the ideology and the values of the ethnic group. So I cannot agree that in these cases that the society is driven primarily by ethnicity.



Now moving swiftly to the 'koko' of the matter, your point seems to be that what has happened over the past few centuries is that some ethnicities have (instinctively and) successfully packaged their ethnic values into religions. They have then successfully spread these religions to African societies to the point where the values in those religions compete for the minds of people in those African societies. Because of this, people in those societies are at a disadvantage, and you believe that they need to develop an Afrocentric ideology in order to prevent themselves from being a people that are used rather than a people that use.

There are many problems with your view. First of all, the concept of an 'African' ideology is too large and vague for the individual African to relate to. How do you formulate a common African ideology from the thousands of different ethnic groups in the continent? A starting point for such an ideology might be that it supports any measure that is pro-Africa - but is this enough to base an ideology that must govern the many thoughts, words and actions of the Yoruba man in Nigeria or the Dinka man in the Sudan? I believe that he is more likely to be allied to his ethnic group's values which is closer to him and which he has known all his life than some high-level ideology that just sprang up from nowhere recently.

Secondly, I question whether such high-level ideologies have any real meaning for the people in particular regions. You speak of Eurocentrism and Arabocentrism - but if we look at the many conflicts and animosities that exist within Europe and the Arab world, this must surely contradict this view of pan-regional ideology. Indeed, I should ask you - what exactly is Eurocentrism? Is it possible that you are taking incidences of where one or several European nations act in concert and assuming that there is always a solidarity between all European nations? You should know that most nations interests are different, so sometimes they will act in concert (and give the impression of regional solidarity), but many times they will act in opposition. I cannot see the point in pushing for Africa to adopt such a model - indeed, I could accuse you of being Euro- or Arabo- centric insofar that you want Africa to copy these regions in adopting a pan-regional ideology. :)

Thirdly, you seem to believe that just because the immediate source of a particular ideology is a particular culture, the ideology is infused with the values of that culture. This is not necessarily the case. For example, if you look at Christianity (which is an ideology that has been directly transmitted to Africa via Europe), this itself is an ideology that had its origins in the Middle-East. Are we to say that the values espoused in Christianity are specifically Eurocentric in nature, values like forgiveness, loving thy neighbour or believing that belief in Jesus Christ's sacrifice offers redemption for sins?

Fourthly, let us even assume that such ideologies have values that are exclusive to their culture of origin. You seem to disregard the ability of the recipient African society to customise and adapt the ideology to suit its own culture. For example, you have churches like the Cherubim and Seraphim church in Nigeria which are distinctly Yoruba in their style of worship. Indeed, this process of cultural assimilation and adaptation is how societies have evolved from time immemorial - including, of course, the societies that have 'exported' their ideologies to other places.

Fifthly, let us even assume that such ideologies cannot be adapted and customised by the recipient African society. It is still wrong to assume that such ideologies completely displace the existing values held by the society. What happens in most cases is that the member of such society adopts multiple world views - in many cases, he is comfortable using the imported worldview alongside his native cultural values. In fact, even without the adoption of an external 'foreign' ideology, humans beings adopt multiple world views anyway in dealing with the real world. An Urhobo software developer will adopt a different world view when dealing with a Belarussian software developer than he would adopt when dealing with an Urhobo accountant.

Sixthly, the idea that members of a society should give primacy to the values espoused by an Afrocentric ideology is a severely limiting one. What if there is an idea or product of a particular culture which can materially benefit members of an African society if it replaces the equivalent idea/product in Africa? Should that society hold to its Afrocentric ideals in this case? I believe that to do so is to impoverish the society and put it at a disadvantage - because as in the real world, an organisation can only grow if there is a continuous influx of new ideas which enable that organisation to respond to the changing world.

You may respond with the argument that an African society in this case can accept the good aspects of such external societies while remaining pro-African. That would smack of hypocrisy to me - picking and choosing what aspects of an external society count or don't count as 'corrupting' the purity of a pro-African stance. I believe that once a society adopts any aspect of a external culture, it is undergoing cultural change - no matter how small it may be. And this is neither a bad thing, nor is it necessarily a one way thing either.

Lastly, I believe the the quest for an Afrocentric ideology is a major distraction from what should be the main tasks of these societies - creating an environment where its citiznes are free to exercise their full potential in order to create wealth for themselves and others. It may be that you believe that forging and spreading this ideology will do that - in fact, you point to India and China as powers that are increasingly asserting their 'Indocentrism' and 'Sinocentrism'.

However, I put it to you that a country does not first establish a nationalistic ideology then use it to advance materially. These two usually happen side-by-side - in fact, it is usually the material progress of a nation that makes its citizens feel confident about embracing a nationalistic ideology, as has been observed in Russia. The point is that this material progress can occur in African nations without an Afrocentric ideology being in place first - you may observe that not all African nations are in the same predicament. So I believe it is better for African nations to seek the kingdom of material prosperity first by ensuring and protecting personal property and freedoms, and all other things - including a pride in confidence in being African or Nigerian - will be added unto its citizens.

Cheers,

Shoko

wonderer
Mar 23, 2008, 10:18 AM
Hello Wonderer

All the points I presented are subject to debate. I numbered them to enable ease of reference.



My use of the words "Africans" and "African being" in the course of this debate will be based on the definition given by the first part of the above (i.e. Phenotype). I choose to do this because in real life, when people interact, they base identification on this first part.

There is no genotype derived ethnicity.

To prove my point, I would like you to answer these questions: Would the child of a Boer (i.e. a Dutch descended South African) born in the USA and therefore a citizen of the USA, be referred to as an African American or, as something else? Would a person born in the USA from two Arab Tunisians be referred to as an African American or, as something else?

While you build your reply, consider the fact that Barack Obama, son of a Kenyan and a 'white' Kansas woman, is described as an African American.

Thank you Eja for clarifying these two points

I am not presenting a counter argument here, but seeking more clarification.
On your definition of "African" you said that your definition is based on "Phenotype". But what are the characteristics you assign to "African" according to this definition?
I personally think that using how people are referred to in the USA would be adopting an "Americancentric" world-view.

Palamedes
Mar 23, 2008, 11:43 AM
Eja
I will ally with you but I am not sure I will be 100% faithful. Further, like katampe#@19, your list of postulates is getting me confused too. You may want to take a look at the word "meme" (This word even sounds African), which means:

n : a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by non-genetic means (as by imitation); "memes are the cultural counterpart of genes"

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

But don't be restricted to this very meanings only—it can be expanded to include other related definitions.


May I suggest that you drop the following postulates from the list:

2.011
2.012
2.02
2.030
2.031
2.032
2.033
2.04
2.05
5.01

These are religious and separate issues; they are irrelevant and unnecessary interjections into the debate, which does not need blatant religious perspective. We will end up with participants dragging the debate all other the place. Let us concentrate on “Afrocentric”, shall we?


UPDATE: Eja, I think you have here a potpourri of postulates that need to be scaled down to a manageable level:

1.01 Is a statement of fact--indeed a postulate, that need not be listed because it is obvious to all.
1.02 OK
1.03 OK
2.011 DROP
2.012 DROP
2.02 DROP
2.030 DROP
2.031 DROP
2.032 DROP
2.033 DROP
2.04 DROP
2.05 DROP
3.10 OK
3.11 OK
4.10 (Two species of people holding alternative views to Afrocentric; two human species? I am not sure of this mix-up--if it is indeed a mix-up)
4.11 OK
4.12 OK
5.01 DROP
5.02 (Human instincts are tools . Software, hammer are all [types of] tools)
[B]5.03 OK
5.04 OK

katampe
Mar 23, 2008, 04:12 PM
Eja,

I have broken down your argument into a series of statements. You are at liberty to refute, or validate the statements. This will enable those on the sidelines to oppose or support each item in the series.

Of importance, is the logical thread through which you arrived at your thesis, that is highly necessary. Is it a reasoned premise, a logical flow that stands on its merit. The support of your statements could come in terms of evidence, an authority, common places (shared beliefs) , or empirical evidence, or statement of fact. So far, I haven't seen you supporting these statements.

The logic of your argument at the moment is inherently flawed, and makes it hard to reason objectively without being hood-winked. You can help us validate, support or reject these statements so we can reason with you , and not merely rely on your authority.

The items below are meant for the masses and those that are on the sidelines. It is basically what Eja argues. Breaking into this pattern enables us to organise our thoughts and understand his thoughts more clearly. It enables us to take him up on the premises that he used to arrive at his conclusion.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusion:

Africans should collectively subscribe to a religion, unless they do, they stand the risk of being preys to the instinctive agenda of other ethnicities.

Statements made to arrive at the Conclusion:

View of the world.
1. Living things have a prism through which they filter and interpret the world.

a. Filters are conditioned by experience acquired by physical geography or knowledge.
b. Filters determine strategic and tactical response to the agenda of other societies.

Atheists and religion

2. Atheists are religious.

a. Atheism is a new label for religion.
b. Atheism removed God from their religion.
c. Atheists replaced religion with scientific facts.
d. Atheists derive scientific facts from theories.
e. Theories are the products of unseen phenomena called faith.

Ideology

3. Ideologies are forms of religion.

Afrocentricism

4. Afrocentric relates to the world based on the impact of the world on Africa.

a. Afrocentrism has two shades of opinion: the real and the ideal.
b. An ideal shade filters the world on the notion that human beings are equal and deserve the same opportunities regarding existence and communal organization


Classes of Humans

5. Humans fall into two classes, the under-class and the upper-class.

a. Africans fall into the under-class because of lack of collective will for survival.
b. The primary reason is because there is no commonality of ideology or religion - an ideal that places the African mind as the most important.

Religion as a tool

6. Religion is a tool.

a. Human instincts are nurtured by religion.
b. Ideology is a form of religion.
c. Therefore ideology is a tool.

Ethnic views as religion

8. Africans can’t compete with the rest of the without a religion or ideology

a. The Arabs packaged arabocentric view as religion.
b. The Europeans packaged Eurocentric view as religion.
c. These two packages are in conflict.
d. On the sidelines we have Indians and the Chinese
e. The Chinese have a sinocentric ideology.
f. The Indians have an indocentric ideology.


*** I have edited to make it more comprehensible.

DeepThought
Mar 23, 2008, 04:15 PM
Shoko
Nicely done but don't worry, "we" 'll be back

Eja
This one go hard o!

denker
Mar 23, 2008, 07:34 PM
lets wait and see if after the debate the emphatical secret will be revealed on achieving dis:

- technological advancement
-scientical advancement
-advancement in economy
-advancement of philosophy of ethic
-advancement of writers/readers culture
last but not the least if GARRI go dey for table

-if after dis debate we still could not adequately see debate-conditioned correlations and relations to the above points then i'll reduce dis debate to one of african academical brain jogging exercise..meaningless -mind you internet is full of books about afrocentrism, too many! there's nothing new about it..absolute nothing original..!

..do not get me wrong -am practical and logical, i never waste my time on artificial things...if

the debate will bring new thoughts..am all for it, but now what i observe is just regurgitation

of old thoughts..lets hope dat the debate will show new ways to usher in in african:

-good leadership
-good roads
-life and property security
-good health care
- portable borne water
-modern sewage-system
- stable electricity
-habitable modern cities
-sufficient jobs and food..etc

ps: unedited, randomized sideline statements..:D

Wayfarer
Mar 23, 2008, 07:50 PM
I'd like to support Eja's position.

My understanding of Afrocentrism is that Black Africans should endeavour to encourage actions and practices that are in the best interest of Africans. I will explain why I bolded the word Black in the preceding sentence later on. In light of what I have written above, in my opinion, Afrocentrism is not racist any more than the concept of describing certain countries as "Western" countries is racist, even though these countries are not all located in the Western hemisphere, but just happen to be predominantly populated by people we would classify as White people.

A true Afrocentrist, in my opinion, would support the following:

Would encourage practices such as greeting your elders, giving up your seat to them and addressing them by titles or appellations other than their given names, because these conventions are important to Black Africans.

Would discourage the establishment of nursing homes, because Black Africans prefer that their ageing parents live with them, rather than under the care of strangers.

Would eschew the dissemination of dehumanizing images of Black people, such as images of children affected by famine or disease. A true Afrocentrist would instead focus on developments that celebrate Africa, such as pictures from the African games, the African cup, festivals such as the argungu fishing festival, as well as the commisioning of new projects such as Tinapa and the new public transit system set to launch in Lagos. A true Afrocentrist would do these things not because he wishes to supress the truth about Africa, but because he believes in highliting the positive aspects of his continent, just as people in other parts of the world showcase the positive aspects of their culture and
address the seedy aspects internally.

An Afrocentrist would first seek to engage other Africans for a task, and would only approach non Africans if competent Africans cannot be found. An Afrocentrist would not disregard other Africans in favor of non Africans, simply because the other Africans belonged to a different tribe.

Would encourage the incorporation of science and technology, and a culture of intellectual edification into African culture, because science and technology is in the best interest of Africans.

Would campaign for tariffs on African goods to be reduced to the same levels as those on goods from other parts of the world.

Would not support the policy of summarily deporting Haitian refugees fleeing a country that practices a democratic system, while granting automatic residence status to Cubans fleeing from a communist country.

Would agitate for greater recognition to be granted to Liberia by the United States, in the same way the United States maintains avuncular relationships with countries she has strong historical ties to. In the case of Liberia, no historical tie can be stronger than a country that was founded by the United States.

I could go on, but you obviously get the idea.

Regarding the claim by Auspicious that the world is becoming a global village, I beg to differ. The world is not becoming a global village. What the world is doing, and which I recommend for Afrocentrists, is adopting Western technology. There is no such thing as a global village. Web sites deemed objectionable, are still actively censored by the Chinese government. Women are still regarded as no more than property in many parts of the world. In India, dark-skinned people are still viewed as inferior beings and are blatantly descriminated against. In our own country, policemen are extorting bribes as we speak.

No, the world is far from being a global village. Most countries avidly protect their cultures. They do this because they know that a people derive their iddentity primarily from their culture, and a people without a culture, is like a building without a foundation.

Regarding the issue of whether White and Arab children born in the U.S. to parents who were Tunisians or South Africans should be called African Americans, I think they technically are African Americans. However, I think the more importaint issue is how they perceive themselves. Do they see themselves as Africans. Does the White South African seek out Black West Africans for friendship and socialization, or does he gravitate to White Americans and European immigrants? Does the Tunisian Arab manifest any interest in the development of Nigeria or Ghana, does he associate with or interact with Nigerians or Ghanians, or does he gravitate towards Middle Eastern Arabs, South Americans or Europeans instead?

During the 2004 democratic party convention in the United States, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, wife of the democratic party nominee adressed the crowd in English, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. This from an "African" woman whose "native" country is Mozambique. Why did she not speak any of the indigenous Mozambiquean languages?


The assembled crowd were an English-speaking crowd. Why did she speak all those European languages? Because of pride? But she is technically supposed to be African, not European. Even though she claims to be an African, it is obvious that she iddentifies with Europe, from whence her ancestors came to colonize Mozambique, not Mozambique. I would be suprised if she could speak a word in any indigenous Mozambiquean language.

The outside world equally views non-Black Africans differently. Have you ever seen a wide-sweeping news feature on islamic foundamentalism in Egypt? How about a feature on the murderous and oppressive colonial policies of the Portugese in Angola and Mozambique? Did any news agency ever ask why Teresa Heinz, an "African", was speaking European languages rather than indidenous Mozambiquean languages? Did any agency mention that she was a descendant of people who usurped lands belonging to indigenous people? Have you ever seen a feature that condemned the evils of Apartheid in South Africa? Do you frequently see sanctimonious pieces, such as the one on 419, that explore child prostitution Thailand and other Asian countries? This is why I bolded the word "Black" at the beginning of this post. The outside world perceives Africa as a Black continent when they want to associate negative qualities with her, but they are happy to remind us that non Blacks also call Africa home when they are discussing positive subjects .

It is true that Afrocentrism could degenerate into racism, but the biggest mistake Black Africans can make is to assume that race does not excercise a primal pull on humans, and that it does not profoundly determine how things are oriented in the world we live in today. Responsible societies take measures to protect their culture. France, for instance, routinely passes laws to restrain the encroachment of foreign cultural influences, and no one calls them racists for that. Africans should also be able to take similar measures that preserve the positive aspects of African life without being condemned.

Big-K
Mar 23, 2008, 08:10 PM
Ok, Eja, there you go. You now have enough material to re-present your premise, postulates and supporting arguments. As soon as you do so, further posts on this thread will be to present and clean up Shoko's counter arguments.

Wayfarer
Mar 23, 2008, 08:24 PM
Admin, I am a little confused. I thought the policy for the crucible was that a villager, who was neither the proponent or the opponent, who wished to make a comment, should make his point in a seperate thread. I noticed my thread has been moved to this section. Shouldn't it be in a seperate thread in accordance with the rules? Thanks.

Big-K
Mar 23, 2008, 08:44 PM
Hi Wayfarer,

As soon as Eja posts his first clean submission, a separate thread will be open for the main combatants and this thread becomes the discussion thread for Eja's and SLB's submissions.

Palamedes
Mar 23, 2008, 10:50 PM
Wayfarer, May you be reminded that the title of this debate uses “Afrocentric” and not “Blackcentric”--whatever that means, if it means anything at all. Further, central to Afrocentricism is the idea of introspection, which is about looking inward (This may require creating a virtual wall around AFRICA for the purpose of the debate) and not constantly referring to the West and other places outside Africa.

Furthermore, please read the Eja's list of postulates, which is still under negotiation, before you jump the gun and start telling us about “nursing homes”

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 23, 2008, 11:02 PM
Honourable Villagers, sorry about the delayed reply. I have been engaged in other matters and now that I am done, I still want to give myself more time so that whatever I post next will be easier to digest than my first offering.

I hope you all agree that this is essential. I myself see the need for this because I have already seen how my rushed first job has caused misunderstanding.

"I will be back."

Wayfarer
Mar 24, 2008, 12:25 AM
Wayfarer, May you be reminded that the title of this debate uses "Afrocentric" and not "Blackcentric"--whatever that means, if it means anything at all.


I think anybody who does not believe that people who belittle Afrocentrists are really refering to black Africans are deceiving themselves. I know you are opposed to using the word "Black" in referencing Negroes. I believe your stand has its merits, but I use the "Black" here for reasons of simplicity.



Further, central to Afrocentricism is the idea of introspection, which is about looking inward (This may require creating a virtual wall around AFRICA for the purpose of the debate) and not constantly referring to the West and other places outside Africa.


My references to the "West and other places outside Africa" were done to support my points. I do not believe it is possible to make our points effectively in this debate without invoking the world outside Africa.



Furthermore, please read the Eja's list of postulates, which is still under negotiation, before you jump the gun and start telling us about "nursing homes"


I don't think anyone who supports Eja's position necessarily has to build his or her arguments on his postulates. I think we can present other arguments that might not resemble his postulates entirely, but nevertheless represent a valid conception of Afrocentrism. Afrocentrism is a complex subject that would require an entire book to elucidate properly. Therefore there is no reason why every proposition believed to be pertinent to understanding it, should not be presented.

And I think that the elderly Africans who are fortunate to be living with their relatives, rather than in nursing homes, will agree with me.:lol:

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 24, 2008, 01:49 AM
I spoke of human instincts as a tool. I also concluded paragraph [2.05] with this statement "...in all matters of relating to the universe at large, perspective and the awareness it breeds are everything."

I will ask that these two points are kept in mind because they underlie much of what I have said on this matter.

We all have basic needs and desires (some material in nature and others from what is called the spirit). And, in most organised human communities/Kingdoms/States (past and present), those who took it upon themselves to secure place and livelihood for members of their community have found various ways to manipulate the instincts of their fellow humans in order that they may move the community in whatever direction they thought was best suited to its long or short term interests .

Instincts as we know breed emotion. Fear has been used to move people. Fear is still being used to move people. Hunger (and of course the fear of hunger) has been used....is being used. Pride, anger, greed...I could go on to list a host of other psychological tools....

Please excuse me for using the word "psychology" but, language is also a tool and only a fool would refuse to use a suitable tool because he was not its manufacturer...:lol:.

To speak in favour of an Africa centred perspective does not mean that one is promoting an fanatical adherence to non-inclusive and static African cultural norms. Unlike what many who (instinctively) oppose this idea would like us all to believe, to be Afrocentric means a lot more than wearing danshiki, throwing Black Power salutes and calling the 'white' man a devil.

Even though (as Palamedes correctly said), it is an act of introspection, it is not something that demands regression back to some mythical "good old days."

Here now, I come to why I spent so much time on the subjects of religion/ideology. I did so not because I am proposing Afrocentricism as a new 'religion' but because I have recognised (as many other have) that our acquired religions/ideologies have been (and still are) one of the greatest factors behind our continued stagnation.

Big-K said "My understanding is that religion goes beyond belief system but acting on that belief in an organized form/fashion."

Exactly. This is why I spent so much time on religion/ideology. The concepts that we now call religion (or ideology) existed in our communities long before any of those terms entered our vocabulary. I tried (in my not very skilful way) to unpack the terms as a way of expressing the opinion that religion is actually something that involves a lot more than 'holy' books, praying, hymning, or even belief in a Supreme Being.

Our religion is actually however we live. And, how we live (or aspire to live) is moulded by how we view ourselves and the larger world around us.

Denker spoke of the practical and the logical. Well, in my opinion, the reason that Africans still find it so hard to utilise the great wealth of their lands for their own collective benefit is because we are still enmeshed in roles that were assigned to us by various colonial entities.

The immediate practical benefit that would accrue to us from having African governments that are Africa/African centred will be seen in the way the wealth of the land is deployed first (and last) for the benefit of the indigenes.

We would also see proper investment put into the development of the people (the greatest resource).

In short, for as long as we are governed by people who are basically Eurocentric or Arabocentric in outlook, we will remain within our assigned role in the drama the authors/caretakers of those views conceived/nourish.

I have asked the following questions before somewhere else and they still bear contemplating: Do we really believe that there is any segment of the population of Europe, the Middle East, America or even China that would benefit from Africa becoming a "developed economy"? The truth is, much of the world's economy depends on Africa remaining a cheap source of raw materials and migrant workers/slave labour. If even 200 million people in Africa developed the same level of consumption as the citizens of the EU or the USA, the diminishing resources that this whole technological civilization is based on would become more expensive.

Without Africa as a still lucrative market for their manufactured goods, producers from Germany to China would feel the heat.

And with Africa as a rival producer chasing the same markets, the heat would be even greater.

We speak of the world as a globalised village but for many of us, the examination of that description does not go beyond the surface. In truth, the world is not yet completely globalised but, the intention is there and, a crucial plank of this design is the specialisation of skills and requirements.

A requirement of the multinationals that drive the move towards the globalised village is the maximisation of profit and minimisation of cost. Africa, as it is now, is teasingly near to being in as ideal a state as can be dreamed of by the masters of the proposed global village. Anyone who is in doubt of what this ideal condition will look like ought to do some reading on what has been happening in Central Africa.

This (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7957) may be a good place to start.

DeepThought said "The problem is that while one can be Afrocentric and Supremist, it is possible to be Afrocentric without being a supremist." and "It is possible for a Black person to be Eurocentric, in fact it is very common and in rare instances, it is possible for a White person to be Afrocentric."

These are very important points to keep in mind. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most westernised Africans have Eurocentricism as the default position of their world view (just as the Arabised ones are so Arabocentric that they actually believe that the Supreme Being only speaks Arabic!).

What DeepThought said also brings up some other important points: while one who is ethnically European may be Eurocentric and actually do no harm, it is when the Eurocentricism gets mixed up with 'white' supremacist ideals that trouble starts.

Supremacy by definition requires the establishment of a clearly defined hierarchy. And in any realm, while it is perfectly possible for two contrasting perspectives to exist, it is never possible for there to ever be more than one operational supremacy at any moment in time. This is why, when we look at arenas where 'white' supremacist ideals are in effect, we see present, past or future conflict as the 'white' supremacists (and their surrogates) try first to establish themselves on top (by whatever means necessary) and then, to implement far-reaching mechanisms that will ensure the long-term survival of this dispensation.

The other point that follows on from this is that the worlds outside Africa who adhere to some non-African supremacist ideal will always be open to those Africans that can be of use. As long as they do not impede the survival of the status-quo.

Africans (at home and abroad) who lack an understanding of how (and why) their non-Africa inclined perspective and the awareness it has bred is a problem will never comprehend the true ramifications of their actions.

They may talk from yesterday until the end the time about how saddened they are by the sad state their fellow Africans continue to exist in. They may even rage at mis-leaders who are in truth only as short-sighted as themselves....but, they will never be themselves able to provide a solution (even if they were to be in a position of power).

There was a time when no man or woman in our part of the world knew of Christianity, Islam, socialism, capitalism or....Mormonism. Yet, they knew of sacred words, rightful behaviour, justice, commerce and industry.

My argument is based on the opinion that until everyone from the police recruit to the Head of State is re-oriented in such a way that the ideal currently described as Afrocentric overrides every other belief system, we will never make meaningful progress.

Denker was right when he said that to say things like this is nothing new. However, what would be new will be for us to actually see it tried out.

So far, we are yet to see a concerted effort in this direction. A hint on the possible results were this to actually happen can be found in the current state of those countries that decided to deal with the outside world from a position that placed the interests of their own people first and last.

Those who love Nigeria (or their ethnic region) but still do not get what it would mean to be Afrocentrist should take the following baby steps..:wink:..try to be Nigeria-centred.... or, look at things from the perspective of what type of environment would benefit your beloved ethnic group. As you do this, rest assured that you are not required to hate any outsiders. Proof of which I provide by referring you to the so-called neo-cons who have led the USA into wars that have had a detrimental effect on the country they claim to love.

From which we take the lesson that those belligerent jackasses who show 'love' of their country by advocating hostility to all outside their borders have often proved throughout history to be the worst enemies of their own countries.

In short, to be Afrocentrist does not require that one hates non-Africans. Just that one deals with them from a position where our collective benefits are paramount.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 24, 2008, 01:51 AM
SLB, I dey come O....

Palamedes
Mar 24, 2008, 02:07 AM
Wayfarer@#39


I don't think anyone who supports Eja's position necessarily has to build his or her arguments on his postulates. I think we can present other arguments that might not resemble his postulates entirely, but nevertheless represent a valid conception of Afrocentrism. Afrocentrism is a complex subject that would require an entire book to elucidate properly. Therefore there is no reason why every proposition believed to be pertinent to understanding it, should not be presented.
Rules are rules, unless you are Hillary Clinton supporter (Sir, at this point, you are suppose to laugh!): Eja will follow the rules set by NVS Ogas (and with our support) to clarify his list of postulates, which is what we have been doing. Consider Eja, the initiator of the debate because he initiated it but he needs an opposition, which is where Shoko Loko Bangoshe comes in (See Shoko Loko Bangoshe#@2 volunteering).

So you see, you can build your own arguments but only within the context of Eja's list of postulate. Further, when the debate begins after the necessary preparation (See Eja#@30), then you can present your arguments to support either Eja or Shoko Loko Bangoshe but not both - I think!

BTW, as for nursing homes, it is alien to African culture, and before it catches on in Africa, governments should pass laws making it a criminal offence to set one up.

Khalil
Mar 24, 2008, 02:43 PM
Hehehe, when I opened the Crucible and saw the thread has already reached 5 pages my heart lurched and I banged my head on the wall all around the square for not being around at the very beginning. Please can somebodi help me turn back the hands of the clock ?:rolleyes: So that I'll be there right after Eja threw out the challenge? :rolleyes:

Is it that nature cheated or rather "chot" me by not allowing me to be the first to pick up the challenge?

Anyway I dey your side SLB, I will be by the related thread doing my bit. For now Eja will win the debate if he can have a very sound and convincing definition of who an African is and where is Africa geographically. For it is here we find the Afrocentricity of African thought. That is if something like it ever exists since nothing of ideology today can claim being thoroughly Euro or Arab and certainly not African.

Khalilurrahman

Palamedes
Mar 24, 2008, 03:44 PM
Khalil@#43

You can always bribe SLB--if he is into that kind of thing - to step down for you (but remember that I will deny it if you told anyone that I said so).

...Eja will win the debate if he can have a very sound and convincing definition of who an African is and where is Africa geographically..
As if we do not know where Africa is, geographically. On the issue of who is an African? An African is anyone who can trace his/her ancestry to Africa before slavery. BTW, I wouldn't consider the Arabs as Africans

Khalil
Mar 24, 2008, 04:10 PM
[B]As if we do not know where Africa is, geographically. On the issue of who is an African? An African is anyone who can trace his/her ancestry to Africa before slavery. BTW, I wouldn't consider the Arabs as Africans

No. Palamedes for the sake of debate like this one which sometimes claims a measure of academysticism( that is a mixture of academic exercise and some vague speculation), such definition is needed because Tunisia today is Arab but Africa geographically unlike in the last few mellenia when it was Carthage and purely a black empire.

While you may not think Arabs are not Africans some think they are, so what yardstick are we going to use in order to get to a very clear demarcation. By the way when was slavery? When was before it?

I bet you with my "death" Eja that's your camp is going to win this against my camp only after being able to come up with a very apt and clear demarcations from history of old to the present age.

Then what will you do with facts like the Greek Philosophy owes its root in African Philosophy since Plato stayed in the ancient Egypt for about 25 years learning before black priests.

When did all he learnt became Eurocentric divorcing its African Origin?

When did Europe become Eurocentric in the face of all it got from us?

When are we or will be divorced from Afrocentrism by thinking like Plato did or other European thinkers who drank from the nectar of our rich and fascinating culture?

Do you know that monotheism can be claimed to have started from Africa with the cult of the Aton?

In this the Euro Christianity or Arab Islam is only a mirror copy of our faiths and ideologies and as such they can never in anyway be borrowed practices, but rather returned practices, if only we know.


Khalilurrahman

Tola Odejayi
Mar 24, 2008, 04:17 PM
I bet you with my "death" Eja that's your camp is going to win this against my camp only after being able to come up with a very apt and clear demarcations from history of old to the present age.

Khalil,

Don't you think it is better to let the audience decide who will win?

Abi are you some kind of Village Prophet with the power to predict these things?

Bode_Boluz
Mar 24, 2008, 04:25 PM
A suggestion... How about a few Pictures??

I am sure there are a lot of images that can lend support and clarity to each side of the debate.

Ahh... Think of it... A visual kaleidescope complimenting this fine discourse...

Priceless!!!

Khalil
Mar 24, 2008, 04:30 PM
Khalil,

Don't you think it is better to let the audience decide who will win?

Abi are you some kind of Village Prophet with the power to predict these things?

Hehehe it is part of the winning "thing" of my camp to predict the winner before the whistle is blown. Wait and see. It will work, we've alreadi won this one too!

Khalilurrahman

Palamedes
Mar 24, 2008, 04:40 PM
Khalil@#45

Then what will you do with facts like the Greek Philosophy owes its root in African Philosophy since Plato stayed in the ancient Egypt for about 25 years learning before black priests...
Calm down, Khalil, you are getting yourself all too excited. I don't think Eja wants to go that far. Otherwise, before you know it, someone is recommending that we include Adam and Eve too.

My fear is that we might just end up discussing the "world". And I just hope that Eja (as I write) is pacing up and down and scratching his head, trying to find a way to avoid this [...]

such definition is needed because Tunisia today is Arab but Africa geographically unlike in the last few mellenia when it was Carthage and purely a black empire.
If the “African” is based on "single" geography, then all Africans in the Diapora (AA, Jamaican, African Brazilian, African-Colombians, etc) would be excluded from our scope of reference.

I bet you with my "death" Eja that's your camp is going to win this against my camp...(this quote was purposely shortened)
Tut tut, Khalil, you got to talk up your chances; don't give up just yet!

BTW This is a warm-up as we wait for Eja with the main event.

Big-K
Mar 24, 2008, 06:20 PM
Hi Eja,

Kindly give us a time-frame for your re-presentation, so we all know how to proceed...

Cheers

wonderer
Mar 24, 2008, 06:23 PM
This is getting more interesting. Now I am supposed to be working on something else, but I couldn't resist reading through the new replies (I admit that I might be doing this to get a break from what I was doing!)

I have a few comments/ questions:

Eja:


In fact, I would go so far as to say that most westernised Africans have Eurocentricism as the default position of their world view (just as the Arabised ones are so Arabocentric that they actually believe that the Supreme Being only speaks Arabic!).


I have to say I admire the bolded part. I really admire how you in a very subtle way have expressed what you think the world view of "African" muslims is. I disagree with the statement but I like how you phrased it, that it is barely noticeable.

by the way, other than your definition of "African" I am also interested to know your definition of "Arab" .


Palamedes:


An African is anyone who can trace his/her ancestry to Africa before slavery. BTW, I wouldn't consider the Arabs as Africans


I am interested in your answers of the questions Khalil asked. what are the specific criteria of inclusion and exclusion in your definition of "African" and also your definition of "Arab"?



Khalil:

I agree with most of what you said. examining history is important and I think is very relevant to this discussion.

Although I have a few comments


...Tunisia today is Arab but Africa geographically unlike in the last few mellenia when it was Carthage and purely a black empire.

As you might have guessed my first question is about your definition of "Arab"

I am also afraid the above sentence is not very accurate. The statement gives the impression that there are some new transformation in Tunisia in contrast of what it was in "the last few millennia ".
Carthage was founded around 814 B.C. while the fall of the Carthaginian Empire was in 146 B.C.
Also Carthage was founded by Phoenician settlers from Tyre (Lebanon), I wonder what drives the assumption it was black empire?

(off topic: the story about the foundation of Carthage by Queen Elissa (a.k.a. Alissar, Elissar) is a very interesting story of what a strong-willed woman can achieve)




Do you know that monotheism can be claimed to have started from Africa with the cult of the Aton?


This could be debatable.
But I want to add that it is a known fact that Christian monotheism was founded in the Eastern Dessert of Egypt by Saint Anthony the Great.

Palamedes
Mar 24, 2008, 07:15 PM
...I really admire how you in a very subtle way have expressed what you think the world view of "African" muslims is. I disagree with the statement but I like how you phrased it, that it is barely noticeable.
There you have it, Eja didn't I warn you about injecting religion into the debate.

wonderer

by the way, other than your definition of "African" I am also interested to know your definition of "Arab" .
Sorry, madam, within the scope of the discussion here, I want to be introspective on the issue(s); I am not interested in “Arab” issues—it is outside my radar. My definition of an African is implied in my answer Palamedes@#49 to Khalil. However if you require further clarification, come back to me again.

Further, I would also like to suggest–perhaps Eja might want to consider this—that the impending debate try to avoid historical analysis of Afrocentricism but Afrocentricism as in its present setting.

wonderer
Mar 24, 2008, 08:24 PM
Palamedes: Thank you for your reply.

And actually I do require further clarification if you don't mind

First let me quote the relevant parts:

Palamedes@#44

An African is anyone who can trace his/her ancestry to Africa before slavery. BTW, I wouldn't consider the Arabs as Africans

Khalil @#45

..While you may not think Arabs are not Africans some think they are, so what yardstick are we going to use in order to get to a very clear demarcation. By the way when was slavery? When was before it?

Palamedes@#49

If the "African" is based on "single" geography, then all Africans in the Diapora (AA, Jamaican, African Brazilian, African-Colombians, etc) would be excluded from our scope of reference.

wonderer@#51

I am interested in your answers of the questions Khalil asked. what are the specific criteria of inclusion and exclusion in your definition of "African" and also your definition of "Arab"?

Palamedes@# 52



Sorry, madam, within the scope of the discussion here, I want to be introspective on the issue(s); I am not interested in "Arab" issues - it is outside my radar. My definition of an African is implied in my answer Palamedes@#49 to Khalil. However if you require further clarification, come back to me again.


If I may draw your attention to Palamedes@#44 where you used the word "Arab" as part of your definition of "African" , this is why I think it is relevant to define this entity you are excluding.
Also I was interested to know your answer to Khalil question about "when was slavery and when was before it?"

Palamedes
Mar 24, 2008, 10:26 PM
Wonderer@#53

..While you may not think Arabs are not Africans some think they are, so what yardstick are we going to use in order to get to a very clear demarcation. By the way when was slavery? When was before it?
Pardon me, I have a tendency to read between the lines, hence my reluctance to answer khalid's question above. Let me explain: I might be wrong, but I think I know what khalid is probably dying to lecture me about--hence his question-- is that before the European Slavery of Africans, there was Arab Slavery of Africans. Fine, in response, I would argue that: well, one difference is that (without making a case for the Arabs) during the European Slave trade, all the African slaves were taken away from the continent, unlike the Arab Slave trade (Indeed to be more precise, some Africans where removed from the continent and taken beyond the [what is now] the Middle East to [what is now] India, Pakistan etc), with majority of the African slaves remaining on the continent. But there is more to my argument than just using destinations as a yardstick.

So back to the original question: For the purpose of this debate, when I mean slavery, I meant European Slave trade and “When was before it?” is Africa before the European Slave trade began.

If I may draw your attention to Palamedes@#44 where you used the word "Arab" as part of your definition of "African" , this is why I think it is relevant to define this entity you are excluding.
Indeed “Arab” was mentioned in my “draft” definition but its purpose was to “barbed wire” my definition rather that as a core of it.

Your process would mean threating the definition as a mathematical equation X = Africa – Arabs. But from an Afrocentric perspective, including Arab in the equation would amount to "looking outward". Afrocentrism is about “looking inward” first, and then comes the lengthy period of “introspection” as Theaetetus once said
"...why should we not calmly and patiently review our own thoughts, and thoroughly examine and see what these appearances in us really are?"
And here is an extract from one of my unpublished articles:

“Introspection is an examination of values within. It demands the setting of mental boundary that excludes from it all external factors. Introspection concludes with self-diagnosis: The stakeholder (community and country) is its own patient; and the cure of the patient has to come from within. The stakeholder's problem has to be seen as emanating from within and not from external sources. Even in cases where there is a justification to attribute a problem to external factors, introspection requires the stakeholders to adopt the problem as if it had emanating from the problem solver. The stakeholder is the sole centre of all things and events. The stakeholders take the blame when things go wrong or the credit when things to right...Ownership-ness is a central tenet of Introspection”

After we have gone through this phase, we will be better able to deal with the rest of the world as equals and with supreme confidence. These are some of reasons I only want to talk about the African race.

nero africanus
Mar 25, 2008, 12:44 AM
Afro centrism means different things to different people; I particularly ascribe to the afrocentrism of eja, deep thought, obugi and wayfarer. However I believe that we may not necessarily agree on the finer points, these finer points are not as important as the broader picture. In looking at the broader picture the politics and world view of say deep thought and say auspicious becomes as distinct as day and night. Indeed, while deep thought will want to relate with non Africans based on a stringent application of history and indeed events of today, Auspicious on the other hand believes in primacy of the complicity of the African in what has become the African situation, in doing these he has become an apologist for all

Personally, for me precedents and antecedents can only be drawn from history, indeed as human beings our history now informs our decisions of tomorrow. It is this use of history that will enable me to accept Mugabe as a typical African leader but have the wisdom to understand that he is not worse than Obasanjo.

Afrocentrism is understanding that the campaign of calumny against Mugabe for not being democratic is a charade covering something even more sinister (the western aversion to the land reform), it is the afrocentric point of view that enables me to recognise that given the state of Africa today, the west cannot really conduct a sanction against any african leader, seeing as it is that over 75% of African leaders are not even democratic.

Like chinweizu , you start to ask deeper questions , cultural questions , economic questions , the failure of liberal democracy in most of Africa is it as a result of the unsuitability of liberal democracies or the inadequacy of the political institutions.

Afrocentrism recognises that while negritude as a movement or ideology may not have all the answers but definitely is a response to the psychological and cultural violence colonialism brought with it

It is afrocentrism that makes me question the details of the free trade agreements and ask ultimate questions about what we as Africans stand to benefit and what the others are benefiting. It is the afrocentrism in me that questions why oil that we own will have to be shared with the oil companies on a percentage of profit basis rather than on a flat rate.

It is the afrocentrism in me that questions like ali mazrui the history of our people which the inept government of our people has allowed which causes a lack of patriotism, and a huge case of colonial mentality. It is afrocentrism that questions the so called fact that Mungo Park "discovered" river Niger. This is defective education at its worst, yet that was how most of us where taught.

It is the afrocentrism, the consciousness or awareness of who and what you are that makes me wonder why you never see western nations portrayed in bad or negative light on our national television, surely if they not criticised then they must be perfect. If they are perfect then we must then try to be like them.

In china, from the age of five, Chinese history starts with the litany of woes and atrocities committed on china by subsequent hordes of invaders from the west. the purpose of these is to create a full Chinese citizen, patriotic and aware of who he is and where the clear and present danger lies.

Afrocentrism enables me to check what the view from the other side says, rather than be fed all the time by western propaganda. It is these that enables me to question the fact that the united states and its allies went to war against the Iraqis for WMD that didn't exist , but even more importantly even if the WMD did exist who was the united states and anyone else for that matter to determine who could own and who couldn't . this enables me to recognise that it was the oil and nothing else. Which now presents a clear and present danger that we might be facing, what if tomorrow the western media goes into overdrive and states genocide is happening in the Niger delta and move in to invade the country. This is not impossible from what we have so far is the last 120 years.

Afrocentrism is for me the ability to create a politically sovereign, economically free state which takes it cue like eja suggests from indigenous culture while borrowing a few good ideas here and there to create a rich virile heritage.



Finally I agree with the afrocentrism of fanon which is that every generation on the basis of the culture of the said society must understand its obligation to its people, fulfil it or betray it.


Just for us to understand the inherent need for the so called afrocentrism as an overriding ideology, I will leave readers with what happened in the negotiations in the world trade organisation in New York a few years ago

During the negotiations in New York the Nigerian contingent from the ministry of trade was made up of 500 persons. This was an especially large contingent, but they were made up of "specialists" who were also relatives and family members of the minister and permanent secretary at Abuja, the rest were junior and senior civil servants who upon arrival in New York would promptly disappear never to return. It so happened that in the end, the Nigeria continent was represented by only about 10 people some of them very senior civil servants at the level where you would be required to be a jack of all trades, master of none. some of them like the permanent secretary himself were not a specialist in any field.

During the negotiations itself, negotiation meetings could be going on at the same time. Which mean that the Nigerian contingent could not effectively be represented in all. Contrast this to the united states contingent which though originally less than the Nigerian contingent at 250, are adequately represented in the negotiations both in terms of specialisations and competence.

I once challenged a policy maker about the exploitation that was called free trade. He told me something that I never forgot. He said that the primary purpose of government was the self interest of the people that constitutes the said government; he furthermore went to enlighten me that governments were not charities.

Fair enough, governments are not charities, what about the situation where nations were bullied, intimidated, threatened and blackmailed into signing agreements and treaties that are inimical to its interests? Basic economics will have us understand that a country with a huge unemployment has no business in free trade.

It will be good to read "world trade organisation: the deal for developing nations"

Here it outlines how Togo was blackmailed into signing agreements that were inimical to its interest as a result of massive bribes given to leading politicians and civil servants in terms of all expense paid holidays, and full scholarships for the children of the people in power. There have been threats for instance where junior civil servant refuse to sign bad agreements, they are accused of not co operating and threatened with report to their superiors. The fact that American delegates will threaten a Togolese delegate with report to his superiors and that it counts for anything tells a lot about what we are dealing with.

Khalil
Mar 25, 2008, 10:42 AM
Khalil@#45

Calm down, Khalil, you are getting yourself all too excited. I don't think Eja wants to go that far..

Palamedes, I really think we will need to go that far if not all far because by his postulates alone, Eja has itemised so many issues that each independently can call for a book or a very serious dessertification that can shake the world of ideas.

But his high points remain in his ability to simplify these assumptions and give them a well rounded philosophical harmony to assume a practical template when distilled, as they say, intellectualism is the ability to simplify thoughts. I believe this is where the challenge lies and I am confident Eja can do it fairly, having known him here for sometime.

As the debate continues you will see how some of us may take facts from studies in Astrology, Astronomy and other aspects of metaphysics to justify why we need the Afrocentoric view of everything as we claim it truly exists. There is harmony in nature and everything can be used to justify or refute another thing! So it is in the interest of Eja to take everything but ensures harmony and unity of implication and explication. If not we will be left with a debate half done because of either our shortcomings(which is in order) or narrowmindedness(which is terrible).

We shouldn't make assumptions that we are not discussing the world by choosing to discuss this topic. We are indeed doing that except if we think Africa is not part of the world and Afrocentricism is an exclusive African phenomenon, and this carries the risk of nullifying the correct thesis expounded by DeepThought which says one needs not to be an African to be Afrocentric which also strengthen our perspective that Afrocentricism is a null value since if none Africans can hold it as a perspective it can eventually overtime wane out as not African at all. This is what studies in history will continue to show as we continue to discuss these points, many points will emerge to prove our take to be the correct one.

@wonderer,

What you said about the origin of carthagenian kindom is very correct but then it is also correct that it was ruled by the blacks. The question here is were the blacks from Lebanon or from lower Egypt, today's black Africa? Were black people confined to Africa continent all the time? We must take to account the fact that history before was not very much colour or race concious.

I read somewhere how Columbus or Vecefucci Amerigo first met black Muslims preachers in the West Indies when he arrived there. Do we then assume they were Africans? Or should we think the Aryans, from which Iran got its name, are simply Europeans as probably Hitler may want to us to believe? How about the Persians then who are also Aryans?

In all, my definition of who an Arab is, at a very dispassionate level, will mean he who can speak Arabic only, deferring to the position of the Prophet of Islam on the subject, because the Egyptians who call themselves Arabs today share less physical features with the Arabs in Kuwait or Syria. In fact with their thick lips and fat nose and hefty feets, they only exceeded or are less than the Negroes only in their light skin and silky hair.

Infact the Arabs themselves are said to be a product of a relationship between a Chaledean, Abraham and a Negress, Hagar.

As this discussion continues I may be forced to move a motion to ask the Arabs to give us our daughter back, their mother, if they insist we are not them and they are not us. We will then see how our Afrocentiricism will prevail against their Arabocentricism since the monotheism they are said to be theirs will then have to be devided according to law of inheritence, we will then take our part and they take theirs.

Concerning the cult of the Aton which you said can be debatable as the founding hub of monotheism, I think you are right since we are dealing with history here but this is a fair view where many scholars think it really was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhenaton



NOTE: That Carthage thing you mentioned, I think we will need to make some further research.

@Eja
who says:

In fact, I would go so far as to say that most westernised Africans have Eurocentricism as the default position of their world view (just as the Arabised ones are so Arabocentric that they actually believe that the Supreme Being only speaks Arabic!).

I will say if we are discussing this thing at a very ordinary level your understanding of the worldview of African Muslims as God speaking only Arabic, will hold. But taking the argument to the realm of philoso-sociological perspective( if you don't know, I am Wole Soyinka in disguise:D), we will see that the truth as accepted by the world of Islamic intellectualism is, the language is a medium only, just as we use English here to communicate, and theologically Muslims who make such claims that God speaks only Arabic risks pushing themselves out of the pale of Islam no matter how Arab they are.

Khalilurrahman

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 25, 2008, 10:50 AM
Greetings to all

Big-K, sorry for not getting back to you but until now, I did not have the type of internet access that allowed me to do so.

My response to SLB follows the format of quote and reply...


I must make the point that we do not usually use one single ideology in processing information and directing our thoughts, words and actions. A Yoruba Muslim, for example may see the world through a Yoruba prism one day, and a Muslim prism the next.


1.01 Agreed. But what I am proposing is for the universal adoption of a third and overriding prism. Ideally, we should see ourselves as firstly African and then Yoruba or, as firstly African and then a Muslim. Also, at all times, where there is a conflict between the two identities, the identity that perceives through the African prism should win.

1.02 This implies that if two people of different African ethnic origins (or religions) find themselves in conflict, the fact that both identify themselves very strongly as Africans would ameliorate the possible toxicity of the conflict. This indissoluble bond will also make it difficult for any agitative force from outside to establish a beachhead from where tactics like divide and rule can be deployed to the detriment of the collective.


While early religious ideologies may have arisen within particular ethnicities, there are today many religious ideologies which have been adopted by many different ethnicities. This is so much the case that in many cases, these multi-ethnic religious ideologies have as much importance (if not more) than the values of the ethnic group, especially because there is a fusion between the values of the ideology and the values of the ethnic group. So I cannot agree that in these cases that the society is driven primarily by ethnicity.


2.01 What you are omitting is the fact that the original narrative theme of these religions, even though they now boast multi-ethnic congregations, have hardly changed from when they were first conceived. The fact that Africans had to establish their own denominations/sects before they could give their worship flavours from their own cultural backgrounds goes a long way to proving the insularity of these religions.

A necessary insularity since these structures were established for the reason of promoting the hegemony of the parent European (or Arabic) culture.


First of all, the concept of an 'African' ideology is too large and vague for the individual African to relate to. How do you formulate a common African ideology from the thousands of different ethnic groups in the continent? A starting point for such an ideology might be that it supports any measure that is pro-Africa - but is this enough to base an ideology that must govern the many thoughts, words and actions of the Yoruba man in Nigeria or the Dinka man in the Sudan? I believe that he is more likely to be allied to his ethnic group's values which is closer to him and which he has known all his life than some high-level ideology that just sprang up from nowhere recently.

3.01 The premise of the ongoing Nigerian project relies on the expectation that at some time in the future, the Yoruba man will come to view the Kanuri man as a fellow national. That in time, they will develop a mutual regard for each other a compatriots. I put it to you that the differences you perceive between the values of the Yoruba man and the Dinka man are roughly of the same magnitude as that which presently exists between the Yoruba and the Kanuri. In spite of everything, we have come some ways in Nigeria in the years since our various communities were welded together. We would have come a lot further were it not for the fact that those of our so-called 'founding fathers' who had the chance, always lost their nerve (to put it kindly) and, more often than not, took the easy option of playing petty ethnic champion(s) rather than creator(s) of a new nation.

What is proposed here assumes that those at the helm are ones who see the big picture and are therefore compelled at all times to have the courage (and discipline) to stand by principle rather than expediency.


Secondly, I question whether such high-level ideologies have any real meaning for the people in particular regions. You speak of Eurocentrism and Arabocentrism - but if we look at the many conflicts and animosities that exist within Europe and the Arab world, this must surely contradict this view of pan-regional ideology.

Indeed, I should ask you - what exactly is Eurocentrism? Is it possible that you are taking incidences of where one or several European nations act in concert and assuming that there is a solidarity between all European nations? You should know that most nations interests are different, so sometimes they will act in concert (and give the impression of regional solidarity), but many times they will act in opposition. I cannot see the point in pushing for Africa to adopt such a model - indeed, I could accuse you of being Euro- or Arabo- centric insofar that you want Africa to copy these regions in adopting a pan-regional ideology.

4.01 I will answer you by challenging you to find me one instance in 500 years of history where one set of Europeans has gone to war with another set of Europeans for the benefit of Africans or, in defence of the rights of Africans.

4.02 You may also wish to examine the history of Arabs for the same occurrences. Compare the number you will arrive at (0) with the amount of wars/conflicts Africans have fought with each other for the benefit of Europeans and Arabs. Keep in mind also the number of wars and conflicts that are going on right now among Africans who are fighting each for the benefit of the commercial interests of non-Africans.

4.03 The number you arrived at (0) is all the description you need for any question that seeks to discover how Euro- or Arabo- centrism primarily manifests. In short, they may fight each other over the spoils but, they will never fight in defence of what they know to be the spoils.

4.04 The accusation that forms the last part of your paragraph above comes from a misreading of what is possible. The fact that I am speaking in favour of the pan Africanist outlook does not necessarily lead into an invitation to copy what has been done by others who have (and continue to) act out of a pan-ethnic solidarity. We should not mistake the use of words heard before as a call to do familiar deeds.

Consider the possibility of Africans doing something that has never been done before. Why not? After all, innovation is nothing new to us...


Thirdly, you seem to believe that just because the immediate source of a particular ideology is a particular culture, the ideology is infused with the values of that culture. This is not necessarily the case. For example, if you look at Christianity (which is an ideology that has been directly transmitted to Africa via Europe), this itself is an ideology that had its origins in the Middle-East. Are we to say that the values espoused in Christianity are specifically Eurocentric in nature, values like forgiveness, loving thy neighbour or believing that belief in Jesus Christ's sacrifice offers redemption for sins?

5.01 You make a common mistake here of not taking the effect the Reformation had on European thought into full consideration even as you seek to lay out what you see as the dominant characteristics of what is known as Christianity. There is much that we could talk about on this topic but for the sake of brevity, I will restrict myself to just one element: The Calvinist idea of pre-destination, when applied not just to individuals but also to 'racial' groups went a long way in justifying the treatment that was meted out to the indigenes of lands that were settled by European colonists from Protestant countries. Of course, prior to this, there had been the Papal Bull that had divided the entire 'uncivilised' world up between the adherents of the Roman Catholic Church. I am sure that you are aware of the history of countries like Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean islands and, of the way the classification of their indigenes as literal spawn of Satan had led in some parts to their total extermination at the hands of so-called Christians.

5.02 In short, the 'Christianity' that carried Europe into the world outside the European homelands was one that had little to do with values like forgiveness, loving thy neighbour and absolutely nothing to do with being Christlike. Truth is, the values that were transmitted under the guise of Christianity had more to do with the values that had first been introduced to the world outside Europe by Alexander the Greek.

And as the Europeans themselves have told us, the Greeks were the fathers of European civilization.


Fourthly, let us even assume that such ideologies have values that are exclusive to their culture of origin. You seem to disregard the ability of the recipient African society to customise and adapt the ideology to suit its own culture. For example, you have churches like the Cherubim and Seraphim church in Nigeria which are distinctly Yoruba in their style of worship. Indeed, this process of cultural assimilation and adaptation is how societies have evolved from time immemorial - including, of course, the societies that have 'exported' their ideologies to other places.

6.01 In fact, I am relying on the ability of recipient African societies to customise and adapt ideas in ways that would enhance the positive growth of their communities. However, there is a difference between doing this and simply adopting prescriptions that were devised for environments that are unlike our own. I would ask if, from your experience, you could say if we have been doing the latter or the former.

6.02 I would also ask if you agree that being centred on the reality of our own environment, its requirements (and its indigenous advantages) would help or hinder us as we seek to adapt ourselves, in ways most beneficial to ourselves, to the times we find ourselves in.


Fifthly, let us even assume that such ideologies cannot be adapted and customised by the recipient African society. It is still wrong to assume that such ideologies completely displace the existing values held by the society. What happens in most cases is that the member of such society adopts multiple world views - in many cases, he is comfortable using the imported worldview alongside his native cultural values. In fact, even without the adoption of an external 'foreign' ideology, humans beings adopt multiple world views anyway in dealing with the real world. An Urhobo software developer will adopt a different world view when dealing with a Belarussian software developer than he would adopt when dealing with an Urhobo accountant."

Sixthly, the idea that members of a society should give primacy to the values espoused by an Afrocentric ideology is a severely limiting one. What if there is an idea or product of a particular culture which can materially benefit members of an African society if it replaces the equivalent idea/product in Africa? Should that society hold to its Afrocentric ideals in this case? I believe that to do so is to impoverish the society and put it at a disadvantage - because as in the real world, an organisation can only grow if there is a continuous influx of new ideas which enable that organisation to respond to the changing world.

You may respond with the argument that an African society in this case can accept the good aspects of such external societies while remaining pro-African. That would smack of hypocrisy to me - picking and choosing what aspects of an external society count or don't count as 'corrupting' the purity of a pro-African stance. I believe that once a society adopts any aspect of a external culture, it is undergoing cultural change - no matter how small it may be. And this is neither a bad thing, nor is it necessarily a one way thing either.

7.01 I will answer the above paragraphs at one go since they basically deal with the same theme. In expounding this theme, you have had to place some convenient limitations on the idea of being Afrocentric. For example, I have neither used the word 'purity' or linked such a word to the phrase "pro-African stance". But I am grateful to you for providing several examples of the type of wrongful assumptions that are often used as whipping poles by opponents of the Afrocentric idea who are themselves short on reasons to justify their opposition.

7.02 There is no reason why an Afrocentric person would refuse to adapt what is useful just because it came from outside. One of the side-effects of becoming self-conscious is that you learn the true story of your own people through time. The oldest standing buildings in the world were built by Africans. As shown by the late Cheikh Anta Diop [ref: Civilization or Barbarism], there is no way the ancient Africans in Kemet (and Sudan) could have built their great pyramids without a deep knowledge of geometry.

We therefore know that what is called "Pythagoras Theorem" was in fact taught to the Greek Pythagoras by some teacher in Kemet. There are many other examples of such transferred knowledge from Africans to the founders of the civilizations that later denigrated them.

7.03 A realist view is to look upon knowledge as a river. The source may be far from where you reside but, as long as it flows by where you presently stand, why should you not use it? I see no hypocrisy in this view. Especially since I am not engaged in advocating for a return to the days of 'purity'.


Lastly, I believe the the quest for an Afrocentric ideology is a major distraction from what should be the main tasks of these societies - creating an environment where its citizens are free to exercise their full potential in order to create wealth for themselves and others. It may be that you believe that forging and spreading this ideology will do that - in fact, you point to India and China as powers that are increasingly asserting their 'Indocentrism' and 'Sinocentrism'.

However, I put it to you that a country does not first establish a nationalistic ideology then use it to advance materially. These two usually happen side-by-side - in fact, it is usually the material progress of a nation that makes its citizens feel confident about embracing a nationalistic ideology, as has been observed in Russia. The point is that this material progress can occur in African nations without an Afrocentric ideology being in place first - you may observe that not all African nations are in the same predicament. So I believe it is better for African nations to seek the kingdom of material prosperity first by ensuring and protecting personal property and freedoms, and all other things - including a pride in confidence in being African or Nigerian - will be added unto its citizens.

8.01 When you say that not all African countries are in the same predicament, you ignore the fact that there is not one single African country that is capable at this time of defending its territory from outside invasion by non-Africans without the assistance of some other non-Africans (whose support would of course be based on their own strategic interests - meaning that if in the midst of the conflict, the support given and the interests no longer coincide, the support will be withdrawn).

8.02 I also disagree with what you say about material progress preceding national consciousness. In fact, an awareness of a common fate is what gives birth to the energising morale that enables citizens (at all levels of society) to make the sacrifices that bring about collective material progress.

8.03 You used the example of Russia, but you forget that the solid foundations for Russia's material progress came about during the decades when it was under attack first from anti-Revolutionary forces, and then by Nazi Germany. It was during these decades that Russians, in a great patriotic fervour that had been missing during the later centuries of decadent Tsarist rule, dragged their country from been a largely agrarian nation into becoming an industrial powerhouse.

9.01 I conclude with a description of what the Afrocentric ideal offers: It can be compared to a common language that unites a people who once upon a time found it hard to get along because they did not have a means of easy communication. And the beauty of it is, there are many varied paths but, they all lead to the same destination.

Gentle Angel
Mar 25, 2008, 12:22 PM
Eja, what a wonderful debate to come back to after my days off. I am solidly on your side this time though your first postulates almost flew over my head. But I have to say you have another worthy opponent though that only goes to show your own capabilities. This last post is sure an eye-opener of sorts or more properly, a call to attention. He who has an ear, let him/her hear!

Shoko, you are warned.

Khalil
Mar 25, 2008, 01:56 PM
Eja thanks for your take on this but still I would want to believe that the description of what Afrocentiricism is, as it came from what Nero Africanus wrote above summarised only his views on the subject as theyrelate to some of us in these forums not in this debate in particular being it a structured take on the subject of interest with some insight that is above what is obtained in other normal discussion.

As such I would want consider the trunk of your argument or its base premise to be coming from the following from what you said as the anchor of the subject of discourse.


9.01 I conclude with a description of what the Afrocentric ideal offers: It can be compared to a common language that unites a people who once upon a time found it hard to get along because they did not have a means of easy communication. And the beauty of it is, there are many varied paths but, they all lead to the same destination.

In this I find your Afrocentric ideals to mean something like common language, which to some degree we have today in the name of English Language. So do we need to be here debating again? Except perharps in the quest to explore the other ''varied paths'' as you indicated up there, but did not dwell sufficiently enough.

In this we will still wait enough to really see whether Afrocentric perspective is a philosophical reality or just a sentimental appeal that may end up hatching out an uncalled for ideology that will project Black Supremacism just like how Eurocentiricism turned out to produce White Supremacism.

Take for example, had the Greeks really acknowledged the truth that what they got from knowledge and civilisation owed its origin to Black Africa. Had Aristotle acknowledged the sources of his knowledge by admitting the truth that the books stolen after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, provided the impetus to his discoveries, we wouldn't today be here thinking of recovering our lost glory in the name of Afrocentrism, just as there wouldnt be people from Europe who will continue to think their are better than others, believing in the philosiophy of White Supremacism.

So I hope as my leader in this debate, SLB, said earlier, we will not be shaped by Eurocentricism while we are claiming to be Afrocentric.

Khalilurrahman

Big-K
Mar 25, 2008, 02:14 PM
OK,

Unfortunately this debate is not going according to laid down procedures (because SLB jumped the gun).

Again, I want to remind the principal debaters that their postulates/premise, should take account of all comments , clarifications. We dont want this to be just between the two prinicipals but to be a debate between two ideas.

So EJA, please present your original position again, taking account of all comments. SLB, please do not provide a counter argument until the original position has been re-presented.

Palamedes
Mar 25, 2008, 03:09 PM
Khalil@#56

As the debate continues you will see how some of us may take facts from studies in Astrology, Astronomy and other aspects of metaphysics to justify why we need the Afrocentoric view ...

We shouldn't make assumptions that we are not discussing the world by choosing to discuss this topic. We are indeed doing that except if we think Africa is not part of the world...
I do not advocate the stifling of any perspective--indeed such diverse perspectives can only enrich the debate. Further, what I meant by not discussing the "World" (with quotes as in my original text) is a call to avoid getting us to discuss all manner of unrelated issues under the sun in one debate.

Now that you have reminded me, I must say that we (I mean Africans) must purge ourselves of our silly tendency to discuss the World (without the quotes). Our hospitality and open-door policy has and continues to be our weakness, detriment and demise.--We can already notice this tendency on this threat. The main issue should be about Africans, and not Arabs or Europeans. I am sure that they too have forums where they discuss their own issues without even a single mention of us.

Tola Odejayi
Mar 25, 2008, 04:44 PM
Hello Eja,

I found Big K's instructions confusing, but if I had understood them properly, I would have waited for you to clarify your original position.

Anyhow, now that you have clarified your position, a lot of my original arguments are invalid.

I will wait for you to re-present your position before I respond again. I would like you to present a very clear description of what you understand by Afrocentrism when you do this.

Gentle Angel
Mar 25, 2008, 04:49 PM
This is becoming confusing. Why can't Shoko just go ahead to reply to Eja's latest post?

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 25, 2008, 06:41 PM
Eja

In this I find your Afrocentric ideals to mean something like common language, which to some degree we have today in the name of English Language. So do we need to be here debating again? Except perharps in the quest to explore the other ''varied paths'' as you indicated up there, but did not dwell sufficiently enough.

In this we will still wait enough to really see whether Afrocentric perspective is a philosophical reality or just a sentimental appeal that may end up hatching out an uncalled for ideology that will project Black Supremacism just like how Eurocentiricism turned out to produce White Supremacism.

Take for example, had the Greeks really acknowledged the truth that what they got from knowledge and civilisation owed its origin to Black Africa. Had Aristotle acknowledged the sources of his knowledge by admitting the truth that the books stolen after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, provided the impetus to his discoveries, we wouldn't today be here thinking of recovering our lost glory in the name of Afrocentrism, just as there wouldnt be people from Europe who will continue to think their are better than others, believing in the philosiophy of White Supremacism.

So I hope as my leader in this debate, SLB, said earlier, we will not be shaped by Eurocentricism while we are claiming to be Afrocentric.

Khalilurrahman

Khalil, the sentence you referred to is not meant to be taken literally. To say Afrocentrism is a language does not mean that it is something that is spoken by the mouth (as English is). What I mean is that this is could be a common expression of our aspirations as African people.

It is described as a language in the sense that Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Animism are languages; they are languages of the spirit. In the same way, communism, liberalism, libertarianism, anarchism etc. are also languages; they are languages of societal organisation.

I spoke before of the police recruit and the Head of State sharing a common ideal. This will go beyond what you call "sentimental appeal". It will inform how each of these perceives his/her role and how he (or she) acts in accordance with the daily (and long-term) requirements of this role.

There are many paths that lead to same end:


Christians and Muslims who are Afrocentric will find that their resolve to do right by the collective that they belong to by birth is actually strengthened by this way of taking an audit of what passes between themselves and fellow Africans and, themselves and non-Africans.

The Muslim whose faith is bolstered by his/her Afrocentricism will never concede to being manipulated into violence against fellow Africans just because they pray in a different way (or because some people in a far off land are said to have insulted Islam).

A businessman who is Afrocentric will never conspire with alien entities to despoil and rob his own land of resources just because he wants to be able to purchase some expensive toys that were manufactured by the industry of those same alien entities.

An Afrocentric leader - who steps into the larger world to negotiate on behalf of his collective - will not accede to terms that do not serve the best interests of that collective.


As for your attempt to still conflate Afrocentricism with racism, I hope you will do better. There is nothing said by me so far that shows a hint of my take on this philosophy to be tainted by bigotry. Unless of course you perceive the expressed desire to see Africans re-adjust the interface between themselves and the worlds outside in ways that serves their own collective positive interests to be bigotry.

Also, as DeepThought pointed out, there are European Afrocentrists. Some, like Gerald Massey, lived before the term existed. Basil Davidson may also be described as an Afrocentrist. Another that you might want to check out is Keith Harmon Snow.

All express themselves in ways that would be cause an African to be identified as being African-centred. None could be described a "Black Supremacist". Which means that perhaps it is Africans who are not allowed to say certain things about Africa..lest they be described as racists..:neutral:.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 25, 2008, 07:12 PM
I have a few comments/ questions:

Eja:


I have to say I admire the bolded part. I really admire how you in a very subtle way have expressed what you think the world view of "African" Muslims is. I disagree with the statement but I like how you phrased it, that it is barely noticeable.

by the way, other than your definition of "African" I am also interested to know your definition of "Arab" .



Wonderer, I define an Arab by how they have defined themselves in their own homelands. In doing so, I take into the account the fact that when it is found to be necessary, i.e. when they think it is useful, they will describe others that they originally left outside the description to be Arabs...:wink:.

Kwame Nkrumah, and any other person who shares the same physical characteristics (sex aside) is an African. Muammar Ghaddafi is an Arab.

Understand that it was not Africans who set up these differentiations. However, in the world that we live in, these distinctions exist. If a leopard sees me as meat and starts salivating, I will not disregard its perception just because I know myself to be much more than meat. No, I will be cognisant of the reality and I will adjust myself in ways that best protect the integrity of my flesh.

This of course does not mean that I am anti-leopard - yet I know that some would say that by denying the leopard food, I am...:D.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 25, 2008, 08:07 PM
OK,

Unfortunately this debate is not going according to laid down procedures (because SLB jumped the gun).

Again, I want to remind the principal debaters that their postulates/premise, should take account of all comments , clarifications. We dont want this to be just between the two prinicipals but to be a debate between two ideas.

So EJA, please present your original position again, taking account of all comments. SLB, please do not provide a counter argument until the original position has been re-presented.

Big-K, post #40 can be seen as a first attempt to re-present my position. All subsequent posts are made with the intention of developing/clarifying (and modifying where necessary) the original postulates.

SLB, I sympathise with you regarding the dilemma you now face...:twisted:.

I suspect the cause of this to be the possibility that the differences between your position and mine is not as great as a truly adversarial debate requires. You said:


I would like you to present a very clear description of what you understand by Afrocentrism....


With all due respect, I think I have already done this. The trouble you are now having is that you find yourself in agreement with me....:D.

However, to give a short clarification, I will adapt some phraseology that was first used by Dr Neely Fuller Jr:

My adaptation states that "human activities in the known Universe" unfolds in the spheres of War, Peace, Education, Culture, Commerce, Industry, Justice, Politics and Religion.

Afrocentricism (to me), is one of the ways in which an African can negotiate a passage through these spheres at any given time.

The Afrocentric person negotiating the sphere of politics in the USA (for example!) would be guided in his/her choices by what he/she saw as being most likely to implicitly serve the best interests of Africa.

In other words, regardless of where he/she was in the "known Universe", the best interests of the African collective would come before anything else. These interests would be served in a practical way...that is to say, the African would take precedents and the provenance of all elements into consideration before settling on his/her choice(s).

I then went further in other posts to state that until this way of thinking is all-pervasive and primary, we Africans will never be able to conceive and implement practical solutions to the problems we face as a collective. In other words, the true rebirth of Africa is dependant on having an Africa-centred philosophy/ideology dominant in Africa.

SLB, it sounds simple but there has been more than one person on this web-site who has expressed opposing views. The purpose of this debate is to test those views for the record..

Big-K
Mar 25, 2008, 09:41 PM
Eja,

Since you want me to do the work...would the following be a correct presentation of your position? My insertions based on your responses are in red.


It is my opinion that the most logical position from which a person of African ethnicity can view the larger world is one which is based firmly on the perspective that is currently described as Afrocentric.

I will seek to convince, in the course of this debate, that to be Afrocentric should overide all other ideologies/religions that have their power-centres outside the continent of Africa.

I institute this debate in the hope that in its course, we may obtain (for the record) on this site, the plain facts and reasoning behind which some have based their negative outlook towards the concept in the title. It is my intention to show the illogicality of such reasoning (especially when coming from ones who claim to be Africans).

POSTULATES
In the context of this debate, used as "a hypothesis advanced as a premise in a train of reasoning."

1.00: On Perspectives

1.01: Every sentient being has a perspective. A perspective, in the context of this reasoning, is described as the coordinates within a mind from which the nature of awareness is determined as its owner relates objectively and subjectively to phenomena that occur in its immediate environment (and in the larger world around it).

1.02: Not all sentient beings are aware of the true scale of the world outside of their immediate environment. For some, this limited awareness is due to the restrictions of physical being (e.g. most mammals cannot reside permanently under water) but, for others, this limited awareness is due to voluntary or, imposed ignorance.

1.03: Where the outside world has no noticeable effects on a being, then to be of limited awareness need not necessarily be detrimental. However, when the outside world is conspicuous by its relentless demands and noticeable effects, then to be fully aware of the nature of all external entities and of the grand intentions behind their interventions is a primary necessity. As is the way of thinking that guides the inception and implementation of ones tailored responses.

1.00: All humans are hard-wired to be religious.

2.010: I assert that for all the various peoples of the Earth, the true religion that guides the aims of the societies they create is based around/on ethnicity.

2.011: I assert that the concept of religion was created for the reason of giving humanity a perspective from which sense can be made of the surrounding Universe and, that the reason this specialised form of awareness was required was so that long-term purpose could/can be determined.

2.012: I therefore identify as a religion anything that attempts to place the everyday existence of man within a framework of that which outspans human lifetimes and normal experience.

2.013: The concepts that we now call religion (or ideology) existed in our communities long before any of those terms entered our vocabulary. I tried (in my not very skilful way) to unpack the terms as a way of expressing the opinion that religion is actually something that involves a lot more than 'holy' books, praying, hymning, or even belief in a Supreme Being.

Our religion is actually however we live. And, how we live (or aspire to live) is moulded by how we view ourselves and the larger world around us.


2.02: I assert that identity is the main component of religion. That we define the highest deity by what we assume to be the highest ideals that we can aspire to as a people and, that we identify the Earthly incarnation of this deity with ourselves (and our physical form).

2.030: I assert that all humans are hard-wired to be religious.

2.031: That even those of us who identify ourselves as atheists are simply adherents of a new label that has been appended to the mind-set/concept that was first described as "religious".

2.032: That all we have done, in our atheist incarnations, is remove the image of a Supreme Being from our conception of religion.

2.033: That in its place, we have put what we currently describe as "scientific facts"; the majority of which were/are derived from theories (i.e. ways of thought that are also largely dependant on 'faith' - "a belief in things not seen").

2.04: I also identify allegedly 'godless' ideologies like communism to be nothing more than offshoots of the religious instinct. In other words, I identify all ideology to be a form of religion.

2.05: Now, since even those who would claim to have no religion will hardly deny having an ideology, and if it is accepted that paragraphs [1.01 and the set of 2.01x] are two halves of a whole, then we can see how in all matters of relating to the universe at large, perspective and the awareness it breeds are everything.

2.06: We all have basic needs and desires (some material in nature and others from what is called the spirit). And, in most organized human communities/Kingdoms/States (past and present), those who took it upon themselves to secure place and livelihood for members of their community have found various ways to manipulate the instincts of their fellow humans in order that they may move the community in whatever direction they thought was best suited to its long or short term interests .

2.07: Instincts as we know breed emotion. Fear has been used to move people. Fear is still being used to move people. Hunger (and of course the fear of hunger) has been used....is being used. Pride, anger, greed...I could go on to list a host of other psychological tools....


2.08: I am not proposing Afrocentricism as a new 'religion' but because I have recognized (as many other have) that our acquired religions/ideologies have been (and still are) one of the greatest factors behind our continued stagnation.

3.00: What it means to be Afrocentric

3.010: To be Afrocentric means that a person is one who seeks to relate with the world at large on the basis of how this world at large impacts on him/her self as an African being.

3.011: I propose that the alternatives to the Afrocentric view can be divided into two species. These are, the ideal and the real.

3.012: The ideal view is the humanity-centred view and, when we are governed by this way of perceiving, we are compelled to act in ways that affirm our knowledge that all humans are the same and should be given the same opportunities in all realms of human existence/organisation.

3.013: It is difficult to see any reason why this view should not immediately prevail however, we need not be told that at this moment in human time, the ideal view prevails no where on Earth. What we have as a reality is the existence of perspectives that are basically fed by the impulse to establish, on as wide a global scale as possible, a dispensation that is most favourable to the members of whatever ethnicity one belongs to.

To speak in favour of an Africa centred perspective does not mean that one is promoting an fanatical adherence to non-inclusive and static African cultural norms. Unlike what many who (instinctively) oppose this idea would like us all to believe, to be Afrocentric means a lot more than wearing danshiki, throwing Black Power salutes and calling the 'white' man a devil.



4.00: Africans have no universal philosophies

4.010: I assert that the human species can be divided into two.
a) Those that have been subsumed within the instinctive agenda of other ethnicities; and
b) Those who are actively engaged in subsuming others within the instinctive agenda of their ethnicity.



4.011: Africans are currently placed within the first category and, this is because, unlike those from the second category, Africans consistently fail to act collectively while in pursuit of the instinctive agenda of all living things (i.e. to survive and to thrive).

4.012: I propose that the primary reason things are like this is because unlike others, during this particular epoch of human history, Africans have not articulated an indigenous common purpose (bound up as religion/ideology) or a basic universal philosophy that selfishly places the creations of their own mind (past and present) at the centre of the Universe.

5.00: Africans will flounder until they have a self-centered philosophy

5.01: I come now to the reason I have persistently used the word "religion" as I sought to make my points. The human instincts that are nourished by the concept described as "religion" is a tool. Since I have equated religion with ideology and, since I now further place within the orbit of this equation the concept of principles, I can also say that the human instincts that are nourished by the concepts described as ideology (i.e. formalised ideals) or principles, are also tools.

5.02: I repeat, in a more succinct manner: Human instincts are tools.

5.03: The present is a child of the past and the parent of the future. All are inextricably linked. The Arabs derived an Arabocentric perspective and sold it as the basis of a religion to whoever was willing to buy. The Europeans, more cleverly, derived various Eurocentric perspectives and sold them as religion or ideology to all who would buy. Right now, as we are witness the conflict between these two tools of dominance, we can also see on the sidelines (for now) how other societies, notably the Hindu and the Chinese are guarding their borders with views that can best be described as Indocentric and Sinocentric. While we may not be certain that either society will become like the second category described in [4.010] above, we can be certain that they are now in little danger of falling within the first category.

5.04: I conclude by saying until we Africans subscribe to a way of thinking that selfishly places the creations of our own minds (past and present) at the centre of the Universe, then we as a collective stand no chance of departing from the ranks of ones who may best be described as floundering prey.

Costs of not being Afrocentric as defined

5.05: Otherwise, for as long as we are governed by people who are basically Eurocentric or Arabocentric in outlook, we will remain within our assigned role in the drama the authors/caretakers of those views conceived/nourish.

5.06: Africa, as it is now, is teasingly near to being in as ideal a state as can be dreamed of by the masters of the proposed global village. Anyone who is in doubt of what this ideal condition will look like ought to do some reading on what has been happening in Central Africa.



Benefits of being Afrocentric as defined

The immediate practical benefit that would accrue to us from having African governments that are Africa/African centred will be seen in the way the wealth of the land is deployed first (and last) for the benefit of the indigenes.

Notes:
.

Palamedes
Mar 26, 2008, 12:40 AM
Eja@#65

I think you might want to conserve your energy and not expend too much of it in your defence--at least not now. Further, beware, we are Africans; we have a UNIQUE DISEASE, and no matter how many times we diagnose it, we just can't help ourselves nor overcome it.-- Such is the sad story of the African.

The leopard that sees you as meat operates on the premises that there exist a distinction between leopards and you [including your kind]! - Amusingly, even Hillary Clinton would not accuse you of creating this distinction and blaming it on the leopard.

I also want to add some clarifications - others might say confusion--to Afrocentricism: Afrocentricism should be seen as a groundwork to many aspects of the African focus, which include arts, government, economic development, cultural, philosophy, ideology, history, arts, beauty, language, anthropology and many more '-ologies.' The keyword here is "groundwork." For instance, as groundwork, an artist might be inspire by it to create piece of arts or painting which might then be described as Afrocentric arts or paintings etc.

DeepThought
Mar 26, 2008, 05:29 AM
Kwame Nkrumah, and any other person who shares the same physical characteristics (sex aside) is an African. Muammar Ghaddafi is an Arab

A logical and interesting point of view which can be defied also by simple logic i(f we agree on the premise) in three lines


1. Premise: North Africans are Africans
1a)Some North Africans are Arabs
1b)Some Arabs are North Africans: therefore
1c)Some Arabs are Africans

2. To make matters worse, how about the boers. Even they claim with some justification to be Africans



IAgain, it is possible to be:-
a) ......Arab and African
b) .....African and NOT Arab

And this is one of the problems I have with this concept of Africa and Africans. So where does this leave us? So exactly who or what is an African?
Africa or African does not describe a race , it encompasses disparate people(s)/races

Palamedes
Mar 26, 2008, 11:37 AM
DeepThought#@69

1. Premise: North Africans are Africans
This proposition is not exact nor universally agreed even by the so-called North Africans. Granted that the premise is not true, the conclusion that is drawn from it cannot be valid.

Further, it is not necessarily the case that just because a race relocates to another continent, that such relocation disqualifies that race from calling itself what it is, and [instead] identifies it as member of the dominant race in the new location. Australia immediately comes to mind: It is in Asia but sees itself not as an Asian country but as a Western country—as you would hear their leaders say time and time again. Must we insist on calling the reluctant Australians “Asians?” Or for that matter, the reluctant Arabs "Africans?"

Africa or African does not describe a race , it encompasses disparate people(s)/races

African Af"ri*can, n.
A native of Africa; also one ethnologically belonging to an
African race.
[1913 Webster]

African (Af"ri-Kan) [L. Africa] a. Pertaining to Africa,
n. A native of Africa or of African race
[Cassell's]

These are only a few samples but you would find that the dictionaries are unanimous in this definition. And yet, yes, at micro level, every race [that we know to be a race] encompasses disparate people. Nevertheless, this reason alone is not sufficient to disqualify (say) the Chinese as a race.

nero africanus
Mar 26, 2008, 11:51 AM
north africans are not africans , they do not consider themselves africans, they only just go along with the geographical grouping when it is convinient. that is why in academia more often than not , the word sub-saharan africa is used.


carthage was a black empire and all existing roman chronicles described hannibal and his troops as very dark skinned . with the coming of islam , hordes of arab invaders expanding their fronters like the european would do later in the name of religion invaded the northern africa either integrating the dark skinned converts to islam and arab culture , putting unbelievers to the sword , or dispersing what remained into what was called the sudan or west africa

the whole of north africa used to be christian before the arab invaders came.

in the wake of islam , the moors who invaded spain were black

today there are few black africans in north africa mainly the berbers but then years of intermarriage has lightened their colour


north africans consider themselves first and foremost arabs ,

they are as african as the boers are african

they are only as african as living in in the geographical space called africa entitles one to be called an african

Toku.A
Mar 26, 2008, 04:22 PM
I do not know the rules of this debate but I will like to add that it would be sucidal for we as Africans to allocate certain areas of the continent to other continents.
To the South we have a large number of people that of South-Eastern or Western origins, to the East of the continent we have large Asian populations and people of middle eastern descent. To the North we have people of middle-Eastern and European descent the same with areas like Mauritania in West Africa, so which people are Africans by the time we cede all these areas.

In my opinion an African is any one that has his or roots from the African continent even if it is a mixed or multi-cultural background.

An Afrocentric person would be one that is loyal to his or her African roots. An example of such a person would be Gaddafi.

I feel limiting Africanness and especially Afrocentrism to the dark skin is an error, for example if we look at Sudan, the Janjaweeds and their victims are darker than dark, they all used the Arabic language but because of difference in religion the muslim north is being referred to as Arabs the trend is spreading into areas like Senegal too, and I think the moment we Africans purge ourselves of this concept that religion defines us the earlier we would save ourselves from a lot of unneccessary quarells in the future.

By the way the Albinos in our midst are not Europeans even though they have blond hair and blue eyes why should the North Africans or any one else be Arabs in our midst.

Toku.A
Mar 26, 2008, 04:31 PM
north africans are not africans , they do not consider themselves africans, they only just go along with the geographical grouping when it is convinient. that is why in academia more often than not , the word sub-saharan africa is used.


carthage was a black empire and all existing roman chronicles described hannibal and his troops as very dark skinned . with the coming of islam , hordes of arab invaders expanding their fronters like the european would do later in the name of religion invaded the northern africa either integrating the dark skinned converts to islam and arab culture , putting unbelievers to the sword , or dispersing what remained into what was called the sudan or west africa

the whole of north africa used to be christian before the arab invaders came.

in the wake of islam , the moors who invaded spain were black

today there are few black africans in north africa mainly the berbers but then years of intermarriage has lightened their colour


north africans consider themselves first and foremost arabs ,

they are as african as the boers are african

they are only as african as living in in the grographical space called africa entitles one to be called an african

Nero

I agree with you on the highlihghted first line, but I am a bit curious though, dont you think that our unwillingness to see them as us is contributing to this increased acceptance of Arabness on their part?

Do you also feel that there could be an economic incentive that drives Arabness within the continet because more areas outside North Africa are defining themselves as Arab?

Lastly, dont you think that we could make a little seperation between 'Arab Africans' and Boers given the different circumstances that led to their presence in the continent and the fact that 'African Arabs' also have African roots biologically unlike the Boers that do not have African roots.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 26, 2008, 04:41 PM
Eja,

Since you want me to do the work...would the following be a correct presentation of your position? My insertions based on your responses are in red.

Big-K, yes; guilty as charged (sorry...:biggrin:). Yes again and thanks for the excellent summing up.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 26, 2008, 05:04 PM
Eja@#65

I also want to add some clarifications - others might say confusion--to Afrocentricism: Afrocentricism should be seen as a groundwork to many aspects of the African focus, which include arts, government, economic development, cultural, philosophy, ideology, history, arts, beauty, language, anthropology and many more '-ologies.' The keyword here is "groundwork." For instance, as groundwork, an artist might be inspire by it to create piece of arts or painting which might then be described as Afrocentric arts or paintings etc.

Palamedes, I am in total agreement with the above. In fact, one of the key moments in the evolution of my consciousness was when a teacher, after showing the class a piece of Art, asked us all "What is the point of this work?"

I remember that the first person to answer said "It looks good."

Which was understandable because even I at that time did not know that there was any other point to a piece of Art other than to act as decoration or, entertainment.

A misconception that was corrected after the teacher informed us all that works like this were a key tool in the transmission of key cultural values. He then asked us to look again and try to decipher what commonly held value was being affirmed by what we were looking at.

I think that there has been a lot of sleeping on this key issue on our part. We should all do as much as we can to contribute towards the efforts others have made before us in the fight to ensure that minds in our community do not get overwhelmed by products that have been designed to turn us into clones of things that make no sense.

nero africanus
Mar 26, 2008, 06:08 PM
Nero

I agree with you on the highlihghted first line, but I am a bit curious though, dont you think that our unwillingness to see them as us is contributing to this increased acceptance of Arabness on their part?

Do you also feel that there could be an economic incentive that drives Arabness within the continet because more areas outside North Africa are defining themselves as Arab?

Lastly, dont you think that we could make a little seperation between 'Arab Africans' and Boers given the different circumstances that led to their presence in the continent and the fact that 'African Arabs' also have African roots biologically unlike the Boers that do not have African roots.

toku a

the operative words here are , invasion , expansion and culture

most of who occupy north africa today are arab by ethnicity and culture,

what happened to the black african christians who were living there before the advent of islam ,

what happened to the citizens of carthage who we know to be competely black , what happened to the the clergy and faithful of the church at alexandria.

in the past africa used to be completely black, till the coming of the arab invaders.

the queen of sheba was black the moors were black the berbers are black , all the various ethnicities that occupied north africa where black till the coming of the arab invaders.

do you know why the ethiopians are still black and christian?

because they were not defeated by the marauding arab invaders ,

if they had been, ethiopia would be another arab country



so what exactly do you mean when you say african roots , does the boer have african roots?

no african can be as european as the boer ,

just as no african can be as arab as the north africans

the affinity is not just racial , it is religious , it is cultural , indeed it is ethnic


do you know that up till today the arabs in mauritania use the black africans there as slaves?

do you know that the president of that country has owned up to it and has promised to stamp it out?

do you know that unicef knows that this is occuring and yet has done nothing?

wonderer
Mar 26, 2008, 06:15 PM
Palamedes@#54

Thank you for the clarifications you provided.


For the purpose of this debate, when I mean slavery, I meant European Slave trade and “When was before it?” is Africa before the European Slave trade began.
Here it is clear what you historical era you are referring to .


Indeed “Arab” was mentioned in my “draft” definition but its purpose was to “barbed wire” my definition rather that as a core of it.
Your process would mean threating the definition as a mathematical equation X = Africa – Arabs. But from an Afrocentric perspective, including Arab in the equation would amount to "looking outward". Afrocentrism is about “looking inward” first, and then comes the lengthy period of “introspection”

I get what you are saying about the term "Arab" used as a “barbed wire” to your definition. As a matter of fact all good definitions do provide clear "barbed wires" as to what is included within the definition and what is excluded. The question is where is this "barbed wire" set exactly? I understand this to be as at the core of the definition .

If we will use mathematical representations to simplify, then here the term that is being defined is "African" so this puts it on the left hand side of the equation. In the form of

AFRICAN= ???

and I think it is a logical fallacy to have it in the form of :
AFRICAN= AFRICAN- X
(unless X=0, which there will be of no use to mention it in the first place)

I agree with what you are saying regarding being introspective before dealing with the "world". But I think one of the very basic questions when starting this process is to answer the question "who are we?" is contrast of who are the "others". when to use "we" against "they"? or going with the term used in your article, one of the first paragraphs in any manual would be addressing who are the "stakeholders"

For me definitions of the terms used are very important as you know one word could and do mean different things to different people.

Thanks for sharing the extract from your article I will be interested in reading the full article when it gets published.




Khalil:

In all, my definition of who an Arab is, at a very dispassionate level, will mean he who can speak Arabic only, deferring to the position of the Prophet of Islam on the subject, because the Egyptians who call themselves Arabs today share less physical features with the Arabs in Kuwait or Syria. In fact with their thick lips and fat nose and hefty feets, they only exceeded or are less than the Negroes only in their light skin and silky hair.

Thank you for your reply.
I agree with the general idea of it.
Although I am not sure what you mean by "the position of the Prophet of Islam on the subject"
and I think that the term Arab would refer to someone who speaks Arabic as a first language not someone who can speak Arabic only.



As this discussion continues I may be forced to move a motion to ask the Arabs to give us our daughter back, their mother, if they insist we are not them and they are not us. We will then see how our Afrocentiricism will prevail against their Arabocentricism since the monotheism they are said to be theirs will then have to be devided according to law of inheritence, we will then take our part and they take theirs.

:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
I couldn't stop laughing at the mental image of a large accounting firm staff, who will be trying to divide this heritage and who gets what of it.

But seriously speaking now, in this discussion you can see it is the other way round, with opinions about drive more or less to the exclusion of North Africans.





Eja:

I define an Arab by how they have defined themselves in their own homelands. In doing so, I take into the account the fact that when it is found to be necessary, i.e. when they think it is useful, they will describe others that they originally left outside the description to be Arabs...

You see that there are different definitions of "Arab"
1- one who is from the Arabian Peninsula
2- one who speaks Arabic as a first language
3- one who is a national of one of the member countries of the Arab League

This is why I am asking about your definition.


Understand that it was not Africans who set up these differentiations. However, in the world that we live in, these distinctions exist. If a leopard sees me as meat and starts salivating, I will not disregard its perception just because I know myself to be much more than meat. No, I will be cognisant of the reality and I will adjust myself in ways that best protect the integrity of my flesh.

This of course does not mean that I am anti-leopard - yet I know that some would say that by denying the leopard food, I am...

:) of course this wouldn't mean you are anti-leopard.

I said before I admire your style of writing and I repeat it. Palamedes@#52 implied that I could mean it in a bad way and I want to explain I mean it to be a positive comment. You do have a way to present your ideas in an appealing way.
In this quote for example you painted a graphic picture of leopard trying to get to you and you are protecting "integrity of your flesh", here all reading will agree with your position in this example. But I just wonder, how this beautifully painted example relates to the discussion?

Another example of why I admire your style of writing is:

Kwame Nkrumah, and any other person who shares the same physical characteristics (sex aside) is an African. Muammar Ghaddafi is an Arab.
Here you have carefully chosen your examples.
I think very few persons would want to be associated with Ghaddafi (edited sentence as earlier I used a broad generalization that I didn't feel comfortable about when I re-read it now). ًWhy not another Libyan, for example Omar Mukhtar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Mukhtar) who fiercely fought against the Italian colonization?
On the other hand you are providing Kwame Nkrumah, who, like Patrice Lumumba and Nelson Mandela, is loved and admired through the continent, and who everyone would like to be associated with. Why not Moise Tshombe or any other infamous politician?

But you know it is a good thing you chose Kwame Nkrumah, who as a symbol of his belief of African unity, married Fathia Rizk, an Egyptian.
You can read a profile about her, written by their son Gamal Nkrumah in here:
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/499/profile.htm
it is an interesting reading as a whole,
and related to this discussion what Gamal Nkrumah wrote :

....Father explained to them that his bride was an African despite her fair skin.

Palamedes
Mar 26, 2008, 07:00 PM
wonderer@#77

But I just wonder, how this beautifully painted example relates to the discussion?
Maybe Eja could explain it better that he was using a metaphor. The leopard symbolizes the Arabs whom some Africans love so much--even more than their own. The truth of the matter is that they don't like you [an African] and they don't want to be called Africans--forget the feigning, which they are very good at doing.

Given Gaddafi's history, I wonder how anyone would call him "an Afrocentric person?"--This is an insult to the word “Afrocentric.”

But WHY OH WHY are we still talking about Arabs when we should be talking about AFRICANS. This mentality is what is holding us back--as could be seen even on this thread; it almost destroyed the African race in the past and we are still suffering from the repercussion to this day. When are we ever going to learn to take care of our own business and leave other to theirs?

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 26, 2008, 07:39 PM
Palamedes@#54

Eja:


You see that there are different definitions of "Arab"
1- one who is from the Arabian Peninsula
2- one who speaks Arabic as a first language
3- one who is a national of one of the member countries of the Arab League

This is why I am asking about your definition.



:) of course this wouldn't mean you are anti-leopard.

I said before I admire your style of writing and I repeat it. Palamedes@#52 implied that I could mean it in a bad way and I want to explain I mean it to be a positive comment. You do have a way to present your ideas in an appealing way.
In this quote for example you painted a graphic picture of leopard trying to get to you and you are protecting "integrity of your flesh", here all reading will agree with your position in this example. But I just wonder, how this beautifully painted example relates to the discussion?

Another example of why I admire your style of writing is:

Here you have carefully chosen your examples.
As no one in her or his right mind would want to be associated with Ghaddafi. ًWhy not another Libyan, for example Omar Mukhtar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Mukhtar) who fiercely fought against the Italian colonization?
On the other hand you are providing Kwame Nkrumah, who, like Patrice Lumumba and Nelson Mandela, is loved and admired through the continent, and who everyone would like to be associated with. Why not Moise Tshombe or any other infamous politician?

But you know it is a good thing you chose Kwame Nkrumah, who as a symbol of his belief of African unity, married Fathia Rizk, an Egyptian.
You can read a profile about her, written by their son Gamal Nkrumah in here:
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2000/499/profile.htm
it is an interesting reading as a whole,
and related to this discussion what Gamal Nkrumah wrote :


Wonderer, one of the common characteristics of discussions like this is how conditioned some of us have become against not hurting the feelings of others (even when they are not present!). I am aware of this and generally, I think it is commendable. However, it seems to me that there has been some sort of unspoken consensus that we Africans should stay crucified until the rest of the world repents its evil ways.

Now, every bird, as the saying goes, deserves its own branch to perch on. I have to call myself something to distinguish myself from those who have differentiated my sort for many millennia on account of how we look.

The label "negro" is not acceptable to me. Nor do I particularly care for "Black" since strictly speaking, I am not black (just as the 'white' is not white).

I have settled therefore on the label "African" to describe those who look like me: Moise Tshombe, Savimbi, Mobutu Sese Seko, Sani Abacha and yes, Touissant L'Overture, Walter Rodney and Fela Anikulapo Kuti. They are Africans.

Gamel Abdel Nasser, Ben Bella, and Sadat are Arabs.

And, those Sudanese who look no different from Yoweri Musoveni but like to call themselves "Arabs" (for strategic reasons) are to me identifiable as Africans.

Believe me, when I gave the examples you quoted, I was not "carefully choosing". I merely used two names that I was certain would be very familiar.

Phenotype....phenotype.

Yes, the first time you asked this question, I believe that I answered you in full. I told you that I made my distinction based fully on how a person looked. Everything else said after that is just elaboration. It is that simple; phenotype determines description.

In short, I do not for one minute buy the description by language theory. I mean, if this were to be universally extended, then all Northern Nigeria based Igbo who speak Hausa (and are familiar with Hausa culture) are Hausa and, all Yoruba who speak English are English men (and women).

It seems to me that the position you are taking here is based upon the existence of an ideal situation; one where we can be completely (and seamlessly) assimilated into a culture simply by displaying certain communicative markers.

However, because I have noticed that things do not work like that in the real world I take a different approach.

Of course, I expect to continue being a suspected 'black supremacist' because, like I said before, Africans are expected to remain patient on their cross until the rest of the human species comes to its senses and starts living out those beautiful ideals of one undifferentiated human family that we have all heard so much about..:lol:.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 26, 2008, 07:50 PM
wonderer@#77

Maybe Eja could explain it better that he was using a metaphor. The leopard symbolizes the Arabs whom some Africans love so much--even more than their own. The truth of the matter is that they don't like you [an African] and they don't want to be called Africans--forget the feigning, which they are very good at doing.

Given Gaddafi's history, I wonder how anyone would call him "an Afrocentric person?"--This is an insult to the word "Afrocentric."

But WHY OH WHY are we still talking about Arabs when we should be talking about AFRICANS. This mentality is what is holding us back--as could be seen even on this thread; it almost destroyed the African race in the past and we are still suffering from the repercussion to this day. When are we ever going to learn to take care of our own business and leave other to theirs?

Palamedes, to answer the last paragraph, one thing I learned from martial arts is that sometimes, you require an opponent to make one specific move before you can initiate a sequence of moves from your end...:wink:.

Wonderer! I am not calling you my enemy O! You are a partner in this and, if you weren't asking the questions you have been asking, I wouldn't have been inspired to seek clarification within myself regarding certain matters.

Danke (as Denker would say - if he wasn't bombed out of his skull on Shiraz as we speak..:D)

wonderer
Mar 27, 2008, 03:46 AM
Palamedes@#70



African Af"ri*can, n.
A native of Africa; also one ethnologically belonging to an
African race.
[1913 Webster]

African (Af"ri-Kan) [L. Africa] a. Pertaining to Africa,
n. A native of Africa or of African race
[Cassell's]
These are only a few samples but you would find that the dictionaries are unanimous in this definition. And yet, yes, at micro level, every race [that we know to be a race] encompasses disparate people. Nevertheless, this reason alone is not sufficient to disqualify (say) the Chinese as a race.


Allow me to disagree with the bolded part, I looked up the word "African" in a number of dictionaries and they are not using the term "African race", here are examples of what I found:


Af·ri·can (āf'rĭ-kən)
adj. Of or relating to Africa or its peoples, languages, or cultures.

n.
1. A native or inhabitant of Africa.
2. A person of African descent.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.



african

adjective
1. of or relating to the nations of Africa or their peoples; "African languages"

noun
1. a native or inhabitant of Africa

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University



Af·ri·can [ áffrikən ]


adjective
Definition:

of Africa: relating to any part of the African continent, or its peoples, languages, or culture



noun (plural Af·ri·cans)
Definition:

1. somebody from Africa: somebody who comes from Africa

2. somebody of African descent: somebody descended from a people of Africa

[Pre-12th century. < Latin Africanus< Afri "the ancient inhabitants of N Africa"]


Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.




African adjective

Af‧ri‧can
relating to Africa or its people

African noun

someone from Africa

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online



I agree with DeepThought#@69

Africa or African does not describe a race , it encompasses disparate people(s)/races



Palamedes@#78:

Maybe Eja could explain it better that he was using a metaphor. The leopard symbolizes the Arabs whom some Africans love so much--even more than their own.

Thank you for relating Eja's metaphor to the topic of discussion, what I don't get now is the part about the leopard threating the "integrity of the flesh"!


The truth of the matter is that they don't like you [an African] and they don't want to be called Africans--forget the feigning, which they are very good at doing.

If I got what you are saying right, then:
If an "Arab" said he doesn't like "Africans" and don't want to be called "African", then this person would be an honest person speaking truthfully about how all "Arabs" feel.
But if an "Arab" said he likes "Africans" and wants to be called "African" , then this person would be a deceitful liar who is very good at feigning?


One last question which very much off-topic, please feel free to ignore it if you like, but I have been wondering if it is this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palamedes_%28Greek_mythology%29) or that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palamedes_%28Arthurian_legend%29)? :)




Eja

Thank you for your posts, I have a few comments regarding you post#79 but I have to postpone writing them till later tomorrow.


Wonderer! I am not calling you my enemy O! You are a partner in this and, if you weren't asking the questions you have been asking, I wouldn't have been inspired to seek clarification within myself regarding certain matters.

And of course I don't think of you as an enemy! We are all here exchanging ideas which I find beneficial. Just one example, if it weren't for Palamedes post#70 I wouldn't have searched different dictionaries to look up the word "African" and thanks to him I have gained information I didn't have before, and there are a number of other examples but this is the most recent. So thank you for starting this interesting thread :)

Toku.A
Mar 27, 2008, 09:30 AM
toku a

1. the operative words here are , invasion , expansion and culture

most of who occupy north africa today are arab by ethnicity and culture,

what happened to the black african christians who were living there before the advent of islam ,

2.what happened to the citizens of carthage who we know to be competely black , what happened to the the clergy and faithful of the church at alexandria.

3.in the past africa used to be completely black, till the coming of the arab invaders.

4.the queen of sheba was black the moors were black the berbers are black , all the various ethnicities that occupied north africa where black till the coming of the arab invaders.

5.do you know why the ethiopians are still black and christian?

because they were not defeated by the marauding arab invaders ,

6.if they had been, ethiopia would be another arab country



7.so what exactly do you mean when you say african roots , does the boer have african roots?

no african can be as european as the boer ,

8.just as no african can be as arab as the north africans

9.the affinity is not just racial , it is religious , it is cultural , indeed it is ethnic


do you know that up till today the arabs in mauritania use the black africans there as slaves?

10.do you know that the president of that country has owned up to it and has promised to stamp it out?

do you know that unicef knows that this is occuring and yet has done nothing?

Nero
I hope you do not mind I numbered your response. I would give a point by point response later.

Palamedes
Mar 27, 2008, 11:45 AM
wonderer@#81

Allow me to disagree with the bolded part, I looked up the word "African" in a number of dictionaries and they are not using the term "African race"...
Your single objection to the definitions I quoted [at random] is that they contain the word “race” and that your set of definitions hadn't included the word. And that consequently, your set of definitions should override my set of definitions (I am tempted to turn your argument against you but I must resist the urge).

Perhaps, you ought to, also, look up the word “race.” There you would find that your set of definitions [albeit in many more words] is in line with the definition for "race."

Khalil
Mar 27, 2008, 01:39 PM
Thanks everybody for the insightful comments,

@wonderer who said:


Although I am not sure what you mean by "the position of the Prophet of Islam on the subject"
and I think that the term Arab would refer to someone who speaks Arabic as a first language not someone who can speak Arabic only.

I think what the Prophet meant was just speaking the language not born into the language as a first speaker, because understanding the language can help one relate with the language sometimes better than those born into it. But the underlining thread is, the Prophet's message always tried to underplay the aspects of racism in all. I will address other things related to this in what follows as I respond to Eja.

@Eja,

I typed a detailed reply to you y'day in relation to the post you addressed to me but lost it on the process of posting it across. But I am glad to see that you have subscribed to what Palamedes said here:



Originally Posted by Palamedes
Eja@#65

I also want to add some clarifications—others might say confusion--to Afrocentricism: Afrocentricism should be seen as a groundwork to many aspects of the African focus, which include arts, government, economic development, cultural, philosophy, ideology, history, arts, beauty, language, anthropology and many more '-ologies.' The keyword here is ”groundwork.” For instance, as groundwork, an artist might be inspire by it to create piece of arts or painting which might then be described as Afrocentric arts or paintings etc.

Palamedes, I am in total agreement with the above. In fact, one of the key moments in the evolution of my consciousness was when a teacher, after showing the class a piece of Art, asked us all "What is the point of this work?"

This is the central anchor of the discussion and where I find your position clearly defined but inexplicably substanciated scientifically in the rest of your argumentations. And it is why ofcourse I think your position is more emotional than reasonable and why I concluded that you run the risk of producing Black Supremacy instead of Afrocentricism.

For example your definition of an African, is race necessary, meaning, AFRICA = BLACK RACE in all absoluteness.

And Afrocentricism is purely a black perspective of the outside world, meaning, AFROCENTRICISM = BLACK PERSPECTIVE in all absoluteness.

This by implication says if one is not black, one cannot be Afrocentric. It makes us run the risk of thinking the so-called Afro-Americans are Afrocentric, including people like Markus Garvey who used Eurocentricism - taking what Palamedes said about Afrocentricism to account, in judging them - to fight for the interest of Africans.

I believe Africa is a geography just like America is a geography and what makes one an African or American has more to do with the geography, environment, its physical and logical layers, temporal and spiritual attiributes, than the race of the African or American.

One can change his race by changing his ideology we should remember how the Khazar tribe of the Eastern Europe turned out to be the Jews of the 20th century, the Ashkenazi Jews. Arthur Koesler wrote about them in the book, The Thirteenth Tribe.

This is why even though Barack Obama is African by race according to your definition, he is also American by perspective and worldview and as such he is more a European and Western than African and Afrocentric.

Now taking these issues to close look, especially after you've endorsed what Palamedes said above, after further examination many of you, including Palamedes himself, will realise that you have deeply contradicted yourselves by thinking that acting in the interest of Africa via the prism of other cultures is Afrocentricism and that being African is a function of race.

First, the list of Afrocentrists we have here, according to post #55 of Nero Africanus and some addtions, are people like:

Franz Fanon
DeepThought
Eja
Wayfarer
Nero Africanus
Obugi

and other white people, Eja provided which I can't recall having clearly seen thru the claims. They only at certain times advocated or defended the interest of Africa politically and economically via the prism of Eurocentric perspectives, but were not Afrocentric as Palamedes put the meat of the Afrocentricism there.

Infact DeepThought understood this clearly that is why he admitted from the very begining of this exchange that he was at some time in his life, not Afrocentric, citing example with Kunu, an African drink, he never took or seen. But he always speaks here today as a champion of African true independence. This is also what Franz Fanon was, not Afrocentric but rather a depender of African territory via the western ideological prism of communism. Another example is the same post #55 by Nero Africanus which dwelled only on politics and economy.

This is why from the onset and understanding that hardly we find among ourselves now, very good exponents of Afrocentricism, but rather those who are interested in depending African economy or politics, and sometimes emotionally, I insisted on understanding the African person first before delving into the issue of Afrocentricism.

Many of us will mention freedom, right, truth, duties and obligation in the course of this debate without necessarily understanding what these are to an African.

Sometime back EazeeBee posted something about sharing resposibilities between couples in the Lounge Area of these forums, but when I looked at it I saw that it was talking about these things only in Western perspective of who is a good family person.

I read many articles in several issues about even courtship and marriage where people are told to be telling there partners everyday, they love them to strengthen their relationship. I often wonder whether it is African to think that way.

Finally, I think Eja and some others like Wayfarer or even Nero Africanus may find it weird to relate to the fact that Khalil is more Afrocentric than they are but in reality I am most inclined to be by virtue of my training and educational background.

I always say I grew up in a Madrassa in Northern Nigeria and started studying all sciences there before getting exposed to Western type of education.

In there though we were taught, in the spirit of Islam, we were made to understand the basic anchor, theory of jurisprudence to be, Adatul kaumi sunnatuhum, that is , the culture of a people should be the accepted prophetic way of doing things and tada baladi sunnatuha, that is, the tradition of a town is it prophetic way of doing things. (Wonderer here should see why an Arab should be seen as only one who speaks Arabic.)

This is why the Astrology and Horoscopic Science I learnt in the Madrassa said in dealing with individual issues one needs to know what they eat and drink and as such Kunu becomes very relevant in predicting the future. This is Afrocentric from its very source as Western Astrology in this regard is found to be always short of accurately predicting the fortune of an African, in this case a person who lives with, thinks and takes the food of Africans and influenced by the cosmic bodies that govern the activities of the geography of the Africans regardless of his colour or race.

NOTE: Years back NASA, that American Astronomical body, came to our Madrassa asking questions about the planetery systems according to the tradition of African Astronomy. One uncle of mine who never passed through the Western type of education was the authority on that field and he attended to them, via an interpereter, and supplied them with very valuable informations from purely concepts developed by students of old on Astronomy in Africa. Particularly the scholars called Zannati scholars. He gave them the information free of charge( in the mould of his Afrocentric perspective that knowledge is given free not bought with money).

We didn't realise it was that valuable until when the man died last year when we received a letter signed by Bush, American President, acknowledging the much help he's been to them in their recent expeditions in that field.

It was then we learnt the great hurt the British had caused us when they invested so much effort in killing the Madrasas of Northern Nigeria after they conquered us. They stole books and killed majority of the scholars. Even Claperton recorded that his journey to Northern Nigeria in the early 19th century witnessed about 250 advanced studies centres on deeply Afrocentric perspective of scholarship that are akin to universities in Europe.

Yes, another Afrocentric perspective like what Palamedes gave us above was deprived from us years before this generation of Africans were born.

Now the question is how do we get it back? Should we live like the article EazeeBee gave us as couples or start excavating the past? Should this Afrocentricism be the centre of our priorities or not? This I guess is the difference between SLB's camp and Eja's camp if only Eja will renegotiate his definition of who an African is.

Khalilurrahman

wonderer
Mar 27, 2008, 02:08 PM
Palamedes@#83


wonderer@#81

Your single objection to the definitions I quoted [at random] is that they contain the word "race" and that your set of definitions hadn't included the word. And that consequently, your set of definitions should override my set of definitions (I am tempted to turn your argument against you but I must resist the urge).


But this is not my objection at all! Sorry if what I meant wasn't clear enough.

Palamedes@#70

..you would find that the dictionaries are unanimous in this definition.
What I disagreed about was that dictionaries are unanimous in the definition you provided.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 27, 2008, 05:22 PM
For example your definition of an African, is race necessary, meaning, AFRICA = BLACK RACE in all absoluteness.

And Afrocentricism is purely a black perspective of the outside world, meaning, AFROCENTRICISM = BLACK PERSPECTIVE in all absoluteness.

This by implication says if one is not black, one cannot be Afrocentric.

Khalil, for you to reach the erroneous conclusion bolded above, you had to conflate of two separate trains of thought and by doing so, you have totally misrepresented what I am saying.

DeepThought mentioned the fact that one who is European can be Afrocentric. I agreed and I went further to give actual examples of Europeans whose works can be described as Afrocentric. I mentioned Gerald Massey, Basil Davidson and Keith Harmon Snow [Post #64].

Before that, I had given my definition of Afrocentric thought (firstly in the very title of this thread!).

The physical attributes of an African is a separate matter. I gave my opinion on that and I gave my reasons for holding such an opinion. What reason could you have for persisting with this latest effort at conflating what I talked about with "Black Supremacy"?

The primary purpose behind this debate is to examine the Africa-centred perspective. Believe me, if I had wanted to talk about "Black Supremacy" then I would have.

However, since this seems to be something that is of great interest to you, perhaps you would like to define what you mean by "Black Supremacy". I expect that in doing so, you will be relying on evidence from current events (and from history) that shows how this thing manifests and, how it has affected people around the world.

And when you are done, please show where in this debate I have advocated anything like what you are describing.

Khalil
Mar 27, 2008, 05:53 PM
What reason could you have for persisting with this latest effort at conflating what I talked about with "Black Supremacy"?

Eja calm down please we are only interested in x-raying the issues behind your definitions here. I did not say in any way you have or are rooting for Black Supremacy, but rather I have been trying to let you know how your position run the risk of leading to something like Black Supremacy.

Your position is Afrocenricism is African centered perspective and African is unconditionally a black person and that position is non-negotiable by you.

So if African is black then your Afrocentiricism is black centred perspective

My position is African is unconditionally an environmental function and as such African centred perspective is an environment centred perspective.

Then I went ahead and explain with aspects of food, climate physical and metaphysical things that play critical roles in producing this African centered pespective as it is in Astrology which stipulates that these things have influence in our lives.

And while in Astrologically we can have an environmentally derived perspective we can never have race or colour derived perspective. It is impossible.

So I conclude an African is not a black person but rather one who resides in Africa enough to allow the influence of the environment act on his seen and unseen ends.


Khalilurrahman

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 27, 2008, 06:29 PM
Khalil

1. Define "Black Supremacy".

2. Give examples from current events and history to show how "Black Supremacy" has manifested and, how it has affected people around the world.

3. Give reasons why a human who chooses to describe himself as an African must drop that label and instead acquiesce to the label "Black".

Of all the above, I am most interested in how you will answer the third question. You see, when one uses the label "European", everybody knows the physical attributes belonging to the one you speak of. Likewise, if one says "Chinese", or if one says "Indian". In fact, if one says "Arab", I doubt if more than 1 out of 10,000 will picture a person who looks like the so-called Janjaweed. No, rather, they will visualise one who looks like Mahmoud Abbas or Saddam Hussein.

In short, there is a point of origin on Earth that fits with every human ethnic description. But, from what you are saying, Africans should be satisfied with the label "Black".

I ask the same question that was once asked by Malcolm X - "Where is Blackland?"

Or is it Blacka? Blackeria? Blackistan?

Where is this place?

Basically, I suspect that what you are doing here is nothing more than attempting to negate the very rationale behind the idea that speaks of the necessity for an Africa-centred perspective. These efforts may not be fully conscious but may be due to an instilled protectionism of certain relationships. Perhaps in spite of all you claim to know regarding how Arabs view and treat Africans, there is still a part of you that cannot/will not let go of them.

You spoke of ancient schools of Astronomy in your region: In your view, are these African schools first or Islamic schools first? Would you be satisfied with a description that refers to them as schools of African Astronomy or, would you say that they are schools of African-Islamic Astronomy? If the last, can you differentiate which aspects are African and which are Islamic? In other words, can you recognise the interface?

Answer honestly, I am testing you for anti-Afrocentric antibodies!....:D.

Palamedes
Mar 27, 2008, 09:55 PM
Khalil@#84

This by implication says if one is not [African], one cannot be Afrocentric
And

Khalil@#84:...and other white people, Eja provided which I can't recall having clearly seen thru the claims
Earlier, I wrote a response to this mischief of yours but decided to delete it, hoping that Eja would respond to it since it was addressed to him. The second quote clearly shows that you have read Eja@#64 response to DeepThought. Why then distort and accuse Eja of what he hadn't said?

Now here is another distortion:

...that you have deeply contradicted yourselves by thinking that acting in the interest of Africa via the prism of other cultures is Afrocentricism...
Come, come, come, Khalil, show me a word, phrase, sentence in any of my commentaries on this thread that drove you to this conclusion. I have been saying quite the opposite, and you are accusing me of what I am against? Is this your purpose here and are we going to see more of it?

My position is African is unconditionally an environmental function and as such African centred perspective is an environment centred perspective.
I am not sure what you mean here. Nevertheless, you don't deserve to use the world "unconditionally" when you have not presenting any argument to that effect. Of course one's environs plays a part in one's outlook but more important is meme--ideas, values and patterns of behaviors passed from one generation to another. Even after centuries of separation between Continental Africans and those of African decent in the diaspora, we still share a great deal in common more than with any other race - whether in characteristics, mannerism, food, fashion, values etc. This is the power of meme.

A few weeks ago, I watched a programme on CNN about a young girl. Everything about this girl is America - her behavior, fashion, accent etc., but I later found to my astonishment that she has never been to the USA - All that she knows about the USA was via Satellite TV and Internet. Khalil, borrowing your "environmental function" idea, is this girl (who is a product of the "virtual" American environ) an America?

It seems that you want us all to join you to condemn the West but rehabilitate and welcome with open arms (Indeed this has been the tenet of your long winding argument all along) those that enslaved, and murdered thousands of our African ancestors with a barbarity that would have shocked even Aldof Hitler; and forced upon our Ancestors an alien religion [and alien culture through the back door]. Well, sir, induce your own amnesia, but leave the rest of us alone.

Khalil
Mar 28, 2008, 12:40 PM
Eja and Palamedes,

It is like you are more interested in expressing your uncomfortablity with my being here and arguing this out with you than looking critically at my take with the view of sharpening your resolve and understanding further the complexity of the subject of discourse.

For Eja's questions:


1. Define "Black Supremacy".

2. Give examples from current events and history to show how "Black Supremacy" has manifested and, how it has affected people around the world.

3. Give reasons why a human who chooses to describe himself as an African must drop that label and instead acquiesce to the label "Black".

For your question 1 & 2, I think it requires some well rounded articulation that may end up derailing this thread but I am sure you know what I mean whenever I refer to Black Supremacy, it in this thread.

After all one doesn't need to be an Afrocentric before being a Black Supremacist! He can be a Black Supremacist in a Eurocentric perspective!

You should also know what I mean by examining your own words here:


You see, when one uses the label "European", everybody knows the physical attributes belonging to the one you speak of. Likewise, if one says "Chinese", or if one says "Indian". In fact, if one says "Arab".....(like Albishir and Muammar Ghadafi),

Now the problem is while being European does not describe white race but rather the geography that contains different ethnic groups including those in Eastern Europe that may not necesarily be whites, Arab or Chiness describe a race or ethniticies.

So descriptions like Europeans should go with Africans, Asians since it is not racial in attributes I have heard often the term Eurosia to refer to both Europe and Asia w . But descriptions like Arabs, Chinese, Indians should go with the ones like Whites or Blacks but NOT Africans.

My problem with you is you have consistently maintained that an African( which is a descriptive of a geography or environment) by your understanding is necessarily exclusive of the Arabs and this is where your logic fails in my view. Palamedes went to the extent of bringing a dictionary definition that tied the descriptive African to a race in spite of the flawed logic in the count which wonderer did well in pointing out.


In short, there is a point of origin on Earth that fits with every human ethnic description. But, from what you are saying, Africans should be satisfied with the label "Black".

While I believe the sentence above is scientifically inaccurate because of the claims in modern science in the single origin of humankind, it also misrepresents my conclusions that truly Africa is multiethnic and multiracial. This has been what I've been saying all along. It was you who are saying it is single race and as such some Arabs who are truly Africans cannot be included.

Again while I believe there is African Astronomy I don't believe their is Islamic Astronomy for Astronomy is environment dependent but Islam is not environment dependent( I am sure you are capable of seeing the reason behing this distinction). But while I believe there is African Philosophy I believe also there is Islamic Philosophy that can find harmony with African Philosophy at certain points thus bringing out an Islam that can be called African Islam which we had until the coming of the whiteman, this is why Hausa Muslims are always different in worldview and taste from Arab Muslims.

My problem is some of the modern Hausa Muslims are today trying to think that Islam confers on them an allegience to Arabs. This is what I have been fighting against of which if you are not forgetful can bear me witness here.

For Palamedes,

I am really finding it difficult to see you doing to me what you accused me of doing to you or others even when I exactly didn't do so.

First you quoted me above:


Khalil@#84




This by implication says if one is not [African], one cannot be Afrocentric

And



Khalil@#84:...and other white people, Eja provided which I can't recall having clearly seen thru the claims

Earlier, I wrote a response to this mischief of yours but decided to delete it, hoping that Eja would respond to it since it was addressed to him. The second quote clearly shows that you have read Eja@#64 response to DeepThought. Why then distort and accuse Eja of what he hadn't said?

In the first quote you quoted me attaching the phrase by implication to what I said Eja did which should mean it was something I derived from his position not his exact wordings. But why did you say I was mischievous?

On the second quote, Eja really provided the list of some white people here whom he believes are Afrocentric and he repeated this in post #86 like this:


I agreed and I went further to give actual examples of Europeans whose works can be described as Afrocentric. I mentioned Gerald Massey, Basil Davidson and Keith Harmon Snow [Post #64].

So now where is my mischief Palamedes?

As regards your claims that you did not imply in anyway from the beginning of this discourse that acting in the interest of Africa is Afrocentricism please check this you said in your most recent post refering to the Afro-Americans:


Even after centuries of separation between Continental Africans and those of African decent in the diaspora, we still share a great deal in common more than with any other race—whether in characteristics, mannerism, food, fashion, values etc. This is the power of meme.

This ofcourse is hardly justifiable considering the medium of influences I used to assert my theories of environment above in post #84, as much as is hardly justifiable in the scienfitic studies of human culturo-social anthropology.

Concerning the programme you watched in CNN to see how a young girl behaved in everyway like an American even though she's never been to the USA, know that you need to get closer to her in real life to know that she's not been affected by the American environment and its climate.

Finally at the end of his submission in post #88 Eja said:


Basically, I suspect that what you are doing here is nothing more than attempting to negate the very rationale behind the idea that speaks of the necessity for an Africa-centred perspective. These efforts may not be fully conscious but may be due to an instilled protectionism of certain relationships. Perhaps in spite of all you claim to know regarding how Arabs view and treat Africans, there is still a part of you that cannot/will not let go of them.

And Palamedes who in post #89 said:


It seems that you want us all to join you to condemn the West but rehabilitate and welcome with open arms (Indeed this has been the tenet of your long winding argument all along) those that enslaved, and murdered thousands of our African ancestors with a barbarity that would have shocked even Aldof Hitler; and forced upon our Ancestors an alien religion [and alien culture through the back door]. Well, sir, induce your own amnesia, but leave the rest of us alone.

I am sorry please as I am confused why would you want to preempt my motives even without justification? Who are the "us" that I should leave alone in Palamedes' above? No. No. Please, this is defeatist. or do you want to me to start saying I figured you too have a motive in saying what you are saying here?

No. I sincerely think we want to learn from one another in order to straighten out our perspective scientfically.

Try to understand please that we are only discussing here making appeal to reasoned logic. Accepting some Arabs as Africans, if there is justification to that, won't do anything bad to you it will only make the record straight in our argumentations. Just like accepting others as humanbeings inspite of our dislike to them. I am sure I am darker than very many among you, and Arabs, in this era of ethnic conciousness, will never consider me a one among them but I believe there is no harm in saying: I agree it is true they are Africans by points of logic but they are not Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa. It is that simple.

Let's just allow the reason prevail, this is just a discussion, if you like, a debate, and nothing more.

I rest my case!

Khalilurrahman

elgaxton
Mar 28, 2008, 01:33 PM
Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

abeg I need serious Paracetamol chei :)


Em..shoko so u want people to point out winners eh?

e no work o :) when I prostrate for ground dey beg u for that

Busanga vs Wale Akin debate wetin u talk ehn: :D

anyhow sha make una enjoy and make una dey go explain some of this una hard words for Uncle Tisha Class room, they are just too conc.

Eja Baba o! hope sey u no dey sip some stuffs b4 u tender ya debate cos the English wey me dey see for ya be like Osu Ofia own. :D :D :D

I dey come make I sleep small for office courtesy of una big big english :)

Toku.A
Mar 28, 2008, 01:52 PM
Originally Posted by nero africanus
1. the operative words here are , invasion , expansion and culture

most of who occupy north africa today are arab by ethnicity and culture,

what happened to the black african christians who were living there before the advent of islam ,

2.what happened to the citizens of carthage who we know to be competely black , what happened to the the clergy and faithful of the church at alexandria.

3.in the past africa used to be completely black, till the coming of the arab invaders.

4.the queen of sheba was black the moors were black the berbers are black , all the various ethnicities that occupied north africa where black till the coming of the arab invaders.

5.do you know why the ethiopians are still black and christian?

because they were not defeated by the marauding arab invaders ,

6.if they had been, ethiopia would be another arab country



7.so what exactly do you mean when you say african roots , does the boer have african roots?

no african can be as european as the boer ,

8.just as no african can be as arab as the north africans

9.the affinity is not just racial , it is religious , it is cultural , indeed it is ethnic


do you know that up till today the arabs in mauritania use the black africans there as slaves?

10.do you know that the president of that country has owned up to it and has promised to stamp it out?

do you know that unicef knows that this is occuring and yet has done nothing?

Nero

Here is my response
1. Before slavery Egypt had Roman, French, Greek, and Spanish influx, Morroco- Spanish, at alternate times in their history, but the last and most major one was that of the Turks who are not Arab themselves.
The Arabic identity is more of a political, religous, and economic identity. Religous because Islam was of Arabic origin, Political because most of the North African Countries opearate undemocratic governments, economic because they all had landed interests Sinai for Egypt , Palestine for Jordan , the golan hights for Syria. The Middle Eastern economies also have the capital these countries need. So it was in their interest to claim an Arabic origin over their mixed origins that were predominantly European, African, and Turkish.
What happened to the black christians? A minority population of christians still exist but a greater part was killed by the Turks and also fellow christians whose economic interest was threatened by a strong North Africa.

2. I agree with the Islamic influence on the demise of christianity in Alexandria, Carthage etc,but the Vatican or Loudres would not have been icons of christianity if these areas had remained. There are still a lot of things that survived the attacks by different groups including the oldest monastery which is said to be in Egypt. I also see these attacks on the ancients sites of christian civilization in our continent as revenge from their medditeranian neighbours because of the activities of other christians.

3. Like I said in ans1 the 'whiteness of Africa' is not caused by the Arabs but by the Europeans. The Islamisation certainly is by the Turks and a few Arabs.

4 & 5. I agree the Queen of Sheba, the Berbers, Moors, etc were all black before the coming of the Arabs, but the twist is that some Ethiopians claim to be ethnically Jewish because the Queen of Sheba according to them had a son for King Solomon, their last emperor was of this lineage and as such they stopped being African.

6. There are tribes that cut between Ethiopia and Somalia and as their families in Somalia continue to adopt an Arab identity because of their economic interest it might not be long before we have Ethiopians that would be willing to be adressed as Arabs.

7. What I mean by African roots is that going by the history of these people and places these areas have always been a melting pot of different peoples through inter-marriages between Africans and the immigrants from Europe and Asia-minor. In the case of the Boers there were no inter-marriages, no hybrid culture or nation was born. The Boers were white and they remained white.

8. I believe no African can be Arab neither can an Arab be African but I belive an Arab can be Afrocentric in his views, and an African can be Arabic in his views an example of Africans ( based on skin colours and nasal features) adopting Arabic views is poignant in East Africa e.g Somalia.

9. Unfortunately I do not think the affinity is cultural or ethnic, it is economic, and political, but religious to a lesser extent.

I know the "Arabs" continue to use the blacks as slaves in Mauritania today, but I know the Arabs there are not as light as the Arabs in the middle East. Mauritania today, is engulfed in a bitter struggle with Morroco over who owns the Western Sahara and there is a gradual drift of the Mauritania leadership away from an Arabic identity to a more African identity and this is why I always insist that this adoption of Arabic identity is more economic than ethnic.

It is the Eurocentric view nearly every American migrant or citizen upholds that has kept that nation of migrants from nearly every corner of the globe.

DeepThought
Mar 29, 2008, 02:18 AM
1. Meaningfully disecting the issue of race is a futile exercise.Dissagrements abound about racial classifications and what race means, but in the past two common classifications are as follows:

- Caucasiod
- Negroid

Assuming we don't like or agree with the above racial classifications, lets replace the two words above by X and Y

Let X as a racial designation stand for White and Y for Black
Are these colours perfect descriptors of skin colouration? - No of course not; nobody is perfectly White and nobody is truely Black.

But are these descriptions derogatory? In my opinion - No, not necessarily though of course it could be, depending upon the context in wihch these are used.
For example in certain contexts, White can symbolize death and Black can be used to symbolize evil. These words may or may not be used offensively.

Used purely incidentally and co-incidentally as mere descriptors of race or skin, I have no problems with these.



2. Now consider the appellation "American", Asian and European, (and then we'll look at African)

Who and what is an American?


Americans come in all shades, colours and races. The word American does not describe a race and could be applicable to anybody regardless of clear and visible racial distinctions.
So in racial terms, American really describes nobody and anybody.
Similarly though perhaps less obviously, the same argument can be made about the following:

-Asian,
-European;and of course
-African


2. Now lets first take a a closer look at the Asian, then we'll examine Africa and what it means with particular reference to the Arab. Also lets look at Asia and the Australian and consider an interesting paradox.

2a) Most maps of Asia do not iactually nclude Australia.

2a(i) Some maps of Asia include Russia
2a(ii)Many world maps show Australia as a stand alone continent in its own right. Even Newzealand is surreptitiously said to be a part of Oceania, a so called submerged continent.

2c) In fairness to the Eurocentric map makers of old, in contrast to the attachment of North Africa as part of the African continent, Australia is actually very well and clearly detached from the Asian mainland, much in the same way Madagascar clearly demarcated from to Africa.

2b)Most maps of Africa do not include Madagascar. Are Madagascans thus Africans?

2d)To call an Australian an Asian is as futile as calling a Madagascan an African.

2e)Nevertheless, regardless of 2d above, it is still very possible for an Austrialian to be called an Asian, depending upon the individual Australian in question. The problem is that this tells very little about the Australian or even the Asian.

2e(1)It is as problematic to describe someone as Asian as it is describe someone as African. Or American. Or perhaps even European, though less so as the Caucasian have made sure that most Europeans remain Caucasoid or White.

Considering that Russia is shown on many maps of Asia, the question thus arises , are Russians Asians? The answer is of course, they could well be, depending on who is asking and who is answering and the particular individual Russian in question. As a collective, its hard to define people using geographic appellations. I prefer racial descriptions

Now specifically considering the Arab vis thier Africanness.
I don't know who the original inhabitants of North Africa were but consider the following


In general, the term "Arab" in modern times is applied to a large group of different peoples that share in common the Arabic language, which for the overwhelming majority of them is not their original one but the tongue imposed to their forefathers by the Arabian conquerors. Such a definition is ethnically unsuitable, in the same way as it would be inappropriate to call "Spaniards" to all Spanish-speaking peoples or "English" to all those non-British folks whose primary language is English. It is true that the Arab countries have not only language in common but also most cultural features as well, yet, this is the result of the colonization and subsequent annihilation of the original pre-Arabic culture. Therefore, it is more correct to speak of them as "Arabized" peoples rather than Arabs. (http://www.imninalu.net/myths-Arabs.htm)

And the above in short is the problem with Race. Some Sudanese as black as night consider themselves to be Arabs. And in fact, many Arabs are darker than myself.
But because they live on the African continent, because North Africa is not seperated by any ocean from the rest of the continent like Madagascar is seperated from Africa or Australia from Asia, because little or no traces of the original people who might have occupied North Africa remains, it is politically convinient at times for them to enjoy the best of two worlds.
The Arab nations of North Africa belonged to the OAU and are still part of the AU as I write.

Not so long ago, they convinced some foolish sub-saharan countries to join in some redundant boycott of Isreal. So when expidient , it is possible for an Arabized or Arab North African to claim to be African. But they generally are reluctant to under any circumstances identify as Black. That is one reason, I prefer to be known as Black or Black Arican or Sub-Saharan African. Anything but just African, though sometimes, it is convinient to call myself that too.


If by now you are thoroughly confused after reading the above, then I'm happy . I've achieved my objective.

The point should now be obvious and it is this: It is very risky and improper to use the name of a continent or a geographical area to define a race.

If we don't like to use the colour or approximate colour of skin to define a race, lets use something else but never, ever the name of the continent.

Afrocentricm and what it means to me:

I will first reiterate that just as it is possible to be Eurocentric and not be White or even an European, it is possible quite possible and even desirable to make sure that Afrocentricm encompasses as many disparate peoples as possible.

But what should be the objective of Afrocentrism and how do we achieve these objectives without becoming black supremacists and racists?

area boy
Mar 29, 2008, 07:46 PM
Since we're still waiting for the main event to start, ( Eja &SLB, I beg come on now), I believe that Palamedes @#89 summed it up perfectly that a lot of time is being wasted with unnecessary distractions.

Consider that persons of colour, no matter how long they've lived in Europe will not ordinarily be called 'European' even if that person carries a European passport. Nor would a black African who's lived in Saudi Arabia for 70 years be referred to as an Arab (even if he speaks Arabic), especially by the host community.

'African' in the context of this thread to me, means someone exhibting what may be termed negroid traits. Not a geographical expression of the location of one's country.

IMHO, Afrocentrism is promoting and protecting the interest of Africans and by extension, Africa. It does not equate to supremacy or subjugation of others.

katampe
Mar 29, 2008, 10:22 PM
I am sorry folks I have not been impressed by the mere statements passing as arguments so far. In an interesting way, it exposes our lack of appreciation of the rules of argument. This trend impacts on the ability to derive or discover new knowledge from reasoning together.

I wish I could argue with Eja on this score, but he has no argument built for someone to debunk , as such arguing is a futile exercise. I am only hoping that SLB hasn't found himself in a sea of confusion, and late in the day has discovered that he cannot make head or tail out of the statements ( feelings) that Eja has has built up as argument.

My fear is what future do we have if we can't build arguments that are substantive to enable us unleash the potentials that are inherent in everyone or discover new truths that have been obscured from us, and our country men at large. The implication is we become losers in the process. To buttress my point, and I hope Eja would be kind enough to respond, I have a series of statements he has made so far that are mere statements that lack support that I am highlighting (will continue to do it when I am led)

To illustrate my point (argument) I wish to show a series of statements that are not arguments:


1.01: Every sentient being has a perspective. A perspective, in the context of this reasoning, is described as the coordinates within a mind from which the nature of awareness is determined as its owner relates objectively and subjectively to phenomena that occur in its immediate environment (and in the larger world around it).

take the word reasoning highlighted - what reasoning has taken place here when he has only told us every sentient being has a perceptive. Has he provided any support why and how he thinks that is the case , or he assumes we know the how and why and all subscribe to this notion ?

what he has done is describe a situation , and put forward a definition and thrown terms like objectivity and subjectivity around. How many subscribe to this definition, and why should we accept the definition. Further , who determines objectivity and subjectivity? And within what frame or paradigm do we accept values of propositions?

In reasoning, there are three valuable components : what, how and why . Eja has come up with what , but the how and why is conspicuously missing. It is the reason why we have been slaves to speech without decoding and reading through texts to critically understand the value.

Now to the main thesis of his supposed argument . He pushes that Africans should subscribe to a religion , which I will call a point of view that sees its interests as the most important - this is the central premise in his argument . Now what exactly is a point of view - probably a way of seeing the world.

The tribe of reductionist fiends are growing daily. Before they used to the feminist ideologues, the men bashing baby ideology monstresses.Now we have a growing tribe of both male and female Africans that operate in tone and tenor reminiscent of hate preachers and conspiracy theorists. Some are naive, some smart but blinded, and others just mere I don't care ideologues

Some very smart lady that has since absconded from the site after writing an essay that was critiqued pushed forward a similar argument. Many might remember this lady that had her photograph with the article in question. Good looking lady I must confess, but her argument was another atrocious reasoning with "voodoo" propositions like the one Eja has come up with and there are many of these folks that have these line of reasoning here.

They are Deep Thought, Nero , and of recent Rose. What they pass as a line of reasoning are grandiose exaggerations that can be likened to Obama's pastor paranoid sentiments. In passing off these kind of thesis, they tend to neglect the fact that people , good people have brought change to the world. White men when it became necessary and with more enlightenment stopped slavery and fought for it in concert with black folks that championed it.

But our later day black philosophers pontificating about a new world and a new way of seeing things are blind to these truths. Technology wise we know that if the white man wanted to continue the trade and subjugated very race going forward they could have. Which technology have we developed that compares favourably with theirs , none .

But here is where debate is crucial - civilized societies have moved forward on the art of debate. At each stage of civilization , questioning themselves, are they really right to do certain things of adopt certain ways of life. The argument back and forth, and appeal to the better angels in men has helped raise the quality of debate in every generation.

When I look around Africa, especially Nigeria the quality of discussion is very low - I will say razz. We fixate too much on emotional topics and hardly rise above our feelings to discuss bitter truths that sometimes we wished we wouldn't hear. But like ostriches we bury our heads in the sand.

There is so much pseudo scholarship passing as deep thinking. The hit and run type of thesis that would have some chanting , hosannah and halleluyah. Eja's thesis without facts and reasoning is one of those.

Take another example:


3.011: I propose that the alternatives to the Afrocentric view can be divided into two species. These are, the ideal and the real.

Frankly, I don't know what he means when he talks about species what exactly is this Eja, tell the folks here. When you say the alternatives to Afrocentric view can be divided into two - the ideal , and the real. You mean in the world there are three views. The ideal, the real, and the Afrocentric.

Reading the quote at its face shows the fallacy in the proposition. Interestingly, the Khalil's haven't seem fit to point this out , they have started their own religious expeditions when what is at hand is the Afrocentric view.

Taking it further, the quote :


3.012: The ideal view is the humanity-centred view and, when we are governed by this way of perceiving, we are compelled to act in ways that affirm our knowledge that all humans are the same and should be given the same opportunities in all realms of human existence/organisation.

3.013: It is difficult to see any reason why this view should not immediately prevail however, we need not be told that at this moment in human time, the ideal view prevails no where on Earth. What we have as a reality is the existence of perspectives that are basically fed by the impulse to establish, on as wide a global scale as possible, a dispensation that is most favourable to the members of whatever ethnicity one belongs to.




On ideal, he has restated what everyone knows - at least that is why the word is an ideal.

What I find interesting is the highlighted that ethnic allegiance feeds the impulse to establish an atmosphere that is favourable to one ethnic group. In accepting this proposition we might be disowning the concept of class strata that exists in the society. Take the case of US politics for example, upwardly mobile white men , or well educated white men tend to vote for Obama, while blue collar workers tend to vote for Clinton.

The revelation her is that base instincts exist more when there is lack of understanding and knowledge , and possibly no shared values. Like I mentioned somewhere when I mentioned the dating amongst men and women, cultural asset plays a factor in how perception works.


Back to cultural asset, I am talking about behaviour in the work place, social carriage, how you carry yourself , how you speak , write , knowledge about fashion, interests in art , and so forth.

On religion he keeps asserting and restating the same thing over and over again - for example :


1.00: All humans are hard-wired to be religious.
2.030: I assert that all humans are hard-wired to be religious.

what argument has our man Eja built here , please commentators and observers tell us

...... to be continued. (I don't want to bore folks , this might be too much of a reading , when the spirit moves me I will continue)

African Knight
Mar 29, 2008, 11:16 PM
Gentlemen, if you don't mind me butting in.

I once read Prof Ali Mazrui's categorisation of Africans as:

i) Africans of the blood

ii) Africans of the soil

iii) Africans of the blood and of the soil


By this classification for instance,

Muamar Ghadaffi would be considered an Arab of the blood, but an African of the soil. Frederick de Clerk would be considered a European of the blood, but an African of the soil.

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Dr Dre, Suge Knight, Snoop Dawg etc would be considered Africans of the blood, but not of the soil(They are Americans of the soil).

Sani Abacha, Mobutu Sese Sekou, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu etc would be considered Africans of the blood and of the soil(alongside Eja & co :D).

I return to my Aso Rock Presidential Palace!

ciao

DeepThought
Mar 29, 2008, 11:29 PM
Areaboy

Consider that persons of colour, no matter how long they've lived in Europe will not ordinarily be called 'European' even if that person carries a European passport. Nor would a black African who's lived in Saudi Arabia for 70 years be referred to as an Arab (even if he speaks Arabic), especially by the host community.

'African' in the context of this thread to me, means someone exhibting what may be termed negroid traits. Not a geographical expression of the location of one's country.

Concerning Europe, your point is important and looks true regarding the
'person of colour'. But its not that simple

Who is the person of colour and how do you know him/her?. You know people "pass" don't you? . There are people who are not "pure" Europeans or White who are nevertheless considered Europeans. How do you identify a person who is passing?

What of a person of mixed parentage in Europe who carries an European passport?
What would you call the child of a White German or English male and say an Tunisian female e.t.c?

1.What about the Gypsies?
2. The people on the borders of Eeastern Europe and Asia?
3. The Cossacks?
4. The Azerbejanians?
5. The Turks?
6. The Slavians?
7. The various peoples bordering Europe and Russian?

Are the above Europeans or not?
If you say yes, you will be suprised how many people will disagree with you
Many Whites will tell you they are not but can I, a typical Naija tell them apart? Will my long dead grandmother consider them to be European or not?. I mean, Hitler , with a lot of collaboration from people across Europe tried to cleanse these type of people out of his perfect Europe

Now I'm confused!

To make it even more confusing, you know that the EU refuses to accept Turkey which has been trying for decades to get in, don't you? Meanwhile, some countries have been accepted into the EU in no time at all

Finally:
What may be true in the case of Europe and even in the Middle East is not necessarily true universally.
Meaning while it may be impossible to call someone European if they are not white, it may be possible to call a person American even if they are not white , or African even if they are not Black.

I know what you and others mean and are trying to mean by African (Negroid). But when Africa is being defined, nobody will be refering to this thread and I'm not leaving this thing open to being hijacked by people who will when convinient as should be obvious from GSA's post above.


Africans of the blood? Africans of the Soil, Africans of the blood and soil? LOL!
See what I mean :eek:

nero africanus
Mar 29, 2008, 11:56 PM
dear katampe ,

thank you for your ruminations of an apologist which you pass for argument , now let us see .



They are Deep Thought, Nero , and of recent Rose. What they pass as a line of reasoning are grandiose exaggerations that can be likened to Obama's pastor paranoid sentiments. In passing off these kind of thesis, they tend to neglect the fact that people , good people have brought change to the world. White men when it became necessary and with more enlightenment stopped slavery and fought for it in concert with black folks that championed it.

slavery was stopped by the british - fact

the british stopped slavery to contain the economic growth of the united states which it had lost as a colony. the growth of the united states was hinged on the slaves. - why

the vast population of india and its poverty provided a situation for the importation of indentured labourers from an area completely controlled by the british. with the stop in trade of humans from africa , the british colonies met their labour demands from the indentured labour from india . indentured labour is almost the same thing as slavery . - how

what was that about white men and enlightenment again please, katampe?





But our later day black philosophers pontificating about a new world and a new way of seeing things are blind to these truths. Technology wise we know that if the white man wanted to continue the trade and subjugated very race going forward they could have. Which technology have we developed that compares favourably with theirs , none .


i dont seem to be following the argument here or indeed its relevance to the argument being put forward by eja.

indeed wont it be correct to say that , the lack of the existence of comparable technology is only as a result of the lack of an afrocentric ideology in africa ?



But here is where debate is crucial - civilized societies have moved forward on the art of debate. At each stage of civilization , questioning themselves, are they really right to do certain things of adopt certain ways of life. The argument back and forth, and appeal to the better angels in men has helped raise the quality of debate in every generation.

katampe , i ask you what is civilisation ? i dare you to define civilisation

there is no such thing as civilisation, what people like you propound as civilisation is the packaging of the the culture of a particlar group and its projection in a particlar moment in time. this is nothing but cultural bigotry. french civilisation is nothing but the projection of french values and culture , arab/islamic civilsation is the the projecting of islamic/arabic culture and norms. advancement in science remains just that , advancements in science and not civilisation . what today is called western civlisation is nothing but the rabid projection of western norms and values which manifests itself today in cultural imperialism.
advancements in science has always come as a result of inherent need and not as a result of self questioning and examination as you would have us believe



When I look around Africa, especially Nigeria the quality of discussion is very low - I will say razz. We fixate too much on emotional topics and hardly rise above our feelings to discuss bitter truths that sometimes we wished we wouldn't hear. But like ostriches we bury our heads in the sand.

There is so much pseudo scholarship passing as deep thinking. The hit and run type of thesis that would have some chanting , hosannah and halleluyah. Eja's thesis without facts and reasoning is one of those.

)

may i ask what is the bench mark of measuring the quality of discussion , or is your post just mirroring that colonial mentality that derives itself from a defective and inadequate education most of us had , education designed by the west to create a subservient unquestioning africa . maybe you miss the point maybe the neeed for an afrocentric ideology is potent and very urgent as can be seen from your post.

is there a chance that you measure all things african through a western prism expecting them to conform to some western expectation of what africa should be. maybe you live in denial which does not recognise that africa will always be africa and the west the west .

maybe you rather we all acted like the people in the streets of the city where you live maybe you believe the hype of the west .

has it occured to you that the so called advancements in science that threatens to consume the earths finite resources may not actually be in the best interests of humanity. what you call being emotional , on what basis did you come to this conclusion , what you were taught in the west?

area boy
Mar 30, 2008, 12:27 AM
DeepThought, I was afraid of this (more diversion), but please find replies below



Areaboy

Who is the person of colour and how do you know him/her?. You know people "pass" don't you? . There are people who are not "pure" Europeans or White who are nevertheless considered Europeans. How do you identify a person who is passing?

A person of colour to me is someone who is plainly not 'white' i.e, Asians, Orientals, Africans, Arabs, etc. There may be some exceptions that 'pass' as you call it, but the majority will fit into a specific classification.


What of a person of mixed parentage in Europe who carries an European passport?
What would you call the child of a White German or English male and say an Tunisian female e.t.c?

This is beside the point, the fact that a parent is European means the child will exhibit some of that trait and is more likely to 'pass' as one or the other. Interestingly, most people of mixed (white and black) parentsage tend to be referred to as blacks no matter how fair of complexion they are.



1.What about the Gypsies?
2. The people on the borders of Eeastern Europe and Asia?
3. The Cossacks?
4. The Azerbejanians?
5. The Turks?
6. The Slavians?
7. The various peoples bordering Europe and Russian?

Are the above Europeans or not?
If you say yes, you will be suprised how many people will disagree with you
Many Whites will tell you they are not but can I, a typical Naija tell them apart? Will my long dead grandmother consider them to be European or not?. I mean, Hitler , with a lot of collaboration from people across Europe tried to cleanse these type of people out of his perfect Europe

That you or your grandmother cannot differentiate a Turk from a German just means you may not have had as much contact to discern. Some people still cannot differentiate a Japanese man from a Chinese or Korean even after he's spoken his language which should aid identification.



To make it even more confusing, you know that the EU refuses to accept Turkey don't you?

Yes, and I tend to agree.




Finally:
What may be true in the case of Europe and even in the Middle East is not necessarily true universally.
Meaning while it may be impossible to call someone European if they are not white, it may be possible to call a person American even if they are not white , or African even if they are not Black.


Yes but European has been used rightly or wrongly to mean caucasian, while American is used in a geographical sense or nationality.


EJA and SLB, oya get it on now!

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 30, 2008, 12:31 AM
Katampe, you start off your response with what can only be described as the equivalent of chest-beating. You even state early on that
I wish I could argue with Eja on this score, but he has no argument built for someone to debunk, as such it makes it a futile exercise.

Then you go on to engage in this futile exercise anyway....:biggrin:.

I also noticed that you have attempted to co-opt SLB into your school of "don't argue, dismiss."

Why bother?

Why did you feel the need to kick up as much rhetorical dry dust as you could? Could it be that this is your way of hiding the fact that you have nothing but minor semantic niggling to base your "futile argument" on?

You ask why I used the word "reasoning" because, according to you, no reasoning had as of yet occurred. But, surely you know that everything (including reasoning) has a beginning?

Meaning that, the beginning is an indelible part of everything.

I said, and you quoted (but chose to misunderstand) :
in the context of the reasoning Which meant that the postulates I was about to set out formed a part of what I would be basing my argument upon as the reasoning proceeded.

Previously, you had even objected to my use of the word "postulate"....:sad:.

Then :


To illustrate my point (argument) I wish to show a series of statements that are not arguments:

1.01: Every sentient being has a perspective. A perspective, in the context of this reasoning, is described as the coordinates within a mind from which the nature of awareness is determined as its owner relates objectively and subjectively to phenomena that occur in its immediate environment (and in the larger world around it).

take the word reasoning highlighted - what reasoning has taken place when he has only told us every sentient being has a perceptive. Has he provided any support why he thinks that is the case in this fashion, or he assumes we all subscribe to this notion ?

what he has done is describe a situation , and put forward a definition and thrown terms like objectivity and subjectivity around. How many subscribe to this definition, and why should we accept the definition. Further , who determines objectivity and subjectivity? And within what frame or paradigm do we accept values of propositions?

In reasoning, there are three valuable components : what, how and why . Eja has come up with what , but the how and why is conspicuously missing. It is the reason why we have been slaves to speech without decoding and reading through texts to critically understand the value.

:icon_ques :icon_ques :icon_ques.

To start of, you also took exception to the statement that every living being has a perspective. You object to my use of terms like "subjectivity" and "objectivity". You claim that I have not proved what I stated.....excuse me, are you saying that I have to prove that every living being has a perspective? That every living being has a mode of interpreting what it is aware of? Are you conscious of what you are saying?

Well, it is my subjective view that you are not (or should that have been "objective view"? please correct...:D).

If I was to start describing as you request the "why and how" of the nature of awareness, where would I start and where would I stop? Pardon me for giving those who would read what I write the respect of thinking that they would recognise what even common flies know.

And yes, I have stated without proof that common flies have a perspective and that they are aware of the fact that other beings besides themselves also have the ability to interpret occurrences.

Now, if you wish to argue the nature of consciousness, we may do so. But that will have to be at a different location.

In my opinion, the above quote represents a better example of what you described as
so much pseudo scholarship passing as deep thinking.

And basically, when we remove the condescending fluff, the only things you wrote that actually addressed the subject at hand is as follows:


He pushes that Africans should subscribe to a religion , which I will call a point of view that sees its interests as the most important


No. I did no such thing as push that Africans "subscribe to a religion". I expressed an opinion of what religion was and how it functioned. I likened religion to ideology and I described the needs it met. That being said, I find your statement to be interesting; if you don't mind, please quote of the passage(s) that led you to this conclusion.


Technology wise we know that if the white man wanted to continue the trade and subjugated very race going forward they could have. Which technology have we developed that compares favourably with theirs , none .


Your assertion here that the good graces of the 'white' man was the main agent behind the ending of the so called slave trade betrays a shocking ignorance of history.

You are revealed by this as another one of those voluntarily hoodwinked Africans who has bought into the obscuration of a consistent African resistance (on the continent and abroad) to the captivity and forced labour that was described as "new world slavery". You have therefore ignored the fact that the Atlantic trade and enforced bondage ended because it was no longer cost-effective to maintain and, in talking up the good graces of the captor class, you have ignored the need that arose, after mass industrialisation, for the existence of a large class of waged consumers.

In other words, the most powerful (and influential) supporters of the abolition of slavery in the western hemisphere were not do-gooders but magnates who wanted labourers paid a wage so those labourers could purchase the products of their industries.

Read beyond the outpourings of right-wing propagandists and you might start to see what I am talking about. If you wish, I will recommend some books for you...just ask....:wink:.


Frankly, I don't know what he means when he talks about species what exactly is this Eja, tell the folks here. When you say the alternatives to Afrocentric view can be divided into two - the ideal , and the real. You mean in the world there are three views. The ideal, the real, and the Afrocentric.


Here we see the argument that relies on petty semantics. The dictionary meaning of species, as used in this argument, since you claim not to know it, is as follows : "A class of individuals having common attributes and designated by a common name."

The common name I used here was "alternatives to the Afrocentric view" and the class of individuals covered by that common name was two : "ideal" and "real".

In the post you referred to, I clearly defined what each member of the class represented. Where from that you got the idea that I said the world consists of three views is something I do not know.

Here again is what I said (note the bolded parts because I suspect that it was your eagerness to prove how I am just another fake Nigerian "intellectual" that caused the points covered to escape your attention the first time...)


3.012: The ideal view is the humanity-centred view and, when we are governed by this way of perceiving, we are compelled to act in ways that affirm our knowledge that all humans are the same and should be given the same opportunities in all realms of human existence/organisation.

3.013: It is difficult to see any reason why this view should not immediately prevail however, we need not be told that at this moment in human time, the ideal view prevails no where on Earth. What we have as a reality is the existence of perspectives that are basically fed by the impulse to establish, on as wide a global scale as possible, a dispensation that is most favourable to the members of whatever ethnicity one belongs to.


I was speaking from the point of a view of an African and I said: there are two ways we can look at the world and that from those two ways, the ideal was preferable, but since it presently existed nowhere, we would be best advised to remain cognisant of how best to proceed in a world where every grouping was out for itself.

We, of course are for everybody. We have been for a while and, every now and then, it is good to ask, as Dr Phil would say, "How has that been working out for you?"


What I find interesting is the highlighted that ethnic allegiance feeds the impulse to establish an atmosphere that is favourable to one ethnic group. In accepting this proposition we might be disowning the concept of class strata that exists in the society. Take the case of US politics for example, upwardly mobile white men , or well educated white men tend to vote for Obama, while blue collar workers tend to vote for Clinton.

The revelation her is that base instincts exist more when there is lack of understanding and knowledge , and possibly no shared values. Like I mentioned somewhere when I mentioned the dating amongst men and women, cultural asset plays a factor in how perception works.

And in cultural asset, I am talking about behaviour in the work place, social carriage, how you carry yourself , how you speak , write , knowledge about fashion, interests in art , and so forth.


Spoken like one with his head way up in the clouds.

I wonder, if the countries/nations of this planet were to be divided into 'classes', at what level would do you think African countries be?

There was a time when the greatest problem with your type of reasoning had been this propensity for mistaking your own rare prosperity for the prosperity of the collective you belong to. I said "had been" because what we now seen clearly, thanks to your poster boy Obama, is how people like you have actually rejected the idea that you belong to a distinct collective.

This is why to you, class is now seen as greater determinant than 'race'.

But consider this, if in answering the question asked above, you relied on developmental indices produced by the likes of the UN, I am sure that you would easily recognise that Africans countries/nations are presently at the lowest rung. Since these countries are distinguishable by 'race' to any eye that is not wearing rainbow coloured feel-good spectacles, it must be plain to see that on a global scale, class and race are indistinguishable.

But then of course, some have said that the fault for being where they presently are lies totally with this global underclass. I don't know if you are one of those who believe this...I try to avoid jumping to conclusions about what a person means...

I will point out however that if you are one of these people, you should recognise that by introducing genetics as a main cause of retrogression, you are also condemning not only yourself but also your descendants (i.e. it can only be a matter of time before you -or they- eventually manifest the same symptoms as the rest of your naturally benighted people....:eek:.).

Abi I lie?

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 30, 2008, 12:40 AM
Haaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

abeg I need serious Paracetamol chei :)

Eja Baba o! hope sey u no dey sip some stuffs b4 u tender ya debate cos the English wey me dey see for ya be like Osu Ofia own. :D :D :D

I dey come make I sleep small for office courtesy of una big big english :)

Elgaxton, na mopol wey mad dog bite na im go hammer dat yah mout wey you take yab me so.


You call me "Osu Ofia"? Wait for me....:evil:.

katampe
Mar 30, 2008, 12:57 AM
dear Nero, this is your bit :


slavery was stopped by the british - fact

the british stopped slavery to contain the economic growth of the united states which it had lost as a colony. the growth of the united states was hinged on the slaves. - why

the vast population of india and its poverty provided a situation for the importation of indentured labourers from an area completely controlled by the british. with the stop in trade of humans from africa , the british colonies met their labour demands from the indentured labour from india . indentured labour is almost the same thing as slavery . - how

When did slavery end? 1863

What has happened since then? We have technological revolutions that has come from scientific thinking.These include innovations that have emerged from the scientific frame of reference and problem solving. They are the telephones, automobiles, antibiotics, and computers.

Were these innovations out of creative enterprise, way of thinking or slave labour?

They were out of the creative enterprise from daunting odds in the absence of easy life that slave labour had could have promoted. The founding of property rights and the competition amongst individuals facing life and death situations, and the incentive that success promoted from the shackles of poverty and damnation of lowly birth promoted more thought.


take the case of problems that led to the founding of antibiotics, the creative instincts that unleashed creation. Implication is when don’t think within accepted paradigms (frame or normal frame of reference) individuals come up with solutions that save humanity and reshape how we view the world. No wonder they are called geniuses.

why slavery ended :

And on Britain , slavery ended as industrial capitalism began. It is unlike you insinuated where everyone got together and said , " let us stop slavery because America is gaining from it. " So much for the thinking that went into that afro perspective there.

For crying out loud, how huge is Britain?

America and Canada are huge lands that have large agricultural lands . Without slavery how did you think they could have mined those lands. You make it seem that slavery was never practiced in Africa.

Even till date , there is slavery in Africa. Is it the white folks that are importing house helps that are subjected into horrendous conditions in Europe and America?

DeepThought
Mar 30, 2008, 01:08 AM
Areaboy,
Thanks


Yes but European has been used rightly or wrongly to mean caucasian, while American is used in a geographical sense.

And I think "African" can be and is used more in the American sense than the European one. To avoid any misunderstanding, I prefer to be more specific. I prefer Black to Negro

Eja/Nero,

I think you are according this Katampe fellow more attention than necessary, he just wants to be noticed and trying hard just to make a nuisance of himself.

O.K, Katampe, we've noticed you now, happy now?

katampe
Mar 30, 2008, 01:09 AM
Thanks for your time Deep Thought, quite deep indeed !

Austin
Mar 30, 2008, 03:20 AM
lets wait and see if after the debate the emphatical secret will be revealed on achieving dis:

- technological advancement
-scientical advancement
-advancement in economy
-advancement of philosophy of ethic
-advancement of writers/readers culture
last but not the least if GARRI go dey for table

-if after dis debate we still could not adequately see debate-conditioned correlations and relations to the above points then i'll reduce dis debate to one of african academical brain jogging exercise..meaningless -mind you internet is full of books about afrocentrism, too many! there's nothing new about it..absolute nothing original..!

..do not get me wrong -am practical and logical, i never waste my time on artificial things...if

the debate will bring new thoughts..am all for it, but now what i observe is just regurgitation

of old thoughts..lets hope dat the debate will show new ways to usher in in african:

-good leadership
-good roads
-life and property security
-good health care
- portable borne water
-modern sewage-system
- stable electricity
-habitable modern cities
-sufficient jobs and food..etc

ps: unedited, randomized sideline statements..:D

Even if this debate does not eventually achieve anything, at least it has forced Denker to abandon his notorious one-liner. That to some of us is a big achievement.:D:D:D:D

wonderer
Mar 30, 2008, 05:56 AM
Eja:
I am sorry it took me longer than I thought to respond to your post #79.:redface:

I will go with the definition of "Arab" as one who speaks Arabic and what it entails of having common cultural bonds. This notion might not be extended universally but in fact it is what is in common between the Arab countries.

By this definition, Being "Arab" and being "African" are not mutually exclusive.

If you think about it, by your definition and excluding North Africa, you are excluding from Africa more than 200 million North-Africans and more than 28% of the total area of the continent.

Going by "Phenotype" and people-who-look-like-me will be the only ones to be defined as "African" is dangerous to Africa. If the first step will be to exclude more than one-fifth of the population and one-fourth of the total area. It won't be long the same logic will be used, maybe not by you, to limit being African to a specific skin-tone (and those who are a bit darker or a bit fairer will be excluded) or even a specific facial characteristic.

I agree with Toku.A@#72, DeepThought @#69,93,97 and Khalil @#84,90, who expressed more eloquently than I did, that Africa is multi-racial and multi-cultural. I think this diversity is one of the most beautiful aspects of the continent.



Wonderer, who is still wearing her feel-good spectacles :cool:

nero africanus
Mar 30, 2008, 12:18 PM
aside from the polemics for a moment , katampe , now let us see


dear Nero, this is your bit :



When did slavery end? 1863

no katampe , slavery has not ended yet , it still exists in mauritainia , but the british through their control of the seas enacted a law to end slavery in 1836 , then they allowed naval squadrons based at fernando po off the coast of port harcourt to patrol the coast of africa to catch slavers, freed slaves were dropped off at sierra leone , this was how ajayi crowther was freed.



What has happened since then? We have technological revolutions that has come from scientific thinking.These include innovations that have emerged from the scientific frame of reference and problem solving. They are the telephones, automobiles, antibiotics, and computers.

Were these innovations out of creative enterprise, way of thinking or slave labour?



well i will have you know that some of the industrial achievements were as a result of the accumulation of capital which enabled substantial investments in machines. the acumulation of capital was carried out on the back of the slaves .




They were out of the creative enterprise from daunting odds in the absence of easy life that slave labour had could have promoted. The founding of property rights and the competition amongst individuals facing life and death situations, and the incentive that success promoted from the shackles of poverty and damnation of lowly birth promoted more thought.


take the case of problems that led to the founding of antibiotics, the creative instincts that unleashed creation. Implication is when don’t think within accepted paradigms (frame or normal frame of reference) individuals come up with solutions that save humanity and reshape how we view the world. No wonder they are called geniuses.



a people are only what there leaders make of them , this was further proved in the events of old europe where from piracy to slavery their leadership kings and queens were solidly behind them , which is less than can be said of the leaders of africa past and present .

for instance it is a well known fact that need is the harbinger of development , but this creativity cannot come without the support of the leadership . an example is the biafran war where the leadership supported technological breakthrough as aresult of need. compare nigeria of today there exists need but no frame work of support of any sort , to make this happen




why slavery ended :

And on Britain , slavery ended as industrial capitalism began. It is unlike you insinuated where everyone got together and said , " let us stop slavery because America is gaining from it. " So much for the thinking that went into that afro perspective there.


katampe , you need to read some books about slavery to understand some of the issues that informed decisions of the time. england still needed slaves at the time it was abolishing slavery , however it met this need with indentured servants from india. this is the reason why certain caribbean countries like trinidad and tobago , st lucia and barbados have people of indian origin as half of their population. however they controlled this source of labour. england had fought series of wars with the us including the war of 1812 that the white house was burned down




For crying out loud, how huge is Britain?

quite huge at the time , katampe , the potency of every nation lies in its population and at the time the population of the US was half that of UK



America and Canada are huge lands that have large agricultural lands . Without slavery how did you think they could have mined those lands. You make it seem that slavery was never practiced in Africa.

Even till date , there is slavery in Africa. Is it the white folks that are importing house helps that are subjected into horrendous conditions in Europe and America?

just stay away from the polemics and apologetics , katampe , you are doing a very terrible job.
those in bold represent the most disgusting thing i had ever read from an african in ages or indeed on the NVS you are now justifying the existence of slavery as a necessary tool for development , what was wrong with those migrants,slavers and stealers of peoples land tilling the land by themselves or indeed employing people to do it. in most african societies , slavery was conceived on a commercial scale after the west introduced it , this is to say that in igbo land for instance before 1500 , slavery was used purely as a punitive measure against offenders .indeed more often that not what was used was exile ( it is practiced even today).

the concept of house helps is not slavery depending on the form you are talking about , the form i am talking about is the one that takes a child from a family where they live a life of toil, tilling the land and gives the child an easier life , doing domestic chores , in return for good healthy food, good clothing , shelter , healthcare and education.

in addition, to all these it gives the child exposure , and normally gives him a quality of life that he would not have had in the village.
i m not denying that just like in everything there may be abuses

but i put it to you that between a life of poor food , no healthcare or poor shelter ,poor or no education and a hard life of tilling the soil a child is better off doing domestic chores in return for healthcare, good food , shelter , clothing and and education

Palamedes
Mar 30, 2008, 01:24 PM
Indeed as it has already been mentioned, anyone can use "existential qualifier" (Basically referring to the presence of at least one exception that contradicts) to weaken an argument. Indeed, such argument will go down well with certain audience but I hope not with the more discerning ones.

Without humans, there is no Africans, Asians or Americans (To be more precise, the North Americans but excluding the Canadians). Granted, humans cannot be devoiced from the definition of what "African" means. This clarity in lacking in a few arguments that others have presented elsewhere. When we mean a race, we are talking about humans and not continents.

The existence of the continents [of Asia, N. America, S. America, Africa, Oceanic, and Europe] is not dependent on humans, nor does a continent necessary define the race of the inhabitants. Further, the race of the inhabitants does not necessarily define the continent. However, the continent can lend it's name to a race and vice versa. A religion can also lend it's name to a race as with "Jew." Nevertheless, debaters need to be clear as to which one [race, continent, religion or combinations of the following] they mean. This will decrease the level of confusion others have to handle.

The continents will continue to exist whether there are humans on earth of not. Also, supposing the continent of Africa were to submerge under sea and it's peoples were then moved to Australia, Americans etc., does this mean the end of the African or the African race as we know it? Surely not. African-American and [European] Australians are proofs that one can still belong to one's race in spite of [...]

Others have argued that "Africans" be defined by the colour of their skin. The colour of one's skin is only a property of the person like "Height", "Eyes colour" "Hair" etc., (Just mussing at this point: I think that defining African by "type of Hair" would make more sense than by "skin colour"). Beside, one is left to guess what "black" really mean; we are not given any definition, perhaps due to the realization that such attempt would be more challenging than defining "African."

A debate does not set out to unify perspectives nor seek uniformity in definitions. Indeed sometimes generic understanding may not be sufficient but it is adequate to move the debate on. Also an acceptance by either party to disagree is itself an agreement which can help propel the debate forward.

As I said at Palamedes@#29, Eja's proposal is to wide and varied. Therefore to Big-K, SLB, I would like to propose an additional rule to the existing "Crucible" rules:

Proposed Crucible Rule:
"That proposal must not exceed 500 words."

I hope that the debate is not abandoned as was the case with Fjord's proposal (I think it was due to an inability to draft the proposal). It would be a shame if we are unable to get a debate started because we are unable to draft a simple thing as a proposal. We would lose our credibility if we fail --given that we often accuse our leaders of incompetence on NVS.

Enforcer
Mar 30, 2008, 02:41 PM
As I said at Palamedes@#29, Eja's proposal is to wide and varied. Therefore to Big-K, SLB, I would like to propose an additional rule to the existing “Crucible” rules:

Proposed Crucible Rule:
"That proposal must not exceed 500 words."

I hope that the debate is not abandoned as was the case with Fjord's proposal (I think it was due to an inability to draft the proposal). It would be a shame if we are unable to get a debate started because we are unable to draft a simple thing as a proposal. We would lose our credibility if we fail --given that we often accuse our leaders of incompetence on NVS.


Palamedes

I beg to disagree with your assertion that a debate cannot start until you define the rules. The debate in this circumstance started the moment the participants attempted to lay out the procedures. One way to look at it is to see it as the weigh-in eyeballing between two heavy-weight boxers. It may turn out to be far more interesting than the match itself.

Our leaders that you referred to have the advantage of working under exhaustively debated constitutional provisions that guard their actions. The participants in this NVS debate do not have that privilege.

Come on, throw in your punches and not your towel, I am waiting!

Multioption
Mar 30, 2008, 04:44 PM
2.033: That in its place, we have put what we currently describe as "scientific facts"; the majority of which were/are derived from theories (i.e. ways of thought that are also largely dependant on 'faith' - "a belief in things not seen").Not sure I understand what you mean by the statement in bold, but I cannot pass without saying that: scientific facts are derived, not from theories, but from a set of observations.

A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers.

I am in agreement with Stephen Hawking's posit in his book, "A Brief History of Time." Below is an excerpt from the book.

"A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations." - Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)

Palamedes
Mar 30, 2008, 06:15 PM
Enforcer@#109

I beg to disagree with your assertion that a debate cannot start until you define the rules.
Enforcer, could you point out the part of my commentary where I made this point? Why are some commentators in the annoying habit of misquoting others? I made a new proposal for the NVS 'Ogas' to consider for future debates; it is up to them whether they accept or reject it. Further, perhaps you are not aware that there are existing rules for debating on the “Crucible” See http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/board/crucible/43940-welcome-crucible.html.

The point I was making about our leaders is that they have more difficult tasks of managing the economy in comparison to the drafting of a mere proposal for debate here. And that if we can't even do this, we lose the moral high ground from which we criticize them. But lets us not derail the issue again—We have already had too many of it.

Speaking generally, it seems to me that some people come here to show off the extends of their academic knowledge on issues unrelated or irrelevant to the “scope of discussion.” And then, there are others who don't want us to debate “Afrocentricism” at all unless the outcome would provide basic amenities for all Nigerians. Maybe we should take this one step further and ban all debates in the UN, AU and even in the Nigeria Houses of legislators until basic amenities are made available to everyone. The world is big enough for people to do millions of things concurrently, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 30, 2008, 08:09 PM
Eja:

Going by "Phenotype" and people-who-look-like-me will be the only ones to be defined as "African" is dangerous to Africa. If the first step will be to exclude more than one-fifth of the population and one-fourth of the total area. It won't be long the same logic will be used, maybe not by you, to limit being African to a specific skin-tone (and those who are a bit darker or a bit fairer will be excluded) or even a specific facial characteristic.



Wonderer, rather than having a situation where people start defining Africans by how dark they are, I think there is more of a chance that the use of the label Black would be restricted to people who are actually closer to that shade than say someone who looks like Barack Obama.


By this definition, Being "Arab" and being "African" are not mutually exclusive.

In an ideal world, yes.

But, I would like to rephrase a question I asked earlier and, I would appreciate an answer from you : Are you aware of instances when descendants of Boers and Tunisian Arabs (for example) born in the USA have been referred to as an African Americans?

And some bonus questions....:wink: :
If a Boer whose ancestors came into Africa with Jan Van Riebeeck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Riebeeck) moved into the EU, would he be called an African immigrant?
If a Libyan Arab moves to Saudi Arabia to work, is he described as an African migrant worker?

Also, why is the country led by Colonel Gaddhafi called The Libyan Arab Jamaahriya?

I ask all this because when it comes to matters like this, I like to base my opinions on how people act. Not on what they say when they are after something and, not on what my optimistic soul would like to believe.

Now, to further buttress my point that the Arab inhabitants of North Africans recognise themselves to be Arabs, I will like to refer you to the name Mahgreb. This, as you know, is the generic name for a portion of North Africa (i.e. from Tunisia to Morocco).

The people call themselves Mahgrebi - which is pronounced Magh-erebi.

This name serves the same purpose as similar words like Ma-shona, Ma-ndinka, Ama-zulu, etc.

It denotes the ancestry of the people it is attached to.

I am sure that you know Arabs trace their ancestry to a descendant of Abraham/Ibrahim called Ereb.

There is a temptation, I am sure, to use a coincidence like this as evidence of a common heritage, however, there is a crucial difference between being influenced by a culture and, coming directly from the culture.

For example, the Hebrew use of the Bar prefix to denote ancestry is also similar to the African use of a similar prefix.

While the Hebrew would use Bar Judah to describe a son of Judah, Africans use Ba and come with names like Bakongo (person of Kongo), Bakuba, Baluba, etc.

In short, all that is indicated by these similarities is the fact that the cultures of those who descended from Abraham were influenced by African cultures. One who wishes this similarity to serve as further evidence that Arabs are Africans must also be prepared to admit that Jews are Africans.

By so doing, we extend Africa into Israel and, once we are there, why not go further into Jordan, Lebanon, and maybe even Iraq?

:idea:.

You know, Wonderer, you may be on to something......:smile:.

Enforcer
Mar 30, 2008, 08:25 PM
Enforcer@#109

Enforcer, could you point out the part of my commentary where I made this point? Why are some commentators in the annoying habit of misquoting others? I made a new proposal for the NVS 'Ogas' to consider for future debates; it is up to them whether they accept or reject it. Further, perhaps you are not aware that there are existing rules for debating on the “Crucible” See http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/board/crucible/43940-welcome-crucible.html.

The point I was making about our leaders is that they have more difficult tasks of managing the economy in comparison to the drafting of a mere proposal for debate here. And that if we can't even do this, we lose the moral high ground from which we criticize them. But lets us not derail the issue again—We have already had too many of it.

Speaking generally, it seems to me that some people come here to show off the extends of their academic knowledge on issues unrelated or irrelevant to the “scope of discussion.” And then, there are others who don't want us to debate “Afrocentricism” at all unless the outcome would provide basic amenities for all Nigerians. Maybe we should take this one step further and ban all debates in the UN, AU and even in the Nigeria Houses of legislators until basic amenities are made available to everyone. The world is big enough for people to do millions of things concurrently, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Palamedes

I interpreted your call for proposal for future debates wrongly. Apologies.

I hope I haven't sidetracked you. If I have, please get back on track soonest because villagers are waiting.:smile:

I agree with you on the unnecessary (and often futile) display of academic knowledge by some people. I do not bother reading such posts mainly because 99.99% of the time they have nothing to offer.

If you are really determined, no one can stop you from debating “Afrocentricism”. For me, such obstacle acts as a stimulus.

Cheers.

wonderer
Mar 31, 2008, 03:13 AM
Eja,


I would like to rephrase a question I asked earlier and, I would appreciate an answer from you : Are you aware of instances when descendants of Boers and Tunisian Arabs (for example) born in the USA have been referred to as an African Americans?

You can read here (http://edition.cnn.com/US/9707/16/racial.suit/) for example.
But I repeat what I said before: I personally think that using how people are referred to in the USA would be adopting an "Americancentric" world-view.

I will even have a try at the bonus questions: :wink:


If a Boer whose ancestors came into Africa with Jan Van Riebeeck moved into the EU, would he be called an African immigrant?

Again how things are perceived in America or Europe doesn't make it universally true. Unless you are submitting to either an Americancentric or Eurocentric perspective.



If a Libyan Arab moves to Saudi Arabia to work, is he described as an African migrant worker?
I don't think it is a likely situation, you know that Saudi Arabia and Libya are both migrant workers recipient countries.



Also, why is the country led by Colonel Gaddhafi called The Libyan Arab Jamaahriya?
Actually this is not accurate.
Libya has the long official name of: The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
But I get what you say and I will contribute to your example, Egypt has the official name of: The Arab Republic of Egypt

Why? because adding "African" to the country name will be redundant , it is obvious that these countries are in Africa, thus there is no need to repeat it in the country name.

Other than "The Central African Republic", which has a name related to its location in the continent, let me ask you if there is any African country that has "African" as part of its official name?

-----------



we extend Africa into Israel and, once we are there, why not go further into Jordan, Lebanon, and maybe even Iraq?

No thanks :) I am not interested in extending Africa, more importantly I don't approve excluding parts of it.




Now, to further buttress my point that the Arab inhabitants of North Africans recognise themselves to be Arabs, I will like to refer you to the name Mahgreb. This, as you know, is the generic name for a portion of North Africa (i.e. from Tunisia to Morocco).

The people call themselves Mahgrebi - which is pronounced Magh-erebi.

This name serves the same purpose as similar words like Ma-shona, Ma-ndinka, Ama-zulu, etc.

It denotes the ancestry of the people it is attached to.

I am sure that you know Arabs trace their ancestry to a descendant of Abraham/Ibrahim called Ereb.

There is a temptation, I am sure, to use a coincidence like this as evidence of a common heritage, however, there is a crucial difference between being influenced by a culture and, coming directly from the culture.

For example, the Hebrew use of the Bar prefix to denote ancestry is also similar to the African use of a similar prefix.

While the Hebrew would use Bar Judah to describe a son of Judah, Africans use Ba and come with names like Bakongo (person of Kongo), Bakuba, Baluba, etc.

In short, all that is indicated by these similarities is the fact that the cultures of those who descended from Abraham were influenced by African cultures. One who wishes this similarity to serve as further evidence that Arabs are Africans must also be prepared to admit that Jews are Africans.


Please tell me that you don't actually believe in the validity of the argument you presented here. :rolleyes:
Cutting words at will, regardless of their meaning in their original language?!

You know, we used to do this at maybe the 6th grade, when we were starting to learn how fun it is to challenge older students at the 7th and 8th grades. I don't recall where did we learn it from, but we used to go and say:
We bet you don't know what is the longest word in English?:p
And we would be happy if one of those we asked spent time looking up words in the dictionary and came back with words that are 29 or 33 letters long , then we would tell him/her that they are mistaken and the longest word in English is (SMILES) :biggrin:
when they are like :confused1:confused1:confused1
we explain that it can be divided to S-MILES
where S represents a variable
Miles: units of measuring length
so since we can substitute any number for S.
then S-MILES could equal 100 MILES , 1000 MILES , 1000000000 MILES or any number of miles we want, therefore it is the longest word in English :evil: :biggrin:


But I think it might be fun to try to extend the logic you used:

Angola: ANGO-LA
Ango:
is a Japanese term for a three month long period of intense training for students of Zen Buddhism, lasting anywhere from 90 to 100 days (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ango)

LA: Los Angeles, California.

Following the same argument you used:

Maybe ANGO-LA belongs to the Japanese who spent their three months training in Los Angeles. Now we have two options , to include Japan or to exclude Angola. But since you are more interested in excluding parts of Africa then we will exclude Angola. :exclaim:


CONGO: CON-GO
CON:

May refer to : Cornwall, England, via its Chapman code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con)
Go:
A family board game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_%28modern_board_game%29)
Again going by the logic you used: then maybe CON-GO is inhibited by people from Cornwall who are addicted to playing the Go board game. This is why both The Democratic Republic of the Congo and The Republic of the Congo will be excluded. :exclaim::exclaim:



So as you can see, if you extended that logic you used, with a bit of imagination and some free time
then congratulations! you have succeeded in excluding ALL Africa from Africa! :smile:

Wonderer...:cool:

Ishola Taiwo
Mar 31, 2008, 10:05 AM
Eja,



You can read here (http://edition.cnn.com/US/9707/16/racial.suit/) for example.
But I repeat what I said before: I personally think that using how people are referred to in the USA would be adopting an "Americancentric" world-view.

I will even have a try at the bonus questions: :wink:

Again how things are perceived in America or Europe doesn't make it universally true. Unless you are submitting to either an Americancentric or Eurocentric perspective.

I don't think it is a likely situation, you know that Saudi Arabia and Libya are both migrant workers recipient countries.

Actually this is not accurate.
Libya has the long official name of: The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
But I get what you say and I will contribute to your example, Egypt has the official name of: The Arab Republic of Egypt

Why? because adding "African" to the country name will be redundant , it is obvious that these countries are in Africa, thus there is no need to repeat it in the country name.

Other than "The Central African Republic", which has a name related to its location in the continent, let me ask you if there is any African country that has "African" as part of its official name?


Please tell me that you don't actually believe in the validity of the argument you presented here. :rolleyes:
Cutting words at will, regardless of their meaning in their original language?!

You know, we used to do this at maybe the 6th grade, when we were starting to learn how fun it is to challenge older students at the 7th and 8th grades. I don't recall where did we learn it from, but we used to go and say:
We bet you don't know what is the longest word in English?:p
And we would be happy if one of those we asked spent time looking up words in the dictionary and came back with words that are 29 or 33 letters long , then we would tell him/her that they are mistaken and the longest word in English is (SMILES) :biggrin:
when they are like :confused1:confused1:confused1
we explain that it can be divided to S-MILES
where S represents a variable
Miles: units of measuring length
so since we can substitute any number for S.
then S-MILES could equal 100 MILES , 1000 MILES , 1000000000 MILES or any number of miles we want, therefore it is the longest word in English :evil: :biggrin:


But I think it might be fun to try to extend the logic you used:

Angola: ANGO-LA
Ango:

LA: Los Angeles, California.

Following the same argument you used:

Maybe ANGO-LA belongs to the Japanese who spent their three months training in Los Angeles. Now we have two options , to include Japan or to exclude Angola. But since you are more interested in excluding parts of Africa then we will exclude Angola. :exclaim:


CONGO: CON-GO
CON:

Go:
Again going by the logic you used: then maybe CON-GO is inhibited by people from Cornwall who are addicted to playing the Go board game. This is why both The Democratic Republic of the Congo and The Republic of the Congo will be excluded. :exclaim::exclaim:

So as you can see, if you extended that logic you used, with a bit of imagination and some free time
then congratulations! you have succeeded in excluding ALL Africa from Africa! :smile:

Wonderer...:cool:

Wonderer, wow! Sixth grade eh? I envy you. I was actually grown up before I was able to read a book like "The Cultural Unity of Black Africa" by Professor Cheikh Anta Diop.

I am sure that you are familiar with this or else, you wouldn't have said with such certainty that I had been
Cutting words at will, regardless of their meaning in their original language?!

Like I said, I envy you...exposed to that level of knowledge at sixth grade.

Forgive me...:frown:, I was deceived by the good Professor.

Anyway, I am grateful to you for showing me the distinct difference between "the Libyan Arab Jamaahriya" and "The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya".

Very significant.

I am also glad that you brought up the Central African Republic. Yes indeed, I had this idea : would it be allright to recommend that the Central African Republic change its name to "the Central Black Republic"?

In fact, how about if more African countries with Black people in them incorporate the word Black into their names?

Which means that we could have Nigeria renamed the Federal Republic of Blackeria....(keeping in mind that Niger is actually the Latin word for Black)

How does that sound?

Understand, this is purely hypothetical. I am following you here, and according to you, by stating a preference for the use of African instead of Black, I am "cutting people off". Extend that preference, and now, tell me what a name like "Central Black Republic" actually does.

Finally, asking how people are referred to in places like the USA or Europe does not signify an "Americancentric" or "Eurocentric" view. You might as well say that because I try to spell English words the way the English spell them, I am Anglocentric.

You saying this shows that you are yet to grasp the full scope of what is involved when we talk about being African centred.

Tola Odejayi
Apr 1, 2008, 03:24 AM
Eja,

Sorry for the late response. My original quotes are in green; your responses are in blue; and my latest responses are inline in black.



I must make the point that we do not usually use one single ideology in processing information and directing our thoughts, words and actions. A Yoruba Muslim, for example may see the world through a Yoruba prism one day, and a Muslim prism the next.

1.01 Agreed. But what I am proposing is for the universal adoption of a third and overriding prism. Ideally, we should see ourselves as firstly African and then Yoruba or, as firstly African and then a Muslim. Also, at all times, where there is a conflict between the two identities, the identity that perceives through the African prism should win.

I question whether it is possible for someone to feel a stronger affiliation to an identity which is shared by such a large number of people that they have relatively little in common than an identity which is only shared by people with the same language. I also question the point in proposing an idea that is likely to founder because of the difficulty in implementing it for this reason.



While early religious ideologies may have arisen within particular ethnicities, there are today many religious ideologies which have been adopted by many different ethnicities. This is so much the case that in many cases, these multi-ethnic religious ideologies have as much importance (if not more) than the values of the ethnic group, especially because there is a fusion between the values of the ideology and the values of the ethnic group. So I cannot agree that in these cases that the society is driven primarily by ethnicity.

2.01 What you are omitting is the fact that the original narrative theme of these religions, even though they now boast multi-ethnic congregations, have hardly changed from when they were first conceived. The fact that Africans had to establish their own denominations/sects before they could give their worship flavours from their own cultural backgrounds goes a long way to proving the insularity of these religions.

I'm unsure exactly what you mean here by 'narrative theme', so I will decline to respond on this point. In any case, this was just raised as a side issue, so I won't pursue it any further.



First of all, the concept of an 'African' ideology is too large and vague for the individual African to relate to. How do you formulate a common African ideology from the thousands of different ethnic groups in the continent? A starting point for such an ideology might be that it supports any measure that is pro-Africa - but is this enough to base an ideology that must govern the many thoughts, words and actions of the Yoruba man in Nigeria or the Dinka man in the Sudan? I believe that he is more likely to be allied to his ethnic group's values which is closer to him and which he has known all his life than some high-level ideology that just sprang up from nowhere recently.

3.01 The premise of the ongoing Nigerian project relies on the expectation that at some time in the future, the Yoruba man will come to view the Kanuri man as a fellow national. That in time, they will develop a mutual regard for each other a compatriots. I put it to you that the differences you perceive between the values of the Yoruba man and the Dinka man are roughly of the same magnitude as that which presently exists between the Yoruba and the Kanuri. In spite of everything, we have come some ways in Nigeria in the years since our various communities were welded together. We would have come a lot further were it not for the fact that those of our so-called 'founding fathers' who had the chance, always lost their nerve (to put it kindly) and, more often than not, took the easy option of playing petty ethnic champion(s) rather than creator(s) of a new nation.

When you say

"the Yoruba man will come to view the Kanuri man as a fellow national."

are you saying that sometime in the future, the Yoruba man will regard the Kanuri man with as much affinity as he will regard his fellow Yoruba man? If so, I think you underestimate the strength of ethnic feeling amongst citizens of a multi-ethnic nation. I think that it is possible that the ethnic groups in a nation will come to tolerate each other, or even develop an intra-national affinity, but such an affinity will always be weaker than the affinity that the members of an ethnic group have for each other.

Look at the UK, for example - the Scots and English have lived together for hundreds of years; they share the same language and religion (although not the same denomination). They are relatively well off, so they are not as easy to polarise. Yet they still maintain stronger affinities to their groups than they do to the concept of Britishness. So not only do I not believe that such an affinity will develop between people of different ethnicities, I also believe (as I have already stated) that it is highly unlikely to develop between peoples who not only do not have a shared cultural history but who do not have a shared national history.



Secondly, I question whether such high-level ideologies have any real meaning for the people in particular regions. You speak of Eurocentrism and Arabocentrism - but if we look at the many conflicts and animosities that exist within Europe and the Arab world, this must surely contradict this view of pan-regional ideology. Indeed, I should ask you - what exactly is Eurocentrism? Is it possible that you are taking incidences of where one or several European nations act in concert and assuming that there is a solidarity between all European nations? You should know that most nations interests are different, so sometimes they will act in concert (and give the impression of regional solidarity), but many times they will act in opposition. I cannot see the point in pushing for Africa to adopt such a model - indeed, I could accuse you of being Euro- or Arabo- centric insofar that you want Africa to copy these regions in adopting a pan-regional ideology.

4.01 I will answer you by challenging you to find me one instance in 500 years of history where one set of Europeans has gone to war with another set of Europeans for the benefit of Africans or, in defence of the rights of Africans.

4.02 You may also wish to examine the history of Arabs for the same occurrences. Compare the number you will arrive at (0) with the amount of wars/conflicts Africans have fought with each other for the benefit of Europeans and Arabs. Keep in mind also the number of wars and conflicts that are going on right now among Africans who are fighting each for the benefit of the commercial interests of non-Africans.

4.03 The number you arrived at (0) is all the description you need for any question that seeks to discover how Euro- or Arabo- centrism primarily manifests. In short, they may fight each other over the spoils but, they will never fight in defence of what they know to be the spoils.

I'm confused by your last paragraph. So if two European nations refuse to fight on behalf of an African nation, they are being Eurocentric, rather than just looking out for their own national self-interests? Because that is the reason nations fight - for their national interest - and this is rarely overriden by a regional interest.

Whatever the number of European people or nations fighting on behalf of African people or nations, it doesn't invalidate what I have said about Eurocentrism being a very weak 'binding force' which is certainly subordinate to national or ethnic sentiment.



Thirdly, you seem to believe that just because the immediate source of a particular ideology is a particular culture, the ideology is infused with the values of that culture. This is not necessarily the case. For example, if you look at Christianity (which is an ideology that has been directly transmitted to Africa via Europe), this itself is an ideology that had its origins in the Middle-East. Are we to say that the values espoused in Christianity are specifically Eurocentric in nature, values like forgiveness, loving thy neighbour or believing that belief in Jesus Christ's sacrifice offers redemption for sins?

5.01 You make a common mistake here of not taking the effect the Reformation had on European thought into full consideration even as you seek to lay out what you see as the dominant characteristics of what is known as Christianity. There is much that we could talk about on this topic but for the sake of brevity, I will restrict myself to just one element: The Calvinist idea of pre-destination, when applied not just to individuals but also to 'racial' groups went a long way in justifying the treatment that was meted out to the indigenes of lands that were settled by European colonists from Protestant countries. Of course, prior to this, there had been the Papal Bull that had divided the entire 'uncivilised' world up between the adherents of the Roman Catholic Church. I am sure that you are aware of the history of countries like Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean islands and, of the way the classification of their indigenes as literal spawn of Satan had led in some parts to their total extermination at the hands of so-called Christians.

5.02 In short, the 'Christianity' that carried Europe into the world outside the European homelands was one that had little to do with values like forgiveness, loving thy neighbour and absolutely nothing to do with being Christlike. Truth is, the values that were transmitted under the guise of Christianity had more to do with the values that had first been introduced to the world outside Europe by Alexander the Greek.

And as the Europeans themselves have told us, the Greeks were the fathers of European civilization.

I think that there is a difference in using Christianity to justify barbaric treatment (which you have just described here) and changing Christianity so that the values it espouses are mostly distinctly European in nature (which is what I am saying has not happened). I thought that your argument was that these religions had values which made the adoptees of these religions unconsciously become proponents of the culture from which the religion emanated? I am unaware of any strand of Christianity that was adopted by Africans which was dominated with values that were exclusively European.



Fourthly, let us even assume that such ideologies have values that are exclusive to their culture of origin. You seem to disregard the ability of the recipient African society to customise and adapt the ideology to suit its own culture. For example, you have churches like the Cherubim and Seraphim church in Nigeria which are distinctly Yoruba in their style of worship. Indeed, this process of cultural assimilation and adaptation is how societies have evolved from time immemorial - including, of course, the societies that have 'exported' their ideologies to other places.

6.01 In fact, I am relying on the ability of recipient African societies to customise and adapt ideas in ways that would enhance the positive growth of their communities. However, there is a difference between doing this and simply adopting prescriptions that were devised for environments that are unlike our own. I would ask if, from your experience, you could say if we have been doing the latter or the former.

I think most cultures do a lot of the former. In fact, I cannot understand how it is possible for a people to adopt a totally alien culture with practices that are difficult to understand and execute - and not change or discard some of these practices after a while. Sure, the process of change may not always be well designed; it may not always be for the long term benefit of the people; but it will happen.

6.02 I would also ask if you agree that being centred on the reality of our own environment, its requirements (and its indigenous advantages) would help or hinder us as we seek to adapt ourselves, in ways most beneficial to ourselves, to the times we find ourselves in.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'being centred on the reality of our environment'. I think that we don't have a choice - we do live in just one reality, whether we may choose to acknowledge it or not - whether we like that reality or not. I don't think that a person's grasp of reality is necessarily helped or hindered by adopting one particular worldview or the other, especially if that world view had an agenda which was at odds with the truth of the reality.

Anyhow, I don't think that cultural change is about what is beneficial in the long term to the people who practice the culture. I think it is more about what is easy to practice; what fits in with the world view of the people adopting the culture; what offers short term material benefits; what earns immediate gains in social status. This applies just as much for Africans as for Europeans, i.e. I don't think that Europeans have adopted the culture that they have adopted because it is necessarily to their material advantage. I think it is fortunate that it is to their advantage - but if cultural change was purely dictated on the potential benefits, there are a lot of cultural practices that Europeans would not be engaging in right now.



Fifthly, let us even assume that such ideologies cannot be adapted and customised by the recipient African society. It is still wrong to assume that such ideologies completely displace the existing values held by the society. What happens in most cases is that the member of such society adopts multiple world views - in many cases, he is comfortable using the imported worldview alongside his native cultural values. In fact, even without the adoption of an external 'foreign' ideology, humans beings adopt multiple world views anyway in dealing with the real world. An Urhobo software developer will adopt a different world view when dealing with a Belarussian software developer than he would adopt when dealing with an Urhobo accountant.

Sixthly, the idea that members of a society should give primacy to the values espoused by an Afrocentric ideology is a severely limiting one. What if there is an idea or product of a particular culture which can materially benefit members of an African society if it replaces the equivalent idea/product in Africa? Should that society hold to its Afrocentric ideals in this case? I believe that to do so is to impoverish the society and put it at a disadvantage - because as in the real world, an organisation can only grow if there is a continuous influx of new ideas which enable that organisation to respond to the changing world.

You may respond with the argument that an African society in this case can accept the good aspects of such external societies while remaining pro-African. That would smack of hypocrisy to me - picking and choosing what aspects of an external society count or don't count as 'corrupting' the purity of a pro-African stance. I believe that once a society adopts any aspect of a external culture, it is undergoing cultural change - no matter how small it may be. And this is neither a bad thing, nor is it necessarily a one way thing either.

7.01 I will answer the above paragraphs at one go since they basically deal with the same theme. In expounding this theme, you have had to place some convenient limitations on the idea of being Afrocentric. For example, I have neither used the word 'purity' or linked such a word to the phrase "pro-African stance". But I am grateful to you for providing several examples of the type of wrongful assumptions that are often used as whipping poles by opponents of the Afrocentric idea who are themselves short on reasons to justify their opposition.

7.02 There is no reason why an Afrocentric person would refuse to adapt what is useful just because it came from outside. One of the side-effects of becoming self-conscious is that you learn the true story of your own people through time. The oldest standing buildings in the world were built by Africans. As shown by the late Cheikh Anta Diop [ref: Civilization or Barbarism], there is no way the ancient Africans in Kemet (and Sudan) could have built their great pyramids without a deep knowledge of geometry.

We therefore know that what is called "Pythagoras Theorem" was in fact taught to the Greek Pythagoras by some teacher in Kemet. There are many other examples of such transferred knowledge from Africans to the founders of the civilizations that later denigrated them.

7.03 A realist view is to look upon knowledge as a river. The source may be far from where you reside but, as long as it flows by where you presently stand, why should you not use it? I see no hypocrisy in this view. Especially since I am not engaged in advocating for a return to the days of 'purity'.

I'm glad that you do not take the view that Afrocentrism is not about purity of culture. It appears though, that you believe it has more to do with giving primacy to the interest of Africans above any other group, so that the Afrocentrist will do whatever he has to do in order to advance the interests of Africans.

However, I have already pointed out my issues with this stance, i.e. I do not think it is likely that an African will subordinate his ethnic group's interest or his nation's interest to Africa's interest. Look at a purely African matter, such as deploying troops to Somalia to ensure the peace, and see how unwilling African governments have been to act.

There is also the issue of defining what is in Africa's interest. Should an African pursue an action if it not only benefits Africa but benefits other regional entities that Africa is in competition with? Should an African pursue an action if it benefits one part of Africa and disadvantages another part? The conflict in the latter question would not arise if we viewed Africa as a patchwork of different groups, each with their own different (sometimes competing) interests rather than a single group bound by a single interest.



Lastly, I believe the the quest for an Afrocentric ideology is a major distraction from what should be the main tasks of these societies - creating an environment where its citizens are free to exercise their full potential in order to create wealth for themselves and others. It may be that you believe that forging and spreading this ideology will do that - in fact, you point to India and China as powers that are increasingly asserting their 'Indocentrism' and 'Sinocentrism'.

However, I put it to you that a country does not first establish a nationalistic ideology then use it to advance materially. These two usually happen side-by-side - in fact, it is usually the material progress of a nation that makes its citizens feel confident about embracing a nationalistic ideology, as has been observed in Russia. The point is that this material progress can occur in African nations without an Afrocentric ideology being in place first - you may observe that not all African nations are in the same predicament. So I believe it is better for African nations to seek the kingdom of material prosperity first by ensuring and protecting personal property and freedoms, and all other things - including a pride in confidence in being African or Nigerian - will be added unto its citizens.

8.01 When you say that not all African countries are in the same predicament, you ignore the fact that there is not one single African country that is capable at this time of defending its territory from outside invasion by non-Africans without the assistance of some other non-Africans (whose support would of course be based on their own strategic interests - meaning that if in the midst of the conflict, the support given and the interests no longer coincide, the support will be withdrawn).

I disagree with you. If Liechtenstein (a non-African country) was to dare invade South Africa (an African country), it would surely receive a pounding in return. :)

But seriously, the predicament I was referring to had nothing to do with territorial defence (given that direct territorial aggression from non-African countries is rare nowadays). When I say that not all African countries are in the same predicament, the predicament I refer to is the material well being (or lack of it) of their citizens. Specifically, what I mean that they have attained varying degrees of success in ensuring that their citizens are materially well off.

8.02 I also disagree with what you say about material progress preceding national consciousness. In fact, an awareness of a common fate is what gives birth to the energising morale that enables citizens (at all levels of society) to make the sacrifices that bring about collective material progress.

Yes, it is possible that citizens of a country can still feel energised without being materially well off (for example, if they have just come out of a war against their nation) - but are you saying that material progress has no relationship to how confident and proud a people feel about their nation? Do you think it is easier to energise people and fill them with a sense of identity when they are feeling despondent about their material well-being than when they see visible signs of progress? And even if a form of energisation is needed for material progress to occur, what is wrong with deriving this energisation from national or ethnic pride, rather than striving for an African identity to achieve this? Is national or ethnic pride not sufficient?

8.03 You used the example of Russia, but you forget that the solid foundations for Russia's material progress came about during the decades when it was under attack first from anti-Revolutionary forces, and then by Nazi Germany. It was during these decades that Russians, in a great patriotic fervour that had been missing during the later centuries of decadent Tsarist rule, dragged their country from been a largely agrarian nation into becoming an industrial powerhouse.

I have acknowledged in the previous paragraphs that there are other things that motivate people to become filled with feeling about their nation. But I assert that how Russians felt about their nation in the 1990's during Yeltsin's decade of chaos is very different from how they feel about it today; and that is largely due to how materially well off they feel under Putin.



9.01 I conclude with a description of what the Afrocentric ideal offers: It can be compared to a common language that unites a people who once upon a time found it hard to get along because they did not have a means of easy communication. And the beauty of it is, there are many varied paths but, they all lead to the same destination.

Languages have different purposes for different people. For some, it is merely a tool that helps them communicate, with no more emotional significance than the spoon that they use to eat, or the soap that they use to bathe. For others, it has deep cultural significance - it is imbued with many cultural values and ideas that have special meaning to a particular group.

Whether it is worthwhile to pursue or even possible to attain the dream of a language that has such a significance to people is something that I very much doubt. On the other hand, the pursuit of material progress will definitely translate to the kind of power that makes it difficult for external powers to manipulate African nations.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 1, 2008, 10:17 AM
Good one SLB.

My response later tonight.

DeepThought
Apr 1, 2008, 01:10 PM
Eja/Shoko,
Just wondering, shouldn't you guys be posting on the main thread?

Thanks

Tola Odejayi
Apr 1, 2008, 03:50 PM
Eja/Shoko,
Just wondering, shouldn't you guys be posting on the main thread?

Thanks
Oga Moderator said I should post here.



Oga Moderator,

Please clarify your instructions before the debate ends up in more confusion. Should Eja hold fire until people have finished questioning my response? Personally, I don't see the need for this - in fact, I agree with DT that my response should have been posted on the main thread.

Big-K
Apr 2, 2008, 12:55 AM
Oga Moderator said I should post here.



Oga Moderator,

Please clarify your instructions before the debate ends up in more confusion. Should Eja hold fire until people have finished questioning my response? Personally, I don't see the need for this - in fact, I agree with DT that my response should have been posted on the main thread.

SLB, Well..its not going exactly like i planned. I've copied your post to the main thread. You can always finetune based on whatever input is posted here. Eja, please post your reply here AND on the main thread .

Cheers

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 2, 2008, 06:42 AM
Greetings SLB, Big-K, I hope you all don't mind but I will be making my response in two parts.

It is kind of a long response and I think it might be best to present the first part and then carry on working on the second. A benefit of this is that the reader can avoid scroll fatigue...:smile:.

************************************************** ***********************

1.00:
I question whether it is possible for someone to feel a stronger affiliation to an identity which is shared by such a large number of people that they have relatively little in common than an identity which is only shared by people with the same language. I also question the point in proposing an idea that is likely to founder because of the difficulty in implementing it for this reason.

1.01: At this moment in time, of course you are right. But, while we may recognise the obvious fact that most people living right now are incapable (or unwilling/unable) to acknowledge this strong affiliation to their African identity, we must also be aware of the possibility that generations to come need not be committed to this same myopic awareness.

1.02: During the times when Yoruba were unaware the tenets of Islam, they had little in common with Syrians (for example) who were Muslims. Now, we find that a Yoruba person who has memorised the Koran in Arabic, easily finds common ground with the Pakistani person who has done the same.

1.03: If the necessary apparatus is set up, there is no reason why African people cannot in time come to be bound together by the ideals of an affiliation that is more logical, natural and beneficial.

2.00:
I'm unsure exactly what you mean here by 'narrative theme', so I will decline to respond on this point. In any case, this was just raised as a side issue, so I won't pursue it any further.

2.01: I will explain further : An aspect of the narrative theme of Islam and Christianity is the assumption that Jerusalem and Mecca are the holiest places on Earth. The fact that none of these 'holy places' are within African borders or, with significantly influential African populations and, the fact that their conventional histories include no mention of any notable doctrinal contributions from persons of any recognisable African heritage, is in my opinion another from the mechanisms that automatically inculcates an inferiority complex and self-hatred within many African adherents of those ideologies.

2.02: It should be noted that when a person's self-regard is of a similar magnitude to their self-hatred, the hatred will be transferred to an image.

2.03: Since self-hatred inevitably leads to self-harm, such a person, while driven by their self-regard to work hard for their own progress, will also seek (by commission or omission) to ensure that nothing of lasting goodness is done to the environment that contains the object(s) that their self-hatred has been transferred to.

2.04: Also, the narrative themes of these ideologies allegedly lays out a grand plan for man (and mankind) not only in this life, but in the afterlife. Again, it must be noted that these so called divinely inspired revelations contain no features within them that are specifically identified with named African cultures. The logical conclusion to be drawn from this omission by the authors of these narratives cannot be but to assume that the Almighty never spoke to Africans.

2.05: This is the assumption that has led several of us towards the faux-logical conclusion that the only agencies through which Africans came about their own religions were none other than those described in the Semitic scriptures as 'satanic' or 'demonic'.

2.06: Therefore, many an African addict to the Semitic products has had no other choice than to vehemently denounce his/her own religious heritage as being wholly evil.

2.07: And, of course, since what they are condemning was first promulgated by people who look exactly like what they see in the mirror every morning and, more importantly, by people who look just like those same people they see on the streets of Lagos, Kano, Owerri and Abuja.......[ref: 2.03].

3.00:
When you say "the Yoruba man will come to view the Kanuri man as a fellow national" are you saying that sometime in the future, the Yoruba man will regard the Kanuri man with as much affinity as he will regard his fellow Yoruba man? If so, I think you underestimate the strength of ethnic feeling amongst citizens of a multi-ethnic nation. I think that it is possible that the ethnic groups in a nation will come to tolerate each other, or even develop an intra-national affinity, but such an affinity will always be weaker than the affinity that the members of an ethnic group have for each other.

Look at the UK, for example - the Scots and English have lived together for hundreds of years; they share the same language and religion (although not the same denomination). They are relatively well off, so they are not as easy to polarise. Yet they still maintain stronger affinities to their groups than they do to the concept of Britishness. So not only do I not believe that such an affinity will develop between people of different ethnicities, I also believe (as I have already stated) that it is highly unlikely to develop between peoples who not only do not have a shared cultural history but who do not have a shared national history.

3.01: Again, your premise is based on a view of history as a static object. The Yoruba were not always "Yoruba". According to various historical sources, the name Yoruba originally referred solely to the people of Oyo. To the Ijebu who lived at the time this label was first minted, the Oyo were regarded as foreigners. The Ijebu in fact had structures set up to prevent entry or passage through their kingdoms (on the pain of immediate death) by those who are today referred to as fellow Yoruba.

3.02: And the same goes for another example that you gave: The English were not always "the English". The name in fact originally belonged to a distinct Germanic tribe (the Aenglish - spelling from Bernard Cornwell) whose first mass-migration to Britain happened 500 years after the end of formal Roman rule over the island.

3.03: The people who are today called the English were once warring tribes from not only Germany, but also Celtic tribes from Britain, Danes, Normans, etc. Each of which had their own distinct languages, dialects, customs, and ideas of nationality.

3.04: Therefore, since the present identity called English, like the present identity called Yoruba, was formed out of circumstance and deliberate policy over many generations, there is no reason to assume that in time, those presently known as Yoruba, Kanuri or Dinka will not eventually arrive at some mutually useful collective identity. Of course, this is never something that happens blindly. As already stated, the drawing up and implementation of a deliberate policy is one of the creative factors.

4.00:
I'm confused by your last paragraph. So if two European nations refuse to fight on behalf of an African nation, they are being Eurocentric, rather than just looking out for their own national self-interests? Because that is the reason nations fight - for their national interest - and this is rarely overridden by a regional interest.

Whatever the number of European people or nations fighting on behalf of African people or nations, it doesn't invalidate what I have said about Eurocentrism being a very weak 'binding force' which is certainly subordinate to national or ethnic sentiment.

4.01: I don't see the confusion. What is national interest? And more importantly, how do we become aware of what our national interest is?

4.02: It is the acknowledgement of a shared national interest that led to the formation of the super-nation called the EU. The fact that an awareness of this common interest has been around for long was what I was driving at when I asked you to name one instance when European nations had warred against each other for the sake of non-European entities.

4.03: The strength (or weakness) of this binding force can be deduced by simply considering the fact that European peoples have been active within our environment for several centuries now during which, they have fought many wars with each other. Out of these many wars, over these many centuries, you are unable to find one instance when they have fought each other for our sake. Now, we cannot say they do not like fighting each other. No, they simply possess an awareness that permits them to see no reason why they should fight each other for the profit of non-Europeans.

4.04: Unlike us. There is no single war going on in Africa right now, or in the immediate past, that has not been either directly (or indirectly) fought for the benefit of outside interests.


Conclusion to come later today.

wonderer
Apr 3, 2008, 04:04 AM
wow! Sixth grade eh? I envy you. I was actually grown up before I was able to read a book like "The Cultural Unity of Black Africa" by Professor Cheikh Anta Diop.
Eja
I am sure you got what I was talking about by separating a word regardless of its meaning, this is what I learned at the first time at the 6th grade.
Now I am the one who is envious, as I haven't read the book you are referring to, it has been on my list of will-try-to-read-when-having-enough-free-time for a couple of years, but I didn't get to read it yet.
I will be disappointed if Prof. Diop, who is such a prominent African scholar, actually used this argument, but I will reserve my judgment till I get to read the book myself.


Now, to further buttress my point that the Arab inhabitants of North Africans recognise themselves to be Arabs, I will like to refer you to the name Mahgreb. This, as you know, is the generic name for a portion of North Africa (i.e. from Tunisia to Morocco).

The people call themselves Mahgrebi - which is pronounced Magh-erebi.

This name serves the same purpose as similar words like Ma-shona, Ma-ndinka, Ama-zulu, etc.

It denotes the ancestry of the people it is attached to.

I am sure that you know Arabs trace their ancestry to a descendant of Abraham/Ibrahim called Ereb.

There is a temptation, I am sure, to use a coincidence like this as evidence of a common heritage, however, there is a crucial difference between being influenced by a culture and, coming directly from the culture.
Regardless of who came up with this argument, and with due respect to the persons, using this argument if good intentions are assumed could be described as wishful-thinking at best.

Why I am saying this?
In Arabic grammar, the adjective of relation to a place/country, in general, is phrased by adding a suffix that sounds (i) to the name of the place/country.
Examples:
Tunisia (Tunis),Tunisian (Tunisi)
Sudan (Sudan), Sudanese (Sudani)
Cameroon (Cameroon) , Cameroonian (Camerooni)
Egypt (Masr) , Egyptian (Masri)
and as you rightfully said (Maghreb) and (Maghrebi)

Now where is the problem?
When one wants to divide the adjective to its basic elements, the right way is to separate the name of the place from the suffix of relation. It is exactly the reverse process of phrasing of the adjective.
So if we have a word like (Sengali) , dividing it to its basic elements would be :
Sengal : the name of the place the adjective is related to, and
i : the suffix indicating relationship

So to use the adjective (Maghrebi) or (Magherebi) ,it is the same, and to divide it at will(not according to the rule of grammar and meaning in its language) to come up with a separate (Ereb) part, and using examples of other languages that use a prefix to express a relation, could only be described as meaningless if we didn't want to describe it as purposefully misleading.



Anyway, I am grateful to you for showing me the distinct difference between "the Libyan Arab Jamaahriya" and "The Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya".

Very significant.
I pointed to the official name of Libya as I think you do want to be as accurate as possible.



I am also glad that you brought up the Central African Republic. Yes indeed, I had this idea : would it be allright to recommend that the Central African Republic change its name to "the Central Black Republic"?

In fact, how about if more African countries with Black people in them incorporate the word Black into their names?

Which means that we could have Nigeria renamed the Federal Republic of Blackeria....(keeping in mind that Niger is actually the Latin word for Black)

How does that sound?

Understand, this is purely hypothetical. I am following you here, and according to you, by stating a preference for the use of African instead of Black, I am "cutting people off". Extend that preference, and now, tell me what a name like "Central Black Republic" actually does.


There still seems to be some kind of misunderstanding! so please consider the difference between these two sentences.
1- "African" is someone who is related to the continent of Africa.
2- "African" is someone who is related to the continent of Africa and is necessarily not belonging to North-Africa.

I agree with sentence#1
and if I understand correctly your definition is expressed by sentence#2
this is why I say that going by your definition is excluding parts of Africa and African people. And I repeat: Africa is multi-racial and multi-cultural. I think this diversity is one of the most beautiful aspects of the continent.


Finally, asking how people are referred to in places like the USA or Europe does not signify an "Americancentric" or "Eurocentric" view. You might as well say that because I try to spell English words the way the English spell them, I am Anglocentric.

You saying this shows that you are yet to grasp the full scope of what is involved when we talk about being African centred.
The latter sentence might be true, I might be yet to grasp the full scope of what is involved when we talk about being African centred. As the old saying goes "No one is born a scholar" I think we all should learn new things everyday and keep an open-mind.
I tend to disagree about the analogy you are making though. English here is used a medium of communication. Spelling English words the way the English spell them, is done to have a standardised (trying to use the English spelling not the American one!) reference to be able to have a mutual understanding of the typed words. so I don't see that spelling English in a standardised way would mean having Anglocentric views, since here English is used as a medium that can have different contents On the other hand, Asking how people are referred to in places like the USA or Europe in order to use it as a reference point, is subscribing to their world-view(s).

Off Topic: Although I think any language in general comes laden with cultural biasness and environmental preferences related to the people who first spoke it. And as such, I don't think any language is completely neutral, so it can't be avoided, but we should be aware of the existence of such biasness and preferences in languages.
An example of what I am talking about: In English when we say something is "heart-warming", we mean it is causing a feeling of gladness. If you think about it, you would notice that this phrase must have been coined in an environment where warm weather is welcomed


Wonderer, who sends her feel-good spectacles as a gift for Eja :)

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 3, 2008, 06:43 AM
Wonderer, as far as the significance of the relationship between the label Maghrebi and the mythical ancestor of Arabs (Ereb) goes, I have actually heard people from the Maghreb say the word in question.

The tonal spelling of what I heard said many times is Ma--erebi (with that -- in between the two syllables representing a glottal interlude).

When you come to read the previously mentioned work by Cheikh Anta Diop, you will find that he goes into much detail about the common usage of certain terms from the tips of North Africa to the seashores of the South. He also shows clearly that the re-occurrence of these words cannot be some meaningless coincidence.

Of course, it is as much your right to dispute the meaning I give to the label Maghrebi as it is mine to stick by what I say (until you present a compelling argument to cause a change of mind on my part).

I will recommend a very simple next step in this matter: Give an account (with illustrative examples) of the etymology of the label "Maghreb".

Now, if we are speaking on the use of geography to describe phenotype, then how can we ignore the label "Caucasian"?

As far as I know, this label is derived from a range of mountains in central Europe (Caucus mountains) that was a dispersal point for many of the peoples who later spread out over the continent of Europe (and parts of Asia).

Someone once pointed out to me that the label 'Black' is suitable for any person who is not 'white' (http://www.southallblacksisters.org.uk/), yet when you say 'white', there is no mistaking the physical attributes of the ones you are speaking of.

It is also interesting to note that in most cases, the types of people that do not possess a generic label that roots them to a particular place are those people who have been deprived of their indigenous lands and the power to decide their own collective destiny.

It is only 'Blacks', 'Aborigines', and the 'Indians' of the Americas who are expected to be contented with labels that neither speaks of their root or, is exclusive to them.

Therefore, being cognisant of the fates that have befallen others around the world who allowed outsiders to decide the scope of what belonged to them, I will remain one of those who recommend that there is no reason why we who share identifiable common features should not have a name that is not only exclusive to us, but also binds us without ambiguity to our indigenous land.

Granted, there are Arabs and Europeans who are long time residents of Africa, however, I remain steadfast in the opinion that this does not make them Africans.

If living in Europe does not turn one who looks like me into a European (or a Caucasian), and, if living in the middle East does not turn one who looks like me into an Arab, then I do not see why those who have the same phenotype as Europeans/Caucasians and Arabs should be described as Africans.

And, by saying this, I am not "excluding parts of Africa". I am simply challenging a description of their residents.

Or have I excluded parts of Africa by recognising the Boer as a non-African?

Africa is a piece of land. Africans are the people who are indigenous to that piece of land. Very simple: Africans did not come from somewhere else to settle on that continent. Arabs did. That makes them non-indigenous. Meaning non-Africans.

Note also that the description African takes in the ones called African-Americans. Which is why I asked the questions about Boer and Tunisian immigrants to lands outside Africa. If the consensus among people like these had actually been that they were Africans; if it wasn't just you trying to find a winning argument here....:wink:, then we would have heard of Algerians in France (for example) declaring their ethnicity to be African.

But no, what we see is them identifying themselves as Arabs - not Arab-Africans or African-Arabs, but simply Arabs. True or false?

Thanks for the offered feel-good specs, but I will stay with my naked eyes because right now, reality (a very fine woman) is also naked and you know that means.....:wink:....:D.

Khalil
Apr 3, 2008, 10:27 AM
Of course, it is as much your right to dispute the meaning I give to the label Maghrebi as it is mine to stick by what I say (until you present a compelling argument to cause a change of mind on my part).
I will recommend a very simple next step in this matter: Give an account (with illustrative examples) of the etymology of the label "Maghreb".


Well, at the risk of being seen a suspect defendant of my relationship with Arabs as the proponents in this debate are insinuating as a convinience of dismissing my many arguments, I will still want to point out another gross error being committed by Eja here in forcefully trying to pluck out a reason of a relationship between a word used to describe Africa by Arabs, Magrib, with Arabs as a race.

This I must say is akin to trying the longest road, albeit the infinite, in order to come up with an argument.

The word Magrib is an Arabic word meaning West and its opposite is Mashriq meaning East.

In this sentence, laisal birra an tuwallu wujuhakum kibalal mashriqi au magribi....., meaning, It is not obedience that you turn your faces(in worship) towards East or West......

The use of the word Magrib to describe Africa and definitely not North Africa only, is due to the fact of the studies of geography of old which sees Africa as West of Arabia and nothing more.

And this phenotype thing is not being, in the details it entails, used in anyway as gud pointer of making an argument, here, as it is not about light skin or silky hair but rather other things like bone structure of the nose, head, hands, feet, etc.

NOTE: I don't want to say I am disapointed, but when I joined this debate, I thought I could add value to it by offering my unique perspective to the proponents in order for them to fine tune their argument and expand their knowledge base as much as I desire to do the same from what they give.

But when I saw them deferring to the emotional and making unfounded insinuations even in areas they apparently need additional information, I began to think otherwise and supposed that the goal of the debate may not be to get the facts straight but rather to just say and say!!!!

Khalilurrahman

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 3, 2008, 11:27 AM
Well, at the risk of being seen a suspect defendant of my relationship with Arabs as the proponents in this debate are insinuating as a convinience of dismissing my many arguments, I will still want to point out another gross error being committed by Eja here in forcefully trying to pluck out a reason of a relationship between a word used to describe Africa by Arabs, Magrib, with Arabs as a race.

This I must say is akin to trying the longest road, albeit the infinite, in order to come up with an argument.

The word Magrib is an Arabic word meaning West and its opposite is Mashriq meaning East.

In this sentence, laisal birra an tuwallu wujuhakum kibalal mashriqi au magribi....., meaning, It is not obedience that you turn your faces(in worship) towards East or West......

The use of the word Magrib to describe Africa and definitely not North Africa only, is due to the fact of the studies of geography of old which sees Africa as West of Arabia and nothing more.

And this phenotype thing is not being, in the details it entails, used in anyway as gud pointer of making an argument, here, as it is not about light skin or silky hair but rather other things like bone structure of the nose, head, hands, feet, etc.

NOTE: I don't want to say I am disapointed, but when I joined this debate, I thought I could add value to it by offering my unique perspective to the proponents in order for them to fine tune their argument and expand their knowledge base as much as I desire to do the same from what they give.

But when I saw them deferring to the emotional and making unfounded insinuations even in areas they apparently need additional information, I began to think otherwise and supposed that the goal of the debate may not be to get the facts straight but rather to just say and say!!!!

Khalilurrahman

First of, let me thank you for affirming one of the things I said in the post immediately above yours. Let me also thank you for showing me a shorter route (than the infinite..:smile:) to get to where I was trying to go.

According to you, the whole of Africa is described as Arabs as "the West" (i.e. to the west of Arab lands). Can you see in how many ways this confirms that the Arabs currently resident in Africa are not actually indigenous Africans and, had never described themselves as such?

Let me point one of these ways out : When describing the coordinates of places outside your centre, you use your centre as a reference point.


Khalil, there is this flaw in the character you present on this forum. This is the tendency you have, when things are not going your way to start crying against those who you think are just picking on you for picking sake.

For you to come now and start trying to position yourself as someone who is "disappointed" with this particular strand of the debate is ridiculous since (1) this is not the only strand of the debate and (2) you were actually one of those who initiated this "What is an African?" business.

It turns out that Palamedes was right after all and I should not engaged with you people over this particular subject.

It is also funny that you now come with an accusation of ones injecting emotionalism into the debate.

What were you doing with your repeated assertions/oblique hints that I was a Black Supremacist?

Did you not repeat this even after I tried to correct you by pointing you back to where you had misinterpreted me? And, did you not disappear after I asked you to define what this "Black Supremacy" was, how it had manifested over the world and, examples of its detrimental effects over the lives of non-'Black' peoples around the world.

The truth of the matter right now is that the only reason you are back in this debate is that you finally saw something that you thought you could score a point with (i.e. your interpretation of the word Maghreb).

This makes me doubt your current pose as someone who got involved in this solely because you wanted to engage in honest reasoning.

Finally, I would like to hear more about all the "unfounded insinuations" [plural!!] that you have come across in this debate. List them, and refute them not with "emotionalism" but with the brilliant logic that I am sure your perspective is based upon.

Khalil
Apr 3, 2008, 02:19 PM
According to you, the whole of Africa is described as Arabs as "the West" (i.e. to the west of Arab lands). Can you see in how many ways this confirms that the Arabs currently resident in Africa are not actually indigenous Africans and, had never described themselves as such?

HuhA!!!

Thank God for saving me from your trick. I was very careful to use "West of Arabia" in the phrase above, with my "w" as in "West" in capital to show that the West in this context is an independent entity or even an equivalent of the Arabia as a separate land. This is very much different from what you made out of the meaning as, "west of Arab lands", with small letter in the "w" which means the west is part of Arab lands.

I am sure you don't want to go into semantics and structures.

No. No. You definitely can do without this sort of distortion which amounts to the threading of a longest, infinite road.


Let me point one of these ways out : When describing the coordinates of places outside your centre, you use your centre as a reference point.

So you even knew what I meant????



Khalil, there is this flaw in the character you present on this forum. This is the tendency you have, when things are not going your way to start crying against those who you think are just picking on you for picking sake.

Eja did I or did you by trying to cry pointing fingers in post #88 that I was protecting my relationship with Arabs?

As regards the strands of the debate, I agree there are many strands as much as I believe there is need to clearly understand, the Who is an African part, of the topic before moving up to centered perspective as it relates to the African. Because if we cannot substanciate your issues in this you cannot in the other.

For the record again, I did not say you were rooting for Black Supremacy but rather I said your position runs the risk of leading to such and this may happen even without your conscious knowledge of it coming this way so I deemed it necessary to point it out to you that you may reason with me. It is entirely a different take that you choose to see what I said to mean you are indeed doing that.

Lastly, the unfounded insinuations I referred to are still there in your post #88 and Palamedes' post #89, which I drew your attention to in my post #90 but the truth of the matter is they remain unfounded since they have not been supported with any base. So what do I refute?

Khalilurrahman

wonderer
Apr 3, 2008, 11:54 PM
Wonderer, as far as the significance of the relationship between the label Maghrebi and the mythical ancestor of Arabs (Ereb) goes, I have actually heard people from the Maghreb say the word in question.

The tonal spelling of what I heard said many times is Ma--erebi (with that -- in between the two syllables representing a glottal interlude).

When you come to read the previously mentioned work by Cheikh Anta Diop, you will find that he goes into much detail about the common usage of certain terms from the tips of North Africa to the seashores of the South. He also shows clearly that the re-occurrence of these words cannot be some meaningless coincidence.

Of course, it is as much your right to dispute the meaning I give to the label Maghrebi as it is mine to stick by what I say (until you present a compelling argument to cause a change of mind on my part).

I will recommend a very simple next step in this matter: Give an account (with illustrative examples) of the etymology of the label "Maghreb".


Eja:
I am having a problem following your line of logic here
I will try to make an itemized list and I hope your reply will be in the same manner.


1. We are not talking about how (Maghrebi) is pronounced, so I wonder why you emphasised you heard it spoken?

2- I also wonder, during those many times you heard it spoken, have you in any time approached the speakers to ask them what the word means and what relation does it signify? if you did, what were the answers?

3-How well do you speak Arabic?

4- How much do you know about Arabic grammar?

5-

Of course, it is as much your right to dispute the meaning I give to the label Maghrebi as it is mine to stick by what I say (until you present a compelling argument to cause a change of mind on my part).
I provided the meaning of the word in Arabic and even went into explaining the grammar rule involved and provided examples.
If you want to dispute my explanation, I think you have to do this by referring to a grammar rule in a certain grammar book, a definition in an Arabic dictionary.
And please not the argument you used before of "Other languages have adjectives that follow a certain rule, so it must be more than a coincidence, from that Arabic must be following the same rule " , I don't think this is a valid argument when dealing with living languages that have specific grammar rules.


6- Also you need to decide which point you are arguing , do you want to argue it is related to someone named (ereb) or is it that you want to argue that it is related to the west of what and what is the centre used as a reference. You can't argue both points as you did in your two previous posts




I am asking for these clarifications as from your previous responses, I am afraid that you are not only trying to have a "special-made" Africa, but now also trying to use "special-made" Arabic language, that have grammar rules, and meanings of words, that only you think exist!


Finally, in general, thinking that one has all the answers about a subject is commendable when s/he really has the knowledge about the subject to back his/her position. My understanding that we are discussing here to exchange the knowledge we all can add to the discussion, not only to look for a winning argument .



* I have comments regarding the second part of your post which I will add later

Khalil
Apr 4, 2008, 10:36 AM
I am asking for these clarifications as from your previous responses, I am afraid that you are not only trying to have a "special-made" Africa, but now also trying to use "special-made" Arabic language, that have grammar rules, and meanings of words, that only you think exist!

Finally, in general, thinking that one has all the answers about a subject is commendable when s/he really has the knowledge about the subject to back his/her position. My understanding that we are discussing here to exchange the knowledge we all can add to the discussion, not only to look for a winning argument .[/I]

Yes wonderer, here lies what we've been trying to avoid saying all thru this exchange. It is apparent Eja lacks insight into certain things in this as he much lacks the courage to admit so.

1. He often tries the oblong path to win an argument by coming up with twisted logic which he knows can't hold water as he is doing with the word, Magrib;

2. unfounded insinuation by claiming he's been able to 'pierce the veil' gleaning thru one's motives;

3. making charges of protectionism against others.

It is like he formed his Africa in fantasy embedded with emotions that completely soared above the rules of reason in science;

he formed his African that is race and colour dependent, wherever that person maybe
but still claims that others can have this his African perspective when the African can only be a one race subject.

What Eja failed to establish so far is how this African perspective was built in the past, lost and how it can be rebuild now. This he must do with tools of analysis that guarantee efficient check and balance scientifically not fantasy and emotions that he's been building his thought pattern on since the beginning of this discussion.

He must be able to tell us how a race can produce a perspective since his African is a race.

The truth of the matter is perspective in this context is environment dependent as agreed by all the scholars of time since day one. And it is what hatched the popular expression: Humankind are a product of their environment or as it is of old, Man is a product of his environment.

All scholars and I mean all, agree with the truism that Eropean Civilisation, Worldview, character including the individualism it is identified with is borne out of the harsh nature of European environment, its weather and other climatic attributes.

The truth of the matter is should the people of Africa all swap continent with the people of Europe, only some centuries will be needed for them to learn to adapt to the environment and assume the survival strategies formed and projected by the Europeans of today.

Perspective in this context and in the whole is environment dependent!

It is not race dependent as Eja fantastically wants to project afterall he admitted that there is no, in this context, genetically driven identity, not to mention genetically driven perspective, so how can we have a phenotipically driven unique perspective?

No. Please! Afrocentricism is environment dependent, Africa physical and logical layers, temporal and spritual attributes, coporeal and ethereal nature imposed on the environment by the astronomical government that rules the entire universe.

It is hot over here now so I am forced to dress in a very light wears today. Soon rainy season will come and people will start paying attention to their farms and for the next six months, we will be forced to reduce the frequecy at which we mount ceremonies including weddings because the rains don't make dates with us before they come, money will retire to the farms, the stocks in real estate will go low, and many many other things.

Some scholar once told me how during hammartan men feel the need for women more while the other way round during other hot seasons.

The seasons affect our character and disposition , mental and physical abilities thereby producing a unique culture and perspective which is truly African.

The other day my younger sister was writing a short story in a Nigerian setting, and she began this way:

One winter morning.....

I smacked her head lightly and said, "little one, we don't have winter here, your story has, needs to be Africa centred".

Khalilurrahman

DeepThought
Apr 4, 2008, 07:24 PM
Thanks for your interesting takes on this thus far.

Eja,
I'm impressed with your arguments thus far.But, rightlhy or wrongly the world African is now de facto- used by people of differnt races and phenotypes. Even the same to a lesser extent to my dismay is now apparently applicable to the word "Black".

Just as some people whom I will never call Black are staking claims to the word, so also are people whom you won't call African staking claims to the word Africa. So where do we go from here?

Personally, I just think don't think the word black is demeaning (but I'm open to being convinced otherwise) and I think its an adequate substitution for what you mean by African in this conversation.I think its also harder for people to hijack, but seeing what they call "black" in America , I'm not quite so sure anymore.

For me, I think the challenge of Afrocentrism would be how to discriminate in a discriminatory world without becoming inhuman.

We know the world discriminates against us, ; (and this is where I disagree with Khali who believes discrimination is a Western thing ). So how do we discriminate back without sinking to the level of those whom we condemn?

That is what I'm hoping you or Khalil can answer

Palamedes
Apr 4, 2008, 09:40 PM
SLB:I question whether it is possible for someone to feel a stronger affiliation to an identity which is shared by such a large number of people that they have relatively little in common than an identity which is only shared by people with the same language.
Identity is decided by shared interest, purpose, goals. Indeed there is correlation between identity and “tribe.” Members of a [football] club, employees of organizations are often referred to as tribes or “tribe-like” because they share common interest and consequently, a common identity. Tribe, naturally, is local, parochial and not international, and so it is disputable whether or not one still retains one's tribal identity beyond one's homeland. Nevertheless, every human being has more than one identity and tribal identity is just one of them. Also, size has very little to do with identity: Some ethnic groups in India and China are larger than the whole population of Nigeria and even more dispersed and yet they share tribal identity in as much as they belong to the same ethnic group.

SLB:However, I have already pointed out my issues with this stance, i.e. I do not think it is likely that an African will subordinate his ethnic group's interest or his nation's interest to Africa's interest. Look at a purely African matter, such as deploying troops to Somalia to ensure the peace, and see how unwilling African governments have been to act.
The ethnic groups that we now call the Yorubas once had different tribal identifies and their subsequent unity grew out of wars. Similarly, the Hausas and Fulanis who were once bitter enemies are today seem as inseparable—especially in the eyes of outsiders. In fact the histories of most ethnic groups in Nigeria, including Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Ijaw [as we now know them] are not that distant although some would claim that they are as ancient as the earth itself. These little historical accounts show that there are historical precedence of ethnic cohesion. This is a precedence, which can be replicated in modern Africa--to make possible (say) Yoruba/Kanuri/... cohesion.

SLB:...First of all, the concept of an 'African' ideology is too large and vague for the individual African to relate to. How do you formulate a common African ideology from the thousands of different ethnic groups in the continent? A starting point for such an ideology might be that it supports any measure that is pro-Africa - but is this enough to base an ideology that must govern the many thoughts, words and actions of the Yoruba man in Nigeria or the Dinka man in the Sudan? ..
These concerns whilst acknowledged is a none issue. Afrocentricism is a groundwork, framework, an African way of viewing and interpreting the world. Its only demand is that the perspective be African. The so-called different ethnocentric perspectives are indeed [in as much as they are African] are Afrocentric perspectives. One way to arrive at greater Afrocentricism would be to acknowledge the various ethnocentric perspectives; downgrade and even diminish the ethnic differences and pettiness leaving only the ethnocentric perspectives that can be translated to grand vision for Africans; and then naturalize, nationalize and package as Afrocentricism. The other is a top-down approach favoured by governments. Whichever approach is used to arrive at Afrocentricism, the most important issue is that it serves African interest and that is is African. Naturally, not every Yoruba or Dinka person will be content but then, Afrocentricism is not for any one particular ethnic group but rather it is for the common good of Africans. There will be loses and gains for all ethnic groups involved.

SLB:..I believe that he is more likely to be allied to his ethnic group's values which is closer to him and which he has known all his life than some high-level ideology that just sprang up from nowhere recently..
Here, as with much of SLB argument, again, it is that “infant terrible” called “ethnicity.” If ethnicity had a face, it would probably be frowning over the blames it is receiving in this debate. There are many people who live outside their ethnic communities; spend 8 hours a day at work; go to football match to see their teams. How does one ally with one's ethnic group values miles away from one's ethnic base? Beside, it is one thing believing in one's ethnic group values but another thing to actually practice it. See the reaction when you greet someone in the streets of Europe (as people often do in Nigeria). I am sure most people would accept high-level ideology over their ethnic group values. For instance, some Jamaicans might hate Nigerians but will often downgrade their hatred to support Nigerians where Nigerians are competing in (say) sports against non-Africans. If Jamaicans are prepared to bury their differences with Nigerians for the sake of Africa, why couldn't this be possible among Continental Africans.--Afrocentrism transcends ethnicity.

Update #1:

SLB:Secondly, I question whether such high-level ideologies have any real meaning for the people in particular regions. You speak of Eurocentrism and Arabocentrism - but if we look at the many conflicts and animosities that exist within Europe and the Arab world, this must surely contradict this view of pan-regional ideology. Indeed, I should ask you - what exactly is Eurocentrism? Is it possible that you are taking incidences of where one or several European nations act in concert and assuming that there is a solidarity between all European nations? You should know that most nations interests are different, so sometimes they will act in concert (and give the impression of regional solidarity), but many times they will act in opposition.

If these conflicts and animosities are so debilitated or even very serious, there would be no EU. We must look at Europe from its totality and not just paper headlines of misunderstanding between components. Differences in national interest are to be expected but in the big picture, we see the EU, the epitome of Eurocentrism; one which rejects Turkey on the grounds that it is not European-- whereas the less upfront ones argue, diplomatically, that Turkey is not European enough (read: enough). Eurocentrism is neither a song nor dance nor mere idea; it is a reality and the EU is it's manifestation.

Every continent is chasing after grand alliances (economic, military, culture etc), globalization, belittling and brushing aside differences.--The exception is African: Our ancestors were too scared and suspicious of one another, each created their small enclave, Indeed the high number of ethnic groups and languages in Africa is a testament to a compulsion to “pettiness” driven by degenerating instinct. Sadly, this tendency is still being preached as the panaceas to save Africa. And yet it is an old, tried and failed method. The rest of the world wants to grow big, Africans wants to return to small enclaves (36 states in Nigeria).

SLB:... I cannot see the point in pushing for Africa to adopt such a model - indeed, I could accuse you of being Euro- or Arabo- centric insofar that you want Africa to copy these regions in adopting a pan-regional ideology.
Hold your fire SLB and don't try to do a “Hillary Clinton” on Eja: It is SLB debating against Afrocentrism (and not Eja). How can he argue that that Eja extolling the virtue of Afrocentrism amount to extolling Eurocentrism. The core of SLB's argument is that Afrocentricism is wrong (read: wrong); SLB questions the need for Afrocentricism, including the criticism of any Africans [i.e Eja] for interpreting African histories and cultures from an African perspective. How then can SLB say that an African is being Eurocentric for choosing to interpret his culture, tradition, politics, histories from his own [African] prism or perspective. I take it that SLB “misspoke.”

Update #2:

SLB:Lastly, I believe the the quest for an Afrocentric ideology is a major distraction from what should be the main tasks of these societies - creating an environment where its citizens are free to exercise their full potential in order to create wealth for themselves and others. It may be that you believe that forging and spreading this ideology will do that - in fact, you point to India and China as powers that are increasingly asserting their 'Indocentrism' and 'Sinocentrism'..
Afrocentricism is not new; indeed its early protagonists included W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, etc. I cannot see how Afrocentricism distracts “food on the table” issues. Surely, it didn't hinder but help Kwame Nkrumah. In fact our preference for foreign imports at the expense of our local goods and services contradicts the argument that Afrocentric is a major(?) distraction. Afrocentricism helps to decolonialize this mentality. If Africans take more interest in all things African, we would be better placed to build economy that is more self-reliant and self-sufficient. Indeed the absence of an Afrocentric economic policies encourages, in its place, a “free for all,” confusion, disorder, mediocrity, incompetence and corruption.

Indeed Africans are so used to copying other, we often find ourselves copying us through others: For instance African models on catwalks swing their hips in the manner of the European even though African women's hips has a natural swing, something the Europeans try to imitate.

However, I put it to you that a country does not first establish a nationalistic ideology then use it to advance materially.

Afrocentricism may be patriotic but I am not sure if is a nationalistic ideology. Indeed there are many African-Americans, African-Brazilians, Jamaicans who are Afrocentric but who wouldn't describe themselves as African nationalist.

Palamedes
Apr 4, 2008, 11:07 PM
Khalil@#128

No. Please! Afrocentricism is environment dependent, Africa physical and logical layers, temporal and spritual attributes, coporeal and ethereal nature imposed on the environment by the astronomical government that rules the entire universe.

Khalil claims that Afrocentricism is environment dependent because it is "the truth of the matter" or [on other occasions] because "all scholars of the time(?) since day one say so". This is as ridiculous as claiming that gene and meme are environmental too. The early protagonists of Afrocentricism were indeed African-Americans such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X to mention but a few. And then from Africa, there were Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba etc. How is it possible for all these people from different environments to become Afrocentrists if Afrocentricism is environmental dependent?


The truth of the matter is should the people of Africa all swap continent with the people of Europe, only some centuries will be needed for them to learn to adapt to the environment and assume the survival strategies formed and projected by the Europeans of today.
Further, the "swap African with European and watch Africa flourish some centuries later" argument reminds one of similar argument an African scholar gave for the slow pace of development in Africa, that, it is because Africa do not have snow compared to Europe.

"Emotion" is part of the human makeup except that Khalil feel disgusted by it--as if to display any emotion is such a terrible thing that one must be exorcised. In effect he wants to dictate to others what they should and shouldn't bring into an argument, namely part of themselves. Indeed he is calling for a ban on human feelings--how terrifying!

Well, I understand that when one is in Europe and debating, one would perhaps seat on one's hands or hide them in one's trouser pockets or stuck them in one's armpit (how disgusting, bad idea) or hold them behind one's back to hide one's emotion as Europeans often do, but as Africans, such pretension of calmness when debating is not the African way. So Khalil, with great respect, cut the crap and stop giving "emotion" a bad name (cough).

And then there is the talk of "rules of reason in science"--whatever that means And yet Khalil [i.e the accusing party] has argued not with the so-called "rules of reason in science" but rather from a religious perspective [i.e a theocentric perspective], except once or twice, a mention of astrology. But then, given that Astrology predates science and one-time [and still] bedfellow of religion, one wonders whether Khalil is confusing astrology with modern astronomy [i.e., branch of science] and claiming that the former provides him the "rules of reason in science."---Whether astrology is science or not is another matter but in my opinion there is nothing scientific about it.

Unless Khalil and wonderer are unaware, the debate has moved on past the initial stage of definitions. Like a Formula One car with cold engine, they are still warming it up (still defining "African", Afrocentricism and other "isms"), whereas everyone has speed away and fast approaching to overlap them.

wonderer
Apr 5, 2008, 06:51 AM
I want to share this article by Prof. Ali Mazrui which I think is closely related to the discussion.




The Re-invention of Africa:
Edward Said, V. Y. Mudimbe, and Beyond

Ali A. Mazrui
State University of New York at Binghamton

Research in African Literatures 36.3 (2005) 68-82


Abstract
Edward W. Said and V. Y. Mudimbe are both whistleblowers against ideologies of Otherness, which Mudimbe calls "alterity" and Said has made famous as "Orientalism." Said traces "the invention of the Orient" back to the Western quest for "the Other" while Mudimbe traces "the invention of Africa" back to similar Western explorations. In reality Africa has been re-invented in different stages. The first stage saw North Africa as part of the classical Mediterranean world; the second concerned Africa's interaction with Semitic peoples; the third was stimulated by the birth of Islam and its expansion both north and south of the Sahara; the fourth came with the impact of European capitalist penetration and subsequent colonization; and the final phase was its globalization. In the final analysis, the essay reaffirms that Edward W. Said and V. Y. Mudimbe are bulwarks against the exotic "Orientalization of Africa." They have sought to contain the forces of "Otherization" in North-South relations.




Question: I tried to upload the PDF file of the full article
I saw it uploaded as attachment , but now I don't see it appearing when I posted the reply.
It is in PDF format and about 230KB .
how to fix this?

update 2: I also noticed now an attachment sign by the thread title, moving the mouse over it a label appears "3 Attachment(s)" [probably they are the same file I tried to upload 2 or 3 times?] , but when I click on this attachment sign , a new window opens with the message: "There are no attachments to display" !

update 3: I am sorry but I found out the full article is not with open access and I shouldn't have tried to upload it here.
Still the article is relevant to this discussion and I suggest to it to try to read it.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 5, 2008, 09:56 AM
5.00:
I think that there is a difference in using Christianity to justify barbaric treatment (which you have just described here) and changing Christianity so that the values it espouses are mostly distinctly European in nature (which is what I am saying has not happened). I thought that your argument was that these religions had values which made the adoptees of these religions unconsciously become proponents of the culture from which the religion emanated? I am unaware of any strand of Christianity that was adopted by Africans which was dominated with values that were exclusively European.

5.01: An immediate example that springs to mind are the festivals marked by Christians around the world. Each of the major ones (i.e. Christmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas#Pre-Christian_origins) and Easter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oestre)) are directly derived from the pagan religions of pre-Christian Europe. By adopting festivals that are actually nothing other than disguised forms of Europe's ancient pagan culture, the adherents of Christianity have become proponents of Europe's indigenous culture (even as they scorn their own indigenous culture).

5.02: As for values that are mostly distinctly European, I will refer again to those values that came out of the Reformation in Europe. Values that shaped the nature of what we now call government, education, justice, commerce, religion, politics, etc.

5.03: For as long as our current discourse regarding any of the subjects outlined above remains shaped by definitions that were originally manufactured by the European Reformation and its latter incarnations, then our values will remain shaped by ideas that were originally set forth by the European Reformation. This is why, when we look (for example) at issues like personal freedom, land rights, marriage, and the rule of law, we can see a clear difference between how each of these was viewed by our indigenous communities in the past and, how each presently manifests as a result of the values we have inherited from the imperialists who manufactured our countries.

6.00:
I think most cultures do a lot of the former. In fact, I cannot understand how it is possible for a people to adopt a totally alien culture with practices that are difficult to understand and execute - and not change or discard some of these practices after a while. Sure, the process of change may not always be well designed; it may not always be for the long term benefit of the people; but it will happen.

6.01: I would refute the above by giving the current ongoing difficulty being experienced by the Yoruba in ridding themselves of mis-leaders that are not only corrupt but also deliriously incompetent as an example from within one of our communities of an effect that can be traced to a totally alien culture that is hard to execute or understand. Also, if we take Chinua Achebe's Thing Fall Apart as a faithful account of indigenous social organisation amongst the Igbo, we can see that it was not only the Yoruba who had an effective means of checking the ill-effects of two-legged locusts within their communities. While we may recognise the benefits of losing certain retrogressive features from our cultures as a result of imperialism, we must also recognise that the present environment that we bewail is a child of the societal organisations that were imposed/modified by the same imperialists.

6:02: Regarding what you said about the process of change, I propose that a process that is neither well-designed or for the long-term benefit of the people is not one that should be allowed to happen. What would be the point of such a process?

7.00:
I'm not sure what you mean by 'being centred on the reality of our environment'. I think that we don't have a choice - we do live in just one reality, whether we may choose to acknowledge it or not - whether we like that reality or not. I don't think that a person's grasp of reality is necessarily helped or hindered by adopting one particular world-view or the other, especially if that world view had an agenda which was at odds with the truth of the reality.

Anyhow, I don't think that cultural change is about what is beneficial in the long term to the people who practice the culture. I think it is more about what is easy to practice; what fits in with the world view of the people adopting the culture; what offers short term material benefits; what earns immediate gains in social status. This applies just as much for Africans as for Europeans, i.e. I don't think that Europeans have adopted the culture that they have adopted because it is necessarily to their material advantage. I think it is fortunate that it is to their advantage - but if cultural change was purely dictated on the potential benefits, there are a lot of cultural practices that Europeans would not be engaging in right now.

7.01: Being centred on the reality of our environment extends from the mildly trivial : e.g. Africans in a tropical/hot country dressed in corporate uniforms (suit and tie) that were designed for the inhabitants of temperate/cold countries, to the mildly serious: the construction of buildings with costly materials (e.g. cement) that were originally manufactured for use in climates where the natural storage of heat via the usage of specific building material (i.e. cement) was necessary while ignoring easily available local materials that are best suited to keeping our buildings naturally cool. The effect of which is the wastage of energy that we require to cool these heat storing buildings. I will not recount in detail the many serious side-effects of this lack of consciousness as I am not only striving to keep my words to a manageable level but, I am also trying to avoid raising my blood pressure by allowing myself to re-collect the many unsuitable projects we have been saddled with; projects that are copied point-for-point from environments that are nothing like ours. In short, when we are not centred on our environment, we are incapable of perceiving both what needs to be done be to enhance that environment and, the best way to go about it. We either throw away resources (which includes people), or we mis-use them.

7.02: I am in general agreement with the argument presented in the second paragraph of [7.00]. But, it should be noted that just like rust, the people who seek to mold the evolution of European cultures never sleep and that they all have agendas. While it is true that in certain cases these agendas do not always benefit European societies, we should recognise that in those cases, dependent non-European societies are rarely (and never altruistically) offered long-term benefits. Meanwhile, out of the ones that do benefit the European collective, I am sure that if we look deeply, we will find that they rarely benefit non-Europeans. And where they do, they more often than not only confer their blessings on a select few.

8.00:
I'm glad that you do not take the view that Afrocentrism is not about purity of culture. It appears though, that you believe it has more to do with giving primacy to the interest of Africans above any other group, so that the Afrocentrist will do whatever he has to do in order to advance the interests of Africans.

8.01: What is wrong with Africans giving primacy to their own interests above those of any other groups? As long as we are not devising policies that deprive others of what rightly belongs to them , why should we not put our collective self first? As one who has already stated that we have no choice with regards to the reality we live in [7.00], and, as one who surely knows that every group gives primacy to its own interests in this particular reality we're living in, what reason could you have for thinking Africans should be the exception? Are you saying that in this particular instance, we Africans should ignore the reality in which we find ourselves?

9.00:
However, I have already pointed out my issues with this stance, i.e. I do not think it is likely that an African will subordinate his ethnic group's interest or his nation's interest to Africa's interest. Look at a purely African matter, such as deploying troops to Somalia to ensure the peace, and see how unwilling African governments have been to act.

9.01: Once again, I identify another of your statements as being one that comes from a view of history and culture as static objects. What you use as an example (the unwillingness of Africans governments to deploy troops to Somalia) would not be an issue in a future where the majority of African leaders/peoples are Afrocentrists. In other words, you are ignoring the effects that a well implemented policy of re-orientation would have over time. After all, it has taken less than 50 years to turn parts of Nigeria into the dominions of shallow scripture-drunk 'Christians' and 'Muslims'.

10.00:
There is also the issue of defining what is in Africa's interest. Should an African pursue an action if it not only benefits Africa but benefits other regional entities that Africa is in competition with? Should an African pursue an action if it benefits one part of Africa and disadvantages another part? The conflict in the latter question would not arise if we viewed Africa as a patchwork of different groups, each with their own different (sometimes competing) interests rather than a single group bound by a single interest.

10.01: Defining what is in Africa's interests is something that would only be confusing to ones who have no intention of pursuing those interests. There is no sphere of human activities where what best serves the community is not always clear to see. From Education to Business, the easiest thing to perceive is what is required in the short and long term. If I can sit down and know what would be best for me to enhance my career, my family life and, my peace of mind, then what is stopping one who has taken upon him/her self the task of leadership from doing the same for the collective? And, if they are not able to do this thing, then why are they there?

10.02: If a person who is engaged in trade is allowed to do what is best for his/her going concern (as long as in so doing, they do no harm to those who did them no harm), then why should the African collective not be allowed to do what is best for it without concern for those who are in competition with it? Are those who have entered into competition with us not "in it to win it"? Or, are there two meanings to the concept of competition?

10.03: A perspective that puts petty intra-African ethnic rivalries into context within the realities of the inevitable global order would make it impossible for anyone in his/her right mind to continue viewing Africa as a patchwork of different groups that must fight to the death. Without doubt, there will be differences, there will be occasions when actions that benefit one region comes at a cost to another. This is where a rightful re-orientation becomes important. If people can be convinced that a man called Jesus was crucified, resurrected and then ascended to Heaven, then surely they can also be convinced that true wealth is the health of the whole collective. If this can be done, then the paradigm within which various competing interests will unfold will not be one that permits for the type of pointless "do or die" mentality that has permeated so much of our current world.

11.00:
I disagree with you. If Liechtenstein (a non-African country) was to dare invade South Africa (an African country), it would surely receive a pounding in return.

But seriously, the predicament I was referring to had nothing to do with territorial defence (given that direct territorial aggression from non-African countries is rare nowadays). When I say that not all African countries are in the same predicament, the predicament I refer to is the material well being (or lack of it) of their citizens. Specifically, what I mean that they have attained varying degrees of success in ensuring that their citizens are materially well off.

11.01: SLB , I am sure that if we checked, we would find that tiny Liechtenstein is one of the current owners of South Africa...As far as material well-being goes, the fact of the matter is that regardless of the numbers that make up their respective elites, such elites form a tiny minority of many African countries. To really overstand what this means, look at how many African countries the UN has placed in the "Low" region of the list of countries by human development index (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index#Low). In other words, looked at on a global scale, Africans (collectively) are the underclass.

12.00:
Yes, it is possible that citizens of a country can still feel energised without being materially well off (for example, if they have just come out of a war against their nation) - but are you saying that material progress has no relationship to how confident and proud a people feel about their nation? Do you think it is easier to energise people and fill them with a sense of identity when they are feeling despondent about their material well-being than when they see visible signs of progress? And even if a form of energisation is needed for material progress to occur, what is wrong with deriving this energisation from national or ethnic pride, rather than striving for an African identity to achieve this? Is national or ethnic pride not sufficient?

12.01: Despondent people are energised and filled with a sense of identity everyday in churches, mosques, personal growth seminars, and various shrines. People have been energised and filled with a sense of identity for decades and our communities have largely had little to nothing to show for it. While material progress does have an effect on how people feel about themselves, it would be hard to point to some aspect of material progress that is serving this purpose in any present-day African country for the majority of the populations that live in those countries.

12.02: Our ethnic pride is what causes some of us to come out in defense of criminals whose stupidity in greed would be highly comedic were it not for the tragic consequences that follow their actions. As for national pride, I have already asked in the post that precedes this why we can visualise in time, the union of Yoruba and Kanuri as Nigerians but cannot visualise in time, the union of Yoruba and Dinka as Africans. If 'national' pride is only sufficient, then African pride, with the wider scope it offers, is extravagantly sufficient.

13.00:
I have acknowledged in the previous paragraphs that there are other things that motivate people to become filled with feeling about their nation. But I assert that how Russians felt about their nation in the 1990's during Yeltsin's decade of chaos is very different from how they feel about it today; and that is largely due to how materially well off they feel under Putin.

13.01: Yes, Russians feel better than themselves under Putin than they did under Yeltsin, they are also said to be materially better off but, in saying this, you are actually making my point for me: You cannot fail to have noticed that a lot of Putin's economic policies were based around the recovering of those state assets that had been auctioned off under Yeltsin. Putin cut back the levels of ownership that foreign based multi-nationals had been allowed and he curtailed their rights to acquire future resources. While it may be true that he then gave these assets and advantages into the control of those close to him, the Russian people supported him because he couched everything he did in nationalist terms. In other words, Putin let it be known that he did what he did out of his love for his nation (i.e. the ideal preceded the physical act and thus the material result).

14.00:
Languages have different purposes for different people. For some, it is merely a tool that helps them communicate, with no more emotional significance than the spoon that they use to eat, or the soap that they use to bathe. For others, it has deep cultural significance - it is imbued with many cultural values and ideas that have special meaning to a particular group.

Whether it is worthwhile to pursue or even possible to attain the dream of a language that has such a significance to people is something that I very much doubt. On the other hand, the pursuit of material progress will definitely translate to the kind of power that makes it difficult for external powers to manipulate African nations.

14.01 Actually, I was not referring to spoken language. I used the concept of language as a metaphor. I was trying to relate the fact that we describe what we perceive to ourselves through the filters that stand between what we observe and that part of our mind with which we process our perceptions. We process data continuously and, what I am saying is that the Afrocentric view is a 'language' through which we can filter data to our collective benefit.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 5, 2008, 11:52 AM
Thanks for your interesting takes on this thus far.

Eja,
I'm impressed with your arguments thus far.But, rightlhy or wrongly the world African is now de facto- used by people of differnt races and phenotypes. Even the same to a lesser extent to my dismay is now apparently applicable to the word "Black".

Just as some people whom I will never call Black are staking claims to the word, so also are people whom you won't call African staking claims to the word Africa. So where do we go from here?

Personally, I just think don't think the word black is demeaning (but I'm open to being convinced otherwise) and I think its an adequate substitution for what you mean by African in this conversation.I think its also harder for people to hijack, but seeing what they call "black" in America , I'm not quite so sure anymore.

For me, I think the challenge of Afrocentrism would be how to discriminate in a discriminatory world without becoming inhuman.

We know the world discriminates against us, ; (and this is where I disagree with Khali who believes discrimination is a Western thing ). So how do we discriminate back without sinking to the level of those whom we condemn?

That is what I'm hoping you or Khalil can answer

DeepThought, first off, I do not really find the label 'black' in itself to be offensive, it only becomes so when you realise that for some people, this is the only unique appelation that those to whom it has been attached to are expected to be known by.

We are meant to accept that one man can be 'white' and an African, 'white' and a European or, of course, a Caucasian. He is permitted to affirm his unique roots by his description.

Another can be Arab and African or just an Arab. He is also allowed to affirm his unique roots by his description.

We however, can only be Black. We may not reserve the description African solely to ourselves as this may cause confusion.

Allegedly.

We are also cautioned against placing too much store by descriptions that rely on phenotype....by people who append a label that is derived from phenotype (i.e. Black) on us.

I find this deliberate illogicality to be extremely offensive.

So, I decided that I agree with those who say an African is simply anyone falls under the description 'Black' that is also descended from peoples who are indigenous to the continent of Africa.

This means that while Muhammad Ali and Condoleeza Rice can be identified as Africans, an Australian 'Aborigine' and an Algerian Arab are not Africans.

I say this with no apology because I see nothing to gain from saying otherwise. Note that I am not saying an Australian 'Aborigine' or an Algerian Arab are inferior nor am I imputing any negativity to their being. I am simply saying that they are not Africans.

Note that Australian 'Aborigines', Fijians, and Papuans - people from the far away pacific - have also been described as 'blacks'.

Basically, I take my stance because I would like us to use an appellation that is unambiguous. Like I said before, the current criteria for anyone to be described as 'black' simply requires that they not be 'white'. Meanwhile, we all know what a 'white' person looks like.

Like I also said before, a thing that is held in common by all peoples who have been dispossessed is the fact that they are known by euphemisms. Hence, we have the Maya, the Guarani, the Yaqui and other indigenous peoples of the Americas known by the generic misnomer of 'Indians' and, as previously said, we also have the indigenous peoples of Australia who are simply known as 'Aborigines'.

There is a post by Chinweizu in the archives that presents a speech made by Muammar Ghaddafi to the Arab League. In that speech, Ghaddafi presents Africa to his Arab brethren as a space to expand into. And why not? After all, there are no people on Earth who are identified by appellation as the owners of those lands. You just have Blacks and, we all know that Blacks are to be found everywhere and, we all know what their 'natural' condition is.

By insisting, without apology, compromise, or even consideration for hurt feelings that we are Africans, we do nothing other than affirm what is ours as a birthright. We are the only ones on that entire continent who did not wander in from somewhere else.

We have always been there so, why should what we are called not reflect our unique bond with the place?

To me, this is nothing discriminatory; it is nothing more than an exercise in self-definition and self-determination.

Wayfarer
Apr 5, 2008, 12:55 PM
What a scintillating debate!

I want to take off my hat to both participants, although I must confess that I still agree with Eja's position.

However, I think there is an issue both participants are skirting - unintentionally perharps, but an issue that pervades concepts such as Afrocentricity, Eurocentricity and Asianism (this is a neologism. I do not know the word that describes the Asian equivalent of Afrocentricity).

The issue I believe both participants are dancing around, the eight hundred pound gorilla in these proceedings, is the issue of race. I believe when we talk about Afrocentricity, we are ultimately talking about the Negro race, and not the physical continent called Africa which includes some non negroid races.

To cut to the chase, what I believe is actually being debated here is whether Black people should pursue goals that are in the interest of Black people, wherever these Black people might be located. I believe this is what Eja believes, that in his estimation, the world views things through a racial prism, that military treaties, news reporting patterns, trade policies and the recording of history that are presented as objective excercises, are actually skewered towards benefiting the non Negro races and, where necessary, victimizing the Negro race.

As for me, I believe it is undeniable that there has been a concerted campaign in the outside world (not just the West, a mistake too often made) to grossly distort the true picture of the part of Africa that lies between the Sahara desert and the southern tip of the continent. I believe that the perpetrators of this distortion are quite aware that this is the part of Africa inhabited by Negroes. I also believe that this campaign of distortion has been prosecuted to mask the wanton exploitation of Africa by non Africans, to brainwash Negroes into thinking of themselves as improvident beings incapable of creating wealth, thereby making Negroes dependent on wealth created outside Africa, and because of the animal tendency of banding against different species, a habit from which self-hate has long excluded Negroes.

I also believe that the difference between Afrocentricism, Eurocentrism and Asianism is that Afrocentrists forthrightly declare their purpose as being Afrocentrists, whereas Eurocentrists and Asianists, rather than honestly describe themselves as such, make pretensions to being guided by lofty ideals such as fair trade, peace and scientific exploration, while forming alliances and signing treaties which always conveniently group people who belong to the same races into the same organizations.

This is what I believe is actually been ironed out here. I would like the debaters' impressions of my views above, which I admit is very presumptous. Several alusions have been made to race, but I think a more direct discussion of race as it concerns Afrocentricity will be quite beneficial.

P.S. When I use the term Eurocentrists, I am also including South Americans, because they are favorably disposed to Europeans and many South Americans iddentify with Europeans. Europeans on the other hand, also largely iddentify with South Americans rather than Black Africans. At least their relatives here in the United States clearly do.

DeepThought
Apr 5, 2008, 03:59 PM
Thanks Eja et al,

@Eja
I also better understand your points and the logic in saying Arabs are not Africans.


These are the points I've been looking for:


To cut to the chase, what I believe is actually being debated here is whether Black people should pursue goals that are in the interest of Black people, wherever these Black people might be located.

I think the below should answer Wayfarer's question as it does mine


8.01: What is wrong with Africans giving primacy to their own interests above those of any other groups? As long as we are not devising policies that deprive others of what rightly belongs to them , why should we not put our collective self first? As one who has already stated that we have no choice with regards to the reality we live in [7.00], and, as one who surely knows that every group gives primacy to its own interests in this particular reality we're living in, what reason could you have for thinking Africans should be the exception? Are you saying that in this particular instance, we Africans should ignore the reality in which we find ourselves?

Wayfarer, thanks for asking that question and helping me to better define my understanding of Afrocentricm which is as follows:

While I am willing to include the Arab or to a lesser extent even the White South African in the generic use of the term African based upon the reality of geography and politics ,my understanding of Afrocentrism is nevertheless racially or biologically based, and not geotraphically based, meaning for lack of better term - based around values which are meant to defend the "Negroid" , no getting round that.

But before I'm crucified for being a racist and making Afrocentrism about race, let me explain:-

I've chosen my words carefully in describing Afrocentrism. I've used the word "defend" for a reason. I could have used "protect", but then I could be misunderstood as people attack others , sometimes even pre-emptively in the ofthen deluded belief that they are protecting themselves. Individuals and/or races have properties and possession that could be described as rightfully or self evidently belonging to them and I think there is nothing wrong with discriminating to protect or defend that which is righfully yours from others.

Defense on the other hand strictly implies one is under attack and not the other way round.

Thus ordinarily, there should have been nothing wrong with an European being Eurocentric or an Arab being Arabocentric if and only if they are defending what is rightfully theirs and not going after what righfully belongs to others.

So Afrocentrism while relatively harmless cannot be absolutely harmless. It will be harmless only to those who wish us the "Negroid" no harm and thus can be embraced by anyone regardless of race. Thus I don't think it is racist because the Arab, European or Asian can embrace it, if they are persuaded to examine this concept carefully In this sense, it is truely global and humanistic since it is fair and should be attractive to all sensible people. In that sense, it has to be marketed almost as the Christian or Islamic religion to make it appealing to other races, without them realizing the cultural implications.

But of course Afrocentrism will never be attractive to those, who not contented with possessing and defending only that which is righfully theirs, but who also aspire to disposses the Negro or Black of what is rigthfully theirs. Whoever they may be- European, Arab, Asian, Indian, etc.

I therefore think Afrocentrism is a valid, yay of thinking so long as it doesn't degenerates into what Eurocentrism or even Arabocentricm had become. And I'm not saying this to put Europeans or Arabs down. The truth is that the Arab and European cultures are proselytizing cultures - and there comes a time when proselytizing crosses over to imperialism.



What Afrocentricism would mean is that , we don't believe in proselytizing (but that may change)
1. We are not interested in intruding into other's spaces
2. We are not looking for converts or surrogates
3. We are not looking for colonies or looking to export our way of life, ideals, values, e.t.c. In short we are not imperialists;

Having said the foregoing; by any means necessary we will:
- Prevent others from intruding into our spaces,
- Prevent others from making surrugates of us.
- Prevent others from taking what is rightfully ours.

Not that Blacks were historically incapable of violence or cruelty but for some reason, we didn't proselytize, so that seemed to have been one of the reasons for our downfall. As for black Africans dispossesing other Black Africans, that is beyond the scope of this discussion.

Tola Odejayi
Apr 5, 2008, 05:08 PM
Eja,

Once more, I find myself with limited time and internet access, so I won't be able to respond till next week.



Palamedes,

I've noted that you've made some comments on my post, but unfortunately I simply don't have the time to respond - so please don't regard my lack of response as a discourtesy.

Enforcer
Apr 5, 2008, 06:01 PM
Eja,

Once more, I find myself with limited time and internet access, so I won't be able to respond till next week.



Palamedes,

I've noted that you've made some comments on my post, but unfortunately I simply don't have the time to respond - so please don't regard my lack of response as a discourtesy.

Shoko Loko Bangoshe

No, we understand after we read this: 'A man does not wait for an arrow to get close to his head before he dives out of the way.' - Kunustan proverb

We are waiting for you to dive back to the way!

wonderer
Apr 5, 2008, 08:02 PM
...

Unless Khalil and wonderer are unaware, the debate has moved on past the initial stage of definitions. Like a Formula One car with cold engine, they are still warming it up (still defining “African”, Afrocentricism and other “isms”), whereas everyone has speed away and fast approaching to overlap them.

:)
Palamedes: You are right ! I personally assure you that I wasn't aware I am in such a setting resembling the Formula One, where all cars speed in a number of laps only to reach the same point they started from. All this time I was thinking it was a setting resembling an expedition with the aim of reaching new frontiers.

Palamedes
Apr 5, 2008, 11:52 PM
Afrocentricism is a way of viewing and interpreting the world from an African perspective. It is neither a set of beliefs nor systems. This point needs to be made to avoid any intermixture of "perspective" and "systems." Afrocentricism is best described as an African prism from which to view and interpret the world [also a system], whereas systems can be described as regular union of principles or parts forming an entirety; as, a system of philosophy; a system of divinity; a system of government; economic system, social system etc.

It would be a long strength of the imagination to see Afrocentricism as playing roles that only systems can. Afrocentricism is a framework which can underline systems and beliefs but it is neither a system nor a set of beliefs. Even if it tried, it will fail simply because it is ill-equipped to play the roles that only systems and beliefs can.

Whether the offshoots of Afrocentricism [i.e. systems rooted in Afrocentricism] will spread around the world much like capitalism, socialism, dadaism, avant-garde, modernism, Christianity, Islam etc., is difficult to predict because no one can predict the capability of what does not exit.

There is a recurrent theme in the debate, expressing concern over "outside" sensibilities (Such concerns has come to be known as mindset uniquely African). I have always approached this debate from a mindset, which dwells within a "virtual wall" that is called Africa, much like the "great wall" and China. Within this virtual wall, I get a taste of how it feels to think about the the destiny of my people [i.e., Africans]. I should consider it a failure to be tempted to look over the wall.

Any sensibilities are my own [i.e., African]. Further, I should be too preoccupied with the enormity of the tasks within this wall; I should have no time to spare for events outside it. This virtual wall is an introspective world; it is neither created as a reaction to external events nor it is revengeful against the world outside it. Indeed, I owe no explanation for it's creation except to say, that "Africa can create it's walls because it can." --Just as any wealthy man can built a house in his village without caring what another man in another village would say about it.

Palamedes
Apr 6, 2008, 12:14 AM
... Ghaddafi presents Africa to his Arab brethren as a space to expand into. And why not? After all, there are no people on Earth who are identified by appellation as the owners of those lands. You just have Blacks and, we all know that Blacks are to be found everywhere and, we all know what their 'natural' condition is.
I wonder is anyone read this lines of Eja@#134 closely, but if you haven't, please peruse, and line by line.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 6, 2008, 02:51 PM
I want to share this article by Prof. Ali Mazrui which I think is closely related to the discussion.





Question: I tried to upload the PDF file of the full article
I saw it uploaded as attachment , but now I don't see it appearing when I posted the reply.
It is in PDF format and about 230KB .
how to fix this?

update 2: I also noticed now an attachment sign by the thread title, moving the mouse over it a label appears "3 Attachment(s)" [probably they are the same file I tried to upload 2 or 3 times?] , but when I click on this attachment sign , a new window opens with the message: "There are no attachments to display" !

update 3: I am sorry but I found out the full article is not with open access and I shouldn't have tried to upload it here.
Still the article is relevant to this discussion and I suggest to it to try to read it.

Wonderer, can you give the link to the article please.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 6, 2008, 02:52 PM
Shoko Loko Bangoshe

No, we understand after we read this: 'A man does not wait for an arrow to get close to his head before he dives out of the way.' - Kunustan proverb

We are waiting for you to dive back to the way!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:.

wonderer
Apr 6, 2008, 08:04 PM
Wonderer, can you give the link to the article please.

Eja
Sure.
There are two links:
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v036/36.3mazrui.pdf
or
http://inscribe.iupress.org/doi/abs/10.2979/RAL.2005.36.3.68

DeepThought
Apr 9, 2008, 06:06 AM
Thanks Eja, I found the Chinweizu article (http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/chinweizu/arab-quest-for-lebensraum-12.html).

If we must die , the least we can do is to go down fighting. Its strange that anyone needs to preach this to blacks. Why are we so easily deceived?

It makes for frightening reading and underscores the need for a racial response to the Arab and European threat.

Khalil
Apr 11, 2008, 01:48 PM
Thank you all for your takes as I hope you would forgive me for the long absence, heap of activities that needed to be accomplished. I often remain logged on the site but unable to browse thru it or even compose responses.


In this I will not be able to respond adequately to Palamedes in his attempt to trivialize my take about who is an African and the environment theory, but rather I’ll try to find the similarities between what Eja is saying about phenotype, geography and indegeneity as being ordained triplets with one to one relationship among them, and what I am saying about the environment being the sole determinant of ones’ Africaness not their phenotype.

A casual observer may think, at the plane of logic, we are saying the same thing, albeit unknowingly, since if I say perspective is a child of environment so the blacks who are known to be with the African environment should then be unalloyably identified with having the perspective that is exclusively African.


Here Eja may want to clarify his position but for me, I do not think there is one to one relationship between geography and phenotype, that is to say, there is nothing like indegeneity as confirmed by history and anthropology. However there is what we call primacy of motion, as in the law of motion that do not pit anything, even our planet to one place but rather stipulates that moving bodies on the planet do not have fixed form of relationship to one another. As such history of the world from time immemorial witnessed constant migration of people or communities from one side of our planet’s geography to another. In fact it is Eurocentric to think that there is something like indegeineity as regards to geography since it was European scholarship, against the rule of science, championed by people like Charles Darwin, thru the theory of the “master race” that propagated the myth that humankind is connected to their geography as such all the ancient artifacts found in Europe are said to be founded by the ancestors of the Europeans, this led to the extreme by forging skulls, archaeologically, in 1912 England, to prove the ancestors of the Europeans as the oldest kind of human race.

The truth of the matter is things like Stonehedge are only there but there is no historical link between the present Europeans with the people who built the amazing structure. Chances are other races may have lived there and may have done it since it is possible to have blacks forming civilization at one time at one place only later to have other different race occupying same space and founding a civilization. This as some may want to argue in the case of Carthage that was black and Tunisia that is Arab today. So perspective is just environment based as I argued earlier but not phenotype based and African centered perspective is environment centered perspective.

But there is the serious question asked by DeepThought about discrimination which requires some deep rumination.

Actually I am of the opinion that discrimination based on color or racial affiliation is NOT Western when we take it at individual level. It is always normal to compare ourselves with others using various indices to our advantage and self comfort, and often times the index can be something like race or color.

In the pictures from NVS @ 5, Abuja Meet Up, many of us are caught praising sandyBaby for her beauty whose aspect we can judge only by her light skin in the pictures. This is some sort of discrimination that borders only on color. So this is common among even those of us that are black racially.


But institutionally, I most say that it is Eurocentric to discriminate based on race or colour(this is what I always catch Eja doing even while seemingly attacking everything European) because the West was the first in recent history, after the popularity and acceptability of the universal theories developed by Islam and Christianity of the equality of humankind regardless of race or colour, to reverse the hands of human progress and build there societies based on race and color conciousness.

In fact in Islam with its strict laws on adultery and fornication with the sole objective of protecting human genealogy says that genealogy of human being is pertanallly traced. That is should a white marry a black woman, the children are to be seen as belonging to the tribe of their father regardless of their color.

And a slave girl whose owner sleeps with her to the point of conception , the owner must treat the children as his own with every rights and claims given to children of a properly married girl no matter how noble her ancestry or color is. This including right to inheritance to the throne of leadership.

That was why in pre-18th century empires built under such value system there used to be emperors that looked very different from their subjects in terms of color.

Even in most recent history we find out that of the four Egyptian presidents after the 1952 revolutions, two had black ancestors, Anwar Sadat and Muhammad Nagib. This did not generate serious race/color debate as we are seeing the presidential bid of Obama Barack is generating in the USA(West) today, in the 21st century, so called civilized world. This in spite of the claims of some Egyptians as being Arab.


In Nigeria here, the Sardauna of Sokoto, the sire of the Fulani ruling Jihadists, Ahmadu Bello was a child of a slave girl from a small tribe of Adamawa, Mumuye. He looked very dark as his mother not as light or slender structurally as his Fulani grand parents, but he is still being seen as Fulani and hard the opportunity of rising to the peak of his society without let or hindrance by the nature of his ancestry.

According to some Muslims Afrocentric Scholars, who traced the historical structures of Arabia before Islam, like Adid Rashad, the author of the insightful work, Islam, Black Nationalism and Slavery: A Detailed History, looking at the circumstances then and the mixed nature of the place since it was being ruled by mostly the black kings and queens of the then Ethiopia, plus the many traditions describing the Holy Prophet’s skin color. They found that at the end the man himself is not as light as the Arabs of today think or claim he was. In fact blacks can claim him as much at the level of phenotype. perhaps that was why he said an Arab should be seen only as one who speaks Arabic.


Institutional discrimination in terms of color came to us after the white Europeans assumed the leadership of the world and traded slaves from Africa to Europe and America with the rule that the children of a slave girl are slaves even if they were fathered by white men. This borne out of acceptance of the theory of racial superiority faked and given scientific respectability by peoples like Darwin Charles, who is far less civilized a character compared to Jesus the Christ who thought other wise. This position was sold or imposed on the world after the intellectual dominance of the West and as such all nations colonized by the West or influenced by its intellectualism sociologically adopted that perception as correct and believed in the theory of phenotipically identifying people as Eja is doing here, this including many Arabs too.

So we no go gree, Eja na one kain pesin under d influence of whiteman selling us to the dukes the second time.:D:D:D:rolleyes:

But we are working with reality now everybody is discriminating blacks on the indices of colour. Arabs, Indians, Whites, Chiness and all are doing this, so what can we do or in the words of DeepThought, how do we discriminate them back, “ without sinking to the level of those whom we condemn?”.

While I will agree that it is not easy providing a solution to this problem, I tend to see that the rest of the races look down on us because they are not seeing us in the light of any constructive human achievement due to the condition of Africa - which is seen as the home of the blacks in the new mould of identity created by Europeans - economically, politically and intellectually today and in the past.

Remember, when our like were contributing to the development of world’s philosophy and technology, nobody was conscious to record the race or color of the contributors. So we are left today( courtesy of the the new mould of identity served to us by the West) with the list of so many scholars in the course of history who did this and that in Christianity, Islam or even Secular philosophy that are being claimed by other races when in reality they could have been blacks. Even the Greek Socrates is aptly being described as black but these people are saying he is Greek, a Caucasian, not a one who went there but rather an "indegine". They are taking the credit.

Also even Adam and Eve are being hijacked by Whites or Arabs in particular even when in the Qur’an it is said he was created with a mud of soil which means he definitely must have been black.

I was watching an Arab channel the other day when I saw a moving cartoon depiction of Cain and Abel with Cain, the evil one, made to look dark like our kind. I sent the kids away and put off the entire satellite system asking myself why should my country allow these kind of channels to be viewed by us and our children?

No our government is afraid that it may be labeled anti-freedom of speech by the West!

Yes, what and how do we attack this monster that stops us from discriminating others as they do to us without necessarily debasing ourselves to their level?

Is the answer lies with Eja in post #134? No I think otherwise. But now that this post is getting too long, I’ll stop here and attempt to answer the question as soon as I log on again. I will also comment on Chiwenzu article.


Khalilurrahman

Tola Odejayi
Apr 12, 2008, 08:54 AM
Eja,

Sorry for the delay. Because of time constraints, this will be the first part of my penultimate post on this thread. My original posts are in green, your reponses are in blue, my responses to these are in black.

1.00:
I question whether it is possible for someone to feel a stronger affiliation to an identity which is shared by such a large number of people that they have relatively little in common than an identity which is only shared by people with the same language. I also question the point in proposing an idea that is likely to founder because of the difficulty in implementing it for this reason.

1.01: At this moment in time, of course you are right. But, while we may recognise the obvious fact that most people living right now are incapable (or unwilling/unable) to acknowledge this strong affiliation to their African identity, we must also be aware of the possibility that generations to come need not be committed to this same myopic awareness.

1.02: During the times when Yoruba were unaware the tenets of Islam, they had little in common with Syrians (for example) who were Muslims. Now, we find that a Yoruba person who has memorised the Koran in Arabic, easily finds common ground with the Pakistani person who has done the same.

1.03: If the necessary apparatus is set up, there is no reason why African people cannot in time come to be bound together by the ideals of an affiliation that is more logical, natural and beneficial.

The question is not whether it is possible for a Yoruba man to share a common African identity with a Dinka or a Lingala man; it is whether such an African identity is likely to be stronger than their Yoruba identity. I do not think is - and as such, in a case where the the Yoruba people need to subordinate their interests to a larger African interest, they will not do so. This will challenge the strength of such an African identity.

I take your example of the Yoruba muslim who has common ground with his Syrian counterpart - but I believe that most Yoruba muslims can relate better to a Yoruba Christian (who understands better the environment they have grown up with and the concepts embodied in their language) than a Syrian muslim.



3.00:
Quote:
When you say "the Yoruba man will come to view the Kanuri man as a fellow national" are you saying that sometime in the future, the Yoruba man will regard the Kanuri man with as much affinity as he will regard his fellow Yoruba man? If so, I think you underestimate the strength of ethnic feeling amongst citizens of a multi-ethnic nation. I think that it is possible that the ethnic groups in a nation will come to tolerate each other, or even develop an intra-national affinity, but such an affinity will always be weaker than the affinity that the members of an ethnic group have for each other.

Look at the UK, for example - the Scots and English have lived together for hundreds of years; they share the same language and religion (although not the same denomination). They are relatively well off, so they are not as easy to polarise. Yet they still maintain stronger affinities to their groups than they do to the concept of Britishness. So not only do I not believe that such an affinity will develop between people of different ethnicities, I also believe (as I have already stated) that it is highly unlikely to develop between peoples who not only do not have a shared cultural history but who do not have a shared national history.

3.01: Again, your premise is based on a view of history as a static object. The Yoruba were not always "Yoruba". According to various historical sources, the name Yoruba originally referred solely to the people of Oyo. To the Ijebu who lived at the time this label was first minted, the Oyo were regarded as foreigners. The Ijebu in fact had structures set up to prevent entry or passage through their kingdoms (on the pain of immediate death) by those who are today referred to as fellow Yoruba.

3.02: And the same goes for another example that you gave: The English were not always "the English". The name in fact originally belonged to a distinct Germanic tribe (the Aenglish - spelling from Bernard Cornwell) whose first mass-migration to Britain happened 500 years after the end of formal Roman rule over the island.

3.03: The people who are today called the English were once warring tribes from not only Germany, but also Celtic tribes from Britain, Danes, Normans, etc. Each of which had their own distinct languages, dialects, customs, and ideas of nationality.

3.04: Therefore, since the present identity called English, like the present identity called Yoruba, was formed out of circumstance and deliberate policy over many generations, there is no reason to assume that in time, those presently known as Yoruba, Kanuri or Dinka will not eventually arrive at some mutually useful collective identity. Of course, this is never something that happens blindly. As already stated, the drawing up and implementation of a deliberate policy is one of the creative factors.

I don't disagree that the way people view themselves changes over time. Ultimately, group identities develop because people see that they have something in common with other people (whether this thing they have in common has been voluntarily acquired or imposed upon them). The point I was making (which I have made already and which I will make again) is that the affinities to the more local identities are much stronger than the affinities to the more global identities.

Even right now, the Yoruba and Kanuri do share a collective identity - being Nigerian. However, what I cannot see is that this identity will ever be stronger than their ethnic identities - unless such identities are wiped out in a frenzy of intermarriage, or some Supreme Dictator arises to impose some sort of artificial identity upon them. In the unlikely event that either of those occurences took place, new local identities will still arise based on the shared experiences of those who live in a particular locality, because as humans we relate to things on a local scale.



4.00:
Quote:
I'm confused by your last paragraph. So if two European nations refuse to fight on behalf of an African nation, they are being Eurocentric, rather than just looking out for their own national self-interests? Because that is the reason nations fight - for their national interest - and this is rarely overridden by a regional interest.

Whatever the number of European people or nations fighting on behalf of African people or nations, it doesn't invalidate what I have said about Eurocentrism being a very weak 'binding force' which is certainly subordinate to national or ethnic sentiment.

4.01: I don't see the confusion. What is national interest? And more importantly, how do we become aware of what our national interest is?

4.02: It is the acknowledgement of a shared national interest that led to the formation of the super-nation called the EU. The fact that an awareness of this common interest has been around for long was what I was driving at when I asked you to name one instance when European nations had warred against each other for the sake of non-European entities.

4.03: The strength (or weakness) of this binding force can be deduced by simply considering the fact that European peoples have been active within our environment for several centuries now during which, they have fought many wars with each other. Out of these many wars, over these many centuries, you are unable to find one instance when they have fought each other for our sake. Now, we cannot say they do not like fighting each other. No, they simply possess an awareness that permits them to see no reason why they should fight each other for the profit of non-Europeans.

4.04: Unlike us. There is no single war going on in Africa right now, or in the immediate past, that has not been either directly (or indirectly) fought for the benefit of outside interests.

I think that groups of people usually decide that because of similar physical and cultural characteristics, they feel more comfortable allying with each other. However, such alliances may only run so deep. For example, imagine the following scenario:

Europe and Africa are made up of nations that have comparable military power. In this scenario, an African nation nation gives Britain exclusive access to an exclusive resource that it controls. This exclusive access creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and fuels the economy of in Britain.

Then one day, the African nation decides it no longer wants to deal with Britain, and says that it will be speaking to France and Germany in order to get a better deal. Will Britain willingly accept the potential damage to its economy that this switch will cause? Will France and Germany say "Oh no - we can't consider this deal that would hurt our dear fellow nation Britain"? No - it is more likely that whatever shared European identity there may be will be overriden by national interest of all nations in order to secure the favourable deal for themselves.

You may say that this is an unlikely scenario, anyway. But it is only unlikely because African nations do not currently have the military power to rule out another alternative, i.e. Britain invading the African nation and forcibly taking control of the resource (which would avoid any conflict with France). This is why when I consider the fact that Europeans have never fought a war for the benefit of Africans, I link this more to the fact that Africa has never been powerful enough to merit such a war being fought than because of any tacit agreement between Europeans not to fight amongst themselves.

Nok
Apr 14, 2008, 02:41 PM
All together a refreshing thread! I would like to infuse a few points to the debate.

1. Afrocentrism is a position that is based on the understanding and active propagation of certain contexts of what it means to be an African. It is the overarching contexts, not the means, that define Afrocentrism. For example, we must divest ourselves of the idea that Afrocentrism means that we must start worshipping the Gods that our forebears worshipped. Afrocentrism in this case would mean that if we have decided to profess an other-racially based religion, we must interpret that religion in a manner that distinctly imbues us with primacy in its ethnic references. We must not try to locate ourselves in someone else's story - we must seize the story and make it our own. It is not Afrocentric to believe that Ham is your ancestor, or that any particular non-African ethnic groups or languages are the preferred of God. The point about religion is that it is a process of ideological engineering (carried out by no less than human beings) that tells you 1)who your worst enemies are (the invisible devil we have been assured), 2)what your greatest aim in life should be (ascending to a heaven populated by virgins or a lot of oyibo angels with blonde hair), or 3) whether you should view yourself as part of an ethnic collective, or rabidly seek your own "salvation" and prosperity. Innocuous as some of these belief systems might appear, they have far reaching influences on how we reason and how we approach issues of national development. I would submit that the most determined enemies are really here on earth, and the paradise we should seek should be the one we create on earth with our imagination. The ultimate prize is racial survival. Disregard this truism to your peril, and possibly, extinction.

2. The chief element in the word Afrocentric, is "African". Any discussion of Afrocentrism obviously starts with a consideration, even debate, of who really the "African" is. I'd say that the Africans are whichever racial or ethnic groups eventually and forcibly claim ownership of that word (tough but true). Since the word African connotes a certain geographical coverage , as well as overlapping phenotypes of humanity, it is difficult to properly phenotypically represent Afrocentrism in the melee of competing ethnic voices who would lay a claim to the word "African". Fortunately, an important aspect of Afrocentrism is in the promotion of strong economic and cultural prosperity along certain cross-ethnic lines of compatibility extending from subsaharan African down to southern aspect of Africa, and across to the diasporan Africans. We may confidently exclude from the assembly of Africans whichever group, for ethnic reasons, does not subscribe to such an cross-ethnic interaction.

3. Afrocentrism is not a complex set of new fangled ideas couched in mystical esoterism. The response of Nigerians to the events that transpired between british airways officials and the Nigerian passengers is actually an Afrocentric response, for the very simple reason that people responded against unfair treatment resulting from the fact of skin color. It would be Afrocentric as well to realise that Nigeria deserves to runs its national carrier by itself without attaching itself (by appelation or otherwise) to a foreign company. It would be Afrocentric to begin to wonder if Nigeria can build planes or plane parts, and possess dominance of aircraft parts supply in Africa. It is really this simple. Afrocentrism asks us to jettison ALL our inferiority complexes ALL TOGETHER and challenge ourselves.

Will continue from here....

Tola Odejayi
Apr 15, 2008, 09:24 AM
5.00:
Quote:
I think that there is a difference in using Christianity to justify barbaric treatment (which you have just described here) and changing Christianity so that the values it espouses are mostly distinctly European in nature (which is what I am saying has not happened). I thought that your argument was that these religions had values which made the adoptees of these religions unconsciously become proponents of the culture from which the religion emanated? I am unaware of any strand of Christianity that was adopted by Africans which was dominated with values that were exclusively European.

5.01: An immediate example that springs to mind are the festivals marked by Christians around the world. Each of the major ones (i.e. Christmas and Easter) are directly derived from the pagan religions of pre-Christian Europe. By adopting festivals that are actually nothing other than disguised forms of Europe's ancient pagan culture, the adherents of Christianity have become proponents of Europe's indigenous culture (even as they scorn their own indigenous culture).

5.02: As for values that are mostly distinctly European, I will refer again to those values that came out of the Reformation in Europe. Values that shaped the nature of what we now call government, education, justice, commerce, religion, politics, etc.

5.03: For as long as our current discourse regarding any of the subjects outlined above remains shaped by definitions that were originally manufactured by the European Reformation and its latter incarnations, then our values will remain shaped by ideas that were originally set forth by the European Reformation. This is why, when we look (for example) at issues like personal freedom, land rights, marriage, and the rule of law, we can see a clear difference between how each of these was viewed by our indigenous communities in the past and, how each presently manifests as a result of the values we have inherited from the imperialists who manufactured our countries.

I don't want to pursue this argument too far, as it is somewhat tangential to the main debate. But I should point out that while you have mentioned some values which are distinctly European in Christianity (something which I don't disagree with), I do not think that these are the dominant values of Christianity. I would have thought that the central theme of Christianity (or at least, the version that was exported to Africa by missionaries) was how God loved the world so much that He wished to save it from sin. But I guess what you consider the dominant value depends very much on your interpretation of Christianity.

Anyhow, here is something to think about. If as you say, Europe could take a religion which did not have its origins in Europe, infuse it with European values and then successfully use this religion as a vector for their culture, what is to say that the same model cannot be employed by Africans? In other words, does it really matter what values the imported religion has, if it can again be successfully infused with values of the indigenous community?




6.00:
Quote:
I think most cultures do a lot of the former. In fact, I cannot understand how it is possible for a people to adopt a totally alien culture with practices that are difficult to understand and execute - and not change or discard some of these practices after a while. Sure, the process of change may not always be well designed; it may not always be for the long term benefit of the people; but it will happen.

6.01: I would refute the above by giving the current ongoing difficulty being experienced by the Yoruba in ridding themselves of mis-leaders that are not only corrupt but also deliriously incompetent as an example from within one of our communities of an effect that can be traced to a totally alien culture that is hard to execute or understand. Also, if we take Chinua Achebe's Thing Fall Apart as a faithful account of indigenous social organisation amongst the Igbo, we can see that it was not only the Yoruba who had an effective means of checking the ill-effects of two-legged locusts within their communities. While we may recognise the benefits of losing certain retrogressive features from our cultures as a result of imperialism, we must also recognise that the present environment that we bewail is a child of the societal organisations that were imposed/modified by the same imperialists.

6:02: Regarding what you said about the process of change, I propose that a process that is neither well-designed or for the long-term benefit of the people is not one that should be allowed to happen. What would be the point of such a process?

I don't understand your refutation. My point was not that the importation of the alien culture was beneficial. My point was that it was not immutable, especially if it was difficult to understand and execute its practices. So if our leaders found it very easy to replace their existing means of getting rid of corrupt leaders with new ways that they could understand and execute as a result of the importation of these cultures, they would do so.

And I raised this point in response to your earlier point:

"However, there is a difference between doing this and simply adopting prescriptions that were devised for environments that are unlike our own."

So I am making the point that societies do not simply adopt imported prescriptions. It is of course unfortunate and undesirable that the changes they may make to these prescriptions are not always for the best, but I'm not describing what I would like to happen - I'm describing what actually does happen for the reasons I had described earlier here:

"Anyhow, I don't think that cultural change is about what is beneficial in the long term to the people who practice the culture. I think it is more about what is easy to practice; what fits in with the world view of the people adopting the culture; what offers short term material benefits; what earns immediate gains in social status."

Of course, someone might propose that the existing African culture (with all its foreign practices) should be completely erased from the minds of Africans and be replaced by a well-thought out culture, all of whose practices had the interests of Africans at heart. Leaving aside the matter of how to decide what is best for the millions of Africans on the continent - each with their own backgrounds, preferences and beliefs - I'd be very interested in hearing how such an idea would be implemented.



7.00:
Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean by 'being centred on the reality of our environment'. I think that we don't have a choice - we do live in just one reality, whether we may choose to acknowledge it or not - whether we like that reality or not. I don't think that a person's grasp of reality is necessarily helped or hindered by adopting one particular world-view or the other, especially if that world view had an agenda which was at odds with the truth of the reality.

Anyhow, I don't think that cultural change is about what is beneficial in the long term to the people who practice the culture. I think it is more about what is easy to practice; what fits in with the world view of the people adopting the culture; what offers short term material benefits; what earns immediate gains in social status. This applies just as much for Africans as for Europeans, i.e. I don't think that Europeans have adopted the culture that they have adopted because it is necessarily to their material advantage. I think it is fortunate that it is to their advantage - but if cultural change was purely dictated on the potential benefits, there are a lot of cultural practices that Europeans would not be engaging in right now.

7.01: Being centred on the reality of our environment extends from the mildly trivial : e.g. Africans in a tropical/hot country dressed in corporate uniforms (suit and tie) that were designed for the inhabitants of temperate/cold countries, to the mildly serious: the construction of buildings with costly materials (e.g. cement) that were originally manufactured for use in climates where the natural storage of heat via the usage of specific building material (i.e. cement) was necessary while ignoring easily available local materials that are best suited to keeping our buildings naturally cool. The effect of which is the wastage of energy that we require to cool these heat storing buildings.

I will not recount in detail the many serious side-effects of this lack of consciousness as I am not only striving to keep my words to a manageable level but, I am also trying to avoid raising my blood pressure by allowing myself to re-collect the many unsuitable projects we have been saddled with; projects that are copied point-for-point from environments that are nothing like ours. In short, when we are not centred on our environment, we are incapable of perceiving both what needs to done to enhance that environment and, the best way to go about it. We either throw away resources (which includes people), or we mis-use them.

I understand better what you mean now, and you have my sympathies - I have observed similar illogical behaviour myself. But I think that most people (not just Africans) are actually not centered on their environment in the way you describe. They live from day to day, not really sitting down to think about the world beyond their immediate environment. The problem lies when it is the leaders of Africa that don't show this behaviour - but that's another argument for another day.

But being 'centered on one's own reality' would mean understanding the complex and multi-dimensional nature of that reality. Sure, the African may recognise that reality consists of regional entities - but it also consists of national, ethnic and local entities as well.

7.02: I am in general agreement with the argument presented in the second paragraph of [7.00]. But, it should be noted that just like rust, the people who seek to mold the evolution of European cultures never sleep and that they all have agendas. While it is true that in certain cases these agendas do not always benefit European societies, we should recognise that in those cases, dependent non-European societies are rarely (and never altruistically) offered long-term benefits. Meanwhile, out of the ones that do benefit the European collective, I am sure that if we look deeply, we will find that they rarely benefit non-Europeans. And where they do, they more often than not only confer their blessings on a select few.

I don't think that cultural spread and evolution involves 'someone' deciding or controlling which practice of a foreign culture should be spread or not spread to Africa, depending on whether it benefitted or didn't benefit Africans. Cultural change is way too unpredictable for that, despite governments and organisations best efforts. Let's be clear that we're talking about ideas and practices, not tangible things like technology or material resources that can be locked away. If so, I don't quite understand how someone can prevent a large number of people from copying an idea or force them to copy an idea.



8.00:
Quote:
I'm glad that you do not take the view that Afrocentrism is not about purity of culture. It appears though, that you believe it has more to do with giving primacy to the interest of Africans above any other group, so that the Afrocentrist will do whatever he has to do in order to advance the interests of Africans.

8.01: What is wrong with Africans giving primacy to their own interests above those of any other groups? As long as we are not devising policies that deprive others of what rightly belongs to them , why should we not put our collective self first? As one who has already stated that we have no choice with regards to the reality we live in [7.00], and, as one who surely knows that every group gives primacy to its own interests in this particular reality we're living in, what reason could you have for thinking Africans should be the exception? Are you saying that in this particular instance, we Africans should ignore the reality in which we find ourselves?

My issue isn't with a group of people putting their interests above any other - it is the nature of the group itself. I have no doubt that there are occasions when it is imperative that Africans act in concert, e.g. when negotiating agreements with similar sized regional entities, but as I have said elsewhere, I think the group is too large and disparate for this 'group-first' policy to be applicable in other scenarios.



9.00:
Quote:
However, I have already pointed out my issues with this stance, i.e. I do not think it is likely that an African will subordinate his ethnic group's interest or his nation's interest to Africa's interest. Look at a purely African matter, such as deploying troops to Somalia to ensure the peace, and see how unwilling African governments have been to act.

9.01: Once again, I identify another of your statements as being one that comes from a view of history and culture as static objects. What you use as an example (the unwillingness of Africans governments to deploy troops to Somalia) would not be an issue in a future where the majority of African leaders/peoples are Afrocentrists. In other words, you are ignoring the effects that a well implemented policy of re-orientation would have over time. After all, it has taken less than 50 years to turn parts of Nigeria into the dominions of shallow scripture-drunk 'Christians' and 'Muslims'.

I think one thing that is missing in your picture of an Africa led by Afrocentrist leaders is exactly how this will come about. Note that Christianity and Islam were two well-defined ideologies that were more or less imposed by external agencies. Are you suggesting that the spread of a similar Afrocentrist ideology would follow similar lines? Remember that the idea of Afrocentrism isn't exactly new - and yet, it seems to have made little headway up till now. Are you suggesting that perhaps someone should forge the Afrocentric ideals into a tight set of beliefs so that they can be spread like any other religion or ideology?




10.00:
Quote:
There is also the issue of defining what is in Africa's interest. Should an African pursue an action if it not only benefits Africa but benefits other regional entities that Africa is in competition with? Should an African pursue an action if it benefits one part of Africa and disadvantages another part? The conflict in the latter question would not arise if we viewed Africa as a patchwork of different groups, each with their own different (sometimes competing) interests rather than a single group bound by a single interest.

10.01: Defining what is in Africa's interests is something that would only be confusing to ones who have no intention of pursuing those interests. There is no sphere of human activities where what best serves the community is not always clear to see. From Education to Business, the easiest thing to perceive is what is required in the short and long term. If I can sit down and know what would be best for me to enhance my career, my family life and, my peace of mind, then what is stopping one who has taken upon him/her self the task of leadership from doing the same for the collective? And, if they are not able to do this thing, then why are they there?

I disagree with the bolded bit. Even on an individual level, it is not always clear what is in one's best interests - otherwise, why do so many people make disastrous choices? And it only gets more difficult when the 'community' in whose best interests the decision must be made is as varied and complex as the 'community' of African people. I'm not saying that there aren't occasions where a decision has to be taken on behalf of Africans (see my earlier example about when negotiating with other regional blocs), but I don't believe that it is desirable to think 'Afrocentric' even at levels where such thinking is unnecessary (e.g. an inter-clan dispute).

10.02: If a person who is engaged in trade is allowed to do what is best for his/her going concern (as long as in so doing, they do not harm those who did them no harm), then why should the African collective not be allowed to what is best it without concern for those who are in competition with it? Are those who have entered into competition with us not "in it to win it"? Or, are there two meanings to the concept of competition?

10.03: A perspective that puts petty intra-African ethnic rivalries into context within the realities of the inevitable global order would make it impossible for anyone in his/her right mind to continue viewing Africa as a patchwork of different groups that must fight to the death. Without doubt, there will be differences, there will be occasions when actions that benefit one region comes at a cost to another. This is where a rightful re-orientation becomes important. If people can be convinced that a man called Jesus was crucified, resurrected and then ascended to Heaven, then surely they can also be convinced that true wealth is the health of the whole collective. If this can be done, then the paradigm within which various competing interests will unfold will not be one that permits for the type of pointless "do or die" mentality that has permeated so much of our current world.

From what you've written above, it seems that you believe that part of Africa's problems is that it is perceived as a fragmented entity whose divisions can easily be exploited. Well, I have no problem at all with seeing Africa as a fragmented entity, but I see no reason why such an entity needs to exploitable. I see the subdivisions of such an entity - be they ethnic groups, artificial nations, city states, whatever - recognising that from time to time, they need to form alliances for their mutual interest, as the occasion arises, e.g. when an exploiter arrives on the scene hoping to pit entity against entity.

In other words, what I am proposing is a flexibility in the formation of these relationships that allows the right entity to be formed for the right purpose. A North African entity might be better placed at dealing with a group of Mediterranean countries over the access to the Mediterranean sea; if other European countries got involved, then the North African entity could be expanded to a fully African entity. But I have no desire to see such larger entities extend its role to beyond where it is needed. An Ewe man shouldn't need to be told that he should feel as much of a kinship towards a Zulu man as he does towards his fellow Ewe man when there is no immediate reason for him to feel this way.



12.00:
Quote:
Yes, it is possible that citizens of a country can still feel energised without being materially well off (for example, if they have just come out of a war against their nation) - but are you saying that material progress has no relationship to how confident and proud a people feel about their nation? Do you think it is easier to energise people and fill them with a sense of identity when they are feeling despondent about their material well-being than when they see visible signs of progress? And even if a form of energisation is needed for material progress to occur, what is wrong with deriving this energisation from national or ethnic pride, rather than striving for an African identity to achieve this? Is national or ethnic pride not sufficient?

12.01: Despondent people are energised and filled with a sense of identity everyday in churches, mosques, personal growth seminars, and various shrines. People have been energised and filled with a sense of identity for decades and our communities have largely had little to nothing to show for it. While material progress does have an effect on how people feel about themselves, it would be hard to point to some aspect of material progress that is serving this purpose in any present-day African country for the majority of the populations that live in those countries.

Eja, I'm afraid you didn't answer my question. The question was about relatives - I don't doubt that it is possible for people to feel energised, even when poor, but I asked if they felt more or less energised if they were materially well off. Or do you feel that material progress actually makes citizens feel less good about their country?

12.02: Our ethnic pride is what causes some of us to come out in defense of criminals whose stupidity in greed would be highly comedic were it not for the tragic consequences that follow their actions.

Well, remember that just as ethnic pride may make people defend ethnic criminals, so also continental pride may make Africans defend African criminals as well. The source of energisation can have both good and bad effects both at the local and the global level.

As for national pride, I have already asked in the post that precedes this why we can visualise in time, the union of Yoruba and Kanuri as Nigerians but cannot visualise in time, the union of Yoruba and Dinka as Africans. If 'national' pride is only sufficient, then African pride, with the wider scope it offers, is extravagantly sufficient.

I have already addressed this issue earlier, but I'll restate what I said: the bond between people in a more global entity (Yoruba and Kanuri) is not as strong as people in a more local entity (Egba man and Ijebu man). I have less reason to believe that it will be stronger between people in an even more global entity like Africa.



14.00:
Quote:
Languages have different purposes for different people. For some, it is merely a tool that helps them communicate, with no more emotional significance than the spoon that they use to eat, or the soap that they use to bathe. For others, it has deep cultural significance - it is imbued with many cultural values and ideas that have special meaning to a particular group.Whether it is worthwhile to pursue or even possible to attain the dream of a language that has such a significance to people is something that I very much doubt. On the other hand, the pursuit of material progress will definitely translate to the kind of power that makes it difficult for external powers to manipulate African nations.

14.01 Actually, I was not referring to spoken language. I used the concept of language as a metaphor. I was trying to relate the fact that we describe what we perceive to ourselves through the filters that stand between what we observe and that part of our mind where we process our perceptions. We process data continuously and, what I am saying is that the Afrocentric view is a 'language' through which we can filter data to our collective benefit.

It is one of the languages we can use - I would not like it to be seen as the only language, to the exclusion of others.

Khalil
Apr 15, 2008, 10:27 AM
Good greetings all,

To continue from where I stopped. How do we discriminate without falling into the abyss like those discriminating against us?

Eja in post #134, I would want to believe, attached more emotions to the entire issue than, I think he should, by saying:


We are meant to accept that one man can be 'white' and an African, 'white' and a European or, of course, a Caucasian. He is permitted to affirm his unique roots by his description.

Another can be Arab and African or just an Arab. He is also allowed to affirm his unique roots by his description.

We however, can only be Black. We may not reserve the description African solely to ourselves as this may cause confusion.


Though it is sometimes inevitable that we react to these issues emotionally but we must realize that thinking logically is what can take us out of the pit we are now in.

As I said earlier, we are being discriminated against because our continent is not identified with any unique contribution to world civilization. Even the Egypt we claim is now being inhabited by those we insist are not part of us(not minding the implication this will cause by further distancing us from grand historical achievements).

So the truth as it seems to me is if we want retrace our steps, in the mould of Afrocentricism, we should concentrate on developing, projecting, what is our own, the product of our environment, to the level of being seen with unique appellation of greatness and this with the input of those around us who may not be phenotipically( as is being wrongly used here) like us.

The reality is those blacks in the diaspora, creatively invent whatever they contribute to those societies only for it to be seen as not the product of Africans but rather the Europeans or Americans on whose culture, world view and perspective our black contributors achieved what they achieved.


Yes, this is practically true for the blacks their are not truly our own( courtesy of the environment theory) culturally and philosophically.

Should you introduce Winfrey Oprah, Condolezza Rice or Muhammad Ali to Grandma in the village in Nigeria of Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa classical culture, Grandma may think Winfrey Oprah is just another mad woman( no offense intended) by her carriage, character and disposition as she would wonder why a society if not the (mad) American society, will respect a woman of Oprah's age but still unmarried and boastfully saying she has a partner with whom she happily lives.

Grandma by all assessment, will be convinced that Oprah is uncivilized as Oprah with her white Americans co-travellers will conclude Grandma to be the uncivilized.

This is another manifestation of the power of environment in deciding who is what in terms of ideological leaning such as Afrocentricism. For a Shuwa Arab in Borno, with her light skin, is likely to think more like Grandma in Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo culture than Condolezza Rice who thinks more like a white American.

So to me in the answer to the question asked, we can achieve the discrimination without debasing ourselves by creating cultural Afrocentricism not color or racial Afrocentricism.



As I said in my post #128 above environment produces unique culture and civilization. So our Afrocentricism should be environment centered.

Today what makes Sinocentric or Indocentric perspective real, practicable and appealing is in the fact that when a Chinese medical doctor meets with a British medical doctor, the Chinese medical doctor shows ably how he attacks medical problems uniquely identified with his culture and environment. He would be able to tell the world how his great grand parents taught the art of healing.

But when Bunch17( yes getting on my friend) meets a British medical doctor, he would only be able to rehash what the old British trained medical doctor told him about attacking problems even if they are unique to the Africans.

Back home here he is most likely to condemn his ancestors ways of healing as very traditional and unorthodox.

Yes, this is what is happening daily between the Western trained professionals and our traditional ones in every area of endeavors.

Our scholarly attitude does not think of improving on our own in philosophy, art and technology based on the nature and climatic attributes of our environment thus the world doesn't see us as anything to proudly associate with thus we are discriminated against.

What recently happened to the Nigerian passengers boarding B. Airways is due to the fact that they are seen as nothing in the eyes of the world.

On the other part when our own reside in the foreign land they get to be assimilated culturally in such a way that whatever they contribute becomes the exclusive preserve of that culture not the black race. In fact they become the instrument with which the discrimination against us will be perpetuated.

For a day, I never think Barack Obama is my brother because of his phenotype. Let him ascend the throne and you will see how all the exploitative policies of the US will continue in Africa on top of the leadership of someone who some of us think he is our brother.

Yes, he will continue to smile cunningly to appeal to our emotions but he is not different from the Condolezzas, the Powells, the Oprahs, the Bushes and Clintons.

But for the rest of Afro-Americans, he can help them get immersed into the system and the leadership that will continue to take them away from the values and philosophy of their ancestors.

No wonder the WASP(Western Anglo-Saxon Protestants) are not willing to give the Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans or the Hispanics the leadership of their country. Because these people have something of value and tradition they can fall back to in their continent of origin. Paraphrasing, Samuel Huntington, in , Who are We: The Crisis of American Identity, " They have not shown readiness to melt into the American cultural pot".

But for the blacks they have, since there is nowhere for them to go and get something of value, pride and philosophy save the America that redeemed them from the clutches of barbarism( don't miss the euphemism) by taking them as slaves from their continent and later, declaring them as free and human while making them the leaders of the same country.

Well, I don't think these people think we are like them so if we want our Afrocentricism lets concentrate on our own environment and start something that will place us in the leap of developed world. Not concentrate on the emotional beats that will ensure the labor of coopting others who are like us but never think we are human enough.

NOTE: I will still come back to comment on Chiwenzu's revealing analysis, its strength and weakness.


Khalilurrahman

Toku.A
Apr 15, 2008, 12:41 PM
I want to say a very big thank you to all the contibutors especially Eja and Khalil that have kept the thread on.

Eja and Khalil seem to be saying the same thing except that argue on if they are more Arab than African. May be it would have been to atart from whom the Arabs are and what defination of Arabismis incompatible with the African continent. I would like to comment on add a few things to Khalil's points and I would like to comment on Chiwenzu's article too.

Chinwenzu is right about how Africans are erroneously referred to as the cursed descendants of Ham it was interesting to see that Arabs also relied on those explanations to justify the mistreatment of "Africans" because I had always known it to be a judeo-Christian teaching, and I would like to make refrences to the book most neo-pan Africanists love to hate (The Bible) to repugate such claims.

Eurocentric and Arabic scholars often claim to depend on geneologies in the Torah or Old testament which is also similar to the Koran to prove that the Africans were cursed. They also supposedly depended on those geneologies to prove the Arabs, Jews, and Africans are totaly different people that should be at each others neck but suprsingly:

The Bible refers to the Arabs as the descendants of Abraham (a Syrian) and Hagar/Agar his Egyptian concubine. It refers to the Sinai area of Egypt as Arabia.

After this Syrian (Abraham) became a widower he had children with another lady reffered to as Keturah her children moved to the right of Sinai (Arabia) some of them (e.g Midian ) according to this account settled in the Sinai Area with the descendants Hagar. They were reffered to as the Ethiopians ( by the way these fellows were recorded to be very dark).

But why are we having a clash of identities and why are we beginning to question the Arabness of Africans or the Africanness of Arabs. I would rather say it is because the word Arab have been limited to an elitist and religious label. The Arabs outside the African continent have refused to continue to be defined by the parameters of others rather they have adopted those denegrating terminologies that were used to describe them to label others.

Unless we Africans stop letting religion and external observers define who we are, our origins, our past and our future, the rest of the continent that have identified their past will continue to look down on those of us that are unwillingly to accept the reality of who we are. So long as the Arabs outside the continent are willing to accept those within the African continent, while we Africans tear them down and deny them the right to claim Africanness as we do we shouldn't realistically expect them to shed their Arab identities in favour of an African one.

Palamedes
Apr 15, 2008, 06:08 PM
khali@#146

In this I will not be able to respond adequately to Palamedes in his attempt to trivialize my take about who is an African and the environment theory, but rather I’ll try to ...
khali, sir, one cannot be clever than oneself otherwise I would have accused you of just that: Here I reproduce my argument at Palamedes@#131 inter alia:

The early protagonists of Afrocentricism were indeed African-Americans such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X to mention but a few. And then from Africa, there were Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba etc. How is it possible for all these people from different environments to become Afrocentrists if Afrocentricism is environmental dependent?
You might have some justification if you had accused me of not giving you an escape exit in my argument but certainly not triviality.

In debate, debaters engage one another—presenting arguments and counter arguments-- but whilst khali like to ask questions and insist on response, he hardly reciprocate except to raise yet another question. His brushing aside my counter argument above is one, another is at Palamedes@#89 inter alia:

A few weeks ago, I watched a programme on CNN about a young girl. Everything about this girl is America—her behavior, fashion, accent etc., but I later found to my astonishment that she has never been to the USA—All that she knows about the USA was via Satellite TV and Internet. Khalil, borrowing your “environmental function” idea, is this girl (who is a product of the "virtual" American environ) an America?
This was indeed a response to Khalil@#84, which he brushed aside also. It seems that the 'Khalil response' or 'no response' is to wish way difficult issues or meeting it with flimsy excuses in an attempt to bury it, where he has no answer.

Further, Khalil's “environmental theory” is further contradicted by what I would call the “Information Age” factor. The influence of the Information Technology in evident in most (if not all) current thinking and ideas, including old ideas revisited [i.e Afrocentricism].

We exist in an age supported by a growing array of technologies. And the real environment is the one we have physical contact with, but it has been superseded (but not overridden) by the “Virtual environments.” These are the ones provided by an array of mobile information and communication technologies. It means that I can be born in the UK, shun my physical [UK] environment, and opt for a [virtual] African environment--adopting an African meme (idea or value or pattern of behavior) including Afrocentrism.

In days of yore, meme would only have been acquired through parents, guardians and, to some extend, books but in and “Information Age”--where one's environment is no longer given--, the individual can create his or her own virtual world or join a greater virtual world and be influenced by it more so than the physical environment.

Such is the case with a large number of British Asians of Indian and Pakistan origins: these men and women are getting their Asian meme directly from India, Pakistan via communication technologies. And their perspective is neither British nor European but Indian or Pakistani; they can (and do) shun their [UK] environment and opt for [virtual] Asian environment, and adopt a way of life and perspective not dissimilar to their kind in India or Pakistan.

Khalil's “ environmental theory” is an antiquated theory and would probable have been nominated for Nobel price in ages gone by but surely not in our current Information age. Any wonder that he is unable to respond adequately to my rebuttal...but rather try to brush it aside?

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 16, 2008, 12:00 PM
Eja in post #134, I would want to believe, attached more emotions to the entire issue than, I think he should, by saying:


We are meant to accept that one man can be 'white' and an African, 'white' and a European or, of course, a Caucasian. He is permitted to affirm his unique roots by his description.

Another can be Arab and African or just an Arab. He is also allowed to affirm his unique roots by his description.

We however, can only be Black. We may not reserve the description African solely to ourselves as this may cause confusion.

Though it is sometimes inevitable that we react to these issues emotionally but we must realize that thinking logically is what can take us out of the pit we are now in.



Khalil, you seem to be bent on wringing every last drop of misapplication as you can get out of the word "emotion".

It seems that you are now fixated on this thing as something that is negative and therefore, just like the imbeciles who use "Afrocentric" when they wish to criticize something they do not agree with, you now append the words "emotion"/"emotional" to anything that goes over your head.

Khalil, if I say "This is a pig.." that is not a statement made with emotion. It may be right, or it may be wrong (the creature may in fact be a hyena), but it is not "emotional".

However, if I say "This is a dirty pig...", then that can be described as an emotional statement. In other words, emotion/emotional describe things that comes with a person's feelings attached.

What in the passage you quoted above indicates any type of feeling on my part?

Your whole approach here reeks of cognitive dissonance.

On one hand, you claim to be aware of the fact that your Arab "brothers" will discriminate against one like you because of your complexion, but then, you can still turn around and prattle on in the manner of one who is concerned that these "Arab brothers" of yours may fall victim to "discrimination".

What the hell are you on?

We are talking about what is going on right now and you are wrestling with some bogey from your own imagination.

If you wish to engage seriously, look at the points I made, address the ones that interest you...expose the illogicality with your much heralded "logic".

Do that.

Save me all these waffling about "discrimination" coming from Africans....discrimination against others like ...when? Where? How?

Palamedes
Apr 16, 2008, 12:24 PM
Hello Admin,

The "Posting Rules" says, "You can edit your posts." If so, why is this facility disabled on this forum? I have just re-read my comment and wish to correct a word or two.

Khalil
Apr 16, 2008, 01:05 PM
Khalil, you seem to be bent on wringing every last drop of misapplication as you can get out of the word "emotion".

....

Khalil, if I say "This is a pig.." that is not a statement made with emotion. It may be right, or it may be wrong (the creature may in fact be a hyena), but it is not "emotional".

However, if I say "This is a dirty pig...", then that can be described as an emotional statement. In other words, emotion/emotional describe things that comes with a person's feelings attached.

What in the passage you quoted above indicates any type of feeling on my part?



Eja not only descriptives suggest emotional tones as you indicated above but also conclusions do. In this what is emotional conclusion in yours, manifests in the lack of considered logic in arriving at your definition of the African as seen in the quotes I used, save phenotype, that is form based definition not content based definition. Taking the vessel for consideration not its content.

And if you are asking for logic, I think I have done that by detailing how I feel culture and environment supersede colour or race in defining who an African is.

And if you have subscribed to the information theory of Palamedes above, let me know, so that we will not continue this since that will nullify the need for Afrocentricism as a perspective.

It is the tragedy to our African brothers in Afrocentiricism who always think of protecting themselves (defensive) not advancing their conquest( offensive).

There are always ways to do things and one of it is to snatch other people's brothers ideologically like they have done to our own who are called the Afro-Americans.

Yes, we are here thinking of how to daily narrow down our scope reduce the number of legitimate Africans by concentrating on a phenotype that has no any cultural value than a mere physical identifier.

I say Afrocentricism can be a success if we can build our environment on the tradition of what our grandparents built their own world and then co opting others by making sure they see the world thru our type of spectacles as much as we can tell them they are also ours since our own have been snatched from us on such pretenses.

This is what you've not yet dislodged in my logic!

Until then,

I will still come back on Chiwenzu Article and the comments by Toku.A for I'll not respond to Palamedes seeing that I have addressed all his concerns and questions in my previous posts, which he is deliberately saying he didn't see now as he chose to reduce my reasons for environment theory as only "because scholars say so about environment". That was why I said he was trivializing my take and portraying himself as less than sincere debater.

Khalilurrahman

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 16, 2008, 02:02 PM
So, Khalil, by your definition, those Africans who grew up in societies like the USA, Haiti or Trinidad are in fact not Africans right?

I mean, if I'm reading you right, even when their "form" is clearly African, because they speak only English, French or maybe Spanish, because they express culture in these languages - because the "content" is clearly sourced from Europe - these people are less African than a Ghaddafi right?

And by the way, your wriggling on the subject of "emotional"/"emotion" will not serve you. The statement is made. The conclusion is drawn by you...if the conclusion is one that elicits an emotion, who does that thing belong to?

Read these again and see if the amendments will help you see the difference

"This is a pig" = Statement.

"This is a filthy, dirty pig" = Emotional statement.

Do you see?

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 16, 2008, 02:17 PM
"Black Supremacy"

Part 1

In order that we may come to grips with the possibility of a concept called "black supremacy" taking hold in Africa or, in the hearts of Africans worldwide, I think it is neccesary that we first examine the one complexion-based supremacy that actually exists at this time.

I speak of course of 'white' supremacy/racism, but before I delve further into this particular thing, I will say a few more words about the idea of "black supremacy"

It should be noted that the idea of "black supremacy" is a relatively new one. One that came about as a result of the fear fuelled projections of those members of the Caucasian race whose imagination led them into nightmares of a future where the current victims/prey of their collective would turn on them and mete out, measure for measure, what they, these victims/prey, had undergone at the hands of white supremacy/racism.

It should also be noted that during our first hostile encounters; even at the height of the twisted commerce that saw Africans labelled as three-fifths of a human, none of those Africans who resisted were identified as black supremacists or as racists. Not even when Africans started agitating for the restoration of their natural rights were those insurgents (regardless of how violent their methods) labelled as black supremacists/racists.

It was only when Africans started challenging in a systemic way, the intellectual underpinnings of a s**tstem that had placed them in the position of a global underclass, that we started hearing warnings (from those who claimed to be afraid) of the likelihood that some Africans were in danger of turning into black supremacists/racists.

A fear that is as credible as one which proposes that at some date in the future, food-animals like cattle, pigs and poultry will develop a technology that will enable them to take their vengeance upon humanity.

The truth of the matter is, 'white' supremacy (also called racism) is the first and only operational supremacy known to man that has a global reach and, while we may speculate on various possibilities, it makes no sense to lump people together, and to put them on trial on the basis of contrived fears that are nowhere near realisation.

It is especially stupid to waste time on this when, in the world we live in today, things that are no longer possibilities (i.e. things that are actual) are playing out right in front of our eyes.

In my opinion, it is a combination of cowardice and hypocrisy that causes some to be pondering the dangers of "Black Supremacy" while 'white' supremacy/racism is currently playing out right before our eyes.

It is also kind of amusing to watch how some self-deluding Africans try to rationalise their abject surrender by linking it to false motivations like their "love for all humanity" or, being "open-minded".

Some would even go as far as to describe what they are doing as being "realistic".

Of course, on being confronted with such flimsy and vaporous excuses, the urge is to ask how this "love of humanity" can be genuine when they so obviously have very little love for their own kind. After all, one by-product of love is a relentless unwillingness to witness the disadvantaging of the object(s) that the love is attached to.

Which is why it was said that "charity begins at home."

We may now ask ourselves about what it means when a person's statements and assertions show that they believe otherwise. We may ask what it means when one who claims to love an object would stand by and watch that object be abused.

We may also be right if we stopped assuming that a majority of the people we meet are either "open-minded" or "realistic". We might have to accept the uncomfortable suggestion that a majority of the people we meet are actually close-minded and as such, easily convinced to adopt environments created by others (for their own specific benefits) as a form of reality that is as natural as daylight.

On coming to this realisation, it becomes easier to see why on hearing words like "Afrocentric" or, "Africa-centred", the image that comes first to the minds of some is of something bad. I have even witnessed an African man make a statement that "this African thing is going too far..."

A statement that would have held more water if the person who made it could have actually backed it up with examples from a few real-life events.

Just as it would have being a lot easier to comprehend the reasons why "black supremacy" was such a bad thing if the ones who decried it could have defined what it actually was, how it had manifested in the world of today (or even the world of yesterday), if they could have pointed at a few institutions around the world that have been promulgating this thing and, if they could have pointed out the communities (now or in the past) whose lives have been blighted by the manifestation of "black supremacy" in their homelands.

In other words, we have people who in spite of describing themselves as being "open-minded" (hardly anyone ever admits to being close-minded) would enter into a debate simply for the purpose of staging a contention between their own conceptions and mis-conceptions.

In other words, these are knights fighting a "phantom menace".

Jedi-jedi knights....

Nok
Apr 16, 2008, 06:44 PM
Debates such as these reveal the stark contrasts of opinion held by different sections of the Nigerian populace and expose the reasons why Nigeria, even as the most populous black country with its masses of educated individuals cannot provide the much needed leadership that Africa requires. Nigeria is occupied by interests that are quite disparate in aspiration, and in spite of its great potential remains in a state of stasis.

Back to the discourse of this thread:

We are left with a persisting disagreement as to who the African is. I think we can simplify this further by recognizing that the word African can be both geographic and patrimonial in connotation.

Khalil posits that the proper definition of the African is the one that takes into consideration all the inhabitants of the African continental/geographical land mass, wherever they migrated from and WHATEVER their antecedents. This is of course a most generic cop-out unbecoming of any serious debater. He goes on in his usual simplistic manner, to state that we cannot regard blacks who have been forcefully migrated to America as properly "African". However, he cleverly ventures into creating a context of patrimony when he states that he envisions an Africa where values are shared irrespective of phenotype. Realising that he has to supply a foundation for patrimony, he rather condescendingly reminds us of how "our" ancestors lived as his most important reason for his point of view. Interesting that he is not willing to extend to African americans the same welcome which "our" ancestors were supposedly famed for. Isn't it true then that the statement of the environment as a determinant of who should be an African is only an advance argument to include North Africans into what would be a Chimaeric perspective of Africa, leading the way for the realisation of islamic designs on the, er, landmass?

We've also been "educated" that blackness or phenotype should not be the basis of "groupness". In pursuing this strange fantasy, we are expected to ignore the generous and quite one-sided "groupness" that has accrued quite generously to black Africans over several centuries of interaction with arabs/europeans. It's all well and good to endure groupness as victims of a world whose code of conduct is deeply rooted in colour recognition, but we are forbidden from pursuing any course of action that leads to growing self actualisation of the group.

There is certain weakness that blacks seem to display. In our different relevant groupings ("nation state", racial, ethnic groups), we usually don't seem to pursue an existential primacy of the group BESIDE THE WORLD. The same weakness that is bothering a black muslim whereby he employs all manner of twisted "logic" to deny his colour as an endowment deserving of positive associations, is exactly the same weakness that leads a non-muslim black African to state with all equanimity that a Libyan Arab is about as African as himself. So both the muslim and non muslim black Africans are in quite good, if poorly informed, company.

DeepThought
Apr 16, 2008, 10:34 PM
Eja thanks for your view,

It would depend on one's definition of racism and supremacy. If you define racism or supremacy as something only a collective could engage in, then you would be right

However, if we understand racism and supremacy as something that exist both at the level of the collective and the individual, then you wouldn't be right.
Let me put it this way:

Black Nations don't practice racism and Black supremacy.
White Nations do practice racism and White supremacy

But:
Individuals and small groups of any colour or race can and do practice racism and supremacy

Meaning that while Black supremacy and racism may not actually exist at least on any scale that is remotely comparable to White supremacy and racism, I think it does exist for real .

I've heard people argue that its not possible to be racist because one is black and I tend to dissagree. Again, as I said, it would depend on how one defines racism.

If I understand you, it looks like you are arguing that there is nothing wrong with Blacks praticing racism and supremacy as a response to White supremacy?.

@Nok, always a pleasure reading from you.


We are left with a persisting disagreement as to who the African is


Khalil posits that the proper definition of the African is the one that takes into consideration all the inhabitants of the African continental/geographical land mass, wherever they migrated from and WHATEVER their antecedents.

These raise important questions.

A group may be defined in a couple of ways, for simplicity's sake , I'll narrow down the options and consider only two:

1. Self definition
2. Non self definiton,- definition by others/outsiders

Of the two definitions above, I think self definition is the prefered option.In the absence of power,the ability of the group to define its own self, present that definition to the world and make it stick, is not possible, then the latter definition will apply.

It is true that the Arabs were not the original inhabitants of North Africa, and its all well and good for us to insist that the Arab of North Africa are not Africans, When we do this, we should fully understand that:

1. Originally, Africa never meant or was meant to describe the race of people who have the dark or black phenotype and we may be missapplying or substituting something else for race. As far as I know, the orthodox definition of races includes the term Negroid and though I've heard people use things like Africanoid, i find that to be not so common.

2. We have just acquiesced to being fully defined by others. Africa is not and has never been a self definition by the forebearers. This leads to the unpalatable point 3:

3. Most alarming : when it is convinient, other people will define themselves and also be defined by others who define us, as African and there is not a damn thing we can do about it. When the goal post moves, as it will at the whim of those who named us "Africans" and if we fall into the trap of allowing ourselves to be called whatever people want to call us, what do you do?

The application of the definition of "African" as an identifier for a group of people, as far as I know, was never originated by "us". "Us " meaning Negros/Blacks/Sub-Saharan Africans (pick your preference).

The origin of the term African is Roman and was never used or meant to be used to describe people of a certain exclusively dark or black phenotype. Unless one wants to argue that the Phonecians or Carthagians originally looked exactly like the people of West Africa or Sub-Saharan Africa .

I think the orignial inhabitants of Carthage whom the name "Africans" applied to were Berber, And this leads to the question - what did the Berbers look like. Were they closer in looks to the Arabs or to the Negro?

Eventually, Africa has came to mean , in popular useage today , at least in English , a characterization of a geo-political entity of people who inhabit the land of Africa, majority of whom are of course Negro or Black.

It can be ambiguous to use the word "African" when one is trying to exclusively refer to Blacks , depending on the circle one is using it in. But as Eja rightly pointed out, A North African in the U.S is not refered commonly to as African American.

I understand the need to use a name that exclusively ties Black people to the land of Africa but would rather Black countries advance strong Armies in the defense of the territories rather than argue too much about what the word means.

When we have strong Nations/States with strong Armies which can defend us, it won't matter what we call ourselves or what others call us.

Thanks

Wayfarer
Apr 17, 2008, 05:07 AM
Yes, we are here thinking of how to daily narrow down our scope reduce the number of legitimate Africans by concentrating on a phenotype that has no any cultural value than a mere physical identifier.


Why did Egypt choose the name "Arab republic of Egypt?" Why did they decide their country would only be for people who had the Arab phenotype?

What about the racist organization, the Arab league? If environment matters more than phenotype, why are the north African countries and Mauritania in the arab league? Why shouldn't the Negroes in Mauritania segregate themselves to counter this state-sponsored racism? If Black people are capable of group racism, why is there no organization of Negro countries? Why is Nigeria not called the Negro republic of Nigeria?

Why are Arabs commiting genocide against Negroes in Darfur, who worship the same religion as they, if not because of their hatred of the Negro phenotype? Why have Arab men mocked the Negro phenotype of their victims prior to killing them If environment matters more than phenotype? Why are they murdering people who live in the same environment as they?

Why didn't Europeans care about oppression in Africa until Mugabe tried to make the Whites return the lands they stole from the indigenous Zimbabweans? If environment matters more than phenotype, why are Europeans protecting their brothers in Zimbabwe, a country far removed from the European continent if it is not because they have the same phenotype?

DeepThought
Apr 17, 2008, 05:32 AM
why is there no organization of Negro countries

That is a good question for our ***** "leaders" who attend AU meetings and fly to Japan/Germany to treat common cold.

wonderer
Apr 18, 2008, 06:21 AM
Some of the arguments made in this thread have made me feel sad for a number of reasons, to the extent I felt discouraged to contribute to this thread and actually to any other threads for the last ten days or so.

But I want to respond to this:


Why did Egypt choose the name "Arab republic of Egypt?" Why did they decide their country would only be for people who had the Arab phenotype?


So when it was the Kingdom of Egypt or the Republic of Egypt there was no problem with the country?

"Arab" here refers to the language and culture. It doesn't indicate racial subscription nor blood ties to the Arabian Peninsula.

I know it can be a little confusing, but the word "Arab" has two modern uses, it either refers to someone who is Arabic-speaking or to someone who is from the Arabian Peninsula.

Actually in North Africa, if you used the word "Arabs" to refer to a group of people, it would be understood you are referring to a group of people from the Gulf countries. Yet these countries describe themselves to be Arab countries in the meaning that they are Arabic-speaking.

Khalil, used a good example earlier, two of the four Egyptian presidents were actually half-Sudanese. Anwar Sadat in particular had a controversial character and was criticized harshly for many things, but this was never mentioned as a criticism against him.




What about the racist organization, the Arab league? If environment matters more than phenotype, why are the north African countries and Mauritania in the arab league? Why shouldn't the Negroes in Mauritania segregate themselves to counter this state-sponsored racism? If Black people are capable of group racism, why is there no organization of Negro countries? Why is Nigeria not called the Negro republic of Nigeria?

By the way, not only the North African countries and Mauritania , but also Somalia, Djibouti and the Comoros are members. Eritrea is an observer.

Why is the Arab League a racist organization?!
I repeat, "Arab" here has no racial or phenotype indications. It refers to sharing common language and what it entails of cultural similarities.

The Arab League is an organization of regional cooperation.
Many African countries are members of many such organizations. Including: ECOWAS, COMESA, SADC, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie.



Why are Arabs commiting genocide against Negroes in Darfur, who worship the same religion as they, if not because of their hatred of the Negro phenotype? Why have Arab men mocked the Negro phenotype of their victims prior to killing them If environment matters more than phenotype? Why are they murdering people who live in the same environment as they?


What is happening is Darfur is a civil war that has to do with the interests of the parties involved in. It is not related to hatred of any phenotype.

I looked online for some pictures for members of different militias in Darfur. From what you said there must be obvious differences between how each of them look. Therefore, I hope you would tell me which are for the racist "Arabs" who hate the "Negro phenotype", and which are for those with "Negro phenotype" and are being prosecuted for it?


http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/09.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/03.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/01.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/08.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/02.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/05.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/06.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/07.jpg




After your answer I promise I will provide the links to the sites where I got there pictures from.

Khalil
Apr 18, 2008, 10:12 AM
Thank you all for the comments especially wonderer for the recent clarification to Wayfarer.

Actually the problem is the debaters here claim an effort to self determination and yet they allow themselves to be defined by media hype and to some extent others they say they want to be free from.

Example:

Firstly: Arab identity as rightly pointed out by wonderer above is not phenotype based, especially when used on a regional clime. Also when one is fathered by an Arab they are said to be of Arab ethnicity as such they have snatched people like Anwar Sadat and Muhammad Nagib from the claims of black race and this house seems to be okay with that.

Secondly: In the Americas or Europa when one is fathered by a white man or woman in marriage with blacks, they tell the blacks the child belongs to them NOT the whites, and this house seems to be okay with that.

Then I asked myself what is it do we want produce that we cannot define ourselves by ourselves? It was then I looked at the environment theory and saw a basis of a self definition there in as much as we can relate to the fact of culture and influence from it and the truth that our part of the world is not being credited with greater achievements in life hence the origin why others think we are not worthy of anything( I discussed this in detail in about 14 posts I made so far in this thread).

I also noted that there is seeming consensus among all the debaters that one does not need to be of the black race to acquire the Afrocentric perspective( this was discussed extensively too on the premise or definition given to it by Palamedes). As such I found convenience in seeing my theory of the environment as being acceptable since this perspective is agreed to be value based NOT race based.


1. Now there seems to be a crisis of definition or affiliation on the part of my opponents as they don't know when one belongs to them and when one does not belong to them as they are ready to accept whosoever is said to be their own by the whites or the Arabs.

2. There is also bit of crisis of conscience here, on the accepted definition of Afrocentricism here and the content of their varied arguments, as they do not know the difference between an Africanist and an Afrocentric since they display sweeping readiness to accept a black man or rather someone who is told to them is black by the whites or Arabs as Afrocentric even when he does not have the feel of African environment or relate to its values and philosophies sentimentally as I explained in my previous posts in the example of Winfrey Oprah and Grandma in an African village.

3. My participation in this debate is yet described by Nok as another set of conspiracy to deprive them of their blackness, by not allowing them to accept the Eurocentric Obama Barack and co. as their brothers, and impose on them an Arabness they so much do not like( even though they cannot differentiate between Arabness and non-Arabness). That all this I am doing while displaying some measure of cleverness( you know it is we who have Arab blood in our veins that are capable of cleverness not their black type).

This is defeatist and grossly unfortunate on the part of Nok who came up with this charge again. He just couldn't see any reason why I argued the same way I did save because of a plan, plot or conspiracy to deprive him from something.

Yes I try to point out where certain ideas we present here resemble some Eurocentricism but I have never accused my opponent of planning to take over Africa and give to a particular race. This kind of insinuation will only show this debate to be unneeded and unwanted here.

Finally, on the comments by DeepThought above:


I understand the need to use a name that exclusively ties Black people to the land of Africa but would rather Black countries advance strong Armies in the defense of the territories rather than argue too much about what the word means.


I prefer the World Black Organisation be formed and strong armies t be advanced in the protection of Black territories of Africa soonest before Barack Hussein Obama comes on the head of European armies to launch a devastating attack on us by our own which will leave our grandchildren to surface here in the years to come asking themselves why?????????? Yes that should done.

Khalilurrahman

Wayfarer
Apr 18, 2008, 11:22 AM
"Arab" here refers to the language and culture. It doesn't indicate racial subscription nor blood ties to the Arabian Peninsula.

I know it can be a little confusing, but the word "Arab" has two modern uses, it either refers to someone who is Arabic-speaking or to someone who is from the Arabian Peninsula.


This is the kind of hair-splitting usually practised by people trying to defend racism. You know as well as I do that the word "Arab" also refers to a phenotype borne by people who are referred to as semitic people. And it is that definition of the word that inspired the name Arab republic of Egypt. No amount of sophistry will change that.



Actually in North Africa, if you used the word "Arabs" to refer to a group of people, it would be understood you are referring to a group of people from the Gulf countries. Yet these countries describe themselves to be Arab countries in the meaning that they are Arabic-speaking.


So why are there Black slaves in Mauritania? Surely many of these slaves must be versed in the official language which is a dialect of Arabic. What piece of demagoguery do you have to explain why Black people are enslaved by people who speak the same language as they?



By the way, not only the North African countries and Mauritania , but also Somalia, Djibouti and the Comoros are members. Eritrea is an observer.


People around the horn of Africa generally do not iddentify with Black people. This has been my personal experience, and the concerted attempts by Ethiopians to obtain patronage by the state of Israel supports my experience. Besides, being a member of an organization does not automatically give you a say in its policies or administration. If you think countries like Saudi Arabia and Syria, both populated by Arabs, would allow themselves to be dictated to by Somalians, you are grossly mistaken.



Why is the Arab League a racist organization?!
I repeat, "Arab" here has no racial or phenotype indications. It refers to sharing common language and what it entails of cultural similarities.


The part of your quote I bolded is a complete falsehood. It is the same arguement made by people who say that slavery was motivated by economic expediency and had nothing to do with race. The Arab league is all about promoting the culture and interests of the Arab race. Just because some Negroid countries do not have enough self respect to avoid it does not make it any less so.



The Arab League is an organization of regional cooperation.


Yes it is...for the Arab race.



Many African countries are members of many such organizations. Including: ECOWAS, COMESA, SADC, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie.


But none of these organizations caters exclusively to Negroes. There is no Negro league, or Organization of Negro nations. That is the difference.

And your attempts to deny the genocide in Darfur will not stand either. Innumerable sources have described the crisis in Darfur as a genocide. Numerous victims of the genocidal rampages have recounted how their negroid features were mocked by Arab attackers before they were raped and their male relatives murdered. No nation will officially call the crisis in Darfur a genocide because such an admission would obligate her to intervene to quash the genocide, as stipulated by the United nations charter. No amount of obfuscation can negate what is transpiring in Darfur - it is Arabs systematically murdering Negroes. It is a genocide.



In the Americas or Europe when one is fathered by a white man or womanin marriage with blacks, they tell the blacks the child belongs to them NOT the whites and this house seems to be okay with that


You can remove me from the group of people that support this blatantly racist practice. Barack Obama is just as White as he is Black. And considering that he was primarily reared by his White mother, the White race would appear to have a greater claim on him than the Black race. But I don't hear too many Whites making this point so who am I to tell them whom they should or should not embrace?

area boy
Apr 18, 2008, 12:48 PM
http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/06.jpg

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm155/wondering_alot/Darfur/07.jpg


After your answer I promise I will provide the links to the sites where I got there pictures from.


Wonderer, I care not a jot for the point you think you're trying to make with these pictures.

Any fool can be made to do/see any thing in a particular perspective especially in the name of religion.

That these mis-guided individuals fight for one side or the other has no bearing on the essence of being African.

You keep dancing around the word 'Arab' as used by North African countries but the fact remains they do not use African in describing themselve or their countries. The Africa part for them is purely geographical. Don't try to paint them as something they do not see themselves.

Enough time-wasting already

DeepThought
Apr 18, 2008, 12:49 PM
...readiness to accept a black man or rather someone who is told to them is black by the whites or Arabs

This is one of the (few) problems I have with the usage of the word "black"

When I say someone is "black", I know exactly what I mean being born and raised most of my life in Nigeria,. By the one drop rule in the U.S, you may look as white as snow, but if the community knew your grandfather was black, then you are black!
So, what people call "black" in some parts of the world, especially North America is by no stretch of the imagination remotely similar to what people call "black" in Nigeria.

So even the use of the word "Black" could be a problem, but maybe less so than the use of "African"

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 19, 2008, 10:00 AM
"Black Supremacy"

Part 2

Since the world we live in is so closely interlinked, i.e. since we live and function within a global network that consists of overlapping economies and cultures, it would be safe to say that while other self-assertive concepts may have influence over wide areas, for one to be described as truly effective, it needs to have a global reach.

The genius of the organism called 'white' supremacy is shown in the way it allowed itself to evolve to the point where it no longer requires the physical presence of its host in a location before it can propagate itself in that location. In other words, 'white' supremacy, in its present incarnation, does not require that one fits the description of 'white' before one is allowed to be at its service.

For example, in Africa, the ones identified by Chinweizu as "compradors" are little more than 'white' supremacists in African skins. For this reason, we see why it is important that 'white' supremacy is overstood by all Africans (including those who live in countries where so-called 'whites' are not present in conspicuous numbers).

Striving to fix up these communities without realising the full contours of the objects being contended against will only lead to repeated failures and sterile perambulations.

I will emphasise further that 'white' supremacy has all the features of a fully functional religion and, like all religions that allow for proselytizing, converts of all shades and previous creeds/persuasions are welcome. All that is required of them is that the remain loyal and faithful to the tenets of their newly adopted religion.

One thing we need to do if we are to truly get the full picture of the subject at hand is to differentiate between what presently manifests as 'white' supremacy and bigotry: Bigotry is the prejudice held by an individual towards a mass of people that are differentiated either by phenotype, culture or language. Bigotry, like rage, greed or lust is a natural emotion that dwells in what may be described as the animal regions of the human mind and, like all other inhabitants of this region, bigotry can be tamed by a relentless exposure to the light of civilization.

However, what is called racism is a different matter: Racism is a tool that societies (sometimes deliberately, and sometimes unconsciously) devise for use at moments when they are faced with the prospects of entering into a period of unpredictable interaction (or, straight-out competition) with another group of people that is differentiated from them.

We can call racism a tool because, we have also seen similar mechanisms deliberately manufactured when a society decides to turn one part of itself into an underclass (or servile class).

In both instances, what we find is that because the society has declared itself to be in possession of those characteristics that qualify a collective to be labelled as civilised, it cannot enter (without qualms) into behaviours that fall outside the description of civilized behaviour.

Therefore, it needs to rationalise its behaviour; it needs to lessen the value of its prospective victims in order that it may do to them what it would not normally do to fellow humans.

After all, civilized humans do not treat other humans like animals.

Therefore, a whole new set of intellectual armour is hammered together to protect the sense of Self from the possible repercussions of a rebellion by the conscience. And often, we will also see how that WMD of the mind, 'God', will be brought in (one way or another), to justify the fate that is to befall the destined victims of the chosen people of "Heaven".

Perhaps a divine curse on one hand and, a divine blessing on the other...or some inherent genetic depravity....or a higher good...or all the above....

Several explanations that goes beyond the everyday are appended to the target people(s) and, all mechanisms of public indoctrination are used to ensure that this now "rational" behaviour/reaction towards another set of human beings by ones who are meant to be civilised is justified (and remains justified).

In short, the difference between bigotry and racism is that bigotry is instinctive and individualistic while racism comes fully equipped with a set "rational" explanations for the perceived/asserted supremacy of one entire group of people (and all their works) over another group of peoples (and all their works).

Linking this up with the first things I said above might enable ones to see how even an African bigot who despises most Caucasians will still happily serve 'white' supremacy once he can be convinced that by so doing, he will achieve great personal success.

And as we witness so-called leaders and elites denuding the lands under their stewardship of natural resources.....despoiling the environment to such a state that it can no longer provide a livelihood for the indigenous people, we might realise that these blinded leaders, regardless of what 'national' costume they are regularly photographed in, are no different from the 'white' imperialist of bygone days.

When we further take into consideration the fact that for these 'leaders', the most prestigious accumulated wealth comes in forms that are given value from cultures outside Africa, it is hard not to suspect that for them, their alleged country presents a prospect no different from that which so invitingly confronted those invaders by whom Africa had been perceived as a land that was devoid of humanity and therefore, undeserving of those simple considerations that would have been the norm when one stepped into the abode of fellow humans.

In other words, the perception of some of our so-called African leaders/elites, as they overlook our collective fate (which they stand outside of), is still shaped in crucial ways by some of the most despicable tenets of 'white' supremacy/racism.

However, we must not give up hope and assume that things will always be like this. What we are living through is a process; an evolution and, it is not something that will reveal its final configuration overnight.

We must keep in mind that the mind-state of the current leadership is what is to be expected if one considers the genesis of most African 'countries', the reasons they were cobbled together, and the highly fraudulent 'independence' procedures that led to the ascendancy of the compradors.

While we should not give up hope, while we may in fact be confident of our aims, we must also not underestimate the complexity and difficulty of the work that is still at hand.

The carelessness that went into the formation of African countries was based on arrogant presumptions that had their roots in the ideal of 'white' supremacy and, in the years that led up to the 'independence' of various African countries, these ideals, especially the one that spoke of the inability of Africans to govern themselves, were challenged by a generation of Pan Africanist thinkers/activists.

It was in reaction to this challenge that the colonial governments devised and implemented the highly flexible and ever evolving strategies that saw the replacement of direct rule from Europe with the indirect rule that Kwame Nkrumah called "neo-colonialism".

The primary tool of this new stratagem was the handing over of power to indigenous initiates into the religion that had postulated and realised the "necessary" European domination of Africa. And, one of the first thing the compradors did was to commence the indoctrination of their public into the belief that each of the structures established by Europe in Africa (for its own benefit), were irreversible (and of a form that was beyond negotiation).

And wherever other Africans sought to argue these points, they were responded to with the full weight of all those coercive tools that had been the prime inheritance of the negro 'white' supremacists.

An observation that bears repeating at this point is how 'white' supremacy, since it no longer relies on people that fall under the phenotype-determined description 'white' for its perpetuation, has been in the process of removing phenotype-based bigotry from its arsenal. This is a tactical move since it has now become necessary, if the global gains and advantages it has won are to be preserved, for 'white' supremacy to permit non-'white' people to achieve middle (and upper-middle) management positions within its hierarchies.

This tactic works on several levels because not only does it make for a more harmonious working environment within the various organisms of 'white' supremacy, it also denies those inheritors of the Pan Africanist ideal their most potent weapon : the ability to point out the blatant unchecked bigotry that was to those organisms what a slimy trail was to a snail on the move.

As a consequence, we now have servants of 'white' supremacy who though 'white' will never be seen to display any inkling of phenotype-based bigotry.

So now, often times when you say "White supremacy..", there are people who will ask in all honesty what the hell you are talking about. These are the ones who have assumed that 'white' supremacy is no longer an issue because the bigotry that was once blatantly displayed towards Africans is now no longer "politically correct".

What they fail to see is the fact that by arranging the world in accordance with a template that was created in Europe and, by presenting all paradigms that are incomprehensible to the European mind (or the European-shaped mind) as being things that do not have the same validity as those things that are comprehensible to this bleached mind, 'white' supremacy still survives.

The fact is that for us to deal with them, we have understand them and make ourselves understood by them.

Never the other way round...never do they have to try to see the world as we have described it...not even in our own indigenous environment.

This means that we are still under the thumb of this supremacist ideology and, what comes next starts with a basic choice: We will either be one of those who thinks that the present set-up in Africa was built to last for eternity so, we might as well accommodate ourselves with it, or, we can be one of those who knows that humanity has being long on this Earth and that through the ages, various Religions, ideologies, modes of political organisation etc., have come and gone.

Changes come and each starts as an idea. Then, people implement those ideas.

The collectives that have not realised this truth; that change is a necessary part of our journey through time, either become subsumed into more dynamic groupings or, become extinct.

DeepThought, I have not yet responded to the questions you posed but I will in the Part 3 of this my magnificent magnum opus....:smile:.

Iron sharpens iron....:wink:.

Myne Whitman
Apr 19, 2008, 10:16 AM
Eja,

I am already saving the salients parts of this debate and have to say your magnum opus takes pride of place. Thanks for sharing...

wonderer
Apr 19, 2008, 01:05 PM
"Arab" here refers to the language and culture. It doesn't indicate racial subscription nor blood ties to the Arabian Peninsula.

I know it can be a little confusing, but the word "Arab" has two modern uses, it either refers to someone who is Arabic-speaking or to someone who is from the Arabian Peninsula.

This is the kind of hair-splitting usually practised by people trying to defend racism. You know as well as I do that the word "Arab" also refers to a phenotype borne by people who are referred to as semitic people. And it is that definition of the word that inspired the name Arab republic of Egypt. No amount of sophistry will change that.

Wayfarer,
I only write what I think is true. We may disagree, but how would you possibly know what I know or don't know?!
In this particular case I know for fact that the official name of Egypt is not related to phenotype but rather to the culture.




Actually in North Africa, if you used the word "Arabs" to refer to a group of people, it would be understood you are referring to a group of people from the Gulf countries. Yet these countries describe themselves to be Arab countries in the meaning that they are Arabic-speaking.So why are there Black slaves in Mauritania? Surely many of these slaves must be versed in the official language which is a dialect of Arabic. What piece of demagoguery do you have to explain why Black people are enslaved by people who speak the same language as they?

There is no excuse for enslaving of people of any race.
And in general there are racial dimensions in slavery, but they are not the only reason behind it.



People around the horn of Africa generally do not iddentify with Black people.
This is the kind of results expected by the line of logic adopted by a number of people on this thread.

First: It was that North African are not African or not African enough or something along these lines.
Now: There is something about East African. They don't identifying themselves enough.
Continue with this line of logic and before long you have disintegrated Africa completely.
This is why I repeat this kind of ideas are dangerous to Africa. If there will be subjective and arbitrary definitions of who is an African.


Besides, being a member of an organization does not automatically give you a say in its policies or administration. If you think countries like Saudi Arabia and Syria, both populated by Arabs, would allow themselves to be dictated to by Somalians, you are grossly mistaken.



The part of your quote I bolded is a complete falsehood. It is the same arguement made by people who say that slavery was motivated by economic expediency and had nothing to do with race. The Arab league is all about promoting the culture and interests of the Arab race. Just because some Negroid countries do not have enough self respect to avoid it does not make it any less so.


Yes it is...for the Arab race.


But none of these organizations caters exclusively to Negroes. There is no Negro league, or Organization of Negro nations. That is the difference.


I can only repeat what I tried to explain before, it is not about a racial or phenotype identity, it is cultural.

About who gets to decide , by reading the Arab League chapter you would find out that for the League council to issue any resolution it has to be unanimously approved. This means that each member country have an equal say in the resolutions issued.
But actually the Arab League is not a powerful institution politically. And it has become a symbolic body that an effective one , an example would be the recent series of mediation trips of Amr Mousa (AL Secretary General) to Lebanon that are going on for months but with no results whatsoever.


And your attempts to deny the genocide in Darfur will not stand either. Innumerable sources have described the crisis in Darfur as a genocide. Numerous victims of the genocidal rampages have recounted how their negroid features were mocked by Arab attackers before they were raped and their male relatives murdered. No nation will officially call the crisis in Darfur a genocide because such an admission would obligate her to intervene to quash the genocide, as stipulated by the United nations charter. No amount of obfuscation can negate what is transpiring in Darfur - it is Arabs systematically murdering Negroes. It is a genocide.

Please don't try to change the subject
The topic of whether it is a genocide or not was not what I replied to. I didn't say anything about this.
What I disagreed with you about that you portrayed as a racial hatred or phenotype based hatred between the "Arabs" and "Africans".
This is why I used these pictures of members of the militias who identify themselves as "Arab" and other pictures of members of the militias that identify themselves as "African" in Darfur. I am still asking you to kindly point to the phenotype differences between them. And to identify which of them belong to the Arab.

Rwanda and Burundi experienced the worst kind of genocide in the 90s. Does this mean the perpetrators of such atrocities were not African?
Also what about the civil war in DRC that claimed so far more than 6 million lives, the highest number ever after WW2, is it between African and non-Africans?

wonderer
Apr 19, 2008, 01:21 PM
Wonderer, I care not a jot for the point you think you're trying to make with these pictures.
Thank you for taking the time to inform me about this. I wonder how did you figure out that one of my life aspirations is to know what you care or don't care about.



Any fool can be made to do/see any thing in a particular perspective especially in the name of religion.
You are right. Any fool can be made to do/see any thing in a particular perspective especially in the name of love or hate of any particular religion.


That these mis-guided individuals fight for one side or the other has no bearing on the essence of being African.
I agree with you. It is a civil war, not a war between Africans and non-Africans.


You keep dancing around the word 'Arab' as used by North African countries but the fact remains they do not use African in describing themselve or their countries. The Africa part for them is purely geographical. Don't try to paint them as something they do not see themselves.
First : Africa is a geographical entity.
Second: I am not sure how many time do I need to explain that being African and being Arab are not mutually exclusive. African is someone who is from Africa. Also North African countries never said they are not African!



Enough time-wasting already
At the beginning of your post you said you don't care about the point I was making and still you replied to it. Now you say you think it is time-wasting and you still put time into it.
Interesting!

nero africanus
Apr 19, 2008, 03:47 PM
wonderer ,

identity is not always based on skin colour or as you like to put it phenotype , identity sometimes is based on other things , the northern sudanese are muslim and arab speaking. most speak no indigenous languages , the atrociites they commit is against mainly christian african language speaking africans

a common language as we all know tends to bring a common culture

what does this mean ?

it means that with assimilation into another culture, language, religion completed centuries ago , it means that apart from their skin colour there is nothing that relates to africa about them apart from existing in a geographical space called africa

if because of their skin colour you are willing to accord africaness to this arab speaking , muslim sudanese then , i hope you will be willing to accord africanness to the aborigines of australia as a result of their melanin containing skin , i hope you will be willing to do the same to people of papua new guinea who are darker than some nigerians i know , i hope you will be willing to do the same in southern india and sri lanka where the locals are even darker than africans

what is the point ?

being african goes beyond skin colour

when people say the genocide in darfur is between arabs and africans

that is exactly what it is

nero africanus
Apr 19, 2008, 04:22 PM
i would like folks to read this book from cheik anta diop [video]http://www.amazon.co.uk/Civilization-Barbarism-Cheikh-Anta-Diop/dp/1556520492/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1208616495&sr=8-11"] civilisation or barbarism


here diop traces the origins of civilisation and exposes the western academic racist fraud that is passed off as research. here he confirms what most of us have known already for ages.

he draws on more sources and existing research than most other anthropology books on the origin of man.

professor diop tells us that according to glogers law , it is impossible for the first man to be lacking in skin pigment. he also goes on to say that most of the older fossils of the homo sapiens found in europe are frauds and shows how research is based on fraud even when the researchers know that the premise of the assertion is a fraud

he states that the first man to go to europe was a black man towards the end of the glacial age. he tells how over thousands of years the black man who went to europe began to mutate as a result of the the lack of sunlight. this is not an impossible phenomenon as we see that black africans in europe become noticeably lighter than they were in africa , also in africa does who spend considerable amount of time inddors become noticeably darker upon exposure to the sun.

his research and those of others shows the part of these migration and how the further north into europe you went the lighter peoples skins became, this pattern is only distorted when you look at where age old migration is affected by recent migration ( resent in terms of about 10,000 years )

diop further goes on to prove that at the time of christ all the occupants of africa where black, from the ethiopians to the egyptians to the the catheginians to the touregs of the sahara to the berbers

according to him , the history and culture of north africa changed with the arrival of islam and the hordes of arab invaders. black africans were pushed into the sahara ( ghadaffi did this again 2 years ago to black african migrants to libya).

this is what is responsible for the thick population density of west africa particularly in places like nigeria.

he further goes on to say that the roman armies where almost defeated by the armies of hannibal who history agrees was black , the history agrees also that the queen of sheba the Ethiopians where also black. cave drawings of egyptian caves also presents the egyptians to be black.

it is for this reason that the other migrations to warmer climes have the migrants also black. this was the case in parts of asia particularly india , it is also the case with australia

the politics and identity of colour was an invention of the western europeans to justify slavery.

in doing so it requires at every turn to prove the lack of humanity of the african.

he says that all non black migrants in africa who are within 20 degrees north or south of the equator will eventually become black if their descendants stay for anything between 20,000 to 50,000 years in those climes.


to be continued

area boy
Apr 19, 2008, 06:29 PM
wonderer ,

identity is not always based on skin colour or as you like to put it phenotype , identity sometimes is based on other things , the northern sudanese are muslim and arab speaking. most speak no indigenous languages , the atrociites they commit is against mainly christian african language speaking africans

a common language as we all know tends to bring a common culture

what does this mean ?

it means that with assimilation into another culture, language, religion completed centuries ago , it means that apart from their skin colour there is nothing that relates to africa about them apart from existing in a geographical space called africa

if because of their skin colour you are willing to accord africaness to this arab speaking , muslim sudanese then , i hope you will be willing to accord africanness to the aborigines of australia as a result of their melanin containing skin , i hope you will be willing to do the same to people of papua new guinea who are darker than some nigerians i know , i hope you will be willing to do the same in southern india and sri lanka where the locals are even darker than africans

what is the point ?

being african goes beyond skin colour

when people say the genocide in darfur is between arabs and africans

that is exactly what it is

Thank you Nero. I fear though that this is all lost on Khalil and wonderer. It's an exercise in futility.
So, Arabs can describe themselves as such wherever they live, but anybody who lives in Africa is automatically African?. It seems to them, others can have a collective term, but the African is just geographical. What nonsense!.

Wayfarer
Apr 20, 2008, 05:35 AM
So, Arabs can describe themselves as such wherever they live, but anybody who lives in Africa is automatically African?. It seems to them, others can have a collective term, but the African is just geographical. What nonsense!.


Very powerful point there, area boy.

DeepThought
Apr 20, 2008, 06:52 AM
@Nero,
Thanks for that link to Diop. Its a crime we were not systematically taught about these things from right from childhood by our educational system. I read Diop's profile on Wikki and was amazed at the little I learnt about the man.

Eja,
Thanks for your post, while looking forward to part 3 let me very briefly make a comment which you might consider.


Is it possible to believe that there are many different types of bigotry or bigots, with perculiar brands of bigotry having very specific names?

For example, the heterosexual who has a very strong and violent hatred of homosexuals could be said to be homophobic. Similarly, could the bigot who hates and discriminates against another solely on account of race be said to be racist?

I can hardly wait for part 3

Thanks again

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 20, 2008, 10:44 AM
Eja,
Thanks for your post, while looking forward to part 3 let me very briefly make a comment which you might consider.

Is it possible to believe that there are many different types of bigotry or bigots, with peculiar brands of bigotry having very specific names?

For example, the heterosexual who has a very strong and violent hatred of homosexuals could be said to be homophobic. Similarly, could the bigot who hates and discriminates against another solely on account of race be said to be racist?


DeepThought, strictly speaking, you are right: Racism is a form of bigotry, no disputing that. However, we need to be mindful of the way perception can be wrongfully molded by the conflation of two things that are dissimilar in magnitude and context.

The racism that is bound up in 'white' supremacy is nothing like the racism of a bigot who does not like Caucasians and/or Arabs simply because they fit the description of what is called 'white'.

For us to be able to start comparing the two, then we Africans will have to devise ideologies (AKA religions) that are based on scriptures which describe the pale skinned inhabitants of this Earth as the lowest level of humanity.

We will then have to enslave them for centuries, systematically detach them from their indigenous cultures, commit genocides against them, take their lands, rape their women (and children), draw up tables of classifications for the resulting offspring of those rapes, write numerous scripts in which we describe how naturally despicable they are, write scriptures (i.e. words of 'God') that justify all we are doing to them and, last but not least, we will have to set up institutions which all have inbuilt mechanisms that make sure that these people, when they are ready to climb out of the holes we put them in, are unable to act in concert.

It is only when we are finished with all of these demonic activities, that we will definitely be able to compare what can then be rightfully described as "Black supremacy/racism" with the 'white' supremacy/racism that has existed for millenniums and, still exists.

I remember listening to a piece of music about 10 years back in which the musician lamented the fact that African-Americans were been drawn into taking out high-interest loans whenever they wanted to buy property. Now, we all know that to buy your own property is one of the foundational precepts for those who will participate in the good capitalist life. So, what does it mean when you systematically place road-blocks in the path of a set of people that are already conveniently differentiated by their phenotype?

Well, several months ago, the chickens that musician had been talking about came home to roost and the result was what is now called the "Sub-Prime Loan Crisis".

The irony is that previously, these people who are now defaulting en-mass had a reputation for being the most reliable sources of a regular pay-out. Yes, the legend that had drawn a lot of financial institutions into dabbling in the Sub-Prime market had been the statistics that showed how 'poor' people were more likely to pay their debts than their so-called wealthier counterparts.

'Poor' people in a capitalist society are often poor because money does not stay for long in their pocket. Put yourself in the path of the cash river flowing from those pockets and you will be as rich as Jupiter....:wink:.

There have also been studies done in the UK and in the USA that measure the time it takes a pound or a dollar to move from the pockets of one set of peoples into the pockets of another set. What has been found is that generally, a pound or dollar spends the least time within the African community before it moves out.

We can take a guess on how many of those pounds, dollars or euros will ever touch an African hand again once they leave it.

It has also been found that Africans are the least likely group of people to hand over inherited wealth in forms that can be built upon be the inheriting generations.

It should be understood that in compiling these measurements, no one was looking at how rich Chief Agbadanla is....no, the so called wealth of this hypothetical Chief was added to the poverty of the majorities he belonged to and the sum arrived at was one that spoke of collective poverty.

In looking for the reasons why these facts exist, we are confronted with a choice between two alternatives: we can say Africans perform so badly in all indices because they are genetically flawed or, we can say that there are institutional factors.

I say that there are institutional factors and it is the continued existence of these factors that put racism/'white' supremacy on a level all by itself when we are talking about the different forms of bigotry that exist on this Earth.

Wayfarer
Apr 20, 2008, 12:37 PM
Eja,

I believe that only a severely delusional being would deny the concerted racism that Black people have endured over the years, and to a lesser degree, continue to absorb today. Most people would also agree that the races of the world (a deplorable exception being the Negro race) tend to promote their respective physical characteristics and culture. Therefore, it is quite likely that racism would have colored the initial interactions between Blacks and other races no matter how well Blacks administered their societies, or felt about themselves.

However, I am unwilling to exculpate Blacks of complicity in our victimization. Would we have experienced the same level of racism if we had not presented a posture of servility and inferiority to the outsiders who had first engaged us? Would we command respect today if we had indicated that we prefered our fellow Black Africans, regardless of tribe, by rejecting the slave traders who enticed us to betray them?

Would we command more respect today if we had clung defiantly to our cultures, rather than raplacing many of our cultural practices with foreign ones, consequently marking us and our societies as inferior?

If we had repelled our slavers, or at least refrained from cooperating with them, if we had resisted colonialism more vehemently, if we displayed less ardor for foreign conventions, isn't is possible that we would be receiving respect for our pride and dignity today even if we weren't celebrated for our intellectual ability?

I found these points particularly interesting:



There have also been studies done in the UK and in the USA that measure the time it takes a pound or a dollar to move from the pockets of one set of peoples into the pockets of another set. What has been found is that generally, a pound or dollar spends the least time within the African community before it moves out.


Now aren't Black people to blame for not circulating their money within their communities like other races do? What prevents Black people from starting business in their communities? In the United States, many businesses in Black communities are owned by Koreans. Is it the Korean's fault if Black people refuse to step up to the plate and start their own businesses?



We can take a guess on how many of those pounds, dollars or euros will ever touch an African hand again once they leave it.


My guess is zero. Other races love themselves. We Black people are notorious for hating ourselves. True, we have been brainwashed over the years, but must we succumb to psychological attacks motivated by spite and jealousy? I have been told all my life that our full lips were unattractive. I have never believed this nonsense. Full lips have always looked more attractive to me, yet many Black people have accepted this misinformation. Some even go as far as downplaying the attractiveness of full lips while praising the thinner versions. So whose fault is it if we can't love ourselves?



It has also been found that Africans are the least likely group of people to hand over inherited wealth in forms that can be built upon be the inheriting generations.


Because they married outside their race perharps? I am sure I don't even need to elaborate on our penchant for showing how much we hate oursleves by marrying anyone or anything we can find as long as she or it is not Black.



In looking for the reasons why these facts exist, we are confronted with a choice between two alternatives: we can say Africans perform so badly in all indices because they are genetically flawed or, we can say that there are institutional factors.

I say that there are institutional factors and it is the continued existence of these factors that put racism/'white' supremacy on a level all by itself when we are talking about the different forms of bigotry that exist on this Earth.


I personally believe it is a mixture of both. We are all familiar with the institutional aspect. As for the genetic component, when I look at the nihilistic way many Black people behave today, I am convinced there is something greviously wrong with us, and much of it can be ascribed to genetics. I just don't think there is any getting around that.

I am still a staunch Afrocentrist, but many Black people sure have some serious problems.

wonderer
Apr 20, 2008, 01:18 PM
wonderer ,

identity is not always based on skin colour or as you like to put it phenotype , identity sometimes is based on other things , the northern sudanese are muslim and arab speaking. most speak no indigenous languages , the atrociites they commit is against mainly christian african language speaking africans

a common language as we all know tends to bring a common culture

what does this mean ?

it means that with assimilation into another culture, language, religion completed centuries ago , it means that apart from their skin colour there is nothing that relates to africa about them apart from existing in a geographical space called africa

if because of their skin colour you are willing to accord africaness to this arab speaking , muslim sudanese then , i hope you will be willing to accord africanness to the aborigines of australia as a result of their melanin containing skin , i hope you will be willing to do the same to people of papua new guinea who are darker than some nigerians i know , i hope you will be willing to do the same in southern india and sri lanka where the locals are even darker than africans

what is the point ?

being african goes beyond skin colour

when people say the genocide in darfur is between arabs and africans

that is exactly what it is

Nero, thank you for this post

I would like to point that the phenotype definition was first introduce by Eja. While Wayfarer described the war in Darfur as a war caused by hatred of the "Negro phenotype". I disagree with both arguments.


I agree with you that a common language brings a common culture. Actually I have said so before in this thread. And that being African goes beyond skin colour.

But I don't understand why you would say that North Sudanese speaking Arabic and the majority of them being Muslims,would make them not African.
Would you be saying this also about other countries that accepted Christianity as the religion of the majority, or are your views on this particular to African Muslims?

I have seen in this thread a number of different arbitrary definitions of the word "African".

I personally think an African is some one who is from the continent of Africa (full stop)

I believe in the Pan-African ideas promoted by the generation of great African leaders such as Lumumba, Nkrumah and Nasser, who promoted for a united and viable African continent , not a racial and religiously discriminating one.
Nkrumah specifically saw the Sahara as a bridge between Africans not a divide. I read about the legacy of those men and I feel inspired. I feel sad when their names are used to try to promote something different than what they called for.
By the way, related to the exchange between Wayfarer and DeepThought , actually there was once a call for a league of Black African countries, initiated by Mobutu Sese Seko.


At the end I said before that some of the arguments made in this discussion make me sad for a number of reasons. I also want to add that they make me wonder , and this is a general comment not directed to you personally, why would one object loudly against racial or religious discrimination when they are directed against him/her or a group that s/he identifies with. On the other hand, given the chance, this same person will practice such discrimination or condone them when directed against others?!

nero africanus
Apr 21, 2008, 01:03 AM
a wonderful post that was wonderer,

in that post i was emphasising on what it meant to be african

what it means to be african can be compared to what it means to be arab.

it goes beyond geographical spaces ,

if i state that the arab is not african there is nothing discriminatory about it , it is a mere statement of fact.

the arab is not african , the arab is an external invader who settled in africa while maintaining all parts of his indigenous culture.

for instance what exactly is it that sub saharan africans have in common with arabs , we know that the arabs of egypt have so much in common witt the arabs of saudi arabia , if there is anything that the sub saharan africans have in common with the egyptian arabs then they will also have it with the saudi arabs .

you sound like the jews who when something is said which they do not see to be in their favour they scream anti semitism including those whiter than hitler.

the panafricanism of nasser, nkrumah and lumumba against western neo colonialism and imperialism is just that, unity against a common enemy , let us be sincere

quick question , there are black comunities in uk that have existed here for 300 years , speak english like the english ahd their culture is english culture up to even yorkshire pudding.

what is african about these groups , they are only peoples of african descent and not africans . in much the same way that the majority of americans are peoples of european descent and not europeans.


there is nothing positive or negative in saying that arabs are not africans , this is because they are not ..............

wonderer
Apr 21, 2008, 01:51 PM
a wonderful post that was wonderer,

in that post i was emphasising on what it meant to be african

what it means to be african can be compared to what it means to be arab.

it goes beyond geographical spaces ,

if i state that the arab is not african there is nothing discriminatory about it , it is a mere statement of fact.

the arab is not african , the arab is an external invader who settled in africa while maintaining all parts of his indigenous culture.

for instance what exactly is it that sub saharan africans have in common with arabs , we know that the arabs of egypt have so much in common witt the arabs of saudi arabia , if there is anything that the sub saharan africans have in common with the egyptian arabs then they will also have it with the saudi arabs .

you sound like the jews who when something is said which they do not see to be in their favour they scream anti semitism including those whiter than hitler.

the panafricanism of nasser, nkrumah and lumumba against western neo colonialism and imperialism is just that, unity against a common enemy , let us be sincere

quick question , there are black comunities in uk that have existed here for 300 years , speak english like the english ahd their culture is english culture up to even yorkshire pudding.

what is african about these groups , they are only peoples of african descent and not africans . in much the same way that the majority of americans are peoples of european descent and not europeans.


there is nothing positive or negative in saying that arabs are not africans , this is because they are not ..............

Nero, thank you for your interesting post.

I want to respond to a number of points you raised.

Regarding your post #171, I missed where did you emphasized on what is meant to be African.
What I got from post#171, and correct me if I didn't get what you meant, that you think north sudanese to be not African because they are :
1- most speak Arabic
2- most are Muslims.
Which of these makes them not Africans?

If I understand you right, you are not extending these ideas to African Christians and Jews.
And speaking of languages, English, French and Portuguese are not endogenous African Languages.
so if it is not racial and religious discrimination, what objective criteria are you using to decide who is an African and who is not?


Regarding Egyptians having so much in common with people from Saudi Arabia. I disagree, there are common elements. But also there are many differences between the two societies. The behaviour patterns , common values and even religious practices are different between the two countries.
In general, when new ideas/religions are introduced, they interact with the already existing common practices of the societies, and their environmental, economical, geographical and historical particularities.

To be sincere, I don't think of the Pan African ideas to be only a unity against a common enemy.
For unity against neo imperialism they had a number of other platforms, specifically the Non-Aligned Movement
I don't think those leaders and intellectuals lied when they spoke of a united Africa including all the peoples of Africa and accepting of the different cultures they belong to.

nero africanus
Apr 21, 2008, 04:08 PM
Nero, thank you for your interesting post.

I want to respond to a number of points you raised.

Regarding your post #171, I missed where did you emphasized on what is meant to be African.
What I got from post#171, and correct me if I didn't get what you meant, that you think north sudanese to be not African because they are :
1- most speak Arabic
2- most are Muslims.
Which of these makes them not Africans?

If I understand you right, you are not extending these ideas to African Christians and Jews.
And speaking of languages, English, French and Portuguese are not endogenous African Languages.
so if it is not racial and religious discrimination, what objective criteria are you using to decide who is an African and who is not?


Regarding Egyptians having so much in common with people from Saudi Arabia. I disagree, there are common elements. But also there are many differences between the two societies. The behaviour patterns , common values and even religious practices are different between the two countries.
In general, when new ideas/religions are introduced, they interact with the already existing common practices of the societies, and their environmental, economical, geographical and historical particularities.

To be sincere, I don't think of the Pan African ideas to be only a unity against a common enemy.
For unity against neo imperialism they had a number of other platforms, specifically the Non-Aligned Movement
I don't think those leaders and intellectuals lied when they spoke of a united Africa including all the peoples of Africa and accepting of the different cultures they belong to.


dear wonderer,

in stating the religion and language and geographical location of the north sudanese,

i am stating the facts of the situation ,

the fact of the matter is that a common language forms the basis of a common culture , in the case of the north sudanese we know that the assimilation into arab culture was completed centuries ago.

there are more muslims in west africa than there are Christians but the fact that they are muslim does not reduce or remove their africanness.

the north sudanese speak arabic for the most as their mother tongue ,

they are muslim ,

their culture is arab culture.

they have dark skin

i ask you , wonderer , what makes these people africans rather than arabs ?

they are africans because they have dark skins?

or they are arab because they speak arabic , and their culture is arabic ?


let us not embed this discourse in semantics , i am sure you understand completely what i am talking about

let us forget the politically correctness of post world war two , an immigrant or a migrant and his descendants can live for 500 years in a society and refuse to integrate in any form.they have not become members of the said society .

you dont just ascribe african identity to anyone that just happens to walk into africa.

to do that you are discounting the very existence of a concept called identity which is quite different from geographical space.


the fact that some body finds himself between river anambra and river imo in nigeria does not automatically make the person igbo , just as finding yourself in the land between ilorin and lagos does not automatically make you yoruba or indeed nigerian for that matter .

being african is about identity

it is not and will never be about geographical space ............

wonderer
Apr 22, 2008, 06:20 AM
Nero, another interesting post.

First thank you for explaining that you don't think it is about religious discrimination.

We seem to agree that being African is not a racial quality.
we also agree that being Arab has to do with a common language and culture.

But one thing we disagree about, that I think being African is related to the continent of Africa.
So I don't think that being African and being Arab are mutually exclusive.

I would add that I think coastal cities in North Africa share a common Mediterranean culture with their counterparts north and east of the Mediterranean.
Same goes for coastal cities in north and east africa over looking the Red Sea. That I think share a special culture related to the Red Sea.

So to answer your question, I don't think north sudanese, or north africans in general to be African rather than Arab.
I think they are both.
There was no refusal to integrate in north africa.
I would use one example from north sudan , the Gaaliin tribe(s), the largest "Arab" tribe in Sudan, representing about 7% of total sudanese population.
This tribe is actually of mixed origins , Migrants from the Arabian Peninsula intermarried with Nubians, forming that tribe.


In general I don't think any given society must be identified with a single culture. Diverse cultural tributaries form the unique nature of each society.

I would be interested to know what do you think is an "African Identity" ,what are your criteria of determining who has an African identity and who doesn't.
That is what are the abstract criteria you used to say for example that north africans don't belong to the african identity while west africans do.

Or we can agree to disagree.

Tola Odejayi
Apr 23, 2008, 11:00 PM
It is over a week ago since I delivered my killer uppercut that sent Eja sailing over the mountains of Kununstan to crash-land in the lake of Konfushon.

Since them, not a word has been heard from him. I presume that the stars are still orbiting his head.

To those of you who have access to the land of the unconscious, send a message to Eja and tell him that I'm still waiting for his response. :lol:



Seriously, I understand that the debate is proving to be quite time consuming, so I'll suggest that we round up in our next posts with a concise summarisation of our positions.

Ishola Taiwo
Apr 24, 2008, 01:35 PM
SLB, trouble sleep, your yanga come wake am...:evil:

I was going to administer a sedative before I operated on you, now, you will have to bear the full force of my scalpels, extractors, pliers, pincers and what-not while in a full state of consciousness.

I shall be ready by evening on Friday to post what will surely bury you vis-a-vis this debate....:D.

Until then, as we used to say in old Ekiti-land, Yara O.

Tola Odejayi
May 1, 2008, 06:55 AM
It is now a week before Eja staggered to his feet, still groggy from the effect of my clinically executed killer punch, and mumbled the following words


SLB, trouble sleep, your yanga come wake am...:evil:

I was going to administer a sedative before I operated on you, now, you will have to bear the full force of my scalpels, extractors, pliers, pincers and what-not while in a full state of consciousness.

I shall be ready by evening on Friday to post what will surely bury you vis-a-vis this debate....:D.

Until then, as we used to say in old Ekiti-land, Yara O.

before lapsing back into unconsciousness.

Abegi, anyone out there in the land of the unconscious should tell Eja that I'm still waiting... of course, I will happily accept a surrender in lieu of a summing up argument. :lol:

Ishola Taiwo
May 1, 2008, 11:06 AM
It is now a week before Eja staggered to his feet, still groggy from the effect of my clinically executed killer punch, and mumbled the following words



before lapsing back into unconsciousness.

Abegi, anyone out there in the land of the unconscious should tell Eja that I'm still waiting... of course, I will happily accept a surrender in lieu of a summing up argument. :lol:

SLB, I have finished most of what I intend to post. I am now in the process of editing and I am also trying to decide if to post it all at once or, in two parts.

I have taken time out from the composition of this knockout punch (or two) that I will be delivering to you soon to tell you this....:lol:.

Get your mattress ready; you will need a soft place to fall on...:neutral:.

Khalil
May 2, 2008, 12:04 PM
Many thanks all,

I have also waited to read the last part of Eja on Black Supremacy but seeing that it is taking time to come I decide to drop some lines making observations on the idea and the progress of the debate.

I refused earlier on to discuss, in detail, the concept and practice of White or Black Supremacy because I believe we are aware of the institutional attribute of the said ideology ( White Supremacy) and since we are thinking of building something of African, and having understood how White Supremacy started with those thoughts and philosophies that append greater value in race and color, I warned that we must try to avoid that in the foundational crux of our ideological template.

But then there are sweeteners. When it is said we Africans must get freedom. Every African will give a nod.

This goes with all other sweeteners as justice, truth and fairness! They all evoke certain common emotion of agreement among us and this why I feel agreed with many of what Eja said in his, magnum opus .

But then, I sincerely feel the discussion has passed that level. We are now at the level where we want lay out the principles of how to be just fair and free as Africans. And this called us to define who belongs to us and who does not.

Here comes the questions:

1. Are we content with who America or Europe say is of us or not?

2. Or are we content with who Arabs say is our own or not?

3. How do we define ourselves by ourselves as different from how America or Arabia define us?

In this Eja in his previous posts seems to have agreed with the American definition of who belongs to the Black Race to the effect that he can accept those Afro-Americans with white ancestry as he clearly mentioned several times. What we are yet to know is his position on the Arab definition which took those with black ancestry as their own.

Wayfarer, doesn't seem to agree with Eja on that since in post #164 he made it clear that he does not consider the many Afro-Americans with dual ancestry as belonging to the black race. He also rejected the Arabs of dual ancestry from our claims.

Area boy, can quickly reject those Arabs with black phenotype as Africans as much as Nero would do the same.

DeepThought, on his part, rejected the American definition and made it clear that black Africans may mean different thing to him in Nigeria.


But what is common to all these positions is in the fact that those keeping to them did not give us a detailed alternative of how we can get to identify an African. No self evolved alternative from all quarters and this leaves us with nothing to de-construct or construct again. No substance to respond to.

I am wondering if anybody could make their detailed submission with premise and conclusion that can afford me a response. I think I have, in this, been doing that.


Khalilurrahman

DeepThought
May 3, 2008, 08:45 PM
There are realities past and present which defines a people.Who and what we are is something that has at least two inter-related and often confliciting components;
-that which others say we are and;
-that which we say we are.

Regarding the use of the appellation - African, Black, Negro or what have you, it doesn't really matter that much to me , because the general consensus when used by others to refer to us has one common denominator; that is the implication of inferiority

What matters to me is how we reject not just the tag of inferiority and protect ourselves from being prey.

And for me this is where Afrocentrism begins to come into play.


in the case of the north sudanese we know that the assimilation into arab culture was completed centuries ago.

there are more muslims in west africa than there are Christians but the fact that they are muslim does not reduce or remove their africanness.

the north sudanese speak arabic for the most as their mother tongue ,

they are muslim ,their culture is arab culture they have dark skin

i ask you , wonderer , what makes these people africans rather than arabs ?



This is how and why the lure of ideology/brainwashing (religion) can transcend race. And that is why Afrocentricism had better not be just about race. So in addition to protecting and edifying the Black/African collective, it had also better encompasse concepts people of all races can feel comfortable embracing.

@ Kahlil
To answer the question of Who and What we are is not an easy thing nor one which could provide a unanimous answers which will be neatly satisfactory to every one, but for me, apart from the common distictions which sets up apart by phenotype and genotype,the answer is quite simple.

We are:
The weakest of the weak
The most disunited of the disunited
The most disorganised of the disorganized
Perhaps the dumbest of the dumb and the stupidest of the stupidest (at least at this era)

The above will be provocative to many but I hasten to add that I see it as not a permanent state of things nor an acquisence to inferiority. My sense of history tells me that the only thing we can count on is change and that that human situations change and can change very drastically for the better or for the worse, and that ..... this too shall pass

In fact one of my secret pet theories which I can't prove is that there must have been a time when the exact opposite was true. How else could we have ended up in control of the most favourable part of the planet ?

Wayfarer
May 4, 2008, 04:18 PM
Wayfarer, doesn't seem to agree with Eja on that since in post #164 he made it clear that he does not consider the many Afro-Americans with dual ancestry as belonging to the black race.


Khalil, your quote above misrepresents my feelings regarding people of biracial ancestry. Just to set the record straight, here are my statements from the post you referenced:



You can remove me from the group of people that support this blatantly racist practice. Barack Obama is just as White as he is Black. And considering that he was primarily reared by his White mother, the White race would appear to have a greater claim on him than the Black race. But I don't hear too many Whites making this point so who am I to tell them whom they should or should not embrace?


Anyone can easily see that the entire quote, in particular the bolded portion, incontrovertibly refutes your quote above.



He also rejected the Arabs of dual ancestry from our claims.


You are certainly practised in the art of demagoguery. In this distinction, no one can approach your skill. Here are my feelings about Afrocentricity, as well as my response to your invitation to define what it means to be an African:

I do not consider a people, even if they physically inhabit the African continent, to be Africans, if they iddentify with Caucasians, Arabs or Asians (who are not indigenous Africans), rather than Black Africans who have borne the brunt of the atrocities perpetrated by people who associate Africa with being Black.

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot claim to be an African and dissociate yourself from Black Africans who represent the predominant race on the continent, and who are the only people truly indigenous to the continent.

Every anthropological finding to date has confirmed Blacks as indigenous to the African continent, while no studies have ascribed a similar status to non Black Africans whose ancestors achieved their African iddentities through migration, conquest and usurpation.

This statement by Khalil,


But what is common to all these positions is in the fact that those keeping to them did not give us a detailed alternative of how we can get to identify an African.


emphasizes the dangers inherent in trying to obscure the perception of Blacks as quintessential Africans. For in the same vein, I could ask, what does it mean to be a European or an Asian? Is there such a concept as European or Asian culture? These questions might appear trite at first glance until you realize that the scientific and technological advancements that made the modern comforts that we all enjoy today possible were discovered and created by White men, all of whom were European.

Notice I said they were European, not of European descent, even though some of these innovators were technically Americans. If I therefore made a statement like "Europeans have made immeasurable contributions to intellectual edification", would I not be refering to White Europeans? Would it be fair to rob the White man of his achievements by rejoining with statements such as "All Europeans are not White, there are Blacks, Asians and Arabs who are also Europeans?" Can non European Whites truly take credit for the scientific and technological advancements developed by European Whites? When we talk about European culture, aren't we really talking about White culture? Could we possibly be refering to Blacks or Arabs who obtained their status as Europeans through migration? If someone directs a slur against Europe, is that slur not really directed against White people (wherever they may be) and not the Blacks, Arabs or Asians who might be Europeans by birth?

I intended by my exposition above to reveal the dangers involved in adopting perceptions of what it means to be an African without aknowledging that Africa is ultimately about Negroes, just as Europe is ultimately about Caucasians and Asia ultimately about Mongoloids. It is no more racist for Blacks to accept a definition of Africaness that presents Blacks as the quintessential Africans than it is for Whites and Asians to accept similar propositions with respect to Europe and Asia respectively.

What is racist, however, is expressing your solidarity with people who victimize Black Africans only to claim African iddentity when it suits your needs.

What is racist is committing genocide against your fellow countrymen even though they worship the same religion as you simply because they are Black, as is being done in Sudan.

What is racist is the Arab league expressing support for the Sudanese government that is committing genocide against Black people.

What is racist is expressing indignation about an oppresive African regime because you view the regime as inimical to the interests of Whites, even though you actively engaged the same regime after it murdered Black Africans.

Am I to accept the non Black Mauritanian as an African, knowing he would enslave me if he could? Am I to accept those genocidaires in Sudan as my fellow Africans, knowing that, but for providence, they would have murdered me simply because I am Black?

No amount of demagoguery will obfuscate the fact that Blacks have never enslaved, colonized or systematically murdered Arabs or Whites. Rather, it is Arabs and Whites who have inflicted attrocities upon Blacks. Whatever racism Blacks exhibit is directed at other Blacks, not other races, so the racism charge is completely fraudulent.

In fact Blacks are so racist that they gave land to White Zimbabwean farmers, the same Zimbabweans whose ancestors took land from Black people like us. Black people are so racist that Lebanese are welcome in West Africa even though Lebanon is no economic power. That's how racist we are.

Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism and similar concepts are ultimately about race. Everything else is simply self-delusion.

nero africanus
May 5, 2008, 06:56 PM
Afrocentrism as an overriding ideology is first and foremost recognising and accepting that I am first and foremost African. Africa as an ethnological space has some unique features that are unique to only her. It is therefore important that we understand where we are from and where we are going. We must understand that what are called religions together are only values and norms of other cultures and places which is packaged and presented as a religion , this is to say that afrocentrism as an overriding ideology cannot be made to be subservient to any of these foreign ideologies/religions which our people have been made to accept . To further prove this point, if we contrast the urban centres of Kano and Port Harcourt. While the urban centres of Kano has a lot in common with the Middle East the urban centres of Port Harcourt has a lot in common with europe. The question now is these where is Africa is all these, under the onslaught of Christianity and Islam, Africa is being changed to something that it is not.

Afrocentrism espouses the evolution and development of a national culture and national consciousness , in most of Africa, this is lacking , Muslim Africa looks to the middle east for inspiration on everything from culture to laws and norms .Christian Africa looks to Europe for its ideal self , it does not matter that the European interpretation of Christianity is not what it was originally but its overriding cultural influence breeds a religion that accommodates hedonism to ensure its very survival,

Afrocentrism demands of Africans and Africa the building of institutions whose base and foundation are strictly African. However afrocentrism is not averse to borrowed ideas in the course of its development so long as these ideas are weighted and are for its own good. It must be remembered at this point, that a people without a culture and a certain way of life are nothing. So at this point in time, Africans can be compared with people who came in contact with a technologically superior culture and managed to subject itself entirely to this new culture.

Aspects of these phenomenon can be seen as described by these foremost Africanists, Franz fanon , black skins , white masks”, chinweizu “ decolonising the African mind” Kwame Nkrumah “neo colonialism the last stage of imperialism” , Ngugi Wa Thiongo “ homecoming” . Indeed, chinweizu successfully argues in “the west and the rest of us”, that the worst aspect of colonialism was not the physical colonialism per se, rather it was the colonialism of the African mind carried out with such great success that it one of the singular greatest factors in what holds Africa back. It can be seen in fanon’s “black skins, white masks” that colonial miseducation is the very antithesis of afrocentrism. Even today, it can be seen among the youth those agents of change and renewal that they venerate anything that comes out of the west, this in itself being a result of defective education. This malaise is not restricted to the youth; the generation educated in the colonial times betrayed its obligation to its people.

Today the demands that afrocentrism makes on Africanists of today is enormous , afrocentrism demands a systemic purge of the compromised among the leaders of the populace , it demands a culture and class war and a re-education of the masses in order to fulfil its manifest destiny. Afrocentrism demands its right as the overriding ideology without recourse or consideration to the west, packaged spiritual belief otherwise known as religion, or indeed ideological materialism.

It might be worth pointing out at this point that the rise and glory of china is based simply on nothing but Sinocentrism.


To understand the conflicts of the African situation, to put forward the incompatibility of western institution attempting a fusion with African cultures. I will tell a story of what happened a few years ago in south eastern Nigeria. This story will illustrate the crisis that arises when new institutions based on other completely different cultures is used as the basis of nation building.

A woman named Nneka was being beaten by her husband who went to tell her brothers and male relatives when she could take it no more. In that particular community, husbands don’t beat their wives, if a woman offends her husband, he either sends her packing or he reports her to her family, if she is judged to be at fault she is humiliated and beaten by the Umu agboho (unmarried ladies) the essence being this was for the training of the umu agboho in order that they understand what happens to a bad wife. it is their duty to beat and humiliate one of their kind who makes a bad wife , the idea behind it is that if women from the clan go out and makes bad wives , they will drive away subsequent suitors from marrying from the clan, to they beat and humiliate the bad wife just to teach her a lesson. However, a man who lays a hand on his wife invites the wrath of his male in-laws who will descend of him to beat him properly for using their sister as a punching bag.

This creates a unique checks and balances within the community, utilises shame to make everybody man and woman to tow the line. However it so happened that a few years ago. A local politician who was given to consuming astonishing quantities of alcohol and descending on his wife was descended on by his in laws who beat him up properly. The next day the man went to the local police station and took police men and gathered 18 of his in-laws including others who didn’t participate in the beating and arrested them for assault and battery. The villagers looked on with alarm as the social order of their community which had been working for them for centuries was about to be torn to shreds, the umuokpu, umuada and umuagbogho( different categories of women) swiftly organised since they felt most threatened by the events, there were many of them who knew that their nagging mouths will turn them into punching bags overnight if these checks were removed. They besieged the police station where the police men upon seeing them locked themselves in. the politician talked to big wigs in the political party and a detachment of mobile police men was drafted in to control the situation. In the end the women lost as the arrested men had to be bailed. Today some years later, in that same community, women complain that the incident of wife beating and battery has increased as the traditional justice of beating the beater is no longer applied.

Khalil
May 6, 2008, 05:00 PM
Thank you all for the responses the direction given to the debate.

I would want to begin by addressing the issue of the misrepresentation Wayfarer said I did to him.

Here in my post #163 of this thread I tried to outline what I believe to be the crisis of definition on who is an African and to some degree of conscience on the African perspective, visiting my opponents and as such I said this:


In the Americas or Europe when one is fathered by a white man or womanin marriage with blacks, they tell the blacks the child belongs to them NOT the whites and this house seems to be okay with that

and Wayfarer replied in post #163 with this particular quote:


You can remove me from the group of people that support this blatantly racist practice. Barack Obama is just as White as he is Black. And considering that he was primarily reared by his White mother, the White race would appear to have a greater claim on him than the Black race. But I don't hear too many Whites making this point so who am I to tell them whom they should or should not embrace?



Now the understanding is he rejected that American definition completely and went ahead to say he believes people like Obama are more white by their training and worldview even though he admitted of not seeing whites saying so!

This informed my conclusion that he has rejected them from the claim of black race and I do not think that should qualify me for misrepresenting him as he claimed above. Instead he should have risen to the task of making himself clear which he did now not charging me of demagoguery.

For this debate to have meaningful output people have to agree I too have good intentions here unless in a situation where it is clear I don't. In that I will strive strongly to identify with the rest of the house by putting formal apologies where necessary!

On the real issues let me assume the response of DeepThought above regarding who are we as Africans as not a matter of race or color but rather a matter of our collective identity in being :

1. The weakest of the weak
2. The most disunited of the disunited
3. The most disorganized of the disorganized
4. Perhaps the dumbest of the dumb and the stupidest of the stupidest (at least at this era)

Add to this also is the clear definition of Wayfarer here:


I do not consider a people, even if they physically inhabit the African continent, to be Africans, if they iddentify with Caucasians, Arabs or Asians (who are not indigenous Africans), rather than Black Africans who have borne the brunt of the atrocities perpetrated by people who associate Africa with being Black.



This I think should rest the issue of phenotype and color and reduce everything to ideology and worldview which can give accommodation to Arabs or others in the African Continent who identify with the rest or majority of the African people known as blacks. Remember also that Arab identity is not phenotype or color based.

I also do not think Wonderer will find problem with this definition either but we must know that as I repeat, just like we have among blacks those who do not identify with Africa( in culture and world view) we also have among Arabs and others those who identify with Africans in all particularities. Below is what Wikki will say about modern Egyptian self view:


Today Egyptians have occasionally voiced their opinion regarding some of the controversies that have erupted over the origins of the ancient Egyptians. A 1993 anthropological study on Egyptian skeletal remains made reference to an incident in 1989 when the Dallas Museum of Natural History sponsored an Egyptian exhibit showcasing Egyptian culture at the time of Ramesses II. When the local Blackology Speaking Committee threatened to boycott the exhibit because Ramesses II was not depicted as "black", the Director of the Cultural Office in the Egyptian Embassy, Latif Aboul-Ela, complained that the event was being distorted by an "American form of 'racial politics'".[44] In an Associated Press release, Aboul-Ela said, "Ramesses II was neither black nor white but Egyptian.... This is an Egyptian heritage and an Egyptian culture 100 percent.... We cannot say by any means we are black or white. We are Egyptians."[45]

Some Egyptians also embrace what they describe as their African heritage, while criticizing some of their fellow compatriots for not doing the same. Egyptian film-maker Yusry Nasrallah claims in a recent publication by "AfricaNews", that he likes his African share and that Egypt owes much to Africa, especially because of the Nile river.[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_of_Ancient_Egyptians



So I would want to believe the issues now and here are ideological and perceptional. Our next line of argument then will build on the relationship between ideology and race, on the progression in Wayfarer's thought that seem to have digressed from the fine definition or position he took in what I sited of him in the quotes above.

1. I would want remind us that it has been argued extensively here that there is no one to one relationship between race and geography and as such the claim that some people or race are indigenous to any part of the planet, is a ruse, an intellectual fraud built on a very queer emotional template. This in both my post #146 of the 15th page of this thread and post #172 of the 17th page of this thread by Nero where he reviewed a book by Anta Diop!

2. The same posts also sought to prove that perception or culture are more of products of environment NOT race or color since geological, hydrological, topographical, climatological, and other natural features of environment have tremendous influence on our character and disposition hence the evolution of cultural practices to cope with the realities of living and survival.

I have also argued extensively here that this is the same reason why I would not want to consider some Black Americans Afrocentric, since they don't think or behave like Africans do here. And their achievements in science and technology are recorded as American or European not African.

It is like Wayfarer accented to this when he asked these rhetorical questions:


Can non European Whites truly take credit for the scientific and technological advancements developed by European Whites? When we talk about European culture, aren't we really talking about White culture? Could we possibly be refering to Blacks or Arabs who obtained their status as Europeans through migration? If someone directs a slur against Europe, is that slur not really directed against White people (wherever they may be) and not the Blacks, Arabs or Asians who might be Europeans by birth?


In this it is obvious we share the same point of view but where we differ is in the fact that I think culture or perspective which decides who is an African to me not race, is a product of environment and as such I can reject even a black as not being African but to Wayfarer and in contradiction to his definition of solidarity it seems culture to him is a product of Race and it is why he said:


I intended by my exposition above to reveal the dangers involved in adopting perceptions of what it means to be an African without aknowledging that Africa is ultimately about Negroes, just as Europe is ultimately about Caucasians and Asia ultimately about Mongoloids. It is no more racist for Blacks to accept a definition of Africaness that presents Blacks as the quintessential Africans than it is for Whites and Asians to accept similar propositions with respect to Europe and Asia respectively.


Like to buttress his point he also said:



Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism and similar concepts are ultimately about race. Everything else is simply self-delusion.

I am only wondering if he can have a fair exposition of how he arrived at the truth that culture, race and perception are this closely related as he claimed just as we tried to do the same on why we believe culture, perception and environment are closely related race exclusive!



I think our points should have some form of unity in transition but the unity in Wayfarer's definition of who an African is, and what is African is non-evident !

Before I depart and to elucidate further the efficacy of the theory of environment as ultimate cultural and perceptional tool, let me share with you this poem titled MEMORIES which came out of me about 7 years ago after serious consideration of the impact of the memories we gather from our environment right from childhood till death which of course forms the fulcrum of all of our differing paradigmatic construct! Since, it became my birthday song yearly, my friends reads it in a very nostalgic tone:

MEMORIES

They call those tunes
That make me dance
They pursue those dreams
That make me sour

Me - mo - ries
They track my hopes
They make me frail
They hold those ends
They make me fall

Me - mo - ries
On placid pearls
They build their pride
With diamond chains
Of golden rings
At wish they please
They knot my glees

Me-mo-ries
You form my lyrics
You design my tone

Me-mo-ries
At your feet I bend
On knees I cruise
At your dub I die
Or I rise lively
In bows I call your names
Countless

Me-mo-ries
Let love be come in thy good calls
Let life spring from thy bleak fears
Me-mo-rieees


When I come back I'll comment on Nero's post, what I believe Africans can take from the rest of the world and what they must drop as I'll still comment on Chinwezu's and Toku's as I promised earlier only to find my self in the webs of digressions that prevented me from doing so in good time.

Thanks

Khalilurrahman

Khalil
May 7, 2008, 11:47 AM
It is like there is no option to edit a post here. Anyway I believe my post can be understood even though it is in roughs! This is our price for making instantaneous postings!!

Cheers!


Khalilurrahman

Ishola Taiwo
May 7, 2008, 01:44 PM
It is like there is no option to edit a post here. Anyway I believe my post can be understood even though it is in roughs! This is our price for making instantaneous postings!!

Cheers!


Khalilurrahman

Nice try Khalil. You are obviously not as confident about what you are defending as you keep trying to portray. So, here you are, furtively trying to set up an alibi so that you can deny your own words when eventually, someone shows up to point out your misconceptions.

Hahahahaha!

:neutral:

Nice try but not good enough.

:D

Khalil
May 7, 2008, 02:04 PM
Nice try Khalil. You are obviously not as confident about what you are defending as you keep trying to portray. So, here you are, furtively trying to set up an alibi so that you can deny your own words when eventually, someone shows up to point out your misconceptions.

Hahahahaha!

:neutral:

Nice try but not good enough.

:D

Ah Eja a cheap shot at me ko?

I believe I am clear enough in the content of my submission my complaint is about the form only. You know it is another winning strategy to look a little vulnerable!

After all it is easy to admit I am wrong when clearly shown to be so at the level of content, substance cos that is where the real challenge and argument is. But as far form everybody can be wrong about spellings and certain digs on structures! We all do.

Now proceed and take the issues I raise to deconstruction!:D :D :D

Khalilurrahman

Tola Odejayi
May 8, 2008, 08:57 AM
Hm...

Eja, I suggested that you post a summing up of your arguments, but you posted a rejoinder to mine. Anyhow, I will follow my suggestion and post my summing-up argument. Of course, you are free to post yours, but then there's now an unfairness to the debate in that you have made more submissions than I have. Oh well...



Anyway, here is my final summing up argument:

1. I believe that each African should be free to seek happiness in whichever way he chooses, as long as he does not harm his fellow man.

2. I believe that the manner in which each African achieves this happiness is entirely up to him, and is not something that can or should be prescribed by external agencies.

3. However, I recognise that some the actions of some agencies - wittingly or otherwise - serve to curb the freedom of the African to seek this happiness.

4. I believe that these agencies take all sorts of forms and originate from all sorts of locations, both from within and without Africa.

5. Because some of these agencies are quite formidable, it is necessary for Africans to adopt an attitude and act in concert in order to prevent the actions of these agencies from depriving them of the freedom to seek happiness.

6. In some instances, these agencies will take the form of continental powers whose actions affect Africans as a whole. In this instance, it is beneficial for Africans throughout the continent to adopt to adopt the right attitude and act in concert.

7. However, in other instances, the agents themselves may be other Africans who share a particular set of characteristics (nationality, culture, religion). In this case, their action may affect another set of Africans who also share a particular set of characteristics. In this case, it is beneficial for the affected Africans to adopt the right attitude and act together.

8. What is interesting is that in each case, the group that is being affected assumes an externally-defined identity which it is 'given' by the external agency. For example, if all Yoruba people decide that they are going to fight everyone who lives in Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states and the people in these states band together to resist these attacks, then a new identity has been created which is shared exclusively by the people in these states.

9. Obviously, the nature of the response taken the affected group will vary, depending on the external agency and the effect of its actions. In some cases, it may not even be necessary for all the affected people to act in concert (even though it may be beneficial to do so).

10. This means that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all attitude and action in reponse to these varying external agencies.

11. It certainly means that the idea of adopting an Afrocentrist policy that might be useful when dealing with external continental powers will not work as well when dealing with the situation outlined in point 7.

12. The Afrocentrist idea also suffers from the inflexibility of assuming that a group of people's interests are aligned purely along continental lines. What if Arabs who are physically located in North Africa decide that they wish to align with other groups in the Middle East who share their culture and religion? How effective is it to assume that they should adopt an Afrocentrist attitude?

13. But the question arises as to whether there is merit in adopting an Afrocentrist attitude in situations where there is not a conflict between Africa and other continental powers. It could be argued that Afrocentrism is a powerful force in awakening the pride of the African and spurring him to achieving success in a range of endeavours so that he can see Africa's name held up high.

14. However, there are just as many other forces that could serve the same purpose. For example, a person's desire to see his ethnic group, religion or nation exalted by his achievements is an even more powerful driving force, given that a person has a stronger attachment to these than to an entire continent. He may even be driven by the desire for pure self-glory or a desire to help humankind as a whole, and have no need for culture-based ideals.

15. I certainly have no objection to private, committed individuals spending effort in developing a coherent Afrocentrist ideology that they propagate to all Africans. After all, I value above everything else the right of people to act freely as long as they do not coerce others to do what they want them to do; I also respect the right of people to adopt whatever ideology they wish, as long as they are not coerced into doing so.

16. However, I do not believe that this by itself is the shortest and most effective route to the ideal that I mention in point 1.

17. Instead, I believe that Africans should constitute themselves into communities, groups and societies with the aim of obtaining *economic power*, as I believe that this is the foundation of all other achievements that will lead to a climate in which the African is free to seek happiness.

18. Such groups may be formed within the existing recognised political entities, or they may actually be the political entities. They may be motivated or driven by whatever ideology they choose, be it ethnic, religious or whatever. However, the caveat is that such an ideology does not without provocation seek to violate the right of other individuals to pursue happiness.

19. With economic power, it also becomes harder for external agencies to deliberately or otherwise pursue actions which could prevent Africans from seeking happiness. Such power also means that Africans feel more confident about themselves, leading to the attainment of more economic power. So I believe this a much more worthwhile endeavour to focus on.

And with that, I take my leave of this thread. I'd like to thank Eja for joining me in this debate, and I'd also like to thank anyone else who has taken the time to read the submissions made so far, and I hope it has been a rewarding experience for you all.

Regards,

Shoko

Wayfarer
May 11, 2008, 03:46 PM
This is really the first of two parts. Had to break the post up because it was rather long.


Khalil,

I still believe that you misrepresented the point I made about biracial children. That said, let me tackle your post (#191) without further ado.



Now the understanding is he rejected that American definition completely and went ahead to say he believes people like Obama are more white by their training and worldview even though he admitted of not seeing whites saying so!

This informed my conclusion that he has rejected them from the claim of black race and I do not think that should qualify me for misrepresenting him as he claimed above. Instead he should have risen to the task of making himself clear which he did now not charging me of demagoguery.


You will recall that I declared you unrivaled in the art of demagoguery. Let me sieze the oppurtunity to reiterate that accolade here. Here again is a reproduction of the quote that prompted your statements above. I am hard-pressed to see how my words can be reconciled with your above statements.



You can remove me from the group of people that support this blatantly racist practice. Barack Obama is just as White as he is Black. And considering that he was primarily reared by his White mother, the White race would appear to have a greater claim on him than the Black race. But I don't hear too many Whites making this point so who am I to tell them whom they should or should not embrace?


The reason I branded you a demagogue is because you ignored the context and the spirit in which the bolded statements in my quote were made. When I claimed that the White race should have a greater claim on Obama, I was simply recognizing the efforts his White mother had invested into raising him after the departure of his Black father. Furthermore, I was also denouncing the perjorative practice of ascribing Black ethnicity to children born to mixed parents because of the belief that such individuals, because they have Black blood, were "tainted". I was silmutanoeusly pursuing fairness (by stating that Barack Obama was just as Black as he is White) and denouncing racism with my contention that the White race has just as much claim to him as the Black race does. When the offspring of a Black and White person are described as Black, that is not a credit to Black people. It is infact an insult because he or she is perceived as an individual "tainted" with Black blood, and therefore not deserving of being described as White. That, and the fact that it is unfair to use a single race in describing an individual born to parents of different races, is why I am not thrilled when biracial children are described as Black. Barack Obama, being born of African and European parents, is just as African as he is European. The only reason I might describe him as an African is because I believe in patrilineal lineage. However I would not apply that practise to someone like Obama because of his mother's defining role in his upbringing.

I hope that clarifies my position regarding the children of interacial unions.



This I think should rest the issue of phenotype and color and reduce everything to ideology and worldview which can give accommodation to Arabs or others in the African Continent who identify with the rest or majority of the African people known as blacks. Remember also that Arab identity is not phenotype or color based.


Where are the Arabs that iddentify with Negroes? We know they are not in Darfur because they are murdering Negroes there as we speak. We know they are not in Mauritania because they enslave Negroes there to this day. The North African Arabs perharps? Is their current pacific disposition towards us due to any affection for us or is it due to the effective barriier that the Sahara desert represents between Negroes and the historically predatory Arabs?


If North Africans iddentify with Negroes, why don't they oppose their perception as Middle Easterners (who are predominantly Arab) by much of the outside world and insist on being called Africans? Why have they been deafeningly silent about the genocide in Darfur? Why are they more concerned with issues in the Middle East rather than issues in Africa south of the Sahara Desert?




So I would want to believe the issues now and here are ideological and perceptional.


Your quote above was made in response to the statements by the Director of the cultural office of the Egyptian embassy to the effect that the ancient Egyptians were neither White nor Black, but Egyptian. This is the kind of statement people often make to discount the effect of race in their lives while benefitting handsomely from racism. So now there is a race called "Egyptian?" This from a citizen of a country called "The Arab republic of Egypt?" Could the good Director have failed to notice that Egypt and other North Africans are portrayed reverentially in the foreign media in contrast to Black Africans who are invariably portrayed as barbaric, improvident and primitive? Your claim that the Egyptian director demonstrated that culture and not race should dictate African iddentity is wrong. The Director clearly stated that Egyptians were neither Black nor White, but were a people called "Egyptians". To him, it was important that the ancient Egyptians not be classified as Black, an opinion I happen to agree with. I do not feel, as a Black person, that I have any connection with Egypt whatsoever. But you can see from the Director's statements that the race of the ancient Egyptians is very important to him. Race, Khalil, is very important in the world we live in today. We merely pretend that it doesn't.



1. I would want remind us that it has been argued extensively here that there is no one to one relationship between race and geography and as such the claim that some people or race are indigenous to any part of the planet, is a ruse, an intellectual fraud built on a very queer emotional template. This in both my post #146 of the 15th page of this thread and post #172 of the 17th page of this thread by Nero where he reviewed a book by Anta Diop!


There is no one to one relationship between race and geography, as you put it, but each continent of the world can be regarded as the ancestral land of the respective races and, in the case of Blacks, scientific evidence points to Africa as our ancestral land. Furthermore, no historical evidence exists to suggest we migrated from elsewhere.

Wayfarer
May 11, 2008, 03:47 PM
PART TWO


There is another circumstance that contravenes your attempt to uncouple the races from their traditional homelands and to establish a philosophy that recognizes no continent as belonging to any particular race. Ponder these questions:

What race of people come to mind when the following continents are mentioned:

1. Africa

2. Europe

3. Asia

If you are being intellectually honest, you would admit that the continents listed above are universallly accepted as the ancestral lands of Caucasians, Negroes and Mongoloids respectively. Why is this so? And why should a person have any claim to a land he refuses to iddentify with or despises outright?

Again, I will employ Europe as an illustration. In light of the profound advancements made in science and technology by White Europeans, as well as the imperialism they visited on much of the world, Europe has become associated with intellectual vitality, and to a lesser extent, imperialism. Today, most people largely associate progress and advancement with Europe. Do you really think people ascribe these distinctions to any other race besides the White race? I do not. In my perception, Europe means Caucasians, just as Africa means Negroes and Asia means Mongoloids.

If race should not be tied to geography, why is it that the people who control strategic offices in the regions we associate with certain races all belong to those races? Why are the leaders of African, European and Asian countries Black, White and Mongoloid (I hate the term Yellow) respectively? Why are the people in positions of authority, such as law enforcement and the military predominantly from the race of people associated with these climes? Do you really think a Black child born in China will ever have a say in affairs affecting China as a country? Do you really think any changes will ever be applied to European lands or culture without the behest of Whites? When people talk about European culture, do you really think they are talking about the children of Nigerian parents who acquired European iddentity through birth?

If we decided to use your standard, i.e, that culture rather than race should determine an individual's ancestral land, how do we define African culture? Adopting this method would invest the process of determining who an African is with ambiguity, such that the Indians who were expelled from Uganda, and who had rejected Black Ugandans, could now claim to be as African as Nigerians, Ghanians or Ugandans for that matter.



I have also argued extensively here that this is the same reason why I would not want to consider some Black Americans Afrocentric, since they don't think or behave like Africans do here. And their achievements in science and technology are recorded as American or European not African.


I think this is a very good point you made here. However, this issue with regards to Black Americans should be viewed in the context of how other races of people perceive African Americans, and how these races perceive Africans who share the same race as Black Americans. Black Americans endure the same malaise of stereotyping constantly applied to Africans. They are also victimized by the practice of focusing on negative and unedifying developments in their communities while ignoring the positive ones; much like Black Africans are. Why aren't Black American business men and women highlighted more actively by the mainstream media? Why is it that the same rap music that is now celebrated by mainstream society was roundly dismissed as a mere fad at its inception? Could it be because rap has departed from the social themes it used to explore and has now embraced vulgarity, materialism, mysogyny and black-on-black violence? Could it be that rap music is now accepted because its previously wholesome messages have mutated into the backward and stereotypical subjects people prefer to associate with Blacks?

Black Africans are Africans because they absorb the same descrimination usually meted out to native Black Africans. Black Americans are Africans because White Americans consider themselves Europeans, Asian Americans iddentify with Asia and Arab Americans iddentify with the Middle East. White people routinely travel to Europe on vacation, and they consider a European tour a rite of passage. They do not feel the same way about Japan, Hong Kong or South Korea even though these countries are just as developed as European countries and, in the case of Japan, more developed.

White people from the United States freqeuntly travel to New Zealand and Australia, two countries with whom they have no historical ties. Why on earth would a White American want to visit these countries if not to answer the anthropological pull that draws them to "their kind?"

The same goes for Japanese, Chinese and Koreans who move heaven and earth to assist their ancestral lands and to physically visit these lands when possible. Like I have said before, we have enclaves in America called "Chinatown", "little Tokyo" and "Koreatown", and everybody is just fine with it. The chinese new year is recognized every year in the mainstream media. Cinco de Mayo, which celebrats Latino pride was recently celebrated by the media. A protest against Turkish denials of the Armenian genocide similarly received mention in the mainstream media. Only Black Africans (not North Africans mind you, just Black Africans) are ignored in the mainstream media. Only the leaders of Black African countries fail to receive mention in the media when they visit foreign countries. Everybody is assisted in exalting "their own" - everybody except Black people. Black people are the only ones made to feel as if they "have a problem" when they try to celebrate Africa, while everybody else glorifies the ancestral lands they were not born or raised in. If Black people fail to condemn such blatant racism, we aid and abet our depreciation as human beings.

You think ideology, not race should dictate associations and iddentities, huh? So how do you explain these facts:


Most Black immigrants from Africa, that are married to Americans, are married to Black Americans. They are not married to White Americans who live in the same culture as the Black Americans.

Most White immigrants from Europe married to Americans are married to White Americans. They are not married to Black Americans who live in the same culture as the White Americans.

Most Black African immigrants listen to music by Black aritsts, i.e, R & B, rap and soul. I know of no Black immigrants who listen to rock music, or to heavy metal or alternative rock music.

White European immigrants settle in white neighbourhoods here in the United States, and they predominantly socialize with whites. I do not know of any South African White who associates with Blacks rather than with Whites. Same goes for Zimbabwean Whites.

Why do European actors and directors receive greater acceptance than Black citizens of the United States? Why do White Hollywood producers iddentify more with White people from foreign cultures rather than their fellow Black American citizens?
In any event, why are White Europeans, who are foreigners, so prominent in Hollywood?


If you are still unconvinced that the African, European and Asian continents evoke atavistic impulses in the people perceived as being indigenous to those lands, what do you think would happen if you attempted the experiments I will describe in bold below? Mind you, I am only inviting you to ponder the possible consequences of such experiments, not asking you to carry it out yourself because of potential harm to your person.

How do you think you would be received if you went to a gathering of Black people, even if they were born and raised outside Africa, and insulted Africa with every perjorative you could muster? Do you think you would receive approbation or condemnation, or worse? What if you went to a gathering of Whites who were born outside the European continent and have never visited Europe, and similarly insulted Europe? Do you think they wouldn't rise in defense of the land of their fathers? Do you think a similar group of Asians would meekly humor you while you heaped impiety after impiety upon Asia's heritage and culture? What Arab can you think of, born in the Middle East or not, who will not oppose you if you made insulting statements about the Middle East?

Ponder these questions, and then see if you still agree that race is not the real issue here.



I am only wondering if he can have a fair exposition of how he arrived at the truth that culture, race and perception are this closely related as he claimed just as we tried to do the same on why we believe culture, perception and environment are closely related race exclusive!


I hope I have shown with this post that Afrocentrism is ultimately about race. The reason Afrocentrism exists is precisely because Black people have been victimized by all and sundry, including by those who claim African citizenship but see it fit to enslave and massacre Black Africans because they do not iddentity with people who have dark skin and short, tightly-coiled hair.

Khalil
May 12, 2008, 12:10 PM
Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism and similar concepts are ultimately about race. Everything else is simply self-delusion.

It is not About Race

Here we are again, while Eurocentrism is about it, it must be understood that Afrocentrism is not about it. In this we see Eurocentrism as a mechanism that sought and fought for the dominance of Caucasoid race on the clime of a very fraudulent theory of evolution and master race sold to the world intellectual community as a product of scientific research, to the relegation to the background the importance of all other races in the formation of world history and civilization, as in the sister Theory of Dysnatic Race. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynastic_Race_Theory)

On the other hand Afrocentrism is about first and foremost disproving the kinds of claims in the theories of evolution and Dynastic Race while advocating the adaptation of what simply is the truth in the universal claims of humankind in the annals of history. I think this is why DeepThought from the very beginning of this exchange would say he has no problem with Afrocentrism or Eurocentrism if only Eurocentrism had kept itself within the boundary of espousing European culture and perspective without resulting to White Supremacy.

This is also why foremost Afrocentric scholars such as Cheik Anta Diop would author books like Civilization or Barbarism reviewed by Nero, in post #172, above, discrediting the Dynastic Race Theory and the many claims of evolutionary scientists, in favor of what he believed to be true, that is the common origin of humankind. It is also why he remained a Muslim in the mold of the universal attribute of its values till his death. His name Cheik is a common substitute, in his language, to the title, Sheik, which is an Arab derivative meaning distinguished and pious teacher. In Hausa it is Shehu. Both, Cheik and Shehu, are now given names Senegalese Wollof and Hausa societies respectively.

Also Malcom X with his serious anti White Supremacy was much later to be associated with Orthodox Islam - not Nation of Islam with their Black God, in its antithesis to the paintings of God(Jesus) by the whites - in the universal value of common understanding of equality in humanity.

In 1965 Chinua Achebe was speaking about Afrocentrism when he said:

You have all heard of the African Personality; of African democracy, of the African way to socialism, of negritude, and so on. They are all props we have fashioned at different times to help us get on our feet again. Once we are up we shan't need any of them any more. But for the moment it is in the nature of things that we may need to counter racism with what Jean-Paul Sartre has called an anti-racist racism, to announce not just that we are as good as the next man but that we are much better.


Taking all these to consideration we are likely to understand that Afrocentrism is not about Race. It is other centrisms that are about race but Afrocentrism is about the truth and the truth demands that we live according to the dictates of the forces in our environments which gave us unique culture, norms and values while we are in our universality. After all, truth or reality according to postmodernist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism) theorists, is socially constructed. So others can have their truth while we have ours without disrespect, disgrace or degradation of one another.

It is to be observed here that in our heritage, as true Africans, race or ethnic affiliation has never been a measuring standard in the construction of our identity save just a mere label for proper grouping, culture, values and political leaning have always been the deciding factors in understanding who belongs to us and who does not. Such prominent attachment to race or ethnicity came to us only at our contact with white men. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_people) has this to note about post colonial Igbo social setting of Nigeria:

The arrival of the British in the 1870s and increased encounters between the Igbo and other Nigerians led to a deepening sense of a distinct Igbo ethnic identity.

Also of the Yoruba, is the record of history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people)which says they were named by Hausa people or Hausa were the ones who popularized the name Yoruba and this must happen only when the Yorubas did not have the consciousness to identify themselves as a distinct race from humanity or ethnic group:

During the 19th century, the term Yoruba or Yariba came into wider use, first confined to the Ọyọ. The term is often believed to be derived from a Hausa ethnonym for the populous people to their south, but this has not been substantiated by historians.
As an ethnic description, the word first appeared in a treatise written by the Songhai scholar Ahmed Baba (1500s) and is likely to derive from the indigenous ethnonyms Ọyọ (Oyo) or Yagba, two Yoruba-speaking groups along the northern borders of their territory. However, it is likely that the ethnonym was popularized by Hausa usage and ethnography written in Arabic and Ajami.


This is why I believe to claim a concept as Afrocentrism to function of race is to copycat the concept of Eurocentrism and attach to it.

This brings us to the issue of our place and the place of others in the planet we are living on , the guiding principles of our relationship with others of different geography or perception from us. In short the questions of ethics in dealing with others.

What is our universe?
What is our universality?
What is good?
What is evil?
Who is good and who is evil?
Who are we and who are not we in respect of the questions above?

All these were fully answered in Eurocentrism as we’ve discussed in this debate, and of course, Afrocentrism, over time, has assumed the task of showing the world the error or even dubiety of such answers as much as it dedicated itself in showing all, the real truth of the matter. It says while people are different at the level of culture, that difference should be respected in the hope of identifying the commonality of our humanity in other universal attributes we share. This is the legacy of Afrocetrism of which we are proud adherents. And in this while it is important to loud our definitions in the light of universal realities we also need to do justice to others who have attempted doing that before our individual selves, even if they do not belong to our race or geography.

Chiwenzu’s Misrepresentation

This brings me to the article (http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/chinweizu/arab-quest-for-lebensraum-12.html) by Chiwenzu which claims to have traced the history and nature of Arab conquests in Africa but did not make an attempt, in the least, to show an understanding of the separate line between what is Arab as a culture and what is Islam in its universal claims. This to me is a sweep against the ideals of Afrocentrism of logically pursuing its facts and exposing the truth while retaining its appeal to cultural sentiment. To me Chiwenzu could have done that only when not fully informed on the historical realities in the evolution of ideas and ideologies and nature of ethical philosophy in the world.

This kind of error of judgment is also often seen in the submission of Nero in post #190 above and Eja in many where they postulate Africans can borrow something with a universal test and appeal from others but quickly reject the thought that something in the ideals of religion shouldn’t be "borrowed". They, as Chiwenzu are always quick to point that Christianity is synonymous to Eurocentirism as Islam is synonymous to Arabocentrism.

The Afrocentric Islam

The truth I would want to believe, though I am open to being convinced otherwise, is, one can be deeply Afrocentric, at the level of culture and values locally, and at the same time a Muslim or a Christian at the level of universal claims, like Cheik Diop, Malcolm X, Rashad Adib and many others, as such the need for Afrocentrism to create a religion is unnecessary.

Here I would need to go into what Chinwezu did not as the the debate particularly in Islam is it is ideals, values and doctrines goes in the theory that it did not begin with Arabs in the 7th century but rather the first humankind to inhabit this planet. It claims that these values, doctrines and ideals have only suffered distortions in the hand of humankind at intervals thus necessitating the coming of prophets and wise men to revert humankind back to the path of acknowledging the unity of God, all creations in principles, and on laid down procedures set to the universe by Him.

In this it says: There is not a nation without a warner(prophet) having lived in them Qur’an 35:24

This is to admit it did not relegate any race or nation to the background as much as it does not claim to have started something new. In fact its type of concept of God is what is seen in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead , 2600BC in the statement: "Thou art the one, the God from the very beginnings of time, the heir of immortality, self-produced and self-born; thou didst create the earth and make man".

With this Islam remained at the level of universe not Arab only especially in its explicit declaration here:

Oh mankind! We have created you from a pair of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may recognize one another not that you may despise one another but certainly most honorable among you is he who is most pious!, Qur'an


This ideal was exhaustively pursued during the time of the prophet and the economic, social and political institutions theorized and built on Islam and its body of intellectual expositions especially in jurisprudence keep to this till date. As it stressed in the verse above the right of a culture or a nation to exist with its own particularities and remain Muslim at a level that can be termed or mean universal only.

Perharps this alone should show how prophet hood could be able to discover the postmodernist reality of our century, which says, truth is socially constructed, centuries before now. Thus, Islamic jurisprudential theory was built on the truism, Adatul kaumi sunnatuhum, culture of a people is their prophetic way of life, and tadal baladi sunnatuha, tradition of a town or city is its prophetic way. Not Arab culture is the prophetic way or Meccan tradition is the prophetic way. The theory also stipulates that no scholar should give a fatwa to a people without being with and knowing the people at the level of culture and tradition. It is also why it reduced legal rulings in Sharia and the concept of forbidden and permitted to circumstances and textual exactness not textual derivatives only. This after abolishing priesthood and the claim of any man of God to serve as a link, for prayers and whatever, between humankind and God. This is why also Church or Mosque as an institution does not exist in Islam. A mosque anywhere is not better than just a praying ground. So when Wonderer keeps saying North Africans are not very much like Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula this is the reason, Islam in its conquest have always left people with their national and cultural peculiarities but connecting humanity only at certain levels of universality.

Mecca in Islam is not a land owned by the Arabs, after all no tribe or race owns any part of the world’s geography as it has been substantiated logically in our preceding posts. In Islam God owns the world and Arabs have never owned Islam. This is why in modern history the term Islamic civilization keeps recurring not Arab civilization.

Until the 18th century when the virus of the idea of master race infested the Arabs when they got colonized by the Europeans with the pretenses of their institutions built on evolution theory, needless to say that there were often Arab bigots, lesser beings compared to the prophet, who tried to distort history, derailing from the ideals espoused by Islam. These left a very harsh comments on other races but these remained mere comments that cannot be traced to Qur’an or authentic sayings of the Holy Prophet. These bigots began to see themselves and their achievements in history as Arabs first that produced Islam not Islam that made Arabs great which is the truth!

Unfortunately this is what Chiwenzu didn’t tell his audience or is not informed about to the extent that reading him has gotten Toku.A, in post #151, to start thinking Islamic Holy Book has left a denigrating remarks on the black race. This is far from the truth or its just and fair exposition that marks the ideal of Afrocentrism. The truth is there is nothing in Islam that makes Arabs more special than other races, in fact Arab identity according to prophet of Islam is not genotype or phenotype based, it is in nothing more than being able to understand Arabic language.

The modern Arabists crusaders like Ghadafi are the bi pruduct of Eurocentirism that spread its virus on this planet making identity a valuable function of race and color. They are not better than our own black “intellectuals” who are infected by this virus that makes them shout daily everywhere that Afrocentrism is about Race that we have existed since time as Yoruba or Igbo race. This is not true. In fact no good scholarly work before 1950 that ever talked about the existence of a Yoruba race in history. Yoruba race is a later invention of political intellectuals under the influence of Western Mis-education.


Afrocentric Christianity

Also checking history on a very logical claim we will certainly find that Christianity can be stripped off of its European sentiments and be made to reflect the basic universal platform on which Afrocentrism can rest comfortably. The following is a summary of the universal calling of the present New Testament in what Jesus stood earnestly for:


Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. . . I am not come to destroy" (the law or the prophets) "but to fulfil . . . Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies. . . He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes . . . Lay not up for yourselves treasure on earth . . . what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. . . this is the first and great commandment; and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. . . One is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. . . Let brotherly love continue . . . Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased . . . Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees . . . ye are the children of them which killed the prophets . . . This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations . . . Forgive them, for they know not what they do . . . God that made the world and all things herein . . . and hath made of one blood all nations of men . . . be it known therefore unto you that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it . . . What then? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also . . . for the promise, that he should be of the world, was not to Abraham, and to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith . . . One God and father of all who is above, all . . . let brotherly love continue . . . For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction . . .

The Gospels, Acts and Epistles.


While it is true that modern Christianity was Europeanized since the days of Constantine, in its rituals and other modes of worships, laws and world view, it should be remembered also that it was the then Libyan, African Priest, Arius, that first opposed that Europeanization of Christianity and the records of history on what Christianity was before Europeanization are available to those Afrocentric Christians to study for the effective changes needed for them to Africanise it to the taste of their African individual cultures, values and environments.

Quite alright Christianity did not make laws guiding secular relationship among humankind and as such the practices of its European missionaries in secular aspects of life and their institutions became identified with Christianity as a whole as it is today interchangeably used as Judeo-Christian Civilisation - a term coined by the German philosopher, Frederick Nistche, after second world war - or Western civilization, on its racist Eurocentric practice.

Conclusion: The Challenge

As I understand it, Africa is not a single culture just as Europe or Asia are not, and as such for one to insist on having a single definition of who is an African, within the cultural formation of his own part of Africa is greatly unjustified.

Also, today’s Africa is roughly divided between Islam and Christianity and a thought of forming a religion that will cater for the self esteem of the people inhabiting the continent aside of these two religions will naturally incur an inestimable cost, materially, spiritually and emotionally to the Africans since religion, though termed a dogma, demands so much rational basis that can sentimentally have traces in our daily aspects of living. To create a faith in this time that will match Islam or Christianity in appeal to human mind is near impossible. The best then is to rediscover ourselves in these faiths and others, using the veritable tool of history and logic to decipher the proper place assigned to us by the ideals of these religions away and in disputation of the recreation of racists, bigots who have monopolized the timeless ideals for their imperialist agenda. This can be explored in seeing the continent live above the whims of fundamentalists and extremists in the religious divides for the greater spiritual and temporal advances of the generality of Africans.

This, I believe is the goal of Afrocentrism.

Khalilurrahman

Ishola Taiwo
May 12, 2008, 04:43 PM
INTRODUCTION
I thank my opponent SLB for an engaging debate. I also thank all who have participated either by contributing or, by witnessing. A big thank you also to the extremely even-tempered moderator Big-K. He put his trust in us being able to finish what we started and so, put no undue pressure on us.

I am glad that we have not let him down.

PART 1
Let me start speaking of an overstanding I have of Afrocentrism; like Wayfarer, I identify it as a way of seeing that is inextricably linked with the state of being of those who are called "black".... those who in my other posts I identified as the only group of people that can be correctly referred to as Africans.

However, during the cause of this debate, some have tried to convince us that a person who differs by phenotype from the ones described as "blacks" can also lay claim to the description of "African". We are told that the label "Africa" is simply geographic and that it has nothing to do with phenotype. Now, like many other things, if this is accepted as a valid topic for argument, that is to say, if we remain uncertain with regards to the question of what an African is, the conversation we start may be one that outlasts our life-time. And, its conclusion may be one that we never bargained for.

Recently in South Africa, a Caucasian woman recently brought a lawsuit against the Forum of Black Journalists because she was not allowed to join. She won. (http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=337848&area=/insight/insight__comment_and_analysis/)

This ruling, if it stands, is one that can be applied to all other organisations set up by African people in South Africa. Now, the thing to note here is not so much that 'whites' can join organisations that 'blacks' set up for themselves, it is that the very word 'black' itself, in South Africa at least, no longer means what it used to mean.

Like in the UK where the Southall Black Sisters is an organisation for Indian women, the Forum of Black Journalists may in time become a group whose membership consists of a sizable number of Caucasians.

So, just as we are allegedly not the only ones who are Africans, a court in South Africa has just prophesied that in time, we will not be the only ones who are "black". A prophecy aleady foretold by Indians in the UK. So, what is left for us?

And why do we still we have to ask ourselves questions like this? Why is our self-definition a matter to be discussed and negotiated with others who are not our kind? Why should aliens to Africa have any kind of input into how we define ourselves and how we define what is not us?

One short answer to all these questions is that the arena determines the mode of battle.

You do not fight in the water how you would fight on land, therefore, if all your weapons are presently suited for fighting on land, you stay out of the water (until you are equipped to fight in the water).

In order that we become properly equipped for the hard struggles that we face as a collective, it is necessary that we start with a proper perspective not only of the present, but also of the past. By seeing where a thing originated from, we can foretell where it is going.

PART 2 : Black Supremacy?
One thing that must never become obscured is the reason why it became necessary for peoples of African origin to seek out a way of perceiving that acknowledged the differences between themselves and those who are not of African origins. As previously stated, we were not the ones who initiated the division of the human species into those who should be accorded certain privileges because of a particular range in phenotype and, those who should be denied those privileges because they fell outside of that pre-determined range.

In trying to make sense of those who see life like this and, of the world they have brought into being, we have gone from making excuses for these people to denying the existence of such a way of thinking as a systemic phenomenon. All the better to permit ourselves the luxury of either opting out of the struggle totally or, of limiting our participation in it.

We have gone from accepting that such a way of thinking is strictly the preserve of the educationally deprived to coming out with statements implying that such a way of thinking is largely a thing of the past. We are then enjoined to avoid any way of thinking that is predicated upon the existence of this now extinct phenomenon...we are cautioned against the possibility that in continuing to highlight the effects of racism/'white' supremacy, we are liable to become racists and 'black' supremacists.

In all of these, we have been wrong. Racism/'white' supremacy exists and is as well-entrenched as it ever was. All that has changed is some of its modes of expression and operational procedures. Racism/'white' supremacy still exists because even though its most prominent offshoots may have been cut off, its deep roots have never been attacked.

To overstand why this is so, we must first realise that the inability to comprehend the humanity of 'the other' (i.e those who are not 'white') is the main characteristic of the being whose awareness of self is as a 'white person'. This failure of comprehension is overwhelming. It is total and even when you come across one who makes all the right noises, it is still there. The noises are the same as the clumsy movements you see in some dance-halls when ones who do not feel the vibe try to dance.

This is the key to overstanding why such people can lie about, steal from and kill 'the other' without losing the conception of themselves as being 'good people'. As long as they are not harming other 'whites' (i.e. other humans) they cannot be that bad. And even when they harm other 'whites', as long as it can be 'proved' that this was done with the sincere intention of securing the future prosperity of the 'white race', then yes, you can still wear the white hat. You are still a 'good' person.

If we view world history through the lens of eyes seasoned by this misconception, we easily comprehend why Australia, on being 'discovered', could be labeled as 'empty'. Why the enslavement of Africans is still seen by some as a great favour done - after all, "we had them come live with us" (where "us" means 'whites' i.e. humans) or, sadder still, "they had us come live with them" (where "us" in this case refers to the self-defined ignorant negro).

With the best intentions, you may attempt to reason with minds like this but you will find yourself caught up in a futile cycle - one where you keep re-phrasing the simple points that underly your reality. Wasting your time.

Therefore, it is best to disengage from dialogues with these kind of minds. There should be no doubts about where they are coming from and where they intend to go.

It is best that we disengage from a futile dialogues that seeks an equitable common ground with that which is incapable of comprehending such a concept.

To speak of the necessity for this disengagement is not a statement of supremacy. Rather, it comes from the realisation that a way of doing things has not worked and that we need to find another way.

Ishola Taiwo
May 12, 2008, 04:54 PM
PART 3
Afrocentricism, as previously stated, is a process of introspection. To be more explicit, it is an internal dialogue that seeks the most logical position from which we can relate to phenomena outside of the African world.

When, for example, your developmental strategies are based on the level of wealth that outsiders permit you to accumulate, you have given the power to determine the level and pace of your development to outsiders. When, as in the case with Nigeria, our development is predicated upon how much oil we sell to non-African entities, we deny ourselves the ability to devise a strategy that is wholly dependent on our own innate strengths.

Our collective destiny is therefore dependent on the strengths and weaknesses of those outside our borders [Eg: the national currency - which is given value by the American dollar].

This means that we will grow (or, have the potential to grow) only when these outside entities are weak or, when it serves their best interests to permit us a specific level of growth.

Now, to be ones whose growth is dependent on the weakness of others is not by itself a bad thing to be...provided that you have the ability and wherewithal to induce weaknesses in others. This, after all, is how the West grew. However, if you are not capable of inducing the necessary levels and intensities of weakness in others that this strategy of growth depends on, if in fact, luck and circumstance are the only things that provides you with such a situation, then in truth, you do not have a strategy for growth and development.

Africa needs not rely on fortunate circumstances or on the weakness/generosity of others for its positive growth, and, Africa should not be a tool for the enhancement of the strengths of others.

Realistically speaking, there is nothing Africa needs from the outside world. There is nothing we can get from the worlds outside our Africa that we cannot get (immediately or eventually) from within our environment and from within ourselves.

We have been made to believe that the mechanisms and symbols that were manufactured by the same entities who devised the current global order are necessary for our survival when in fact, it is those who manufactured such instruments that cannot survive without them.

It is time that we start looking at the world with a knowledge that integrates past realities with our present situation. An African centered perspective of ourselves and the world around us is the only one that allows us to do this in a way that places our interests above those of all others.

To place our interests above the interests of all others sounds cold but, a ruthlessness in all intellectual processes is a prerequisite if we are going to see beyond the veils of sentimental attachments and non-existent amity that are currently being used to make us place high hopes in the coming of a better world. We would be better off seeing the world as it truly is because, from that more immediately realistic and useful perspective, we will be able to do what is necessary to bring about the creation of a better world.

elgaxton
May 12, 2008, 05:58 PM
My dia Brothers and sisters please can you help us with some dessert(panadol) after imbibing enough headaches into our skulls... thanks! :D :D :D

Ishola Taiwo
May 13, 2008, 06:09 PM
My dia Brothers and sisters please can you help us with some dessert(panadol) after imbibing enough headaches into our skulls... thanks! :D :D :D

Bobo Elgaxton, panadol no go fit carry de ting wey dey trobul you O. Na head transplant you need....:lol:.

wonderer
May 13, 2008, 10:55 PM
elgaxton
I am partly (about 0.0001%)guilty of causing your headache
Here is the panadol you asked for :)

http://www.patient-pharmacy.co.uk/ReSize.asp?filename=Panadol32.jpg&width=250

Nok
May 17, 2008, 06:07 PM
@Eja,


..Why is our self-definition a matter to be discussed and negotiated with others who are not our kind? Why should aliens to Africa have any kind of input into how we define ourselves and how we define what is not us?

I don't think that it is yet understood by many Africans that until we define our identity by ourselves, we cannot fulfil the Purpose of Growth implied within whichever good identity we adopt. The disagreements ,or uncertainty, about who an African is, beyond subsisting in the realm of intellectual opinion, underlie our inability as a collective to discover the active Purpose which should be TIED to the word "African". If the African identity is a such a wispy object, then all African ambitions will be same. It is important to note that some non-African nations or Peoples have defined themselves in the context of the Change they want to see of themselves, and determined by the challenges of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, they are now consciously LIVING THAT CHANGE, DREAM, VISION. The same cowardliness that prevents us from saying "yes, this is who I am", is the same cowardliness that prevents us from believing that competing against oyibo or arabs on a world scale is ever possible.

That redeeming concept of Living the Change cannot be achieved until the relevant operating identity is defined in our national/ethnic/racial conversational spaces.


Realistically speaking, there is nothing Africa needs from the outside world. There is nothing we can get from the worlds outside our Africa that we cannot get (immediately or eventually) from within our environment and from within ourselves.

Indeed, we cannot find without that which has already been given to us in abundance within. I think that Africans have been victims of centuries-old negative feedback from both themselves and outsiders such that they have almost lost the confidence to look for, or believe in salvation from within themselves. So both the christian and moslem Africans will employ the most twisted convolution of logic to reject the need for any kind of self-assertion, initiative taking, or intellectually independent pursuit of world class development pioneered and maintained entirely by black African societies. This is why it is important that this sort of debate is continually kept alive so that the relevant issues are brought to the awareness of readers.

Palamedes
May 25, 2008, 11:17 PM
May I say well-done to Eja, and SLB for their contributions to the debate. And to the other participants, I say well-done also.

But I must illustrate a fundamental disagreement, I thought, I might have with SLB (or for that matter, anyone) who share the view that the need of the individual or groups supersede (or even competes with) the preservation of nation or race.

I believe that each African should be free to seek happiness in whichever way he chooses, as long as he does not harm his fellow man.
The only part of this quote that is of interest to me is the phrase in bold. Equally obvious is the use of similar phrase littered in the rest of SLB's summary. I believe the notion of individualism to be defective. Western thinkers and leaders alike have a tendency to place too much emphasis on individualism as if they are still living in primordial times. But neither the Chinese nor traditional Africa make such emphasis about the individual. I am, however, aware that the Western brand of individualism is gradually creeping into the politics and culture of Africa - It must be exorcised at once!

The promotion of homosexuality; lesbians' couple right to children without fathers; stem cell research and "saviour siblings"; a woman's sole right to abortion, and many more such policies are all about the individual and a contemptuous disregard for the preservation of the human race--, what could be more defective?

As I watched news of the natural disasters in Myanmar and then China; and as I contemplate in my quite moments, "what it all means", several things dovetail in my mind and it struck me what response (if any and if interrogated), a god would give for the aforementioned disasters. I imagine an unpopular but honest response would be that: "the death of a few thousands or millions here and there is of little or no significant impact in the greater scheme of the universe or what I call "experiment."

SLB's "each African" implies a micro view of Africa whereas my contention is that the individual and [ethnic] groups are of little or no significance in the greater scheme of things: the preservation of the African race (and by extension, the human race) must be the centre of of any discussion about Afrocentrism--not the individual or any group. Like a soldier, he who sees himself not as an individual but a sacrifice for the preservation of something greater than him, his family, and his ethnicity, i.e., the achievement of a noble ideal. "Nuff said."

In its basis form, Afrocentrism is a perspective but in a higher sense, it is inextricably linked to introspection, and ownership. Indeed Afrocentrism is inextricably linked with the African race (otherwise it wouldn't be Afrocentrism), African economic, political and cultural independence. Introspection is an examination of values "within" and its fundamental aim is the continual examination of objectives and directions from an African perspective, and within an African context; it is the setting of a "mental boundary" that excludes from it all negative external factors. And the end result of introspection is self-diagnosis.

Further, Introspection and Afrocentrism are about taking ownership of "situation" --a repossession, if you like--, as stakeholders would of situation that affect them directly. Some have argued that we [Africans] invite the rest of the world to take join ownership of our situation; and in slightly different way, others have agreed that Afrocentrism is a good idea as long as it is not too African or too African-centered.

And one cannot fail to notice, in too many other commentaries on NVS, the recurrent theme of "open door policy." This is not some UN Charter or IMF imposition on Africans but an imposition by Africans on themselves.

Various causes (corruption, religion, incompetence, mediocrity, ethnicity) might be pointed out why Africa is at the "bottom of the pile", in a manner of speaking, but the "globalisation" of the African situation is a major factor that have made all [copycat] solutions for Africa like filling up sieve with water. Either we are all historical illiterates or we have learnt nothing from our past or we are masochist.

China illustrates the enormous gains from long term investment in introspection: the China economic potential greatness (if not greatness) is largely due to Chairman Mao rejection of 'globalisation' and the forced introspection of the times: it forced the Chinese to look inwards, within its great wall, and with this came the local creativity that today form the backbone of the modern Chinese economic giant status. Ask the rulers of Myanmar, and they would probably use the same argument in defence of their reluctance to accept outside assistance.

But I almost digress.-- Indeed the connection of Myanmar to Afrocentrism, I should clarify with the help of Nok's comment:

I don't think that it is yet understood by many Africans that until we define our identity by ourselves, we cannot fulfil the Purpose of Growth implied within whichever good identity we adopt. The disagreements ,or uncertainty, about who an African is, beyond subsisting in the realm of intellectual opinion, underlie our inability as a collective to discover the active Purpose which should be TIED to the word "African"
This is a good quote and underlines the problems with Africans who subscribe to "open door policy." Defining our own identity by ourselves is taking ownership of our own situation. The early European occupiers defined an identity for us, then we were brainwashed to own it and finally, it is seen to it that we don't change it.

But I should ask myself, where does Myanmar's slot into this argument? I should reply that the refusal of the West to address Myanmar as Myanmar's and not Burma is beyond arrogance and a testament to the "seeing into it that Myanmar doesn't adopt a new identity." To refresh readers' memory, the country once called Burma renamed itself the "Union of Myanmar" in 1989. Nevertheless, the Western government and media insist on calling her Burma, much to the annoyance of the leaders of that country.

A people deserve their own determination and this includes formulating own identity, own name, own language, and own form of political ideology etc. It is irrelevant whether the name or so has foreign or local origins. What matters is that the people take ownership of whatever [identity] they adopt (as long as it is not one imposed by outsiders).

Closer home, the extent of brainwashing could be seen in the name of the award "Music of Black Origin (MOBO)." Try substituting Black for Yellow and you would have "Music of Yellow Origin (MOYO)"--how amusing! Some people of African descent use "Black" to avoid being seen as African or too African; they are too willing to take what is good about Africa but refuse to acknowledge the fact they own it to Africa.

Further, Eja mentioned the "Southall Black Sisters" of the UK, but I must also mention that the President of the UK National Black Police Officer is of Iranian origin - I believe! This is the type of [rainbow] identity some Africans advocate for Africa; an identity, which every race (Indians, Pakistani, Arabs, Filipinos, Malay, etc) could join except there is no reciprocity in this arrangement, that is to say, an African cannot be an Iranian, or Indian or Arab, one minute and African the next minute.

And as Eja said midway in the debate, it seems that only Africans are not permitted use their own name: it has to be hyphenated names; similarly our identities [read: identities] have also be hyphenated identities. And some Africans agree. This, indeed, is the biggest betrayal of Africa by Africans.

Afrocentrism rejects the bipolar Black/White world view and one created by early Europeans - a world created for exploitation; a world of opposites; a world that, by implication, rejects the existence of other much larger races such as the Chinese. And for so long, Africans have been reluctant participant (and almost zombies-like) in the Black/White world. The time has come to turn our back at it, "get off it!" and create our own world--one that is more realistic from an African perspective.

But like Myanmar, the West will continue to insist that they are whites, we are blacks, and that the world is Black/White. But this is their problem and nothing to do with Africans, except if we continue to be in perpetual confusion-- and to use Nok's own words--,"disagreements, or uncertainty" about the right identity to adopt.

To extend what Nok said in his quote, I truthfully believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with our thinking process. Is it any wonder that we are at the bottom of the pile? We need to embark on radical 'brain-cleansing' programmes to correct our mindset and get rid of all the things that make others take us for granted, including our inferiority complex, lack of an inquiring or philosophical mind and consequently, our inability to think beyond the basics etc. It is what education is supposed to achieve but this is beyond conventional education and should be the starting point for the rebirth of truth Afrocentrism.

To borrow a phrase from the Irish, I have really enjoyed reading Eja. It would be folly to complement another person simply because you share or hold similar opinions and views on certain issues. The complement is for his intellectual sincerity, and possession of a true philosophical mind that is rare to find on NVS and among Nigerians--at least in my experience, which leads me to ask a rhetorical question: why are there not many more Nigerians like Eja.

In contrast, one can discount, but not discount entirely, the false notion that an intellectual intercourse is an exercise in equivocation, vacillation, divagation or even neutrality; and that the more one exhibits these traits, the more one is [mis]taken for a someone endowed with philosophical or intellectual mind. False! This is a fraudulent claim and indeed an literary 419." Such contributors to the debate only succeeded in making the reader feel more "hungry" after reading them, that is to say, they only succeeded in raising many more questions with no answer proffered--just more questions.

And yet another group of contributors only succeeded in hearing what they wish to hear; convincing themselves by their own argument; repetitively and deliberately misunderstanding, misquoted and ignoring fundamental issues raised by others, and consequently breaking the etiquettes of debates.

But I hope that we all take away from the debate, knowledge, ideas, mistakes, to improve ourselves. After all, this is what debate is about, namely, a cross-fertilization of minds.

Nok
Jun 6, 2008, 06:10 PM
Palamedes,


I truthfully believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with our thinking process. Is it any wonder that we are at the bottom of the pile? We need to embark on radical 'brain-cleansing' programmes to correct our mindset and get rid of all the things that make others take us for granted, including our inferiority complex....

Yes, as Africans, we are living in a vacuum of realisation of THAT RESPONSIBILITY of being purveyors of civilisational education. It is not merely that we are not "brain cleansing"; it is more that we do not even appreciate the scope of our responsibility to take control of our education in a sociological sense. We don't know that we have that responsibility.

Additionally, there is the truly strange situation we inhabit at present, characterised by the absence of self-aware INSTITUTIONAL manifestations of Afrocentricity. There is no formal and protected body of Afrocentric civilisational chronicles and ideologies. Most importantly, there has been no conscious and formal handover of Afrocentricity to our generation. So we are, in effect, operating from a Step Zero of sociological thinking in comparison with other Peoples (not even a step one, unless of course you figure in the gaining of independence by African countries. But if people don't understand the full import of what it means to be politically independent, then we've got a problem there....). We are still preparing, and deciding and "undeciding" about the modalities of getting to Step One of globally contextual perpectives. Do not be surprised that if you could return to Africa 500 years from now, the same problems might persist.

This lack of formal handover of Afrocentricity creates two scenarios;
1) A quite transfixing and arresting awareness of the amount of work needed to be done, not without its sense of accompanying personal crisis, in the intelligent African, which might lead to.... 2) a total shutdown of acceptance of Afrocentric ideas, as a quasi protective response, because it sounds too new, almost confrontationally so, and yet somehow, too old.

It is better to be aware of what needs to be done, as far as sociological education goes, even if we don't get round to it for a while. Simply, we must wipe off the bible slate, and the koranic slate totally. And we must replace them both with something completely African.

Neop
Jun 6, 2008, 06:31 PM
Let me make a slight contribution:

Afrocentrism is typically conceived of (by Afrocentrists) as an orientation to data. That is to say, one doesn't harbor a bias against black African agency - after the manner of Frobenius and the whole Great Zimbabwe thing.

So you assume that Africans have agency. Of course this necessarily implies the whole identity thing.

This will of course, pit you automatically against Western liberals who need an output for their moral sentiments, and as such, must deny agency wherever they find it that they may create it and gain for themselves moral authority - but...oh well

Toku.A
Jun 12, 2008, 09:25 AM
The unfortunate xenpophobic attacks by South-Africans on other Africans just seemed to confirm that Africanism can not and should not be reduced to negritude. The same South-Africans that felt at home with an ever increasing population of new arrivals from outside the continent could not bear a few more Zimbabweans, and I would not have the strength and time to discuss this topic but I appreciate every bit of information passed down on this thread however Khalil misunderstood my last post maybe because of my style of presentation.

I was not using Islam as a refrence point I was pointing at the erroneous beliefs Africans had on themselves based on certain aspects of christian theologies and I was saying those theological referrences were faulty because if you went down the genealogical trees that were used to justify 'African backwardness' the cursed lineages were not African.

Also the 1-5 parts of the old testament that are often used to put the Africans 'in line' were actually written from an African perspective and mostly within the continent so these scriptures could not have pointed to Africans being the 'cursed' race.

My reference to Islam was that until I read that guy's post I have always thought those referrences were known to be judeo-christian theologies.

Toku.A
Jun 12, 2008, 09:39 AM
Palamedes,



Yes, as Africans, we are living in a vacuum of realisation of THAT RESPONSIBILITY of being purveyors of civilisational education. It is not merely that we are not "brain cleansing"; it is more that we do not even appreciate the scope of our responsibility to take control of our education in a sociological sense. We don't know that we have that responsibility.

Additionally, there is the truly strange situation we inhabit at present, characterised by the absence of self-aware INSTITUTIONAL manifestations of Afrocentricity. There is no formal and protected body of Afrocentric civilisational chronicles and ideologies. Most importantly, there has been no conscious and formal handover of Afrocentricity to our generation. So we are, in effect, operating from a Step Zero of sociological thinking in comparison with other Peoples (not even a step one, unless of course you figure in the gaining of independence by African countries. But if people don't understand the full import of what it means to be politically independent, then we've got a problem there....). We are still preparing, and deciding and "undeciding" about the modalities of getting to Step One of globally contextual perpectives. Do not be surprised that if you could return to Africa 500 years from now, the same problems might persist.

This lack of formal handover of Afrocentricity creates two scenarios;
1) A quite transfixing and arresting awareness of the amount of work needed to be done, not without its sense of accompanying personal crisis, in the intelligent African, which might lead to.... 2) a total shutdown of acceptance of Afrocentric ideas, as a quasi protective response, because it sounds too new, almost confrontationally so, and yet somehow, too old.

It is better to be aware of what needs to be done, as far as sociological education goes, even if we don't get round to it for a while. Simply, we must wipe off the bible slate, and the koranic slate totally. And we must replace them both with something completely African.

I always thought the same until I found out that the problem with the slates you speak of is that we know to little about these slates. There are really nasty things pushed down our throats in the name religion that do not even exist in these religions. Christianity for one is not as unafrican as it is presented. It is even more uneuropean than it is unafrican. Recently I discovered that certain beliefs that were taught by our ancestors that were being rebuffed as superstitious are being incorporated into modern science, but yet the 1st generation "intellectuals" continue to teach us humans are the only beings that occupy planet earth. These slates are salt for the body but bitter for the mouth.

Ishola Taiwo
Jun 15, 2008, 06:34 PM
The unfortunate xenpophobic attacks by South-Africans on other Africans just seemed to confirm that Africanism can not and should not be reduced to negritude. The same South-Africans that felt at home with an ever increasing population of new arrivals from outside the continent could not bear a few more Zimbabweans

The whole point behind the recognition of the utility of a collective Afrocentric perspective is that it will help prevent incidents like this.

If we Africans of any so-called nationality were to become as Afrocentric as we are currently Muslim or Christian, the ways we treat (and relate to) each other would change completely.

Exponent
Jun 20, 2008, 03:13 PM
Do what you like, however you like....just keep that **** OUT of the office.

YT will NEVER understand it.

Trust.

Alata
Jun 26, 2008, 01:06 AM
I have often stated that "Africa's solutions are problems for the 'international community' ".

The tasks remain to build the Afrocentric mindset and institutions, since it is (now hopefully) agreed on our need to be of Afrocentric (African centred) perspective in our dealings with each other and with the international community.
As always the tasks start with education, formal and informal.

I struggle to see how these tasks can succeed without at least an implicit aim of our supremacy, fledging or resurgent; and without the intent to protect our lands and societies beyond the most likely call to defend militarily, economically and psychologically; and without our reckoning of all offensive knowledge or capacities whatever the origin or defences as ours to acquire and extend.

Itunmo:
we compete with the intent of winning;
we prepare for the escalation to military war of the wars of attrition currently being waged against our home continent and our societies worldwide;
we borrow, steal, copy or otherwise gain the means to inflict unsustainable damage on our opposition. To start with, we need to somehow bring ALL our people into the need and performance of these tasks. This 'education' cannot happen in the classrooms, newspapers or websites of today.

DeepThought
Jun 27, 2008, 11:57 PM
Additionally, there is the truly strange situation we inhabit at present, characterised by the absence of self-aware INSTITUTIONAL manifestations of Afrocentricity. There is no formal and protected body of Afrocentric civilisational chronicles and ideologies. Most importantly, there has been no conscious and formal handover of Afrocentricity to our generation. So we are, in effect, operating from a Step Zero of sociological thinking in comparison with other Peoples (not even a step one, unless of course you figure in the gaining of independence by African countries.

I know the demonization of the secret societies of old led to mass desertion of its ranks. Biut I think they survived albeit in badly battered forms. I'm wondering if this surviving residue could play some meaningful role in the resurgence of self sustaining Afrocentric institutions

Nok
Jul 5, 2008, 02:24 PM
Toku,


I always thought the same until I found out that the problem with the slates you speak of is that we know to little about these slates. There are really nasty things pushed down our throats in the name religion that do not even exist in these religions. Christianity for one is not as unafrican as it is presented. It is even more uneuropean than it is unafrican. Recently I discovered that certain beliefs that were taught by our ancestors that were being rebuffed as superstitious are being incorporated into modern science, but yet the 1st generation "intellectuals" continue to teach us humans are the only beings that occupy planet earth. These slates are salt for the body but bitter for the mouth.

Thanks for your carefully reasoned submission. I would like to comment on the part of your post which I felt was most relevant to the whole discussion and that is the idea that "These slates are salt for the body but bitter for the mouth".

It is indeed true that ANY body of philosophy can be construed as "salt for the body". After all we are reasoning beings who wonder and postulate about our origins as human sentiences, what we are truly about, and our eventual destination. It is in depths of our nature to seek out a frame of Ideas that accomodates and contextualises these questions in a way that makes some consolatory sense, in the great wide unknowable universe we live in. As we seek knowledge in the things that are accessible to our physical senses, so we also seek perceptual balance in the bigger questions of Life. We do this, not only because we are interested in the details of the meaning of Life, but because a perceptual framework of organised existential Ideas gives FORM to what would otherwise be unacceptable chaos. Our natural avidity for these answers draws us to religion and (sometimes informal) philosophy, which fill the gaps of understanding. For this reason RELIGION, as an undeniable aspect of human existence, COMES TO US EVENTUALLY. So as Christianity is salt for you, so is worshipping elephant gods and pampering cows in the midst of human poverty salt for the Hindus, so is following the teachings of Buddha salt for the Buddhists.......I hope you get where I'm going. (By the way, how come African traditional religions are accused of worshipping idols and Hindus aren't?)

So with Christianity (or Islam), what we have is A philosophy that attempts to address these bigger questions along with the context of elevation of certain ethnic groups - not necessarily THE philosophy containing Ideas directly referential to African ethnic groups, which can generate and propel civilisational energies. This is the sneaky little part of the story - religions that claim to be universalist display the flaw of God revealing himself through a favoured ethnic group or race; the group from which the religion originated.

In professing these foreign religions, we unwittingly enter a convenant of making dangerous off-the-charts value judgements about certain foreign ethnicities (such as viewing their countries as "holy" whilst we no doubt consider our countries as thrashy). It is actually said that we are "the temple" of God or his Word. This is quite true in the sense that we mostly eventually fulfil the philosophies (with their accompanying nuances of ethnic bias) we received as instruction in the earlier stages of our lives. Until we start from a fresh slate of self definition, we will continue to fulfil the script of African inferiority, no matter how many developmental flashes in the pan take place on the continent. Everything you do in the physical will reflect the completeness, the purity, the perfection, and the complexity of your identity in the spiritual.

Most of the religious philosophies which hold us down start their narrative from the very beginning of Time. And that is where we need to travel back to in order to effect Change..........

DeepThought
Jul 5, 2008, 03:58 PM
It is indeed true that ANY body of philosophy can be construed as "salt for the body".

In today's world, one of the things that is off putting about the traditional African religions would be the clearly outdated bloodletting/sacrificial aspects (assuming that is still being done)

Once you take the above out of these religions, reforming it so to speak, I think you will end up with a product probably superior to Islam or Christianity in its logic. Not that religion is know for its logic anyway. If we must hold on to religion, I think the African as a collective would be far better off developing his own conception of God.Why hold on to somebody else's sham when you can have your own and place yourself in a context that better uplifts you?

Untill Science progresses to the point where it can explain ALL, something which I think is very unlikely, then religion in one shape or form may be a necessary evil/good that will always be with us.

Wayfarer
Jul 5, 2008, 04:58 PM
DeepThought,

Your post above explains why I continually emphasize the importance of science and technology. Many Black Africans have abandoned their religion for Christianity and Islam. We abandoned our religions because they encouraged human sacrifice, yet the Christian bible is rife with mass murder and mayhem.

What technology will do is rid us of this crippling inferiority complex. It will enable us to view our societies as superior and enable us to ask questions like, why is my religion barbaric when Christian figures used to burn people at the stake for heresy? Why are we backward when people used to be condemned as witches in countries in which Christianity was established? Why is my religion undesirable when Islam preaches violence against non believers, goads people into killing innocent people, and holds as their prophet, a man who married and copulated with a nine year old child?

Christianity and islam made necessary revisions in their dogma to appease modern day skeptics, so there is no reason why we can't similarly extirpate the less desirable aspect of our traditional way of life while retaining the noble aspects.

But our inferiority complex will never permit that. And we will continue to suffer with this complex until we embrace technology - until we can do the things that others do in their countries that make their countries so attractive to us.

Ishola Taiwo
Jul 5, 2008, 05:02 PM
In today's world, one of the things that is off putting about the traditional African religions would be the clearly outdated bloodletting/sacrificial aspects (assuming that is still being done)


DeepThought, I had an insight a while back that I think is relevant to what you said above.

It occurred to me that a lot of what the so-called Christian, Islamic and other 'civilised' ideologies hold up as examples of their superiority to our Traditional modes are actually nothing more than the end products of skillful cosmetic and re-labeling processes.

For example, in the old days, in some parts of Nigeria, women who gave birth to twins would expose them and leave them to die.

"Horrible."

As schoolchildren, it was drummed into our heads that the missionary Mary Slessor put an end to this 'barbaric' infanticide.

So, what is abortion?

Abortion is presented as a woman exercising her right over what she does with her body. The life that is terminated, because we have never seen it, is described as if it were not a human life. A woman gets rid of a child she does not want and as long as it is done by ones certified by the State, no one sees the similarity between what she did and what was done when twins were left to die in the 'evil' forest.

"Oh that was more cruel..." you will hear. Yes, sure it was, but, it is the mind state that allows children (born or unborn) to be killed that is under discussion.

Would it have been better if the twins had simply been beheaded immediately after birth? After all, there are abortion procedures that involve the use of cutting tools and extractors...even the ones that are done solely with drugs still accomplish their aim by disintegrating the tiny human in the womb.

That is still violence.

Abortions terminate millions of human lives in the very same Christian societies that gave us missionaries like Mary Slessor. But, abortion, unlike our indigenous infanticide, is shielded by reams upon reams of very 'reasonable' arguments.

And they can't be wrong can they? After all, most of the talking heads belong to 'educated and civilised' people.

Another thing that we have been condemned for (which is actually practiced at a much higher level by those who initiated the condemnation) is human sacrifice.

When the USA, for example, tells you that it is executing a man in the name of Justice, how does that differ from the old Yoruba who would execute a man in the name of Ogun?

And as we speak, pharmaceutical companies and other workers in the field of biological weapons are causing the deaths of thousands of animals a year in the name of research. How does this differ from the people who sacrifice animals for the sake of communing with their ancestors and friendly non-human entities?

Both are in the search of knowledge and power...what makes one 'backward' and the other a civilised man?

Is it the white coat? Or, is it the 'white' skin?

There are many such examples of matters like this where the same things that we were told Christian (or Islamic) 'civilization' ended are still as prominent as ever in our societies and, in the societies that gave birth to the crapulous masquerades.

I think the recognition and identification of these things will go a long way in demystifying the alien nonsense that has hypnotised so many of us for so very long.

"Oh but the Europeans practices have enabled them to progress.." we will be told.

Wrong again. It was the European study of warfare (and the tools of warfare) that allowed them to be in a position where they could apply the resources of others towards the fulfillment of their own ambitions. In short, Euro-derived 'civilisations' (and to some extent the Arabic-derived) did not progress because they had superior ideas of human organisation; they prevailed because unlike others, they studied war.

DeepThought
Jul 5, 2008, 06:29 PM
We abandoned our religions because they encouraged human sacrifice,

I think near absolute conquest had more to do with the abandonment

I'm not sure that those religions encouraged human sacrifice more than any other religions including the ones that replaced them, i.e, Christianity or Islam. The Bible at least in the old testament showed the Christian concept of God at that time accepted human sacrifice.


Christianity started reforming itself at least 2000 year ago, they go rid/excluded of a lot of apocryphals and gnositic texts,held confrences to decide what was acceptable. Any religion should be able to the same.



As schoolchildren, it was drummed into our heads that the missionary Mary Slessor put an end to this 'barbaric' infanticide.

I don't know what they teach in Nigerian schools these days but I'm willing to bet, that it probably still being drummed into school children.


When the USA, for example, tells you that it is executing a man in the name of Justice, how does that differ from the old Yoruba who would execute a man in the name of Ogun?

:D


Both are in the search of knowledge and power...what makes one 'backward' and the other a civilised man?

Is it the white coat? Or, is it the 'white' skin?

No, just the acquisition of power through the application scientific knowledge

nero africanus
Jul 5, 2008, 06:58 PM
DeepThought, I had an insight a while back that I think is relevant to what you said above.

It occurred to me that a lot of what the so-called Christian, Islamic and other 'civilised' ideologies hold up as examples of their superiority to our Traditional modes are actually nothing more than the end products of skillful cosmetic and re-labeling processes.

For example, in the old days, in some parts of Nigeria, women who gave birth to twins would expose them and leave them to die.

"Horrible."

As schoolchildren, it was drummed into our heads that the missionary Mary Slessor put an end to this 'barbaric' infanticide.

So, what is abortion?

Abortion is presented as a woman exercising her right over what she does with her body. The life that is terminated, because we have never seen it, is described as if it were not a human life. A woman gets rid of a child she does not want and as long as it is done by ones certified by the State, no one sees the similarity between what she did and what was done when twins were left to die in the 'evil' forest.

"Oh that was more cruel..." you will hear. Yes, sure it was, but, it is the mind state that allows children (born or unborn) to be killed that is under discussion.

Would it have been better if the twins had simply been beheaded immediately after birth? After all, there are abortion procedures that involve the use of cutting tools and extractors...even the ones that are done solely with drugs still accomplish their aim by disintegrating the tiny human in the womb.

That is still violence.

Abortions terminate millions of human lives in the very same Christian societies that gave us missionaries like Mary Slessor. But, abortion, unlike our indigenous infanticide, is shielded by reams upon reams of very 'reasonable' arguments.

And they can't be wrong can they? After all, most of the talking heads belong to 'educated and civilised' people.

Another thing that we have been condemned for (which is actually practiced at a much higher level by those who initiated the condemnation) is human sacrifice.

When the USA, for example, tells you that it is executing a man in the name of Justice, how does that differ from the old Yoruba who would execute a man in the name of Ogun?

And as we speak, pharmaceutical companies and other workers in the field of biological weapons are causing the deaths of thousands of animals a year in the name of research. How does this differ from the people who sacrifice animals for the sake of communing with their ancestors and friendly non-human entities?

Both are in the search of knowledge and power...what makes one 'backward' and the other a civilised man?

Is it the white coat? Or, is it the 'white' skin?

There are many such examples of matters like this where the same things that we were told Christian (or Islamic) 'civilization' ended are still as prominent as ever in our societies and, in the societies that gave birth to the crapulous masquerades.

I think the recognition and identification of these things will go a long way in demystifying the alien nonsense that has hypnotised so many of us for so very long.

"Oh but the Europeans practices have enabled them to progress.." we will be told.

Wrong again. It was the European study of warfare (and the tools of warfare) that allowed them to be in a position where they could apply the resources of others towards the fulfillment of their own ambitions. In short, Euro-derived 'civilisations' (and to some extent the Arabic-derived) did not progress because they had superior ideas of human organisation; they prevailed because unlike others, they studied war.


compelling

thank you , professor eja

Myne Whitman
Jul 5, 2008, 07:41 PM
Eja,

Like Nero said, you present a compelling argument but you see, the europeans are one step ahead. They have seperated the church from the state and government so killing a man for justice or the courts allowing women abortion are no more linked to the church. infact Amnesty Int'l and Pro life groups will tell you they have a christain ethos.

Anyway thanks for presenting another way of observing life...

DeepThought
Jul 5, 2008, 09:37 PM
They have seperated the church from the state

Ah, again, the conforting illusion of secularity.

By asking ourselves the right questions we often unveil that which should be obvious but which we blind ourselves to seeing.


Would we consider Saudi Arabia to be an Islamic country or a secular state?
Well , even Saudi Arabi is not actually an Islamic state or at least it doesn't formally make that claim. Technically, its a Kingdom so even Saudi Arabia can make some claim , however laughable to some degree of secularity if it needs to.

I'm sure even Afghanistan right now under that silly little man in the silly litte hat is probably running around claiming it is secular.

And then, what about the state of Isreal?

Even Isreal claims to be secular does it not?. But how a Zionist state, founded on Zionism can be secular is beyond me

In truth, the only people who I know to be honest enough not to pretend are the Iranians. Iran declares itself a theocracy.

But just how secular are all other states? Is there really in practice a truely secular state?. No, not one, its just a question of degree of seperation.

Behind every state is or are the ideas or religion. Even the communist ones.

Actually, we worship the American God every time we spend a dollar.

Religions and states are hard to cleanly seperate, regardless of what every state says.



Oooops, I forgot:
The head of the British state is also the head of the church and Britain indeed does have a state religion.
But that minor detail is not that important is it? Britain is still secular isn't it?

I'm out of here

Ishola Taiwo
Jul 5, 2008, 09:37 PM
Eja,

...the europeans are one step ahead. They have seperated the church from the state and government so killing a man for justice or the courts allowing women abortion are no more linked to the church.

Yes, but Mulan, can you name the last atheist President of the USA?

Could you even name the last atheist PM of Great Britain? You see, this is exactly what I am talking about...the power to define is the power to mold reality.

We are told that the church is separated from the state...yet, here in Britain, the Head of State (Elizabeth II) is also the head of the Church of England.

In the USA, candidate Obama has recently had to make moves to assure the populace that he is as devout a Christian as George W Bush. So, in truth, even though they like to tell us that the State is separate from the Church, we often find that in practice, the Church is still one of the pillars of the State.

As for killing a man in the name of 'justice', well, that is just another reason. No different from killing a man in the name of 'cleansing the land'.

Also, we should note that in most of the societies that have been described as 'primitive' due to their engagement in such practices, the ones executed for the sake of some deity were rarely high ranking citizens (or even every-day innocent members of the public). More often than not, the victims would be those who had been judged to have broken some law or, captives taken in war.

Well, the USA executes its own citizens because they have broken some law and, right now as we speak, men captured on the battlefield are on trial in Guantanamo Bay.

We are told that if found guilty, they could face the death penalty.

Not forgetting of course the many cases of "extra-judicial" killings that happen on the battle-fields.

When exactly is human sacrifice not human sacrifice? Who has made this distinction?

No, the emergence of Christianity/Islam brought about zero changes in human savagery. The only innovation has been the invention of various 'scientific' rationalisations and euphemisms that serve to convince the faithful that they are indeed members of some 'enlightened civilization'.

Dewdrops
Jul 5, 2008, 10:09 PM
Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.

Start with the individual countries in Africa first before thinking of Africa as a whole.

Nigeria needs a lot of "Nigerianism" before it becomes part of any "Africanism"!

Charity begins at home!

Alata
Jul 7, 2008, 04:53 PM
the emergence of Christianity/Islam brought about zero changes in human savagery. The only innovation has been the invention of various 'scientific' rationalisations and euphemisms that serve to convince the faithful that they are indeed members of some 'enlightened civilization'.

the clearest explanation of the role of 'science and technology' in 'modern civilisation' that I have come across.

adama50
Jul 7, 2008, 06:20 PM
Eja,

Like Nero said, you present a compelling argument but you see, the europeans are one step ahead. They have seperated the church from the state and government so killing a man for justice or the courts allowing women abortion are no more linked to the church. infact Amnesty Int'l and Pro life groups will tell you they have a christain ethos.

Anyway thanks for presenting another way of observing life...

God bless the Europeans, where would we, the ignorant African be without them and, I wonder if anyone bothered to tell , the American commander in chimp that , there is no religion in his regime.

adama50
Jul 9, 2008, 06:07 AM
More and more I keep hearing the term "Black Africans". The first time I heard it, it was from a young African girl. And I remember thinking, is there any other kind and, if there are and, if there is, shouldn't they be the ones who need to identify themselves? I remember when someone mention an African , I knew they were referring to a black person. Are we now becoming a minority in our own land or is , there something more sinister going on. Is African such a negative word that we are trying to escape from it. Maybe we are trying to be inclusive of others, but will this be as usual, at a huge cost to us.

In the West we are not known as Europeans, we are either afro-carribeans, or Africans and we might accept that because we are a minority in the West, and in America we are Africans or African- Americams. Home is the one place we should be certain of who we are and, be proud of it abroad. If we lose our African identitiy we lose everything.

Toku.A
Jul 9, 2008, 12:43 PM
Toku,



Thanks for your carefully reasoned submission. I would like to comment on the part of your post which I felt was most relevant to the whole discussion and that is the idea that "These slates are salt for the body but bitter for the mouth".

It is indeed true that ANY body of philosophy can be construed as "salt for the body". After all we are reasoning beings who wonder and postulate about our origins as human sentiences, what we are truly about, and our eventual destination. It is in depths of our nature to seek out a frame of Ideas that accomodates and contextualises these questions in a way that makes some consolatory sense, in the great wide unknowable universe we live in. As we seek knowledge in the things that are accessible to our physical senses, so we also seek perceptual balance in the bigger questions of Life. We do this, not only because we are interested in the details of the meaning of Life, but because a perceptual framework of organised existential Ideas gives FORM to what would otherwise be unacceptable chaos. Our natural avidity for these answers draws us to religion and (sometimes informal) philosophy, which fill the gaps of understanding. For this reason RELIGION, as an undeniable aspect of human existence, COMES TO US EVENTUALLY. So as Christianity is salt for you, so is worshipping elephant gods and pampering cows in the midst of human poverty salt for the Hindus, so is following the teachings of Buddha salt for the Buddhists.......I hope you get where I'm going. (By the way, how come African traditional religions are accused of worshipping idols and Hindus aren't?)

So with Christianity (or Islam), what we have is A philosophy that attempts to address these bigger questions along with the context of elevation of certain ethnic groups - not necessarily THE philosophy containing Ideas directly referential to African ethnic groups, which can generate and propel civilisational energies.
This is the sneaky little part of the story - religions that claim to be universalist display the flaw of God revealing himself through a favoured ethnic group or race; the group from which the religion originated.
In professing these foreign religions, we unwittingly enter a convenant of making dangerous off-the-charts value judgements about certain foreign ethnicities (such as viewing their countries as "holy" whilst we no doubt consider our countries as thrashy). It is actually said that we are "the temple" of God or his Word. This is quite true in the sense that we mostly eventually fulfil the philosophies (with their accompanying nuances of ethnic bias) we received as instruction in the earlier stages of our lives. Until we start from a fresh slate of self definition, we will continue to fulfil the script of African inferiority, no matter how many developmental flashes in the pan take place on the continent. Everything you do in the physical will reflect the completeness, the purity, the perfection, and the complexity of your identity in the spiritual.
Most of the religious philosophies which hold us down start their narrative from the very beginning of Time. And that is where we need to travel back to in order to effect Change..........

I am very grateful for all the comments so far looks like I have been missing out.

Nok

Your comments in bold letters says it all and am with you on this. My observation is that the religious philosophers' comments were wrong especially when you looked at the encyclopedia of their religion. What is also interesting about far Easternism is that they are not guided so much by practices but by principles, on our continent we replaced principles with practices and this is common with every religious group on the continent. I am looking at the Christian slate e.g, I am seeing those that reject it the most were the starters of this religion they now treat as foreign or allien.

Palamedes
Jul 9, 2008, 01:06 PM
adama50@#225

More and more I keep hearing the term "Black Africans". The first time I heard it, it was from a young African girl.
Madam, you read the post on NVS and sometimes you want to skip lunch due to despair. Madam it is “black this” and “black that.” Now. I myself didn't know I was black until I came to Europe: It was an elderly English lady receptionist, who told me so. “What does this mean,” I had asked myself then. Why the imposition? And what was wrong with being called a Nigerian, aka African?

Madam, like the “Joseph K” character in Kafka's “Trial”, it was like waking up one morning to a new name and identity imposed on one by people for reason only they knew.

But even after knowing “What it all means” by the imposition, some Africans not only wear the new identity--warts with all, with great pride but choose to promote it too. But, madam, hold on tight, don't give up, you know you can make it, for help is around the corner. That help, madam, is Afrocentricism.

adama50
Jul 10, 2008, 11:07 AM
adama50@#225

Madam, you read the post on NVS and sometimes you want to skip lunch due to despair. Madam it is "black this" and "black that." Now. I myself didn't know I was black until I came to Europe: It was an elderly English lady receptionist, who told me so. "What does this mean," I had asked myself then. Why the imposition? And what was wrong with being called a Nigerian, aka African?

Madam, like the "Joseph K" character in Kafka's "Trial", it was like waking up one morning to a new name and identity imposed on one by people for reason only they knew.

But even after knowing "What it all means" by the imposition, some Africans not only wear the new identity--warts with all, with great pride but choose to promote it too. But, madam, hold on tight, don't give up, you know you can make it, for help is around the corner. That help, madam, is Afrocentricism.

Thank you sir, I live in hope, I want back what they are trying to steal from me, let the non-Africans in Africa identify themselves if they want, after all they are the minority, they already knew who we were, when they first arrived, now they are trying to change it , by teacching us to call ourselves "Black Africans" so they can now become Africans, I believe this is the same stunt , they pulled in Eygpt all those years ago. Now Eygpt is not even considered part of Africa.

The world should be in no doubt that When , African is mentioned they are reffering to a black person, so we can retire the word black, it has become a very negative term which is how they like it. We are always playing into their crafty hands because, many of us do not understand these people are, at war with us. And their mine interest in us, is owning us and , the vast wealth that , we don't recognised that we have. We are more interested in the crap they are offering . They don't like having us in their country so why do they, want to be in ours or , why can they not live, in Africa without trying to enslave us. Having the master and slave relationship is their dream, in more ways than one.

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 12:09 AM
Had been waiting for the right time to mock the Afrocentrists, but I guess this sympathetic video is a little better than anything I can do right now.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJOBL-h7K3Y
YouTube - Zebrudaya - Ngbafor Don Become AforLynn[/url]

katampe
Jul 12, 2008, 12:27 AM
Had been waiting for the right time to mock the Afrocentrists, but I guess this sympathetic video is a little better than anything I can do right now.


YouTube - Zebrudaya - Ngbafor Don Become AforLynn ("http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJOBL-h7K3Y[/video)

Nna , dis ur video na die :D

Ishola Taiwo
Jul 12, 2008, 12:59 AM
Had been waiting for the right time to mock the Afrocentrists, but I guess this sympathetic video is a little better than anything I can do right now.


I am sure that had you being capable of "mocking the Afrocentrists" with your formidable (and obviously proudly Eurocentric) 'intellect', you would have done so by now.

However, here you are (you poor thing), after having wracked your fossilised brain for who knows how long...pele...this all you could come up with - this fart....:frown:.

Gott have mercy on all miseducated naygrows...

Palamedes
Jul 12, 2008, 02:00 AM
NextLevel@#229

Had been waiting for the right time to mock the Afrocentrists,

QUOTE OF THE YEAR 2008:

"Enoch Power was not a racist"
...by NextLevel

Pssh! Do you hear the synchronized voices of a thousand African monkeys mockers mock the quote? And waiting in their wings is also a team of hyenas mockers to follow up and bring the house down with laughter.

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 02:55 AM
Nna , dis ur video na die :D

Thanks - at least someone got the joke ;).
_________________________
_________________________

I am sure that had you being capable of "mocking the Afrocentrists" with your formidable (and obviously proudly Eurocentric) 'intellect', you would have done so by now.

However, here you are (you poor thing), after having wracked your fossilised brain for who knows how long...pele...this all you could come up with - this fart....:frown:.

Gott have mercy on all miseducated naygrows...

Essays (all written in sound English by the way) are all well and good. When you move back to Nigeria to practice what you preach, let me know. I just might jump on the bandwagon. Nothing succeeds like success.

You remind me of a close relative of mine who came from Nigeria with dreams of transforming the Blacks in America. When he entered the taxi on the way from the airport, he struck a conversation with the taxi driver and the taxi driver heard him, drove him for free into the middle of a Black ghetto (this was in Texas) and asked him to begin his preaching to transform the nation. My relative never even left the car....

Go back to your intellectual writing and enjoy it - when you achieve something substantive, let me know.

Some people would rather trust lies in books than admit what is in front of their nose.
_________________________
_________________________

NextLevel@#229


QUOTE OF THE YEAR 2008:

"Enoch Power was not a racist"
...by NextLevel

Pssh! Do you hear the synchronized voices of a thousand African monkeys mockers mock the quote? And waiting in their wings is also a team of hyenas mockers to follow up and bring the house down with laughter.

No, not at all. All I hear is another misguided hypocritical Afrocentrist trying to make out that because he believes that he is Afrocentric, the money he sends to Africa is better than the same amount if Bill Gates sent it. I would of course ask why he is still in some foreign land, but I would surely hear some rationalization of some sort that I could not be bothered with, or some insults to obscure the discussion, so I won't be pointed about it.

Obviously, the Afrocentrist finds racial self-interest good when it is his own race, but finds it wrong when it is the race of Enoch Powell. I understand the sentiment, but I think that it is to some degree unreasonably selfish.

Another relative of mine (this follows my response to Eja), this one by marriage, was offered by his relatives abroad a chance to come and work in America with his skills. He repeatedly told them no, that he liked his job in Nigeria and felt Nigeria was going places. He, with a few friends, started a company in Nigeria. Has lots of partners in foreign lands. Has his Nigerian pride, admits Nigeria's limitations, disagrees with me on quite a few issues, but at least, practices what he preaches by working actively from within Nigeria to effect change. And since his business relies on contracts with foreign partners, he has nothing but respect for the ethics and methods of many of the corporations he deals with.

Does he now suffer in comparison to those who religiously make noise about Afrocentrism? I think not.

So I did not want to mock, but I guess I will now mock.

You are all hypocrites. And I feel to some degree that there is something about Britain that tends to create your types, though I can only conjecture at this time as to what is the source of it.

DeepThought
Jul 12, 2008, 08:51 AM
Essays (all written in sound English by the way) are all well and good. When you move back to Nigeria to practice what you preach, let me know

Is this an argument? Is this the cornerstone of your argument against Afrocentrism?

Comming from NL, I'm so dissapointed.

Anyway, maybe I assumed too much.

Latter

Tola Odejayi
Jul 12, 2008, 09:14 AM
Another thing that we have been condemned for (which is actually practiced at a much higher level by those who initiated the condemnation) is human sacrifice.

When the USA, for example, tells you that it is executing a man in the name of Justice, how does that differ from the old Yoruba who would execute a man in the name of Ogun?
Come on, Eja, you're not comparing like with like here.

When a man is executed in the USA, this is preceded by a trial where evidence is presented to show that the man is guilty of a crime against another human being. The evidence has to be of a certain standard - it can't just be hearsay - and the judgment has to be based on the presented evidence, not just on the whims of the judge. (Now you'll say that there have been many cases of miscarriages of justice despite this system, but the fact is that there is a system in place even if it is not always adhered to).

However, I am not aware that a person offered for human sacrifice is similarly guilty of a crime which affects his fellow human beings. Would you recommend such practices of sacrifice today? Would you say that there should not be a an established means of trial of alleged criminals, as happens in the US justice system?

DeepThought
Jul 12, 2008, 10:23 AM
However, I am not aware that a person offered for human sacrifice is similarly guilty of a crime which affects his fellow human beings. Would you recommend such practices of sacrifice today? Would you say that there should not be a an established means of trial of alleged criminals, as happens in the US justice system?

Not being aware of something doesn't mean the thing you are not aware of doesn't exist. This is where we have been miseducated.

1. Most human sacrifices that I heard of were rituals done to appease a diety whose laws or taboos had been broken or violated. Rituals were not offered for entertainment or fun, so yes, the victim were not thought to be innocent or just picked at random. They were usually adjudged to have been guilty of some crime, usually violation of some taboo even if we don't understand or agree with the taboo (law).

3. Yoruba society that I know of was based on LAW. In fact it was very very stric, draconian LAW.

3.As a mundane example,, I recall a thread about the death of an Oba (Benin or lagos?) and people being warned not to go out for a certain period. We condemn that practice on that thread but in those days, that was the law. You disobey the laws of the land, you paid the penalty. You went out during the period the society was mourning the death of a King, you got caught, you weren't judged to be guiltless. You can say there was no trial by jury, but that was not the legal proceedure of that society at that time. The Oyo mesi/Ogboni, secret societies of elders made the laws, announced it an whoever transgressed could get killed.It was that simple.

Much more troubling to me was the practice of burying the Aremo - the King's first born and then the slaves and wives with the King upon his death. These people didn't commit any crime. I can't explain that so easily but I think that was not very common.
However, that was the law at some time and in some places. A stupid and barbaric law, as far as I'm concerned, but that society believed in that law and nobody was picked nor any act done at random. They didn't toss a coin to select humans for sacrifices. They had a proceedure in place, one which we may not like, but a proceedure, nevertheless

3. You have to understand that this is not essentially different from what happened in any other society, the laws were just different. You can argue that the laws were barbaric, but you cannot argue that the sacrifices were done for fun or were random or without regard for societal norms or that there were no rules.

4. Do I agree with Human sacrifices, do I like those rules? Obviously not.
But was it done legally in thoses day in accordance with the rules established by those societies?
Absolutely, Positively , Affirmatively, Yes.

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 12:53 PM
Is this an argument? Is this the cornerstone of your argument against Afrocentrism?

Comming from NL, I'm so dissapointed.

Anyway, maybe I assumed too much.

Latter

Hmmm... maybe the feeling is mutual.

Are you an Afrocentrist hypocrite too?

Are you one of those who rhapsodize about Africa, mocking those with dissimilar views that cede respect to Eurocentrism (just for contrast, not that there aren't better ways to describe the position), but whose actions are often similarly based on concern about Africa?

Are you one of those who believes that we have to claim that White people stole African ideas to gain pride in ourselves?

Are you one of those who writes tomes about how great Africa is in the hope that this will inspire Africans to rise up and take their place in the world, but doesn't rethink his position in the light of realities on the ground?

Are you one of those who has claimed all manner of things are problems with Africa, but has never even tried to confirm one of these things by even a casual test with individuals or groups? Or tried to implement a small scale solution?

If you answered yes to all or most of the above questions, it is such behavior that enables you to evade the realities on the ground in Africa.

And that is the core of my argument against Afrocentrism.

NL
_________________________
_________________________

Not being aware of something doesn't mean the thing you are not aware of doesn't exist. This is where we have been miseducated.

1. Most human sacrifices that I heard of were rituals done to appease a diety whose laws or taboos had been broken or violated. Rituals were not offered for entertainment or fun, so yes, the victim were not thought to be innocent or just picked at random. They were usually adjudged to have been guilty of some crime, usually violation of some taboo even if we don't understand or agree with the taboo (law).

3. Yoruba society that I know of was based on LAW. In fact it was very very stric, draconian LAW.

3.As a mundane example,, I recall a thread about the death of an Oba (Benin or lagos?) and people being warned not to go out for a certain period. We condemn that practice on that thread but in those days, that was the law. You disobey the laws of the land, you paid the penalty. You went out during the period the society was mourning the death of a King, you got caught, you weren't judged to be guiltless. You can say there was no trial by jury, but that was not the legal proceedure of that society at that time. The Oyo mesi/Ogboni, secret societies of elders made the laws, announced it an whoever transgressed could get killed.It was that simple.

Much more troubling to me was the practice of burying the Aremo - the King's first born and then the slaves and wives with the King upon his death. These people didn't commit any crime. I can't explain that so easily but I think that was not very common.
However, that was the law at some time and in some places. A stupid and barbaric law, as far as I'm concerned, but that society believed in that law and nobody was picked nor any act done at random. They didn't toss a coin to select humans for sacrifices. They had a proceedure in place, one which we may not like, but a proceedure, nevertheless

3. You have to understand that this is not essentially different from what happened in any other society, the laws were just different. You can argue that the laws were barbaric, but you cannot argue that the sacrifices were done for fun or were random or without regard for societal norms or that there were no rules.

4. Do I agree with Human sacrifices, do I like those rules? Obviously not.
But was it done legally in thoses day in accordance with the rules established by those societies?
Absolutely, Positively , Affirmatively, Yes.

Deep Thought,

I have no problem with any of the above. Here are my questions, which require very short answers:

1. So how would you describe the law in Nigeria today?
2. Is it still barbaric and draconian or has it evolved to face new ideas?
3. And what do you think can be done to keep the best of what we know and remove the barbaric and draconian elements?
4. And if someone condemned the barbaric and draconian elements saying that these elements, by and large, are not what obtains in Europe or the US, would you think it is a fair comparison to speak about the waterboarding of terrorists or the behavior of some small sect in a non-descript part of the US?
5. And would you righteously mock the person who argued that the law of killing people who violated a rule that violated some religious taboo as being too Eurocentric in his ways? And if not, why not?

Maybe a good reference point for this discussion would be Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman.

Thanks,
NL

Ishola Taiwo
Jul 12, 2008, 03:03 PM
Come on, Eja, you're not comparing like with like here.

When a man is executed in the USA, this is preceded by a trial where evidence is presented to show that the man is guilty of a crime against another human being. The evidence has to be of a certain standard - it can't just be hearsay - and the judgment has to be based on the presented evidence, not just on the whims of the judge. (Now you'll say that there have been many cases of miscarriages of justice despite this system, but the fact is that there is a system in place even if it is not always adhered to).

However, I am not aware that a person offered for human sacrifice is similarly guilty of a crime which affects his fellow human beings. Would you recommend such practices of sacrifice today? Would you say that there should not be a an established means of trial of alleged criminals, as happens in the US justice system?

SLB, first off, the mere occurrence of several miscarriages of justice that had innocent people executed removes the implied aura of supremacy from the present system.

It places it, in my opinion, on the same level as past capricious acts that are still described as if they were uniquely 'barbaric' by some blissfully ignorant members of the honorary negroid eurocentric litter.

Secondly, I never spoke of indigenous human sacrifice as something that had virtues. The sole point of the comparison between the two was to make the argument that all forms of execution by the state is human sacrifice.

Nowhere did I recommend the killing of humans in the name of African deities and, I do not accept those rationalisations that seek to disguise basic human sacrifice in this present age by using sanctifications like "guilty of treason" or, "collateral damage".

Any taking of human life by the state (be it in it's indigenous incarnation or otherwise) is human sacrifice.

The air force (or artillery battalion) that drops kilotons of ordnance over a populated area - knowing fully well that civilians will be killed - need not seek to justify these murders as an acceptable by-product of their pursuit after some 'honourable' objective.

The leaders of that armed force are no different from those who in ancient times, did several times bring about the death of one who was not:
guilty of a crime which affects his fellow human beings (your words; your criteria..)

All unjust killings are equal. If we accept the truth of this statement, then we can see that it matters little what label is placed on the act. Then, we can see why it is an insult to the intelligence of any thinking person for ones who are engaged in industrial scale murders to expect others to unconditionally accept their description of their society as a superior 'civilisation'.

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 03:47 PM
SLB, first off, the mere occurrence of several miscarriages of justice that had innocent people executed removes the implied aura of supremacy from the present system.

It places it, in my opinion, on the same level as past capricious acts that are still described as if they were uniquely 'barbaric' by some blissfully ignorant members of the honorary negroid eurocentric litter.

Secondly, I never spoke of indigenous human sacrifice as something that had virtues. The sole point of the comparison between the two was to make the argument that all forms of execution by the state is human sacrifice.

Nowhere did I recommend the killing of humans in the name of African deities and, I do not accept those rationalisations that seek to disguise basic human sacrifice in this present age by using sanctifications like "guilty of treason" or, "collateral damage".

Any taking of human life by the state (be it in it's indigenous incarnation or otherwise) is human sacrifice.

The air force (or artillery battalion) that drops kilotons of ordnance over a populated area - knowing fully well that civilians will be killed - need not seek to justify these murders as an acceptable by-product of their pursuit after some 'honourable' objective.

The leaders of that armed force are no different from those who in ancient times, did several times bring about the death of one who was not: (your words; your criteria..)

All unjust killings are equal. If we accept the truth of this statement, then we can see that it matters little what label is placed on the act. Then, we can see why it is an insult to the intelligence of any thinking person for ones who are engaged in industrial scale murders to expect others to unconditionally accept their description of their society as a superior 'civilisation'.

Eja and the rest of us,

While I can engage in elliptical insults with the best of them (blissfully ignorant eurocentric litter) and choose not to for the most part, I would like us all to note that the words "draconian" and "barbaric" were not introduced by me, but by DeepThought and I have not used them in any other context but in the same ones as those in which he used them.

Of course, I still ask why those of us who really believe these Afrocentrist things about Africa do not go home to repair and foster those institutions that would bring Africa back to the glorious days that they say are on the horizon. Nero refused to answer the question, talking about some skills he had that he could not apply back home.

Like him, Eja, you seem to be in England. Why are you not using your mellifluous descriptions of Afrocentrism to transform African consciousness in Africa? Why not say and write these things in your native language and use them to bring about an African Renaissance? You write English better than most White men do. In fact, I the Eurocentrist cannot write English as well as you do! Is there a reason for this?

Thanks,
NL

DeepThought
Jul 12, 2008, 07:46 PM
I would like us all to note that the words "draconian" and "barbaric" were not introduced by me, but by DeepThought and I have not used them in any other context but in the same ones as those in which he used them

NL,
If you chose to get into a verbal fight with anyone I'll rather you don't find any excuse to drag me into it. If you feel offended by any post, you know the proceedures, you are a co-moderator and its your choice whether to follow it or not. Pls feel free to report any post you find offensive and another moderator will look into the matter

Thanks



1. So how would you describe the law in Nigeria today?
2. Is it still barbaric and draconian or has it evolved to face new ideas?
3. And what do you think can be done to keep the best of what we know and remove the barbaric and draconian elements?
4. And if someone condemned the barbaric and draconian elements saying that these elements, by and large, are not what obtains in Europe or the US, would you think it is a fair comparison to speak about the waterboarding of terrorists or the behavior of some small sect in a non-descript part of the US?
5. And would you righteously mock the person who argued that the law of killing people who violated a rule that violated some religious taboo as being too Eurocentric in his ways? And if not, why not?

Maybe a good reference point for this discussion would be Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman.

1. As an ass largely ignored and irrelevant to the lives of the people especailly the rich and powerful.
2. Re-read my earlier post. Aspects of Yoruba law I found to be barbaric. Just as aspects of American law I find to be barbaric.It doesn't make the Yoruba or American society entirely barbaric.
In any case, "Nigerian law" assuming there is actually anything like that is largely meaningless. What you have are borrowed laws which nobody enforces except for the collection of bribes and as coersive implement on the poor and powerless.
3. I don't think you care!
4. This queston is worded so that it shows where your bias and sympathies lies. I won't bother too much with it other than to briefly state the following:

Aspects of American law surpasses any Yoruba law in crudity and barbarity
a) In America, you can kill unarmed people/strangers if they "tresspass" on your property ( No such law existend in Yoruba culture, traditionally, in Yoruba culture, you welcome strangers)
b)You can kill unarmed strangers, people who never threatened you even if they don't trespass on your property but only on the property of your friend or neighbour, even if your neighbour is out of town and there is not treat to you or anyone else.
3c) In other words, you can kill an unarmed person just for FUN or just the hell of it and you have the fully backing of the State to do these killings if they trespass on your property or your neighbour's property.

I'm not making the above up. Look up a current headline news in Texas. A texan just shot TWO mexicans in the back because he noticed them stealing from an empty neighbouring house. He was in no danger, and had no business shooting these people, except for the fact that he knew the law allowed him to do that even though the Police asked him not to go out to kill after he had reported and had been told that the police was on the way.
The Texan went out to kill people , who were not even on his property or threatening his life in any way.

The implications are huge and I , personally have every reason to be concerned as on my job, i sometimes have to go out in the field armed only with a map and a GPS. I've been lost in the fields of ND, SD and other middle U.S states and possibly might have trespassed at times?. This mean, the law doesn't protect me, a stranger and so I can be shot in the back if someone decides that they don't like my face for any other reason. They can hide behind the fact that I "trespassed".

Thus, the difference between African traditional society and the West in terms of social development is just not what is being sold. If we use social harmony and social cohesiveness, justice and peace as indicators of development, African traditional societies were not behind or any more barbaric than the West. Its all in a matter of packaging and presentation.
Killings and barbarity in the West (which are legal and state sanctioned)are presented in the best possible light and possibly as individal errors while African barbarity are presented in the worse possible light, i.e as the norm, as if Africa was a lawless society filled with beasteality.
So when Hobbes, I believe it was, who described the life of man as short and beasteal, he was describing his society, the Western society. That description didn't necessarily apply to other societies.

However, if we use technological development, the matter is totally different.
Regardless, even in the technologically more advanced society of the West, people still may not have meaning and purpose to their lives when compared with the technologically backwards South.

5. You know enough about me to know that I have a sense of humour which can be inappropriate on ocassions. Yes, I could mock people and I don't even need a reason to sometimes make light , hopefully inoffensive fun of people and myself. However, if you tell me you are offended, and you have not similarly been offensive to me, I will do my best to make ammends

Thanks

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 08:34 PM
DeepThought,

I have no desire to bring you into another person's argument. As a moderator (just newly minted and still learning the ropes, by the way), I decided as personal policy to mostly moderate Crucible debates and maybe the most blatant abuses in the English language. However, what I'm noticing is that some people are pretty sophisticated in their use of insults, mostly by using big grammar or by refusing to call out their targets by name. Moreover, when discussing racially charged topics, it is important for people like me, who have been charged as Eurocentric, to admit bias when we have it and dismiss it when we feel we are wrongly charged because, after all, like it or not, I'm still an African.

1. I agree.
2. I agree. But it seems to me that at least, based on your response to point 1, that you would agree that the enforcement of and the challenge procedure for draconian laws is more robust in the US.
3. Oh, I really do. But if you don't want to respond, that's fine.
4. Yes, the question is worded so that it shows where my sympathies lie, though I think any lies in the biases can be fleshed out. And I'm happy with your response. I cannot speak for you, but I think that even your response to question 1 reveals that you think that order and enforcement, especially with the kind of legal challenge system that obtains in the US, can allow for the evolution of the law and a certain kind of consistency that makes deviations as exceptional as we think of them.

If your story is the 6 month old one of Joe Horn, I definitely share your worry in the sense that you are a Black man in the middle of America and I am not so sure that the man would have killed White thieves in the same area in the same fashion, but that is a hypothetical, not a fact. However, while I think that life offers no absolute protections, I don't expect you to be killed now or anytime in the future for breaking into cars or for trespassing on properties that are not yours to the extent that someone can watch you, decide that you are breaking the law, call the police, and then come out to kill you.

And I'm also fairly sure (not absolutely - age can be a bummer and so can relocation) that a man with your talents can find employment elsewhere if you so desire.

5. The question was about more differing cultural standards and whether the views of the West on slavery etc. are universal or just Western. But there is no point getting into it in detail.

Thanks and Cheers,
NL.

Palamedes
Jul 12, 2008, 08:45 PM
@NextLevel

Of course, I still ask why those of us who really believe these Afrocentrist things about Africa do not go home to ...

I don't know whether you came to the West by banana boat or otherwise, but the world have changed a bit, you know. HELLOO, we live in an “Information Age” and “Outsourcing era,” remember?

Look, if you want explanations about all these stuff, it simply means that you can pay others to do everything you want by just pressing a few buttons on your keyboard. (Are you still with me? Good then I shall continue) It means shopping is delivered at your door, laundry delivered, money transfered, project inspected online via video and changes made, email send, conference call booked for next week etc.

You can do all these stuff without leaving your office or house. You can continue generating income in the West to pay for your project in Nigeria. Would you prefer to kill a bird with one stone or two birds with one stone? (Skip the answer)

On second thought, maybe you are the type that wants to return to Nigeria but don't have the courage. You want to buy a brand new fridge first and then a new car and then the latest 240 inch wide flat screen TV, new laptop, IPhone, Armani or Hugo Boss suits. then the sofa, or “waiting for the children to finish schooling,” and then back to another new fridge to replace the now old fridge.

It is like going round a roundabout but missing the exit, isn't? And you want to talk, don't you? need some encouragement eh! (nudge, nudge). Is that why you are asking...? Maybe you could show us the way back to Nigeria, the next level so that we can all follow.

DeepThought
Jul 12, 2008, 09:15 PM
Yes, its the same Joe Horn. I'm glad you're familiar with the story.

What is particularly offensive was not that he only killed the TWO thieve, but that he shot them in the back in a premeditated , calm and delibrate manner after even the police had pleaded, (yes pleaded) with him not to do it.

What is this if not premeditated murder? What do you think they would call this in almost any other country?

a)A man declares his intention to kill to the police.( For chris sake , the police!!!).
NOTE: He didn't disguise his intention. He didn't say he was going to arrest or apprehend the two people. He declared upfront that the was going out to KILL them.

b)He then leaves the comfort of his home to go HUNT and KILL fellow humans. The race doesn't matter here, I don't care if he shot white, pink or blue people.

c) And then the law of the land totally exenorates him. If this is not babaric bullshit, I don't know what it is?

Now you tell me:
How is this different from a mob lynching a thief at Oshodi market?


But note the difference carefully
While the mob at Oshodi may have lynched a thief, even in lawless Nigeria of today, it is illegal and would be deemed illegal!!! The courts , useless as they may be, would not be ruling that the Oshodi mob was doing anything legal!!!

Ironic isn't it?

And how do you think a lynching thing like that would this be reported on CNN? Of course it would be reported as if lynchings occured every single day, it would not be seen as an abberation.

So stripped of all frills, in America, lynchings are still legal, if you do it right.


that a man with your talents can find employment elsewhere if you so desire.

You don't understand.
This is not about me or my ability to obtain employment elsewhere. So what if I happened not to have these choices? Do I deserve less in life? Do I deserve to be shot in the back and have my killer go grinning scot free, nailing my head (figuratively speaking) as a mascot on his flag, free to discuss my killing as sport for the entertainment of his cronnies at the local bar - all with the consent of the law?


. I agree.
2. I agree. But it seems to me that at least, based on your response to point 1, that you would agree that the enforcement of and the challenge procedure for draconian laws is more robust in the US.
3. Oh, I really do. But if you don't want to respond, that's fine.
4. Yes, the question is worded so that it shows where my sympathies lie, though I think any lies in the biases can be fleshed out. And I'm happy with your response. I cannot speak for you, but I think that even your response to question 1 reveals that you think that order and enforcement, especially with the kind of legal challenge system that obtains in the US, can allow for the evolution of the law and a certain kind of consistency that makes deviations as exceptional as we think of them

Well, I'm glad we at least agree on one or two things.
It would be unfair to compare American or Western society of today to the African traditional society of then. But if you diligently compare traditional African societies of 500-1000 years ago to that of the West in the same period, you will find that there was far less violence than what we are lead to believe. There was actually order in Society based on laws and nobody dared to break them with impunity. Not even the Kings.

Comparing the tradional world which has gone forever to Nigeria of today, I feel that society had far superior mechanisms for dealing with their problems than Nigeria of today

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 09:19 PM
@NextLevel


I don't know whether you came to the West by banana boat or otherwise, but the world have changed a bit, you know. HELLOO, we live in an "Information Age" and "Outsourcing era," remember?

Look, if you want explanations about all these stuff, it simply means that you can pay others to do everything you want by just pressing a few buttons on your keyboard. (Are you still with me? Good then I shall continue) It means shopping is delivered at your door, laundry delivered, money transfered, project inspected online via video and changes made, email send, conference call booked for next week etc.

You can do all these stuff without leaving your office or house. You can continue generating income in the West to pay for your project in Nigeria. Would you prefer to kill a bird with one stone or two birds with one stone? (Skip the answer)

On second thought, maybe you are the type that wants to return to Nigeria but don't have the courage. You want to buy a brand new fridge first and then a new car and then the latest 240 inch wide flat screen TV, new laptop, IPhone, Armani or Hugo Boss suits. then the sofa, or "waiting for the children to finish schooling," and then back to another new fridge to replace the now old fridge.

It is like going round a roundabout but missing the exit, isn't? And you want to talk, don't you? need some encouragement eh! (nudge, nudge). Is that why you are asking...? Maybe you could show us the way back to Nigeria, the next level so that we can all follow.

Why isn't there a similarly profitable outlet for your skills in Nigeria? There is no information technology in Nigeria? Or there are no opportunities to make even more money than you can make here?

You see, you can ramble about the answer all you want, but the bottom line is this: you prefer life in the West. You like the opportunities you have here. You like the lifestyle you live here. Of course we can contribute to Nigeria's growth from abroad. But your answer still reeks of dishonesty about the current state of Nigeria and its influence on why many of us are abroad. That more of us are returning home speaks to the growing and improving state of affairs there. However, I'm trying to remember the Nigerian on NVS/Nigeriaworld who went home and came back out. But the bottom line, to repeat myself, is that you prefer the http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/board/images/smilies/icon_frown.giflifestyle abroad and that your intellectualized Afrocentrism cannot rationalize away the state of the real world in practical affairs like lifestyle and business.

If you didn't, you would be in Nigeria. I presented an example of someone who genuinely prefers life in Nigeria - he is working there and doing the damn thing there. He runs a firm that contracts with multinationals. And most of the people who I know are in Nigeria do not spout any of this esoteric Afrocentric nonsense. The ones who need business relationships abroad forge them with all kinds of people, realizing that Afrocentrism, to the degree it is about helping your own race, is also about recognizing the limitations of your own race in the face of realities that obtain on a global scale and not trying to rationalize them away with arguments about historical or moral superiority.

Those of you who think that these rationalizations solve problems on the ground are free to continue doing so. And you can insult me for attacking your rationalizations. However, to turn upside down a phrase used in other contexts, someone must speak truth to power.

Cheers,
NL

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 10:00 PM
Yes, its the same Joe Horn. I'm glad you're familiar with the story.

What is particularly offensive was not that he only killed the TWO thieve, but that he shot them in the back in a premeditated , calm and delibrate manner after even the police had pleaded, (yes pleaded) with him not to do it.

What is this if not premeditated murder? What do you think they would call this in almost any other country?

a)A man declares his intention to kill to the police.( For chris sake , the police!!!).
NOTE: He didn't disguise his intention. He didn't say he was going to arrest or apprehend the two people. He declared upfront that the was going out to KILL them.

b)He then leaves the comfort of his home to go HUNT and KILL fellow humans. The race doesn't matter here, I don't care if he shot white, pink or blue people.

c) And then the law of the land totally exenorates him. If this is not babaric bullshit, I don't know what it is?

Now you tell me:
How is this different from a mob lynching a thief at Oshodi market?


But note the difference carefully
While the mob at Oshodi may have lynched a thief, even in lawless Nigeria of today, it is illegal and would be deemed illegal!!! The courts , useless as they may be, would not be ruling that the Oshodi mob was doing anything legal!!!

Ironic isn't it?

And how do you think a lynching thing like that would this be reported on CNN? Of course it would be reported as if lynchings occured every single day, it would not be seen as an abberation.

So stripped of all frills, in America, lynchings are still legal, if you do it right.



You don't understand.
This is not about me or my ability to obtain employment elsewhere. So what if I happened not to have these choices? Do I deserve less in life? Do I deserve to be shot in the back and have my killer go grinning scot free, nailing my head (figuratively speaking) as a mascot on his flag, free to discuss my killing as sport for the entertainment of his cronnies at the local bar - all with the consent of the law?



Well, I'm glad we at least agree on one or two things.
It would be unfair to compare American or Western society of today to the African traditional society of then. But if you diligently compare traditional African societies of 500-1000 years ago to that of the West in the same period, you will find that there was far less violence than what we are lead to believe. There was actually order in Society based on laws and nobody dared to break them with impunity. Not even the Kings.

Comparing the tradional world which has gone forever to Nigeria of today, I feel that society had far superior mechanisms for dealing with their problems than Nigeria of today

DeepThought,

I hate to see human beings die, but they were thieves in Texas. That speaks about the judgment all by itself. Texas is the same state that tried to enforce anti-sodomy laws in this same decade.

I remember the fear and terror that Shina Rambo and Anini struck into the hearts of Nigerians. Even in America, all it takes is for one serial rapist or some killer to do something and everyone starts hiding. If the thieves had killed Joe Horn, what would the story the next day have been? Thieves have rights, but to the degree that we have control over our own actions, if you want to do the robbery, you have to accept some of the risks. And the gun laws in Texas are not esoteric knowledge. Protect yourself accordingly.

The land exonerated him because they found it more important to send a message of low tolerance for burglary than to punish a man who was performing a civic duty. I have no doubt that if such behavior was regularly performed by the man and involved a high degree of error (he was killing people wrongly accused), he would serving multiple lifetime sentences in jail.

One of the reasons why I have championed ethnic homogeneity as being desirable to some degree is that the cultural expectations are fairly uniform. So I like Soyinka's play for describing some of the tensions implicit in defending your culture's traditions vs. Western culture. I tend to care less about the actual rules and more about the clarity of the expectations and the system of evolution, and I think that both tend to work better within ethnically homogeneous societies. I think that race played a role in this, but I think that the role is less important than remembering the law and the fact that there is currently no one questioning the guilt of the thieves: one of them was already deported to Columbia earlier in his life.

I cannot accept your equating the man's behavior to mob lynchings. Mob lynchings do to some degree have the same deterrent effect, but that is as far as I can go in defending mob lynchings. If the wrong person is lynched, how do you hold the mob responsible? How can the process be refined for better accuracy? What about the problems with mass hysteria and mob action generally?

In general, I don't completely agree with your view of the issue. I can't remember who said the law is a blunt instrument, but one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make, in my opinion, is bringing pure idealism, especially with respect to morals, into the realm of social decision making. So even when I've called a law barbaric in the US or anywhere else, I've always paid more attention to the procedure by which it was enforced and the appeal procedure for changing it.

I think that one should always evaluate decisions within the larger social context and understand the pros and cons of any decision. And in this case, especially on an issue that has a social effect (deterring robbery in a neighborhood), I can understand why the man got off so easily. After all, a man in NY that did something similar got a $43million debt and another charge for gun possession. The moral is to know where you live in America. In NY, they sure don't want vigilantes.

In other words, when judging things like the law, I judge them by process more than I do content/results, though of course, it isn't so plain and simple.

As for the nature of African societies in the past, here comes the historical thing all over again. If societies were more peaceful in the past, it is the White man's fault for destabilizing our evolution. Again, there has been evidence collected on both sides of the "violence in the past" debate so I tend to just leave it as an issue of interest which will only be deeply investigated by myself when it has a serious bearing on something I do.

Cheers,
NL

DeepThought
Jul 12, 2008, 10:55 PM
I hate to see human beings die, but they were thieves in Texas.

Good grief, NL, what has academics done to you???

You used to argue far better than this in the past.

They were thieves eh? So the penalty for theft in the U.S (even in Texas) is death? Good grief!!!

If the thieves had attacked the man, that would have been a diffent story, but he shot them in the back after stating his intention to go Kill them.

And then:

I cannot accept your equating the man's behavior to mob lynchings.

because...


If the wrong person is lynched, how do you hold the mob responsible?

:confused1

Are you having a bad day?
The wrongness of a matter may be mitigated by its consequence, but a less or greater consequence does not obllivate the initial wrongness.

Meaning: what is wrong is wrong.
The esense of wrongness is not in doubt or debatable, but the degree is. That a man is found guilty of murder may be different from a man being found guilty of littering. But common denominator in both cases is that the judge or jury has delivered the verdict of- guilty. The sentencing may then be different.



If societies were more peaceful in the past, it is the White man's fault for destabilizing our evolution

That is your inner projection, not mine.
My position is and has always been fault is almost never unilateral.

We have our own share (lions share actually!). But I 'm not one of those who will completely exenorate other people . In any case , I don't even play the blame game, it just gets annoying when some people who have contributed in no small way to a crime go about totally exenorating themselves, trying to continue perpetuationg similar crimes under new guises and then to add insult to injury, totally blaming the victim (even though the victim acquiesced) of the crime.

In that case, its our duty to tell them to shut the f up and accept thier own portion of the blame too , while we accept ours and work towards solving our problems

NextLevel
Jul 12, 2008, 11:51 PM
Good grief, NL, what has academics done to you???

You used to argue far better than this in the past.

They were thieves eh? So the penalty for theft in the U.S (even in Texas) is death? Good grief!!!

If the thieves had attacked the man, that would have been a diffent story, but he shot them in the back after stating his intention to go Kill them.

And then:


because...



:confused1

Are you having a bad day?

No. I've been robbed at gunpoint before so I'm generally unsympathetic to burglars. Not a basis for public policy, but that's just my position. Maybe I should have qualified myself better (not that it would really help): they were burglars in Texas. To be a burglar, you must break into someone's home/property. After that, you start stealing things. And if you are confronted, since you broke into property, you run the risk of being confronted violently.

I lived in a part of Nigeria where part of the reason I felt safe, even if falsely, was that my father had a shotgun which he could use if push came to shove. It was a fairly closely knit community at the time, so we were close to many of the neighbors. The funniest thing is that when I think of gun rights, I never remember that my father was a registered gun owner in Nigeria.

So when robbers came to the house (and this is not even the occassion on which I was actually robbed at gunpoint, which was a very different story), the security guard, who was being pummeled said, "Oga, e y'ibon!" And upon hearing that Oga had a gun, some of the thieves, who had already started defacing a few of the cars, start to pick race. My father fired a few rounds into the air just for good measure, in order to convince anyone who came around that there was firepower available if they didn't get it right.

We eventually learned that the police were even in cahoots with some of the burglars. That's Nigeria for you, but of course, there are crooked cops everywhere.

Now, given the specific situation you have described, in which the police probably warned the man not to go mostly because of safety concerns, and the man decided to be a vigilante anyway because of what we can guess was blood lust, we can always second guess the nature of what should have happened.

But generally, I've tended to be more forgiving about real time action both on the part of policemen and individuals. Of course, ask me about this later if I get shot by a policeman, but in general, live instincts can always be second-guessed under peaceful conditions.

When I shot guns for the first time at the NRA range in Virginia (the circumstances were very unique), I learned how difficult it is to shoot a gun properly etc. So I often laugh at movies and understand that when the adrenaline is flowing, you just want to get the target.

Anyways, I hope that tells you if I'm having a bad day. But my point is that you can always second guess what people did in the heat of violent moments after the fact. But guns are extremely primitive weapons unless in the hands of long-distance snipers.

Cheers,
NL
_________________________
_________________________




That is your inner projection, not mine.
My position is and has always been fault is almost never unilateral.

We have our own share (lions share actually!). But I 'm not one of those who will completely exenorate other people . In any case , I don't even play the blame game, it just gets annoying when some people who have contributed in no small way to a crime go about totally exenorating themselves, trying to continue perpetuationg similar crimes under new guises and then to add insult to injury, totally blaming the victim (even though the victim acquiesced) of the crime.

In that case, its our duty to tell them to shut the f up and accept thier own portion of the blame too , while we accept ours and work towards solving our problems

Fair enough. I guess the devil is in the details, which are significant details, but I guess I'm finally getting tired of being unable to start my car and waiting for these AAA people. So the details will have to wait.

Cheers,
NL

Ishola Taiwo
Jul 13, 2008, 01:06 AM
NextLevel, you started all this off with:

Had been waiting for the right time to mock the Afrocentrists


Then you went on to say :
All I hear is another misguided hypocritical Afrocentrist

And finally, here you are like 'Innocent' Little Miss Muffet (after she sobered up from a raucous night in the Navy Yard) :


While I can engage in elliptical insults with the best of them


NextLevel, how many people use your handle? Or, could it be that you have a split personality?

As shown above, you came onto this thread holding high the intent to "mock the Afrocentrics". Later on, you talk about "Afrocentric hypocrites", now you are whining about someone insulting you....hahahaha..."elliptical insult" ko, rhomboid salutations ni...

What did you think? That you are entitled to "mock" the "hypocrite Afrocentrics" at your pleasure? If you don't like mud on your whiter than geezas white shirt, stay out of roforofo.

(You owe me $5.00 for the free advice)

NextLevel
Jul 13, 2008, 01:23 AM
NextLevel, you started all this off with:


Then you went on to say :

And finally, here you are like 'Innocent' Little Miss Muffet (after she sobered up from a raucous night in the Navy Yard) :




NextLevel, how many people use your handle? Or, could it be that you have a split personality?

As shown above, you came onto this thread holding high the intent to "mock the Afrocentrics". Later on, you talk about "Afrocentric hypocrites", now you are whining about someone insulting you....hahahaha..."elliptical insult" ko, rhomboid salutations ni...

What did you think? That you are entitled to "mock" the "hypocrite Afrocentrics" at your pleasure? If you don't like mud on your whiter than geezas white shirt, stay out of roforofo.

(You owe me $5.00 for the free advice)

I called you an Afrocentric hypocrite and specified why in clear detail. Writing from London about the problems with the West and the beauty of Mother Africa, especially her glorious past, just doesn't cut it. Aren't you another one of those talented Nigerians who cannot go home permanently because Africa has not caught up to his talents and preferences yet, but is willing to insult Europe just because he can?

I don't mind being called any epithet as long as it sticks and the rationale is clear, and I, like any civilized person, reserve the right to challenge names I find inappropriate, though I often do not do so.

What I do mind is being elliptically insulted in a post to another person, though, as I explained, the insult was even misguided in the first place. I find such behavior cowardly, but that is my opinion - unlike minds are unlike for reasons. I responded to Wayfarer who did similar stuff in the same way I responded to you. At the very least, be a man about your insults - stop hiding behind bombastic verbiage.

So why didn't you just respond to me and say that I was one of the "blissfully ignorant Eurocentric litter" and confront my use of the word, "barbaric"? But of course, rather than see that the point of my post was to stress quite clearly that I found such behavior unfortunate for its indirect nature, you reveled in your low blows. I am beginning to get a clear picture of your posting methodology.

By the way, you show so much of an affinity for Oyibo culture (I haven't heard of Miss Muffet in a long time). In fact, the more I read your posts, the more I get the picture that your Afrocentrism speaks to something deeper about your experiences in Britain. What drove you to do all the thinking that lead to your rejection of the culture you currently live in?

I'll pay for a good answer, but I'm not holding my breath.


Cheers,
NL