From time immemorial, or at least since the beginning of man, there has been war. An essence of war is the principle, “divide and conquer”.  Divide and conquer has been a major tool utilized against Africa and her people in the quest for White supremacy. This article takes a look at some aspects of this strategy (Divide and Conquer) as used by the United States. 

History is recorded by the victors and, accordingly, they try to place themselves in the most favorable light. They contend that African slavery, the greatest atrocity in recorded history, was a humanitarian gesture. Catholic priest Bartolome de las Casas was one of the first European settlers in the West Indies. After initially supporting the enslavement of the native populace he became alarmed at the brutalities inflicted upon the “Indians”. 

The fact that they were dying off, nearly to the point of extinction, probably nudged his conscience. His solution was to replace the Indian slaves with Black slaves from Africa. They were stronger and the Americas required a more hardy people to withstand the diseases that Europeans brought to the new world.

Once slavery was established in the United States it was relatively easy to sever the slaves from Africa.  One of the major hurdles in the slavery of the indigenous populace of the United States was that the enslaved were at home. They could fade into the environment, and it was the Europeans who were the strangers. 

Africans, brought from across the ocean, did not have this advantage. Besides being complete aliens to the land, there was a vast ocean to cross. While some Africans did indeed escape and blend in with other peoples and the environment, this was not an option for the vast majority of the enslaved Africans. 

Connections between American Blacks and Africa was not an issue for the United States until the 1960s. The United States did found the country of Liberia in 1822. This was an attempt to have free Blacks return to Africa.  The right of return was not offered to the blacks who were enslaved. Abraham Lincoln, had he lived, wanted to send all Blacks residing in the United States back to Africa. 

In the early 1900s, Marcus Garvey, through his Universal Negro Improvement Association, wanted Blacks in the United States to return to Africa. The United States had zero quotas for immigration for African countries. Blacks could only immigrate to the U.S. as citizens from countries which had bona fide quotas. 

African Blacks, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, were having problems of their own. Europe, in a display of incredible hubris, held the Berlin Conference in 1884-1885. They divided the continent of Africa among themselves for colonization. 

This ushered in the apartheid regimes of South Africa and Rhodesia. The entire Belgian Congo was declared to be the personal private property of the king of Belgium.  The atrocities and evils perpetrated after the Berlin Conference were as horrendous as those committed under American slavery. 

The 1960s brought about an end to African colonization, or so it was thought. This was merely a change in tactics. In a maneuver, that was repeated in 1990 with Nelson Mandela, the colonizing powers gave the Blacks democracy and the vote, yet kept control.  The African leader who immediately saw through this ruse, Patrice Lumumba, was assassinated.

Across the Atlantic, democracy and the vote was also being given to the Blacks. Control, of course remained in the hands of the White supremacists. In response to the cold war and the United States’ efforts to gain a foothold in Africa, African nations were given a true quota in the American immigration process. For the first time, the United States had African immigrants. 

American civil rights leader, Malcolm X, visited Africa. He was received like a visiting head of state in some countries. He returned to the United States and was promptly assassinated.

Voting rights bestowed upon American Blacks culminated with the 2008 election of Barack Obama.  The United States basked in the glow of the American ideal finally being realized. The perception by Americans, both Blacks and Whites, that a descendant of slaves had risen to the White House was faulty. 

Barack Obama’s father was Black, but he was not descended from slaves. American Blacks’ thirst to assimilate runs so deep that they were eager to claim Obama as one of their own. American Whites believe all Blacks descend from slaves and a little fact of geography is immaterial. It can easily be said that Africans from the continent have more of a claim to Barack Obama than do African Americans.

The movie “Black Panther” contains a quote by character Eric Killmonger concerning his preference for a burial site. The quote states, “Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships, cause they knew death was better than bondage”. This notion of “death better than bondage” brings forth an interesting divide between Africans of the continent and African Americans. 

It has been said that the fight plan is perfect, “until you get hit in the mouth”.  African Americans were put in the belly of the beast and survived, maintained and even thrived.  They do not deserve a slight for refusing to commit suicide. Perhaps, slavery did cost their dignity. Africans on the continent lost not only their dignity but also gave away the richest continent on the face of the planet.

Africans of the continent and African Americans, we are still here. We have had a tough row to hoe. They have hit us with their best shot. The dust clears, we are still here. When it is all said and done, we will still be here.

Piece Written By LEE THROWER


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