Today I Can Tell You What I Will Not Be Thankful or Grateful For
I read an interesting article about gratitude from Sam McKenzie Jr., whose timing on the piece is impeccable during this occasion of Thanksgiving. Gratitude is emotively wrought in the permeation of some positively profound consequence. To bestow gratitude is to acknowledge humanity, to receive it is to accept the universality and interdependence of that shared humanity.
But to demand gratitude that is unseen, unrealized, and most definitely unearned is callously victimizing and demonizing of African Americans, in particular. It is also very vain and insane of anyone or any collective to sentimentalize as even remotely rational. Apparently gratitude is transactional to those whose perception of themselves are superior, in terms of race and affluence under a faulty social construct.
A construct that existentially presents a false narrative or racial white framing of America’s perceived greatness that is not only motivated by ignorance and insensitive beliefs but is highly driven by an egoistic component of delusion.
An essay that was published in March 2006 and written by Adele Ferguson articulated the sincere fiction of whiteness which went unnoticed until hundreds of Black readers noticed it. In it Ms. Ferguson, a white woman writing for a business journal based in Seattle stated these points.
“I hope to see a shift in the attitudes of so many of my black brothers and sisters in this great country we share, from perpetual victimhood, to pride in their achievement on the road from slave to American citizen.”
“I have long urged blacks to consider their presence here as the work of God, who wanted to bring them to this raw, new country and used slavery to achieve it,”
“many immigrants suffered hardships and indignations as indentured servants. Their descendants rose above it. You don’t hear them bemoaning their forbearer’s life the way some blacks can’t rise above the fact [that] theirs were slaves.”
This was reported by an intern at the time and can be found here, because the publisher apparently scrubbed this from the internet.
It may very well be that a whole lot of white people including various people of color, and a few Blacks themselves do feel that a show of gratitude would be in order. I guess the unsolicited subscription to whiteness frames their presence in America as deliverance from certain damnation in their homeland. The honor bestowed upon them to receive the distinction of being hyphenated Americans is something I could never understand, it seems as my ignorance doesn’t run that deep.
The false narrative of our coexistence replete with the sincere fictions of the roles that whiteness play in it is strikingly ludicrous even by Hollywood B movie standards.
But underlying this dehumanization is the business of it all which includes religiosity, mercantilism and its canibalistic features of capitalism.
The way they tell it, teach it, or envisioned it, Africans should be grateful of these 90-day free cruises leaving ports of Africa to North America, with free room and board, and meals complete with an introduction to christianity. The inculcation of this as some disguised blessing makes for the reimagining of the British, French, and Spaniards as charitable beings.
So what really happened was that the avarice or covetousness consistent with the existentially constructed flaws of capitalism or mercantilism, and its undermining of human interconnectedness led to consequential atrocities of human exploitation meted out through traumatic physical and psychological violence.
The predatory economy that came to dominate the world and its world order was and still is inspired by the stupidity of avarice. That said, Europe dominated as much, and Africa became more intertwined into this world capitalist economy.
In many societies, the indigenous ruling classes declined as a consequence of these socio-economic changes and were replaced by a wealthy African merchant class — the Vashambadzi of the Southern Zambezia and Mestizos or Creoles of West Africa. They acted as middlemen between the foreign traders and the African peasant producers whose economic situation deteriorated rapidly due to gross exploitation.¹
Yep, that ‘money over everything ‘ is confounding
But this facile subscription to whiteness has them racially framing a portrayal of their somewhat heroic arrival under some cloak of liberty and justice. This is subversive ahistoricism. Its dramaturgy serves to justify an irrationally absurd white savior sentiment and behavior.
There are just as many stupid people in Africa as there are stupid people in Europe and around the world, the degree of stupidity may put European Americans at a comparative advantage. Africa’s history did not begin with a European visit or a ‘civilising mission’ carried out by traders, missionaries, explorers and administrators. The arrogance on all sides of this ungrounded racial divide has led to atrocities mired in stupidity stemming from evolving Mammonism around the world.
A more common political phenomenon during the three centuries was for a declining or collapsed state to be succeeded by several localized states or by an economic system: for example, the Kongo, the Tio, Loango and Ndongo (future Angola) kingdoms declined from 1665 and were reorganized into large-scale economic systems. In the Upper Guinea Coast, Songhay Empire was succeeded by the Great Foul Empire and Mali was succeeded by Kaabu and Futa Jallon. The decline of the Great Zimbabwe gave rise to the Torwa dtate and later to the Mutapa Empire.¹
Many historians ignore the cupidity that manifested into slavery by creating false narratives. This is why to this day the wealthy are enviably seen more positively — falsely, than the poor (of whom without them their wealth is not achievable) who propped them up by explicit psychological and physical exploitation.
The aristocracy — administrative and military — grew rich by various methods of exploitation. It soon developed an ideology of oppression. In Egypt, for example, the majority of the people were oppressed by a small elite made of the Mamluk beys leading to the rise of popular literature in Arabic, especially poetry and satire, dealing with the exploitation of the peasants. There were several peasant revolts against these oppressive regimes in West, North, East, Central and Southern Africa. There is an urgent need for a thorough study of these peasant uprisings in the 17th and 18th centuries.¹
The colonization of Africa could not have occurred without inside help and avarice. There are two sides of the same coin but pressed in between that coin are the many more innocent victims that mostly include the non stupid.
Before Columbus there were African explorers who arrived in America not as slaves but on their own accord, just like the Spanish and Portuguese. They even travelled together. These Africans knew what boats were, how to build them, and how to sail them. Yeah. Imagine that.
The strongest evidence of African presence in America before Columbus comes from the pen of Columbus himself. In 1920, a renowned American historian and linguist, Leo Weiner of Harvard University, in his book, Africa and the discovery of America, explained how Columbus noted in his journal that Native Americans had confirmed that “black skinned people had come from the south-east in boats, trading in gold-tipped spears.”
One of the first documented instances of Africans sailing and settling in the Americas were black Egyptians led by King Ramses III, during the 19th dynasty in 1292 BC. In fact, in 445 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs’ great seafaring and navigational skills. Further concrete evidence, noted by Dr. Imhotep and largely ignored by Euro-centric archaeologists, includes “Egyptian artifacts found across North America from the Algonquin writings on the East Coast to the artifacts and Egyptian place names in the Grand Canyon.”
In 1311 AD, another major wave of African exploration to the New World was led by King Abubakari II, the ruler of the fourteenth century Mali Empire, which was larger than the Holy Roman Empire. The king sent out 200 ships of men, and 200 ships of trade material, crops, animals, cloth and crucially African knowledge of astronomy, religion and the arts.²
This pathetic call for Blacks to show gratitude to whom or what represents America’s greatness is pseudo-profoundly victimizing. This performative turn by whiteness in an effort to once again disguise the truth and promote idiocy is unnecessary and not useful in curing social ills.
One of the biggest social ills which show no abating with its infections is whiteness and it unconscionably sophistic reasoning and motivated ignorance reconciling so easily and quickly with evil. Their moral conscious knew better then, but refused to accede because the gettin’ was good.
The dramaturgical actions of whiteness proclaiming or even thinking that we as a people, as if classifiable by melanin, should show gratitude to whom or what it is that makes America great makes the vanity and insanity of whiteness incorrigible.
This piece was inspired by Sam McKenzie Jr.’s piece on Black gratitude expected from certain whites.