Brother Nuri Muhammad sent me a rarely seen video of a 1967 NBC interview with Dr. Martin Luther King. He was asked why it was that the Negro was treated differently from all other minorities that came to America. Was it because they were black? He gave many reasons, including their blackness, but that was only a part of it. You can Google the full interview on one of the many avenues available online. I also received an email from an acquaintance regarding a letter King Leopold II of Belgium sent to his colonial missionaries in 1883 in Africa! He told them to treat the natives as the animals they were, to deny them their humanity and to teach them to love poverty as a way of life. God had nothing to do with it. It was a ruthless, heartless, racist spew – and that’s what Leopold was, to his core, racist, that is! Again, Google and learn.
A very busy morning, reading and watching all this, mouth wide open in disbelief that people thought and still think in this horrific manner, about people that didn’t threaten, invade, or conquer them. Living in the land of their birth, going about their business, thriving, living in freedom, oblivious of the hell coming, and I mean hell, not Dante’s imagined hell, real hell! I’m sure it wasn’t all the Garden of Eden scenario, but I believe it was as close as anyone could get, to it. Like Belizeans, they were blissfully unaware of all the untold potential that was all around, and below them. Blissful ignorance that caused cataclysmic shifts, racially, economically, culturally and socially, that were felt, and are still being felt, worldwide. The violent upheaval and forced removal of a race from their homeland, their continent!
It made me think of how different the world would be today if there was no Slave Trade, no colonization! How different America, the Caribbean, Brazil, and the world as a whole would be. There would be no Belize or Jamaica or Bahamas or British, Spanish, French or Dutch Caribbean, not in their present forms or names or racial makeup. The United States of America wouldn’t be as rich as it is, not a world power, without black people. The Native Americans were already mostly wiped out by diseases brought on by their colonizers. Who would’ve picked their cotton and rice for free? Built their cities, done every menial task that was required for advancement and survival? Poor whites? Naw, they would have had to pay them. For approximately 250 years America lived off free labor, maybe longer, because Emancipation didn’t mean freedom; black people were still chattels, some still are!
No jazz, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Pele, the real one, Jordan, Michael Jackson, no Obama! No reggae, mambo, punta, salsa, merengue! No Otis, Aretha, Sam Cooke. No Goldson, Hyde, Barrow, King, Ali, and on and on and on. The British Empire wouldn’t have been an empire. Leopold would not have wiped out half of the Congo. Africa would have been the centre of music and culture and fashion and scientific research, along with Asia. America would have probably imported more Chinese and East Indians to do the hard labor, like the British did after slavery was abolished, but they would have also had to be paid. No black people in Brazil, and after wiping out the indigenous tribes, they would be just another backwater country in the world. The absence of black people would have made such a difference, everywhere. That’s how much impact we have had on societies, countries, on earth itself!
Of course, this is all speculation on my part, but who knows how different the world would be today if they hadn’t started kidnapping and selling us Negroes. Who knows where the balance of power would lie? We will never know. If only they had left us alone, if only they had given us a chance to determine our own future. No apartheid: Mandela would just have been a king of his tribe, with a different first name, of course. Ghandi would have been just another lawyer, Lincoln would probably not have become president. No KKK, no Civil War, no lynchings. And all black people still living in Africa, except for those who chose to migrate, like every other race of people on earth. Quien sabe, who knows! This is not research or science or anything, but to make you think.
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste!” Arthur Fletcher