March 07, 2016
Source: Wikimedia Commons
“I want to apologize for the role my ancestors played in the slave trade….I knew one day I wanted to come to this land and ask forgiveness of my black brothers and sisters. I wanted to cross the ocean to see the land where my ancestors suffered.”
“King Kpoto-Zounme Hakpon III of Benin to a black audience in Alabama, 2013
“We cannot continue to blame the white men, as Africans, particularly the traditional rulers, are not blameless….In view of the fact that the Americans and Europe have accepted the cruelty of their roles and have forcefully apologised, it would be logical, reasonable and humbling if African traditional rulers…[can] accept blame and formally apologise to the descendants of the victims of their collaborative and exploitative slave trade.”
“Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, 2009
“I believe there is a great psychic shadow over Africa, and it has much to do with our guilt and denial of our role in the slave trade. We too are blameworthy in what was essentially one of the most heinous crimes in human history.”
“Former Ghanaian diplomat to the UN Kofi Awoonor, 1994
I have endlessly more respect for modern African leaders who are willing to acknowledge their ancestors’ role in slavery than I do for modern ethno-masochistic whites that try, against all evidence, to isolate guilt only on the white side and smear all whites from here to eternity with the invisible shit stain of guilt. I also have far more respect for these African leaders than I do any modern American blacks who blame whites, and only whites, for every last drop of black suffering.
If I feel a kinship with anyone, it is with those who are intelligent and noble enough to acknowledge that history is unbearably complex and is more reasonably viewed as a power struggle between winners and losers rather than good guys and bad guys. In the end, only morons strain to justify historical events, while wise men merely try to understand them.