Chika Onyeani is an acclaimed writer and author, whose no-holds barred
controversial book, "Capitalist Nigger: The Road to Success - A Spider Web
Doctrine," is recognized as one of the most empowering economic books on the Black Race. "Capitalist Nigger: The Road to Success," stayed as the No.1 Bestseller in South Africa for 4 months. Onyeani is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the African Sun Times.
All postings are accessible at: http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/155.html
This is the first day of January of the 21st century, and of the third
millennium. In the just completed 20th century and second millennium, the Black
race suffered the most horrifying humiliation, discredit, disgrace and dishonor,
that as we enter this 21st century, the wounds are yet to heal and the scars
might be quite difficult to erase for many of us. In the last millennium, we
became the most conquered, the most oppressed, the most disrespected, the most
despised, the most alienated, the most influenced to acts of kindness and
hospitality, and the least desirous to acts of aggression on other fellow beings
other than our own race. We weathered the greatest acts of man's inhumanity to
man. It is a millennium that we can never forget, we should never forget,
and that should be permanently etched in our consciousness and in those of our
future generations as we ponder what will happen and what would be the place of
the Black Race when this new century or the third millennium ends.
The most important question you and I have to answer is really whether we
understand what happened to the greatness of the Black race, a race that is the
origin of man, a race that brought enlightenment and civilization to the world,
a race that brought advanced learning and teaching to the world, a race that
had culturally impacted the world in every facet of our lives. The other
important question is how did the Black race allow those that they had regarded as
barbarians and savages to appropriate our knowledge wholesale and use that
knowledge to become our masters.
Unfortunately, there hasn't been a time we have sat down to examine honestly
and frankly what went wrong, how did the second millennium become a major
albatross on our necks. The trauma we have suffered is so ingrained that we would
prefer not to discuss these questions as we would be confronting the truth.
There hasn't been a time when Black leaders the world over decided to get
together to examine the beginning of the destruction of the Black race, our pres
ent state and future course of action. At a minimum such a meeting of Black
leaders is necessary to at least halt the disastrous actions they continue to
take in impoverishing our people.
The greatest challenge facing us today is that of being truthful about our
past, our present and our future. Truth is very bitter, but if we are to
proceed further, we must need an honest, frank and ruthless discussion of who we
really are, and what our situation is compared to the rest of the world.
Frankly, we are already at the bottom of the valley. As the most oppressed, the most
disrespected, the most despised, the most alienated; frankly, when you are at
the bottom, and we are at the bottom, let's be honest with ourselves, we
don't have anywhere else to go but up. Any first step we could take to climb that
ladder on our way back to the top is a major step forward.
But, unfortunately, we have lied to ourselves for almost 600 years. We have
deluded ourselves into believing that we have been climbing that ladder to
the top, when we have never acknowledged that we were even down. Denying the
position we are in can never help us in taking that first step; because of our
delusion, we will find that we are in thin ice with nothing to stand on when
reality sets in. There is nothing like telling the truth to get the monkey off
of our back. We have to lift the heavy burden we have been carrying for
centuries, the burden of lying to ourselves.
My book, Capitalist Nigger: The Road to Success, has been applauded for being
ruthlessly frank and honest with the Black race. The question is whether our
people want people like us to continue to participate in the lying game. But
some of us have decided that we would rather drink the bitter brew of truth
now than continue to lie to the detriment of the future generation of Blacks to
come. We have to be courageous, and some times downright tenacious or rather
nasty in no longer accepting anything but the truth and in so doing set
The other day I was talking to a group of college students, and I asked them
whether they remembered when the Rev. Jesse Jackson acknowledged that if he
were to come out in the middle of the night and heard footsteps behind him and
turned around to see a Black man following him, he would be very afraid, but
the same thing would not happen if the person following him was white. The
Black community tried to crucify him for telling the truth, forcing Rev. Jackson
to cowardly retract the statement and said it was taken out of context. We
all of course know that Jesse Jackson was telling the truth; we refused to
acknowledge the truth that in our neighborhoods, the people who may mug us are our
own people. We refused to acknowledge the truth because we did not want
"others" to hear us acknowledge what they already know.
The point is that Jesse Jackson told the truth - but the question is why
was it so important for us to gang up on him to the extent that he had to
retract the statement. We did not feel comfortable discussing the issue in public;
we didn't want to and still don't want to acknowledge that in our
neighborhoods the person most likely to mug us would be Black.
The point I am making here is that we should accept this as a truism. Let's
acknowledge this truth publicly. From there, we can discuss why this
continues to happen in our community; what are the root causes of our own people
mugging us, raping our women and in some cases even committing murder.
The question is how could we begin to address the problem if we could not
even acknowledge the truth? We would rather sweep the truth under the rug and
let it continue to fester as a virus which eventually devours most of us. When
I moved into my current neighborhood, thirty years ago, it was out of choice.
But my house has been burglarized about three times, my cars stolen twice,
my cars broken into countless times, as well as having been mugged twice. I am
saying these were not crimes committed by outsiders, they were committed by
my people - that's the truth, and when someone like Jesse Jackson articulates
the truth, we should have applauded rather than ridiculed him.
We spent the last millennium denying the truth about ourselves. I have no
doubt that the trauma of our collective experiences have made it impossible for
us to face the truth. But only by totally examining all aspects of our being
as a people in comparison to others frankly and honestly, could we be able to
find solutions to our problems. For too long, we have left the examining and
analysis of our lives and being to others.
But this is the 21st century, the third millennium, the new millennium of
opportunities, and it is our responsibility to seize back what has been stolen
from us. In this new millennium, we cannot allow ourselves to be the most
conquered, the most oppressed, the most disrespected, the most despised, the most
alienated, the most influenced to acts of kindness and hospitality, and the
least desirous to acts of aggression. It is our responsibility to put a stop to
all these, and regain the glory that is the greatness of the Black Race. It
starts by being ruthlessly frank and honest with ourselves.
In the weeks and months to come, this column and its author intend to tell
the truth, no matter how bitter it would be, and no matter how unacceptable it
would be to some. We have passed the age of hiding our so-called dirty linen
in the closet. We intend to be in the vanguard of washing these linens in the
public. For those who are not able to drink the bitter brew of truth about us
as a people, I say to them, c'est la vie!