by Dr Vince Hines
Afrikans on the Continent of Afrika and in the Afrikan Diaspora have largely neglected their interests over the past five hundred years, partly through trickeries and subjugations by others. While we, too, need to say ‘NEVER AGAIN’, we can only move on when we fully recognised the consequences which the distortions of Afrika’s history generated and impacted Afrikan peoples today.
Afrikans interests have been, and are still being, substituting for foreign interests. This should not be the case - time for rapid change. The late Wangari Maathai, (1 April 1940 – 25 September 2011), in her book, “THE CHALLENGE FOR AFRICA: A NEW VISION” – [William Heinemann. ISBN: 978-0-434-01981-6], erected “a mile stone” on our current Afrikan Journey.
Maathai reminded us that Culture is the means by which a people expresses itself, through language, traditional wisdom, politics, religion, architecture, music, tools, greetings, symbols, festivals, ethics, values, and collective identity. Agriculture, systems of government, heritage, and ecology are all dimensions and functions of culture…without culture, a community loses self-awareness and guidance, and grows weak and vulnerable. It disintegrates from within as it suffers a lack of identity, dignity, self-respect and a sense of destiny. People without culture feel insecure and are obsessed with the acquisition of material things and public displays, which give them a temporary security that itself is a delusional bulwark against future insecurity. (p160-1).
Afrika has been the victim of endless inappropriate financing. Money given in aid is sent back to Europe and America in corruption and money laundering schemes only to be re-loaned at higher interest. We then saw the implementation of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) and the Washington Consensus without any noticeable benefit to the majority of Afrikans on the ground. This led to aid dependency, economic devastation and the continued widespread dissemination of negative images of Afrika and Afrikans. Only a handful of industrialized nations have reached the benchmark they set in 1992 to provide 0.7 percent of their gross national products as development assistance. (p75).
Yet all the lowest 22 countries in the UN Human Development Index were Afrikan. In spite of having only 5 percent of the developing world’s income, Afrikan still has about two-thirds of the world’s debt. …According to the United Nations, in 2007, Afrika’s debt burden stood at $255 billion. (p92)
The Challenge for Afrika’ is a call for genuine leadership that puts peoples’ welfare first, places the environment at the center of development, and maintains a vision of the future founded on justice and sustainability. (p291).
The African Family reveals many stories of activism and positive expressions of culture such as the demand for the reintroducing the Afrikan man back into his family. Wangari Maathai wants a return to the influence of the traditional medicine man / healer. This could be seen as controversial at a time when Christian evangelists and radical Islamists are sweeping the [Afrikan] Continent and there are widespread reports of ‘witch burnings’ and brutal ‘exorcisms - Afrikan Quest International
The Afrikan moral compass has been interfered with. The unnatural and malicious mass transportation of Afrikans as chattel slaves from one geographical area, where there had been no natural disaster or cause for concerns, to Western Hemisphere and elsewhere, continues to impact us.
Global call for Reparations for past wrongs perpetrated against our great Afrikan peoples must be one of all Afrikan nations’ primary mission statements during the Twenty First Century. It must be like a very bright torch extinguished only when our global reparations campaign successfully concluded.
Our campaign for reparations must go from generation to generation, if necessary, because chattel slavery, colonisations and imperialism went from generation to generation. The call for ‘REPARATIONS NOW’ must be our ‘new cultural rituals’, taught to the young and echoed throughout our lives until we succeed.
Success will have been the final recognition by those who “transgressed” against Afrika and Afrikans, that Afrikans had been, and are, peoples with rights, 5000 years ago, 500 years ago, 50 year ago, 5 years ago, 5 days ago and today.
Linked to our Afrikan reparations claims must be a system developed to help us survive current “Modernism”.
Dr Vince Hines, Chairperson of the Afrika and Diaspora Institute (ADI), introduces and promotes “four essential principles of modern communal self-help. That is - to “Share, Warn, Encourage and Protect – SWEP,” influenced by MAAT fundamentals. That is, “Balance, Harmony, Truth, Justice, Order, Reciprocity and Righteousness - right actions.”
Both Self-Help Essential Principles and MAAT teachings are antithesis to modern corporate and individual greed, envy, jealousy and arrogance.
It is Dr Hines’ teaching that Afrikans have a global duty to do everything possible to work with others to bring back the world into Balance, from the edge of destruction. Balance is a crucial part of Afrikan Reparations Campaign. If the world is destroyed, a call for ‘Afrikan reparations’ is meaningless.
Armed with the Four Essential Principles of Self-Help, we need to educate the masses, starting from inside our homes, villages, neighbourhoods - ‘the hoods’, regions, states, nations and the world.
WE must learn to Share again; to Warn those among us to embrace high morals and personal codes, which respect and uphold the rights of the individuals; to Encourage those who are doing and endeavouring to do right; and to Protect our Global Family from rapacious actions by those who are currently addicted to their arrogance, greed and associated consequences, leading to our devastations.
If nothing else, the world is governed by universal principles of ‘right and wrong’. The Afrikan global campaign for reparations - repairing of heinous wrongs perpetrated against Afrika and Afrikans continuously over several centuries, is one which all members of a civilised world should recognise their responsibilities to participate in order to ensure a successful conclusion.
It is in the interest of all nations to assist in creating conditions for the Afrikan peoples to gain claimed reparations and so encouraged a culture of forgiveness, compassion, individual and collective responsibilities to our common inhabitants.
If the world and its homo sapiens inhabitants have not understood the importance and necessity to assist in correcting wrongs perpetrated against Afrikan peoples, it is a world that harbours potentials for a repeat of the same wrongs against Afrikans and others in the future.
Overall, Afrikans cannot be expected to forgive, when perpetrators - and their beneficiaries, individuals and institutions - had never recognised fully past and current wrongs against Afrikans, asked for forgiveness and moved to satisfying our Afrikan call for reparations, including the perpetrators and their beneficiaries, changing their ways permanently for the good.
“Afrikans on the Continent of Afrika and in her Diaspora, who are reminding ourselves of the past, should never be self-serving. These collective reflections should be ways of developing and sharpening our resolves to triumph and excel. We must avoid being defined negatively by our past. Our strengths and weaknesses must always be in focused as we learn to create collective opportunities, mindful always that our productive development is based on our creating conditions for communal self-help. Dependency is our enemy; self-help our friend.”
Self-Help News – “Giving Voice to the Voiceless”