on Africa


Many of my friends might have found my last post offensive. I could have lost a few friends because of it. Some could be asking why I allowed a racist bigot to comment on it. I have little to no patience for bigots. I find it strange the lengths people can go to bolster their bigotry.

In almost a daily basis, I read about Africa this or that by some empty heads who would not know where Africa sits on the world map and it is tiring. And even when the reporting is done by Africans, it still leaves much to be desired.

This is one such article.

But I like this comment. It expresses my sentiments in a way I couldn’t articulate them

Considering Africa’s history and that many countries are a collection of dozens or hundreds of nation states, democracy in Africa will always be far more complex than it is in the much more homogeneous Western societies. African countries dominate the top positions in Greenberg’s Lingusitic Diversity Index.

Just like Africa’s true geographical size is misunderstood due to the Mercator projection, I don’t think many people in the West appreciate just how complex African countries are. And Western media (perhaps due to lack of time and space) condense African stories to very simplistic narratives that don’t fully capture wider realities.

Most European countries for instance are largely mono-cultural (other cultures are present but there is usually one overwhelmingly dominating culture and language). Compare the mono-lingual European countries with e.g. Nigeria with more than 500 languages, Congo with more than 200+, Tanzania with 100+ etc. Many European countries would struggle to manage the complex levers that running some African countries involves.

Look at France. It is supposed to be an advanced democracy but is clearly struggling with just 10% of its population being a different culture from the majority. Some of the laws being passed in France like the ban on the burkini would see acres of ‘Freedom and democracy is dead in Africa!’ headlines in the Economist and other mainstream Western publications if they were to be announced by an African government.

What about Belgium? Just a puny two-language problem sees it struggling to keep its panties on. Now multiply that 2-language division by 250 for Nigeria, 100 for DR Congo, 50 for Tanzania, 40 for Ghana, 35 [68 correction by Mak] for Kenya etc. America is still straining to treat its minorities as equal human beings decades after the civil rights movement.

I like that African countries such as Botswana have shown that simply taking Western democracy as is without local customization is foolish and unsustainable (its actually at the root of many democracy problems in Africa). With its steady progress, Botswana has shown that for democracy to succeed in Africa, it must be blended with local realities and accommodate existing traditional leadership structures.

It’s only idiots and bigots who would thing Africans are not doing anything to improve their countries. It is only idiots with a limited knowledge of history who do not that the policies of the Brenton Woods institutions, skewed trade and continued raping of our resources by the west and aid among other things keep Africa on its knees.

No African country even purports to advise the west on how to run their countries. Isn’t it time for Africa to be left to find it’s own solutions to governance. Africa is a large continent. It is diverse. And it is complex.

And finally if your response to this is going to be Africans are not intelligent, I am having none of it. I will delete your comment.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

105 thoughts on “on Africa

  1. Was I the bigot who commented? lol

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh good, what I said is controversial to a lot of people I know, but I’m no bigot! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          So do you think our problem in Africa is one of intelligence and not structural?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Both. Mostly structural though I think.

            As I see it, culture is an end-product of IQ. A grand civilization has never been built by a lower IQ group.

            Colonial oppression isn’t a good enough excuse as to why Africa is still ‘3rd world’. Lots of other peoples have been oppressed and they’ve bounced back.
            Tribal/intra-African country culture differences might be the biggest factor. I mean, Africa is SO damn big (way bigger than how it looks on maps btw) and there are hundreds/ probably thousands of different groups within Africa that dislike eachother quite a bit! lol, so that doesn’t help Africa as a whole.

            I should ask – do Africans actually think of the continent as a whole? Or do they think of themselves as members of their tribe rather than African?

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Do you know any African in person? Did he or she seem deficient in intelligence?
            Have you been to Africa? Which part? Did the people you interacted with seem deficient in intelligence?
            What is your source of information about Africa? Have you had an opportunity to verify whether these sources present a realistic picture?
            What do you think of the Egyptian civilization? Was it grand? Have you attempted to investigate who were responsible?
            You don’t think colonial oppression, stealing of resources, protecting despots and skewed trade agreements and financial aid are not enough to explain why Africa is as it is?
            Do you come from a multi-tribal country? How do you see yourself?

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          • Yes I know Africans. I don’t think of them as less intelligent – probably because they’re smarter than me! lol

            I’m talking about the average IQ, not all Africans are less intelligent, only some of them, giving us the average. Iodine deficiency, rather, rectifying Iodine deficiencies in Africa for pregnant women and their growing babies could actually raise the average IQ by several points, studies suggest.
            The Egyptians weren’t sub-saharan, they were more Middle Eastern than Congolese.

            https://www1.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/30years/Rushton-Jensen30years.pdf

            Here’s a very interesting read.

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          • makagutu says:

            Other than Rushton, who else would you refer me to?
            What are your sources on Egyptian civilization?

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          • You’re taking this personally I can tell.
            Which I don’t understand – I’m not pissed off that Jews and Asians have higher IQs than dumb old white me!

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          • makagutu says:

            Where would you get the idea I am taking it personally?
            I am trying to know who apart from Rushton are your sources.
            I am interested in African history and I want to know your sources on Egyptian civilization. How that becomes personal, is for me, a mystery

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          • Well, The Romans described the Egyptians as looking Middle Eastern. There were black people in Egypt at the time, but they were slaves or servants to the Egyptians.

            This is a good book –
            “Race and Intelligence: Separating Science From Myth” by Jefferson M. Fish.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            The Romans described the Egyptians as looking middle Eastern?
            And blacks were in Egypt as slaves? Citation needed

            Liked by 1 person

          • “Sudan: A Country Study” Helen Chapin Metz, ed. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, 1991

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            This book doesn’t look at the time we are talking about. Sudan did not exist as a country then.
            Any other references?

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          • You’re making me chase all these things down, man! haha 🙂

            Sudan in ancient times was called Nubia, or Kush. The Nubians and Kushites definitely did export sub-saharan slaves into Egypt and into upper Arabia too.

            S. J. de Laet, M. A. Al-Bakhit, International Commission for a History of the Scientific and Cultural Development of Mankind History of mankind, L. Bazin, S. M. Cissco, History of Humanity: From the Seventh to the Sixteenth Century (Taylor & Francis US, 2000) 508.

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          • makagutu says:

            Is this a wild goose chase?

            Liked by 1 person

          • carmen says:

            I don’t know, Mak. Sounds more like a SILLY goose chase to me.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Haha ha.
            Or could be both wild and silly

            Like

          • john zande says:

            Could you point me to references you have for the IQ of the Indo-Iranians, the Persians, the Chinese, Japanese…

            Liked by 1 person

          • You can find it yourself.

            Like

          • john zande says:

            Nah. I didn’t make the claim, you did. So, can you back it up, please…?

            Liked by 1 person

          • john zande says:

            No, no… I asked for the IQ of the ancients, like the civilisation-building Indo-Iranians.

            You made that claim, so please back it up. What was the IQ of the ancients….

            Liked by 1 person

          • How could anyone possibly know that? They were probably quite intelligent seeing as they built vast, trading civilizations!

            Like

          • john zande says:

            Good question, but seemed to imply that you knew. So, given, for example, the Indo-Iranians built enormously successful civilisations, please show me where they have a higher IQ.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Because culture is an end-product of IQ.

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          • tildeb says:

            What hasn’t been made clear is the claim that IQ equals a demonstration of intelligence. I think this is not the case. I think intelligence links to a wide variety of abilities and problem solving to the degree that everyone has above average intelligence in some areas of human concern and below average intelligence in others. I think IQ does not reflect, does not capture, the essence of intelligence but is an excellent measure about test taking… and no one takes tests better than than those who have practiced taking tests. I see a 1 to 1 correlation for this claim I make. And test taking is but one ability out of many and far less useful than some.

            And I see we’re back to head sizes in the links, but again, Rushton et al fails entirely to explain why head sizes supposedly matter for IQ BETWEEN races but not to the head size differences WITHIN a race (other than a trivial difference in IQ results between men and women with a average 30% difference in head size but not translated to the same rate of difference in IQ). In other words, if head size was indicative of the test taking ability for determining IQ, then there should be the same rate of difference within races based on head size. We simply don’t find this to be true so this raises a very legitimate criticism against the correlation that is used by those who assume the biology of race (to a general degree) somehow affects average intelligence and use head sizes as if relevant. It’s not.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t go along with the head size thing either.

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          • tildeb says:

            I’m glad. One down, 7 billion to go!

            Like

  2. Sabiscuit says:

    I was stunned to see the article yesterday but I declined to say anything because I didn’t feel like you were seriously stereotying your own race. Generalisations can be dangerous and they’re especially damaging when they are negative and come from the people these ideas are usually used to oppress. I have hosted discussions on my blog about the need to stop assailing dark skinned people and “Africans” with impressions from cartoons, movies and TV shows. When we pay attention to these nonsensical arguments about racial and economic dominance and accept them with anecdotal evidence, we are in danger of oppressing ourselves.

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      I have not been shocked as I was yesterday. I have read brief comments on the same before. I saw the book by Rushton on Amazon. Read the reviews and was shocked beyond words.

      Liked by 3 people

      • tildeb says:

        Rushton’s work reminds me of eugenics… ‘research’ based on highly biased core assumptions that are merely presumed to be true but are, in fact, part of the falsehood. Look at the harm acting on it has produced.

        No matter how offended some people may be about some controversial topic like race and IQ, I think exposing biased core assumptions is really quite a public service because it helps defeat its spread and influence.

        The race, genes, and intelligence post did just that and, although I can appreciate why you might want to just shut the door on the whole thing, deleting it because of ‘offensive’ material, because of soothing ‘offended readers’ I think hinders this process terribly. It’s another form of banning, a form of shutting people up by bully tactics in the name of protecting sensibilities, in the name of righteous deplatforming and disinviting. in the name of not giving a means for bigotry to be expressed. These are poor reasons. These are the tools of the Regressive Left and the reasoning for their use counterproductive to their intention.

        You can’t shut racism up and think it will go away. Like any toxic weed, it only goes underground and gets stronger. It has to be exposed and shown to be in error, to have its roots torn up and tossed away. But who does the weeding?

        Many people do believe African problems are often race problems, that blacks are less intelligent, prone to more violence, less able to be civilized, yada, yada, yada, and – like those with any biased belief – one can find all kinds of ‘research’ to confirm it… thus an attempt for removing the personal responsibility for holding it and pretending racism has been adduced from reality rather than imposed on it. Not talking about this stuff empowers the confirmation bias and gives people with biased views a get-out-of-jail-free card by not having to defend these beliefs from scrutiny.

        What is much more difficult to find is good criticism of it, good explanations of why many core assumptions racists do hold are themselves biased (epistemology leads to ontology) and so are a root problem for further bigotry and racism. ‘Research’ built on the core assumptions can then be successfully challenged and shown to be part of the problem, shown to be an extension of rather than a justification for bigotry and racism (and misogyny and various discrimination, and all kinds of of denialism). This is the public service your readership can help provide… in many kinds of ways, from analytical to humorous to emotional to irony to confrontation.

        We all have skin in this historical game of maintaining or reducing racism and what we think matters… to the next generation and the next and the next. Googling this issue, for example, should bring up your blog and expose the commentary for future generations to read and think about. That’s a service far too many bloggers don’t think about.

        If you can, imagine the opportunity for learning if we could have access to digitally captured public conversations about issues we think are important before historical events and trends became events and trends… before they were interpreted by others and served to us as if true. Deleting the post deletes your contribution of raising this important issue and starting the conversation with divergent views allowed to be revealed.

        Liked by 6 people

        • makagutu says:

          Since it still there somewhere, I will resurrect it.
          I am not trying to shut up racism. That would be like trying to shut up religious bigotry.
          So what to do with those who think the I should not have written such a post, being black and all?

          Like

  3. Swarn Gill says:

    Why did you take your post down though? It seemed like a worthy topic even if it did bring some heat. Also tildeb and I found common ground! lol

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      You don’t usually find common ground with tildeb?
      I think the two areas I disagree with him is on his claim that the west should export its democracy even through force and on free speech.
      I am debating whether to allow it to stand or delete it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Swarn Gill says:

        No actually we do…just a discussion turned into an argument awhile back though which seemed to be based on style over substance it seemed a shame. I suspect less misunderstandings would occur on the internet if instead we were all sitting around a table having a beer together. Tildeb is much better at articulating his points through written word whereas especially when I get into a conversation mode I forget tone of voice is not being translated to what is being typed. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb says:

        Oh, I’m no fan of exporting democracy. I think that’s a recipe for mob rule. Democracy only works if it is based on Constitutional law that includes what we call enlightenment values, foremost of which must be individual autonomy in law with rights and freedoms shared by all. Without that little gem, democracy for the mob is doomed to become tyranny in exchange for security from the mob.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Ron says:

          To be more precise:

          A constitutional republic enshrines rights that cannot be removed by government, even if said government is supported by a majority vote. A pure democracy provides no such restraints.

          Like

          • tildeb says:

            Yes, quite so.

            But more importantly, I think, is the legal foundation for equality law – the ‘all citizens are born equal in legal rights and legal freedoms’ idea – so as to go after legislated privileges… from religious to business. This is an idea whose time has finally come in enlightened inclusive societies.

            And what better goal for developing societies not in an historical isolated tribal sense – including nations that still view bigger walls build better neighbours – but as part of a wider global framework in which all of us are a part? All of us need this framework to fruitfully engage in vital global issues and mitigate towards solving global problems that really do affect all of us (all the ones that really boil down to climate change… from the global spread of diseases and pathogens, lowering crop yields and loss of arable lands in the face of population growth and increasing longevity, urbanization challenges, access to fresh water, containing war and going after root causes, and so on). With a common and global framework from equality law, all people can find common cause and wouldn’t that be a more significant legacy than ousting one tin pot tyrant for another, one ineffectual elected government for another?

            Like

          • Ron says:

            True enough. But the problem remains: How do we achieve this goal? How do you persuade entire populations founded on the premise that Allah/Jehovah is the final arbiter of all things to embrace western ideals?

            Like

          • tildeb says:

            The same way we achieve any goal: by working towards it.

            Of course, that comes loaded with challenges, which is why I think the target audience for achieving equality laws is always the younger generation because they are the ones who truly remake the world. They already know that reciprocity means fairness, and kids intuitively know what fairness looks like in action better than anyone. It’s the adults who have forgotten, who have rationalized its importance away.

            This is why I think principles always outweigh the particulars, that principled action carries more weight than convenient ones, that principled thinking outperforms argumentative rationalizations. People recognize what’s true and honest, and they recognize the truth of their equal and fair value to others, that their race, religion, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual preference, age, even abilities are secondary to a fundamental human value that is the same as our own, that is shown by fair treatment. Children have to be taught to expect privilege, to award privilege, to see themselves as more or less deserving than others on the basis of these impersonal secondary concerns, so this idea of privilege is a worthy target for criticism and attention, an action that gains allies in the younger and connected generation.Privilege is fair only by merit. Kids know this, too.

            We are always earning or losing credit in the eyes of the younger generation. Our individual actions matter.

            Younger people especially want to help others, want to make a positive difference, want to be fair and honest, to be a contributing person with integrity and have and be honoured for this willingness and ability to help. We can foster this.

            My advice is to demonstrate the power of fairness and honesty to the younger generation, to work towards doing that in everything we do, every opinion we hold, every action we take. Nothing gains youthful allegiance to the principle of equality in law more than demonstrating your concern and respect for fairly treating young people as real people just like yourself, and doing so because you can..

            The greatest challenge we have if understanding that there is no Other. There is only We. No Them. Just Us. And that’s a lesson younger people will embrace.if empowered to do so. And we can do that in a hundred thousand ways as long as we stick to the principle and act accordingly.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ron says:

            Sure, at a familial (or even municipal level) that strategy might work; but at a national or international level, I’m not so certain. Given Europe’s failed integration efforts, I see little chance of success in converting Islamic nations to our point of view via reasoned discourse.

            Keep in mind that the historical records report King John was coerced into signing the Magna Carta—he didn’t propose it out of the goodness of his heart. Likewise, American independence was won through bloodshed, not the magnanimity of King George.

            Liked by 1 person

          • tildeb says:

            Yes, you raise good points. And I don’t pretend to have the answer i practice but a direction towards a goal on principle. And we can already see the swing by the (majority) younger and connected generation throughout the Middle East with the Arab Spring movement. The desire is there in part (still way too much support for anti-autonomy religious laws); the means, however, is not well supported by the West – natural allies for Constitutional republics or monarchies. All I’m trying to say here is that we need to advertise the principle for our support is based on individual legal autonomy and a willingness to support those who share our values. We have to start moving away from supporting those who only share our business interests.

            And yes, any power shift seems to involve bloodshed but each country’s population will have to earn the change. All of us are being urged to change – willingly or not – with the growing climate problems and this is a huge opportunity for unity of purpose. If individuals matter, and I think it’s relatively easy to convince individuals that they do, then individual autonomy in law must become the foremost goal.

            Liked by 2 people

          • makagutu says:

            I think the Arab spring, starting with the case of Tunisia, wasn’t exactly about democratic space but rather soaring unemployment.
            In our traditional societies, I think it was the community that came first. The individual was protected as long as they were obedient to the customs. Whether they had real or any autonomy is a subject of study.
            I think each society can and should be left to find its own ways

            Liked by 1 person

          • tildeb says:

            Yup. Economics played a huge role. What I’m getting at is younger people having access and connections to other ways and means. In the same vein, so too are all cultures exposed to others… not least of which is the global economy. No culture can remain unaffected. My point is that natural borders are dissolving and access to and exposure are increasing so we should engage more on a principled approach and promote connections on shared values first and foremost and isolate cultures – especially economically – that hold antithetical values. And is that what being left alone to find one’s own way means?

            Like

          • tildeb says:

            Mak, I know you have a level of distrust in some of my opinions… especially concerning military action and the promotion of enlightenment values.

            I just wanted to mention how much I respect now Senator but then General Romeo Dallaire who was in charge of the UN peacekeeping forces in Rwanda before and during the genocide. He saw how a strong cultural divide between a common people left alone and unchecked by legitimate criticism, government that did not have equality laws legally enforced, led to a situation he was not allowed to diffuse by harsh and brutal military means. After all, that’s what a military is supposed to do: kill. And by being really, really good at it, a military acts as a deterrence to those who might wish to use violence for other goals.

            Rwanda still has a ways to go, and is still in the process of developing better legislation for implementing enlightenment values, but the last 20 years is a good indication of where these values when combined with foreign aid and investment linked to external security can take a people.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I am glad you mention Rwanda. The Belgians or rather the colonialists brought the problem in it. They ensured that only one major tribe were well educated. When they were leaving, they propped up a fellow from the minority group to be President. There has always been some civil war whenever there is regime change.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ron says:

            Overall, I share your principles (“be the change you want to see in the world”), but not your optimism.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Maybe we let everyone find their own way of governing themselves

            Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            Here is the rub. In most African societies before the Bible and the gun, the chiefdoms and kingdoms had their way of governance. Conquest by Arabs first then Europe has done us harm. How to change it is to find homegrown solutions that respect the rights of the individual

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ron says:

            The problem is the political instability and corruption that follows after regaining independence. The ensuing unrest creates opportunities for new oppressors to take over. And there’s no shortage of foreign occupiers willing to seize control of the political apparatus of weaker nations possessing abundant natural resources.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Looking at our particular situation, the British corrupted the new government and they still do to date.

            Like

        • makagutu says:

          Democracy only works well with the consent of the governed. How to ensure that elected representatives concern themselves with service to the electorate and not selfish short term goals is the challenge

          Liked by 1 person

  4. john zande says:

    He was an odd nut. But oh how I’d love to be standing beside him when he discovered he had 6%, or 13%, or 33% African in him, like this dick

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Ron says:

    Sigh. As usual, real life called me away and I missed out on all the excitement. At this rate, I’ll never be able to lose friends and disenchant people.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A lesson learned, I would hope. What I don’t understand, and would invite someone to enlighten me, is why many of the younger generation are so trusting – or, dare I say naive – of other people’s motives. I’m old and was raised to be skeptical especially concerning profound or provocative ideas having great potential consequence.

    Despite their primitive hate, white supremacists can be quite clever. They are constantly looking for ways to manipulate public opinion. Occasionally, their efforts strike a resonate chord because gullible people don’t take the time to look beyond the superficial. I am worried that this new world of short attention spans, instant gratification, and the demise of critical thinking, is leading us all to doom.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carmen says:

    Well, darn it. I was traveling and missed it!

    Tildeb, I must ask you (after reading your comments on this thread) – why aren’t you involved in a Political party? Or in the UN? 🙂

    Like

    • tildeb says:

      Am I really that bad?

      If there were an office for Benign Dictator of the World, I would run. I might even get more votes than just my own. And willing to be corrupt, of course. In the meantime, and in a more serious vein, let me give you an analogy.

      My neighbour, a brusque, blunt, and usually scowling homeowner, was in a motorcycle accident recently – a car pulled in front of him – and was recovering at home but struggled with a lot of pain to simply breath and move about. A lot of soft tissue damage and the bike a write-off.

      A few days later, garbage day came around. Without being asked, a neighbour put out his garbage next to the street for an early morning collection. After being emptied, one of the containers was left on and not beside the road. I went over and picked it up, along with some other bins from his house, and put them away before attending to my own. A third neighbour cutting her lawn before the heat of the day descended came over and cut his before disappearing. Yet another neighbour – a professional landscaper – got his assembled crew to very quickly trim and sweep and rake the man’s yard yard before heading out for his busy work day.

      The man came out to his porch to sit and drink his morning coffee. I had to pass by him in order to head out for a run and said good morning. He scowled at me as usual but rather than ignore me or mutter ‘Fuck” under his breath, this time he responded by telling me how fucking lucky he was because he had the best fucking neighbours in the world. (The expletives remain standard linguistic formatting for him… no sentence is complete without one.) He then asked what he probably thought was a rhetorical question to his shortened grass and wondered why people are so nice.

      Not to be deterred by a question that doesn’t need answering – and thinking of a friend with multiple sclerosis – I said, “For the same reason some of us go running: because we can.”

      And isn’t that why we bother to comment and offer our thoughts? And sometimes that’s a lot more than a political party or even the UN can accomplish.

      Liked by 2 people

      • carmen says:

        Here it is, three days later and I am finally getting back to your comment, Tildeb. I’m glad Mak restored the post as I got to read some insightful comments that hit the mark. (including Mr. Sarcasm himself, a man I think is another genius. 🙂 )

        Now, I happen to be of the opinion that those who are involved in a political party or on the UN are probably doing the same thing that ordinary individuals like yourself are doing – making the world a better place by contributing on a daily basis, not just in their jobs but in their personal lives. I may be an optimist, but I actually know many politicians who are wonderful individuals – in fact, politics became a natural offshoot of their activism in certain areas. (I can’t brag about knowing anyone on the UN)

        Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      That must explain also why my mail is sitting in your inbox 🙂

      Like

  8. atheistsmeow says:

    I don’t claim to know much about Africa, or most countries in general, but I am very big on minding ones own business & leaving others to theirs.

    I disagree strongly with barging in, or even going to war, to tell other countries how to run things! Give some advice MAYBE, but only if asked first, but leave the other governments & the people to sort their own issues.

    I enjoy learning about other countries, but I am damned if I am going to start telling them what to do & how to do it!

    The ”my way, or the highway”, is really old!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. atheistsmeow says:

    The U.S. has its fingers in everyone’s pie, & its been that way for decades & decades.

    The influence here in Canada is very strong, & they want what they want, when they want it.

    Like

  10. Barry says:

    I’m somewhat surprised and disappointed that you have removed your previous post. I was probably more surprised that such a post should come from you, and in typical Aspie fashion, I wasn’t able to decide whether it was written in jest, as something to be taken seriously, deliberaltely provocative, whether you were convinced by the “scientific” study, or were quietly seething at the attempt to justify bigotry. I have no idea why you wrote it nor how I was supposed to react to it.

    A difference in time zone seems to mean that I missed a lot of the comments. Although the post seems to have gone, my WP desktop App knows it used to exist and that there were 102 comments. Having been at the receiving end of some barbed comments by a few of your regular readers, I don’t think any comment by a bigot (of whatever kind) will ever be left unchallenged. For that reason, if you poll your reader on whether the post should be restored, my hand is up for a resounding YES!

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Hi Barry.
      I have restored the post.
      I didn’t post it as a jest nor did I think the study convincing. My interest was to get what people think. And since the people who visit this spot are from varied backgrounds, there would be some insight gained.
      When I jest, I make it known usually.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. I just watched a documentary on the US War of 1812. It mentioned that the various Native American tribes had no interest in working together in resisting the colonists. Tecumseh tried to unite them but it didn’t work.

    the whole problem does pose a question: is a monoculture preferable for the human race continuing? Is that what will result, confirming the popular science fiction meme that those are the only cultures that will make it to the stars?

    Like

    • tildeb says:

      No interest working together? Really? I don;t much about southern tribes but I do about Northern. What about the Iroquois Confederacy? The Six Nations? What about Brant and his alliances to guarantee promised borders that were never upheld by the British and French? What about the Metis trade alliances? What about the Pacific tribes, or the coming together of Lakota, Arapaho, and Cheyenne for Little Big Horn?

      It sounds suspicious that the documentary was American and contained significant bias to even suggest as much. Without the close cooperation of all the northern tribes with Britain, there would have been no war of 1812 to secure British colonies but a successful American invasion. Of course there was much working together by various tribes at different times for different reasons. From a European perspective, all the tribes were local and similar; from the tribes’ perspective, each colony was just one more tribe among many and each tribe legitimate nations unto themselves if they could defend their territory.

      Very large tribes like the Mohawks and the Iroquois and Cree were were historical enemies competing for shared resources and so different tribes of the Colonists were seen as allies to different groups at different times.But to be clear, native cooperation – because they were the dominant military force throughout the Americas – was the common enemy of all European powers wishing to expand their empires and increase their royal coffers and so were seeking riches from Native trade and lands to pay for it… the same reasoning used by the Americans looking north (54-40 or fight). Gaining native alliances was key to successfully competing with other European powers and so much was promised and so very little delivered.

      Whereas the Americans used brute force and policies of genocide to conquer native lands, the Brits used alliances and trade and treaties and permissive legislation to keep the 14th and 15th (French Lower and British Upper Canada) colonies from seceding to the American union and successfully fight off an invasion. That could only have happened from close cooperation with and among native tribes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • as you noted, various tribes were historical enemies, and the documentary stated this why they did not want to work together. All you have done is state why groups of people don’t work together which reflects the problems stated.

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        • tildeb says:

          No, I showed why the claim is factually wrong, that there are lots of examples of tribes working together, and working together against certain other tribes… including tribes of colonies. The bias, I think, is looking at this history as if Europeans were one thing and all the native tribes another… incorrect premises that then lead to the conclusion that the tribes didn’t act together to drive out the colonists when they should have. That’s why I think the documentary was American to its core.

          Liked by 1 person

          • and again, didn’t say tribes couldn’t work together. I said that tribes didn’t work together. Do you dispute that?

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          • tildeb says:

            Maybe I’m missing something here, but most assuredly native tribes did work together and still do… not all together as if a single entity (anymore than all whites are a single entity – and any documentary portraying whites as a single entity is most assuredly and deeply biased). That’s why I gave examples of inter-tribal cooperation… some of which has been going on for centuries (the Six Nations). I gave some examples of cooperation directed against colonials and sometimes against other tribes. If that’s not evidence for native cooperation, – an historical demonstration of natives working together – then I don’t get your point.

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          • makagutu says:

            We had people even from the same tribe as collaborators. It’s not to say they had different values. I think it was just different needs

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      • makagutu says:

        I think your comment represent what is closer to truth than the documentary.

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    • tildeb says:

      Is mono-culture preferable?

      Absolutely not.

      I will again use Canada as a shining example: strength through diversity, strength through shared core VALUES and not a single cultural identity, strength through multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-political confederacy that shares a fundamental system of human values.

      Canada has be formed by and through the crucible of conflict brought about by these differences in almost every imaginable way. It’s no mystery to a Canadian why Canadians are so well suited to running the Bank of England, being elected into leadership roles in Iceland and Estonia, why the same policeman who shot and killed the shooter in our parliament also wrestled a violent protester to the ground in Ireland, why it took a Canadian to find a peaceful resolution to the Suez crisis to the Irish Troubles.

      Living with differences is hard and easily undone by tribal allegiances; celebrating differences the constitutes the whole is a mark of achieving enlightenment values.

      Ask a 2nd generation Canadian of any culture, ethnicity, gender religion, language, provincial identity what unites us as a people and you’ll find someone at a loss for words beyond the term ‘hockey’. And yet, show up to any civic celebration or national crisis and marvel at the unity. This is what the world needs and it comes from truly appreciating and utilizing not just the vast differences we have from each other but a recognition of sharing core values that supersede all of them.

      Peace, order, and good government are easy words at the heart of our Constitutional monarchy but they do impart the fundamental basis needed for tolerance and respect but care and concern each citizen is not just owed but owes to all citizens. And that’s a working model that can be expanded globally.

      Liked by 1 person

      • unity? Is this not an example of a monoculture when there is agreement in values?

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        • tildeb says:

          I really don’t think so for two reasons: one, because culture is not synonymous with secular values. In all seriousness, there isn’t a Canadian culture because the population is so diverse in all elements that constitute a culture and, two, I don’t think shared secular enlightenment values are a necessary component of culture.

          Liked by 1 person

          • again, you said you stand in unity. what did you mean?

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          • tildeb says:

            You had asked upthread about the need for a mono-culture. I disagreed and said our differences can in fact be used as a source of great strength for unity. By unity I meant people identifying as a single people in spite of vastly different cultures, languages, religions, ethnicities, histories, birthplaces, you name it. And, using the Canadian example, out of all of these fundamental differences can come a strong sense of a shared singular identity.

            As I said, few if any Canadians can explain on what this sense of unity we have is based… other than some grouping of secular enlightenment values (with the exception of hockey). Is my claim true?

            Well, just take a look at our Olympic team and marvel at how many stark differences (differences often blamed for all kinds of historical conflicts) there are between the individuals who make up the singular team and yet who demonstrate this strong sense of unity each member grants to the team and the flag it represents.

            This is what I think can be exported to the world. It really is a working example of how we can become a global We – a political whole with different parts – rather than divvy up the globe into various camps of Them and Us.

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          • So, a grouping of secular values is unity? If your export can become global, again, why is this not a monoculture, a share set of beliefs?

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          • tildeb says:

            Yes, I think these values do unify (which is my point). But that doesn’t make it a mono-culture as far as my understanding of culture goes.

            My understanding of culture is a conglomeration of shared characteristics like language, religion, music, food, art, social habits, and so on… as in French cuisine or Italian hand gestures, or Russian drinking patterns, or American cinema, and so on. I don’t see shared enlightenment values as a part of a particular cultural expression belonging to some subgroup of people but a set of values that go well beyond it.

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    • makagutu says:

      I wouldn’t claim to have read about the Native Americans but I would hazard a guess there is something wrong with that documentary.
      The British used divide and rule system in some of the colonies. Maybe the colonists used the same method, setting brother against brother

      Liked by 1 person

  12. shelldigger says:

    The only thing I found offensive was the assumption (by the studies) that blacks are somehow inferior… If there was something else there that was terribly offensive I must have missed it.

    Like

  13. Ibraheem says:

    Thank God I have someone with the same sense of trust and hope for my home, Africa. It is not those cable wires, not those automated metros, or those beautiful airports that determine the richness in a country. Our greenery, our bushes, our home made stuff and our culture in all its varieties is richer than anything anyone could think of in the west. Our rulers only need to believe in the masses and vice versa and interlock our minds and brains for the forward Africa, only then, our richness would be celebrated than today and the world will bow to us. This is a blog I must follow.

    Meanwhile, don’t get too angry. Critics should keep your feet writing, ignore only what you want, but don’t angrily delete comments. But it’s your blog, your choice sir. I open my cap.

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  14. For years I thought Africa to be a poor nations place but lately realized its richness. I bundled up my understanding of rich and poor in my blog
    https://thenextopinion.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/unbaised-nature/

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