Biafra: To Be Or Not To Be (6) – “What is wrong with the Black Man? by Chimaobi Eluigwe

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Biafra: To Be Or Not To Be (6) – “What is wrong with the Black Man?

It is self-directed racism to agree that the UK can be a sovereign nation with 60 million people but the Igbo cannot be with about 60 million people. I remember the first day I saw the movie ‘The Ghost And The Darkness’. It is a fictionalized account of the Tsavo Man Eaters, i.e. 2 lions that attacked workers and slowed down the Uganda-Mombasa railway project in East Africa in 1896.

In the narrative, an engineer had been hired to get the railway project back on track. The thousands of workers, at some point, stopped working and threatened to leave the site due to the menace of the lions.

After a particularly gruesome attack on several workers at night, the leader of the workers – Abdullah – summoned his colleagues to pack up and leave. Patterson, the engineer, tried to convince Abdullah to stay promising to kill the lions himself. Abdullah rejected Patterson’s appeals but made an interesting remark – “You are White. You can do anything.”

Abdullah was implying that Patterson, being British and White, could take on the lions and win. But the rest of them, mostly Indians and Africans, stood no chance with the lions. In other words, being Caucasian invested you with certain abilities that humans of darker skin tones didn’t have. Indeed, Patterson went ahead to eliminate the lions as he promised and Abdullah didn’t fail to throw him a most respectful salute when the workers returned.

All over Africa today, ‘Abdullah’ seems to be lurking. Even a sincere stare at the mirror can almost always reveal Abdullah waving at you from the deepest corners of your mind. Abdullah seems to have been sent packing from Asia, and has taken up residence in Nigeria.

See Also: BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (1) – by Chimaobi Eluigwe

The existential crisis that has confronted Nigeria since our plunge into recession has unleashed Abdullah shrieking from the rooftops – “They are White. They can do anything.” By implication, “We are Black. We CANNOT do some things which the White man can do.”

This willingness to believe that the black man is less capable than the white man is more ubiquitous than our ‘motivational-message-immersed’ environment will allow us believe. And lest anyone think this is baseless, there are abundant and worrisome pointers to suggest this is true.

All over the world wherever black communities can be found, they generally tend to perform worse than lighter skinned societies on all indices of human development and wellbeing. From wealth to health to education to . . . (fill in the blank space), the darker the poorer.

And this phenomenon is global. If you were to plot a graph of human wellbeing against skin tone, the graph will rise towards its crest as skin tone lightens, and fall towards its nadir as skin tone darkens.

From Africa to South America and elsewhere, you can hardly find a black community that isn’t the reference point for the worse. Brazil captures this very aptly. The graph of wellbeing will slope downwards from Brazilian city Sao Paulo (the richest) towards Salvador (probably poorest). Unfortunately, the ratio of white to black Brazilians will move in identical fashion, i.e. from Sao Paulo (the whitest) to Salvador (one of the blackest).

Interestingly though, Blacks have mostly debunked the myth of inherent black inferiority to whites in all individual endeavors. Blacks have at various times performed exceptionally in the arts, politics, sports, medicine etc. But these bright spots have tended to occur at the personal level. Blacks have failed to make their mark in that final barrier to global respectability – i.e. the building of a successful and powerful modern nation-state.

There is hardly any black nation that is manifestly better than any white nation anywhere in the world. In fact, there are hardly any truly successful black nation states. Even when blacks take over the management of nation-states from whites, they tend to run them down to dirt.

This is true whether in post-colonial Nigeria or post-Apartheid South Africa. Just look at Zimbabwe or Uganda. Indeed racism seems to have very strong alibi.

There are several ideas why this phenomenon exists. They range from the offensive to the amusing. From evolutionary gibberish, on to spiritual confusion. Whatever the reasons may be, it helps that this path has been travelled by other race-groups at different periods in history.

The Asian has also been the object of derision and ignominy too.Yes there were earlier Asian civilizations, just like in Africa. But on coming into contact with Caucasian imperialism, these societies were no match for the technologies and organization of the white man. They simply buckled.

Japan made the necessary adjustments during the Meiji Restoration in the late 1800s and this led to a rise of Japan. Japan industrialized rapidly and won the world’s respect when it won the war with Russia in 1905.

Japan thus became a reference point in Oriental Asia. Others who shared similar racial heritage with Japan began to pick themselves off the dust. From Korea (North & South) to China, and other Asian Tigers, the Asian miracle has redefined the balance of power around the world and ‘deported Abdullah’ from Asia to Africa.

Something similar has happened to Arabs too. While theirs may have less to do with technological prowess, it has everything to do with what they perceive a human being deserves – human wellbeing. With Saudi being transformed with petrodollars into a paradise, the UAE and other Gulf states have come to redefine what human society can look like visually.

So across the world, human groups have tended to progress AFTER a member- nation of that racial group breaks the rank and elevates itself to global standards. This is a principle that can be observed globally.

There are always those racial outliers who can leap across the racial divide and elevate their game to meet superior levels. These ones become a reference point for the rest of the racial group and before long others will thrive too, saying to themselves – ‘If these my brothers can do it, I too can!’.

Abdullah wouldn’t have been able to say that if Patterson were Indian. So beyond saying ‘what a man can do, another man can do too’, in reality it is ‘what your racial type can do, you can do too.’

Even white South Africa measures itself with Britain, and not Nigeria. Israel operates at Western levels, and not like its neighbours.

Even at the human level, sprinters couldn’t attain certain speed levels for millennia until one man eventually did. The next year, several sprinters did too.

The problem with the black race is the absence (so far) of a black nation that breaks the ranks with failure. Nigeria was thought to be that nation. It was supposed to be that reference point that would show other Africans around the world that the black man is capable of ANYTHING the white man can do, including building a modern nation-state.

Nigeria has failed spectacularly. For over one hundred years, it has been bloodshed, mediocrity and a trip back to the 18th century on all indices of human wellbeing. Rather than be the ‘shining city on a hill’ to all blacks globally, Nigeria has become one more (and most important) reason to doubt that the black race as a group is fully as human as the white.

For those of us who believe in the complete humanness of the black race, it is still in the realm of faith and not yet hardcore evidence. We await a black nation to rise to the occasion and redeem the black man from the humiliation of being the only racial group that has failed to build a successful and modern nation-state.

I believe that Nigeria was designed to fail. I cannot prove that the intent was hostile on the part of the designers, though. It could have been strategic malevolence or simply incompetence.

Whatever it is, Nigeria was an experiment that has gone wrong. An ethnically heterogeneous sovereign state burdened with too much distraction to succeed. Countless research efforts have shown this to be true.

It was racist enough for the British to ignore ethnic and cultural realities as they lumped different nations into one country. It is self-directed racism to insist that there are no alternatives to the British flop.

It is self-directed racism to agree that the UK can be a sovereign nation with 60 million people but the Igbo cannot be with about 60 million people. It is funny to take for granted that Switzerland can be a country with 8 million people but the Ijaw cannot build a nation with 8 million people.

With Iceland being a successful independent nation with 500,000 citizens (and Qatar with 300,000 citizens), any suggestions that ethnic nationalities within Nigeria are incapable of forming successful nation-states is simply RACIST, howbeit a self-directed one.

Locked within Nigeria is possibly Africa’s break-away nation, the black man’s long awaited reference point. But this nation (or nations) is too busy negotiating its survival within the Nigerian state to fulfill its destiny.

If Singapore were still a part of Malaya, the world would have been different today.

While still subsumed in Nigeria, this nation cannot come into its own because of the perverse set of incentives prevalent in the current Nigerian state today.

There is an urgent need, and indeed a historic responsibility, to loosen the bonds of the British contraption called Nigeria so that Africa can arise.

We either break the bonds or loosen it, so that its constituent nations can realize their manifest destinies. A referendum will enable us break the bonds peacefully or loosen them into a CONFEDERATION.

It is long overdue to echo the words of an Igbo son in Diaspora, Bishop T.D Jakes – ‘LOOSE THAT MAN AND LET HIM GO’. So that other African nations can also say ‘If my brothers over there can do it, so can I!”.

And banish Abdullah from Africa finally . . .

See Also: BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (2) – Chimaobi Eluigwe

BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (3) – Chimaobi Eluigwe

BIAFRA: To Be Or Not To Be (4) – Chimaobi Eluigwe

Human Rights Abuses: Global Amnesty Watch Wants Speedy Implementation of SBOI Reports

Nigeria: Human Rights Abuses: Global Amnesty Watch Wants Speedy Implementation of SBOI Reports by Abu Duniya

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Opinion: Saraki’s CCT Appeal – A Legal Wild Goose Chase? Emmanuel Odimba esq

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Md Asikul Basher Ovi

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