After reading Dr. Marimba Ani’s excellent book Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior, I felt compelled to write Medieval Upheaval, A Catalogue of Bloody European Evils for 4 specific reasons:
1) I wanted to outline specific historical actions of Europeans that challenged their eternal lie of being morally pure and intellectually superior.
2) I wanted to challenge the cultural stereotypes leveled at African descended people thereby helping to boost self-esteem in African people.
3) I wanted to underscore the Europeans’ skill at myth-making and story telling specifically highlighting their “gift” of manipulating audiences, (because African Americans and American whites, too, are prone to believe what they hear without doing follow-up work), and
4) For the purpose of remaining vigilant in the face of numbers 1, and 3.
Europeans trace their version of democracy back to circa 6th c. BCE Athens. But, the western version of democracy has been unsteady and erratic, punctuated by long, and disturbing outbreaks of dehumanization and barbarism. Athens persecuted free thinkers like Socrates.
In America, leaders have clung to their “shining nation on the hill” fantasy despite using torture, despite having the world’s largest prison population, despite gunning African Americans down in the streets, and despite using American drones to murder suspects on foreign soils without due process.
Pretending to be something it is not – including flat out lying – is a large part of the European ethos. The culture girds itself with well-managed mythologies. In fact, I believe that the myths that mold reality for Europeans and their white American children are the single most significant (and destructive) characteristic of European nations. That’s because myths have been used as tools of manipulation to bind the collective white psyche to common causes.
But, there are signs that Europe’s many myths are fraying around the edges as long held fantasies give way to some stark realities: the world’s white population is not only the minority population, but it is in obvious decline (so much for white supremacy); people of color have made, and are making significant contributions to the world (so much for white supremacy); and white is not the brightest color in the crayon box (so much for white supremacy).
Africans – both past and present – have had no real potent defense against Europeans, operators of the largest shell game in history. In fact, African nations – who watched their sovereignty destroyed under European rule, still provide far too much access to Europeans at the expense of their own citizens’ well being.
Likewise many nations have fallen prey to European hucksterism, opening their doors just wide enough for whites to enter and plunder valuable resources.
Cultures – that are made up of individuals – have the capacity to learn and grow; Africans have maintained successful ones for a longer period of time than have Europeans. But, that is to be expected; Africans have had 10’s of thousands of years to learn how to survive, and to work out any bloodlust and hoarding tendencies, if such traits ever existed in our African natures. It’s not surprising that 90% of African Americans favored progress over authoritarianism in this last election. In American politics, we have always voted for constructive programs. (“It takes a village to raise a child.” – African proverb).
On the other hand, Europeans have much younger, less sophisticated cultures based on regressive notions such as individuality and ravenous greed, at whatever the cost. They do not feel there are any chinks in their cultural armor to be worked out.
Election results show that two-thirds of white voters desire to hang onto their fake (IRL) reality show called America (aka The Experiment), while slightly more than a third of white Americans seek progress. Also, white women voted to secure the futures of their white men and sons at the expense of their own fates and those of their daughters’.
As many commentators pre- and post-election warned us voting for the oft-romanticized in European history “strong man” can only lead to things burning down. Self-destruction is another hallmark of European cultures. We have only to look at their history of torture, blood lust, and self-inflicted calamities to draw this conclusion. (“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. -Thomas Jefferson”).
Where do we go from here? Well, past is prologue. People who don’t know history are doomed to be scammed by those who do know it. Study and learn history; watch for repetitions. European symbols work alongside their myths; as the days and weeks progress watch for ones that come from the Trump team.
Also, for 100’s of years now, African Americans have allowed the world’s least mature members – socially, culturally, intellectually and emotionally – to define our world for us. This has allowed Europeans to run the tables as they’ve slaughtered people and other animals into extinction, and turned our Earth’s environment into a literal cesspool. We can be proactive in calling out the dysfunctional white culture for the sociopathic, narcissistic, and psychopathic construct that it is, every chance we get. The sooner we stop normalizing abnormal behaviors, the better.
Once we can clearly define what the European and white culture is all about, we’ll surely know who we are not. We can proceed from there.
There’s a lot of work ahead to repair centuries long damage done to our psyches and to our beloved Mother Earth.