Monday, December 18, 2017 at 7:28 AM

Africans Selling Africans as Slaves … Again

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

The sale of African migrants at auctions in Libya has sparked outrage across the continent.

A CNN report published earlier in November obtained footage of an auction, at which migrants stranded in the North African country were sold for as little as $400.

For thousands of migrants from across sub-Saharan Africa, Libya is the last stopping point in Africa before making a perilous journey across the Mediterranean in the hope of reaching Europe.

(Newsweek, November 23, 2017)

No doubt this is as heartrending for you as it is tragic for these migrants. But I am all too mindful that Africans killing Africans has become a defining feature of this Dark Continent.

Frankly, it seems whenever Western eyes are on Africa, we see tribal conflicts causing everything from famine to genocides and all manner of human suffering in between. And I have bemoaned it all in commentaries like “Help! Ethnic Cleansing and Forced Starvation Persists in Africa,” December 1, 2005, “Yes, Save Darfur! But What about Zimbabwe?” February 8, 2008, “Rwandan-Style Violence Erupts in Congo … Again,” October 29, 2008, “DR Congo’s Heart of Darkness Gets Even Darker,” December 4, 2012, “South Sudan Continues Descent into Heart of Darkness,” April 25, 2014, and “#BringBackOurGirls Lost in the Dustbin of Public Consciousness,” April 18, 2016, to cite just a few.

This is why I’m not sure what to make of this “outrage across the continent” over Africans selling Africans.

Indeed, if you’re a Nuer living in South Sudan, you’d probably consider it a blessing to be sold into slavery in neighboring Ethiopia. After all, the way the Dinkas are trying to ethnically cleanse the Nuers in South Sudan is eerily reminiscent of the (genocidal) way the Hutus tried to ethnically cleanse the Tutsis in Rwanda.

Not to mention that outrage over slavery in Libya smacks of the dramatic shock over gambling in Casablanca.

This is hardly the forum to elaborate. Therefore, suffice it to know that Africans were selling (and enslaving) Africans long before Europeans induced and/or forced them to become complicit in the transatlantic slave trade. Hell, even the “more civilized” races on the continent practiced slavery. Notably, the “Book of Exodus” chronicles the tale of human bondage that had Egyptians enslaving Israelites.

That said, it is noteworthy that the Africans being sold today are desperately seeking migrants. Because I suspect some of the reported outrage is masking continental shame over the scourge African migration is posing to Europe.

I just hope the damning irony is not lost on any proud African that, 50 years after decolonization, hundreds of Africans (men, women, and children) are risking their lives, practically every day, to subjugate themselves to the paternal mercies of their former colonial masters in Europe.

(“African Migrants Turning Mediterranean Sea into Vast Cemetery,” The iPINIONS Journal, February 12, 2015)

I have often lamented that post-colonial Africa seems fated to loom amidst the continents of the world as a dark, destitute, diseased, desperate, disenfranchised, dishonest, disorganized, disassociated, dangerous, and ultimately dysfunctional mess.

Accordingly, I have often conceded that, notwithstanding slavery and its racist legacy, blacks born in America and the Caribbean should thank their lucky stars that neither Abraham Lincoln nor Marcus Garvey succeeded in “repatriating” us to Africa. In other words, thank God we are here and not there!

This is admittedly harsh, perhaps even heartless. But there’s no denying it’s just calling a spade a spade.

Related commentaries:
African migration
Ethnic cleansing
Save Darfur
Rwanda-style violence
Heart of Darknesss
South Sudan

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

My Books

VFC Painting


Subscribe via Email

Powered by FeedBlitz