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The Way We See It -
Itís time, no itís past time that Africans told their story. Iím totally sick and tired of hearing ignorant whites say how they are so tired of hearing us complain about slavery, discrimination, oppression and racism. They speak about our issues as if it was something that took place many hundreds of years ago and should be forgotten. I disagree. Our burden plagues America and the entire Western world. The collective guilt of whites for the crimes of the past and present causes them to lash out and blame the victim. The racism and self hatred we have been taught causes us to behave negatively toward ourselves and others like us. And I can point to this not only in America but in Africa as well.
African people need to take the example of our Jewish friends to heart. Every week without fail you can see several television shows that discuss the European holocaust during WWII, Hitler or the struggle in the Middle East from the Israeli point of view. Schindlerís List played on prime time television without commercial interruption. Isnít that interesting? This movie won several Academy Awards, has been on video for three years and was a box office smash. However to ensure everyone gets the message one more time it was shown during prime time without commercials. If I were Jewish I would be proud of my brethren who made sure the world knew the story of my people. I fully support their efforts. But dammit, stop putting black people down for the same feelings. Africans lost over 100 million people during 400 years of slavery and another 20-30 million as a result of 90 years of colonialism. And our slavery, the chattel version, was the most cruel, heinous and awful form that ever existed in the history of mankind.
And Jews, via Israel, are being paid for their holocaust. While no amount of money will ever cure the past the reparations that are are paid annually to Israel by the Germans is better than nothing. (African people can't even get an apology from America let alone money). Now some individual Jewish victims of the concentration camps will be paid. I donít begrudge them for it. They are due. Hell, they are overdue!! However, I donít see the Germans paying the Russians for the 25+ million Russian people they killed during the war. Or the Yugoslavian 1.5 million. Or the 5 million non-Jewish Poles. Or virtually every Gypsy in Europe at the time. So I wish the people who promote the holocaust would tell the whole story. And I implore the producers of Schindlerís List to redo the end scene where it dedicates the movie to the "six million Jews" ignoring the other 20+ million victims of Nazi terror.
And to the African people worldwide who suffered at the hands of Europeans, I say tell your own story and tell it often. I donít give a ratís ass about the common complaint from white Americans who claim they had nothing personally to do with the suffering of my people. That is not the point. The overriding fact is that every white person in this country has benefited from a system of racist preference that automatically puts them in position that will never be generally available to blacks without a fight. And most unfortunately, that fight usually requires that someone, usually a black person, must shed some blood.
By Andrew Jackson Brown - February 21, 1997
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