Thursday, February 14, 2008

Holocaust Deniers - a growing club

Genocides in history

Genocide is the mass killing of a group of people, as defined by Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

The preamble to the CPPCG not only states that "genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world", but that "at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity".

Determining what historical events constitute a genocide and which are merely criminal or inhuman behaviour is not a clear-cut matter. In nearly every case where accusations of genocide have circulated, partisans of various sides have fiercely disputed the interpretation and details of the event, often to the point of promoting wildly different versions of the facts. An accusation of genocide is certainly not taken lightly and will almost always be controversial.


One Million Dead in Iraq - Our Own Holocaust Denial By Mark Weisbrot

Institutionally unwilling to consider America’s responsibility for the bloodbath, the traditional media have refused to acknowledge the massive number of Iraqis killed since the invasion.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad’s flirtation with those who deny the reality of the Nazi genocide has rightly been met with disgust. But another holocaust denial is taking place with little notice: the holocaust in Iraq. The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000. But the actual number of people who have been killed is most likely more than one million.

This is five times more than the estimates of killings in Darfur and even more than the genocide in Rwanda 13 years ago.

The estimate of more than one million violent deaths in Iraq was confirmed again two months ago in a poll by the British polling firm Opinion Research Business, which estimated 1,220,580 violent deaths since the US invasion. This is consistent with the study conducted by doctors and scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health more than a year ago. Their study was published in the Lancet, Britain’s leading medical journal. It estimated 601,000 people killed due to violence as of July 2006; but if updated on the basis of deaths since the study, this estimate would also be more than a million. These estimates do not include those who have died because of public health problems created by the war, including breakdowns in sewerage systems and electricity, shortages of medicines, etc.

Amazingly, some journalists and editors - and of course some politicians - dismiss such measurements because they are based on random sampling of the population rather than a complete count of the dead. While it would be wrong to blame anyone for their lack of education, this disregard for scientific methods and results is inexcusable. As one observer succinctly put it: if you don’t believe in random sampling, the next time your doctor orders a blood test, tell him that he needs to take all of it...


Bengali Famine

...To dramatise this perversion, imagine that the Jewish Holocaust was almost completely deleted from our history books and from general public perception, that there was virtually a total absence of any mention at all of this cataclysm in our newspapers and electronic media or in our schools and universities. Truth, reason, ethics and humanity aside, objective analysis suggests that such a situation would greatly increase the probability of recurrence of racial mass murder. Fortunately, in reality, virtually everyone is aware of this event and indeed in Germany today it is a criminal offence to deny the actuality of the Jewish Holocaust.

In contrast, during the Second World War, a man-made catastrophe occurred within the British Empire that killed almost as many people as died in the Jewish Holocaust, but which has been effectively deleted from history, it is a 'forgotten holocaust'. The man-made famine in British-ruled Bengal in 1943-1944 ultimately took the lives of about 4-million people, about 90% of the total British Empire casualties of that conflict, and was accompanied by a multitude of horrors, not the least being massive civilian and military sexual abuse of starving women and young girls that compares unfavourable with the comfort women abuses of the Japanese Army.

The causes of the famine are complex, but ultimately when the price of rice rose above the ability of landless rural poor to pay and in the absence of humane, concerned government, millions simply starved to death or otherwise died of starvation-related causes. Although there was plenty of food potentially available, the price of rice rose through 'market forces', driven by a number of factors including: the cessation of imports from Japanese-occupied Burma, a dramatic wartime decline in other requisite grain imports into India, compounded by the deliberate strategic slashing of Allied Indian Ocean shipping; heavy-handed government action in seizing Bengali rice stocks in sensitive areas; the seizure of boats critically required for food acquisition and rice distribution; and finally the 'divide and rule' policy of giving the various Indian provinces control over their own food stocks. Critically, cashed-up, wartime, industrial, Calcutta could pay for rice and sucked food out of a starving, food-producing countryside.

Ultimately, millions of Bengalis died because their British rulers didn't give a damn and had other strategic imperatives. The Bengal Famine and its aftermath for the debilitated Bengal population consumed its victims over several years in the case of complete British inaction through most of 1943 or insufficient subsequent action. Churchill had a confessed hatred for Indians and during the famine he opposed the humanitarian attempts of people such as the Prime Minister of Canada, Louis Mountbatten, Viceroy General Wavell, and even of Japanese collaborationist leader Subhash Chandra Bose. The hypothesis can be legitimately advanced that the extent of the Bengal Famine derived in part from sustained, deliberate policy.

The wartime Bengal Famine has become a 'forgotten holocaust' and has been effectively deleted from our history books, from school and university curricula and from general public perception. To the best of my knowledge, Churchill only wrote of it once, in a secret letter to Roosevelt dated April 29th 1944 in which he made the following remarkable plea for help in shipping Australian grain to India: 'I am no longer justified in not asking for your help.' Churchill's six-volume 'History of the Second World War' fails to mention the cataclysm that was responsible for about 90% of total British Empire casualties in that conflict but makes the extraordinary obverse claim: 'No great portion of the world population was so effectively protected from the horrors and perils of the World War as were the people of Hindustan. They were carried through the struggle on the shoulders of our small island.'...


British Genocide

...If Cornwallis had at this time chosen to deal with the Mi'kmaq in a respectful manner, I firmly believe that peace would have prevailed. He did not.

In early September of 1749, Cornwallis sent several English officers to meet with the MI’KMAQ Chiefs to tell them that they must now accept the King’s sovereignty over their land, and they must submit his rule. When the Mi'kmaq refused, war broke out once again.

On October 1, 1749, Cornwallis called together members of his council to deal with the situation. They decided that to declare war against the Mi'kmaq would tacitly acknowledge them as a free and independent people. Instead, they chose to treat them as criminals, and as rebels against His Majesty's government. It was then decided that a bounty would be offered for any Mi'kmaq, including women and children, taken or killed. To carry out their genocidal intentions, the council locally raised a company of fifty volunteers for immediate field action. And, during the winter months, they recruited a company of one hundred bounty hunters in New England to join with Gorham's Rangers, a Mass Bay colony militia stationed in Nova Scotia, to scour the province for human prey.

In a letter defending his action to the Lords of Trade and Plantations in London, Cornwallis wrote that his intention was to remove the Mi'kmaq forever from Nova Scotia. The Lords wrote back that "by filling the minds of bordering Indians with ideas of our cruelty" that Cornwallis might cause the Tribes to unite and carry out a general continental war against the Europeans.

Despite his best efforts, Cornwallis failed in his bid to exterminate the Mi'kmaq. But, after the “Burying of the Hatchet”ceremony in 1761, the Mi'kmaq were victimized at various times over the two centuries by starvation, malnutrition, and other indignities...


"The Story of a National Crime" by Dr. Peter Bryce
former Medical Inspector for the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA), Ottawa, in which Bryce describes his 1907 discovery of a death rate of nearly 50% in western Indian residential schools, and the suppression of this evidence by the Canadian government and churches.


Hidden from History:The Canadian Holocaust

We call for:

1. The declaration of a National Aboriginal Holocaust Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday, during which awareness projects into Genocide in Canada, and other events, are held to commemorate those who were tortured, killed or otherwise died in "residential schools", in order to keep alive the memory of the Genocide deliberately committed by European church and state against the indigenous peoples of Canada.

2. The creation of Aboriginal Holocaust Museums, and related travelling exhibits and memorial monuments inscribed with the names of the dead, on the site of former "residential schools", at which the complete history, artifacts, and testimonies of survivors of the Genocide of First peoples are recorded and displayed, in order to educate and mobilize the public towards greater understanding and justice.

3. The convening of an International War Crimes Tribunal into Genocide in Canada by independent human rights and aboriginal communities, under the auspices of First Nations bodies not funded by the Canadian state.

4. The immediate surrendering to this Tribunal of all persons who have or are presently engaged in acts of Genocide, violence and abuse of native people in Canada, including but not restricted to acts of pedophilia, child prostitution and pornography, rape, murder, torture, kidnapping, forced labour, theft of traditional native lands and resources, ethnic cleansing, sexual sterilization, medical experimentation, and any form of assault, impoverishment, segregation, discrimination or coercion designed to eradicate indigenous peoples and their way of life.

5. The surrendering and publicizing of all documents, records, and other evidence held by the government of Canada, the RCMP, and the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and United Churches, which relate to any of the aforementioned crimes committed by them and their employees on indigenous people in Canada.

6. The immediate and unconditional revoking of the charitable, tax-free status of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian and United Churches in Canada, and the collection of all back taxes owed by these bodies, because of their criminal role in planning, practicing and concealing the deliberate Genocide of non-Christian aboriginal peoples in Canada for more than a century.

7. The immediate and unconditional surrendering without compensation of all aboriginal lands, cultural artifacts, and derived revenues held by these churches and associated bodies to their original First Nations.

8. The immediate disbanding of the RCMP and the federal Department of Indian Affairs because of their foundational genocidal purpose and historical practice of exterminating aboriginal peoples and cultures across Canada.


The Turks haven't learned the British way of denying past atrocities

...Atrocities? Which atrocities? When a Turkish writer uses that word, everyone in Turkey knows what he is talking about, even if they deny it vehemently. But most British people will stare at you blankly. So let me give you two examples, both of which are as well documented as the Armenian genocide.

In his book Late Victorian Holocausts, published in 2001, Mike Davis tells the story of famines that killed between 12 and 29 million Indians. These people were, he demonstrates, murdered by British state policy. When an El Niño drought destituted the farmers of the Deccan plateau in 1876 there was a net surplus of rice and wheat in India. But the viceroy, Lord Lytton, insisted that nothing should prevent its export to England. In 1877 and 1878, at the height of the famine, grain merchants exported a record 6.4m hundredweight of wheat. As the peasants began to starve, officials were ordered "to discourage relief works in every possible way". The Anti-Charitable Contributions Act of 1877 prohibited "at the pain of imprisonment private relief donations that potentially interfered with the market fixing of grain prices". The only relief permitted in most districts was hard labour, from which anyone in an advanced state of starvation was turned away. In the labour camps, the workers were given less food than inmates of Buchenwald. In 1877, monthly mortality in the camps equated to an annual death rate of 94%.

As millions died, the imperial government launched "a militarised campaign to collect the tax arrears accumulated during the drought". The money, which ruined those who might otherwise have survived the famine, was used by Lytton to fund his war in Afghanistan. Even in places that had produced a crop surplus, the government's export policies, like Stalin's in Ukraine, manufactured hunger. In the north-western provinces, Oud and the Punjab, which had brought in record harvests in the preceeding three years, at least 1.25m died.

Three recent books - Britain's Gulag by Caroline Elkins, Histories of the Hanged by David Anderson, and Web of Deceit by Mark Curtis - show how white settlers and British troops suppressed the Mau Mau revolt in Kenya in the 1950s. Thrown off their best land and deprived of political rights, the Kikuyu started to organise - some of them violently - against colonial rule. The British responded by driving up to 320,000 of them into concentration camps. Most of the remainder - more than a million - were held in "enclosed villages". Prisoners were questioned with the help of "slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging until death, pouring paraffin over suspects who were then set alight, and burning eardrums with lit cigarettes". British soldiers used a "metal castrating instrument" to cut off testicles and fingers. "By the time I cut his balls off," one settler boasted, "he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket." The soldiers were told they could shoot anyone they liked "provided they were black". Elkins's evidence suggests that more than 100,000 Kikuyu were either killed or died of disease and starvation in the camps. David Anderson documents the hanging of 1,090 suspected rebels: far more than the French executed in Algeria. Thousands more were summarily executed by soldiers, who claimed they had "failed to halt" when challenged.

These are just two examples of at least 20 such atrocities overseen and organised by the British government or British colonial settlers; they include, for example, the Tasmanian genocide, the use of collective punishment in Malaya, the bombing of villages in Oman, the dirty war in North Yemen, the evacuation of Diego Garcia. Some of them might trigger a vague, brainstem memory in a few thousand readers, but most people would have no idea what I'm talking about. Max Hastings, on the opposite page, laments our "relative lack of interest" in Stalin and Mao's crimes. But at least we are aware that they happened.

In the Express we can read the historian Andrew Roberts arguing that for "the vast majority of its half-millennium-long history, the British empire was an exemplary force for good ... the British gave up their empire largely without bloodshed, after having tried to educate their successor governments in the ways of democracy and representative institutions" (presumably by locking up their future leaders). In the Sunday Telegraph, he insists that "the British empire delivered astonishing growth rates, at least in those places fortunate enough to be coloured pink on the globe". (Compare this to Mike Davis's central finding, that "there was no increase in India's per capita income from 1757 to 1947", or to Prasannan Parthasarathi's demonstration that "South Indian labourers had higher earnings than their British counterparts in the 18th century and lived lives of greater financial security.") In the Daily Telegraph, John Keegan asserts that "the empire became in its last years highly benevolent and moralistic". The Victorians "set out to bring civilisation and good government to their colonies and to leave when they were no longer welcome. In almost every country, once coloured red on the map, they stuck to their resolve".

There is one, rightly sacred Holocaust in European history. All the others can be denied, ignored, or belittled. As Mark Curtis points out, the dominant system of thought in Britain "promotes one key concept that underpins everything else - the idea of Britain's basic benevolence ... Criticism of foreign policies is certainly possible, and normal, but within narrow limits which show 'exceptions' to, or 'mistakes' in, promoting the rule of basic benevolence". This idea, I fear, is the true "sense of British cultural identity" whose alleged loss Max laments today. No judge or censor is required to enforce it. The men who own the papers simply commission the stories they want to read...


Australia and the Holocaust: A Koori Perspective

... From the beginning of the British invasion of Australia (justified on the myth of terra nullius), the Indigenous people were slaughtered on a grand scale. In Tasmania between 1804 and 1834, the Aboriginal population was reduced from an estimated 5000 people to just 200, which represented a 90% reduction in just 30 years. In Victoria it has been estimated that the Koori population declined by about 60% in just 15 years between 1835 and 1850 as more than 68 individual ‘massacres’ were perpetrated in that period. Indeed, according to representative of the North West Clans of Victoria, Mr Gary Murray, of the 38 clans that lived in Victoria B.C. (Before Cook) only 24 today have living descendants. By 1850 virtually all active resistance to the invasion had been quelled in Victoria. Census figures published in March 1857 showed that only 1,768 Aborigines were left in all of that state. So comprehensive was the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Australia that out of an estimated 500 language groups on mainland Australia when the British arrived, barely half that number of languages were to survive. By 1871, one correspondent, G. Carrington felt compelled to write,

We shall never possess a detailed history of this singular and gradual work of extermination - such a tale would be too horrible to read - but we have an opportunity of seeing a similar process in full work in the colony of Queensland, and when we have seen that, we shall understand the mystery of Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.


By the middle of the 19th Century the situation for Aborigines in most parts of Australia looked very grim. Morris has described it thus, ‘The colonial process had reduced the Aborigines to a residual minority, but they had not been eliminated. The problem was expected to resolve itself.’ In other words a new policy emerged dubbed, ‘Smooth the Dying Pillow’, it was based on the assumption that what was left of the Aboriginal populace would now die out. So whilst indiscriminate killings of Aborigines were to continue well into the 1930’s, the widespread genocidal activity of early ‘settlement’ gave way to a policy of containment. This was typified by the Aborigines Protection Act 1909, which established the first Australian ‘concentration camps’ to provide a place for the doomed race to die off...


The Forgotten Holocaust: The Eastern Slave Trade

...as Islamic prosperity grew, so did an air of hostility towards many Blacks, Muslims or otherwise. Some Arabs complained about having to work next to Blacks in high positions. After the Prophet's death, even the descendants of Bilal received negative treatment. Arabic writings became laced with anti-Black sentiment. This reaction of Blacks at the time to this can be seen in the writings of a contemporary 9th Century Black scholar in residence at Baghdad by the name of Abu 'Uthman' Amr Ibn Bahr Al-Jahiz. Al-Jahiz, to confront a growing tide of anti-black sentiment in the Muslim world, published a highly controversial work at the time titled, Kitab Fakhr As-Sudan 'Ala Al-Bidan, "The Book of Glory of the Blacks over the Whites." Al-Jahiz in his work contended that even the Prophet Mohammad's father may have been of African lineage
These new attitudes towards Blacks by Arabs marked the beginning of African enslavement. Though not based solely on race, the Arab Slave Trade did focus heavily upon Africans whom Arabs now saw as inferior to themselves. At first these Arabs raided African villages themselves seeking humans for sale. This not being always successful, they soon enlisted the aid of fellow African Muslims or recently converted Blacks. Wrapping themselves within Islam, these converts rationalized the slavery of their non Muslim brethren as the selling of "unbelievers." At other times the Arabs would demand tribute in the form of human bodies from Africans weary of the fight against Arabic-Islamic incursions.
[ ... ]

Due to the enormous length of the Arab Slave Trade, from 700 to 1911AD, it is impossible to be certain of the numbers of Africans sold in this system. Estimates place the numbers somewhere around 14 million: at least 9.6 million4.4 African men. African women and
It has been estimated that in all, at least 14 to 20 MILLION African men, women and children died throughout this trade...


Modern Day Slavery: Sudan and Mauritania


The thought of slavery existing today may seem unbelievable to many. But the fact of the matter is that even as you read this, there are continuing reports of Africans being enslaved in the African republic of Sudan. Home to the ancient state of Nubia, this land has become the site of a 13-year-old civil war that has left over 1.5 million dead. Numerous reports have charged the Islamic fundamentalist North with carrying out a war of genocide against its African South who are mostly Christian or of native spiritual beliefs. The Northern population of Sudan consists of Arabs and Africans who identify themselves as "cultural Arabs." It has been reported that Northerners have been raiding African-Sudanese villages and kidnapping Black women and children for sale in the northern portion of the country to Arab buyers. Once taken north the children are force fed Islam while the women become domestics and/or sexual servants. It should be remembered that this pattern is similar to the Eastern Slave Trade which only officially ended in 1911AD...

...The situation in Mauritania is similar yet different to the one in Sudan. Here the victims are again Black while the slave masters are Caucasian Berbers. Mauritania has outlawed slavery three times since 1960, most recently in 1980. Yet even now, the mostly Islamic republic has been accused of enslaving Africans known as Haratines. The products of Berber men and their African slave mistresses, these Haratines exist in a state of bondage. Though phenotypically similar to their African Wolof, Bambara, Soninke' and Pular sisters and brothers, the Haratines consider themselves culturally Berbers. Raised and indoctrinated by Islamic Berbers, they are traded among Berbers families or given as gifts. Punishment for these Haratines may go far beyond the routine whippings and beatings. Reports tell of slave masters placing insects into a victim's ears and then sealing them with wax as a form of torture. Another tells of burning coals being applied to the thighs and sex organs of others...


Nanking Massacre: the Forgotten Holocaust

On December 13, 1937, the Imperial Japanese Army stormed the Chinese city of Nanking. During the following six weeks, they murdered and tortured countless civilians whose only crime was being Chinese. Over 300,000 people were killed and over 20,000 women were brutally raped. However, over the decades, the Japanese began to deny that this massacre ever occurred. Few Americans are aware of the Nanking atrocities, so numerous efforts are now being made to teach the world what happened in China during the massacre.

There were many events leading up to the invasion of Nanking. During the Japanese conquests of World War II, they invaded China in 1931. They wreaked havoc wherever they went, murdering millions of Chinese people. First, Japan invaded Manchuria. As Japanese soldiers advanced west through China, they used germ warfare, spreading typhoid fever and the bubonic plague. During their occupation of China, the Japanese killed at least fifteen million Chinese soldiers and civilians.

During the nineteen-twenties, Nanking only had a population of 250,000. However, during the nineteen-thirties, the city was highly populated with over one million residents. This increase was a result of the Japanese occupation and countless refugees fleeing to the city from Manchuria and other Chinese areas to the east of Nanking. They were safe in the city, until Japanese forces advanced towards Nanking from Shanghai on November 11, 1937.

Before the Japanese army attacked on foot, they made many bombings over Nanking. Most of these bombings were focused on the wealthier and more populated areas of the city. On September 25, 1937, the most devastating bombing occurred. There were over six hundred civilian casualties. Hospitals marked with a red cross on the roof were targeted, as well as refugee camps, power plants, water works, and radio stations. As a reaction to these bombings and advancing forces, political figures from The United States and The United Kingdom assembled an "International Committee." The committee set up "Safety Zones" inside the city, where refugees could stay.

On November 25, Japanese forces attacked Nanking from three different directions. The Chinese General Tang Sheng Zhi commanded an army of over a hundred thousand men. However, the Chinese city soon fell to the Japanese Imperial Army. As the Japanese entered the city, a massacre began that would continue for six weeks...


Case Study: Genocide in Bangladesh, 1971


...On February 22, 1971 the generals in West Pakistan took a decision to crush the Awami League and its supporters. It was recognized from the first that a campaign of genocide would be necessary to eradicate the threat: "Kill three million of them," said President Yahya Khan at the February conference, "and the rest will eat out of our hands." (Robert Payne, Massacre [1972], p. 50.) On March 25 the genocide was launched. The university in Dacca was attacked and students exterminated in their hundreds. Death squads roamed the streets of Dacca, killing some 7,000 people in a single night. It was only the beginning. "Within a week, half the population of Dacca had fled, and at least 30,000 people had been killed. Chittagong, too, had lost half its population. All over East Pakistan people were taking flight, and it was estimated that in April some thirty million people [!] were wandering helplessly across East Pakistan to escape the grasp of the military." (Payne, Massacre, p. 48.) Ten million refugees fled to India, overwhelming that country's resources and spurring the eventual Indian military intervention. (The population of Bangladesh/East Pakistan at the outbreak of the genocide was about 75 million.)...


Namibia - Genocide and the Second Reich



Nazi Documentary . A hundred years ago, three quarters of the Herero people of the German colony of Namibia were killed, many in concentration camps. Today, the descendants of the survivors are seeking reparations from the German government. This film tells for the first time this forgotten story and its links to German racial theories.

THE AFRICAN HOLOCAUST- WE CANNOT AFFORD TO FORGET

In April, 1993, the dedication of the Holocaust Museum took place in Washington, DC. This memorial is a testimony to the horrors perpetrated against Jews and other ethnic and religious minorities at the hands of the regime of Nazi Germany under Hitler in the 1940's. It is estimated that twenty million were taken into captivity and that six million lives were lost; the victims died in the "cleansing" showers of the death camp gas chambers. Countless others were casualties of unspeakable experiments performed in the name of medicine and science. Man's inhumanity to man was at work in its most heinous form when these atrocities took place in Europe. Was the idea of ethnic purification for a "master race", as Hitler termed his European followers, a new one? Looking back in history, there is strong evidence that it is not.

In the mid-1400's, the first Africans were taken out of Sierra Leone on Africa's West Coast as a present for a Portuguese king. The capture and removal from the African Continent of these ten men marked the beginning of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the wholesale exploitation and death of at least two hundred million (conservatively estimated) African lives. Truly, this is the African Holocaust; a horrific model for Hitler's later regime. The Africans who were forcibly removed from their homelands came primarily from what is known as West Africa; from Senegal down to Nigeria and all the countries in between. Columbus' "discovery" of the Caribbean islands, and later, the shores of the Americas, created a need among colonists for the strong, dark-skinned strangers who seemed tireless yet frightening in their peculiarity. Human lives became one of the largest sources of trade for the Dutch, Spanish, English, Portuguese and French. Later, ships sailed from North America in search of slave labour. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade lasted from the mid-1400's until the late 1800's. The West Coast of Africa became known as the Gold, Ivory and Slave Coasts, named for the "items" of trade that were being ripped from the bosom of the Continent. Many did not survive the treks from inland villages to the coastal forts created by the slavers. Women heavy with child, very young children, and elders were routinely taken, along with young men and women of able body. Those the slavers believed too frail to make it through the grueling fifty-six day journey through the middle passage were thrown into the bays on which the forts were built. Consequently, shark infestation problems exist in many of the areas on these coasts even today. Branded with the initials of the shipping company or the captain himself, the enslaved Africans were often herded into prison-like forts where they were chained to each other and to walls or floors to await the arrival of one of the many slave ships.

Many of the enslaved Africans actually willed themselves to die or committed suicide by purposely choking on objects rather than endure the horror for which they had no frame of reference. Many more lives were lost on board the slave ships, some to suicide and others to the dysentery and other illnesses rampant on board the ill-equipped ships.

If one actually survived the passage, the degradation of the auction block, the overseer's whip and a life of misery, then grueling work, strange food and little sleep became the lot of the deposed Africans. Families were torn apart and a mother could not count on keeping or raising her own child in this system, nor could a husband depend on a life with his spouse.

People of Jewish descent have a moral obligation to themselves, their children, and the world, to inform and educate regarding the Holocaust. The visual force of the Holocaust Museum is said to be shocking and to have significant impact on those who come to visit it. It is the right and the obligation of the Jews and those families who suffered through the atrocities of the European Holocaust to create a living testimony so that the world will never forget what happened in Germany and so such pain and death will not reoccur.

People of African descent the world over, but especially those who reside in the United States, are likewise morally obligated to remember the African Holocaust and to memorialize the four hundred plus years of human carnage that swept the West Coast of the African continent from Senegal to Nigeria. Parents of African descent need to educate their children to the fact that African American history begins in the countries of West Africa, not on the plantations of the United States and the Caribbean. African parents need to let their sons and daughters know that we, as people of African descent, are the creators of civilization, not the destroyers of it as society would have them believe; that the Greeks came to Africa (Egypt) to learn about civilization, and not the other way around; that Africa is the second largest continent in the world and yet it is depicted as smaller than the US in many atlases; that while we are not all from royalty, ours were societies that possessed great riches and that, when the slavers came to Africa, we were not running through the jungle naked but were wearing finely embroidered silks and linens.

Education is the key to the ills plaguing our race at this time. The Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, widely known as the Father of Black Consciousness, and founder of the UNIA (United Negro Improvement Association) in the 1930's, stated that, "If we as a people realised the greatness from which we came [Africa] we would be less likely to disrespect ourselves". Our lives did not begin in slave shanties on plantations in the United States and the Caribbean. We, as deposed Africans, have a responsibility to our youth to reinforce this fact.

Truly, the memorialization of the African Holocaust should have the same import as that of the European Holocaust. Given the fact, however, that the United States played such a large role in the wholesale exploitation of African lives and, given the fact that this exploitation still exists in many forms today, it is doubtful that any such memorial will ever be created. We have been out of slavery for fewer years than our ancestors were enslaved; Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Act are part of our all too recent past. What would Africa be like today if those innumerable brilliant minds had not been ripped from the bosom of West Africa?...

3 comments:

Religiosity said...

I thought this might have been a good site - I enjoyed some of the articles you published. But when I came across this post and found you had not included the African slave trade (Not that eastern bullshit), I figured this site is a joke just like all the rest. Good try though.

madredmeech said...

excellent article, very well covered. not sure if when it says the 'civilised' world condemns genocide the world condemns is a typo and should be spelt commits tho.....?!

davviidd said...

Holodomor should be included too ...

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