Sadiq Manzan, University of Toronto

I was thinking along very similar lines as Kwabenna Gyasi's contribution. Dr. Onyeani is entirely entitled to his opinions and any analysis he cares to make of Blacks, but he certainly has to make a more serious effort to come to the conclusion that Blacks are "non-productive, lazy, unintelligent, slaves, Neanderthals, zombies, intellectually dishonest, beggars, undisciplined, dumb-(bleeped) idiots, genetically unable to take care of themselves." And, of course, the KKK must surely be so happy to hear this from a Black man.

It is sad, isn't it that, some among the Black elite and leadership, inclusing some of our otherwise most admirable thinkers and leaders, seriously believed/believe that black people are inferior. You want proof? Here are just two examples:

(1) "I was brought up in a particularly primitive society." Kwame Nkrumah: Autobiography, Panaf, London, 1979, p. 109)

(2) "Emotion is Negro, as reason is Greek" (Leopard Sedar Senghor: Liberte I, Seuil, Paris, 1964, p. 24)

Others, not so direct, simply decided that they wanted as little to do with Africa(ns) as possible:

"Whenever I was with an African, we would both be uneasy… They disgusted me, I think." James Baldwin in a conversation with Harold Isaacs in 1959 on his relations with African in Paris. (Quoted in Talking at the Gate: A Life of James Baldwin (page 109). By James Campbell. Penguin Books, NY, 1991.

"I dislike this idea that if you're a black person in America then you must be called an African-American. I'm not an African. I'm an American. Just call me black if you want to call me anything." (Whoopi Goldberg, in Irish Times, 25 April 1998. Quotes of the Week).

So, we shouldn't really be surprised when a white journalist writes "authoritatively" that:

"It (Africa) is a continent suspended, trapped somewhere closer to the ancient than to the modern, a continent where so many visas lead to places that feel utterly lost, not only for their wretched poverty and cataclysmic civil wars and devastating histories of exploitation and neglect but also for the primitive understanding their people have of all that happens in their world, an understanding that may, along with the wretched and the cataclysmic and the devastating, allow for little in the way of modern development." (New York Times Magazine of October 26, 2003: "The Most Unconventional Weapon," by Daniel Bergner).

Dr. Steve Nwabuzor

Thank you for responding to my comments on USA/Africa Dialogue 1104.

First of all, I am not in the business of premeditated myopia. I have read your original posting on Dialogue 1103 all over again, and did not find any comments that condemned President Bush or this administration. The following culled from that article only informs of funds slashing by the president.

"Despite the warning, it is estimated that President Bush cut 44% of the budget money which would have been used in making sure that the levees did not break. Again, in 2004, President Bush cut 80% of the funding requested by the New Orleans district of the Army Corps of Engineers, which would enabled them to hold back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain"

It would have been to the point if you had expatiated on the implications of the above cut by the Presidency of the US vis-a-vis the black demography of the disaster areas. I do not listen to the "AllAfrica Radio", hence I am not privy to your blasting of President Bush. Even then, comments are made here for information and possible provocation of ideas, as such these comments should be holistic in nature and not assume a metaphysical knowledge of those us who read the comments!

In anycase, the vehemence in which you condemned the Black nations and leaders for their slow response was not in doubt and corroborates your long-standing position of the ineptitude and lack of creativity of the negroid race. You avoided to take on the ineptitude and racial overtones of the brother race that you appear to relish and love more than yours in the response to Hurricane Katrina in Dialogue 1103. The latter is my point. Killing yours does not elevate you before those who resent your race. Just a point to bear in mind.


Dr. Chika Onyeani:


With 'subjects' like Kwabena Gyasi, who wants to be a Chief? I don't know
where Kwabena has been in the last two decades, to know that African Chiefdoms
now amount to zilch, serving under the caprices of political and militlary
tin-gods, subject to removal if you cough too much. Except I would trade places
with King Mswati of Swaziland any time, especially during the reed dances.

When I started reading Kwabena Gyasi's post, I thought, wow, finally here's
somebody on my side. I was beginning to enjoy the adulatory comments, and the
acknowledgements about Molotov cocktail being lobbed at "every appearance of
his contributions in this forum." Here I was, enjoying being acknowledged as
the chief of this Forum. But beware of a Greek bearing gift. The Molotov
cocktail should have warned me of what was about to come. And bam, it did arrive
like Hurricane Katrina with its destructive force, sweeping me away like a
wood-shed immediately above the levees in New Orleans.

I must confess though that I have never had so much fun reading Kwabena Gyasi
as the most poignant criticism of Chika Onyeani as I had today. But for
someone who had such respect for his Chief, did he have to use "taflatse" (as most
Ghanaians know what it means) to contravene the mark of respect accorded
African chiefs . He clearly captured the essence of his criticism by citing the
priest predicting the destruction of his town, which I would expand to include a
saying in my place, that if you cause rain to fall on your enemies, it is
just likely to fall on you and your friends if you happen to be there. And I
happen to have caused rain for my enemies and happened to be there at the same
time, an acknowledgement that, yes, Chika Onyeani is more than proud to be a
black man.

But unlike Kwabena, I don't disavow being ""non-productive, lazy,
unintelligent, slaves,
Neanderthals, zombies, intellectually dishonest, beggars, undisciplined,
dumb-(bleeped) idiots, genetically unable to take care of themselves (myself)." S
o, why would a whole Chief acknowledge all these inadequacies in himself?
Because everything here is true, and unless I am brutally frank with myself, how
could I ask others to be brutally frank with themselves - how could I ask the
black race to be brutally frank with themselves? I see our being
non-productive because basically every product we use is produced by others; I see our
laziness because we are always making excuses why we can't do this or that; I
see our unintelligent behavior in the economic decisions we make everyday -
because I see the totality of the black economic enslavement every time I step
into a store or any establishment in my city. Each of the adjectives I used
apply to me equally. I could hardly say that Kwabena Gyasi discovered a secret
that I wasn't aware of.

Case in point - "Capitalist Nigger." Yes, yes, I know, been warned about
this book. Compare "Capitalist Nigger" to "Rich Dad, Poor Dad," by Robert
Kiyosaki. The books almost came out at the same time. For a time, was
using Capitalist Nigger to sell Rich Dad, Poor Dad. "Buy this book,
Capitalist Nigger, get Rich Dad, Poor Dad at 50% discount. But Rich Dad, Poor Dad has
now sold 11 million copies, do you know how many copies of Capitalist Nigger
have been sold? Company secret, but not anything approaching 11 million
copies. I make all kinds of excuses why Capitalist Nigger has not reached the
same pinnacle since it has been compared to Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Do you know why?
It is the same blame game I accuse our people of practising - "my people
don't want to patronize me," as if they were the ones who asked me to write the
book; New York Times refused to review the book because it was published by an
independent publisher, when Trudeau's book about "What the FDA don't want you
to Know", though independently published has sold more than 3.5 million copies
in less than two years, blah, blah, blah, excuses upon excuses, when I know
for a fact that whenever anybody comes across Capitalist Nigger they always buy

I hardly want to bore anybody here with my "non-productivity, laziness,
unintelligence, slave mentality, Neanderthalism, zombism, intellectually
dishonesty, being a beggar instead of going to take what belongs to me, undisciplined,
dumb-ass idiocy, my dependency and geneticinability to take care of myself."

Kwabena Gyasi you truly made my day, but I wouldn't accept your own adjective
of being a "taflatse."

As my young friend, Bolaji Aluko, is fond of saying, I am really scratching
my head and having a good belly laugh!! With 'subjects' like Kwabena Gyasi,
who wants to be a Chief?