Preview #15, Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue
Guest Editor Marvin X
News, Views, Reviews
Reply to Qaddafi, etal.
on Apology for Slavery
WE must appreciate the Arab apology for their role in the slave trade.
The French also apologized for slavery and colonialism, although they
insist on citing the positive aspects of colonialism, indicating a
residue of white supremacy and their need for further recovery.
Australia apologized for genocide of the Aboriginal people. America has
yet to apologize in her hard heartedness
and determination to maintain absolute domination and exploitation of
North American Africans and to remain the last bastion of white
supremacy on the planet.
Throughout the Americas, we see a majority of nations trying to establish
progressive governments, some with indigenous people in power, such as
Morales in Bolivia. There are left of center governments in Cuba,
Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and
elsewhere. These nations are attempting to shake Yankee imperialism
and develop a socialist or more humanistic form of free market
economics, rather than the blatant system of USA naked capitalism (aka
Globalism) with wage slavery and robbery of the natural resources of
the indigenous people.
In harmony and unity with the peoples of the Americas, it is incumbent on
North American Africans to make a similar paradigm shift and move to a
more radical agenda in their political economic philosophy. In short,
we must jump out of the box of American white supremacy ideology. We
not only demand apologies, but reparations for past indignities,
including slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism, including the present era domestic colonialism.
There must be an immediate redistribution of wealth from centuries of
capital accumulation by Euro-Americans. Without this redistribution or
sharing of wealth, we see a second civil war on the horizon. North
American Africans were recently scammed and robbed of their basic
wealth (home ownership) with the sub prime loan scheme. Thus their
perennial abject economic condition has worsened, approaching the abyss
while the bandits were rewarded and replenished for their robbery and
naked exploitation of the middle class and poor. Because this scam was
partly orchestrated by a Black president, who bailed out the Wall
Street bandits who put him in office, we are not under the delusion
hope is still alive, for we have a plethora of white presidents in
black face throughout Africa and the Caribbean, no better than the
colonialists who preceded them.
Obama is proving he is in the tradition of these African or black men with white hearts! He is a neo-colonial Negro in the best tradition of those who have preceded him throughout
American history. We know the sound of a duck when we hear it. The
sound is unmistakable and we are not fooled. How can he offer jobs,
housing and education to terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Yemen and Somalia, if they lay down their guns, but not implement the
same for brothers and sisters in the hood who are suffering from the
same poverty, ignorance and disease?
Finally, as per apology for slavery, we await apology from our African brothers,
especially those who still benefit from the accumulation of wealth from
the slave trade. To date, only one African brother has said to me,
"Brother, I am sorry for my people selling your people into slavery."
Only until this has occurred on a mass level, perhaps in some gigantic
ritual of healing, will relations between Africans and North American
Africans reach closure on the matter of slavery.
But on the general condition of slavery and especially the oppression of
women that persists to this present moment, including the sexual
exploitation on the streets of America by socalled
pimps, especially those in black face, along with the global
exploitation of women in sex traffic (no matter that I support legalized
prostitution), and the mass rape of women throughout Africa and the
world, honor killings, clitoris
mutilation and partner violence, whether physical, verbal or
emotional, these abominations must be eliminated totally and absolutely.
Qaddafi apologizes for Arab involvement in slave trade Oct 12th, 2010 | By SalliePisch
CAIRO: Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi apologized for the slave trade on behalf of Arabs at the second Afro-Arab summit in Libya on Sunday. It may be the first time an Arab leader has admitted – much less apologized for – enslaving Africans.While completely unprecedented, the statement falls in line with Qaddafi’s decade-long policy of aligning himself with African nations. “I regret the behavior
of the Arabs… They brought African children to North Africa, they made
them slaves, they sold them like animals, and they took them as slaves
and traded them in a shameful way. I regret and I am ashamed when we
remember these practices. I apologize for this,” Qaddafi was quoted as
A number of African leaders, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, were in attendance at the summit which covered topics ranging from the Palestinian issue to Sudanese separation. Gaddafi continued his statement by saying, “Today we are embarrassed and shocked by these outrageous practices of rich Arabs who had treated their fellow Africans with contempt and condescension.” Gaddafi’s statement was broad, leaving a time reference open for debate.
There is very little documentation about the African enslavement in the Arab world. Most documentation and research focuses on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but until the turn of the 19th Century, Arab slave traders dealt in a lucrative business in African slaves from the Congo, Rwanda, and particularly East Africa. In the middle of the ninth century, a revolt of the Zanj, African slaves held in modern-day Iraq, lasted for nearly fifteen years.
The Arab slave trade was also excuse used by Europeans, including King Leopold II of Belgium, to move into Africa during the age of European colonization. There is some documentation of Arab enslavement up until the mid-1900s. According to a report by the United Nations in 1957, as much as 20% of the population of Saudi Arabia consisted of slaves. The report listed the worth of a girl under 5 years of age to be between 200-400 British pounds on the Jeddah slave market, while a man under 40 averaged 150 British pounds.
It is plausible that Gaddafi’s statements referenced modern enslavement by Arabs, from the era of European colonization to the present day. “We should now recognize this issue, denounce it vigorously and place it in its true dimension,” Ghaddafi said in his statement.
In September, UK Channel 4 released a film version of the story of a Nubian woman named MendeNazer. The film, titled “I Am Slave,” tells the true story of a girl who was abducted from the Nuba mountains and was eventually sold into domestic servitude with an Arab family in London.
In 2000, Nazer’s story made international news when she managed to escape. Although the numbers of people living in such circumstances are difficult to determine, an August article in the UK’s Telegraph estimated around 5,000 people are currently working as domestic slaves in the UK.
Either way, the Libyan leader’s statement is remarkable, even for a man who likes to make headlines. BM