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Fresh revelations from the Public Records Office have it that the English hero, General Montgomery, as late as 1947, described Africans as “complete savages”, incapable of ruling ourselves (never mind the fact that we did so for centuries before the arrival of Europeans, thank you). He called for the continued control of the continent for the benefit of the English.
Even though we know that these sentiments existed and still exist today, it never ceases to amaze when yet another very public person is outed as a white supremacist. One can only wonder, then, about the sentiments of his close associates, many of whom are still alive today and many of whom hold positions of great influence all over the world. There can be no grey areas in matters like this and all those who choose to associate with Montgomery in spite of these views must consider themselves party to racial hatred. To condone is to partake. And there can be no denials, from these friends, that they did not know of his racism. Any one with such strong views will inevitably communicate these views to those with whom he associates.
I will have three things to say to those who share Monty’s sentiments. One should not be judged a savage on account of his apparels and affectations but by his thoughts, words and deeds. One begins to understand savagery when one understands the greed and cruelty of many white people in Africa. In spite of the fine silks in the King of Belgium’s wardrobe, his chopping off of the limbs of innocent Congolese mark him out as a savage.
The second point is a warning to the likes of Monty that, in their arrogance, they risk forgetting that every peoples have their time. When the Greeks, the Egyptian, or the Portuguese, at various times, dominated the world of philosophy, science and politics, those in the present day Britain lived in conditions of semi-civilisation. Today the roles have been reversed as far as possible. Those who say that what Montgomery said about Africa has come to pass are plain ignorant. In the scheme of things, 50 years is inconsequential. If we are too savage to rule ourselves, then nothing will have changed centuries from now. Then, we can begin to consider Montgomery’s “prediction”.
On a more recent issue, I would like to bring to the attention of our readers the case of the Essex policemen who kicked their dogs to death. One of the officers was reprimanded, two were sacked from the force and might be sent to prison. The dogs faced the kind of treatment and death that befell many Black men in police custody, yet I struggle to remember any policeman or woman who had been disciplined for these crimes against Black people. They always got off scot-free - even when the coroners found them guilty of unlawful killing as in the case of Shiji Lapite. I know Britain is a country of dog lovers but surely this is a little too much.
Finally, I would like to talk about this issue’s lead story which will touch a sore point with some of our readers but for which we give no apologies. The story is in keeping with our original pledge to be both a voice and a conscience for Black people. We strive to keep our stories as accurate as possible and we are confident that this will make our readers see us as an authoritative publication rather than one which simply sees no fault in anything our community does.
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