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Who's Burden is the Dark Continent?

Strappado Wrack

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"In any country there must be people who have to die.
 They are the sacrifices any nation has to make to achieve law and order."
Idi Amin

Who’s Burden is the Dark Continent?

All cultures are not equal
Each race or culture bears its own burdens


At the turn of the twentieth century, Rudyard Kipling wanted the colonial powers to bear a burden that only advanced societies could endure. Take up the White Man's burden was the theme in his poem that summoned up an entire age of guilt and greed. When the verse first appeared in McClure's Magazine, the lines of empire were long drawn by Western Nations as they sliced and diced colonies under the chant that they were protectorates of the mother country.

Cited by Jim Zwick, ed., Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935 from a letter to the editor of The Nation, "Mr. Kipling's Call to America", Feb. 7, 1899, written by Alfred Webb - offers the following assessment:


“There is something almost sickening in this "imperial" talk of assuming and bearing burdens for the good of others. They are never assumed or held where they are not found to be of material advantage or ministering to honor or glory. Wherever empire (I speak of the United Kingdom) is extended, and the climate suits the white man, the aborigines are, for the benefit of the white man, cleared off or held in degradation for his benefit. Where the climate does not suit us, and the natives are in too advanced a condition to be cleared off, the first consideration (at least with the majority, men of Kipling's turn of mind) is our material advantage and honor and glory. We are in a precious hurry to lay burdens down when they do not pay, as in the case of our solemn obligations to the Armenians. We are ever ready to shirk them, as in the case of the status of our Indian fellow-subjects in our colonies, when the bearing of the burden of seeing fair play done would be inconvenient. In so far as is compatible with our interests and honor and glory, we have perhaps made the interests of "natives" under our rule of higher and more enduring consideration than that recorded of any other conquering and governing Power. But this talk of burdens is, as I have said, unadulterated cant.”

Such critical appraisals were common and especially applied to the Dark Continent. Africa no longer baked in the glory of the Pharaohs or fed on the commerce of  Timbuktu, it was there for the taking. Mineral resources were the path to newly accumulated wealth and cannibal bloodlines were feasting grounds for saving souls. Kipling rallied the faithful for a noble mission and offered cover for the ‘Great White Hunter’ in a quest for booty. Was this era just misguided and wrong, or did it civilize a backward continent?

Now that Idi Amin is dead, can there be any doubt that a dictator of his aptitude was the mark of a predator in search of prey? Human rights groups say from 100,000 to 500,000 people were killed during his 8-year rule,1971-79. But he is not alone. When Jan Lamprecht states on his site, South Africa in Crisis: “It should be remembered that from the first, whites in Africa had said that the so-called "Liberation" of Africa was not going to benefit the common black man, and that in the end, it was about a bunch of Marxists/Socialists being placed in power . . . “, one must question if that Kipling burden is restricted only to the Caucasoid race! The legacy of colonialism looks decent in comparison to the Mugabe regime of despotic carnage and murder of European heritage farmers.

While Statist ideology is color blind, tribal ancestral feuds are often genetic. Those who revere Mandela as a saint, never wore a tire necklace collar from Winnie. If Charles Taylor is a practicing Christian, his form of bloodshed is a strange ritual of faith . . . What are the chances of vacationing in Sierra Leone? Remember that Holocaust in the Sudan! Or how about breaking bread with Hutu and Tutsi clans in Rwanda?

What drove the colonialism of the past was a combination of imperialism and false guilt. While the specifics and emphasis have changed over time, the duel union of avarice and altruism is a deadly fusion. But separate they are still lethal.

Only those who are in total denial or maintain mindless Afro-Centric illusions, would defend the current conditions emanating out of witch doctors wearing Armani suits. While King Leopold treated the Congo as his personal possession, his exploitation of the contrived “Congo Free State” is hardly an excuse or justification for the kind of rape that locals cultivate. Who really has a “Heart of Darkness” ? Asserting that Idi Amin had the higher moral ground to Leopold II is like saying the lion can eat their young to prevent their cubs from becoming quarry for the safari huntmen. In Joseph Conard’s European trader, Kurtz was in search of ivory, was he any different than the military ruler General Abubakar from Nigeria in their exploration for the continued flow of oil?

Africa has become a total mess with national liberation. Angola under Cuban tutelage didn’t supplant Portuguese civility, nor has the ANC brought prosperity to the Zulu kingdom. That part of South Africa under Boer rule benefited more residents than just Dutch decedents. Affrikaans didn’t call every black a “Kaffir”, while the reign in Mozambique treated most of their own kind as “Boy” . . .

Walter Williams has it right: “President Bush has pledged to send more foreign aid to some African nations. Foreign aid has historically gone to governments. Instead of helping the poor, foreign aid has enabled African tyrants to buy cronies and military equipment to stay in power, not to mention establishing multibillion dollar "retirement" accounts in Swiss banks, should their regime be toppled.”

George W Bush’s version of compassion that pledges $15 billion for HIV/AIDS program, will be spent on chateaus in the South of France. The burden that Kipling favored will be borne by the slaves that Bush now commands. The bleeding hearts that foster altruistic intervention actually promotes the obstruction of the natural order. If survival of the fittest rules the Serengeti, the shadow of Kilimanjaro blocks the sun and prevents heat stroke. Allow nature to take it’s own course. The West built the railroads and humanized the continent. Now primitives turned a paradise into a purgatory. The betrayal of Rhodesia produced the horror of Zimbabwe. Cape town has now become a Soweto. Colonial rule seems a blessing to a civilized world in comparison to the Idi Amin - Robert Mugabe formula.

Will a return to a satellite continent ever be revisited? When all hell lets loose, maybe something could be salvaged. If that happens, just tell the Kipling advocates to keep Gunga Din out of Africa.

SARTRE - August, 16, 2003

When Mandela dies we will kill you whites like flies.
 (African National Congress Councillor, Mzukizi Gaba, 10th November 1997)

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