Friday, November 9, 2012

Namibia's Herero and Nama debunk the "single story" of 'Holocaust', exposing white supremacy's collusion to exclude

I think it's safe to say, that most of our knowledge of holocaust and reparations comes from the "single story" of Germany and the Jews.  But, as stated in the following introductory piece by Abagond:
"People who blame the Jewish Holocaust on Hitler and the Nazis alone need to think again: Germany showed itself to be a genocidal nation when Hitler was just 15."
Quiet as it's kept, the Jews were neither the first, nor the only people to suffer Germany's greed and insecurity-induced, depravity.  Their first victims?  The Herero and Nama peoples of Namibia.

Do stay with me as Abagond educates, with some African history that has been all but buried amidst the collusion of white supremacy.

Cross-posted with permission, from Abagond:

The Herero and Nama genocide

The fortunate ones: Herero who escaped the German genocide, c. 1907
The Herero and Nama genocide (1904-1908) was carried out by Germany in South West Africa, now called Namibia. It killed 60,000 Hereros and 10,000 Nama, 50% to 70% of them. It featured concentration camps, skin-and-bone people, mass graves, medical experiments and good German record-keeping – more than 30 years before the Jewish Holocaust.
People who blame the Jewish Holocaust on Hitler and the Nazis alone need to think again: Germany showed itself to be a genocidal nation when Hitler was just 15.
There is no guesswork about this being a genocide: we have the orders, the letters and the diaries that leave no doubt that the Germans meant to wipe out the Herero and Nama and take their land. It was not just a case of a general gone mad or a war gone wrong.

present-day Herero woman, 2010
In the late 1800s there were 80,000 Herero and 20,000 Nama. Both had land and they herded cows. The Herero were Bantu and lived in the middle of Namibia, the Nama were Khoisan (Hottentots) and lived to the south. They were armed with rifles.
The Germans were badly outnumbered and outgunned. They were in constant fear of an uprising, which in turn put the Herero in constant fear that war was about to break out. And so it did in 1904.
At first the Herero were winning: the Germans were not just outgunned, but the governor was away in the south fighting the Nama.

General Lothar von Trotha
Germany, afraid of losing face, sent General Lothar von Trotha with men, cannons and machine guns – weapons the Herero had no defence against.
The Herero were defeated and massacred at the Battle of Waterberg. Most Herero escaped and fled across the desert to British Bechuanaland (Botswana), men, women, children and cows. The German army pursued. Only 1,000 Herero made it across the border to British territory. The rest died of thirst or were gunned down by the Germans. It was senseless and gruesome but when questioned Von Trotha said he wanted their “total extermination”.
Von Trotha was a dark angel of Darwin:
Where the climate allows the white man to work, philanthropic views cannot banish Darwin’s law “Survival of the Fittest”.
The Nama were next. They fought a hit-and-run guerrilla war. The Germans fought back by burning down all their houses and granaries.

Studies on Nama, Herero and mulattoes at the camps supported German ideas about race and genocide. About 3,000 skulls were sent to Germany for further study.
About 17,000 Herero and Nama, some half-white, were sent to concentration camps along the coast, like Shark Island. They were forced to build the Otavi railroad – men, women and children, underfed, some skin and bones, raped and whipped, worked till they dropped. Conditions were so terrible almost half never made it out of the camps alive.
Those who lived through the genocide were tattooed and forced to wear an identity badge around their necks. Their movements were controlled by the government. With land and livestock gone they had little choice but to work for Germans in the new racial hierarchy.
And yet still the Germans feared them.
A hundred years later Germany apologized but did not think they owed the Herero and Nama anything more than their fine words.
Source: “Forgotten Genocides” (2011), edited by Rene Lemarchand


Yes, the Herero and Nama Holocaust -- which included the plundering of their land -- give the absolute lie to the "single story"of Jewish ownership of the word.

I don't know about you, but as a child of the African Diaspora, it wasn't until a year or so ago, that I knew anything about these facts.  But, it's no real surprise that this particular story is hardly, if ever  disseminated is it?  After all, it is the victor who writes the history.

I thank Abagond for both, writing and permitting me to repost this heretofore, mostly buried, African history truth.   I have to admit though, it was Brother Asa's, The Forgotten Namibian Genocide, posted over at AfroSpear in late September, that rocked my soul and had me hearing Jimmy Baldwin whispering:
I have said that the Civilized have never been able to honor, recognize, or describe the Savage. Once they had decided that he was savage, there was nothing to honor, recognize or describe.
Yes, I read Abagond's post, and yes, I saw the pictures.  But this was way more than that. The stories told in the BBC documentary embedded there -- were Baldwin's words writ large.  The unvarnished truth told, based on facts documented by the Germans themselves, confirms that.  What it also shows, is  the mastery with which white supremacy colludes, to make and keep those not similarly situated -- invisible.  After watching it, I felt the need to leave an immediate comment.  Here's a part of what I said:
"I didn’t know anything about this until Abagond’s post; they taught me nothing about this in Catholic school, or my movin’ on up, predominantly Black, public school, nor my Alabama HBCU! That, is not only a damned shame — it’s the most effective trick ever played! That’s why we have no unity, Man. We don’t know shit about “those ties that bind” — nor anything at all about those, who bind the ties.  Chilling.{smdh}

Even worse, schools still, to this day, mandate the teaching and learning about “The Holocaust” the Jews experienced (as if it were the only “holocaust” ever) — at the hands of these same Germans — but nothing about this! Insulting, to say the very damned least. What about our children having to know and understand this shit along with its historical implications on them, today?"
After leaving that comment at Asa's, I was reminded of a long, back-and-forth where I'd been taken to task by white and Black alike -- for using the term, "African Holocaust" in a comment on this post last year.  The post was about that, "Woman is the Nigger of the World" Slutwalk sign, but it evolved  (or devolved, depending on how you see it) after I said, on 10/8/11 @4:05 pm, in response to someone else:
Thanks Laura. When I read that – You can’t expect millions of people to understand the complex history and impacts of the word when they are simply copying their favourite music artist….” BS, I had to step away from the computer for awhile, because it just wears me out sometimes how white folk will say just anything – even, and especially if it’s stupid – to hold onto that privilege. Millions of people understand the complex history of the Jewish Holocaust (6 million) and impacts of the slurs so associated, however the African Holocaust (20+ million) – not so much. {smdh}
The issue in the comments then became --"Who has the right to use the word, holocaust" with a comment from Layla on 10/10/11 @ 6:49 p.m.  It's quite long, so I'll just post the first paragraph and you can follow the link to read the rest of it, as well as, the rather lengthy, sometimes heated contretemps among the ladies:
I’m curious to know what the author to the OP has in mind when she writes of “off-limits terminology … reclaimed by Jewish communities”. The only one I can really think of is usage of the term ‘holocaust’ which refers to the specifically genocide committed by Nazis in WWII. And yet Deb (#comment-4964) has decided to appropriate that term for herself by referring to the “African Holocaust...The fact that nobody called out Deb in her appropriation of ‘Holocaust’, combined with these other musings, make me think that we care less about eliminating oppression and social justice for all and more about how we can discursively advantage ourselves and ‘our people’. It’s this tribalism that depresses me more and more.
My response to her was equally lengthy, but here's some of it starting on 1010/11 @ 10:35pm:
That the only “off-limits terminology” of which you can think, as relates to the Jewish community is ’holocaust’, seems disingenuous at best if we’re going to engage in real talk here (I’ll get to that in a minute).

But first of all, ‘holocaust’ as defined by Merriam-Webster (and crunktastic) includes: mass slaughter of people; especially: GENOCIDE. Though often capitalized to refer to the Jews, that is NOT it’s only definition (translation – it’s not all about the Jews. Therefore, as much as you’d like to believe I’m “appropriating” a term that is the sole purview of a specific group of people – I am not (but your statement is too funny on its face, given all the “appropriation” in which white folk – and those who subscribe to “Being White and Other Lies” have engaged, but I digress). As crunktastic said in her reply, “you should go read a history book, or two, or five.”...Your use of the word “inane” followed by “oppression” versus “genocide” – along with your willingness to vehemently defend Jewish “genocide” while merely lumping the African Holocaust (and yes crunktastic, I do view it as such) in with other “oppression” already tells me you are comfortable making some people invisible – *full stop*
Crazy stuff right?  Regardless, the way I view it hasn't changed -- it just got better-educated, thanks to German hubris.  And as I looked back at the exchanges through a "less warm" lens," I realized, I'd missed a most important comment, directly related to this post, made by eshowman on 10/11/11 @ 4:29 pm.  She said:
Layla, one of the ways that white privilege works is that whites do not have to utilize any intellectual rigor in their comments about race and expect to be seen as valid, Hundreds of African ethnic groups were decimated during colonization of Africa and German tactics used to wipe out the Herero and Namaqua in what is now Namibia were simply less sophisticated practice for what they would to 9 million people (not iust 6 million Jews), including all black Germans 50 years later. Are you saying that the Africans pain felt is less important that that of the Jews?
So caught up in Layla's foolishness, I'd overlooked the reference that would've led me to this history lesson a year before Abagond's post.  But it didn't register -- because I didn't know a damned thing about it!

For the second time now, the video on Asa's post has become "unavailable" (through no fault of his; first the YouTube video disappeared then, the Google video disappeared!).   Luckily (at least for now) I'd found it in parts on YouTube and saved it to this draft.  I'm going to post as many of the six as I can and just hope you get to see them before they too, are all pulled.  Please see it through to the end, I promise there's lots to  learn:

  • "But what few people realize, is that places like Auschwitz were not Germany's first concentration camps, and the Holocaust was not Germany's first genocide."
  • "But the ghosts of the Namibian genocide have been re-awoken.  They've returned to haunt modern, liberal, post-war Germany.  And in doing so,  they force Germany to wake up to a very, uncomfortable fact -- that the dark, racial theories that helped to inspire the Nazis, run much deeper into German and European history than most people want to acknowledge."
  • "Today, the grandchildren of those who survived the Namibian genocide have begun to fight for compensation, and for Germany to acknowledge the first genocide of the 20th century -- the genocide of the Second Reich."  And us?  We just happy as hayell to have a Black face in the White House. {smdh}
  • Isn't it funny how white supremacy treats German "slums," finding more space for them to spread out, as opposed to American "slums," which somehow, don't deserve the same effort?  America's MO is to blame us "Others" for our circumstances, choosing gentrification to solve our "ghetto" problems.  What damned good does that do us??  Let's not lie to ourselves anymore m'kay?  There's quite a bit of uninhabited land in America.  Hell, during my numerous roadtrips  -- up and down the East coast; across the country, back and forth to the Middle Coast (read, "Belly of the Beast"); or day-trippin' from Monterey, down to San Diego, or up to Big Sur,  I've seen plenty "purple mountains' majesties"; "amber waves of grain" and some "fruited plains!"
  • "One reason for the slow pace of colonization was that the land was already the living space of the local African colonists elsewhere, they would have to take that land from the Africans."  And to this day -- nothing about that has changed!  What I wanna know is, will we children of the African Diaspora, ever, collectively "stand our damned ground?"  It seems to me that, unlike the Herero and Nama, modern-day Blacks, living in Western societies especially, are so wrapped up in our assimilation -- we cannot even perceive of being "convinced that there was no other option but to resist." {smdh}

Namibia Genocide 2/6 cannot be embedded "by request" (whose "request," I wonder)  Here's the link -- you can still watch it on YouTube.  After you do, maybe you can explain to me why this part, in particular, has been censored (I do have some thoughts as to why, but I'll hold them for right now).

"This world is being redistributed.  With time, we will inevitably need more space.  And only by the sword, will we be able to get it.   This is a matter for our generation, and for our existence."

Man!  That shit sounds like, looks like, and feels just like our faux, "American empire" being led by the Changeling, who has, to-date:
  • disrespected Pakistan's sovereignty so he could brag about murdering Osama (Can you imagine some foreign country, rollin' up on us like that without getting -- slaughtered??)
  • disrespected Libya's sovereignty so he and Hilary could brag about murdering Qaddafi  ("We came, we saw, he died."  How crass is that?!)
  • and as a result of undercover fomenting of rebellion, soon, he'll disrespect Syria's sovereignty because that's what his string-pullers demand
  • declared Afghanistan his "necessary war"
  • sent U.S. troops to Australia to guard the Uranium sitting on indigenous land;
  • kowtowed to Israel on the spread of settlements on Palestinian land (as Dr. Clarke said, "Who told you God was in the real estate business?"); on Iranian sanctions that are choking the sovereign country's ability to do business, hobbling its economy; and certainly on the ever-present, "war " whistles
  • continued to grind that financial, foot-on-neck in Haiti, in collusion with Daddy Shrub and Slick Willy, ousting democratically elected leaders in favor of those loyal to empire
  • helped the rest of the western, white supremacists install a puppet to rule in Côte d'Ivoire "by the sword"

  • "Numbered metal tags?"  It just befuddles me how, we readily ignore the pain and suffering of our own, for that of supposed "allies" who historically had their hands all over the slave trade.
  • Death certificates with "death through exhaustion" pre-printed on them -- just like my SC birth certificate,  pre-printed with "Negro" on it. {smdh}
  • "Forced slave labor" -- sounds just like America, right?  Tell me, who built that damned White House and all of those fine buildings up in Washington, DC?
  • "Today this cemetery is the playground for the tourists who ride dune buggies over the remains of the Herero dead." Is that not similar to what has happened to more Black graves in America than we can count, all over these alleged, United States?  When I went to James Island (now Kunta Kinte Island) in The Gambia, there was definitely some Pan-African "warmness" happening when, given its significance, we saw some young, white Europeans playing around on the "Freedom Flagpole" (it's around the 0:45 click in the video).  My few trips there taught me that Europeans do find the country to be their "playground" when they're on holiday).
  • And Shark Island?  The African "Auschwitz," if I do say so myself.
  • Just like the "postcards" sent and saved here in America, the poster children of white supremacy also had an affinity for photographing those they'd exterminated.
  • A municipal camping site?  Really??
  • Apparently cattle-cars were the rage, long before Jews rode to their fate in them.  But, true to the collusion, it is only the Jewish suffering that has been memorialized (listen to the reasons for this project, and I'll bet you a nickel you'll see white Tennessee's, racist slip showing).
  • "A new history of the colony was fabricated..." -- There's nothing new under the sun when dealing with white supremacy, Family.  My prayer is that we  will all, sooner, rather  than later -- get that shit through our heads!

This is where the Jews enter the picture -- after Germany had already perfected their tactics.  So  the "Oppression Olympics," with which I'd been accused in the afore-mentioned post last year is certainly moot.
"The descendants of the Herero who had survived the genocide began to revive their history.  But what they discovered was that the story of the genocide had been completely wiped from official memory.  Three generations of white Namibians had been born into a nation where only their history was officially accepted."
Family, we re-e-e-ally have to start recognizing that this is how people's histories get erased.  If you can't, you should -- because it's all the same shit different day.  For Germany to have built "a huge statue to celebrate their victory over the Herero, actually on the site of their biggest concentration camp," is absolutely unconscionable -- but again, hardly surprising given with whom we're dealing.  And "the land!"  What the hell can be said about that?  Unless you're deaf, dumb and blind, there's no way you can't see what's happening with "the land" -- all over the world -- and not be able to put two and two together.

Per the narrator, the Von Trotha family's apology notwithstanding, "This apology will not appease the Herero, solve the land issue or end the reparations case."  And it should not.  Hell, people can't eat apologies, nor can they build homes or pass down wealth to their children on them as the colonizers have.  Now don't get it twisted, apologies are good,  if, and only if, they're sincere, and backed up by some real, tangible action.  Like my Grandmama used to say, "It ain't what dey say, Debi -- it's what dey do!"

In Part 1 of the six videos, the narrator says, "This is the story of the genocide that modern Germany has not come to terms with."  No shit!  To this day, not only is Germany still ignoring the living survivors and descendants of this African Holocaust, perpetrated for the purposes of "greed is good," land-grabbing barbarity; experimentation to prove their Aryan-ness was superior to our African-ness; "practice" for what was to come for the Jews, almost 40 years later  (as eshowoman noted in her comment above), and of course -- facilitating the collusion of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy (WSCP).

How is that you ask?  My Sister, bell hooks, defines the WSCP here.  And as I understand her, it evokes a political world that we all frame ourselves in relationship to.  Moreover, its ideology allows anyone -- willing to collude with the forces of racism and imperialism in order to preserve the institutional construct of interlocking systems of domination that define our reality -- to be a part (so it ain't just white folk).

Keeping that definition in mind in relation to the Jews, Germany gets to look like the appropriately, and generously repentant, former savagely murdering, oppressive regime to the rest of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy who, complicit, and turning a blind eye when Hitler and the Nazis were exterminating Jews -- get to share in that lookin' good (a regular, "alabaster bretheren alliance" until most recently, with the Changeling, dutifully taking on America's guilt, with his, "I have Israel's back" pronouncement; the "Son of Africa hasn't said jack about having any Africans' backs however -- unless of course, it jibes with what the string-pullers want him to say);  AND, Jewish victims of the Nazis, get to not only own the word "holocaust" -- but to benefit handsomely from the owning, here, there and everywhere -- all while the experiences of Africans are relegated to a position akin to Ralph Ellison's, "Invisible Man."

There is much with which I agree in this piece -- The Legal Claim for German Reparations to the Herero Nation.  However, this small portion is illustrative of the collusion of the WSCP, marginalizing folk as they usually do:

"It would be both a futile and dishonorable discourse to venture into any kind of a comparative analysis of genocide - and such a discussion is irrelevant for purposes of the Herero position. Genocide is genocide: murdering an African tribe cannot be rotely (sic - I think remotely is what was meant) compared to murdering a European people, or a European nation. Nothing that the Herero say in any way dismisses or diminishes the unique crimes that Germany committed against Jews. Modern international law of reparations is dominated by extensive Jewish claims for reparations against Germany and other countries, but this is not the limit of reparations claims. Even in the context of World War Two, reparations have been paid to others, including $1.2 billion to Americans of Japanese descent for their imprisonment and loss of their lands. Also reparations have been made in a parallel settlement to Japanese Canadians, and a case is pending against the Japanese for reparations for Korean "comfort women," forced into prostitution by the Japanese army. Other European claims, including that of the Romani people, raised by other peoples subjected to mass extermination in concentration camps, have failed. None of these claims for reparations compare to the Jewish holocaust, but their success, nevertheless, represents important advances in human rights law." (emphasis mine)

Yeah, I couldn't wrap my brain around the emphasized portions.  Particularly given what followed them.  Still, it's an analysis worth a read, if for nothing else, than this simple observation:

The Herero did not "invent" their demand for reparations. Rather, it is derived entirely from their careful reading of modern German history. Germany is making reparations to both individual Jews and the State of Israel for acts of genocide inthe 1930s and 1940s, scarcely thirty years after the Herero War. The Herero ask an obvious question: what is the legal - or moral - distinction between German genocide directed at Jews and German genocide directed at Africans? Surely, in the modern world, a racial distinction cannot account for this difference in policy. Or is the distinction based on some meaningful difference between genocide in the Herero War and World War Two? As it was simply put by Mburumba Kerina, a Herero activist, "(T)he concerns of the Hereros must be seen in the same light as that of the Jewish people." (emphasis mine)
Now don't you think, with all these "lettered, Black, American academics" all over every manner of media and "higher education" (I use those last two words very loosely, given who's had, and continues to have, their hands on the "higher education" rudder.  Guess you can tell, I'm not much for impressing folk with symbolism) -- they would've been able to use all those alphabets to come up with an effective and feasible demand for reparations for Black folk here in America (instead of just lining their pockets). But they haven't. Yet, many of us, look down our noses at our family across the water as "savages," just like the WSCP does. (smdh)  But unlike us, they went to work  -- researching all the variables and coming up with a legal plan that's sound, which still may not survive the machinations of the WSCP -- but they stood up, and continue to do so.


Okay finally, I want to wrap this up with the beautiful, critically thinking, young sister, Chimamanda Adichie, and her warning about, "The danger of a single story" -- because it applies.  She says:

"...So that is how to create a single story; show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.

It is impossible to talk about the single story without talking about power.  There is a word, an Igbo word, that I think about whenever I think of the power structures of the world and it is "nkali," it's a noun that loosely translates to -- "to be greater than another." Like our economic and political worlds, stories, too are defined, by the principal of "nkali." how they are told, who tells them, when they are told, how many stories are told -- are really dependent on power.

Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person but to make it the definitive story of that person. The Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti writes that if you want to dispossess a people, the simplest way to tell that story, is to tell the story and to start with, secondly.  Start the story with the arrows of the Native Americans and not with the arrival of the British and you have an entirely different story.  Start with the story of the failure of the African states, and not with the colonial creation of the African states, and you have an entirely different story."

I started this post on the heels of Yom Kippur (which ended Wednesday, September 26 ) and I'm wondering -- for which behaviors, did Jews "atone" and "repent?"  Was it for their ongoing inhumane treatment of the Palestinians whose land they took and continue to occupy like the Germans?  Or was it for their racist treatment  of Africans whom they daily abuse, both physically and psychologically and at times, try to exterminate?  Or maybe, for the truth they've contorted and used, in collusion with the WSCP that allows them to continue to own the word "holocaust" as only theirs, in return for all manner of special dispensations and varied reparations from Germany and the rest of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy worldwide?

Back to Chimamanda:
"Stories matter. Many stories matter.  Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize.  Stories can break, the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity... The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story…The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar."
I agree -- but first, "many, many, more of our stories" must be told -- by us (I heard Nina Simone whispering as I wrote that). Until then...

Putin vows ‘Russia will never forget Holocaust’
Wholesale Murder of Africans
Namibia: The return of the Herero and Nama skulls- Coming to Terms With a Difficult History
Namibians welcome home skulls taken to Germany
The Paper Clip Project


    DebC said...

    Thank you for reading.

    Amenta said...

    Deb, I hope you hang with me here...This is by no means an apology...Let us just explore something for a minute.

    You wrote "Family, we re-e-eally have to start recognizing that this is how people's histories get erased."
    I watched the clip Namibia's Genocide 5/6 and wondered just how deeply these people, the Germans, have affected our psyche. For instance, it is a German notion that led to the creation of the term "lifestyle" that we so readily use today. However, I pondered further (I don't mean to jump all over) the word holocaust. We choose to use words as they are defined in a dictionary. Yet, there are entities around us that use the language in several ways. Words have different values in different arenas. Commonly the definition of a word will and does suffice. However, others utilize these same words but with different intentions. For instance a word in law will have one meaning, in everyday conversation another meaning and etymologically appear to be something different. Here dealing with the word holocaust, I believe there was another intention behind its use beyond soley giving the so called Jews "nkali" when it comes to genocide. The etymmology of the word holocaust is to burn whole, as in a sacrifice. So, who then decideded to use the word holocaust in such a way as to lend to the idea or a sacrifice? Did the victims themselves choose to discribe the distruction because many were actually burned to death? During WW II there were several forces operating out of and around Germany. And of course the Rothchilds were and are of German heritage (same as queen Elizabeth) and we should know the Rothchilds are Jews and were not hunted down and killed under the Nazi regime of Hitler. A closer look at past events will reveal that the Rothchilds (Jews) were pulling the strings of Adolf Schicklgruber AKA Adolf Hitler. So, is it possible that the Jewish Rothchild's offered up their own as a burnt offering? A sacrifice? To what end I do not know as yet but, I am sure it will be revealed.

    Amenta said...

    In as much as these people have convoluted past events that we call His-story, could they not as well have blotted out our history here in the Americas? Even Alex Haley did a bit of plagiarizing to help fulfill his book Roots, which has forever given us a mental visual of what slavery "really" was like. So then, could not this whole story of the enslavement of Africans forced into the Americas thus giving us the large population be over blown? That we are the Indians that they killed off, not with small pox but on paper? Making us Negros, then black on paper, when we had been Guale, Yamassee, Pequots, Congoree,Pawmunkee before? Isn't it funny the people that controlled the paperwork chose to change our status from Shawnee or Narragansett (or any of the above) to Negro/black instead of African? Or Nigerian? Or Zulu?

    Those that have controlled the paperwork, in this case I'm speaking of currency, the private bankster families headed by the Rothchilds and their agencies, also give us white supremacy? Racism? Could these not be only painful distractions to look away from the true culprit? If we focus our time and efforts fighting against, warning against, studying, educating against white supremacy are we not functioning like allopathic medicine and working fully on the symptom and not the cause? White supremacy and racism are real I live it on so many levels everyday. This however is no longer my personal focus. We must understand it, we must realize it, we must even fight it head on at times, but end the end it cannot be the fight we fight. It is through understanding and operating in law, the laws that be, can we slow down the pace of our destruction. It was in the court rooms and legislators (law makers) where Rev. Dr. King made history. It was the realization and working of law that was the behind the scenes "magick" that was worked for our move forward at that time. Ok I better stop here 'fo you cuss me out for taken so much of yo' space...LOL!

    Peace sistah!

    DebC said...

    Amenta, hey! Apology? Don't understand what you mean, but I'm "hanging with you -- I think!" :-D And no worries on using so much space, I appreciate the dialogue! I'm gonna jump around a bit here as well so bear with me...

    When I wrote "Family, we re-e-e-eally have to start recognizing that this is how people's histories get erased." I was referring to this paragraph directly above it:

    "The descendants of the Herero who had survived the genocide began to revive their history. But what they discovered was that the story of the genocide had been completely wiped from official memory. Three generations of white Namibians had been born into a nation where only their history was officially accepted."

    I believe that's happening with "our story" here in America. I see it happening now with young folk, from those I was in grad school with, to my own sons -- asking why we need to keep talking about it because it was "s-o-o-o long ago"; and I think it's happening for the same reason bolded above (sadly, after those 32 years, I'm just now understanding my complicity in that regard).

    That said, I agree that our psyches have been affected most deeply, not only by the Germans, but many others, including the, as you say, "so-called Jews."

    And yes, I knew holocaust meant "burnt offering," more from discussions of pogroms, etc. years ago, with an 80+ year-old female friend in the Keys, a Russian Jew whom, when I shared the conversation I'd had with Layla back then, said, “Does this child have any idea what she’s talking about? A holocaust is a holocaust!” I told her I didn’t know what she was talking about that’s why I called to talk about it with her. Then she said, “Come to think of it, probably not, these schools only teach these kids the shit they want them to know.”

    While I follow your reasoning, about the words etymology, and while we don't know for sure if there were any "burnt offerings" among the Herero and Nama in Namibia, we do know for sure there wereplenty among US here in America, as documented by the photos at the "Without Sanctuary" site (and of course we cannot forget the Klan and their "fiery" night rides).

    It seems to me, no matter the intention of whichever forces operating, there not only is no difference -- their use of holocaust exclusively involves the principle of "nkali" in the telling of their story, as well as the influencing of ours. As for the Rothchilds, I don't know enough to even hazard a guess as to why they would offer up their own -- but that doesn't mean they didn't. HeIl, we need look no further than the actions of our own Murder-in-Chief in Africa to know that it is definitely possible! (cont.)

    DebC said...

    Cont.) "In as much as these people have convoluted past events that we call His-story, could they not as well have blotted out our history here in the Americas? Even Alex Haley did a bit of plagiarizing to help fulfill his book Roots, which has forever given us a mental visual of what slavery "really" was like. So then, could not this whole story of the enslavement of Africans forced into the Americas thus giving us the large population be over blown?"

    Yes, these folk, without a doubt “have convoluted past events.” But I can’t agree with you that they’ve been able to blot out our history here in the Americas (though they keep trying). While Haley apparently plagiarized a fair amount of the Jewish Harold, Courlander’s, “The African” (I say apparently, because many parts were found to be exact AND he paid the guy over half a million dollars in an out-of-court settlement!) –- I, in no way, disbelieve either 1) the mental visual of what slavery “really” was like, nor 2) the enslavement of Africans forced into the Americas thus giving us the overblown, large population.

    To the first point: here again, is a perfect example of the principle of "nkali" at work. Was the plagiarized, Jewish, Courlander’s account considered credible? It seems in the whole plagiarism debacle -- NO ONE questioned that. Seems the only, and most important issue was the Black man’s plagiarism itself. Why? Forget the disgraced Haley, could Courlander’s account have been true? I, for one, believe whoever wrote it – it was, based on my own lived experience in SC and genealogical work to date.

    I am of the Gullah people from one of the Sea Islands of SC, and despite Haley’s now-discredited “griots,” I believe the oral history passed down by “ours” on the Island which, have been substantiated (for whatever that’s worth to you) by others of the “alabaster brethren alliance” as well as Black writers. When I watched part 5/6, what struck me immediately and unexpectedly, was that the woman who survived at the 5:43 click, was born in 1909, the same year as my grandmother who died at 92. My mother was her oldest child, and the youngest is older than me by 3 months (there were plenty in between!). Our oral history is rich, and ongoing, as some of her children, who remember their grandparents, have kept it alive. One of my cousins, whose mother is still alive (mine isn’t) has, with her mother’s help, been able to rebuild the family history (with birth/death certificates, Civil War documents and census figures, etc.) way further than I have. The advent of DNA, for genealogy purposes, has been invaluable to me, in further nailing down, our place of origin in West Africa, and yes, like Haley, The Gambia is one of those places. I’ve been there now three times still digging; I’ve been to Juffureh and spoken with the people in the village who do count Kunta as their ancestor (colonized by the Brits, English is their official language, which helped tremendously though I plan to learn Wolof one day!) and I’ve learned quite a bit. (cont.)

    DebC said...

    (Cont.) To the second point: Black linguist, Peter Wood, who spent an inordinate amount of time among the Gullah on our Sea Island, has written a definitive book about “the enslavement of Africans forced into the Americas thus giving us the overblown, large population” entitled – “Black Majority.” If you get a chance, it’s a good read. They did in fact “make us Negroes on paper” (as I said, my own birth certificate was pre-printed as such), which helped them keep track of us with the Freedman’s Bureau. But I don’t believe that we were the Indians that they killed off, on our Sea Island for sure, at least because the Native Americans born there had pre-printed birth certificates as well, for the same reason – Bureau of Indian Affairs. I’m not saying that some of us were not a part of those tribes, because they were (Joseph Opala has written extensively on the Black Seminoles, Gullahs who escaped the rice plantations in SC and GA to FL and other places across the country. And no, I think the change of status to Negro/Black instead of African, Nigerian or Zulu was intentional. As James Baldwin wrote, it was “the distance, deliberately created” -- to break the bonds between us, and the African continent – and it worked, and continues to this day. Often I read/hear Black folk talking about Africans on the Continent in the same manner as white folk do -- as “savages,” who know nothing about “civilization.” It breaks my heart, because I know, nothing is further from the truth than that. But if we don’t ever leave this influence here to find out anything else, we’ll just keep doing what they’ve taught us (again, “nkali”) – which only benefits them. (cont.)

    (Cont. – apologize, for the gap; Sunday dinner with the family)Could these not be only painful distractions to look away from the true culprit? If we focus our time and efforts fighting against, warning against, studying, educating against white supremacy are we not functioning like allopathic medicine and working fully on the symptom and not the cause?

    No, I definitely don't think white supremacy or racism are painful distractions at all. I see them as THE ROOT of the problems that need to be addressed holistically, which is not the way anyone, IMHO ever treats them. The fighting against, warning against, studying, educating against are a part of that treatment to my mind (you can’t fight, or beat what you don’t know).

    DebC said...

    (Cont.) But let me ask you, what do you believe to be the “true culprit?”

    ”It is through understanding and operating in law, the laws that be, can we slow down the pace of our destruction. It was in the courtrooms and legislators (law makers) where Rev. Dr. King made history. It was the realization and working of law that was the behind the scenes "magick" that was worked for our move forward at that time.”

    Can’t agree with you on this one, My Brother. Matter of fact, More and more everyday, I'm with Lauryn, here, -- and here:

    Yes, Dr. King’s “realization and working of law” was certainly the ”magick” that worked for our move forward. The operative words that end that sentence however, are – “at that time.” IMHO, then, it was understood that the efforts were for a collective end. But today, we’ve changed. Seems I woke up one day and there’d been a detectable shift, away from that end. So we now have, as many Black judges, lawyers, legislators and yes, now a president –- whom sharks allow to pass as a professional courtesy (I know you heard that joke before! :-D), speeding up our destruction at break-neck speed.

    It worked then, because they didn’t think we had the wherewithal (they’d believed that “single story” of "uncivilized savages" they'd been telling themselves), but we knew we did, because we’d done all of “the fighting against, warning against, studying, educating against..." up to that point. But after having been proven wrong, by Dr. King, et al, a new game’s always in place now, and I don’t want to keep trying to figure out the schemes, because that’s the real “ distraction.” Gaining and using knowledge to a "collective end, " yes; scheming, no.

    What I think we need, is “to let our minds be retaught” (if the “collective end” is, in fact, the goal that is); totally let go of that “single story” about ourselves (that’s still being told, by the way) and lean our "own" stories; then, stand in who we are; critically think and survive better. We’ve done that before, many times -- even though it was “so-o-o long ago.”

    Amenta said...

    Ok Deb I feel ya on your position. I believe slavery was carried on by Europeans against Africans. I do not, however, believe that the white European was that powerful. Not powerful enough to bring hundreds of thousands for Africans on a two to three month voyage. There is valid evidence to the contray. There is evidence, valid evidence that European paid Africans for the rights to navigate the seas, even on a U.S. embassy website.

    On white supremacy. I used to believe whole heartly that white supremacy was the of the problem, the root and foundation of our problem. I have now come to see that the root IMHO is economics/poverty. If we wiped out white supremacy with a snap of a finger I believe we would still be in the condition we are in today. There would be only minor changes in some of our conditions but by no means would trouble end. Dr. King once stated that one thing we all around the world share in common is poverty. This insight sparked his foray into global movement. He understood that in Viet Nam it was Michelin Tires and other corporations which owned the rubber plantations caused the sufferation of the people there. And was able to see these same corporations exploiting us, around the world.

    On holocaust. I truly knew you, the wordsmith that you are, knew the deeper meaning of holocaust and I do agree with you that any mass genocide is a holocaust.

    Amenta said...

    cont' - I did however want to explore the possibility that something more sinister was and is being played behind the scenes and that some things are not as clear cut as they may appear. If and when you get the opportunity please seek out some information on the Rothchilds family who are still in operation in Germany, France and England. Nathan Rothchilds in the (s)election of 2008 donated funds to John McCain. These people control all the major banking systems world wide and the attack on Lybia was to bring that country in line with their bankning system. Their militarys, U.S., British and France were on the vanguard of the attack...Ok, time to stop.
    On apology, in my previous comments. I just wanted to be clear that I was not making an apology for the people that call themselves Jews when speaking on the holocaust.

    Peace queen!

    Anonymous said...

    My degree is in History, I always prided myself on being a pretty learned individual, However I must say, I knew nothing about this. This is such a golden thing you have done putting this out there, I am definitely sharing this on my Facebook.

    DebC said...

    Amenta...Thanks for listening (as you can see, I was kinda full!), and I feel ya as well.

    "I believe slavery was carried on by Europeans against Africans..."

    Let's not forget, it wasn't only them, Brother. I don't believe they were that "powerful" either -- doesn't take much power to wield instruments of torture, or be tortuous, especially when the recipients are bound -- by chains, often ill, laying in their own vomit and excrement, and that of their fellow "travelers" on the journey to more damned hell (my friend, who built the Black Cultural Center in the Gambia, created this achingly beautiful replica of the bowels of a slave ship -- people laid head to foot and side-by-side, chained. The detail, with which he represented one of those fateful journeys, is so incredible, it sends chills up and down my spine just thinking of it).

    I have no doubt, about the evidence of African complicity in the slave trade. While in The Gambia once, I had a long conversation with a Senegalese "griot" who laid it out for me. I make no excuses, but I understand the imbalance of "nkali" (read, money).

    I think we agree more than you think. Yes, economics/poverty "trouble our waters," always. Where we part ways, is the fact that I believe white supremacy is the cause of the economics/poverty from which we suffer. Africa is one of the richest continents in the world -- from rare earth minerals that the West needs for all its consumption, to gold, to diamonds, to oil, to damned shea, to -- you name it!

    I think, if the Diaspora was ever able to say, "Hey white supremacy, you need us wa-a-ay more than we need you! So go suck rocks until you come to us with business intentions that are respectful of where we all stand! -- we'd be more than okay as a collective. But for some reason (beleiving that "single story" maybe?), we've not been able to make that kind of a stand.

    Dr. King was definitely on point in what he saw around the world, but neither he, nor Malcolm were able to get those ideas across to us globally -- and white supremacy has, and continues to capitalize on that fact.

    "Wordsmith that you are..."

    I humbly take that as a wonderful compliment!

    I know that things are not as "clear cut" as they seem, my Brother. I also know that I, so damned late to the" critically-thinking" game, do not have all the answers. I thank you for pointing me in yet another direction of learning, and I promise I'll follow it. I do however, know that "gold dinars" are the reason they killed Qadaffi -- because he was f*ckin' with the valueless, "dollar bills y'all." Same goes for the murder of Sadaam Hussein -- "No more oil for your worthless greenbacks -- we want euros!"

    Seeing as the Federal Reserve keeps up their "quantitative easing," just printing paper, backed by "not shit," I get the decisions both countries made, because this country (along with its companions, the "usual suspects" of France and Britain, all flex, with military might, in order to cover up the fact that, "ain't nothin' going on" -- not even the damned rent!

    These are just some of the, "paying attention" lessons that I've learned about "my country and countrymen" over the years, so many realizations which, weigh heavily on my mind (hard to reconcile what you've always believed, with the bullshit -- but in order to survive, I think we must.

    Peace back atcha Brother -- I appreciate ya immensely!

    DebC said...

    bishopstravels...My young, Brother you just made my day!

    "This is such a golden thing you have done putting this out there, I am definitely sharing this on my Facebook."

    That what I write, educates and inspires is the goal. Thank you for sharing it so that more of us may know.

    I cannot, however, take all the credit for putting it out there. Were it not for my Brother Asa over at AfroSpear--, I wouldn't have known anything about this either! Keep your eye on his blog, not only is it informative, it feels like that ever-elusive, "home."

    I checked out your space and was happily surprised to find, that you are "stretching and learning -"en Panama!" Though my time there was a much more controlled and supported experience (lived there for a couple years when the husband was stationed there in the Navy on the Atlantic side before The Canal was turned over), I learned a helluva lot about US! It was at Portobello, that I, for first time, EVER, saw a "Black Jesus, revered!" I'm in an agnostic space right now, but coming from a Black, Southern Baptist and Catholic background, that Procession blew me away!

    I practiced my Spanish in Colón -- in the evenings, on the porch of my friend, who was an ESL teacher at the then, Coco Solo High School, where neighbors gathered (I got really good too!).

    As you check in at AfroSpear, you'll more than likely come across "Sis Ana" at one time or another, who comments pretty regularly. She is Panamanian, and keeps us abreast of what is going on in the "Republic."

    I admire your determination and adventurous spirit, my young Brother. I'm linking to you so I can keep up with your cultural and musical progress!

    Peace and Blessings to you...

    Amenta said...

    Peace Deb! Thanks for the post and the convo. And I agree we don't disagree that much...:-) Last point on this topic:

    You wrote this concerning the voyage from Africa to America.

    "I don't believe they were that "powerful" either -- doesn't take much power to wield instruments of torture, or be tortuous, especially when the recipients are bound -- by chains, often ill, laying in their own vomit and excrement, and that of their fellow "travelers" on the journey to more damned hell..." And let me add menstrual fluid, urine and laying next to others that have died and had not been removed in transit. Add to this the fact that many had walked over 500 miles to the sea coast from inner Africa, and held in dark dank dungeons before being packed onto boats for the voyage across the Atlantic.

    Lets ponder for a minute.

    If the above is true how did these people make it on a 2-3 month voyage to the Americas in those conditions?

    Lets remember that these people were to be sold on the auction block upon their arrival here. If what above is true would you buy whomever made it acros on the voyage?

    Could this human cargo be tortured and brutalized along the way and expected that someone would buy them?

    Lets consider that there were was no way to wash off the people laying in excrement and all the things above on a sailing ship in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. No power wash hoses on board in those days. If the above is true how many died upon their arrival or a few days after arrival?

    There was no refrigeration, no air conditioning, no running water on board so how could such a dreadful journey be worth the cost? And, no doubt the enslaved Africans were supposed to be a marketable product. Who could market this, I am sure, emaciated people? Who would buy this product? If the above torture is true.

    And I truly meant from the soul that you are a wordsmith, no sarcasm intended ever.

    Peace and Blissings.

    Amenta said...

    Bishoptravels I will be linking you as well. Deb check me out at I see that you are in an agnostic point now, come over there and check my scribed wanderings on that subject...LOL!


    DebC said...

    Amenta...I hear all your questions and again, I have to go back to where I've been (inside those dark dungeons on James Island (now Kunta Kinte Island in the Gambia) and where I'm from (the "pest houses" of Sullivan's Island and James Island, SC where nearly half of African slaves brought to these shores were held, from 30-60 days to ensure they brought no contagious diseases and then "washed down and oiled up" -- to the "Old Slave Mart" in downtown Charleston where they were auctioned off to surrounding plantations). There's plenty documentation there, from ship's manifests (which include those slaves who died on the journey and were thrown overboard, as well as those who died in the "pest houses" -- written off as mere "losses"), to bills of sale. Not necessarily the best site about the history of my hometown, but just to give you an idea:

    You ask if this "human cargo" could be tortured and brutalized along the way and expected that someone would buy them? The answer is yes, because neither the sellers nor buyers saw them as "human " -- they were "just cargo, just property." Such is the insidious nature of the white supremacy, still at work in this country as well as Europe (after all, it WAS the British Lords Proprietors, motivated by profit, who settled America's original 13s). Hell, the Old Slave Mart is a damned tourist destination now, with little shops and shit! A fact not lost on many Blacks in the city who, like me, see it as us being "sold" all over again.

    "Who could market?? Who would buy??" Them, that needed the physical labor because they had grand ideas, but didn't actually build shit -- without a thought.

    "And I truly meant from the soul that you are a wordsmith, no sarcasm intended ever."

    Appreciate that, I really do.

    Yes, in that "agnostic space" now. A difficult transition to say the least because it's all I've ever known. But the more I learn and know, the less sense everything I ever knew makes. I'll be reading your "scribed wanderings," as I try to make sense of where I am these days!

    Gracias y usted mismo!

    Unknown said...

    Hi there, stumbled on this blog after coming across a mention of the genocide in some other stuff about African tribes of the past that I have been working on ... confession ... I am South Africa 40s, white ... and although I know all about the Jewish Holocaust and have learnt and taught it myself, I had never until today realised that so many Namibians had died BEFORE South Africans started their apartheid crap. I also found the recent article about Germany totally unwilling to apologise, make reparations or give back all the skulls !!!! they still have absolutely shocking. It is bad enough that History is written by those who win, that most of what we believe is flat earth news (see when confronted with the truth of severe misbehaviour to refuse even to apologise is just beyond - we can only regain our humanity after something like this if we are prepared to apologise for our wrongs. I cannot understand how African people survived colonisation at all let alone stood up again another day. Thank you for the information and all the debate - this was really valuable to me. Helps fix some of that racist education I got as a youth.

    DebC said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Unknown said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    DebC said...

    @Hilary Isabel...Don't know why I missed your comment so very long ago! Don't know why I missed it, but please accept my apologies and thanks for your comment.

    " I had never until today realized that so many Namibians had died BEFORE South Africans started their apartheid crap."

    Don't feel alone, neither did I until stumbled upon Abagond's excellent post (you should check it out, I learn something new every time I read it)!

    "It is bad enough that History is written by those who win, that most of what we believe is flat earth news (see when confronted with the truth of severe misbehavior to refuse even to apologize is just beyond - we can only regain our humanity after something like this if we are prepared to apologize for our wrongs."

    Actually, I think it's way worse that the victors get to write history versus the whole apology thing because even when confronted and an apology is given, it doesn't change the truth -- plus, "Sorry" seems an easy thing to say when no substantive change occurs for those who've been wronged. As a South African, can you say the circumstances for the majority of Blacks there have been improved, even after Mandela and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission or most certainly Zuma? I know as a Black American under Obama, I sure can't! The problems in both places are, and have always been -- systemic, and IMO, not until the "system" changes will any kind of true humanity be regained.

    "I cannot understand how African people survived colonization at all let alone stood up again another day."

    I believe it is because we people of Black African descent start out from a place of "we" versus "I" -- two very different places though the longer I live, the more I see it changing. Living in the "I" of life can be (and more often than not is) a very lucrative place, but I'll take the "We" any day!

    "Thank you for the information and all the debate - this was really valuable to me. Helps fix some of that racist education I got as a youth."

    Your very welcome, but remember, I just learned it all too! Do check out Abagond's blog at this link: I'm sure you'll find some more very valuable stuff there!

    Peace, and again, my apologies...

    DebC said...

    @Jossel Hindjou...You're very welcome! But as I said in the post and to another commenter here, it was that prolific writer, Abagond who first taught me about this important part of our shared history. Please DO check out his amazing and informative work at this link:

    Thank you so-o-o-o much for stopping by! I truly appreciate your confirmation of the facts as someone who knows firsthand that they are true. Sadly, our history has been so deeply buried here in America that not many of us even have an inkling of "whence we came." I'm well over 50 and I am still learning!!!

    "Okuhepa tjinene, omuatje omukuatera utjita nao. Nu ovaherero ovakuru va teje, onganda ikuaterua, kairanderua"

    Would you translate this for me?

    I've not been writing much in the last year or so but I plan to do better. As long as I'm alive, I'm learning -- please drop in and share whenever you can.

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    I’m really amazed with your posting skills as well as with the layout on your blog site. Is this a paid style or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the pleasant quality writing, it is rare to see a great site such as this one these days.
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