I know you’ve seen something like the following before on television at least once: A commercial appears that shows little African children obviously starving and miserable. Some commercials will include Southeast Asian children in the same way, but most will focus on African children.
In center stage is a white person telling you about the children in the commercial: how they’ve hardly eaten or bathed, how they’re sick and possibly dying. Most of all, they tell you that for less than a cup of coffee you can sponsor a child like them. (The assumption being that there are millions like them all over the continent.) The white person will appear as benevolent and sympathetic as possible while sad music is playing in the background. This helps play with your emotions, making you feel sorry for those children. That helps drum up business for the “Save the children in Africa” complex.
You don’t wonder about the fact that there is no mention of the parents of those children. You also don’t think about the fact that this is one of a handful of depressing images about the second largest continent on the face of the planet. The single stories of the African continent have been dominant in the Western media for so long that the whole landmass has been reduced to a giant hellhole country of plagues, poverty and civil wars lost in prehistoric times.
The narrative of Africa being an uncivilized backdrop where the animal population rivals that of the human population has been around for a long-ass time. It’s so prevalent that people, who haven’t visited any part of the continent, believe those stereotypes. Racist white people who pride in their European past, which has been reduced to white skin, European features and great accomplishments, adore those stereotypes whenever black people get uppity.
In the minds of ignorant people in any part of the world, Africa is a large, poor and diseased country in constant war with itself. Its inhabitants are kin to the primates who dwell there. They have no signs of modern civilization anywhere and have made absolutely no contributions to humanity in any time period. The end.
Wrong. The simple, single story of Africa in the West that is passed all over the world hold is as phony as the white supremacy myth it was spawned from. Here are some facts about the place that has been captivated and deplored by the lowly masses that is ignored by the western media:
1. Africa is not a country or a language. It is a huge continent of more than 54 independent nations with more than thousands of languages.
2. There is ample information that human civilization, including what will be known as the White race, began in Africa which was the center of the large supercontinent called Pangaea.
6. There are numerous universities in several African nations. They include the Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, Liberia College in Liberia, the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and the University of Rabat in Morocco.
7. Some African countries have their own chain of successful restaurants and internet cafes.
8. There are many African cities with tall office buildings and skyscrapers.
9. Africa has a growing middle class.
10. The nation of Ghana has its own stock exchange which is growing.
11. Nigeria has it’s own version of Hollywood known as Nollywood.
12. Vodacom Congo is the largest cell phone company in that nation.
We all know that there are indeed problems going on in the continent such as the AIDS epidemic and the conflict in Darfur. This post is not disputing that. However, the usual story about Africa always being its own victim where the worst possible things that could happen on Earth exist is racist and petty. To spread the problems of a few areas of an entire continent to the entire continent is nothing short of a white supremacist ideology no different than converting an entire group of people from that area into a malfunctioning monolith. Let’s call it what it is, folks.
The massive landmass of Africa doesn’t need any aid from the United States or any other nation, especially if the people don’t ask for it or want it. The deep, hidden scars of White European imperialism and slavery still resonates in the hearts and souls of many Africans and their descendants. They have sound reasons not to trust any form of “aid” coming from industrialized white dominated countries.
But most of them won’t. The single story will live on through the Western media and the hearts of many (white) people. Africa will always be looked down upon in need of white knights to save it from itself, as long as people remain comfortable in their ignorance and allow other sources to tell them how and what to think.