Thursday, 10 March 2011
DR LEZ HENRY, BLACK REVOLUTIONARY SCHOLAR, CRITIQUES COLONIAL-MINDED PROGRAM ON BRITISH TV
Greetings to all
I watched 'Civilisation. Is the west History?' on Channel 4 last night and found it to be one of the most misleading, Eurocentric/ethnocentric and condescendingly racist programmes I have ever witnessed. The real danger in it was not the fact that it was replete with all manner of fanciful historical distortions, it was the nonchalant way that the white-supremacist aggression that is responsible for the world we have today was dismissed in the most trivial manner, or completely ignored.
Take for instance the insensitivity when mentioning, in passing, the Opium Wars, which was instigated by the British to control Chinese territory and cost countless innocent lives. Also the manner in which Africa was dismissed as a kind of backwater when they recounted how the Chinese Diplomat, 'Zheng He' went to East Africa during the 15th century to trade and exchange artefacts etc. It was also his amazement that the Chinese did not wish to colonise/exterminate those that they met on their travels, whilst barely mentioning that genocide and extermination was the norm wherever racist Europeans went on their "civilising" missions. Yes he mentioned the uncivilised conditions of many parts of Europe at certain points but the context of their need to expand/colonise/exterminate was never explained.
I always say the universe is in order and in my class tonight we will be discussing 'Calibans vs. Ariels' which is the introductory chapter from Chinwezu's 'decolonising The African Mind' (1987), Pero Press, in which he states on page 4:
"The Europeanised African, for his part, is overwhelmed by the fantastic achievements of industrial civilisation. But having accepted the European propaganda that industrial civilisation is the genetic property of its European pioneers, he fails to distinguish industrial civilisation as a type from modern European civilisation as an instance of this type. His desire for the former is therefore perverted into a wish to assimilate himself into the latter. He overlooks the fact that the Japanese and Chinese have demonstrated, that industrial civilisation can be replicated by non-Europeans, and so cannot be regarded as somehow intrinsically European. And he is usually ignorant of the fact that Europeans were latecomers to scientific culture, and that their pioneering of the industrial revolution was based on the scientific heritage of they borrowed from others-including the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations."
Oh and by the way check out the advert for the Kia car that features Grandmaster flash and check out how the word 'nappies' is used.
IF YOU LIVE TO LEARN, YOU WILL LEARN TO LIVE!
Dr Lez Henry